International Plastic Free Day is a call to action and brings attention to the plastic we use every day. On May 25th, commit to using no single-use plastic for one day (including bottles, take-out food containers, utensils, bags and wrappers.)
Over 380 million tons of plastic is produced every year. Half of all plastic produced is single-use – meaning it’s thrown away after just one use. Since only 9% of all plastic gets recycled, most of it ends up littering our communities, filling our landfills, and polluting our oceans.
International Plastic Free Day creates awareness of just how much plastic we use every day, and how we can use less of it. Consider all the ways single-use plastic is used in our daily lives:
Cleaning products in plastic jugs
Cups, straws, lids
Participation is simple: Say “No” to single-use plastics for one day. Don’t buy it, refuse it, don’t use it. The day also encourages learning how to swap sustainable products for single-use plastics. For example, swap:
Single-use straws with reusable bamboo straws.
Reusable tumbler for drinking both hot and cold beverages.
Reusable cloth bags for shopping.
Silicone bags for sandwiches and snacks.
Compostable garbage bags.
HOW TO OBSERVE INTERNATIONAL PLASTICS FREE DAY
Before May 25th, take the plastic-free challenge and commit to using no single-use plastics all day long. Every time you do, one less piece of plastic will be added to the environment. During International Plastic Free Day you can also:
Start a conversation about single-use plastic and its impact on the Earth.
Learn how plastic waste impacts our environment.
Discover one permanent change you can make to create less plastic waste.
When you participate, be sure to use #InternationalPlasticFeeDay and share on social media to help raise awareness.
INTERNATIONAL PLASTIC FREE DAY HISTORY
Free the Ocean founded International Plastic Free Day to raise awareness surrounding one of the most pressing issues involving our environment. The day is a call to action and brings attention to the plastic we use day-to-day.
The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed International Plastic Free Day to be observed annually on May 25th.
Every year on May 25th, World Thyroid Day highlights this important gland in the body that causes widespread disease across the globe. The day also educates the public on the role of the thyroid in their overall health.
The thyroid is a small gland located at the base of the neck. This butterfly-shaped gland produces two hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Although the thyroid is a tiny gland, it plays a huge role in one’s health.
The primary function of the thyroid is to control the body’s metabolism. Most people associate metabolism with how well you burn calories. But metabolism also affects body temperature and heart rate. If you have a problem with your thyroid, it affects your metabolic rate.
Thyroid conditions will either produce too little T3 and T4 or too much. When the thyroid doesn’t produce enough of these hormones, it’s called hypothyroidism. This condition usually happens when there is inflammation of the thyroid or there is an iodine deficiency. Iodine is the mineral that is used to make thyroid hormones. An autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s can also cause hypothyroidism. Untreated hypothyroidism can cause brain fog, hair loss, gallstones, constipation, slow metabolism, bloating, heartburn, high blood pressure, and dry skin.
Another condition associated with the thyroid is hyperthyroidism. This condition happens when the thyroid produces too much T3 and T4 and usually occurs with overactive nodules in the thyroid or too much iodine. A condition called Grave’s disease can also cause hyperthyroidism. This condition is a result of an overactive thyroid gland. Untreated hyperthyroidism can cause unintentional weight loss, rapid heartbeat, increased appetite, tremors, sweating, fatigue, and sleep issues.
Anyone who suspects they have a thyroid issue, especially those with a family history of them, should see their doctor. There are many treatment options available for both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
HOW TO OBSERVE WORLD THYROID DAY
Many health organizations, clinics, and physicians hold educational seminars and presentations on this day. They encourage the public to learn more about thyroid conditions, along with their causes and treatment options. To participate:
Learn more about the symptoms of thyroid conditions.
If you suspect you have thyroid problems, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Ask family members whether they have been diagnosed with a thyroid condition.
Donate to an organization that focuses on thyroid education and research.
Share this important medical day on social media with #WorldThyroidDay.
WORLD THYROID DAY HISTORY
In 2007, members of Thyroid Federation International created World Thyroid Day. May 25th was chosen as it is the date in 1965 that the European Thyroid Association (ETA) was formed. The ETA was the first to celebrate World Thyroid Day. In 2010, the American Thyroid Association (ATA) declared their support of the day. Currently, the Latin-American Thyroid Society (LATS), the Asia and Oceania Thyroid Association (AOTA), the Chinese Society of Endocrinology (CSE), and the Chinese Society of Nuclear Medicine (CSNM) support the campaign as well.
