Category: May 19

  • MALCOLM X DAY | Third Friday in May


    Today is May 19 and the third Friday in May on the National Day Calendar and we are honoring the life of civil rights activist Malcolm X. Join us as we explore his life and see how one man became an inspiration for change and equality inspiring Malcolm X Day.


    Malcolm Little was born on May 19, 1925 in Omaha Nebraska and was the fourth of seven children. He spent most of his childhood years in foster care after his father passed away. Malcolm dropped out of high school and would pursue odd jobs to make a living. For a short period of time, he would move to Boston to live with his sister, eventually moving to Michigan. It was here he met John Elroy Sanford, who was an aspiring comedian, later known as Redd Foxx. Interestingly, Sanford and Malcolm both had reddish hair that would earn them the nicknames Chicago Red (Sanford) and Detroit Red (Malcolm) on the streets of Detroit.

    In 1946, Malcolm was arrested for larceny and burglary and would serve 10 years in prison for his crimes. During his prison sentence, Malcolm began to transform into a religious man who also had interest in politics. He would join the Nation of Islam and adapt his life around encouraging Black people to empower themselves to achieve economic and social success. It was also during this time Malcom would remove Little as his last name and add the letter “X” as reference to his identity during slavery.

    After his release from prison in 1952, Malcolm X would continue following the Nation of Islam, speaking to people everywhere. In fact, he was an eloquent and charismatic speaker and quickly became one of the organizations most influential representatives. For over 12 years, he would advocate for Black people fighting racial injustices.

    Life Changing Experience

    In 1964, Malcolm X travelled to Mecca, Saudi Arabia to participate in a holy pilgrimage. Unbeknownst him, this trip would become a life-changing experience, changing the way he viewed mankind. Before going to Mecca, he thought in order for Black people to survive, they must separate themselves from white people. This thought process was largely in part due to the teachings of the Nation of Islam. However, after his experience in Mecca, Malcolm would return to the U.S. with a new belief system as a result of the people he met during the pilgrimage. He began preaching to all people that success of a nation meant working together, despite their racial differences.

    “In fact, what I have seen and experienced on this pilgrimage has forced me to ‘rearrange’ much of my own thought‐pattern, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions.”

    Malcolm X, Interview with the NY Times, May 8, 1964

    The unfortunate belief system of the Nation of Islam to promote violence towards non-supporters became something of the past for Malcolm X. In fact, after his pilgrimage, he would abandon the beliefs of the organization, resulting in an uneasy relationship. Because Malcolm X was a prominent individual in Black American, the organization would become extremely volatile towards him.

    5 Accomplishments of Malcolm X

    1. Beginning in 1965, Malcolm X was the most prominent minister at the Nation of Islam mosques Temple No. 11 (Boston), Temple No. 12 (Philadelphia), and Temple No. 7 (New York).
    2. Malcolm X lead one of the nations largest civil rights events in 1963 at Unity Rally in Harlem.
    3. The NY Times names Malcolm X as the second most sought after speaker in the U.S. in 1963.
    4. In 1964, Malcolm X created the Organizations of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) after forming Muslim Mosque, Inc.
    5. During the 1960s, Malcolm X gave several interviews, participated in debates, and appeared on television promoting equality among all people.

    On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was shot 15 times by three members of the Nation of Islam during a speaking engagement in Manhattan. Over 1,500 people attended Malcolm’s funeral in Harlem. Friends and family buried Malcolm X themselves as a way to honor the man and the contributions he made to the civil rights movement.


    1. Read a book about the life of Malcolm X.
    2. Watch the award winning movie Malcolm X.
    3. Attend a lecture about Malcolm X at a local university.
    4. Learn about the civil rights movement.
    5. Volunteer to support an organization that advocates for equal rights.
    6. Share your thoughts and support on Malcolm X Day using #MalcolmXDay on social media.

