The new year
starts off with a blast,
when winter was looking
like a thing of the past.

The snow is falling now
as pretty as can be,
sparkling with light
twinkling at you and me.

Everything is forgotten
to watch the snow fall,
but one never forgets,
how to throw a snowball.

The children are playing,
laughing, aloud,
it's merriment
to hear their happy sound.

Making snow angels
they lay on their back's,
trying to get up
leaving no tracks.

The snow is melting
giving way,
to the next season
a warmer day.

The children are again
laughing out loud,
It's mesmerizing
to hear their happy sound.

Winter, spring
summer or fall,
a child's laughter
is truly the best of all.

~Lorraine Nisbet
January
January's Birthstone:

Garnet
    Garnet is the modern January birthstone and the gem designated for the
    2nd and 6th wedding anniversary.
    There are no known enhancements for garnet, it occurs in every color of
    the spectrum, except blue.  Any of these colors is permissible to wear as
    the January birthstone.
    The name Garnet appears to originate with the Latin granatum malum
    which means pomegranate.  Pomegranate is the name of the bush which
    produces a red fruit with seeds.  Jewelry made with garnet has been
    found as early as the Bronze Age (3000 BC) in burial sites.  It is thought
    that early communities valued garnet and believed that it offered
    protections in the afterlife.
Legends, Myths and Healing Properties: During the Middle Ages primitive cultures believed that the red stones would
stop bleeding.
Many early cultures believed that garnets were helpful in preventing and curing blood disorders and infections.
Colors:
     Almandine: Deep, dark, rich red to purplish red to orange red (the more valuable Almandines are less
    orange and brown in color).
     Demantoid: Medium green to slightly yellowish green. Rare and valuable, sought after by gem collectors.
     Hessonite: The hessonite garnet from Sri Lanka varies in color from a brilliant yellow to yellowish brown.
     Pyrope: Deep, dark, rich red to slightly purple red.
     Rhodolite: Shades of pink through reddish lavender.
     Spessartite: Medium orange to reddish orange.
     Tsavorite: Medium, intense green to slightly yellowish green. Rare and valuable.
     Uvarovite: Bright green. This green-colored garnet occurs in fine crystal clusters. This form is sometimes
    referred to as drusy because of the tiny crystals.
The festivities of Black History Month are no longer recognized however, it is now a historical event that will
be celebrated every single day for the next 365 days.
Happy Black History Day!!!
Black Historical Quotation
January's Characteristics
January's History
January's Birth Flowers:

Dianthus caryophyllus
    Cool-weather annuals, biennials, or perennials, their many fringed flowers look
    as if they were trimmed with pinking shears, winning them their common name.
    Sweetly clove-scented flowers have a velvety or satiny sheen. Colors include
    pink, rose, red, purple and white in pure or bicolor flowers with distinctively
    marked eyes or frosting. China Pinks (Dianthus chinensis) and Sweet Williams
    (Dianthus barbatus) are grown as low-growing annuals for edging, mass plantings
    and in containers. Perennials include single- and double-flowered hybrids. Weak-
    stemmed Florist Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus), grown outdoors only in mild
    winter areas, are not the best garden plants.
Most need alkaline soils and cool growing conditions without heat and humidity. Some heat-tolerant varieties
are available. In hot summer areas, plant in partial afternoon shade. Cut back or shear after bloom for repeat
bloom. Perennials should be restarted frequently by cuttings from disease-free plants in spring or fall, or they
die out.

Galanthus
    One of the first plants to bloom in winter or early spring, Snowdrops provide a
    touch of quiet beauty when the world is its bleakest. This, and its elegant,
    nodding white flowers have made it a favorite of gardeners for decades.
    Snowdrops insist on a cool, moist environment, preferably in light shade. They
    delight in hills and banks. Divide after bloom, but only when needed. Plant small
    bulbs in early fall in drifts rather than neat rows.
January is Black History Month

  • January 1, 1863 - President Abraham Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation.
  • January 2, 1965 - Martin Luther King, Jr. calls for non-violent protests if Alabama Blacks are not
    allowed to register and vote.
  • January 3, 1624 - William Tucker was the first African American child born in America.
  • January 4, 1971 - Congressional Black Caucus formed.
  • January 5, 1943 - George Washington Carver, agricultural scientist, died.
  • January 6, 1831 - The World Anti-Slavery Convention opens in London.
  • January 7, 1890 - William B. Purvis patents fountain pen.
  • January 8, 1811 - Charles Deslandes leads slave revolt in Louisiana.
  • January 9, 1866 - Fisk University is founded in Nashville.
  • January 10, 1864 - George Washington Carver, agricultural scientist, born.
  • January 11, 1985 - Reuben V. Anderson, first Black African American to be appointed to
    Mississippi Supreme Court.
  • January 12, 1948 - U.S. Supreme Court rules that Black African Americans have the right to
    study law at state institutions.
  • January 13, 1990 - L. Douglas Wilder becomes first Black African American U.S. governor
    (Virginia) since Reconstruction. 1913 - Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated becomes the
    2nd Black Greek Letter Organization.
  • January 14, 1975 - William T. Coleman named U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
  • January 15, 1908 - Alpha Kappa Alpha, first African American sorority, is founded at Howard
    University.
  • January 16, 1978 - NASA names Black astronauts: Maj. Frederick D. Gregory, Maj. Guion S.
    Bluford, and Dr. Ronald McNair.
  • January 17, 1942 - Three-time heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali born.
  • January 18, 1856 - Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, pioneer heart surgeon, born.
  • January 19, 1969 - UCLA renames its social science buildings to honor alumnus Ralph Bunche.
  • January 20, 1977 - Patricia Roberts Harris becomes U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban
    Development, the first Black woman to hold a Cabinet position.
  • January 21, 1936 - Former Congressman Barbara Jordan born.
  • January 22, 1949 - James Robert Gladden becomes first Black African American certified in
    orthopedic surgery.
  • January 23, 1891 - Dr. Daniel Hale Williams founds Provident Hospital in Chicago, one of the
    first schools of nursing for Black students in the U. S.
  • January 24, 1865 - Congress passes 13th Amendment which, on ratification, abolished slavery in
    America.
  • January 25, 1851 - Sojourner Truth addresses the first Black Women's Rights Convention in
    Akron, Ohio.
  • January 26, 1954 - Dr. Theodore K. Lawless, dermatologist, awarded the Springarn Medal for
    his research in skin-related diseases.
  • January 27, 1961 - Leontyne Price made her Metropolitan Opera debut.
  • January 28, 1787 - Free Africa Society organized in Philadelphia.
  • January 29, 1926 - Violette Nealy Anderson becomes the first Black woman lawyer to argue a
    case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • January 30, 1979 - Franklin Thomas named president of Ford Foundation.
  • January 31, 1986 - August Wilson's Fences, starring James Earl Jones, opens at Chicago's
    Goodman Theatre.
January's  Black History
January's Poem
January Facts:

 Middle English:
Januarie
 Latin: Januarius "of Janus"
 Latin: Janu(s) "Janus" + -arius "ary (pertaining to)"
 Latin:
Januarius mensis "month of Janus"
 Janus is the Roman god of gates and doorways, depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions.  His festival
month is January
 Januarius had 29 days until Julius, when it became 31 days long.

  • January's birthstone is the garnet which represents constancy
  • January's birth flower is the cottage pink Dianthus caryophyllus or galanthus
    I was asked why I allowed others to  post and/or took so much time in directing people to
    Black history links.  Well, my answer is simple: Out here, there is a lot – too many –  of
    our Black youngsters who do not know their history – mainly Black history.  I want them
    to know.  It is important to me that they know.  Yes, it is important to me that  everyone
    embraces God and I appreciate most – but not all – biblical postings.  When or if I   said ‘all
    biblical postings,’ I would set myself up for a controversial religious dialogue and  I don’t
    want that, so I leave that up to those who actually study the Word.
    Anyway, when it comes to Black history, I find that my generation and those that follow
    have not taken time to teach our children about Black African American history.  When
    juveniles join gangs because they are searching for a family and/or say ‘they have never
    had anything, so why should they be about anything.’  Well, I want – need – them to know
    that it is not true.  There are plenty of Black African americans who struggled and made
    something out of nothing, and these youngsters can do the same.
    If Barack Obama can be president of these divided states, then all Black African
    americans can achieve the unthinkable and climb to immeasurable heights.
    I need us and all Americans to know the history of Black African Americans, their plight,
    their fight and their victorious accomplishments.
I am proud to be a Black African american and I hope, want and need our young Black brothers and sisters to be just as creditable;
embracing their Blackness.
To quote the late James Brown,
“Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud!”
SAY IT LOUD, I'M BLACK AND I'M PROUD!!!

January is Black History Month!

TML> SIteTest1

We start the New Year in prayer and celebration.

Celebrating Black History

January is Black History Month!!!

Black History Links
Additional January Holiday Celebrations
    January  is the first month of the year in the Julian and
    Gregorian calendars and one of seven months with the length of
    31 days.  The first day of the month is known as New Year's Day.  
    It is, on average, the coldest month of the year within most of
    the Northern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of
    winter) and the warmest month of the year within most of the
    Southern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of summer).
In the Southern Hemisphere, January is the seasonal equivalent of July in the Northern hemisphere and
vice versa.
January starts on the same day of the week as October in common years, and starts on the same day of
the week as April and July in leap years.  In a common year, January ends on the same day of the week
as February and October, and ends on the same day of the week as July in a leap year.
It hit us by surprise when we elected a Black African American with a Muslim name as the leader of the free
world.  The fruit of the Civil Rights Movement has hit a new high.  The Black vote (98% for Obama) clearly
made the difference 43 years after the passing of the Voting Rights.
january
Month Long Celebrations:
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Eye Care Month
  • National Book Month
  • National Bath Safety Month
  • National Braille Literacy Month
  • National "Thank You" Month
  • National Hobby Month
  • Hot Tea Month
  • National Oatmeal Month
  • National Soup Month

Weekly Celebrations:
  • 2nd Week: Letter Writing Week

Daily Celebrations:
  • January 1st - New Year's Day
    New Year's Eve is when all the fun and festivities are.  We see out the old year and ring in the
    new.  While it is often thought of as a time to drink and be merry, many people take it as an
    opportunity to eat and be merry.  Drinking is not as much a part of the event as it was decades
    ago, if only because of tougher drunk driving laws.  New Years' Day on the other hand, is a time
    to relax and enjoy the start of a bright and promising New Year; a new beginning.  It is a time to
    be with family, so enjoy everything about New Year, as it only comes once a year.
    To many Americans, the ball dropping at Times Square in New York City signals the start of the
    New Year in this country. The ball was first dropped in 1908.
    A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the
    bottom of the glass to the top.
    Millions of people make a New Year's resolution, as it is easy to make resolutions yet often much
    harder to accomplish them.  As you get well into January, those unaccomplished New Year's
    resolutions hang over your head. Lucky for you, there is a Ditch Your New Year's Resolutions Day
    on January 17th.