Get your geek on! Let your geek flags fly on May 25! Geek Pride Day celebrates all things geeky. It is for those people who appreciate sci-fi, fantasy, board games, video games, comic books, cosplay, anime, steampunk, and zombies, and much more.
Geeks are a diverse bunch with one shared quality, passion. Especially for technology and for those things that are outside of mainstream interests, and that can make them seem eccentric.
Geeks are smart, at least if collections of information measure intelligence. Geeks, collect lots of information.
Geeks invent things, too. Famous geeks include Thomas Edison, Steve Wozniak, and Benjamin Franklin. Each one was innovative, eccentric, and passionate about things outside their mainstream society.
Many tech publications and websites promote the bill of rights for geeks. Some of the geek rights include:
the right to be more geek
staying at home
not have a partner and be a virgin
not to like football or sports
the right to geek association
to have few friends (or none)
to have all the friend’s geeks who love each other
not to go to fashion.
to overweight and myopia.
HOW TO OBSERVE GEEK PRIDE DAY
If you’re not sure if you are a geek, visit the Geek Pride Day website to find out.
Follow on social media with #GeekPrideDay
If you are a geek, be the geekiest you can be on Geek Pride Day:
1. Get competitive: be geekier than anyone else.
2. In a discussion about something geeky, you must give your opinion.
3. Save and protect all geeky material.
4. Show off geeky stuff as a “museum of geekiness.”
5. Don’t be a generalized geek. You must specialize in something.
6. Download or stream a geeky movie, one that has a passionate, eccentric fandom.
7. Watch the first Star Wars movie released in 1977.
8. Go to a public gathering in costume or at least with a geekdom T-shirt.
9. Don’t waste your time on anything not related to geekdom.
10. Befriend any person or persons bearing any physical similarities to comic book or sci-fi figures.
GEEK PRIDE DAY HISTORY
Why May 25? It’s the day “Star Wars” premiered in 1977, making it an appropriate choice for all things geeky.
1998 – Tim McEachern organized unconnected events called Geek Pride Festival and/or Geek Pride Day
An international observance originated in Spain in 2006 as Día del Orgullo friki and spread around the world via the Internet.
2001 – Dick Morley organized Geek Pride Days at The Barn, his retreat in New Hampshire. He describes it in his book, Techshock – Future under repair
2006 – Organized worldwide publicity originated in Spain in 2006 as (Spanish: Día del Orgullo friki, English: “Geek Pride Day”) and spread around the world via the Internet.
In 2008, Geek Pride Day was officially celebrated in the U.S., where it was heralded by numerous bloggers, coalescing around the launch of the Geek Pride Day website.
Hardcore geek historians trace their roots to the “freak scene” of the 1960s and 1970s, championed by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.
Observed annually by fans of Douglas Adams, Towel Day commemorates the work of the author most known for his series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
First and foremost, it’s important to note for those who are unfamiliar with Douglas Adams, according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.”
And that’s mighty important. Even we mere Earthly hitchhikers require towels for many immensely useful purposes. We dry our furry pets and roll towels neatly into coordinated rows. On long trips, they ease the kinks in our necks. Even our tiny humans use them to dry off after taking a swim. Though, perhaps not very effectively. It can also offer shade on a sunny day.
We’ve found that towels in small forms are effective for sport, too. Golfers and bowlers use them. Add a small towel to a footballer’s hip and call it a flag or wave a white one in a battle to surrender.
In an emergency, a towel can stop bleeding or can carry the wounded. It also can cool a fever. Wrap it around you on a cool day. Wash a car or wipe up the oil. A really large towel might suffice for a toga party. However, in reality, it probably wouldn’t.
The list of options goes on both here on Earth and beyond in every galaxy. The important lesson of the day is, don’t leave home without your towel.
HOW TO OBSERVE TOWEL DAY
Pack your towel to celebrate the day. And when you do, be sure to share all the ways to use your towel. Join the conversation using #TowelDay on social media.
On May 25th each year, wine lovers everywhere pour a glass of their favorite wine to celebrate National Wine Day. Whether it is Red or White, the sound of glassing “clinking” will be heard around the world today.