    Organizations are trying to help make Malcolm X Day into an official state holiday across the country. So far, the day is an official holiday in:

    1. California
    2. District of Columbia
    3. Florida
    4. Georgia
    5. Illinois
    6. Minnesota
    7. Missouri
    8. Nebraska
    9. Ohio
    10. Oregon
    11. Pennsylvania
    12. Tennessee
    13. Texas
    14. Washington
    15. Wisconsin

    Watch and listen to the iconic speech “The Ballot or the Bullet.”

    Similar days on the National Day Calendar:

  • NASCAR DAY – Third Friday in May


    This year NASCAR Day is celebrated on the third Friday in May and recognizes the drivers, celebrities, corporate partners, media and millions of fans.


    In 2006, the NASCAR Foundation brought family together to support the cause of health and lives of children across the whole country. Today, the observance kicks off a fundraising event dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children.

    The NASCAR Foundation is the leading charitable organization that works to improve the lives of children in the NASCAR community. They believe every child deserves a chance at a healthy life. By making children’s health their main priority, the foundation helps make the medical needs of children their top priority.

    “We believe our greatest asset is the power and passion of our NASCAR fans: passion both for the sport and for giving back.  NASCAR Day is an annual celebration of this NASCAR spirit.”

    Children who have long term illnesses have anxiety about what is happening around them. Luckily, their hospital stay can be one less thing to worry about. Each child in any Speediatrics unit no longer feels overwhelmed during their hospital stay because each room is made to alleviate uneasiness.

    Not So Common Fun Facts

    • 1948: Red Byron wins the first NASCAR race driving a Ford.
    • 1959: More than 41,000 fans attend the the first Daytona 500.
    • 1963: Wendell Scott becomes the first African-American to win a NASCAR race.
    • 1977: Janet Guthrie becomes the first women to compete in the Daytona 500, qualify 39th and finishing 12th.
    • 2013: Danica Patrick becomes the first female to win a pole in NASCAR history.


    • Learn more about the NASCAR Foundation.
    • Volunteer at a local event.
    • Donate money to the organization.
    • Show your support by posting #NASCARDay on social media.


    The National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing NASCAR hosted its first race on February 15, 1948, in Daytona Beach. Since then, NASCAR’s deep roots have raises their standards to the the highest class of stock car auto racing in the United States. Within a 10 month period, they hosts a series of races and award the most successful racing car driver of the season the NASCAR Cup Series Drivers’ Championship.

    Betty Jane France receive honors for founding the NASCAR Foundation in 2006. Her vision to establish a permanent commitment to support causes that benefit the health of children was evident over time. It was this vision that would eventually lead to the opening of the renowned racing-themed Speediatrics children’s care units at Halifax Health in Daytona Beach and Homestead Hospital in South Florida. During this time, the Speediatrics Children’s Fund was also made available to provide medical assistance to families.

    For six decades, Betty Jane France served NASCAR in one capacity or another. As the wife of Chairman and CEO, Bill France Jr, her involvement in the organization was constant and consistent. Serving as Executive Vice President for a period of time increased her passion was to serve the community.

    Unfortunately, Better passed away in 2016. Her death has left a legacy NASCAR follows. They continue to dedicate their time to provide as much resources and support to children in their racing communities.

  • NATIONAL PIZZA PARTY DAY – Third Friday in May


    Each year on the third Friday in May, millions of pizza lovers across the nation join in extolling the qualities of pizza on National Pizza Party Day.


    Since pizza is one of America’s favorite foods, it comes as no surprise we would celebrate a day that features a pizza party. Pizza parties bring friends together. They’re also an excellent way to reward a team or group for a job well done. Birthdays and some minor achievements are also celebrated with pizza parties, too. Although, just about any excuse can be used for a good pizza party.

