NATIONAL SIMPLICITY DAY
National Simplicity Day honors transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. The day advocates a life of simplicity and recognizes the life of Thoreau.
Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) lived his life as many things including an author, naturalist, philosopher, and historian. He was also known to be a tax resister, abolitionist, development critic, and surveyor. His book, Walden, is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings.
“In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
– Henry David Thoreau
In our fast, ever-increasingly busy lifestyles, the observance encourages stepping back and looking at ways to simplify our lives. It’s an opportunity to declutter and eliminate the unnecessary burdens that weigh us down. Even taking a few moments to tune into nature helps us to refocus and find balance.
“My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.”
– J. Botherton
“Simplicity is the essence of happiness.”
– Cedric Bledsoe
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
– Robert Brault
How to Simplify
Seek a leisurely pace that doesn’t include the accumulation of things. That’s the easiest explanation of the day. Look to nature or companionship, perhaps to a few passages from a book or the wisdom of a child. We all need the nourishment of food and rest and satisfaction of a job well done. These simple things collect together to fulfill our greatest needs. All that remains falls away.
However, living simply doesn’t mean living without. It means living with only what we need. Look around you throughout the day and consider the excesses. The next time something breaks ask whether it can be repaired instead of replacing it.
Besides, when our lives are simpler, our stress decreases. We no longer feel the pressure to acquire more things. We have time to pursue adventures and spend time with people we enjoy.
“It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.”
– Henry Ward Beecher
“The simplest things are often the truest.”
– Richard Bach
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalSimplicityDay
Do or stop doing things to simplify your day. Read about Henry David Thoreau or Walden.
Tips to Simplifying Life
- Identify what’s important to you. This list will include things, goals, and activities. While we don’t all have the ultimate goal of reaching Mars, don’t dismiss the small achievements. Those don’t necessarily equate to clutter. They’re stepping stones. However, if they aren’t a part of the bigger picture, consider slashing them.
- When it comes to things, you have to admit, we hold on to some things for sentimental reasons. On the other hand, we buy too much junk for all the wrong reasons. Identify the ones that are the most important and get rid of the rest.
- Put a ban on impulse buying. Make a list before any shopping trip. If it’s not on the list, it can’t be bought (unless it’s toilet paper, that’s the one exception). Otherwise, you will get by until the next trip. You will also see an improvement in your bank account.
- When it comes to activities, consider the ones that are time wasters and have no value. Again, which ones are important to you? Do they bring you joy? Do they improve you or the world around you? If the answer is no to any of these questions, why is this activity still in your life?
Post on social media using #NationalSimplicityDay to encourage others to join in paying it forward.
NATIONAL SIMPLICITY DAY HISTORY
We were unable to identify the creator of National Simplicity Day.
PAPER BAG DAY
Each July 12th, we recognize the significance of an invention we take for granted on Paper Bag Day.
Millions of people use paper bags every day. Readily recyclable, paper bags have been around for many years. American inventor, Francis Wolle, received credit for his patent of the first paper bag machine in 1852. Another paper bag inventor, William Goodale, received his patent on July 12th, 1859. His was designed to cut the paper such that it was ready for folding. Margaret E. Knight became known as “the mother of the grocery bag” after she designed the square, flat-bottomed bag, and the machine that would fold and paste them in 1870. Over the years, other inventors have received recognition and patents for their inventions of devices that improve the paper bag or its production.
Not only do we carry our groceries or our lunches in a paper bag, but this highly functional item comes in handy in a surprising number of ways.
- Help reduce anxiety when hyperventilating – Cover nose and mouth with the open end of the paper sack and fill the bag with your breath. Breath in and out until breathing becomes normal again.
- Serve popcorn – When making a large amount of popcorn for a group, serve popcorn in small size paper bags. The paper bags also absorb any oil used to season the popcorn so the treat will be less messy.
- Arts and crafts – Paper bags make great puppets, masks, and windsocks. Get decorating with your kids and have fun while doing it, too!
- Gift bags – Recycle and make gift bags. Whether you give homebaked goodies or another thoughtful gift, your gift bag may steal the show.
- Ripen fruit – Don’t wait for green fruit to ripen. Put it in a paper bag and fold the top. This traps the ethylene gas given off by the fruit, which helps it to mature. Want them to ripen even faster? Put an apple in there, too.
