JANUARY 21, 2019 | SQUIRREL APPRECIATION DAY | MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY | NATIONAL HUGGING DAY | NATIONAL GRANOLA BAR DAY
SQUIRREL APPRECIATION DAY
Squirrel Appreciation Day is observed annually on January 21. The creator, Christy Hargrove, is a wildlife rehabilitator in North Carolina and is affiliated with the Western North Carolina Nature Center. According to Christy, “Celebration of the event itself is up to the individual or group — anything from putting out extra food for the squirrels to learning something new about the species.”
According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System of North America (ITIS), there are over 200 species of squirrels. Some of the oldest squirrels categorized on the list are the nocturnal arrow flying squirrel (validated in 1766) and the Black Giant (validated in 1778). Of all these species, they fall into three types.
Ground squirrels, such as the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, the rock squirrel, California ground squirrel and many others blanket the prairies and deserts of North America. Often causing damage, they can be considered pests, and they are labeled rodents. Predators enjoy them as a tasty morsel, too. As a result, they work together to protect themselves. Their only protection is to flee!
Tree squirrels make their homes in the trees but also find their nesting materials and food both on the ground and above. Making their homes in cities and the countryside in nations all around the globe, these familiar backyard and park residents will make themselves right at home in your birdfeeders or snag your snack right from your hands if they have become practiced enough!
The third type of squirrel leaps farther than the others with flaps of skin between the legs. Flying squirrels glide greater distances giving the impression they can fly. When they leap from tree to tree or building to building, they spread their legs wide and float on the breeze escaping predators or perhaps other snarky tree squirrels with a nut to pick with them.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Learn more about these fascinating creatures. Tell us your favorite squirrel story or share a picture of your squirrel visitors. Use #SquirrelAppreciationDay to post on social media.
Squirrel Appreciation Day was created by Christy Hargrove from Asheville, North Carolina on January 21, 2001.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is on the third Monday in January. Martin Luther King Jr.(January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He 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 King was chosen to lead the successful city-wide boycott of the Montgomery transit system.
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 when 1,500 men and women were met by a wall of state troopers, King lead the marchers in prayer successfully avoiding 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 when new voting rights legislation was introduced in Congress that would ban literacy tests, mandate federal oversight where tests were administered and would give 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 was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennesee. There in support of a sanitation workers’ strike, King and other SCLC members were staying at the Lorraine Motel when Ray’s bullet would strike 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
Use #MartinLutherKingJrDay to post on social media.
While President Ronald Reagan signed the established into law in 1983, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was first observed as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.
NATIONAL HUGGING DAY
National Hug Day or National Hugging Day occurs on January 21 and is officially recognized by the United States Copyright Office, but is not a public holiday. The purpose of the day is to help everyone show more emotion in public. There is only one way you are supposed to celebrate the holiday, offer a hug to anyone and everyone you want. While National Hug Day and the Free Hugs Campaign share many similarities, there is not an association between the two. Whether you hug a family member or a stranger, the mental and physical health benefits are the same.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Give someone a big hug and use #NationalHuggingDay to post on social media.
The holiday was founded by Rev. Kevin Zaborney on March 29, 1986, in Caro, Michigan.
NATIONAL GRANOLA BAR DAY
National Granola Bar Day is observed annually on January 21st.
A basic granola bar includes whole grain (usually oats, though quinoa and barley can be used as well), fruit or nuts and honey, molasses, agave nectar or syrup. The bar can also include butter or nut butters. There are a variety of combinations that can add flavor and nutrition.
The ingredients are mixed then pressed into a pan and cut into bars. For a crispy bar, the mixture is baked. Softer, more chewy versions are left raw or only partially cooked.
Packed with energy, granola bars are made to be conveniently carried on hiking or biking trails. While considered a health food by some, the bars are high in calories to give a boost of energy when working out, hiking or biking. Despite their high calories, they are still a more healthful alternative to a candy bar for those of us who don’t hit the trails very often.
Outside of the United States, granola bars are called by various names; flapjack, muesli bar and cereal bar.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Following are a few recipes for you to enjoy:
Use #NationalGranolaBarDay to post on social media.
Within our research, we were unable to find the creator of National Granola Bar Day.
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