    • In ancient Greece, the Greeks covered their bread with oils, herbs, and cheese, which some attribute to the beginning of the pizza.
    • In Byzantine Greek, the word was spelled “πίτα,” pita, meaning pie.
    • The Romans developed a pastry with a sheet of dough topped with cheese and honey, then flavored with bay leaves.
    • Our modern pizza had its beginning in Italy as the Neapolitan flatbread.
    • The original pizza used only mozzarella cheese, mainly the highest quality buffalo mozzarella variant. It was produced in the surroundings of Naples.
    • An estimated 2 billion pounds of pizza cheese was produced in the United States in 1997.
    • The first United States pizza establishment opened in New York’s Little Italy in 1905.
    • The largest pizza ever made, according to Guinness World Records, weighed 26,883 pounds. It was made in Norwood, South Africa, on December 8, 1990.
    • As far as pizza eating contests go, the winner goes to Kelvin Medina, who ate a 12-inch pizza in 23.62 seconds on April 12, 2015.


    Come up with a reason for a pizza party and start ordering! We’ll give you a few ideas:

    • It’s someone’s half birthday.
    • Your car hit 84,324 miles.
    • Your best friend found out he likes raisins.
    • A bee flew by, and you didn’t gasp.
    • The sun came out.
    • Someone correctly used the word “literally” in a sentence.
    • You woke up.
    • 10 days without road rage.
    • You went to the beach and your toddler didn’t eat sand.
    • In a conversation with Snoop, he wasn’t a smarty pants.
    • You have a conversation with Amy where she doesn’t cuss like a trucker.
    • You write a sentence that Michele doesn’t correct the grammar.
    • Laura asks, “Did someone say Nacho Pizza?”

    Celebrate by inviting friends and family to share a night of fun at your favorite pizzeria.  Another way to celebrate is with a homemade pizza with fresh toppings or by having one delivered. Make individual pizzas so everyone can enjoy their favorite pizza. Order gift cards for future pizza parties to support local businesses.

    Share photos of your pizza party on your favorite social media and include #PizzaPartyDay.

    Educators and families, visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for projects and ideas to #CelebrateEveryDay!


    Our research has not determined the origins of National Pizza Party Day.

  • NATIONAL BIKE TO WORK DAY – Third Friday in May


    National Bike to Work Day takes place on the third Friday in May, right in the middle of National Bike Month. The observance encourages us to bike to work, but it also raises awareness of cyclists as they commute to and from work each day.


    As more and more people take to bicycles for transportation to and from work, it’s important for both cyclists and drivers to share the road safely. Both must be aware of the traffic laws and follow them. More and more communities are adding bike lanes to improve safety. In the United States, from the year 2000 to 2011, the number of bicycle commuters grew by more than 47 percent. National Bike to Work Day promotes the bicycle as a healthy and safe alternative for commuting to work.

    Some of the benefits of commuting to work by bicycle include:

    • Physical fitness – Cyclists get an aerobic workout before and after work. It’s also low impact exercise that is easy on the joints, unlike jogging.
    • Fuel savings – They save fuel costs, which puts more money back in their pockets.
    • Smaller carbon footprint – By cycling, they reduce carbon emissions resulting in cleaner air.
    • Automobile longevity – Get more life out of their motor vehicle by using it for more necessary trips.

    Safety First

    Biking is an enjoyable activity. But, like all outdoor activities, it’s important to remember safety is the key to enjoying your biking experience.

    • Always wear a helmet.
    • Wear reflective clothing.
    • Limit distractions.
    • Ride with the flow of traffic, not into traffic.
    • Learn hand signals and use them.


    • Attend a community biking event.
    • Share biking tips with a child.
    • Take a bike safety course.
    • Bike to work every day during the summer.
    • Create a biking club.
    • Learn the history of bikes.
    • Share your biking journal on social media using #BikeToWorkDay.


    National Bike to Work Day originated in 1955 by the League of American Bicyclists and is endorsed by the American Medical Association. However, the invention of the bike is highly debated. Do we give credit to the first introduction of a similar invention? Or, do we give credit to the modern version?

