Category: May 23



    Every year on May 23rd, the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula raises awareness of this medical issue and mobilizes worldwide support for child-bearing women.

    #DayToEndObstetricFistula #EndFistulaNow

    An obstetric fistula is an abnormal opening between a woman’s genital tract and their rectum. One of the primary causes of a fistula is obstructed labor. This is also known as labor dystocia. Obstructed labor occurs when an unborn baby is physically blocked from exiting the pelvis. Other causes of obstetric fistulas include prolonged labor, poor access to medical care, malnutrition, and teenage pregnancy.

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obstetric fistula affects up to 100,000 women a year. Most of these women live in poverty. About 2 million young women in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Arab States region and Latin America have untreated obstetric fistulas. These women suffer from incontinence, social segregation, shame, and other health issues. For some, the condition is fatal.

    Obstetric fistulas are largely avoided by delaying the age of having a baby and timely access to obstetric care. During obstructed labor, a C-section can help prevent obstetric fistula. A simple surgery treats obstetric fistulas. The surgery costs about $600. Sadly, many women needing this surgery cannot afford it.


    Many health organizations hold fundraisers and use mobile van campaigns to spread awareness for this day. To participate, donate to an organization, such as Pathfinder International. This organization helps provide adequate care for pregnant women living in poverty. You can also donate to one of the following organizations that are working to end fistula:

    • Campaign to End Fistula
    • Fistula Foundation
    • Operation Fistula

    You can also read stories and watch videos of women who have received successful treatment for this condition. Spread awareness on social media with #DayToEndObstetricFistula or #EndFistulaNow.


    The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and its partners launched the Campaign to End Fistula in 2003. The goal of this collaborative initiative was to prevent obstetric fistula and restore the health of those affected by it. In 2012, the UN announced May 23rd as the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. The first observance was held in 2013.




    May 23rd celebrates a mouth-watering confection on National Taffy Day. Taffy candy has been made and sold for many years and has become a favorite souvenir of many vacationers.


    Salt water taffy in was invented 1883 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

    Confectioners make this sweet treat using boiled sugar and butter. They stretch and pull the concoction until it is a chewy consistency that can be rolled and cut. The flavors range from buttery to tart to sweet. There is a flavor for everyone, and it seems like they introduce a new one each year, too. Taffy’s colorful displays entice children and adults alike. And they have been doing so for generations. At one time, candy shops and pharmacies sold penny candy, and taffy was one of the many tempting options we could choose from. However, those days are now long gone.

    With summer just around the corner, seasonal candy shops are stocking up their latest selections. With so many flavors to choose from, it’s often hard to decide which ones to pick. That’s why they often offer flavors swirled together to help us narrow it down. But we’re still enticed by the variety and the colors.


    National Taffy Day offers the perfect excuse to indulge in so sweet or tangy taffy! What is your favorite flavor of taffy? Be sure to enjoy a piece or two. While you’re at it, share a favorite memory or send a box to someone you know will enjoy some taffy. Give a shout-out to your favorite candy shop, too! Use #NationalTaffyDay to post on social media.


    National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this sweet and chewy holiday.

    May 23rd Celebrated History


    Three new balls were insufficient to complete a game between the Louisville Colonels and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. After three innings, no balls remained and after an 8-minute delay of the game, umpire William Betts called the game giving Brooklyn a 9-0 championship win.


    After 17 years of construction, President William Taft presided over the New York Public Library dedication.


    The notorious bank-robbing duo known as Bonnie and Clyde died in a shootout with police in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.


    Drs. Ronald A. Malt and J. McKhann led a team of surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in the first successful reattachment of a human limb. They performed the surgery on a 12-year-old boy whose arm was severed by a train.

    May 23rd Celebrated  Birthdays

    Margaret Fuller – 1810

    Humanity is divided between men, women, and Margaret Fuller. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

    A woman of many firsts, one of her most noted and last achievements was becoming the first American female war correspondent to write under combat conditions. She worked for the New York Herald Tribune assigned to Italy to report on the revolutions. However, when Fuller returned in 1850, she died tragically in a shipwreck.

    James Buchanan Eads – 1820

    The American civil engineer designed the first bridge (Eads Bridge) to cross the Mississippi River south of the Missouri River. He also designed a jetty system that caused the river to cut a deeper channel which in turn allowed a better flow of traffic up and down the Mississippi River.

    Jeralean Talley – 1899

    Born in Montrose, Georgia, Jeralean Talley lived to 116 years, 25 days. At the time she was the oldest living person in the world. When she was born William McKinley was president. At her death in 2015, Barack Obama was in second term as president.

    S. Donald Stookey – 1915

    The American chemist and inventor developed many types of glass while working at Corning. During his career, Stookey claimed more than 60 patents.



    On May 23rd, National Lucky Penny Day hopes you’ll have good luck all day long. Heads or tails, does it matter which side you find your penny?


    Years ago a penny was able to buy something. (Check out National Taffy Day – to see what we used to get for a penny.) Today, due to inflation, the penny does not buy much of anything. The metal value and cost of minting pennies exceed their face value. Many nations have stopped minting equivalent value coins and efforts are being made to end the routine use of pennies in several countries including the United States.

    See a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck.

    First U.S. Penny

    The United States first issued a one-cent coin produced by a private mint in 1787. Benjamin Franklin designed it. On one side, it read “Mind Your Business” and the other “We Are One.” This coin was made of 100% copper and was larger than today’s penny. It came to be known as the Fugio cent. However, the first pennies struck in a United States Mint weren’t produced until 1793, but they were also made of copper.

    Pennies may not have much value these days. However, there are a few pennies that have made a mint for the owner:

    1943-D: Lincoln Bronze Penny sold for $1.7 million.
    1944-S: Lincoln Steel Penny sold for $373,750.
    1943-S: Lincoln Penny made of Bronze sold for $282,000.
    1909 VDB: Lincoln Penny sold for $258,500.
    1856: Flying Eagle Penny sold for $172,500.

    Why are pennies lucky? Well at one time, metals, including copper were precious material. Finding a penny was a valuable find. Sometimes finding a penny had more to do with the daily battle between good and evil. Do you only pick up a penny if it’s head side up?

    Superstitions carry on from generation to generation. And with some of them the rule that says if you find a penny tail side up, you should flip it over and leave it head side up for the next lucky person to find.

    On a wedding day, there’s also a saying that leads people to put a penny in the bride’s shoe. It’s more likely to lead to a blister than to bring good luck in that case.

    When you are out and about, look on the ground for pennies. It just might be your lucky day!


    See how many pennies you can find. It just might be your lucky day! Use #LuckyPennyDay to post on social media.

    The National Day Calendar Classroom also has projects created just for the penny.


    • The word “penny” denotes any sort of coin or money.
    • In 790 A.D., Anglo-Saxon King Offa, introduces the first English coin known as the penny.
    • The first U.S. penny was the size of a half dollar and made of pure copper.
    • Benjamin Franklin designed the first American penny in 1787 known as the Fugio cent.
    • Visitors to the Ben Franklins grave in Philadelphia leave one-cent pieces there for good luck.
    • National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this mint condition holiday.