Where the World Gathers to Celebrate Every Day




On March 21st, National Single Parents Day honors the mothers and fathers holding down the fort with all the hard work, devotion, and sacrifices involved in single parenting.  Raising children can be challenging. Doing it without a partner doubles the burden. Whether by choice or circumstance, single parents carry a heavy load. Between work, school, daycare, doctor visits, and the list goes on, one person can only do so much. 

Many single parents find support from family. Much like other families, grandparents, siblings, and other extended family help out. It’s important that they do. According to the 2016 U.S. Census, 23% of American children are living with a single mother and 4% are living with a single father.

Being a single parent doesn’t make someone a bad parent. Many single parents would agree that children benefit from the care and love of two parents. However, the love of one parent and a supporting cast often get the job done, too.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalSingleParentDay

We all know of a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker, or someone who is a single parent. Support and appreciate them. Make this day a special one for the single parents that you know. Use #NationalSingleParentDay to post on social media.



In 1984, Janice Moglen wrote an article with the hope that Single Parent Day may one day gain the recognition many connect with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. She collaborated with the organization, Parents Without Partners, and began to petition to have states declare recognition of Single Parent Day. The day of March 21st coincides with the inception of Parents Without Partners, which began on March 21, 1957.  Proclamation 5166 was presented to, and signed, by President Ronald Reagan declaring March 21, 1984, as National Single Parent Day.



Spring is now in the air, and so is National Fragrance Day. Each year on March 21st, let your favorite scents lift your mood or carry you to another place.  

Have you ever been transported back in time simply by catching the scent of a loved one’s perfume? Or perhaps it was the smell of baby powder on a newborn that sent you reeling back to the days when your child was an infant.  Maybe it was a combination of ginger and molasses, and suddenly you were in your grandmother’s kitchen.
Whatever the fragrance, scents, and memory are powerfully linked.  We associate summer with the smell of freshly cut grass, thunderstorms with the smell of the damp air, and the acrid scent of sulfur when lightning has struck.  We often connect memories of winter holidays with warm spiced pies and cookies.
The brain is an amazing thing, and science finds out more about it every day.  Simply put, the olfactory bulb which is responsible for processing all those smells we take in is next to the hippocampus deep inside the brain.  Neuroscientists have discovered that one of the responsibilities of the hippocampus is creating new memories. With the olfactory bulb and the hippocampus immediately adjacent,  research suggests smell and memory are closely related.
Our memories are most nearly linked to those we have loved. Your first love may have worn a unique botanical fragrance, or perhaps the uncle who taught you to tie intricate knots smelled of cedar as he told war stories.  While we may often take a trip down memory lane by looking at a scrapbook, perhaps this time remembering our favorite fragrances will stir up memories that were long forgotten or maybe we will make some new ones.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalFragranceDay

Find some new ways to enjoy your sense of smell. Remember that a scent can improve a mood or become a signature style. Use #NationalFragranceDay to post on social media. 

Educators, visit the Classroom for a National Fragrance Day lesson designed for you!


In the early 1980s, perfume manufacturers launched National Fragrance Day to celebrate all the ways scents can improve our lives. 



National Common Courtesy Day on March 21st serves as a reminder of the behavior that keeps society from melting into a sea of madness. The day brings awareness to how important common courtesy is in our lives.

In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, courtesy is described as a: behavior marked by polished manners or respect for others: courteous behavior b: a courteous and respectful act or expression.

Common courtesy can be as simple as saying “please” and “thank you” when asking for and receiving a service, gift, or assistance. Kindness and courtesy do go a long way and are noticed by others even if you do not realize it.  Letting someone in front of you in traffic is easy. Hold open a door for someone or give a person a hand with his groceries. Give up your seat on the bus to someone who might need it. Introduce yourself to the new employee or kid at school and take the time to introduce her to the rest of the crew. 

A polite enemy is just as difficult to discredit, as a rude friend is to protect. – Bryant H. McGill

These examples provide a glimpse into the ways you can infuse courtesy into your life. These momentary deeds of courtesy may be incremental but they might make a huge difference in someone’s life.

HOW TO OBSERVE #CommonCourtesyDay

If common courtesy is not a part of your daily routine, then make Common Courtesy Day your opportunity for change. Start implementing courtesy into your life. Try it; not only will others appreciated it, but you will feel good about it, too. Use #CommonCourtesyDay to post on social media.


National Common Courtesy Day has been observed since at least 2003.WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY – March 21



World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st gives people with Down Syndrome and their advocates a voice and an opportunity to be heard. It’s a day where we assemble and organize activities to promote public awareness for the genetic disorder. The goal is to educate others on the importance of supporting our friends and family who have directly and indirectly experienced life with Down syndrome.

Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition. It exists in all regions globally and commonly affects learning styles, physical characteristics, and overall health. In order to ensure proper growth and development, social learning programs are required to integrate anyone who has Down syndrome.

Every year, their voices grow louder, and they influence government policy, becoming more empowered. Through events around the world, people with Down syndrome can ensure their own advocacy and be included in their communities.

HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldDownSyndromeDay

Check to see if your local school is offering any volunteer opportunities in their Integrated Learning Center. Join local events or share yours. Other ways you can participate include:

  • Join their #LotsOfSocks fundraising campaign.
  • Create your own fundraising campaign. Visit the link below to learn more.
  • Create a video based on this year’s theme.
  • Volunteer to speak at your school about Down syndrome and share your experiences.
  • Create opportunities in your community that will encourage advocacy and empowerment.

Find out more at worlddownsyndromeday.org and use #WorldDownSyndromeDay to share on social media.


Since 2006, Down Syndrome International has promoted World Down Syndrome Day to encourage people with Down Syndrome to help raise awareness about the condition. The United Nations General Assembly declared March 21st as World Down Syndrome Day in December 2011. Each year, the organization creates a theme. Past themes have included:

2020 – We Decide
2019 – Leave No One Behind
2018 – What I Bring To My Community
2017 – My Voice My Community



3…2…1…National Countdown Day on March 21 ticks down the minutes, seconds, or days to events big and small.

3…2…1. July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 launches into the atmosphere carrying the crew for the first moon landing.

3…2…1. Y2K, everyone partied like it was 1999 until the new millennium arrived.

3…2…1. January 19, 2013, Marlo Anderson quietly launched a website called National Day Calendar.

3…2…1…it is 5 o’clock somewhere!

On National Countdown Day, 03/21, we can start a countdown to just about anything. Around the office, we countdown to the next celebration every day! It is also a day to consider past and present countdowns of significance.

Recently, parts of the United States counted down to August 21, 2017, to a total solar eclipse. The event created road trip opportunities for those within driving distance. It also created science party lessons on rooftops in the path of the eclipse. And it was a memorable countdown, indeed. Did you miss it? Start your countdown for April 8, 2024. This solar eclipse will cover parts of Mexico, Central and Northeastern United States, and just a bit of Canada.


Since royal weddings draw a lot of attention, countdowns are an essential part of the draw. The fanfare and commitment to tradition remind us of storybook weddings. There are several royal weddings to recall: Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on July 29, 1981; Prince William and Catherine Middleton, April 29, 2011; Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018.

Another British countdown that kept the world interested was the countdown to Brexit.


Some favorite countdowns in the U.S. lead to opening days – this could be the opening day of baseball, racing, the swimming pool, or hunting season. However, the countdown to tax day, election day, or even the closing bell can be a positive or ominous one. Of course, it all depends on the outcome. Sometimes one countdown even depends on the results of the other countdowns!


Now, countdowns to summer break may be started as early as September 1 or as late as spring break. Those who motor on two wheels like to countdown to Sturgis. Other sports enthusiasts like to countdown to March Madness, Gameday, and Olympic Opening Ceremonies. There is also the countdown to the final buzzer of every game! However, there are sports with no time limit and therefore no countdown to end the game. Can you name one?


Start a countdown to something significant to you. Around National Day Calendar, we countdown to meaningful, useful, notable, unusual, quirky, and remarkable events all the time. It also makes us #CelebrateEveryDay.

Whether you are counting down to a homecoming or a wedding, to your last chemo treatment or your graduation, start your countdown. What will you countdown to? We also want to know how you countdown. Do you use an app or do you have a creative dance? What is the next big countdown in your life? On National 321 Day, share all your countdowns using #321Day on social media. 321…go!

Educators, visit the National Day Calendar® Classroom for projects and ideas to help you Celebrate Every Day.


In 2018, National Day Calendar® proclaimed National Countdown Day to celebrate all the ways people countdown to important moments in our lives.



As part of National Nutrition Month, National California Strawberry Day kicks off the strawberry season in California. The celebration takes place annually on March 21st which is typically the first full day of spring. It’s an ideal time to rejuvenate our senses and get excited about fresh fruit dishes, too. 

Strawberries are the flavor of paradise speckled with a bit of sunshine and whimsy. Their bright red dimpled fruit inspires picnics with double scoop strawberry ice cream cones. Of course, as the season heats up, the ice creams will drip down our chins but that is a worthy price to pay for a delicious crop of these dazzling and beautiful berries. Even eaten fresh, the juices leave a tantalizing mark on the lips of sweet toddlers and sweethearts, too. 