  • January 1st - Independence Day in Haiti
    The Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) was a slave revolt in the French colony of Saint-Domingue,
    which culminated in the elimination of slavery there and the founding of the Haitian republic.  The
    Haitian Revolution was the only slave revolt which led to the founding of a State.  The revolution
    was one of the two successful attempts, along with the American Revolution, to achieve permanent
    independence from a European colonial power for an American state before the 19th century.  
    Furthermore, it is generally considered the most successful slave rebellion ever to have occurred
    in the Americas and as a defining moment in the history of Africans in the New World.
    Although an independent government was created in Haiti, its society continued to be deeply
    affected by the patterns established under French colonial rule.  The French established a system
    of minority rule over the illiterate poor by using violence and threats.  Because many planters had
    provided for their mixed-race children by African women by giving them education and (for men)
    training and entrée into the French military, the mulatto descendants became the elite in Haiti
    after the revolution.  By the time of war, many had used their social capital to acquire wealth,
    and some already owned land.  Some had identified more with the French colonists than the
    slaves, and associated within their own circles.
    Their domination of politics and economics after the revolution created another two-caste society,
    as most Haitians were rural subsistence farmers.  In addition, the nascent state's future was
    practically "mortgaged" to French banks in the 1820s, as it was forced to make massive
    reparations to French slaveholders in order to receive French recognition and end the nation's
    political and economic isolation.  These payments may have permanently affected Haiti's economy
    and wealth.

  • January 2nd - Run up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day
    "Run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes" is an expression.  It means to float an idea to
    see what people think, or if they notice.  The term is commonly used in advertising and print
    media.
    Run it Up the Flagpole to See if Anyone Salutes Day is set aside to allow people to do just that.  
    Be creative today. Use this day to try to test new ideas and concepts.  Do not limit the ideas to
    business applications.  In your personal life, try out a new dress or clothing style, perhaps a
    different haircut, or buy a new house-flag and run it up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes...or
    even notices.

  • January 3rd - Festival of Sleep Day
    No, you are not dreaming, but perhaps you should be, as Festival of Sleep Day is today.
    Festival of Sleep Day is an opportunity to sleep in, snooze, doze, nap, and catch 40 winks.
    We feel this is the perfect date for Festival of Sleep Day, as the holidays are over and they
    were certainly exhausting!  It is cold and snowy - a time to hibernate and why not re-charge the
    batteries as a new year of school and work begins?
    Festival of Sleep Day is a favorite holiday to catch up on a little sleep.  Whether its all day, a
    full 8 hours, or just a power nap, enjoy the day sleeping.  Cozy up in bed on the couch, or any
    other comfortable place.  Oh, and do not forget your favorite stuffed animal.  It is okay to sleep
    alone, sleep alone or with someone else.
    Warning Sleeping at work is not recommended today, or any day.  The only exception is for
    mattress testers.
    The Surgeon General has determined that sleeping is good for your health.

  • January 3rd - Fruitcake Toss Day
    Fruitcake Toss Day is your opportunity to finally throw away the old fruitcake.  After the
    holidays are over, its time to bring in the new, and toss out the old.  Today is the day that the
    fruitcake goes.  Hooray!
    There is no one way to toss out the old fruitcake, so why not have a little fun doing it?  IE:
    Gather up a few friends who also are fortunate enough to have received a fruitcake for the
    holidays.  Go out to a field and see who can toss it the farthest.
    Caution: do not toss the cake at anyone, as this weighty steel-like mass of sugar, flour and fruits
    could injure someone, if they are hit.
    Important Note: Fruitcake Tossing runs counter to the tradition of many people to pass the
    fruitcake around from one person to the next.  In this tradition, the person who is holding the
    fruitcake on New Years must store it away until the next Christmas season.
    National Fruitcake Day is December 27th.
    Just what is this stuff, and does anyone ever actually eat it?  It weighs a ton.  You only see it
    around Christmas.  Once it is made, it is indestructible and lasts forever.  You wonder, ' If I eat
    it, what will it do to me?'  Err, make that, is it even edible?  Older generations know it all too
    well.  With but one glimpse of it, younger generations often quickly dismiss it as a holiday door
    stop, and if it fits this description, then it certainly must be a Fruitcake!!!
    In Great Grandma's day, fruitcakes were as popular during the Christmas season, as ribbon
    candy.  Okay, you do not know about ribbon candy either, huh!?!  Well, as the Christmas holiday
    neared, Grandma went to work in the kitchen.  She lovingly took out all the dried fruits and nuts
    that she had so painstakingly harvested and dried during the summer months.  These precious and
    sought-after fruits, and lord knows what other goodies, were carefully added (glued??) onto, and
    mixed into a thick and heavy, sugar laden cake. Liqueurs were added.  (Artificial preservatives
    had not been invented yet.)
    The resulting fruit covered cake proved heavier and denser than anything else known to man in the
    entire universe.  It was virtually indestructible.  At this point, one must pause to appreciate the
    creator.  It was made with love by Grandma, so no one dared to turn it down when given as a
    gift.  Additionally, no one dared not to eat a bit, if offered by grandma.
    Pass the Fruicake!  The trick then (some may have considered it a game), was to get this gift of
    love from grandma, and not have to "crack" it open and eat some before she left.  With luck,
    grandma had a poor memory and would forget to ask later if you enjoyed eating it.  Meanwhile,
    mom would re-wrap the Fruitcake in a box and give it to someone, anyone.  Once put into
    circulation as a Christmas gift, a fruitcake could be passed from one person to the next dozens of
    times.  You might even be lucky and receive the same fruitcake gift twice!  In some families, you
    did not want to be the last to receive the "gift", as you would have the "joy" of eating it or
    keeping it until you could give it as a gift next Christmas.
    Allegedly, nothing destroys a fruitcake, not even time.  After the holidays, some people put it
    away until the following year, and put it right back in circulation!  Fruitcake lore suggests it has
    been eaten decades after it was made!
    If you receive a very heavy Christmas present this year, you just might be the recipient of a re-
    surging holiday tradition!

  • January 3rd - Humiliation Day
    Humiliation Day is not a day to humiliate someone. Rather, it should be viewed as a time to
    recognize the negativity of humiliating someone or a group of people.
    Perhaps too many people associate humbleness with humility, so they think today is a day to be
    humble.  Being humble is good, whereas humiliation is a negative impression placed upon someone is
    not positive or good at all.  Therefore, we can all use this day to remind us to avoid humiliating
    anyone for anything.
    We do not know the originator or the reason for Humiliation Day on January 3rd.  However, we
    have learned that a Canadian Humiliation Day is celebrated on July 1st.  Chinese Canadian
    immigrants in Canada draw attention to the Canadian government's ban on immigration of Chinese
    to the country; created in 1923.

  • January 4th - Trivia Day
    Whether the roots of Trivia Day are deep or whether the E-card dot coms established this day
    is irrelevant.  Trivia day is a fun today and any day throughout the year.
    Trivia day is an opportunity for us to share those many little trinkets of knowledge.  It does not
    matter how big or how trivial, just dazzle your friends and family with generous portions of trivia!
    Trivia Sites:
    The World Largest Trivia Page
    80's Games Trivia Games Galore
    Brain Candy Trivia Unusual facts

  • January 5th - National Bird Day
    People love birds and bird watching is a favorite pastime of millions of people.  It is the most
    popular of hobbies and can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of age.  With this popularity, it
    comes as no surprise that there is more than one day established to recognize, appreciate, and
    enjoy birds.  We suggest you celebrate all of these days.
    To ease the confusion, below is the distinct of different "bird" days:
     Bird Day is the oldest of the days set aside to recognize birds.  According to the U.S. Library
    of Congress, Bird Day was first observed on May 4, 1894.  Charles Almanzo Babcock,
    superintendent of schools in Oil City, Pennsylvania, started it.  By 1910, Bird Day was widely
    celebrated, often in conjunction with Arbor Day. Bird Day and Arbor Day events are focused upon
    conservation training and awareness.
     Bird activists established national Bird Day.  It calls upon people to recognize the plight of
    captive birds.  It also draws attention to exploitation of birds in the U.S. pet industry.  On this
    day, organizers suggest we reflect upon the conditions of birds held in captivity.
    (Note: Our research did not find any documentation that this is a "National" day.)
     International Migratory Bird Day celebrates the incredible journey that migratory birds take
    each year.  They travel thousands of miles between breeding grounds in North America, and their
    winter homes in Central and South America.  Organizers report that this is a day to both support
    and to increase awareness of conservation efforts in support of migratory birds.  They also
    suggest a field trip into the woods to look for and enjoy migrating birds.
    On each of these "Bird Days," we encourage you to take a few minutes to watch and observe
    birds, as well as to feed them.
    International Migratory Bird Day is observed on the second Saturday in May and Bird Day
    is May 4th.

  • January 6th - Three Wise Men Day, a.k.a. Epiphany (Latin America, Spain, Puerto Rico &
    Dominican Republic)
    Although not celebrated as widely or in the same way as in countries with a Spanish history, an
    official holiday in many European countries, for example Austria, Italy, Sweden, Finland,
    Liechtenstein, Slovakia and Croatia, as well as in parts of Germany and Switzerland.
    The Magi also referred to as the (Three) Wise Men, (Three) Kings, or Kings from the East, were
    in Christian tradition, a group of distinguished foreigners who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing
    gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  They are regular figures in traditional accounts of the
    nativity celebrations of Christmas and are an important part of Christian tradition.
    The Gospel of Matthew, the only one of the four Canonical gospels to mention the Magi, states
    that they came "from the east" to worship the Christ, "born King of the Jews."  Although the
    account does not tell how many they were, the three gifts led to a widespread assumption that
    they were three as well.  In the East, the magi traditionally number twelve.  Their identification
    as kings in later Christian writings is probably linked to Psalms 72:11, "May all kings fall down
    before Him".

  • January 6th - Bean Day
    Occasionally you come across a special day that just does not seem to have any rhyme or reason,
    and Bean Day appears to be one of those days.  Bean Day is day of unknown origin, and unknown
    cause but this day gets plenty of recognition from E-card companies and calendar oriented sites.
    We suggest that you celebrate this day by eating beans.  After all, "Beans, beans, they're good
    for the heart..."
    Here are just a few ways to celebrate this day:
     Newlyweds can add a few beans to their bean jar today.
     Gardeners can enjoy this day surfing through seed catalogs to select beans to grow in the
    spring.
     Read the story "Jack and the Beanstalk" to your preschoolers.
     Teachers can use bean seeds for learning exercises in course material.
     Anyone can read and learn the history of beans.
    Happy Bean Day!

