NATIONAL PI DAY
National Pi Day on March 14th recognizes the mathematical constant π. Also known as pi, the first three and most recognized digits are 3.14. The day is celebrated by pi enthusiasts and pie lovers alike!
Pi is the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter. While the idea of pi has been known for nearly 4000 years, accurately calculating it has been something of slightly more recent mathematical development. By 2000 BC, the Egyptians and Babylonians accurately used the constant to build. Mathematicians such as Archimedes, Fibonacci, François Viète, Adriaan van Roomen, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz all calculated pi by various methods. However, in 1706, Welsh mathematician William Jones introduced the Greek letter π to represent the ratio of a circle’s circumference; pi.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPiDay
Celebrate the day with a slice of a pie cut using the mathematical constant of pi. Try these other ideas, too!
- Host a pie-eating contest.
- Discuss the significance of the number π.
- Watch the Life of Pi.
- Look for 3.14 in unexpected places. For example, prices, street numbers, or license plates.
- Finding 3.14 deals in as many versions of π as possible. For example
- Think pizza Pi as much as dessert kind of deals on this day!
- Get punny Geeky Greek Pi inspired t-shirts deals.
- Visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for a National Pi Day lesson.
Use #NationalPiDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL PI DAY HISTORY
In 1988, Larry Shaw organized the earliest known official or large-scale celebration of Pi Day at the San Francisco Exploratorium. The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations.
On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution (HRES 224) recognizing March 14, 2009, as National Pi Day.
NATIONAL POTATO CHIP DAY
National Potato Chip Day on March 14th celebrates America’s #1 snack food. Millions will enjoy their favorite chip this holiday. It’s a good thing there are so many to choose from, too!
On August 24, 1853, an unhappy restaurant customer kept sending his potatoes back to the kitchen, complaining they were thick and soggy. Chef George Crum decided to slice the potatoes as thin as possible, frying them until crisp and added extra salt. To the chef’s surprise, the customer loved them. The crispy potatoes soon became a regular item on the restaurant’s menu under the name of “Saratoga Chips.”
Other explanations point for the existence of the potato chip point to recipes in Shilling Cookery for the People by Alexis Soyer (1845) or Mary Randolph’s The Virginia House-Wife (1824). While many references between these dates sliced potatoes and fried them in grease, uncertainty remains whether the potatoes were fried to a crisp.
However, by the late 1870s, menus across the country used the term “Saratoga Chips” on train cars, hotel restaurants, and street carts. The name carried into grocers when bakeries made the chips in larger batches. They shipped them by wagon to the restaurants and grocers by the barrel. The grocers sold them to private families by the pound. Folks were instructed to bake the chips in a hot oven for a few minutes, and the chips would be as crisp as if fried that same day.
Classic Potato Chips
The Dayton, Ohio-based Mike-sell’s Potato Chip Company, founded in 1910, calls itself the “oldest potato chip company in the United States.” New England-based Tri-Sum Potato Chips, originally established in 1908 as the Leominster Potato Chip Company, in Leominster, Massachusetts, claims to be America’s first potato chip manufacturer.
In the 20th century, potato chips spread beyond chef-cooked restaurant fare and began to be mass-produced for home consumption. Flavored chips were introduced in the 1950s. Potato Chip revenues are over $15 billion a year worldwide!
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPotatoChipDay
While we enjoy potato chips as a simple snack, they also provide a great ingredient in recipes, too. Favorite recipes include chocolate-dipped chips and crushed chips dusted over fish. Share with us how you enjoy your favorite chip recipes! Or just grab a bag of potato chips to enjoy and use #NationalPotatoChipDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL POTATO CHIP DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues to research the origins of this snack-food holiday.
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME
Daylight Saving Time is currently put to use on the second Sunday in March in the USA. The practice is designed to give people an extra hour of sunlight in the evening hours. This is done by setting the clock ahead one hour at a predetermined date each year.
The practice of Daylight Saving Time (DST) advances clocks during the summer months. It causes us to lose an hour for one day. However, the practice allows people to get up earlier in the morning and experience more daylight in the evening. Typically, users of DST adjust clocks forward one hour near the start of spring. Then, they change them back again in the autumn.
The system has received both advocacy and criticism. Setting clocks forward benefits retail business, sports, and other activities exploiting sunlight after working hours. However, the practice causes problems for evening entertainment and other activities tied to the sun or darkness. For example, farming and fireworks shows are both affected.
Although some early proponents of DST aimed to reduce the evening use of incandescent lighting (formerly a primary use of electricity, modern heating, and cooling), usage patterns differ greatly. Additionally, research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory.
Problems sometimes caused by DST clock shifts include:
- they complicate timekeeping
- can disrupt meetings, travel, billing, record keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment,
- it especially impacts sleep patterns
Software can often adjust computer clocks automatically, but this can be limited and error-prone. Programming is particularly problematic when various jurisdictions change the dates and timings of DST changes.