Made from fermented grapes or other fruits, wine is an alcoholic beverage. During the fermentation processes, yeast consumes the sugars in the grapes converting it into alcohol. Different grapes produce different wines. Winemakers will combine different wines to create more complex flavors. Wines made from fruit or honey are often named according to the variety of fruit used.
Red wine varietals produce deep ruby reds as well as subtle ambers and browns. Their beautiful colors hint at the coming change in the season. With that, we can look for delicious menu changes, too. Besides, what better way to enjoy a great bottle of wine than by pairing it with excellent company and food.
Winemakers produce white wines from grapes with light yellow-green skins or light red skins. However, it’s not the color of the grapes that give the wine its color. It’s the tannins in the grape skins that color wine red and also the flavor. White wines are generally sweeter than red wines and are best served chilled. Most red wines are served at room temperature. However, a sweet red should also be chilled for the best flavor.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL WINE DAY
Reminisce with family and friends over a glass of wine. Enjoy wine with a favorite meal. And just a little tip, in a couple of days we celebrate National Coq Au Vin Day which includes red wine as an ingredient. Pick up an extra bottle to prepare. Post photos using #NationalWineDay on social media.
National Brown-Bag-It-Day on May 25th each year recognizes the benefits of packing your lunch for work or school.
Taking your lunch to work or school is an effective way to save money and to ensure you and your family are eating healthy. Some benefits to brown-bagging-it include:
Money savings – For every meal you make at home, you can save several dollars a day. This is especially true if you are normally prone to eating out, ordering in from restaurants or eating out of vending machines at work.
Better health choices – Will power and peer pressure don’t go well together. And when time is in short supply, we continue our poor decision making patterns. At home, we can plan our meals, and our choices are limited to the items we place in our fridge and cupboards. With practice, those items will be healthy ones, too.
Portion Control – Even though we try to control our portions while eating out, we know the serving size just keep getting bigger and bigger. When we brown-bag-it, we maintain that control.
Better for the environment – Paper bags are 100% biodegradable, reusable, and recyclable. When we re-use the same containers and recycle, we have more control over what is wasted. We also choose where our food is sourced.
Sturdier – Many paper bags can withstand more pressure or weight than plastic bags.
Paper bags present less of a suffocation risk to young children or animals.
Unfortunately, paper bags also have a few not so great benefits:
Paper bags are not waterproof.
They are more expensive than plastic bags.
Take up more storage space and are often heavier.
Paper Bag Terms
Most common paper bag terms you may (or may not) care to know:
Paper basis weight: The thickness of the paper to construct a bag determines the basis weight increase. When the amount of paper increases, the basis weight increases. Paper bags with a basis weight of 30-49 lbs. is standard duty, and 50 lbs. or more mark heavy duty.
Gusset: The folded part at the bottom of the paper bag that expands when opening.
Flat Bottom Paper Bags: The most common type of paper bag.
Pinch Bottom Paper Bags: Have an attached bottom that is sealed across, mostly used for candy and greeting cards.
Celebrate Brown-Bag-It Day on any of these other holidays on National Day Calendar:
Pick your favorite foods and enjoy a homemade lunch.
Make a puppet.
Use #BrownBagItDay to post on social media.
A BAG OF HISTORICAL FACTS
1852: Schoolteacher Francis Wolle invents the first machine to mass produce paper bags. Following the invention, they would open the Union Paper Bag Company.
1853: Papermaker James Baldwin, Birmingham and Kings Norton, England, is granted a patent to make square-bottomed paper bags. His apparatus would contain an an image of a bag with a flat bottom with his business logo in view.
1871: Inventor Margaret E. Knight designs the first machine to create another paper bag with more room for carrying things.
1883: Charles Stilwell patents his own machine that makes square-bottom paper bags with pleated sides, known as the S.O.S., “Self-Opening Sack.” His design advancements make paper bags easier to store.
1912,: St. Paul, Minnesota grocer Walter Deubener adds a cord to paper bags and reinforces the sturdiness and portability of paper bags. The “Deubener Shopping Bags” sell over a million bags by 1915. Eventually, Walter’s paper bag invention would become the standard style of paper bags stores would use.
1970s: Unfortunately, with the introduction of plastic bags, paper bags would begin to fade. However, some places would continue to offer paper bags for some time.
2015: The EU would adopt directive (EU) 2015/720 requiring the reduction of use of plastic.
