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’s 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:

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 Day Calendar continues to research the origins of this cheese-loving day. NATIONAL BUTTERCRUNCH DAY – January 20


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.

When is National English Toffee Day?

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 the 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

On January 20th, make up some buttercrunch to share with your friends and family. Sprinkle some over your favorite desserts, or look for a buttercrunch flavored creamer for your morning coffee. Mmm! We bet you can taste it now! We even have a buttercrunch recipe for you to try. Who makes your favorite buttercrunch?

Buttercrunch recipe

Use #NationalButtercrunchDay to post on social media.


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



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

National Disc Jockey Day gives us an excellent opportunity to celebrate our favorite DJs. Give them a shout out on social media. Learn more about the history of DJs, too. We suggest:
Rock the Dancefloor by Phil Morse or Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip Hop DJ by Mark Katz. You can also stream a documentary about DJs and their music. Take a look at What We Started directed by Cyrus Saidi and Bert Marcus, Scratch directed by Doug Pray or go a little further back in time and watch I Am What I Play directed by Roger King.

Share and give your favorite DJ a shoutout using #NationalDiscJockeyDay on social media.

Discover more even more DJ history by reading 5 Influential Disc Jockeys.


National Disc Jockey Day honors the death of Albert “Alan” 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.

On Deck for January 21, 2021

January 20th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


Sisters Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Clafin open the first woman-owned brokerage firm in the United States.


The United States Senate amends and extends the 1875 reciprocity treaty with Hawaii securing a lease to Pearl Harbor as a Naval Base.


Irwin W. Cox registers the trademark for the steel-wool product called “SOS.” The initialism for the shaved steel wool saturated with soap stood for “Save Our Saucepans.”


The Wisconsin Cheese Foundation sponsors the making of the world’s largest block of cheese ever made. At midnight, the process began at Steve’s Cheese in a factory near Denmark, Wisconsin.


Researchers at the University of Massachusetts and Advanced Cell Technology announced the successful cloning of calves that may have produced medicinal milk.


The inauguration of the 44th President of the United States takes place. President Barack Obama becomes the first African American to serve as a U.S. president.

Recipe of the Day


Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total Prep:  45 minutes
Servings:  6


8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 ounces cheese
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
4 eggs beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk


Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Grease a 9-inch tart or quiche pan.

Line the bottom of the pan with cheese and bacon.

Combine and whisk all ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour into the pan.

Bake for 35 minutes until set.

January 20th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

Harold Lincoln Gray – 1894

The American cartoonist created the well-known comic strip Little Orphan Annie. It first appeared in the Chicago Tribune on August 5, 1924.

Eva Jessye – 1895

During the Harlem Renaissance, Jessye earned international recognition as the first African American woman to direct a professional choral group. 

George Burns – 1896

The legendary actor and comedian earned critical and commercial success during a career that spanned more than six decades.

Joy Adamson – 1910

The conservationist lived and worked in the Kenyan wilderness. After raising a lion cub to be released back into the wild, Adamson wrote Born Free. The book was made into an Academy Award-winning film in 1966.

Federico Fellini – 1920

One of cinema’s most celebrated filmmakers, Fellini brought the world La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life), 81/2, and Ginger e Fred (Ginger and Fred.) Fellini’s final work was La Voce Della Luna (The Voice of the Moon) which starred Roberto Benigni.

Edwin Buzz Aldrin – 1930

On July 16, 1969, the decorated Army pilot joined Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins aboard Apollo 11 for a historic launch from Cape Kennedy. Four days later, Aldrin would be one of only two people to set foot on the moon, the first being his Commander, Neil Armstrong.

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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