MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAY
Martin Luther King Jr Day, on the third Monday in January, honors the American clergyman, activist, Civil Rights Movement leader. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.(January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience. King has become a national icon in the history of American progressivism. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor.
A gifted and friendly student, King attended Morehouse College, where he earned a BA in sociology. Combining a passion for racial equality with a rediscovered spirituality, King then attended Crozer Theological Seminary following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps earning a Bachelors of Divinity.
Shortly after he completed his Ph.D. in theology at Boston University in 1955, a 42-year-old Rosa Parks (See Rosa Parks Day, which is observed December 1) refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The opportunity for the NAACP to bring their civil rights efforts to the forefront was before them, and they chose King to lead the successful city-wide boycott of the Montgomery transit system.
Young Civil Rights Movement
Just over a year later, King, along with over 60 other ministers and activists, founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Together they coordinated non-violent protests and gave a voice to the young civil rights movement.
Through the next twelve years, King would be influential in organizing marches, sit-ins, and political rallies for civil rights. During a 1963 March on Washington, D.C. for Jobs and Freedom, King spoke before more than 200,000 regarding the challenges African Americans face. His “I Have a Dream” speech has gone down in many history books as one of the greatest speeches ever given. Brutally honest, a call to action, and a vision of hope, King’s speech resonated throughout the nation.
In early 1964, during a march outside Selma, 1,500 men and women met a wall of state troopers. There, King led the marchers in prayer and successfully avoided any confrontation with authorities. On July 2, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. That same year, King became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his unswerving work in the Civil Rights Movement.
In early 1965, Selma, Alabama, became the center of the Civil Rights movement. A new voting rights legislation was introduced in Congress. It proposed banning literacy tests and mandating federal oversight where tests were administered. Additionally, it gave the U.S. attorney general the duty of challenging the use of poll taxes for state and local elections. Televised violence in February of that year resulted in the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson. King’s presence and President Johnson’s support of the marchers helped bring peace. Throughout the next month, marchers continued between Selma and Montgomery. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in August of that year.
Author, speaker, father, theologian, activist. King died on April 4, 1968, when James Earl Ray assassinated him in Memphis, Tennessee. King arrived in Memphis with other SCLC members in support of a sanitation workers’ strike. They were staying at the Lorraine Motel when Ray’s bullet struck King on the balcony. Riots and violence would follow, and President Johnson would call for peace, referring to King as the “apostle of nonviolence.”
HOW TO OBSERVE #MartinLutherKingJrDay
Many schools, businesses, and government offices are closed during Martin Luther King Jr Day. Schools hold programs or teach curricula engaging students in Civil Rights history and lessons throughout the week. Learn more about the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Watch one of the documentaries or read one of the books listed below:
- King: A Filmed Record – Montgomery to Memphis.
- Freedom Riders
- The Children’s March
- The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., edited by Clayborne Carson
- Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference By David Garrow
- Freedom’s Daughters by Lynne Olson
Use #MartinLutherKingJrDay to post on social media.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAY HISTORY
While President Ronald Reagan signed the established observance into law in 1983, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was first observed as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.
NATIONAL CHEESE LOVER’S DAY
On National Cheese Lover’s Day, don’t feel bleu, throw a feta or act capricious. January 20th is a gouda day to kummin over and have some cheddar or asiago or fontina!
There is no firm evidence of how cheese making was discovered. but legend tells us it was likely by chance that someone created the first cheese. Thousands of years ago, people transported milk and stored it in sheep stomachs. Left to sit a few days, the proteins would separate into curds and whey. From there, preserving the solids with salt may have seemed a logical next step. Salt was a highly valued preservative in ancient times.
The earliest record of cheese making dates back to 5,500 BCE in what is now Poland. Today there are over 1,400 varieties of cheese.
Basic Cheese Making
The basic principles behind making cheese are quite simple. Let the milk sour (or scientifically, coagulating the casein protein). Then separate the curds (solids) from the whey (liquid). The curds are then salted and left to age.
Bacteria, enzymes or fungi may be added at various stages. These along with the type of milk, temperature, time and moisture are all controlled to produced the desired taste, color and texture. Herbs and spices may also be added.
The nutritional value of cheese varies depending on the variety. Cottage and mozzarella cheese are at the lower end of fat and calories per serving while mascarpone and cream cheese pack it on. Marscapone makes desserts like tiramisu rich and creamy.