2018: “European Paper Bag Day” on behalf of kraft paper manufacturers and producers of paper bags to raise awareness on sustainable packaging solutions.
2019: Adoption of Directive (EU) 2019/904 by the European Parliament and of the Council in June to reduce the impact of plastic products have on the environment.
On May 25 during National Tap Dance Day, we pay tribute to one of America’s original dancing art forms.
Tap dance is a percussive dance dating back to the early 1800s, with a combination of primarily influences of African and Irish heritage.
Incorporating complex rhythmic step combinations, tap dance performers often expressed enormous amounts of character through sound and body movement. From clogging to buck and wing styles, soft-shoe to the sand step, and a little bit of jazz, tap dancing evolved from a stiff Irish jig to the bodily Cakewalk and vocal Ring-shout.
Famous Tap Dancers
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson
Each of these performers added their own flair to a dance style that continues to influence film, music and stage.
Another dance similar to tap dance is called soft-shoe. While still rhythmic, the sound is muffled since tap shoes are not necessary to perform the steps. Many of the dance steps in tap transfer to soft-shoe making the two very compatible.
The popular Shim Sham of the vaudeville era became a line dance in the 1980s.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalTapDanceDay
Get your toes tapping and share your favorite tap dance experiences. There are so many ways to celebrate your appreciation of this entertaining art form.
Give a shoutout to your favorite tap dancer.
Attend a performance. Tap dance is included in theatre productions, recitals, and spur-of-the-moment events.
Perform! Put your tap shoes on and show off your talent. Create a video and share it on social media.
Take a class. Tap dance offers great exercise and creates an opportunity to share experiences with others.
Teach someone. Share your tapping talent with others who want to learn.
Read about tap dance. Three terrific places to start include:
Beginning Tap Dance by Lisa Lewis
Tap Roots: The Early History of Tap Dancing by Mark A. Knowles
The Souls of Your Feet: A Tap Dance Guide for Rhythm Explorers by Acia Gray
Watch movies that include tap dancing. We like these:
Tap starring Gregory Hines and directed by Nick Castle.
Swing Time starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Directed by George Stevens.
La La Land starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Directed by Damien Chazelle.
Let us know how you celebrate by using #NationalTapDanceDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL TAP DANCE DAY HISTORY
On February 7, 1989, Congress reviewed a request for National Tap Dance Day. Carol Vaughn, Nicola Daval and Linda Christensen, all tap dancers and enthusiasts, brainstormed the idea for legislation while Christensen attended George Washington University. The bill came to fruition when President George H.W. Busch signed it into law on November 8, 1989. The law created a one-time official observance on May 25, 1989, the anniversary of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, a significant contributor to tap dance born in 1878. The observance has continued to be celebrated each year on May 25th.
Update, May 2022 – National Day Calendar was recently approached by one follower (Jamie S.) who wrote, “Hello. I was just reading about National Tap Dance Day and believe your history may be incorrect. I believe the first National Tap Dance Day came from a relative of mine. His name is Bill Robinson, not related to Mr. Bojangles, and I have documentation. I have a letter dated 2/17/1989 from a member of Congress approving his request for this National day. Please email me and I can forward the documentation. I believe he was the first to request the day and the people in your notations may have asked that it be recognized annually going forward.”
National Missing Children’s Day on May 25th each year shines a spotlight on child safety. The day also honors the dedicated professionals who work tirelessly protecting children around the country.
Most children who go missing do come home. Whether they’ve wandered off or there was a misunderstanding, many find their way back to their family.
According to the Polly Klaas Foundation, 99.8 percent of children reported missing come home. Of those who are abducted, 9 percent are kidnapped by a family member. Only a small fraction are stranger abductions. However, the fact remains, if it happens to one child, that’s one child too many.
Protecting Your Children
While today’s observance honors those who’ve gone above and beyond to protect children, it’s also a good opportunity to offer resources to keep your children safe every day. It’s important to:
Maintain custody documents.
Keep recent photos of children handy.
Keep a copy of fingerprints.
Make sure medical and dental records up to date.
Monitor online activity.
Set some rules about who your child hangs out with.
Keep track of where your child is going.
Get to know parents of friends.
Complete background checks on caregivers and check references.
Never leave young children unattended in strollers and car seats.
