Category: October 21

  • NATIONAL WHOLE HOG BARBECUE DAY | Third Saturday in October

    NATIONAL WHOLE HOG BARBECUE DAY | Third Saturday in October

    The third Saturday in October is National Whole Hog Barbecue Day and we invite you to indulge in one of the South’s most revered traditions.


    Wood smoke and smoldering charcoal are a sign of the season. Traditionally cooked over wood and charcoal, whole-hog barbecue uses the whole pig, everything from the nose to the tail. Every year, pitmasters and barbecue lovers from all over the Southeast celebrate National Whole Hog Barbecue Day coinciding with North Carolina’s historic State Fair in October.

    The tradition of whole-hog barbecue started in Eastern North Carolina and dates back over 350 years to the first settlers in the region. Although barbecue lovers may disagree on the best type of barbecue sauce for their pork, everyone agrees that vinegar-based chopped whole-hog barbecue is where it all began.

    Smoking a whole hog takes anywhere between 10-12 hours, and requires attention to keep it smoky and cooking at a consistently low temperature. As long as you have a pit, hard-wood charcoal with oak or hickory, plenty of time and something brown to drink, you can create this delicious Southern delight. Whether you have a homemade brick pit or a custom-made steel fire box, the trick is to keep the cooking temperature steady and low. However you decide to smoke your hog, extra help is always appreciated to do the heavy lifting, including flipping the pig a few hours into the cooking process.

    Seasoned Hog Tips

    Seasoning your whole hog depends on your preferences. But traditionalists will lightly salt the pig before cooking, and after flipping use their own special blend of vinegar-based sauce with salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Many pitmasters use plenty of sauce throughout the cooking process to keep the hog moist and juicy as the hog renders down in the last few hours of cooking. The more the better!

    What is a pitmaster? Technically, a pitmaster is someone who oversees cooking done in a barbecue pit. But, a pitmaster is more than that. A pitmaster is considered an expert in the field of barbecue. They control the temperature, along with the flavor output of the meat. Most importantly, they make sure the barbecue is kept tender during the cooking process. At the end, during the chopping, they taste and add dry seasoning and sauce to make the perfect-tasting barbecue.

    Famous Pitmasters

    • Kiki Longo
    • Max Lavoie
    • Aaron Franklin
    • Greg Hatem
    • Myron Mixon
    • Rob Rainford
    • Ted Reader
    • Steven Raichlen


    • Gather your recipes and get cooking!
    • Host a pig pickin’ with whole-hog barbecue or attend a festival where you can taste some of the best in the country.
    • Give a shout-out to the best pitmasters out there.
    • Let us know if you like your barbecue sauce sweet, spicy, or both?
    • Attend a whole hog barbecue competition.
    • Attend the North Carolina State Fair.
    • Share and post your #WholeHogBarbecueDay celebrations on social media.


    In 2022,The Pit Authentic Barbecue in Raleigh, North Carolina, founded National Whole Hog Barbecue Day to celebrate the traditions and history associated with whole hog barbecue. Each year during the third Saturday in October, we recommend everyone find some place to host or attend a whole hog barbecue celebration.

    The tradition started in 1980 in Halifax County, North Carolina, when friends reunited at the Roanoke River for a pig pickin’. Then in 1983, the tradition moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where friends gathered again during the third weekend in October to go to the N.C. State Fair and celebrate the fall harvest with whole-hog barbecue. The festivities moved to downtown Raleigh in 2007 with the opening of The Pit Authentic Barbecue, which has been serving whole-hog barbecue ever since. The restaurant opened for guests in Raleigh who didn’t have time to drive into Eastern North Carolina to get their taste of whole-hog barbecue.

    Whole-hog barbecue is such an important part of North Carolina’s culinary heritage, in 1985, the North Carolina Pork Council organized and sanctioned the first Whole Hog Barbecue Championship. It has become the culmination of the Whole Hog Barbecue Series local competitions across the region. The chefs who qualify in the local events come together to duke it out for the title of Champion. 

    Many people across the country consider grilling to be barbecue. However, if you ask any North Carolinian, barbecue has always been referred to as pork. Since the early settlers in the 1500s, pork has been the king of barbecue. In fact, there is historical evidence showing natives of the West Indies roasting meat over wood coals. It wasn’t until the 1600s the technique of cooking barbecue became adapted by everyone in the South. Even George Washington loved a good pig pickin’, journaling about going to a “barbicue” near Halifax, North Carolina, in the 1790s.