HOW TO OBSERVE #DaylightSavingTime
Besides adjusting our clocks, it’s important to adjust our sleep schedules, too. Many of us go into the time change sleep deprived. Don’t do this during Daylight Saving weekend. Start preparing your body and anyone in your household for an earlier bedtime. That includes pets. Their potty and feeding schedules will need to be adjusted, too. Start a few days before if at all possible. In the end, you and your entire household will be able to benefit from the additional sunlight in the evenings by enjoying outdoor activities without feeling the drag of lack of sleep.
Another way to celebrate the day might include writing your representatives in Congress. According to the National Congress of State Legislatures, nearly every state has tackled the issue of daylight saving time and whether to end it or not. Even at a federal level, the issue has been brought to the table a time or two. Once again in 2021, a bill is being introduced that could stop the clock – or at least stop it from changing. It’s called the Sunshine Protection Act. If it passes, this is one holiday we won’t be celebrating anymore.
Of course, most importantly, be sure to turn your clocks forward and use #DaylightSavingTime or #SpringForward to post on social media.
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME HISTORY
George Vernon Hudson from New Zealand proposed the modern version of daylight saving in 1895. Germany and Austria-Hungary were the first countries to use it starting on 30 April 1916.
The energy crisis in the 1970s accelerated the growth of Daylight Saving Time. It has been argued that more natural light in the evening hours uses less electricity due to less artificial lighting requirements. Many retail shops and tourist attractions also enjoy more business.
NATIONAL LEARN ABOUT BUTTERFLIES DAY
On March 14th, National Learn About Butterflies Day encourages us to look for a blur of color as butterflies begin migrating across the country. Each year the celebration brings with it an awareness of the varieties of butterflies and their importance to our survival. Spring and summer are just right around the corner, so it is an excellent time to take a few minutes and learn something new about butterflies and appreciate their beauty.
Like bees, bats and other pollinators, butterflies make the difference between valuable fruits and vegetables on our tables. While we’re planting native flowers and trees, we’re also providing for our future. Pollinators such as the monarch butterfly and the honey bee have been in decline. All the reasons have not been identified. However, increasing the available habitat does help!
Butterflies need our help to survive as they rely on flowers and other natural sources for survival. We can help them by planting more flowers.
- There are more than 20,000 types of butterflies worldwide.
- Their wingspans can range from 1/2 inch to 11 inches.
- Butterflies in their adult stage can live from a week to nearly a year, depending on the species.
- Many butterflies migrate over long distances. Particularly famous migrations are those of the Monarch butterfly from Mexico to the northern USA and southern Canada, a distance of about 2500 to 3000 miles.
HOW TO OBSERVE #LearnAboutButterfliesDay
Read up on butterflies or find a good sunny spot to watch some. Plant a wildflower garden to provide habitat for them. You won’t regret it. You’ll have butterflies to enjoy all summer long! To learn more about pollinator gardens visit Million Garden Challenge. Spend the day learning more about butterflies and creating an environment that is friendly to them.
- Watch a documentary about butterflies like Wings of Life directed by Louis Schwartzberg and narrated by Meryl Streep.
- Plant a variety of native flowers and plants.
- Provide a water source. When you water your plants, the butterflies will drink from the damp soil and leaves.
- In the spring, don’t clean up dead leaves and brush too early. Wait until the temperature is consistently above 50°F. This will allow time for the species that overwinter in a chrysalis to emerge safely and without the threat of frost.
Use #LearnAboutButterfliesDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL LEARN ABOUT BUTTERFLIES DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues to research the origins of this nature-loving holiday.
NATIONAL WRITE YOUR STORY DAY
Everyone has a story and on March 14th, National Write Your Story Day challenges you to tell your story in written form.
You may think to yourself, “There’s nothing in my life to tell.” It will surprise you once you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard and the words start filling the pages. Words have a way of triggering memories. They form a moment in time, and before you know it, there’s a story flowing from your fingertips. Even if you never share your tale, it can be an essence of who you are and where you’ve been.
Trips down memory lane or recreating the moment when a spark of inspiration occurred, are more intriguing than you know. Today, they fill blogs, inspire novels and entire television series. More importantly, they are treasures to family and loved ones.
The observance encourages us to start telling our personal stories today. There’s a story worth recounting in there somewhere!
HOW TO OBSERVE #WriteYourStoryDay
Commit to writing your story. Grab pen and paper or your favorite electronic device and begin typing away. We all have a story to tell. Use #WriteYourStoryDay to share on social media.
NATIONAL WRITE YOUR STORY DAY HISTORY
Mitzy founded National Write Your Story Day in September of 2017. Mitzy is an Author, Artist, Guide and founder of Mitzy TV, which pushes to inspire authors and artists to become better individuals. This business also works to provide direction and encouragement to others so that they can push their work out into the world where it can best serve others.
The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed the day to be observed annually beginning March 14, 2018.
NATIONAL CHILDREN’S CRAFT DAY
Each year, National Children’s Craft Day on March 14th unleashes a boost of creative energy right in the middle of National Craft Month. The day celebrates crafting with children. By opening children’s eyes to the world of crafts, we spark their imagination, and from there, the possibilities are endless.