  • January 6th - Cuddle Up Day
    Cuddle Up Day is an opportunity to snuggle up to someone on a cold winters' day or night.  Chances
    are it is cold outside, so cozy up to a special someone, and enjoy the warmth and love.  This day
    is enjoyed by both young and old.
    This day is a great opportunity to cuddle with your cutie, snuggle with your sweetie and/or hug
    your honey.
    Of course, you do not have to cuddle up with someone, as you can do any of the following:
     Cuddling up in your easy chair is a great idea
     Cuddling up to a pet is rewarding
     Cuddling up to a stuffed animal is quite secure and comforting
     Cuddling up with a good book is enjoyable
     Cuddling up by the fireside is warm and cozy.

  • January 6th - Christmas Eve a.k.a. Svyat Vechir (Russian & Ukrainian)
    To commemorate Christ's birth, the evening before Rizdvo, Sviat Vechir, a ritual meal is prepared
    with 12 meatless dishes. The recipes differ between the regions of Ukraine.  The Eve of the
    Nativity of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, is celebrated variously by different religious
    and cultural traditions.
    We are all heirs to some shared group tradition. We also create and develop our own ways of
    highlighting special events.  Svyat Vechir is a series of things, including culinary delights that
    identify a particular way of celebrating the Birth of Christ.  The same is true of "Reveillon" or
    "Vigilia" or "Hogmanay."  At the same time, there is no monolithic concept of "Ukrainian
    Christmas." Regional traditions influence its celebration, even across several generations of
    Ukrainians born and living in North America.  It is inevitable that mainstream and other cultural
    practices can and do blend in to create unique celebrations that often vary not only from parish to
    parish, but also from house to house!
    The Ukrainian celebration of Christ's Nativity is really a spiritual attitude that the traditions
    ideally, help develop within, which is a preparation in advance and is necessary to help put within
    the true Christ-centered nature of this holy day.
    The first way to prepare is, of course, the spiritual way.  While awaiting the Birth of Christ, the
    Church increases Her readings from the Prophets of the Old Testament who foretold His Coming.  
    It is important for last minute shopping and to find some time, in the midst of busy year-end work
    schedules, to enter into the spirituality of waiting that marks the prophetic vision.  Doubling on
    reading of the Psalms is also a good way of adorning the living tree of souls with the beauty of the
    Christmas Light.  Frequent and thoughtful reflection on the Jesus Prayer will truly activate
    spiritual awareness with the use of the "Epiclesis of Jesus Christ" and call down His saving Grace
    on hearts.  Frequent attendance at the Divine Liturgy and Communion is another excellent way to
    deepen union and relationship with Christ.  Reading of the Church Services helps to focus inner
    attention on what it is that is celebrated on the Feast of the Nativity.  In fact, everything that
    is done to prepare for the Feast of the Nativity, can be transformed into a meditation on Christ
    and His Light which He brings as His great Gift to His children.
    There are many ways to enhance mainstream cultural traditions with decorating the Christmas
    tree with small Icons on ribbons.  The Icons could represent the Nativity, the Baptism in the
    Jordan, St Nicholas, the Mother of God, St Stephen, St John the Baptist and other themes of
    the Nativity season.  Special Pysanky or decorate eggs with Christmas themes (or even
    snowflakes) could be created and adapted for use at this time.  An Icon of the Nativity should be
    placed next to the Christmas tree as a "Vertep" or Nativity Scene.  Use of Ukrainian embroidery
    should punctuate everything, of course!
    Many of the traditions associated with "Svyat-Vechir" are of pre-Christian origin that were
    "baptized" and reinterpreted following AD988, the year of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus'-Ukraine.  
    The "kutya" was always considered to be the "food of Heaven."  It was kutya or "kollivo" or a
    mixture of boiled wheat that was eaten by Christians in honor of special holidays like Name-
    days.  For funerals or periods of fasting, no poppy-seed is added. The "mak" or poppy-seed is
    blessed on the Feast of the Makabees, owing to a play on the name, in August.
    The "drink of Heaven" or a compote made of 12 fruits is also served.  All the (ideally 12) dishes
    are in fact meatless, something that was also done in pre-Christian times as a kind of sacrifice.  
    The number "12" bears strong Christian significance owing to the number of the Apostles.  It
    actually reflects the 12 months of the year spent in Christ, the "year of the Lord" and the 12
    tribes of the New Israel which is the Body of Christ of which we are members.
    The "didukh" or wheat-sheaf is a sacred object during the Feast of the Nativity.  Like the kernel
    that dies in the ground before it sprouts, the wheat-sheaf represents our Resurrection from the
    dead through Christ who became our life-giving Wheat in the Bread of Holy Communion.  The
    double table clothe and the special place set aside for reposed relatives and friends is not meant
    to be something that is sad.  These celebrate and proclaim our Eternal Life in Christ and His
    Salvation so that even those who have died in Him join as one Family during the celebration of the
    awesome Mystery of the Incarnation of Christ our God.
    The Kolach or triple-braided bread that is placed on the table also heralds the arrival of the
    Bread of Life who revealed to us the Holy Trinity.
    The sharing of the honeyed bread with everyone before the meal celebrates the both the Bread
    of Life and the sweetness of the Yoke of Christ.  Indeed, we are truly brought into the land of
    milk and honey through Christ Who blesses us from the manger.
    Svyat Vechir is truly mystical in that time is held still. This is why the Nativity greeting is
    always in the present, ongoing tense: "Christ is (being) Born!"  The modern Ukrainian translation of
    "Khrystos Rodyvsia" or "Christ was Born" is theologically incorrect.  It is perhaps better to
    maintain the form closer to the Church Slavonic "Khrystos Rozhdayetsia!"
    During the Svyat Vechir, it is always good to keep secular conversation to a minimum.  How many
    times do we hear people complain about their jobs and the pressures of daily life.  Yet, when they
    come to the Svyat Vechir celebration, that is all anyone seems to want to talk about - that and
    the stock market!  This day is not set aside to profane this holy eve with such nonsense.  
    Instead, it is marked to keep work behind the closed door of offices and learn to relax and keep
    festival in the Lord.
    The singing of kolyady or carols is an important part of the spiritual celebration of Christmas.  
    One good way of getting everyone to join in is to have a small hymn-book present beside each
    placement setting at the table.  Beginning prayers should always include the veneration of a small
    Icon of the Nativity, which could be passed around for everyone to reverence with a holy kiss.  
    This Icon could then be placed near the Kolach.  Placing hay on the table under the cloth and
    underneath the table with carpenter's tools also helps the carpenter's shop and us to take our
    thoughts to the manger in Bethlehem of long ago.  Even the Christmas pine tree could serve as a
    reminder of the Cross as, according to tradition, the Cross was made up of three types of wood,
    the pine, the cedar and the cypress (Isaiah 60:13).  The Svyat Vechir is not a "quaint" custom,
    but an important celebration of our Home Church.  The celebration begins at home and continues
    at the Cathedral with the Bishop or Metropolitan as a Liturgical Assembly.  All is one in Christ
    Who, as the carol sings, "unites Earth to Heaven."  All is bathed in light, love and hope.
    Happiness and fulfillment are liberated from the crassness of the mundane as our spirits soar
    toward Christ among all.
    Christ is Born!  Let us glorify Him!

  • January 7th - Old Rock Day
    Old Rock Day is an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate old rocks and fossils.  Perhaps you can
    start a rock collection.  You can go out on a field trip in search of old fossils (the rock kind). If
    you choose, you can just play with old rocks.
    There are many fun-filled, yet ill defined, wild and wacky holidays.  This is one of them.  There
    is little information available on what this day was truly meant to mean, so the interpretation and
    the means of celebration is left up to you.
    By definition, fossils are old rocks.  Jewelry stones are old rocks, as well as coal is an old rock,
    too.  You can celebrate any or all of these old rocks today.
    We do not know the originator or the reason for Old Rock Day, but without doubt, its roots could
    be as old as a fossil.

  • January 7th - Coptic and Russian Orthodox Church Christmas
    The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is the official name for the largest Christian church in
    Egypt and the Middle East.  The Church belongs to the Oriental Orthodox family of churches,
    which has been a distinct church body since the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, when it took a
    different position over Christological theology from that of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  The
    precise differences in theology that caused the split with the Coptic Christians are still disputed,
    highly technical and mainly concerned with the nature of Christ.  The foundational roots of the
    Church are based in Egypt but it has a worldwide following.  The church was established by Saint
    Mark, an apostle and evangelist, in the middle of the 1st century (approximately AD 42).  The
    head of the church and the See of Alexandria is the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All
    Africa on the Holy See of Saint Mark.  As of 2012, about 10% of Egyptians belong to the Coptic
    Orthodox Church of Alexandria.
    The Russian Orthodox Church headed by the Moscow Patriarchate, also known as the Orthodox
    Christian Church of Russia, is a body of Christians who constitute an autocephalous Eastern
    Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Moscow, in communion with other
    Eastern Orthodox Churches.  The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox
    churches in the world.  Including all the autocephalous churches under its supervision, its
    adherents number over 150 million worldwide — about half of the 300 million estimated adherents
    of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  Among Christian churches, the Russian Orthodox Church is
    second only to the Roman Catholic Church in terms of numbers of followers.  Within Russia, the
    results of a 2007 VCIOM poll indicated that about 75% of the population considered themselves
    Orthodox Christians.  Up to 65% of ethnic Russians and a similar percentage of Belarusians and
    Ukrainians identify themselves as "Orthodox".  However, according to a poll published by the
    highly respected church related journal Pravmir in December 2012, only 41% of the Russian
    population identify itself with the Russian Orthodox Church.  Pravmir also published a 2012 poll by
    the respected Levada organization VTsIOM indicating that 74% of Russians consider themselves
    Orthodox.  According to figures released on February 2, 2010, the Church has 160 dioceses
    including 30,142 parishes served by 207 bishops, 28,434 priests and 3,625 deacons.  There are
    788 monasteries, including 386 for men and 402 for women.  The ROC should not be confused with
    the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), a self-governing part of the Russian Orthodox Church that
    traces its existence in North America from the time of the Russian Orthodox missionaries in
    Alaska in the late 18th century and the Russian settlement at Fort Ross on the Pacific coast in
    California in the early 19th century.  The oldest OCA Russian Orthodox church in the lower forty-
    eight states, established in 1857, is Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco.  After the Russian
    Revolution, in the 1920s, the Russian Orthodox Church in America began to function de facto as an
    autocephalous church and attained de jure autocephalous status in 1970.  The ROC should also not
    be confused with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (also known as the Russian Orthodox
    Church Abroad, or ROCOR), headquartered in New York.  The ROCOR was instituted in the 1920s
    by Russian communities outside then Communist Russia, which refused to recognize the authority of
    the Moscow Patriarchate headed by Metropolitan Sergius Stragorodsky.  The two Churches
    reconciled on May 17, 2007; the ROCOR is now a self-governing part of the Russian Orthodox
    Church.