    The Great Debate

    There is a great debate about barbecue sauce. The eastern parts of North Carolina lean towards a clear sauce made with vinegar, salt and crushed red pepper. The western parts of North Carolina add sugar and ketchup to their sauce, creating a light red sauce.

    Developed in the late 1600s, vinegar sauce was born out of convenience. Colonists would use ingredients available to them to make their barbecue sauce, which was also used to preserve the meat. Unfortunately, tomatoes were thought to be poisonous so using them was not an option. It wasn’t until around the early 1800s tomatoes were finally considered to be safe to eat, which was about the time settlers came down to Western North Carolina and started adding tomatoes and brown sugar to the vinegar-based sauce. In addition, unlike their Eastern North Carolina neighbors, they would cook only the shoulder of the hog, not the entire pig. As for our barbecue brethren in South Carolina, they added mustard to their whole-hog barbecue sauce.

    Today, depending on where you live in North Carolina, barbecue sauce changes slightly. There could possibly be hundreds or thousands of sauces with different spices. Subtle differences in sauce occur about every 50 miles within the state. Interestingly, North Carolina also has a debate on how you should eat barbecue. Some like it chopped, while others like it pulled. But everyone enjoys pulling right off the pig in a traditional pig pickin’.

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    21 October 2023
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    On October 21, discover one of America’s first skin treatments and favorite skincare ingredients when you celebrate National Witch Hazel Day.


    Since the late 1800s, distilled Witch Hazel Extracts have been formulated into many of the world’s most recognized cosmetic and over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical products. This effective, versatile plant extract naturally provides skincare, haircare, eye care, and topical OTC drug products with toning, oil control, and astringency claims – powering hundreds of essential personal care and skincare products including:

    • astringents
    • facial toners
    • shampoos
    • conditioners
    • hemorrhoidal treatments
    • personal cleansing
    • post-partum care

    Today, Witch Hazel-based products help care for millions of Americans of every age each year. According to the United States Pharmacopoeia or USP, the organization that sets standards for strength and purity for active natural ingredients, genuine distilled Witch Hazel is a clear, colorless distillate often identified by its characteristic Witch Hazel scent. It is prepared by distilling the recently cut and partially dried dormant twigs of the Witch Hazel plant, Hamamelis Virginiana Linne’, and combining it with 14% Ethyl, Natural Grain Alcohol which functions as a natural preservative.

    As an astringent active ingredient, Witch Hazel not only cleanses, but also helps surface tissues to contract, helping to protect tissue and reduce irritation, allowing the skin to heal.

    As a skin toner and cleanser, genuine Witch Hazel removes impurities without stripping skin of its moisture, refines pores and balances complexion, reduces oil, soothes redness, and more.

    The Many Benefits of Witch Hazel include:
    • Cleanses skin of dirt, excess oil, and residue without stripping skin of its natural moisture
    • Tightens pores for smoother skin
    • Prepares skin for skin treatment and makeup application
    • Helps control excess oil production
    • Reduces irritation
    • Helps remove the last traces of makeup
    • Soothes razor burn
    • Treats minor cuts and scrapes
    • Reduces irritation from bug bites

    National Witch Hazel Day encourages you to explore all the benefits of Witch Hazel.


    On October 21, discover your favorite uses for Witch Hazel. There is so much to learn and love about this naturally powerful extract! With its multitude of benefits, there are so many ways to incorporate Witch Hazel into your daily life.

    National Witch Hazel Day serves as an annual reminder of this versatile and useful plant extract. Skincare, personal care, or first aid — how do you use Witch Hazel?

    Share your favorite uses for Witch Hazel by using #NationalWitchHazelDay on social media.


    National Witch Hazel Day Logo_V2Dickinson Brands founded National Witch Hazel Day in 2021 to celebrate the history and fantastic benefits of Witch Hazel.

    For over 150 years, 100% natural Distilled Witch Hazel has been the primary ingredient in all Dickinson Brands products, delivering more effective, all-natural skin treatment and skincare solutions. Dickinson Brands Inc. manages three brands of Witch Hazel products in the market: Humphreys Witch Hazel brand in Premium Natural Skincare sets, T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel in First Aid, and Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel in Skincare.

