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On May 23rd, National Lucky Penny Day hopes you’ll have good luck all day long.

See a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck.

When you are out and about, look on the ground for pennies.  It just might be your lucky day!

Years ago a penny was able to buy something. (Check out National Taffy Day – to see what we used to get for a penny.) Today, due to inflation, the penny does not buy much of anything. The metal value and cost of minting pennies exceed their face value. Many nations have stopped minting equivalent value coins and efforts are being made to end the routine use of pennies in several countries including the United States.

First U.S. Penny

The United States first issued a one-cent coin produced by a private mint in 1787. Benjamin Franklin designed it. On one side, it read “Mind Your Business” and the other “We Are One.” This coin was made of 100% copper and was larger than today’s penny. It came to be known as the Fugio cent. However, the first pennies struck in a United States Mint weren’t produced until 1793, but they were also made of copper.

But why are pennies lucky? Well at one time, metals, including copper were precious material. Finding a penny was a valuable find. Sometimes finding a penny had more to do with the daily battle between good and evil. Do you only pick up a penny if it’s head side up? Superstitions carry on from generation to generation. And with some of them the rule that says if you find a penny tail side up, you should flip it over and leave it head side up for the next lucky person to find.

On a wedding day, there’s also a saying that leads people to put a penny in the bride’s shoe. It’s more likely to lead to a blister than to bring good luck in that case.


See how many pennies you can find. It just might be your lucky day! Use #LuckyPennyDay to post on social media.

The National Day Calendar Classroom also has projects created just for the penny.


National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this mint condition holiday.



May 23rd celebrates a mouth-watering confection on National Taffy Day. Taffy candy has been made and sold for many years and has become a favorite souvenir of many vacationers.

Salt water taffy in was invented 1883 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Confectioners make this sweet treat using boiled sugar and butter. They stretch and pull the concoction until it is a chewy consistency that can be rolled and cut. The flavors range from buttery to tart to sweet. There is a flavor for everyone, and it seems like they introduce a new one each year, too. Taffy’s colorful displays entice children and adults alike. And they have been doing so for generations. At one time, candy shops and pharmacies sold penny candy, and taffy was one of the many tempting options we could choose from. However, those days are now long gone.

With summer just around the corner, seasonal candy shops are stocking up their latest selections. With so many flavors to choose from, it’s often hard to decide which ones to pick. That’s why they often offer flavors swirled together to help us narrow it down. But we’re still enticed by the variety and the colors.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalTaffyDay

National Taffy Day offers the perfect excuse to indulge in so sweet or tangy taffy! What is your favorite flavor of taffy? Be sure to enjoy a piece or two. While you’re at it, share a favorite memory or send a box to someone you know will enjoy some taffy. Give a shout-out to your favorite candy shop, too! Use #NationalTaffyDay to post on social media.


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

May 23rd Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History

Three new balls were insufficient to complete a game between the Louisville Colonels and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. After three innings, no balls remained and after an 8-minute delay of the game, umpire William Betts called the game giving Brooklyn a 9-0 championship win.


After 17 years of construction, President William Taft presided over the New York Public Library dedication.


The notorious bank-robbing duo known as Bonnie and Clyde died in a shootout with police in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.


Drs. Ronald A. Malt and J. McKhann led a team of surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in the first successful reattachment of a human limb. They performed the surgery on a 12-year-old boy whose arm was severed by a train.

Recipe of the Day

Shrimp Fettucini
Prep:  5 minutes
Cook:  15 minutes
Total Prep:
 20 minutes
Serves 4


8 ounces fettuccine
1 pound large shrimp, de-shelled and de-veined
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper for taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley


Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.

Place uncooked shrimp in bowl and sprinkle shrimp with the entire tablespoon of cajun spice, and toss well.

Next, sprinkle all-purpose flour on top of the seasoned shrimp and toss well. Coat well.

Put butter and oil in a deep skillet and cook on high heat.

Add your shrimp to skillet and cook for about 2 minutes on each side.

Remove shrimp from skillet and set aside.

Add chicken broth and heavy cream to the same skillet, whisking continuously until remaining ingredients are added.

Season with salt and pepper (or additional cajun spice if you prefer!)

Still whisking, bring mixture to a boil.

Add Parmesan cheese.

Add fettuccine and shrimp back into the pot and toss.

Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and parsley on top.

(Note to chef: try to buy a Cajun seasoning without salt to avoid making this recipe too salty.)

May 23rd Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Margaret Fuller – 1810

Humanity is divided between men, women, and Margaret Fuller. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

A woman of many firsts, one of her most noted and last achievements was becoming the first American female war correspondent to write under combat conditions. She worked for the New York Herald Tribune assigned to Italy to report on the revolutions. However, when Fuller returned in 1850, she died tragically in a shipwreck.

James Buchanan Eads – 1820

The American civil engineer designed the first bridge (Eads Bridge) to cross the Mississippi River south of the Missouri River. He also designed a jetty system that caused the river to cut a deeper channel which in turn allowed a better flow of traffic up and down the Mississippi River.

Jeralean Talley – 1899

Born in Montrose, Georgia, Jeralean Talley lived to 116 years, 25 days. At the time she was the oldest living person in the world. When she was born William McKinley was president. At her death in 2015, Barack Obama was in his second term as president.

S. Donald Stookey – 1915

The American chemist and inventor developed many types of glass while working at Corning. During his career, Stookey claimed more than 60 patents.

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.

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Doug simply enjoys the opportunity to contribute to National Day Calendar® while focusing on social media, as well as being one of the staff!