    • 1791: Comte de Sivrac debuts a 2-wheeled scooting “bike” in Paris. The bike had two wheels that could only move forward and handbars.
    • 1817: Baron Karl Drais invents the hobby horse, otherwise known as the “Draisienne.” The hobby horse had two wheels and a saddle. Interestingly, you had to use your feet to make it move.
    • 1880: Inventors Karl Kech and Pierre Lallement were the first to secure a US patent for the modern bike. Their invention included two wheels, a saddle, pedals and was made of wood.


    Little is better than May 19th with the flavor and richness of National Devil’s Food Cake Day to be enjoyed by chocolate cake lovers throughout the country and around the world.


    Devil’s Food Cake is a heavenly chocolate cake. It differs from a regular chocolate cake by its darker color and tends to be more moist and airy. Devil’s Food cake recipes use hot or boiling water as the primary liquid. Cocoa is typically utilized in the batter, as opposed to chocolate, and coffee can be added for a distinctive flavor. A delicious chocolate frosting usually accompanies the cake.

    The definition for deviled foods: Food that is dark, rich, and chocolate was termed “deviled” in its day. This term dates into the 18th century and remains popular in various recipes ever since. At one time, Velvet Red Cake was one name for what we might view today as deviled cake.

    Recipes for Devil’s Food cakes often appeared alongside recipes for Angel Food cakes. One of the earliest recipes appeared on August 10, 1898, edition of the Hagerstown Exponent of Hagerstown, Indiana. While earlier chocolate cake recipes existed before this one, Devil’s Food Cake is uniquely different from other chocolate cakes.

    HOW TO OBSERVE Devils Food Cake Day

    • Baking a cake is the first idea to offer.
    • Buy a Deviled Food Cake is another option.
    • Share with friends and neighbors.
    • Send a cake to the home office of National Day Calendar!
    • Mix up this irresistible Devil’s Food Cake I recipe.If you have a recipe you love, be sure to share it! Use #DevilsFoodCakeDay to post the recipe on social media for all to see! We will be watching for the hashtag. You can also submit recipes right here on our website using the form on our Recipe Page. Just scroll down that page to find the form.


    National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this dessert holiday. We do know that Southern states here in the USA once made the cake from beets with cocoa. Does that seem strange? It does to us too.

    If you are ever wondering which came first, Angel Food Cake or Devil’s Food Cake, we have an easy way to remember. Angels came first before devils and the same with these cakes. Angel Food has been around since at least the 1880s while Devils Food came onto the scene around 1902.

    Check out these other cake celebrations:



    May 19 is the time of year National May Ray Day celebrates the bright sunshine, warmer weather with just a slight breeze to cool your skin


    If your name is Ray or May, this is your chance to use your name as a way to get outdoors and soak up some sun. Afterall, this spring holiday is all about getting out into the sunshine and soak up some rays.

    There are so many benefits of being in the sun, especially after a long winter. Our bodies need vitamins and minerals to maintain a healthy balance. Vitamin D is one of those vitamins we need for to maintain a healthy mind and body. Not only does it support bone health, it also lowers blood pressure, prevents disease and promotes strong mental health. There is also evidence healthy levels of Vitamin D in the body help reduce chances of getting cancer.

    The sun is a natural resource you can use to help maintain healthy Vitamin D levels. Sun exposure:

    • Promotes strong bones.
    • Kills unwanted bacteria in your body.
    • Reduces cancer risks.
    • Reduces high blood pressure.
    • Improves sleeping habits.

    Excessive sun exposure can also cause serious health problems, especially skin cancer. However, there are a few preventative measures you can take to make your day in the sun enjoyable:

    • Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs.
    • Wear a wide-brimmed hat that covers your shoulders, ears, face and head.
    • Wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays.
    • Always were sunscreen with at least 15 SPF or higher.
    • Use an umbrella to block direct sunlight.

    The natural turn of seasons is a beautiful transition. The grass turns green, flowers bloom, baby birds are seen learning to fly and new beginnings are seen everywhere. Springtime is a time to enjoy watching nature come alive.