Whenever possible, don’t dress children in clothing with their names on it.
Teach your child their address and phone number as young as possible.
Get to know your child’s friends.
Schedule events and gatherings in public places with your child and their friends and invite their parents, too.
Use #MissingChildrensDay on social media to show support.
NATIONAL MISSING CHILDREN’S DAY HISTORY
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed National Missing Children’s Day recognizing the hundreds of thousands of children who went missing each year. Just a few short years before, six-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from his New York City home on his way from the bus to school on May 25, 1979. The observance commemorated the date of Etan’s disappearance. In addition, it also honored missing children everywhere. During the time of his disappearance, cases of missing children rarely gained national media attention. However, Etan’s case quickly received much coverage. Etan’s father, who was a professional photographer, distributed black-and-white photographs of his son to find him. As a result, a massive search, along with media attention brought public attention on the problem of child abductions. It also brought awareness to the lack of plans to address child abductions.
As much as we hate to think about it, there are some things you should do if you or someone you know has a missing child. In the first 24 hours:
Report the child missing immediately to a law enforcement agency.
Have authorities to have your child listed in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Persons File. There is no waiting period for entry into NCIC for children under age 18.
Request authorities to issue a BOLO (Be On The Look Out).
If your child was abducted from your home, refrain from disrupting anything. Authorities normally collect evidence and moving, cleaning, throwing things way might hinder an investigation.
Get the name and phone number of the investigator working on the missing child case. Remember to keep this information nearby and readily available.
Provide as much detail about the facts related to the disappearance of your child, including what they were wearing.
Making a list of friends, family, teachers, and anyone else who might have any important information about your child, where they might have been or where they might go.
Tell authorities about work you may have had done or other people who were present at your home in the past year. Every detail helps.
Make copies of the most updated photo of your child, both in color and black and white. Make sure every law enforcement agency, missing children organizations, media and social media have copies.
Call 800-THE-LOST (800-843-5678) to ask for help with photo distribution.
Gather phone numbers for any nonprofit organization that might be able to help find the missing child.
With the help of authorities, organize a search party for your child, including the use of tracking vehicles, software, electronics and dogs.
Keep a detailed list of incoming and outgoing calls at or in your home with the time, person calling or making a calling and how long they were on the phone.
Find a support system to maintain your strength. Utilize any family or friends as much as possible.
Eat and rest. It may be hard, but taking care of yourself during this time is important.
May 25th Celebrated History
Babe Ruth hits the final home run of his career. At 714 home runs, Ruth’s career record stood until April 8, 1974, when Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run.
Howard Florey, Ernst Chain, and Norman Heatley conducted a test of Alexander Fleming’s “mold juice.” The three scientists injected eight mice with a deadly dose of streptococci. Four of the mice received an injection of penicillin. The four mice that received the penicillin were alive the next day. In 1945, Alexander Fleming, the microbiologist who discovered penicillin, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain equally shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine “for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infections diseases.
The George Lucas-directed film, Star Wars, opens in U.S. theatres.
Ken Kragen, the USA for Africa president in 1986, held a nationwide fundraiser for hunger called Hands Across America. From Battery Park in Manhattan and stretch across the Heartland to Long Beach, California. Participants held hands for 15 minutes and sang “We Are The World,” “America the Beautiful,” and the event’s song, “Hand’s Across America.” The event raised $15 million for hunger after many expenses. In 2021, the event was revived again as a virtual event to raise funds for hunger and celebrating the 30th anniversary of the original event while bringing the country together again. The virtual event takes place on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
May 25th Celebrated Birthdays
Ralph Waldo Emerson – 1803
The American poet, essayist, and Transcendentalist published his first book, Nature, in 1836 where he expressed his philosophy.
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson – 1878
The legendary American tap dancer and entertainer began his career in vaudeville but in the 1920s, Robinson found his way to Broadway and a huge success. In the 1930s, his star value grew on the silver screen.
Caro Crawford Brown – 1908
Caro Crawford Brown’s investigative reporting is credited with helping to end boss rule controlled by Archer Parr in Duval County and surrounding counties in Texas. In 1955, Caro earned a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting.
Frank Oz – 1944
The talented performer brought to life some of the most lovable fictional characters in television and film. From the Muppet show to Sesame Street and the Dark Crystal, Oz earned numerous awards for his work.
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