  • January 8th - Bubble Bath Day
    Bubble baths are so much fun, that we wish everyday could be Bubble Bath Day.  Today is a fun
    day to relax and enjoy the warm and soothing pleasures of a bubble bath.  On Bubble Bath Day,
    there are a couple of ways to enjoy your bubble bath, but it does depend upon how old you are.
     For kids: It is simple: Just fill the tub with bubbles and toys, then hop in and play!
     For the ladies: It is time to relax!  Fill the tub with bubbly water.  Hop in and just enjoy the
    soothing water and bubbles.  Before hoping in, set the mood with candles placed (safely) around
    the bathroom and tub.  Add a radio playing softly on the counter.
     For the guys: Do not feel left out!  With permission, you can hop in, too!  Get in touch with
    your feminine side, and make sure the candles are lit.  You can relax and/or play.  The proper
    sequence is relax, play, relax. We highly recommend both!  Oh, and don't forget your rubber ducky!
    We did not find any information about the origin of Bubble Bath Day, but most likely, someone who
    needed to relax after a tough day created it.

  • January 8th - Male Watcher's Day
    Ladies, here is a day that you can thoroughly enjoy!  Male Watcher's Day is for all of you ladies
    out there to go out and watch the guys.  After all, they have their fun watching you, so now it is
    your turn!
    You can perform your Male Watching just about anywhere that suits your fancy.  Popular places
    include:
     Watching them at work on the job, especially labor jobs where short shirts cover flowing
    muscles.
     On the beach (too bad this day is in January.)
     Watching your favorite guy working on a home project you wanted done.
     At a singles bar or sports bar.
     At the mall.  Yes, it is time to get even.  This is where more than one guy has been known to
    visit for the sole purpose of watching the ladies.  (This may be your favorite.)
    It is okay to perform Male Watching discreetly, or quite visibly.  Single, unattached ladies may
    prefer to be seen male watching for obvious reasons.  Sorry guys, but we did not find a special
    "Girl Watcher's Day" for you, but then isn't every day Girl Watcher's Day?

  • January 9th - Play God Day
    Our research did not discover any information on the meaning or purpose of this day.  What we do
    know is that God is good.  Therefore, we believe that Play God Day is a day to do something good
    and extra special.  You may do it knowingly or anonymously, just make sure your aim is to do
    something good and positive.
    To mark this day, we suggest that you do something good that will make a difference.  Anything
    that fits this definition is appropriate.  You do not have to make it something miraculous.  It can
    be something simple, like visiting someone who is ill, or helping someone in need.  Giving God thanks
    or a prayer is also appropriate for this day.

  • January 10th - Houseplant Appreciation Day
    The holidays are over.  The decorations have been put away for another year.  The house looks a
    little plain, a little drab.  In the grayishness of January, your eye catches something in the
    corner of the room.  It is a houseplant!  Funny, but with all of the holiday hubabuloo, you have all
    but forgotten your houseplants.
    Today is THEE day to get back to tending to and loving your houseplants, and it is a day to
    appreciate just how special and important they are.
    Houseplants are therapeutic, lifting your mood and outlook.  They add warmth and a calming
    effect.  If you are a gardener, they give you an opportunity to play in the dirt until spring arrives
    in the far distant future.
    Growing houseplants is pretty easy.  They need a little sunlight, water, occasional nutrients, and a
    little love.
    Celebrate Houseplant Appreciation Day by:
     Start by making sure that the houseplants you already have are well watered. Give them a
    special treats today, even a little fertilizer.
     If you do not have any houseplants, or just have a couple, buy a new houseplant - or two - on
    this day.
     Learn more about the benefits of houseplants to your health.
     Teach your kids about growing and caring for plants.
     Stand by your houseplant and breathe in the air, as it is giving off oxygen.
     Give a houseplant to a friend, especially the elderly or shut-ins.
     Talk to your plants. Yes, people believe plants respond positively when you talk to them.
    Houseplants take in the carbon dioxide that you exhale, and give off oxygen, just for you!
    This holiday was created by the folks at The Gardener's Network, and was created for two
    reasons:
    1. To remind people after the holidays that their forgotten houseplants need a little attention.
    2. To celebrate beneficial houseplants and to encourage growing houseplants.
    Growing houseplants is pretty easy.  They need a little sunlight, water, occasional nutrients, and a
    little love.
    Click HERE for growing houseplants.
    Flower of the Day: African Violet, a very popular houseplant.

  • January 10th - Peculiar People Day
    Peculiar People Day is in honor of uniquely different people, they include unordinary, extraordinary,
    unusual, strange, odd, uncommon, intriguing, different, abnormal, and quirky… all things that we
    think of to describe the word "peculiar".  Most of these characteristics can be viewed as good, or
    not so good, however, today is a day to look for the good in your peculiar acquaintances.
    If you are peculiar, this is your day to be honored and appreciated.  Chances are, you will find
    something peculiar about yourself if you look hard enough.  If you cannot find anything peculiar
    about yourself, then give some recognition and appreciation to your quirky friends and family.

  • January 11th - National Human Trafficking Awareness Day
    Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
    It is estimated that more than 20 million men, women and children around the world are victims of
    human trafficking.  The United States is a source, transit and destination country for some of
    these men, women and children — both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals — who are subjected to
    the injustices of human trafficking, including forced labor, debt bondage, involuntary servitude,
    and sex trafficking.  
    The Administration for Children and Families has worked for more than a decade to better
    identify and serve victims of human trafficking, among the most marginalized and under-recognized
    members of our community.
    Victims of human trafficking need support to safely rebuild their lives.  Under the Trafficking
    Victims Protection Act of 2000, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is named as
    the agency responsible for helping human trafficking victims get the benefits and services they
    need.
    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) envisions children, youth, families, individuals,
    and communities who are resilient, safe, healthy, and economically secure.

  • January 11th - Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend's Day
    Despite extensive research, we did not find any factual information on this day.  Step in a Puddle
    and Splash Your Friends Day is undoubtedly a day just for mischievous fun.  After all, any kid
    knows that splashing, and jumping into puddles is fun and when that results in splashing a friend,
    your joy is complete.
    We sure would like to find the creators of this day.  This day is held in mid January when many
    puddles are frozen!
    Note: We do not encourage you to splash your friends, as it is a quick way to lose a friend and
    have two moms angry with you.  Alternatively, we are just reporting and describing the day!

  • January 12th - Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day
    Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day just could be your day, that is if you are a fabulous wild guy.
    Despite some deep diving into the internet, we have been unable to determine the roots or reason
    for this day, but the fact that this is referred to as a feast is intriguing.  We can only speculate
    that the reference means to feast your eyes on some fabulous wild men.  So ladies, we suggest
    you check out the top 10 sexiest men.  They are readily accessible via a web search.

  • January 12th - National Pharmacist Day
    National Pharmacist Day honors pharmacists and recognizes their important role in medical care.
    A Pharmacist must be knowledgeable of the chemistry of all medicines.  They can inform you of
    drugs' side effects, and all aspects of prescription medicine.  Most importantly, they understand
    and recognize the interaction of drugs together, as many people take numerous drugs.
    National Pharmacist Day recognizes this important role. If you are in the pharmacy today, make
    sure to wish your pharmacist a good day.  Gifts and cards are not required.
    Pharmacist Day Quiz: What was the first name of Mr. Gower, the pharmacist in the movie "It's
    a Wonderful Life"?
    Answer: Mr. Emil Gower was the Pharmacist.  Upset over the death of his son in the war, Mr.
    Gower accidentally filled a prescription with cyanide.  George Bailey caught the mistake. Mr.
    Gower was played by H.B. Warner (1875-1958).

  • January 13th - Make Your Dream Come True Day
    Make Your Dream Come True Day gives you the opportunity to do something to realize your goals
    and dreams.  Whatever your dreams, they usually do not come true without some effort on your
    part, so today is the perfect opportunity to do something about it.
    On this day, do something - anything - to move in the direction of achieving your dreams.  Sure,
    sometimes it takes several steps to accomplish them, but today as a time to get started on them,
    and with a little effort, they will come true!
    Favorite Song of Dreamers: Somewhere over the Rainbow and If I had a Million Dollars.

  • January 14th - Dress Up Your Pet Day
    Dress Up Your Pet Day gives you the opportunity to dress up your pet!
    This day is an opportunity to really dress up your pet(s).  Make something for them to wear, or go
    to a pet store and buy an outfit.  It is winter, so something warm is best.  (Sorry, but we do not
    have any ideas on how to dress up goldfish.)
    Some pets like to get dressed up, while others want nothing to do with it, so decide wisely.

  • January 14th - Makara Sankranthi a.k.a. Festival of Harvest (India)
    Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious occasions for the Hindus, and is celebrated in
    almost all parts of India in myriad cultural forms, with great devotion, fervor, and gaiety.  It is
    a harvest festival. Makar Sankranti is perhaps the only Indian festival whose date always falls on
    the same day every year on, January 14, with some exception, when the festival is celebrated on
    January 13 or January 15.  Makar Sankranti is also believed to mark the arrival of summer in
    India.