    • Plan a picnic.
    • Go for walk.
    • Buy a new summer dress.
    • Plant some flowers.
    • Read in the park.
    • Visit a zoo.
    • Share you day in the sun using #NationalMayRayDay on social media


    We can thank comedian Richard Ankli for National May Ray Day. Born the same day, Ankli decided to honor his brother Ray with his own special day by declaring today National May Ray Day. Eventually, the Broadway residence in St. Joseph, Michigan, also known as the Broadway Fun Spot, began celebrating day, too. As a writer and comedian at Broadway Fun Spot (BFS) & Little Butter Publishing Co., Richard may have had the opportunity to self-promote his declaration.

    Richard also gets credit for creating another holiday on National Day Calendar. Once again, Richard set out to honor another birthday on October 25. National Sourest Day was appropriately named after Richards friend, whose last name happened to be Sauer.

    Whether or not this is how either day became official, we recommend going outside and enjoy the sunshine.

    May 19th Celebrated History


    The Ringling Brothers stage their first circus.


    A month after Halley’s Comet reached perihelion, the Earth passes through the comet’s tail. Indecently, author Mark Twain was born during the comet’s previous visit in 1835. The author predicted he would die during the comet’s 1910 visit. He died on April 21, 1910, one day following the comet’s perihelion.


    Calaveras County, California hosts their first Frog Jumping Jubilee.


    Marilyn Monroe sings “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy at his New York birthday celebration.

    May 19th Celebrated Birthdays

    John Hopkins – 1795

    Born to Quakers Samuel Hopkins and Hannah Janney, Johns Hopkins became a successful businessman and philanthropist. Hopkins’ forward-thinking provided for the development of Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine among others. As a result, these facilities contribute to the advanced research into disease and healthcare.

    Henry G. Ginaca – 1876

    Through Henry Gabriel Ginaca, the pineapple is more readily packaged, shipped, and consumed. Ginaca engineered the machine that automatically peeled and cored the Hawaiian fruit for the Dole Packaged Foods Company in 1911.

    Frank Luke – 1897

    During World War I, Frank Luke became known as the second-ranked American fighting ace after Eddie Rickenbacker. He would be shot down after on September 29, 1918, after a string of victories. Luke was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously.

    Malcolm X – 1925

    The one-time minister of the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X played a pivotal counterpoint to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s peaceful activism the Civil Rights Movement, and racism. In later years, the eloquent orator found a renewed hope after divesting himself from the Nation of Islam. He was assassinated in 1965.

    Loraine Hansberry – 1930

    Lorraine Hansberry wrote the award-winning Broadway play A Raisin in the Sun.

    Mario Chalmers – 1986

    Mario Chalmers is a point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies. He was drafted as the 34th pick overall in the 2008 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves.



    National Defense Transportation Day is a United States Federal Observance Day held on the third Friday in May. Maintaining a transportation infrastructure is vital to the security of the United States.


    The Defense Transportation System includes all aircraft, ships, and commercial small package services under contract to the Department of Defense. This includes all operations of U.S. military air and ocean terminals in and outside of the United States.

    A significant part of the U.S. economy is the vast network of transportation infrastructure. The cost of maintaining and investing in expansion is a constant balancing act.

    The first federally funded road in United States history is called National Road. Built between 1811 and 1834, it connected eastern Maryland and Pennsylvania to the western states, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. The National Road terminated at the Mississippi River and brought goods from the east, allowing them to be carried north and south along the river.

    The railroad pushed transportation westward from there. The first transcontinental railroad came to completion in 1869 when a rail worker drove the Golden Spike into place in the Utah territory. It would join the Union Pacific and Central Railroads.

    Aviation brought an exhilarating turn to transportation in the early 20th century. With the birth of air travel, commercial and cargo flights became necessary parts of the transportation system, too. Added to ocean-going freight, airliners brought a whole new dimension to transportation.