    Dickinson Witch Hazel logos

    It all started in 1866, when Rev. Thomas Newton Dickinson, a clergyman, saw an opportunity to bring the benefits of Witch Hazel to the masses. Born and raised in New England, Dickinson understood the powerful healing properties of the native plant, which was used by Native Americans as early as the 17th Century. He set up his first distillery plant in central Connecticut, close to an abundance of the finest grade Witch Hazel shrubs to produce and bottle his namesake brand Dickinson’s Witch Hazel.

    Rev. Dickinson also set the pure, all-natural standard for Witch Hazel production, a time-honored craft ever since. Every winter, Dickinson Brands begins to hand-harvest organic-certified New England Witch Hazel at its peak bloom. They have perfected the distillation process in line with USP (pharmaceutical) standards, bringing you a clinical-grade natural active with a signature botanical scent, and a variety of formulas for gentle yet effective skin-loving products. Dickinson’s takes pride in the purity of its distilled Witch Hazel and in bringing you highly efficacious Witch Hazel products.

    The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed the first National Witch Hazel Day to be observed on October 21, 2021, and every year thereafter.





    Each year on October 21st, people across the nation observe National Reptile Awareness Day. Created not only for reptile lovers to celebrate, but National Reptile Awareness Day also promotes education, conservation, and appreciation for reptiles. It is a day to learn about their natural habitats and the ecological threats that they are facing.


    A reptile is any amniote that is neither a mammal nor a bird, is cold-blooded, has scales or scutes, and can lay eggs on land. Scutes are the thick bony or horny plates which form the dermal layer of such reptiles like turtles and crocodiles.  

    There are more than 10,000 species of reptiles. The day promotes the wide varieties, their habitats, and how we benefit from reptiles, too. 


    Take some time to visit the zoo to see some reptiles or do some research on them. Invite someone to join you, too. Celebrations are always best when everyone is learning. Before you go write down how many different species by name you might see, and check them off your list while visiting. Read about the many different kinds around the world. Are there any that live near you? Learn more about reptiles by visiting Reptile Magazine online. 

    Also, you can use the hashtag #ReptileAwarenessDay to post on social media all about your visit to the zoo.


    National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this cold-blooded animal holiday. However, Reptile Magazine and Channel promote the day each year. 

    Reptile FAQ

    Q. Are turtles reptiles?
    A. Yes. Reptiles are four-legged vertebrates that are cold-blooded. Their skin is also covered in scales. Additionally, most reptiles lay eggs, as do turtles.

    Q. What are three groups of reptiles?
    A. The three groups of reptiles include crocodiles, lepidosaurs (these are lizards and snakes), and turtles.

    Q. Are frogs reptiles?
    A. No, they are amphibians. See above for more information.

    Q. Which reptiles give live birth instead of laying eggs?
    A. Some lizards and some snakes give live birth. However, most of them lay eggs.

    Q. My lizard escaped. What do I do?
    A. Whatever you do, don’t step on him!! You can also try:

    • Cordoning off the room and/or house. Keep him contained to prevent him from escaping outdoors.
    • Look high for some lizards and low for others. Consider the breed and their natural tendencies. Look in warm, dark places, behind and under things. He may also be sunning himself under a light on a cool day.
    • Wait until nighttime when their nocturnal activities kick into high gear. To prepare, dust the floor with some flour so that you can literally track his activity.




    National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day | October 21
    National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day | October 21


    Each year on October 21st, National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day ushers in the flavors of fall. Cheesecake is one of America’s favorite desserts and by adding pumpkin, we celebrate the essential flavoring of the season. 


    This sweet dessert mixes fresh soft cheese, cream cheese or cottage cheese, eggs, and sugar to create a base. The crust is made from crushed graham crackers, crushed cookies, pastry, or sponge cake. Pumpkin may be added to cheesecake recipes in various ways. For example, it may be swirled throughout, mixed thoroughly with all ingredients, or layered. Bakers prepare cheesecakes both baked or unbaked. Some bakers flavor cheesecakes and top them with fruit, fruit sauce, chocolate, or whipped cream.

    When is National Cheesecake Day?

    An ancient form of cheesecake may have been a popular dish in ancient Greece. The earliest attested mention of cheesecake is by the Greek physician, Aegimus. He wrote a book on the art of making cheesecakes.

    James Kraft developed a form of pasteurized cream cheese in 1912. In 1928, Kraft acquired the Philadelphia trademark and marketed pasteurized Philadelphia Cream Cheese. 