  • January 15th - Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
    Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.  King, both a Baptist
    minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States,
    beginning in the mid-1950s.  Among many efforts, King headed the Southern Christian Leadership
    Conference (SCLC.)  Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation
    of Black African American citizens in the South and other areas of the nation.  In addition, King
    implemented both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  He received
    the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors.  King was assassinated in April 1968,
    but continues to be remembered as one of the most lauded Black African-American leaders in
    history, often referenced by his 1963 speech, "I Have a Dream."
    Early Years
    Born as Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. was the middle child of
    Michael King Sr. and Alberta Williams King.  The King and Williams families were rooted in rural
    Georgia.  Martin Jr.'s grandfather, A.D. Williams, was a rural minister for years and then moved
    to Atlanta in 1893.  He took over the small, struggling Ebenezer Baptist church with around 13
    members and made it into a forceful congregation.  He married Jennie Celeste Parks and they had
    one child that survived, her name was Alberta.  Michael King Sr. came from a sharecropper family
    in a poor farming community.  He married Alberta in 1926 after an eight-year courtship.  The
    newlyweds moved to A.D. Williams home in Atlanta.
    Michael King Sr. stepped in as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church upon the death of his father-in-
    law in 1931.  He too became a successful minister, and adopted the name Martin Luther King Sr.
    in honor of the German Protestant religious leader Martin Luther.  In due time, Michael Jr. would
    follow his father's lead and adopt the name himself.
    Young Martin had an older sister, Willie Christine, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams
    King.  The King children grew up in a secure and loving environment.  Martin Sr. was more the
    disciplinarian, while his wife's gentleness easily balanced out the father's more strict hand.  
    Though they undoubtedly tried, Martin Jr.’s parents could not shield him completely from racism.  
    Martin Luther King Sr. fought against racial prejudice, not just because his race suffered, but
    because he considered racism and segregation to be an affront to God's will.  He strongly
    discouraged any sense of class superiority in his children which left a lasting impression on Martin
    Jr.
    Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King Jr. entered public school at age 5.  In May
    1936, he was baptized, but the event made little impression on him.  In May 1941, Martin was
    12 years old when is grandmother, Jennie, died of a heart attack.  The event was traumatic for
    Martin, more so because he was out watching a parade against his parents' wishes when she died.  
    Distraught at the news, young Martin jumped from a second story window at the family home,
    allegedly attempting suicide.
    King attended Booker T. Washington High School, where he was said to be a precocious student.
    He skipped both the ninth and eleventh grades, and entered Morehouse College in Atlanta at age
    15, in 1944.  He was a popular student, but an unmotivated student who floated though his first
    two years.  Although his family was deeply involved in the church and worship, young Martin
    questioned religion in general and felt uncomfortable with overly emotional displays of religious
    worship.  This discomfort continued through much of his adolescence, initially leading him to decide
    against entering the ministry, much to his father's dismay.  Nevertheless, in his junior year,
    Martin took a Bible class, renewed his faith and began to envision a career in the ministry.  In
    the fall of his senior year, he told his father of his decision.
    Education and Spiritual Growth
    In 1948, Martin Luther King Jr. earned a sociology degree from Morehouse College and attended
    the liberal Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania.  He thrived in all his studies,
    was valedictorian of his class in 1951, and elected student body president.  He also earned a
    fellowship for graduate study, but Martin also rebelled against his father’s more conservative
    influence by drinking beer and playing pool while at college.  He became involved with a white
    woman and went through a difficult time before he could break off the affair.
    During his last year in seminary, Martin Luther King Jr. came under the influence of theologian
    Reinhold Niebbuhr, a classmate of his father's at Morehouse College.  Niebbuhr became a mentor
    to Martin, challenging his liberal views of theology.  Niebuhr was probably the single most
    important influence in Martin's intellectual and spiritual development.  After being accepted at
    several colleges for his doctoral study including Yale and Edinburgh in Scotland, King enrolled in
    Boston University.
    During the work on this doctorate, Martin Luther King Jr. met Coretta Scott, an aspiring singer
    and musician at the New England Conservatory school in Boston.  They were married in June 1953
    and had four children, Yolanda, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott, and Bernice.  In 1954,
    while still working on his dissertation, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church of
    Montgomery, Alabama.  He completed his Ph.D. and was award his degree in 1955.  King was only
    25 years old.
    Montgomery Bus Boycott
    On March 2, 1955, a 15-year-old girl refused to give up her seat to a white man on a
    Montgomery City bus in violation of local law.  Claudette Colvin was arrested and taken to jail.  At
    first, the local chapter of the NAACP felt they had an excellent test case to challenge
    Montgomery's segregated bus policy, but then it was revealed that she was pregnant and civil
    rights leaders feared this would scandalize the deeply religious Black community and make Colvin
    (and, thus the group's efforts) less credible in the eyes of sympathetic whites.
    On December 1, 1955, they got another chance to make their case.  That evening, 42-year-old
    Rosa Parks boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus to go home from an exhausting day at work.
    She sat in the first row of the "colored" section in the middle of the bus.  As the bus traveled
    its route, all the seats in the white section filled up, then several more white passengers boarded
    the bus.  The bus driver noted that there were several white men standing and demanded that
    Parks and several other Black African Americans give up their seats.  Three Black African
    American passengers reluctantly gave up their places but Parks remained seated.  The driver
    asked her again to give up her seat and again she refused.  Parks was arrested and booked for
    violating the Montgomery City Code.  At her trial a week later, in a 30-minute hearing, Parks was
    found guilty and fined $10 and assessed $4 court fee.
    On the night that Rosa Parks was arrested, E.D. Nixon, head of the local NAACP chapter met
    with Martin Luther King Jr. and other local civil rights leaders to plan a citywide bus boycott.  
    King was elected to lead the boycott because he was young, skillfully qualified with solid family
    connections and had professional standing.  Additionally, he was new to the community and had few
    enemies, so it was felt he would have strong credibility with the Black community.
    In his first speech as the group's president, King declared, "We have no alternative but to
    protest.  For many years, we have shown an amazing patience.  We have sometimes given our
    white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated.  But we come here
    tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and
    justice."
    Martin Luther King Jr.'s fresh and skillful eloquence put a new energy into the civil rights struggle
    in Alabama.  The bus boycott would be 382 days of walking to work, harassment, violence and
    intimidation for the Montgomery's Black African American community.  Both King's and E.D.
    Nixon's homes were attacked.  But the African-American community also took legal action against
    the City ordinance arguing that it was unconstitutional based on the Supreme Court's "separate is
    never equal" decision in Brown v. Board of Education.  After being defeated in several lower court
    rulings and suffering large financial losses, the City of Montgomery lifted the law mandating
    segregated public transportation.
    The Southern Christian Leadership Conference
    Flush with victory, Black African American civil rights leaders recognized the need for a national
    organization to help coordinate their efforts.  In January 1957, Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph
    Abernathy, 60 ministers and civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership
    Conference (SCLC) to harness the moral authority and organizing power of Black churches.  They
    would help conduct nonviolent protests to promote civil rights reform.  King's participation in the
    organization gave him a base of operation throughout the South, as well as a national platform.  
    The organization felt the best place to start to give Black African Americans a voice was to
    enfranchise them in the voting process.  In February 1958, the SCLC sponsored more than 20
    mass meetings in essential southern Cities to register Black voters in the South.
    King met with religious and civil rights leaders and lectured all over the country on race-related
    issues.
    In 1959, with the help of the American Friends Service Committee, and inspired by Gandhi's
    success with non-violent activism, Martin Luther King visited Gandhi's birthplace in India.  The
    trip affected him in a deeply profound way, increasing his commitment to America's civil rights
    struggle. Black African American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who had studied Gandhi's
    teachings, became one of King's associates and counseled him to dedicate himself to the principles
    of nonviolence.  Rustin served as King's mentor and advisor throughout his early activism and was
    the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.  However, Rustin was a controversial figure
    at the time, being a homosexual with alleged ties to the Communist Party, USA.  Though his
    counsel was invaluable to King, many of his other supporters urged him to distance himself from
    Rustin.
    In February 1960, a group of Black African American students began what became known as the
    "sit-in" movement in Greensboro, North Carolina.  The students would sit at racially segregated
    lunch counters in the city's stores.  When asked to leave or sit in the colored section, they just
    remained seated, subjecting themselves to verbal and sometimes physical abuse.  The movement
    quickly gained traction in several other Cities.
    In April 1960, the SCLC held a conference at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina with
    local sit-in leaders.  Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged students to continue to use nonviolent
    methods during their protests.  Out of this meeting, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating
    Committee formed and for a time, worked closely with the SCLC.  By August of 1960, the sit-ins
    had been successful in ending segregation at lunch counters in 27 southern Cities.
    By 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. was gaining national notoriety.  He returned to Atlanta to
    become co-pastor with his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church, but also continued his civil rights
    efforts.  On October 19, 1960, King and 75 students entered a local department store and
    requested lunch-counter service but were denied.  When they refused to leave the counter area,
    King and 36 others were arrested.  Realizing the incident would hurt the City's reputation,
    Atlanta's mayor negotiated a truce and charges were eventually dropped.  Soon after, King was
    imprisoned for violating his probation on a traffic conviction.  The news of his imprisonment
    entered the 1960 presidential campaign, when candidate John F. Kennedy made a telephone call to
    Coretta Scott King.  Kennedy expressed his concern for King's harsh treatment for the traffic
    ticket and political pressure was quickly set in motion.  King was soon released.
    'I Have a Dream'
    In the spring of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. organized a demonstration in downtown Birmingham,
    Alabama.  Entire families attended.  City police turned dogs and fire hoses on demonstrators.  
    Martin Luther King was jailed along with large numbers of his supporters, but the event drew
    nationwide attention.  However, Black and white clergy alike personally criticized King for taking
    risks and endangering the children who attended the demonstration.  From the jail in Birmingham,
    King eloquently spelled out his theory of non-violence: "Nonviolent direct action seeks to create
    such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community, which has constantly refused to
    negotiate, is forced to confront the issue."
    By the end of the Birmingham campaign, Martin Luther King Jr. and his supporters were making
    plans for a massive demonstration on the nation's capital composed of multiple organizations, all
    asking for peaceful change.
    On August 28, 1963, the historic March on Washington drew more than 200,000 people in the
    shadow of the Lincoln Memorial.  It was here that King made his famous "I Have a Dream"
    speech, emphasizing his belief that someday all men could be brothers.
    The rising tide of civil rights agitation produced a strong effect on public opinion.  Many people in
    Cities not experiencing racial tension began to question the nation's Jim Crow laws and the near
    century second class treatment of Black African American citizens.  This resulted in the passage
    of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 authorizing the federal government to enforce desegregation of
    public accommodations and outlawing discrimination in publicly owned facilities.  This also led to
    Martin Luther King receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for 1964.
    King's struggle continued throughout the 1960s.  Often, it seemed as though the pattern of
    progress was two steps forward and one step back.
    On March 7, 1965, a civil rights march, planned from Selma to Alabama's capital in Montgomery,
    turned violent as police with nightsticks and tear gas met the demonstrators as they tried to
    cross the Edmond Pettus Bridge.  King was not in the march, however the attack was televised
    showing horrifying images of marchers being bloodied and severely injured.  Seventeen
    demonstrators were hospitalized leading to the naming the event "Bloody Sunday."  A second march
    was cancelled due to a restraining order to prevent the march from taking place.  A third march
    was planned and this time King made sure he was on it.  Not wanting to alienate southern judges
    by violating the restraining order, a different tact was taken.
    On March 9, 1965, a procession of 2,500 marchers, both Black and white, set out once again to
    cross the Pettus Bridge and confronted barricades and State troopers.  Instead of forcing a
    confrontation, King led his followers to kneel in prayer and they then turned back.  The event
    caused King the loss of support among some younger Black African American leaders, but it
    nonetheless aroused support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
    From late 1965 through 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. expanded his Civil Rights Movement into
    other larger American Cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles.  But he met with increasing
    criticism and public challenges from young Black-power leaders.  King's patient, nonviolent approach
    and appeal to white middleclass citizens alienated many Black militants who considered his methods
    too weak and too late.
    In the eyes of the sharp-tongued, blue jean young urban Black, King's manner was irresponsibly
    passive and deemed noneffective.  To address this criticism King began making a link between
    discrimination and poverty.  He expanded his civil rights efforts to the Vietnam War.  He felt
    that America's involvement in Vietnam was politically untenable and the government's conduct of
    the war discriminatory to the poor.  He sought to broaden his base by forming a multi-race
    coalition to address economic and unemployment problems of all disadvantaged people.
    Legacy
    By 1968, the years of demonstrations and confrontations were beginning to wear on Martin Luther
    King Jr.  He had grown tired of marches, going to jail, and living under the constant threat of
    death.  He was becoming discouraged at the slow progress civil rights in America and the
    increasing criticism from other Black African American leaders.  Plans were in the works for
    another march on Washington to revive his movement and bring attention to a widening range of
    issues.  In the spring of 1968, a labor strike by Memphis sanitation workers drew King to one last
    crusade.
    On April 3, in what proved to be an eerily prophetic speech, he told supporters, "I've seen the
    promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a
    people, will get to the promised land."  The next day, while standing on a balcony outside his room
    at the Lorraine Motel, Martin Luther King Jr. was struck by a sniper's bullet.  The shooter, a
    malcontent drifter and former convict named James Earl Ray, was eventually apprehended after a
    two-month, international manhunt.  The killing sparked riots and demonstrations in more than 100
    Cities across the Country.
    In 1969, Ray pleaded guilty to assassinating King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison.  He
    died in prison on April 23, 1998.
    Martin Luther King Jr.'s life had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States.  Years
    after his death, he is the most widely known Black African American leader of his era.  His life
    and work have been honored with a national holiday, schools and public buildings named after him,
    and a memorial on Independence Mall in Washington, D.C.  However, his life remains controversial
    as well.  In the 1970s, FBI files, released under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that
    he was under government surveillance, and suggested his involvement in communist influences.  Over
    the years, extensive archival studies have led to a more balanced and comprehensive assessment
    of his life, portraying him as a complex figure: flawed, fallible and limited in his control over the
    mass movements with which he was associated, yet a visionary leader who was deeply committed
    to achieving social justice through nonviolent means.
    Quote:
    "I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that
    we, as a people, will get to the promised land."
  • January 19th - National Popcorn Day
    The origins of this holiday are unknown, and we have yet to find any information or documentation
    to confirm this is a true "National" day, but do not let that pop or burst your bubble, err pop your
    corn that is.  It is a day to celebrate healthy - until you load it with salt and butter - and
    addicting popcorn.
    Strangely, National Popcorn Day is in January, yet National Popcorn Month is October.  According
    to tradition, it is celebrated on January 19th each year.  There is some suggestion that Popcorn
    Day may, at one point, have been tied to the Superbowl.  And, we found one reference to it being
    on January 30th.
    Nonetheless, on National Popcorn Day, we suggest you pop up some fresh popcorn, kick back and
    enjoy!
    Also note that "Caramel Popcorn Day" is April 7th.
    Click HERE for Popcorn Trivia.