    From our bridges and interstate highways, public transportation to our waterways, and air travel, transportation is a vital part of our economy and livelihood. #DefenseTransportationDay recognizes the importance of transportation and the people who support and protect the system in this modern era.


    • Learn more about each part of the infrastructure.
    • Celebrate the people who keep it running, the engineers, pilots, inventors, skilled workers, and safety personnel.
    • Consider the hundreds of thousands of people employed in each market and what it takes to perform their job.
    • Join events and ceremonies across the country celebrating the enormous endeavor that is transportation.
    • Use #DefenseTransportationDay to post on social media.


    On May 16, 1957, Congress designated the third Friday of May each year as National Defense Transportation Day. In 1962, Congress included the whole week within which the Friday falls as National Transportation Week. A proclamation is signed each year by the current President of the United States.

    • 3500 BC: Mesopotamians invent vehicles with wheels.
    • 2000 BC: Egyptians invent the first wood ship.
    • 1620 AD: Cornelius Van Drebbel invents the first practical submarine.
    • 1769: Nicolas Joseph Cugnot invents the first vehicle.
    • 1783: French brothers Joseph Montgolfier and Étienne Montgolfier invent the first hot air balloon.
    • 1862: Etienne Lenior invents the first gas engine automobile.
    • 1903: The Wright brothers invent the airplaine.
    • 1907: Paul Cornu invents the first helicopter.
    • 1911: Selandia launches the first ship ran by diesel.
    • 1926: Robert Goddard launches the first rocket.
    • 1957: Russia launches the first man-made satellite into space.
    • 1969: Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to go to the moon on Apollo.
    • 2014: Tesla invents the first self-driving car.


    On the third Friday in May, we celebrate National Endangered Species Day and offer an opportunity to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species.


    National Endangered Species Day encourages learning about wildlife habitats and the actions necessary to protect them. The designation of a day to protect critically imperiled species from extinction is important to our ecosystems.

    An endangered species is an animal or plant that is in serious risk of becoming extinct. There are many reasons why an animal or plant that contribute to extinction.

    • Climate change;
    • Natural disasters;
    • Pollution;
    • Humans;
    • Genetics;
    • Poor reproduction; and
    • Decline is population.

    The Act is administered by two federal agencies, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The FWS maintains a list of all the endangered species, which includes birds, insects, fish, reptiles, mammals, crustaceans, flowers, grasses, and trees. In late 2019, President Trump announced a major overhaul to the law that would reduce regulations. Because of this, it’s more important than ever to support the ESA.

    Every year you can participate along with thousands of others at events hosted by wildlife refuges, zoos, parks, community centers, aquariums, botanical gardens, libraries, and schools.

    The 40th anniversary of the Federal Endangered Species Act was observed in 2013.


    • Attend a lecture or seminar by a conservation group.
    • Visit a zoo.
    • Learn about endangered species.
    • Donate to an endangered species organization.
    • Hold a fundraiser.
    • Don’t buy illegal wildlife products, such as ivory.
    • Avoid unsustainable food products, such as palm oil.
    • Donate to a conservation group or wildlife organization.
    • Educate yourself on endangered species.
    • Learn more about the Endangered Species Act.

    Use #EndangeredSpeciesDay to post on social media.


    President Richard Nixon signed the Federal Endangered Species Act into law on December 28, 1973. The National Endangered Species Day was enacted in 2006 by the U.S. Senate.

    Endangered animals:

    • Javan Rhinoceros (an estimate of 67 left).
    • Mountain Gorilla (an estimate of 1100 left).
    • Asian Elephant
    • Sumatran Orangutans (an estimate of about 7,500 left).
    • Snow Leopards (less than 4,000 left).

    Endangered plants:

    • Western Underground Orchid (Australia, less than 50 left).
    • Philippine Pitcher plant (Philippines, less than 200 left).
    • Jellyfish tree around (Seychelles, about 100 mature plants left).
    • Corpse flower (Indonesia, around 1,000 left).
    • Wood’s cycad (South Africa, around 300 left).