Where the World Gathers to Celebrate Every Day


National Giving Hearts Day - Second Thursday in February


Big hearts give big on National Giving Hearts Day! On the second Thursday in February each year, the celebration offers one of the best opportunities to donate to your favorite charity. Not only that, this is the longest-running giving day in the United States. So many hearts and so much to give!

In a single 24 hour period, more funds are raised for charities throughout the upper Midwest. Organizations like soup kitchens, medical foundations, STEM programs, arts programs, and so many more raise money to advance their missions. And the money goes directly to the charities YOU love the most. Plus, you can give to as many charities you want. Give to one, or give to several.

  • In 2021, Giving Hearts Day celebrates its 14th year.
  • More than 34,700 people donated in 2020.
  • Since 2008, tens of thousands of generous donors have given more than $90 million.
  • In 2020, more than $19 million was donated.
  • The average donor gave to 2.2 charities in 2020.

Whether you’re a donor or a charity, get involved. Rally your organization and provide support to your favorite charity. And it doesn’t matter where you are on the planet. You can still give.

Visit the GivingHeartsDay.org website to find your charity. Spread the word. And on the big day, donate to your favorite charity. It’s the best way to show your support and how giving your heart is. The minimum donation is $10, but how much is that really? Two cups of coffee?

Use #GivingHeartsDay to share the day on social media, too.


Giving Hearts Day LOGOS-BLACK

Fargo, North Dakota-based Impact Foundation submitted National Giving Hearts Day in 2019 to celebrate the 24-hour giving event for charities across North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. Giving Hearts Day was formed in 2008 by Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF) and Impact Foundation as a way for people to support the charities and causes they love. From just under $500,000 raised in its first year to more than $19 million raised in 2020, it has become a day of exceptional impact. The registrar at National Day Calendar® proclaimed National Giving Hearts Day to be observed on the second Thursday in February, annually.

The Registrar at National Day Calendar® proclaimed National Giving Hearts Day to be observed on the second Thursday in February, annually.



Always observed on February 11th, National Make A Friend Day is a fantastic opportunity to meet someone new and make a new friendship. Friends serve a vital role in everyone’s lives. They are one of life’s most valuable assets.

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light”  – Helen Keller

New friends can broaden our horizons by helping us to see new perspectives, challenging us to try something different or connecting us to opportunities.  Meeting new people can help sharpen our social skills and keep us from becoming lonely.

“Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait for the answer”  – Ed Cunningham

While friends often share common backgrounds or experiences, they certainly don’t have to have everything in common.  One of the simplest ways to make new friends is to explore your interests by taking a class or joining a club.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMakeAFriendDay

Make a new friend and use #NationalMakeAFriendDay to post on social media.


National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this friendly day, making new friends along the way.



On February 11th, Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day promotes a positive attitude even when things might not be going your way. It’s a day for looking on the bright side of things and then carrying that feeling with you every day after. Do not worry and do not stress over the little things. Life is too short to let the little things bother us.  

In one of its oldest forms, the proverb was “No weeping for shed milk,” as referenced by James Howell in 1659. The saying has evolved over time, but still retains its original intent. There is no changing what is done, and crying over it serves no purpose.

Everyone knows that unexpected or unplanned things happen in life, sometimes daily. With a positive attitude, life is much brighter and easier.

HOW TO OBSERVE #DontCryOverSpilledMilkDay

Don’t cry over spilled milk. We poured a glass of milk and discussed our favorite ways to face daily challenges:

  • Be prepared! Sometimes the things that happen do so because we didn’t study, prepare or organize our day. While not every detail needs to be planned, the general stuff of the day does. 
  • Expect the unexpected. No matter who we are or what we do, things happen. Kids get sick. Customers make special requests. A car pulls out in front of you. The server brings the wrong dish. You take a wrong turn. If you adjust and move on, it will only be a blip on your day. 
  • Have a backup plan. These come in especially handy for big occasions. We’re talking about surprise parties or a wedding. In the end, what’s really important about special occasions are the good memories we make. If a little milk should fall, er, spill, while everyone laughs, dances and smiles, it really won’t matter. 
  • Breathe. Ask yourself, Will this issue matter in a day? If the answer is, No, then it’s just a little spilled milk. How about a week? Still a no? It’s still just spilled milk. If the concern doesn’t change the entire course of your life, it’s only spilled milk. 

Share how you cope with life’s twists and turns. Use #DontCryOverSpilledMilkDay to post on social media.


While National Day Calendar has not found the origins of this uplifting day, we’re not going to cry over spilled milk. We’re going to pursue other avenues and probably spill a little milk along the way. 



National Peppermint Patty Day recognizes a treat enjoyed by millions around the world. On February 11th each year, sink your teeth into the minty chocolate sweet. 

The oldest commercially-made mint patty or cake was made by the Quiggin’s family on the Isle of Man (an island located in the middle of the northern Irish Sea). They had been making the cakes since 1840, but in 1880, four of the sons formed the Kendal Mint Cake Company.