  • January 20th - Feast of the Santo Nino (Philippines)
    The Santo Niño de Cebú (Spanish: Holy Child of Cebu) is a celebrated Roman Catholic religious
    vested statue of the Child Jesus venerated by many Filipino Catholics who believe it to be
    miraculous.
    Claiming to be the oldest religious image in the Philippines, the statue was originally given in 1521
    as a baptismal gift by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan via Antonio Pigafetta, who physically
    handed it to Lady Humamay, the principal wife of Rajah Humabon, along with a statue of the Our
    Lady of Guidance and a surviving bust statue of Ecce Homo.
    The Santo Niño image is replicated in many homes and business establishments, with different
    titles reinterpreted in various areas of the country.  The image's feast is liturgically celebrated
    every third Sunday of January, during which devotees carry a portable Santo Nino image onto the
    street fiesta dancing celebrations.  The image is one of the most beloved and recognizable cultural
    icons in the Philippines, found in both religious and secular areas.

  • January 20th - National Butter-Crunch Day
    Butter crunch lovers, today is your day, as it is National Butter-Crunch Day.  Today you can
    enjoy butter crunch ice cream, candy, or anything with butter crunch.
    Celebrate this day by eating one of your favorite butter crunch snacks. Make it your personal goal
    to have something with butter crunch at each mea, and as a snack.  Then tomorrow, you can
    return to the diet.

  • January 20th - Penguin Awareness Day
    Penguin Awareness Day and World Penguin Day are great opportunities to learn about and
    appreciate one of the few natives of Antarctica.  On these days, spend a little time learning
    about them - a pictorial book or internet site is fun.  You can also watch a documentary of these
    cute and popular, grounded birds.
    These days are also a time to wear black and white---penguin colors.  However, wearing a tuxedo
    in their honor is optional.  Notwithstanding, it is popular today to tell a penguin joke or two.
    Origin of Penguin Days: World Penguin Day coincides with the annual northward migration of
    penguins. This happens each year on or around April 25th.  Penguins do not fly, but rather, walk or
    waddle their way to and from.
    Penguin Facts: Penguins are found in Antarctica, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile,
    Peru, the Falkland Islands, and the Galapagos Islands.  Elsewhere, they are only found in zoos.
    World Penguin Day is April 25th
    Our research did not uncover any information about the origin of Penguin Awareness Day, and found
    no consensus on the date.  However, we found several conflicting dates in January.  (If anyone can
    provide information about this day, please contact us.)

  • January 20th - Pongal (India)
    Thai Pongal or Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in South India at the end of the harvest
    season.  It is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Tamils in the Indian state of
    Tamil Nadu, the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry and Sri Lanka.
    Pongal marks the beginning of the northward journey of the Sun from its southernmost-limit, a
    movement traditionally referred to as uttarayana.  It coincides with the festival Makara
    Sankranthi celebrated throughout India as the winter harvest, and is usually held from January
    13–16 in the Gregorian calendar i.e. from the last day of the Tamil month Maargazhi to the third
    day of Thai.  The second of the four days or the first day of month Thai is the main day of the
    festival which is known as Pongal or Thai Pongal. This also represents the Indic solstice when the
    sun purportedly enters the 10th house of the Indian zodiac i.e. Makar or Capricorn.
    The word pongal itself refers to the "boiling over" of milk and rice during the month of Thai.  The
    saying "Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum" meaning "the commencement of Thai paves the way for new
    opportunities" is often quoted regarding the Pongal festival.  Tamils thank the Sun god (Surya) for
    the good harvest and consecrate the first grain to him on this 'Surya Mangalyam'.  Tamilians
    decorate their homes with banana and mango leaves and embellish the floor with decorative
    patterns drawn using rice flour.

  • January 21st - National Hugging Day
    National Hugging Day was created in 1986 by Rev. Kevin Zaborney from Caro, Michigan.  
    Strangely, this day is copyrighted.  One would think that hugs should be given freely and without
    recourse.  Regardless, we are thankful to the Reverend Zaborney for creating this day and would
    love to thank him with a big hug.
    Today is National Hugging Day, and what a great day it is!  Today is an opportunity to give and to
    receive a hug.  Sure, someone might not hug back, but that does not often happen.  (Just make
    sure you get permission first!)
    Hugs are loving, therapeutic, caring and celebratory.  Additionally, they make you feel good inside.
    Celebrate today by giving hugs to family, friends and loved ones.  You will love the warm feeling
    you get.

  • January 21st - Squirrel Appreciation Day
    Christy Hargrove from Asheville, North Carolina started Squirrel Appreciation Day on January 21,
    2001.  Christy is a wildlife rehabilitator in North Carolina, and is affiliated with the Western
    North Carolina Nature Center.
    Squirrel Appreciation Day is an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate your tree climbing, nut
    gathering neighborhood squirrels.
    It has held in midwinter when food sources are scarce for squirrels and other wildlife.  Sure,
    squirrels spent all fall gathering and "squirreling " away food, but their supplies may not be enough
    and the variety of food is limited.  So, give them an extra special treat today to supplement their
    winter diets.
    Not everyone likes squirrels.  While they are fun to watch skirting around the yard and trees,
    they are aggressive at bird feeders.  Squirrels tip almost any bird feeder and spill the seeds in
    search of the particular seeds they want.  In the fall, they attack pumpkins on front porches in
    search of the seeds inside. For gardeners they dig up and steal flower bulbs, and may eat some of
    the garden vegetables.
    When you think about it, mid winter is the best time to appreciate squirrels. In the winter, they
    provide a little entertainment.  During other times of the year, you may look at them as a pest in
    the flower and vegetable gardens.
    According to Christy Hargrove, the founder, "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."

  • January 22nd - National Blonde Brownie Day
    National Blonde Brownie Day is a special day that is set aside to bake and eat blonde brownies.
    Traditionally, brownies are a dark brown, but to make blonde brownies, light brown sugar is used
    in the recipe in place of dark brown chocolate.
    On National Blonde Brownie Day, it is your right and responsibility to bake blonde brownies and eat
    them.  If you do not have time to bake today, buy some and eat a few extra blonde brownies.
    Note: The use of nuts and frosting on your brownies is optional.

  • January 23rd - National Pie Day
    The American Pie Council created national Pie Day.  The American Pie Celebration began in 1986
    to commemorate Crisco's 75th anniversary of "serving foods to families everywhere."  The
    American Pie Council created this day simply to celebrate the pie.
    National Pie Day is a special day that is set aside to bake and cook all of your favorite pies.  On
    this day, you are also encouraged to bake a few new pie recipes, but most importantly to eat them!
    A great way to celebrate National Pie Day is to bake some pies and give them away to friends,
    neighbors, and relatives.  You never know, you may be starting a tradition of pie giving between
    your friends and family.
    The American Pie Council sponsors the National Pie Championships.  Some of the best pie makers in
    the world enter their pies.  Perhaps you will enter and win the "American Pie Council's Best Pie in
    America" award.
    NOTE: Charlie Papazian of the examiner.com also claims to have started this day in 1975.  He
    says he selected this date because it is his birth date.
    Recipe of the Day: Gramma's Homemade Apple Pie.