HOW TO OBSERVE #PaperBagDay
Consider the convenience of the paper bag or sack. How many other ways can you use paper bags? Check out these 7 Different Uses For Paper Bags to find out!
Share your favorite uses for the paper bag and post on social media using #PaperBagDay.
PAPER BAG DAY HISTORY
While we’ve not determined the founder of the day, it does commemorate the date one U.S. patent was issued for a paper bag machine; William Goodale’s 1859 patent was received on July 12th.
NATIONAL DIFFERENT COLORED EYES DAY
On July 12th, National Different Colored Eyes Day recognizes those who have two different colored eyes. Many people captivate us with their eye color; others do so because they have two different colored eyes. This day celebrates them in all their uniqueness!
Having two different colored eyes is a condition called heterochromia. Three types of heterochromia exist:
- Complete heterochromia – one iris is a different color from the other.
- Partial heterochromia or sectoral heterochromia – part of one iris is a different color from the rest of the iris.
- Central heterochromia – an inner ring is a different color than the rest of the iris.
The concentration and distribution of melanin determine the eye color, specifically the color of the irises. The affected eye may be hyperpigmented (hyperchromic) or hypopigmented (hypochromic). Additionally, the excess of melanin indicates hyperplasia of the iris tissues, whereas a lack of melanin indicates hypoplasia.
Most cases of heterochromia are hereditary, caused by a disease or syndrome, or due to an injury. However, just one eye may change color following certain diseases or injuries.
Two syndromes that may cause different colored eyes are mosaicism and chimerism. Mosaicism involves two or more populations of cells within a single individual. Chimaerism occurs when two or more fertilized eggs merge, producing a single individual.
Other symptoms associated with heterochromia include patches of lighter skin or deafness. Infants who develop different colored eyes after birth should be evaluated by their pediatrician to be sure no additional care is necessary. When eye color changes occur due to injury or are sudden, seek a doctor’s care. Sometimes the condition can be severe.
A few celebrities are known to have two different colored eyes include David Bowie, Christopher Walken, Dan Aykroyd, Jane Seymour, and Mila Kunis.
HOW TO OBSERVE #DifferentColoredEyesDay
While celebrating this day may be more obvious for some than others, that doesn’t mean everyone can’t participate. The eyes are the windows to the soul. Do you know anyone with differing eye colors? Those who have two different eye colors, share your fascinating eyes. Post on social media using #DifferentColoredEyesDay.
NATIONAL DIFFERENT COLORED EYES DAY HISTORY
Jeanne Quinn of B Able, Inc. founded National Different Colored Eyes Day to raise awareness and to celebrate the unique qualities of those with different colored eyes. Depending on the degree of heterochromia, many may go through life with little to no effect. Still, others may have complications from a confusing condition that has impacted them all their life. Perhaps they never had any answers, but their eye colors always held the clue.
EAT YOUR JELL-O DAY
July 12th easily directs us what to do on Eat Your Jello Day! With plenty of flavors to choose from, you should have no problem finding one you like.
Trademarked in 1897 by Pearle Wait of Leroy, New York, Jell-O is the novel and fun dessert loved by millions. Francis Woodward, who later purchased the recipe and trademark, eventually made Jell-O a household name. With 21 different flavors, Jell-O satisfies every taste and can be enjoyed in numerous combinations.
Jell-O’s primary ingredient is gelatin. Gelatin consists of collagen, specifically animal collagen. It’s a protein extracted from the connective tissues of cows and pigs. Once the protein is broken down and extracted, the collagen is dried and ground into a fine powder.
Jell-O has been the subject of many classroom art and science projects throughout the years. From the study of viscosity and laser beams to gelatin artwork, Jell-O inspires in and outside the kitchen.
Eat Your Jell-O Day specifically tells us to eat. So, whether it is molded, layered, or mixed with fruit, vegetables, or marshmallows, be sure to have some. It’s delicious as a salad, dessert, or even a shot. Jell-O doesn’t break the budget either, nor does it add too many calories. Where can you go wrong?
HOW TO OBSERVE #EatYourJelloDay
Ever wondered what a pool full of Jell-O looks like? Watch this:
EAT YOUR JELLO DAY HISTORY
We were unable to identify the creator of Eat Your Jello Day.