In the United States, as early as 1900, peppermint patties were made by regional confectioneries. Companies such as Idaho Candy Company, Trudeau Candie’s, and Pearson’s (which purchased Trudeau in 1951, both were Minnesota companies). Possibly the most known, though not the oldest, York Peppermint Patties were made by the York Cone Company of Pennsylvania.

York Peppermint Patties were first made in 1940 and distributed regionally, much like other candy makers of the era. York dominated the market because of its firmness and crispness while the others were soft. A former York employee remembered that the final (sample) test of the patty before it left the factory was called a “snap test.” If the candy did not break clean in the middle, it did not make it onto candy store shelves.

In 1975 the company was acquired by Peter Paul Cadbury.  Cadbury moved the factory to Reading, Pennsylvania, much to the distress of workers and residents of York. The company then distributed the popular treat across the country.

HOW TO OBSERVE #PeppermintPattyDay

Recipes abound for peppermint patties. However, the bakers also like to incorporate the flavor of peppermint patties into their baked goods. So, be sure to test out these recipes in your kitchen to celebrate. For example, we found Peppermint Patty CakePeppermint Patty Brownies, and Peppermint Pattie Cookies recipes. Other ways to celebrate include:

  • Create a festive treat from peppermint patties to perk up a friend or family member. A fresh bouquet of these minty treats would be a delightful surprise!
  • Mix up a minty peppermint patty milkshake for a chilling change. 
  • Add a bit of peppermint kick to your mocha to celebrate the day! Whether you use a syrup, add a peppermint stick or order it from a local coffee shop, you won’t go wrong. 

Be sure to use #PeppermintPattyDay to share on social media. 


We continue researching the origins of this minty food holiday. However sweet it is, we’ve not discovered who created the day.


National Inventors’ Day honors inventors of the past, the creators of the present, and encourages the architects of the future. On February 11th, National Inventors’ Day celebrates the genius behind design. It also dives into the history behind some of our most unusual inventions.

What do Ermal Fraze, Thomas Adams, Melitta Bentz, Patricia Beth, and Stephen Perry all have in common? They are recognized annually on February 11th, along with the Wright brothers, Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver, and Elisha Otis.

Thanks to inventors, we can safely ride in an elevator, have a well-lit room at the flip of a switch, speak to someone on the other side of the world or efficiently pump lotion from a bottle. Many inventors go their whole life without recognition for their creations, while others are household names. Nearly everything around us results from someone tinkering in their garage, laboratory, or basement trying to find a solution to a problem.

Some inventions may be happy accidents by an observant person; the microwave oven, penicillin, sticky notes, and bubble wrap may never have made their way into their current use if it were not for sharp or persistent inventors.

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”

The proverb “Necessity is the mother of invention” says a lot about how inventors look at life. They are a progressive, forward-thinking bunch. Where would we be without pacemakers, traffic signals, rubber bands, or coffee filters?

Though there are some inventions that we may be better off without. A DVD re-winder doesn’t quite fit the necessary criteria. Or, they are otherwise too impractical. For example, tugging around a stroller fridge for your watermelon along with the cooler and beach umbrella seems to be a bit of overkill. Still, without inventors, the world would be downright dull and much more challenging.

Inventors should keep track of their ideas, processes, ingredients, and components. Protect your inventions and get your unique creations patented.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalInventorsDay

Inventors around the country, take a bow. Keep tinkering. Keep seeking a cure, a fix, and improvements to our everyday life. Take time to recognize an inventor and encourage them to keep creating the next great invention. Other inventive ways to celebrate the day include:

  • Read about inventors and inventions that changed the way we look at the world today. We recommend Mistakes that Worked by Charlotte Jones, The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner, and Five Notable Inventors by Wade Hudson.
  • Learn about the patent process and how to protect your ideas. Put your ideas to work for you!
  • Watch documentaries about your favorite inventions. You might find out something about the inventor you never knew!

Use #NationalInventorsDay to share on social media.

Educators, visit the National Day Calendar® Classroom for a lesson designed for National Inventors’ Day.


In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Inventors’ Day and takes place every year on Thomas Edison’s birthday.



National White Shirt Day, also known as National White T-Shirt Day, commemorates the day a historic auto worker strike resolved on February 11, 1937. 

Manufacturing provided a large part of our workforce in the early part of the 20th century. When the 1929 stock market crash triggered the Great Depression, auto manufacturers laid-off workers and cut costs. GM did as well, eliminating their more expensive models. They stripped down their remaining models and sped up production to grueling pace. As they hired workers back, they did so at lower pay and didn’t consider seniority.

In 1935 the Wagner Act allowed workers to organize and join labor unions legally. By 1936, conditions reached a dangerous and fierce pace. Works had organized before, standing in picket lines that put not only their jobs at risk but their lives, too.