    According to the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) website, "The purpose of
    National Handwriting Day is to alert the public to the importance of handwriting. According to
    WIMA, National Handwriting Day is a chance for all of us to re-explore the purity and power of
    handwriting."
    The Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association in 1977 established national Handwriting Day.
    Their motive is obvious...to promote the consumption of pens, pencils, and writing paper.  January
    23rd was chosen because this is the birthday of John Hancock.  John Hancock was the first
    person to sign the Declaration of Independence.
    In response to inquiries, WIMA reports informed that they did not obtain a presidential
    proclamation or an act of congress when designating the day.
    National Handwriting Day is an opportunity to reintroduce yourself to a pen or pencil and a piece of
    paper.  In this day of computers, more and more information, notes, and letters are sent back
    and forth via a keyboard and cyberspace.
    Some of the available documentation we read, suggests concern by stationary, paper companies,
    and pen and pencil manufacturers that the electronic world will shrink demand for their products.  
    However, indeed, statistics show that pen (or pencil) and paper is alive and well with a growing
    demand.
    Participate in National Handwriting Day by writing a note or letter to someone.  Love letters are
    cool. Notes to people who are ill or incapacitated will be well received.

  • January 23rd - Measure Your Feet Day
    We are not sure why this day was created, but here it is.
    Measure Your Feet Day is a day to, well a day to measure your feet.  At this point, we stop and
    ask ourselves, why?  We pondered this question for a while, but then we decided it was best not
    to even speculate.
    We suggest you celebrate today by measuring your feet; both of them.  Measure the length, the
    width and then go out and buy yourself a new pair of shoes! . For a little fun, see if you can
    measure someone else's feet, however, you might be find yourself buying shoes for them too.

  • January 24th - Beer Can Appreciation Day
    Beer Can Appreciation Day celebrates that great day in 1935 when beer was first sold in cans.
    Okay, laugh if you will, but trust that Beer Can Appreciation Day is a big and important day to
    many people.
    Many people do not know that there is a huge number of beer can collectors out there.  Collectors
    meticulously open a beer can from the bottom, empty it (and drink the beer, then wash and dry
    it.  For beer can collectors, there is no shortage of types of beer, cans and bottles, and sizes.
    A  beer can collector may have hundreds of empty cans and bottles.
    News You Can Use: There's a market for beer cans.  If you come across an old can, do not throw
    it out, but rather check out the prices in a collector's catalog, or on Ebay.
    Beer Can Appreciation Day provides us with the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the many
    different kinds of beer cans.  Enjoy today by starting, or adding to your beer can collection.  As
    you empty the new cans, drink the contents.  After all, you do not want to be wasteful do you?
    Important Note: Please drink responsibly!  And, if you drink, DO NOT DRIVE!

  • January 24th - Compliment Day
    Kathy Chamberlin, of Hopkinton, NH and Debby Hoffman, of Concord, NH created this day in
    1998.
    How nice of you to visit our site today. I can see by your choice of websites, that you are an
    intelligent person.  You are a kind and inquisitive person. I love the way you…
    Yes, it is Compliment Day.  Today is a great opportunity to say something positive about the
    people you meet.   Everyone has good attributes; that is right, everyone.
    Some ideas of Compliment Day:
     Its a cinch to find compliments for family and loved ones, even for your Mother-in-Law. (Tip:
    She is probably a good cook.)
     Friends are friends because you see something good about them.  Here is an easy compliment to
    a friend: "Wow, you are very intelligent, as you choose your friends wisely".
     It is more challenging to compliment your boss, or people you do not like.  Take up the
    challenge, and find a compliment for them today, too.
    Remember: Mama said, "If you do not have anything nice to say, then do not say it."  After a
    long search for something good, if you just cannot find a compliment for them, then silence is
    golden.
    Compliment Day is celebrated by offering sincere compliments to people you know.  It is important
    that you are sincere, as people will see right through insincerity, and you will do more harm than
    good.
    How many compliments should you give out today?  The common suggestion is five compliments.  
    Yes, they should be to five different people.

  • January 25th - Opposite Day
    Opposite Day is a topsy-turvy day when everything you say, do, see, and hear are the opposite.  
    If you say go left, you mean go right.  If you say look up, it means look down.  However, if you
    see your left foot, is it really your right?
    Yesiree, Bob!  Opposite Day can be a whole lot of fun.  It can also be very, very confusing.  This
    special day is celebrated primarily among school children.  Sponge Bob Square Pants even got into
    the act, with an episode containing the whimsical nature of this day.
    Thought for the Day: Opposites attract.
    Origin of Opposite Day: We have yet to discover who created this day, or the original date of
    creation. In true "Opposite Day" spirit, you have to look for someone who says, "I didn't create
    this day", and go from there.
    References to Opposite Day dates back to around 2000.  However, we found some casual
    reference to President Calvin Coolidge in the 1920's.  Is it possible that a president said one
    thing and meant another
    Some recent writings suggest the first Tuesday of the year.  However, older research, points to
    the 25th.  We suspect there may be more than one celebration of Opposite Day.
    If you have any information about this holiday, please email us.

  • January 25th - Burns Night (Scotland)
    A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, author of many
    Scots poems.  The suppers are normally held on or near the poet's birthday, January 25th,
    sometimes also known as Robert Burns Day (or Robbie Burns Day or Rabbie Burns Day) or Burns
    Night, although they may in principle be held at any time of the year.
    Burns suppers are most common in Scotland and Northern Ireland but occur wherever there are
    Burns Clubs, Scottish Societies, expatriate Scots, or aficionados of Burns' poetry.  There is a
    particularly strong tradition of them in southern New Zealand's main city Dunedin, of which Burns'
    nephew Thomas Burns was a founding father.
    The first suppers were held in Ayrshire at the end of the 18th century by Robert Burns' friends
    on the anniversary of his death, July 21st, In Memoriam and they have been a regular occurrence
    ever since.  The first Burns club, known as The Mother Club, was founded in Greenock in 1801 by
    merchants born in Ayrshire, some of whom had known Burns.  They held the first Burns supper on
    what they thought was his birthday on January 29, 1802, but in 1803 discovered from the Ayr
    parish records that the correct date was January 25, 1759, and since then suppers have been
    held on January 25th, Burns' birthday.

  • January 26th - Spouse's Day
    Thankfully, this day is celebrated in our home several days throughout the year.
    Spouse's Day is a time to enjoy and appreciate your better half.  You can use this day as a
    prelude or warm up to Valentine's Day, perhaps, but not as much of a gift-giving event.  Rather,
    use it as a time to show your spouse that you care and appreciate all of the things that he/she
    does for you and for the household.
    Over the long years of a relationship, it is easy to take for granted the many things your spouse
    does.  He/she is always there, and they do so many big and little things as a routine event, so
    use today to notice and say thanks.  As for the "enjoyment" part of the day, we will leave that
    up to you to enjoy your spouse however the two of your desire…
    We have yet to discover the creator of Spouses Day in January, or the date of its origin.
    NOTE: Military Spouses Day is held on the Friday before Mother's Day and was created by
    President Ronald Reagan in 1984 Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger established the Friday
    before Mother’s Day.  Military Spouses Day is a day to recognize and honor the real backbone of
    the military: the spouses of our soldiers.  This day recognizes the contributions made by military
    spouses to the spirit and well being of soldiers and military communities.  Where would military
    moral be without their spouses behind them?

  • January 26th - Republic Day (India)
    In India, Republic Day honors the date on which the Constitution of India came into force–on
    January 26, 1950–replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of
    India.  It is one of three national holidays in India.  The new constitution, as drafted and
    approved by the Constituent Assembly of India, was mandated to take effect on January 26,
    1950–and India became a republic.

  • January 26th - Australia Day (Australia)
    Australia Day (previously known as Anniversary Day, Foundation Day, and ANA Day) is the official
    national day of Australia.  Celebrated annually on January 26, the date commemorates the arrival
    of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove, New South Wales in 1788 and the proclamation at that time
    of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia (then known as New Holland).  
    Although it was not known as Australia Day until over a century later, records of celebrations on
    January 26th date back to 1808, with the first official celebration of the formation of New
    South Wales held in 1818.  It is marked by the presentation of the Australian of the Year
    Awards on Australia Day Eve, announcement of the Australia Day Honors list and addresses from
    the Governor General and Prime Minister.  It is an official public holiday in every state and
    territory of Australia, unless it falls on a weekend in which case the following Monday is a public
    holiday instead.  With community festivals, concerts and citizenship ceremonies, the day is
    celebrated in large and small communities and cities around the nation.  Australia Day has become
    the biggest annual civic event in Australia.

  • January 27th - Chocolate Cake Day
    Chocolate Cake Day is a chocolate lovers delight, and a day to eat cake.  Why this a day to
    "bake your chocolate cake and eat it, too!"
    On this day, a white or yellow cake will not do.  Nor, will part chocolate, part white suffice.  It
    must be chocolate - ALL chocolate.  You can make milk chocolate, dark chocolate, fudge, or any
    other type of chocolate cake, just as long as it is chocolate.
    The only reference to Chocolate Day on the Internet is from Ecard and calendar websites. This
    might lead you to conclude that this as a day for and by the Ecard companies, but we know
    better.  This day is for you, and all chocolate lovers!
    There are three objectives of Chocolate Cake Day:
    1. To bake a chocolate cake
    2. To decorate a chocolate cake
    3. To eat a chocolate cake.  (Of course, if you are too busy to bake or decorate a cake, then
    just eating a chocolate cake will certainly do!)
    Origin of Chocolate Cake Day: Our extensive research did not find the creator, or the origin of
    this day.  Perhaps, it was baker.  Perhaps, it was a food company, but more than likely it was a
    chocolate cake...eater!
    If you have any information about this holiday, please email us.

  • January 27th - Punch the Clock Day
    Every once in a while, you come upon a special day that just defies definition, and Punch the Clock
    Day is one of those days.  Despite all of our research, we found no content information in our
    Encyclopedias or on the Internet to define the purpose or meaning of this day.  Nevertheless,
    Punch the Clock Day is prolific on E-card and calendar websites, so it must truly be an important
    day of the year, right.
    Not wanting to give up easy, we put our thinking caps on, pondered the meaning of this day, and
    quickly determined that this day is NOT intended to encourage people to punch their clocks, as it
    is destructive, serves no logical purpose, and may result in personal injury.
  • Smart as we are (tee,hee), we quickly surmised that Punch the Clock Day is a day to celebrate
    the punch clock or time clocks used at work.  Now, we wondered, why celebrate the punch
    clock…?  If you know, please email us.