Crafting can give children a sense of accomplishment as well as help build their self-esteem. As with adults, crafting reduces stress in children, too.
Craft stores hold special classes throughout March. These classes offer a variety of opportunities for children to get involved. They also provide an opportunity for children to interact with others, learn something new, and have fun without electronics or television. When stimulating a child’s creativity, we encourage their curiosity and use of tactile skills as well. Some of the other benefits of crafting includes:
- following directions
- improving reading comprehension
- learning independence
- overcoming mistakes
- feeling included
- mastering social skills
It doesn’t cost a lot to get a child involved with crafts. Use everyday household items for projects. Don’t be afraid to use recycled items such as paper towel tubes and yogurt containers. These items make excellent craft items and demonstrate repurposing.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ChildrensCraftDay
The ideas are unlimited for this holiday! Let the creative juices flow. Children will inspire you, but the internet provides endless resources, too. Look for simple projects online or even in the National Day Calendar Classroom. We offer a wide variety of projects for all ages. Scour second-hand shops for glitter and other items for your craft supplies. As you celebrate, take up a collection of supplies to donate to classrooms.
We found some great ways to start crafting at home, too!
- Use recycled materials to start your craft supplies. Paper tubes, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, egg cartons, old t-shirts, and many more items make excellent project starters.
- Make crafts with a purpose. A birdfeeder, picture frame, or magnet for the fridge gives their creation additional meaning. Not only did they make it, but they also get to use it as they enjoy it.
- Craft a game. While they exercise their creative skills, your children can also build on their strategic skills, too. Playing a game they create will develop those skills even more.
- As your children grow, don’t hesitate to utilize power tools. That includes sewing machines, staplers, sanders, and drills. Each of these will help your students with their patience and S.T.E.M skills.
Share your projects using #ChildrensCraftDay on social media.
NATIONAL CHILDREN’S CRAFT DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues researching the origin of this creative holiday. However, we might have gotten glue stuck to our fingers impeding our search.
March 14th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
The United States Patent Office issues patent no. 621,195 to Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin for his invention of a “Navigable Balloon” which was also known as the Zeppelin.
President Theodore Roosevelt signs an executive order creating the first national wildlife refuge at Pelican Island, Florida. During his presidency he would establish a total of 55 national wildlife refuges, preserving habitats and a network of ecosystems.
Following the passage of the 16th Amendment, President Warren G. Harding becomes the first U.S. president to pay income tax. When a bill was introduced by the house in 1921 that would exempt the vice president and president from paying income tax, the President-elect expressed disapproval of the measure.
The American Society of Civil Engineers elects Elsie Eaves as an associate member. She is the first woman elected to the society.
The FBI publishes its 10 Most Wanted Fugitives for the first time. At the top of the list was Thomas James Holden. He was arrested 18 months later. Number three on the list was William Raymond Nesbit. Police arrested him three days later in St. Paul, Minnesota. Of the ten, all but one were captured within two years. The remaining case was dismissed eight years after the list was published.
Recipe of the Day
Name: Pecan Pie
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total Prep: 60 minutes
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup corn syrup
4 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup pecans
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix brown sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Boil until sugar melts. In a medium bowl mix eggs, butter, vanilla, and pecans. Slowly pour the sugar mixture into the egg mixture. Beat together. Pour into pie crust and bake 45 minutes.
March 14th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Lucy Beaman Hobbs Taylor – 1833
The American school teacher became the first woman to earn her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. In 1866, she graduated from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery.
Albert Einstein – 1879
In 1921, the German-born physicist won the Nobel Prize for Physics. He developed the general theory of relativity and had a profound impact on 20th-century physics and scientific theory.
Sylvia Beach – 1887
The American bookseller and publisher is best-known for opening Shakespeare and Company in Paris in 1919. The bookseller attracted some of the 20th century’s most influential and respected writers including Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Janet Flanner. In her memoir using the name of her business as the title, she wrote about her experiences in Paris, including those of the authors.
Hank Ketcham – 1920
On March 12, 1950, the American cartoonist published the first syndicated Denis the Menace comic strip.
Quincy Jones – 1933
One of music’s most esteemed legends, Quincy Jones began making music at a young age. By the 1960s he earning Grammy nominations and in 1963 he won his first Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement for his jazz song “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” Only the British-Hungarian composer Georg Solti has more Grammys than Jones phenomenal 28.
Billy Crystal – 1948
The actor and comedian has been making us laugh for more than 40 years in movies like The Princess Bride, Monsters Inc., and Analyze This.
Simone Biles – 1997
In her first Olympics at Rio in 2016, Biles brought home four gold medals and one bronze. However, she was already a World Champion before she arrived in Rio. Since then, Biles has tallied up a combined total of 30 medals making her the most awarded gymnast in the United States and the third in the world.
Marguerite de Angeli – 1889
John Luther Casey Jones – 1864
Diane Arbus – 1923
Michael Caine – 1933
Frank Borman – 1928
Eugene Cernan – 1931
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.