Sit-ins, though, created an opportunity to shut down the plant entirely without any replacement workers crossing picket lines. On December 30, 1936, GM workers took up residence in the Flint, Michigan Body Plant Number 1, after a plan to walk out was derailed. Their sit-in lasted 44 days and brought production to a halt and impacted not just GM but the entire auto industry. 

The strike helped The United Auto Workers (UAW) union become the sole bargaining agent for General Motors autoworkers. The observance is best known in Flint, Michigan, and other cities that have a GM auto plant.


Learn more about the history of labor unions and how they’ve influenced change in working conditions. Read about manufacturing and skilled labor in the United States. Did you or someone you know someone who participated in a sit-in strike? Share their experience. Use #NationalWhiteShirtDay to post on social media.


Bert Christenson, a member of UAW Local 598, initiated National White Shirt/White T-shirt Day on February 11, 1948.



National Shut-In Visitation Day on February 11th serves as a reminder to bring some cheerful company to people who are unable to leave their homes. Visiting a person who is shut-in makes a positive difference in that person’s life.  

Someone who is shut-in remains in their home due to physical, mental, or emotional reasons. These conditions can cause a person to feel lonely, isolated, sad, and cut off from the rest of the world. Sometimes they do not have family and friends available to visit and spend time with them. Many lack any kind of companionship.

We often take for granted our freedom to be able to go outside each day, go to work, eat lunch at a restaurant, work out at the gym or take a vacation. These are things that people who are shut-in are not able to experience on any day. A visit with them would brighten their day, and we could share our experiences with them.

HOW TO OBSERVE #ShutInVisitationDay

Visit a person who is shut-in due to disability or illness and brighten their day. Become a companion. Some activities you can do include:

  • Play a board game
  • Read a book
  • Watch a favorite movie
  • Work on a jigsaw puzzle
  • Read the National Day Calendar and find ways to celebrate together
  • Read the newspaper
  • Bring a new library book and offer to return old ones
  • Try a new recipe
  • Take up a hobby you’ll both enjoy
  • Explore your ancestry together

Use #ShutInVisitationDay to post on social media.


National Day Calendar has not identified the origins of this selfless holiday.

On Deck for February 12, 2021

National Days

International Days


February 11th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


The United States Patent Office issues Robert Fulton a patent for the first successful steamboat. Although the original patent record was destroyed in the 1936 US Patent Office fire, Fulton’s commercial success with his North River Steamboat and Clermont spread westward.


Frederick Banting and Charles Best discover insulin at the University of Toronto. Their discovery would advance the treatment of diabetes.


Declaration of a Liberated Europe signed at Yalta Conference by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and General Joseph Stalin.


After 27 years as a political prisoner, the leader to end South African apartheid, Nelson Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison outside of Cape Town, South Africa.

Recipe of the Day

Garlic Gazpacho

Prep:  30 minutes
Cook:  This soup is served cold
Total Prep: 30 minutes
Servings: 12


2 cloves garlic
6 large tomatoes, peeled
1 large tomato, unpeeled
1 large onion
1 each green bell peppers
2 small cucumbers
½ cup olive oil
½ cup lemon juice
3 cups tomato juice, chilled
1 dash salt
1 dash cayenne pepper


In a food processor, blend peeled tomatoes and garlic.

Add 1/4 of peppers and 1/4 of onions and 1/2 of cucumber and blend. Chill mixture for 1 hour.

Chop the remaining tomato and julienne the remaining vegetables. Cover and chill.

Just before serving, blend olive oil, lemon juice, salt, cayenne, and tomato juice in blender. Combine with chilled mixture.

Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with remaining vegetables.

Serve with crusty bread, such as a baguette.

February 11th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History

Jean Baptiste Charbonneau – 1805

The explorer, trapper, and guide rarely stayed in one place long during his entire life. Born days before his parents Toussaint Charbonneau and Sakakawea set out with the Corp of Discovery, it is little wonder that he became a guide and explore like his parents before him.

Thomas Edison – 1847

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison, considered one of America’s greatest inventors, would set up shop in Menlo Park, New Jersey, developing his ideas that changed the world.

Beulah Louise Henry – 1887

The American inventor of a vacuum-sealed ice cream freezer earned the nickname “Lady Edison” for her ingenuity and sharing a birthday with Thomas Edison.

Roger Maris – 1934

In 1961, the New York Yankee set a Major League Baseball hit 61 home runs, breaking Babe Ruth’s single-season record set in 1927. Maris’ record held until 1998.

Honorable Mentions

Josiah Gibbs – 1839
Johnathan Wright – 1840
Sidney Sheldon – 1917
Jane Yolen – 1939
Sheryl Crow – 1962

About National Day Calendar

National Day Calendar® is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months. In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.

There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!

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Our Ambassador Program is another way #CelebrateEveryDay®! Whether you become an ambassador or follow one of the savvy ambassadors, their fun videos and posts will keep you prepared for every holiday.