  • January 28th - Fun at Work Day
    Fun at Work Day is a day to have fun at work for once.  Ideally, work should be fun, but usually
    work is not intended to have fun, as it is intended to get work done.  You are a very lucky person,
    if you if you can get work done and have fun doing it.  The lucky souls in this situation love their
    job.  Unfortunately, not all of us are lucky enough to have a job that is fun to do.  If that is you,
    then today is a day just for you!  Celebrate this day by thinking of ways to make your job more
    fun and exciting.  Look to do some fun things at work today, even if it takes away from production
    just a wee bit.
    Please Note: If you do fun things today that is counter-productive, or takes you away from the
    job, make sure you get your boss' permission first.  Better still, get him or her involved.
    International Fun at Work Day is April 1st.

  • January 28th - National Kazoo Day
    Alabama Vest of Macon Georgia made the first Kazoo in the 1840's.  Actually, he conceived the
    Kazoo, and had Thaddeus Von Clegg, a German clock master make it to his specifications.  
    Commercial production of the Kazoo did not occur until many years later in 1912. Emil Sorg in New
    Western New York first started manufacturing.  Sorg joined up with Michael McIntyre, a Buffalo
    tool and die maker.  Production moved to Eden, NY where the factory museum remains today.
    People young and old love Kazoos.  Kazoo Day celebrates the joy of this musical instrument.  
    Kazoos are easy to play: simply hum a tune into the kazoo and you are an expert!  Kazoos can be
    played solo, or in groups; it plays a great tune both ways.
    What do you do on National Kazoo day? Why, play the kazoo, of course.

  • January 29th - National Puzzle Day
    Don't be puzzled by today. National Puzzle Day honors puzzles of all size, shape and form.
    Crossword puzzles are by far the most common. Sudoku, a number puzzle, is the most recent
    puzzle rage. There's easy puzzles, and there's puzzles for experts. They fit the needs of every
    person, and every skill level.
    Puzzles are a favorite pastime of millions of people, young and old. So, what's with this
    fascination over puzzles? There's numerous reasons for it's popularity. For many, doing puzzles is
    fun. Some people just like the challenge of completing them, and graduating to evermore complex
    and difficult puzzle solving levels. For others, it is a way to kill time, and to eliminate boredom.
    Others still, do puzzles to keep their mind sharp, or to learn new words.
    Whatever the cause for your interest, spend National Puzzle Day doing puzzles.

  • January 29th - National Corn Chip Day
    Fritos Corn Chips were first marketed in 1961.
    National Corn Chip Day celebrates the Corn Chip.  Fifty years ago, few Americans knew what Corn
    Chips were. Today, most American cannot imagine life without this tasty, crunchy holder of salsa,
    cheese and (mostly) Mexican dips.  It is sprinkled atop salads - making them even more crunchy.
    On National Corn Chip Day, enjoy eating one of your favorite snacks, and take our Corn Chip
    challenge: eat corn chips for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks!

  • January 30th - National Inane Answering Message Day
    Many people look at the title of this day and think, "Huh!!?  Some people think it's a typo, and
    the day should read "National Insane Answering Message Day". However, it actually and truly is
    "National Inane Answering Message Day", as created and copyrighted, and provided courtesy of
    the great folks at Wellcat.com.
    First lets clarify the meaning of an "inane" answering message.  We all get them on our answering
    machines. An inane message is a senseless, meaningless message and sometimes a prank call; just
    an insane message.
    National Inane Answering Message Day is a day to end those numerous, annoying inane answering
    machine messages.  Thankfully, we have "caller-ID".

  • January 31st - Backward Day
    Backward Day is a day to do everything backwards.  Use your imagination and Backward Day can
    be lots of fun.  It is especially popular with school aged kids.
    You can celebrate this day by doing any of the following:
     Write backwards
     Read backwards
     Wear your shirt with the back in the front
     Eat your meal by starting with dessert
     Walk backwards
     Talk backwards
     Play a board game backwards by starting from the finish
    This day is limited only by your imagination.

  • January 31st - Inspire Your Heart with Art Day
    Inspire Your Heart With Art Day celebrates art and the effect it can have on your heart.  Art
    is valued and appreciated for all sorts of reasons.
    Looking at a piece of art can tell you something as well as give you a particular feeling.  A sense
    of love and romance is one of those feelings and emotions that a piece of artwork can awaken and
    inspire.  If you are seeking to create a little romance with that special someone, try setting the
    mood with an appropriate piece of art.
    While the title of this day suggests you inspire "your" heart, we are guessing you may use today
    to inspire someone else's heart with romantic thoughts of you.

January is Black History Month!

  • January 15th - National Hat Day
    National Hat Day is set aside to wear and enjoy a hat of your choice and style.  Hats come in all
    shapes, sizes, colors, and styles, and there is one to fit every size head and personality.  Often,
    hats are used to make a statement or to promote a cause or product.  Hats have logical uses,
    too.  Some hats as well as helmets, offer safety protection.  Additionally, some hats keep your
    head warm.
    National Hat Day is not intended to just keep you warm, but a chance to make a statement and to
    display your favorite headgear.  We suggest you wear a number of different hats over the course
    of the day.
    More body heat is lost from your head than other parts of the body, so wearing a hat goes a long
    way towards staying warm on a cold winter's day or night.

  • January 16th - National Nothing Day
    National Nothing Day is quite simple: a day for nothing.
    This day is an "nonevent".  The expectation is that we do not create or otherwise promote this
    day.  In other words, we do nothing, and to say anything more would contradict the purpose of
    this day.
    Celebrate this day by doing nothing.  Of course, that assumes that doing nothing is okay with your
    boss.
    "National Nothing Day" newspaperman Harold Pullman Coffin created this day in 1973.

  • January 17th - Ditch New Years Resolutions Day
    If there is a day to celebrate New Years and to make resolutions for the upcoming year, then
    there should be a day to ditch those resolutions, and that is the reason for today.
    If you have not broken or given up on all of those New Years's resolutions, you are doing better
    than most.  Maybe, you are well along the way to accomplishing them, and maybe a few are
    already checked off on your list.  Good for you!  For many of us, New Years resolutions are
    hanging heavily over our heads, are burdensome and were not such a good idea after all.  Then, of
    course, there's the New Years resolutions that have already been broken.
    If you have not accomplished, broken, or given up your New Year's resolutions, today is your
    chance to get out from under them.

    Thesaurus Day celebrates the birthday of the author of Roget's Thesaurus.  Peter Roget was
    born on this day in 1779.
    The Thesaurus has been an invaluable reference book for hundreds of years.  Students and
    writers use it to improve the quality of their literary work.
    What the Thesaurus Does:
     Lists synonyms (words with the same or similar meaning) for words
     Catches repetitive words to avoid repetition in writing and speeches
     Lists antonyms (words with opposite meaning)
    Celebrate this day by referring to this invaluable reference book.
    Enjoy today appreciating the value of the Thesaurus.  If you have not seen it in a while, take a
    moment to browse through it.
    Thesaurus Day was created to honor Peter Roget, the author of Roget's Thesaurus.  However, we
    fully expected to find a book company or the folks at thesaurus.com to claim to be the
    originators, but we did not.  Perhaps this day was created by one of the millions of people who
    appreciate the value of this reference book.

  • January 18th - Winnie the Pooh Day
    Winnie The Pooh Day, is the Birthday of Winnie's author A.A. Milne.  In his works, he was known
    as A.A. Milne.  (The initials stand for Allan Alexander.)
    Winnie the Pooh Day is an opportunity to enjoy your favorite bear and all his friends.  This day
    was created to celebrate the birth of A.A .Milne in 1882.  He was an author of children's
    storybooks and created Winnie the Pooh and his friends.  Winnie's pals include Christopher Robin,
    Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet and Roo.
    Have some fun today.  Celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day by reading some storybooks about the
    adventures of Winnie and his friends but do not read them alone; read them with young children.

  • January 19th - Martin Luther King Jr. Day (celebrated the 3rd Monday)
    Born on January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. grew to become one of the greatest Social
    Activists the world has ever known.  At 35, he became the youngest person to win the Nobel
    Peace prize.  He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 while making a speech from the balcony of his
    hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee.
    His Birthday became a National Holiday by an act of Congress in 1983.  Many consider it a day to
    serve your community where parades as well as marades and other large celebrations and events
    take place in remembrance of the great civil rights leader.
    Interesting Links:
     Click HERE for a A Teachers Guide to Martin Luther King Jr. Online (It provides lots of quality
    links)
    The MLK Story
     "I've Been to the Mountain Top" Speech given on April 3, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee the day
    before he was assassinated.
    Martin Luther King Day Quotes
     The Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project (Stanford University)
     Annie's "Martin Luther King Jr. Day" Page.  This is so well done, it is hard to classify this as a
    homepage.
    Dr. Jemison has a background in both engineering and medical research.  She
    has worked in the areas of computer programming, printed wiring board
    materials, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, computer magnetic disc
    production, and reproductive biology.
    From January 1983 through June 1985, Dr. Jemison was the Area Peace Corps
    Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa.  Her task of managing
    the health care delivery system for U.S. Peace Corps and U.S. Embassy personnel
    included provision of medical care, supervision of the pharmacy and laboratory,
    medical administrative issues, and supervision of medical staff.  She developed
    curriculum and taught volunteer personal health training, wrote manuals for self-
    care, developed and implemented guidelines for public health/safety issues for
    volunteer job placement and training sites.
    Dr. Jemison developed and participated in research projects on Hepatitis B
    vaccine, schistosomaisis and rabies in conjunction with the National Institute of
    Health and the Center for Disease Control.
On return to the United States, Dr. Jemison joined CIGNA Health Plans of California in October 1985 and was working as a
General Practitioner and attending graduate engineering classes in Los Angeles when selected to the astronaut program.
Dr. Jemison was selected for the astronaut program in June 1987.  Her technical assignments since then have included
launch support activities at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida; verification of Shuttle computer software in the Shuttle
Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); Science Support Group activities.
Dr. Jemison was the science mission specialist on STS-47 Spacelab-J (September 12-20, 1992). STS-47 was a cooperative
mission between the United States and Japan.  The eight-day mission was accomplished in 127 orbits of the Earth, and
included 44 Japanese and U.S. life science and materials processing experiments.
Dr. Jemison was a co-investigator on the bone cell research experiment flown on the mission.  The Endeavour and her
crew launched from and returned to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
In completing her first space flight, Dr. Jemison logged 190 hours, 30 minutes, 23 seconds in space.
Dr. Mae Jemison 1st Black American female astronaut