For the Love of Cheese
For cheese lovers who think one day is just not enough to celebrate cheese, National Day Calendar presents a calendar full of cheesy celebrations. There are 18 other cheese specific holidays on the calendar. Check out this shortlist of tasty cheese-based celebrations:
- Cream Cheese Brownie Day (February 10)
- Cheese Doodle Day (March 5)
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day (April 12)
- Cheese Souffle Day (May 18)
- Cheese Day (June 4)
- Cheesecake Day (July 30 – along with three other flavors on the calendar)
- Goat Cheese Month (August)
- String Cheese Day (September 20)
- Moldy Cheese Day (October 9)
- Nachos Day (November 6)
- Sangria Day (December 20 – wine and cheese always go together)
HOW TO OBSERVE #CheeseLoversDay
Enjoy some cheese with your lunch or as a snack. Share your favorite cheesy recipes or puns. Try a new cheese pairing. Visit your favorite cheesemonger and be sure to give a shout out, too. Use #CheeseLoversDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL CHEESE LOVER’S DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues to research the origins of this cheese-loving day.
NATIONAL BUTTERCRUNCH DAY
National Buttercrunch Day on January 20th recognizes the flavorful toffee candy that comes in several varieties.
Buttercrunch is a combination of toffee, covered with chocolate. It has a crunchy texture and a caramel flavor. Variations on the recipe include toasted almond sprinkles.
Making buttercrunch calls for a good candy thermometer and some cooking experience. Creating the toffee involves caramelizing sugar at high temperatures, which requires precision, timing and the right tools and safety techniques for a successful outcome. Follow recipes closely. The stage the sugar is supposed to reach (usually hard-crack stage) will determine when you remove the sugar from the heat. You also have to move quickly and safely. Sugar burns at 300° + degrees leave blisters and scars.
When you’ve mastered candy-making skills, the results are delicious and definitely worth sharing. Buttercrunch and other candy treats make terrific gifts during the holidays and throughout the year. It also stores well for a time. Keep it to serve over ice cream or add as a garnish to cakes and cookies.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalButtercrunchDay
Make up some buttercrunch and share it with your friends and family. Try the recipe below or one of your own.
Use #NationalButtercrunchDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL BUTTERCRUNCH DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this sweet and tasty food holiday.
NATIONAL DISC JOCKEY DAY
Each year National Disc Jockey Day recognizes the DJs playing the music and spinning the records. The observance takes place annually on January 20th.
A disc jockey, or DJ for short, is a person who plays recorded music either on the radio or at a club or event.
The first disc jockey was an experiment on the airwaves. In 1909, sixteen-year-old Ray Newby was a student under the supervision of Charles “Doc” Herrold at Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless. He played the first records over the airwaves before the word disc jockey even existed.
What started as an experiment from the Garden City Bank Building where the college was located in San Fernando, California, was soon being replicated by radio broadcasters across the country. Initially, Newby primarily broadcast his news, music, and entertainment live.
It wasn’t until 25 years later that radio commentator Walter Winchell coined the term disc jockey.
Today, contemporary DJs play music from vinyl to digital. Regardless of the medium they use, the term disc jockey still applies.
Hip-hop DJs became popular in the late 70s and 80s using multiple turntables and using the turntables themselves as an instrument to alter the music. Mobile DJs often act as the master of ceremonies at events or parties directing the evening’s activities.
HOW TO OBSERVED #NationalDiscJockeyDay
Share and give your favorite DJ a shoutout using #NationalDiscJockeyDay on social media.
NATIONAL DISC JOCKEY DAY HISTORY
National Disc Jockey Day honors the death of Albert James Freed. Freed, also known as Moondog, was an influential disc jockey in the 1950s. He is credited with popularizing the term “rock ‘n’ roll” that was used to describe the new genre of music.
While the day honors Freed, we’ve been unable to identify the founder of the observance.
Recipe of the Day
Asian Honey Tea Grilled Shrimp
Prep: 15 minutes
Chill: 30 minutes
Cook: 4 to 6 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 – 6 servings
1 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined salt
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup strong-brewed orange spice tea, cooled
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Make a marinade by combining the tea, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and pepper in a plastic bag. Remove 1/2 cup of the marinade and set aside. Add the shrimp to the plastic bag, coating each piece. Seal the bag and chill for 30 minutes or up to a maximum of 12 hours in the refrigerator.
Remove shrimp from the bag and discard the marinade. Divide the shrimp between 8 skewers. Grill over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and are just firm to the touch. Turn once during grilling.
Season the shrimp with salt to taste.
Prepare reserve marinade to use as a dipping sauce. Place in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 3-5 minutes until the sauce reduces slightly. Add green onions.
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!
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.