    North America has several different styles of cheesecakes:

    • New York-style cheesecake
    • Pennsylvania Dutch-style cheesecake
    • Philadelphia-style
    • Farmer cheese cheesecake
    • Country-style cheesecake
    • Lactose-free cheesecake
    • Cheesecake Kludys
    • Chicago Style Cheesecake
    • Savory cheesecake


    Try one of the following recipes to celebrate:

    Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
    Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
    Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites
    Pumpkin Cheesecake

    Use #PumpkinCheesecakeDay to post on social media.


    National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this sweet dessert. 

    Pumpkin Cheesecake FAQ

    Q. How many pumpkins does the United States produce?
    A. Each year, the United States produces 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins?

    Q. Which state produces the most pumpkins?
    A. Illinois produces more pumpkins than any other state.

    Q. What is the world’s largest pumpkin?
    A. In 2021, Italian Stefano Cutrupi claimed the title of the world’s largest pumpkin when his gargantuan gourd weighed in at 2703 pounds (1,226 kg).

    Q. When is National Pumpkin Day?
    A. National Pumpkin Day is on October 26th each year, just in time to carve a jack-o-lantern.

    Q. How many calories are in pumpkin cheesecake?
    A. A 4oz serving of pumpkin cheesecake contains approximately 320 calories.

    Q. Is pumpkin spice used to make pumpkin cheesecake?
    A. Yes. Pumpkin spice adds flavor to pumpkin cheesecake.


    October 21st Celebrated History


    In his Menlo Park, NJ laboratory, Thomas Edison demonstrates the first lasting electric lightbulb. After 1,200 unsuccessful experiments that did not hold up or were short-lived, led Edison to a bulb that burned 40 hours. By the end of the year, Edison would demonstrate the durable bulb to the public.


    Ernest Hemmingway publishes the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. Considered one of the best war novels ever written, the story follows a young American soldier attached to a guerilla unit during the Spanish Civil War.


    The Trimline phone designed by Henry Dreyfuss was installed in a home for the first time. The phone’s design offered a freedom that hadn’t been possible on previous phones, though the phone was still corded. With the dial on the handset instead of the base unit, users could dial and disconnect without being near the base unit.


    Trevor Hunt carved 109 pumpkins in one hour, setting a world record. The record-breaking display took place during the filming of The Meredith Vieira Show in New York City.

    October 21st Celebrated Birthdays

    Alfred Nobel – 1833

    The Swedish chemist and engineer invented dynamite using nitroglycerine. Upon his death, Nobel’s will instructed that a bulk of his massive fortune be used to recognize those who “…conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.” Today, the world regards the Nobel Prize as the pinnacle of achievement.

    Mary Blair – 1911

    The American artist and animator’s influences and style can be seen in Disney films such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Cinderella.

    William A. Mitchell – 1911

    As a food chemist, Mitchell developed some of the most iconic convenience foods and snacks we enjoy today. Pop Rocks candy began as an idea for an instantly self-carbonating drink mix. Every Pie Day, millions of Americans celebrate with a dollop of Cool Whip. Yep. He made that, too. His products have even been to space. Tang anyone?

    Samuel W. Alderson – 1914

    crash test dummyThe physicist and engineer developed the first crash-test dummy designed for automobiles. As more people hit the roads after the advent of the automobile, the country came to realize the need for safety measures. In 1966, Congress passed the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act which defined safety standards on vehicles, highway design, and more. Enter Samuel Alderson. Before creating crash-test dummies for the automotive industry (aka anthropomorphic test devices), Alderson developed them for the U.S. military and NASA.

    Dizzy Gillespie – 1917

    The daring jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader was one of the pioneers of bebop. He’s known for his sense of humor, puffed cheeks, and playing a bent trumpet. Some of his notable songs include “Ooh-Shoo-Be-Doo-Bee,” “Blue ‘N’ Boogie,” and “Salt Peanuts.” In 1995, Gillespie was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

    Ursula LeGuin – 1929

    The prolific science fiction author is the author of the Earthsea series which follows a young wizard named Ged Sparrowhawk and his adventures at a wizarding school. Publishing began on the 6 book series in 1968 with A Wizard of Earthsea.

    Judith Sheindlin – 1942

    The former Manhattan family court judge began presiding on the reality television show Judge Judy in 1996. For 25 seasons, she listened to the stories provided by the defendant and the plaintiff, espoused her wisdom, and made rulings.