NATIONAL PECAN PIE DAY
Grab a slice on July 12th and celebrate National Pecan Pie Day! Mix up the ingredients using primarily corn syrup, pecan nuts, salt, and vanilla. Occasionally, recipes vary by including sugar syrup and molasses or maple syrup. Other additions include chocolate and bourbon whiskey in some regions of the country. Top it all off with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Many attempts to trace the origins of the pecan pie have not been successful. The earliest dated recipes come from 1897. However, claims of the pie being made in the early 1800s in Louisiana exist. One of the earliest recipes for a pecan pie appeared in the Lady’s Home Journal in 1897. The recipe for the “Texas Pecan Pie” was later reprinted in several newspapers across the country. It included six ingredients – sugar, sweet milk, pecan kernels, eggs, and flour. The recipe is basically directions for a custard base, unlike the pecan pies we know today.
Well-known cookbooks such as Fannie Farmer and The Joy of Cooking did not include this dessert until 1940. By then, Karo syrup found its way to the pantry shelves. Of course, the makers of the sweet syrup increased the popularity of pecan pie. Their company claimed the pie was a “discovery” in the 1930s by a corporate sales executive’s wife as a “new use for corn syrup.”
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPecanPieDay
Make your family’s pecan pie recipe. Did you know you can also try miniature pecan pies or bars as an alternative to pie? Find a recipe here. If you still want to have a traditional pie, we have you covered. Try this irresistible Pecan Pie recipe. National Day Calendar® would love to try your recipes. Be sure to send them our way, and we’ll give them a whirl! Post photos on social media using #NationalPecanPieDay.
NATIONAL PECAN PIE DAY HISTORY
We were unable to find the creator of National Pecan Pie Day.
A month after the U.S. declared war on Great Britain, U.S. General William Hull led troops in the invasion of Canada.
The inventor William Goodale received U.S. patent No. 24,734 for his invention of a “machine for making paper bags.” While not the first of its kind, Goodale own the Union Paper-Bag Machine Company designed the machine with a cutter that prepped the paper for folding.
Congress creates the Medal of Honor.
Democratic candidate for president Walter F Mondale names Geraldine Ferraro as his vice-presidential running mate. Ferraro was the first woman named by a major U.S. political party as a vice-presidential candidate.
Recipe of the Day
Macaroni and Cheese
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total Prep: 55 minutes
8 oz uncooked elbow macaroni
3 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring a medium pot of water to boil and add macaroni. Sprinkle with salt to season the pasta.
Remove pasta from the heat when it is al dente and then drain.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
Add flour to make a roux.
Stir with a whisk until the flour turns a golden brown, approximately 1-2 minutes.
Add the milk and continue to whisk, removing any lumps.
Add salt and pepper.
Cook over medium heat until sauce thickens and begins to bubble.
Add cheeses. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
Add pasta to cheese sauce and stir.
Grease a 2-quart baking dish and add pasta
Bake 20-25 minutes or until browned.
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and return to bake for 5 more minutes.
Henry David Thoreau – 1817
Best known for his poetry and philosophy, Henry David Thoreau lived a life of many roles including naturalist, historian, tax resister, abolitionist and surveyor to name a few. His book, Walden, is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings.
George Eastman – 1854
The American businessman founded Eastman Kodak in 1892 with Henry A. Strong. The Eastman Kodak company ushered in an era of inexpensive cameras that allowed the general public to capture photos, not just those with large, bulky and expensive cameras. They didn’t have to know how to develop the film either; the Eastman Kodak Company did that, too.
Louis B Mayer -1884
The American film-maker co-founded Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in 1924. For more than 90 years, the company has been producing and distributing films and creating television shows.
Lyudmila Pavlichenko – 1916
A sniper in the Soviet Red Army, Pavlichenko served during World War II. Her 309 confirmed kills earned her the nickname “Lady Death” and is the most successful female sniper in history.
Richard Simmons – 1948
Give a round of jazz hands for this birthday celebration! Born Milton Teagle Simmons, the television fitness personality and motivational speaker gained notice in the late 1970s into the 1980s for his fitness philosophy. He also developed a popular video fitness series called Sweatin’ to the Oldies.
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.