As you celebrate the kiss of summer, remember that strawberries provide good sources of potassium, fiber, folic acid, and vitamin C. They are also low in calories, with no fat and no cholesterol.

HOW TO OBSERVE #CaliforniaStrawberryDay

While spring beckons, make your favorite strawberry recipes. Add strawberries to your morning breakfast routine. Make a parfait or strawberry shortcake and while you’re at it, make some memories, too. For another fun way to enjoy your strawberries, plan a trip to a pick-your-own strawberry farm.  Enjoy some California strawberries and use #CaliforniaStrawberryDay to post on social media.


In 1983, the California Strawberry Advisory Board (now the California Strawberry Commission) proposed California Strawberry Day to celebrate the California strawberry season as a true sign of spring.



National French Bread Day bakes up a delicious celebration enjoyed by millions across the United States each year on March 21st.

French bread, also known as a baguette, is a long thin loaf made from basic lean dough. Its length and its crisp crust define it. Over time, French law has established what is and what is not a baguette. In 1920, a labor law prevented bakers from starting their day before 4 a.m. Bread makers know that breadmaking is a tactile industry. The kneading and resting of the dough are just as important as the ingredients. When the law limited their day, the bakers knew their product so well they adjusted by re-shaping their loaves of bread. The long, narrow loaves baked more quickly and evenly. As a result, patrons found the new loaves more convenient for slicing and storing. 

These sturdy loaves make delicious sandwiches, but they also go well with any soup. Any leftover bread makes delicious French toast, too!

The French are known for their high standards where culinary arts are concerned. To preserve quality in their bread, laws were passed requiring minimum quantities of certain quality ingredients in each loaf of bread.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalFrenchBreadDay

Spend some time in the kitchen and fill your home with the smell of homemade French bread. While the effort may be time-consuming, the results are worth it. We even have a French bread recipe to share with you. If the task seems a little daunting, be sure to visit your local bakery and pick up a loaf or two. Make some bruschetta or serve it with your favorite pasta dish. 

Use #NationalFrenchBreadDay to post on social media.


National Day Calendar continues to research the origins of this yeasty food holiday. 

March 21st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


The first active-duty Navy woman, Loretta Walsh receives the rank of petty officer. She’s the first woman enlisted in the United States Armed Forces in a non-nurse capacity.


The Federal Bureau of Prisons closes Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary located on an island off the coast of San Francisco, California. The maximum-security prison is also known as The Rock housed some of the country’s most notorious criminals including Al Capone, Robert “Birdman of Alcatraz” Stroud, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Alvin Karpis.


The Mayor of San Francisco, Joseph Alioto proclaims the first Earth Day.


Someone shoots J.R. on the popular television series Dallas.


Jack Dorsey, one of Twitter’s cofounders, sent the first public tweet. It read, “just setting up my twttr.”

Recipe of the Day

Strawberry Shortcake
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total Prep: 40 minutes
Serves 8-9


6 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup sugar + 3 tablespoons
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
16 ounces whipped cream


Placed sliced strawberries in a bowl with 1/2 cup of sugar.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter until dough forms small pea-sized pieces. Add milk, cream, and vanilla. Stir until just blended.

Heat oven to 425°F. Drop large spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the shortcakes are golden brown.

Let cool slightly. Place each shortcake onto a serving plate. Slice the top off of each shortcake, dividing the cake in half. Place spoonfuls of strawberries on the bottom layer and top with whipped cream. Add the second layer of shortcake and top with remaining strawberries. Add a final dollop of whipped cream and serve.

March 21st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

Forrest Mars Sr. – 1904

The American businessman and heir of the Mars candy empire is best known for developing the Mars bar and M&Ms.

Jehane Benoît – 1904

In 1933, the Canadian cookbook author and broadcaster opened her own cooking school called the Fumet de la Vieille France in Montreal. Two years later, Benoît opened the vegetarian restaurant “The Salad Bar.”

Henry O Flipper – 1906

On June 14, 1877, Cadet Henry O. Flipper became the first African American to graduate from West Point.

Julio Gallo – 1910

Along with his brother Ernest, Julio Gallo started a winery in 1933. From Modesto, California, they created a brand that dominated the inexpensive wine market. Gallo gained a reputation as a savvy businessman with marketing know-how. Over the years, Gallo eventually branched into finer wines.

Notable Mentions

Solomon Burke – 1940
Rose Stone – 1945
Gary Oldman – 1958
Matthew Broderick – 1962
Rosie O’Donnell – 1962

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!

Be sure to stay in the know by signing up for our e-mail updates. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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.