    Ronald McNair – 1950

    In 1978, the physicist joined NASA as one of three men selected as the first African American astronaut. His first space flight was aboard the space shuttle Challenger mission STS-41B on February 3, 1984. His next mission aboard Challenger was STS-51L. Due to O-ring issues, the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after launch killing all 7 astronauts on board.

    Carrie Fisher – 1956

    The actress exploded onto the big screen in 1977 as Leigh in the Star Wars series. Her career spanned 47 years and continues to influence movie-goes today.

  • NATIONAL SWEETEST DAY – Third Saturday in October


    National Sweetest Day is observed on the third Saturday in October by people of all ages.


    For over 100 years, National Sweetest Day encourages everyone to be generous even in the smallest ways. From its inception as Candy Day in 1916, this day reminds us that even small tokens improve the lives of those around us. While the observance started with candy and sweets given to our sweethearts and friends, the day is full of lessons in persistence, resilience, and doing small things greatly.  

    On National Sweetest Day, take care of all those who need extra attention. Even those who need significant care, when given the smallest token, will feel the effects. A little treat, a card, a show of support during a time of need may be the sweetest gift on this day.


    Give a gift to someone who needs a reminder of the sweetness in the world. It is, after all, the Sweetest Day of the Year. We also suggest these sweet ways to celebrate!

    • Gather friends for a candy-making session. Make candies to give and share with others.
    • Write or type up your favorite candy recipes to share with friends and family. Be sure to include a sample of the recipe for tasting!
    • Surprise a co-worker with their favorite coffee.
    • Invite a friend for dinner.
    • Leave a card or note with kind words for a neighbor, new co-worker or your child.
    • Pack your spouse’s lunch for them.
    • Cheer up someone you know with a smile and a funny story.
    • Share donuts. You can never go wrong with donuts.
    • Read these 7 Ways to Be Thoughtful.

    Use #NationalSweetestDay to post on social media.


    National Sweetest Day found its beginnings in a holiday founded by the National Confectioners’ Association in 1916 called Candy Day.  On October 14, 1916, candy shops around the country filled newspapers announcing their sweetest treats and delights.  Originally designated to be celebrated the second Saturday of every October, the confectioners’ convention in Detroit in May of 1916 made the final resolution. Walter C. Hughes, the secretary of the National Confectioners’ Association, encouraged Americans to patronizes their local candy shops, bakers, and druggist for the highest quality confections.

    Candy Day

    Early advertisements found in Indiana, Minnesota, and Texas newspapers mention the “Sweetest Day of the Year” in reference to Candy Day.  However, it was not the official name of the day – not yet.

    By 1917 war raging in Europe, and many retailers encouraged patrons to “Get one for yourself and one for the boys overseas!”

    Then in April of 1918, the United States officially entered the war in Europe, and with that came rationing.  Sugar, as well as many other commodities, became scarce.  Sponsors shelved the holiday just as it was starting to see such success.

    Sweetest Day of the Year Returns

    With the end of the war in 1919, sweetness returned to October.  So sweet, in fact, Candy Day became an entire week.  Then in 1923, the day kicked into full charitable swing.

    Sweetest Day’s theme of charity and giving became apparent in 1921. At the time, four Michigan confectioners united with the Red Cross. Those confectioners included the Detroit Retail Confectioners, Detroit Wholesale Confections Club, Detroit Jobbing Confectioners Association, and the Michigan Confectioners Club. Together, they distributed thousands of bags of candy to hospitals, orphanages, shelters, and homes across Michigan. The celebration also included 100 regulation army target balloons, which dropped coupons worth a box of candy.

    In 1929, Sweetest Day settled into its current home, the third Saturday in October.


    Sweetest FAQ

    Q. What is the sweetest substance on Earth?
    A. The sweetest substance on Earth comes from the katemfe fruit. However, it’s not the fruit that’s the sweetest; it is a substance called thaumatin found in the arils of the seeds. According to Guinness World Records, thaumatin is 3,250 times sweeter than sugar.

    Q. What song is the band The Sweet known for?
    A. Well, The Sweet had several huge hits in the 1970s including “Ballroom Blitz” and “Fox on the Run.”

    Q. What’s the sweetest candy in the world?
    A. In 2019, the Candy Club reported a three-way tie for the sweetest candies in the world based on the amount of sugar by weight. The winners? Nerds, Pixie Sticks and Fun-Dip.

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