Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Holidays for September 17th 2013

International Eat An Apple Day


Apples contain no fat, and contain cholesterol-fighting compounds. That’s almost reason enough to love apples, but International Eat An Apple Day Goes even further to encourage you to celebrate all things apple related. Bake a pie, make a tart, enjoy a crumble or a simple, crunchy fruit treat. Why not take enough apples with you to share at work, at school, or with friends? Alternatively, expand your palette and enjoy something slightly different from the many varieties and types of apples available from around the world.

National Apple Dumpling Day


While many Americans are remembering the signing of the United States Constitution on this day back in 1787,September 17 is also National Apple Dumpling Day! As the days become shorter and cooler, nothing says fall like delicious apples. Orchards around the country are filled with fresh apples just ready for pickin’.

Although the origins of this national food holiday are unknown, who can resist the delightful aroma of apples baking in the oven? Tart and sweet apple filling surrounded by light pastry dough on the outside, apple dumplings are usually eaten for breakfast or dessert. But let’s be honest - apple dumplings are delicious to eat no matter what time of the day it is!

Constitution Day (Citizenship Day)


The Constitution of the United States of America is signed by 38 of 41 delegates present at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Supporters of the document waged a hard-won battle to win ratification by the necessary nine out of 13 U.S. states.

The Articles of Confederation, ratified several months before the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781, provided for a loose confederation of U.S. states, which were sovereign in most of their affairs. On paper, Congress--the central authority--had the power to govern foreign affairs, conduct war, and regulate currency, but in practice these powers were sharply limited because Congress was given no authority to enforce its requests to the states for money or troops. By 1786, it was apparent that the Union would soon break up if the Articles of Confederation were not amended or replaced. Five states met in Annapolis, Maryland, to discuss the issue, and all the states were invited to send delegates to a new constitutional convention to be held in Philadelphia.

On May 25, 1787, delegates representing every state except Rhode Island convened at Philadelphia's Pennsylvania State House for the Constitutional Convention. The building, which is now known as Independence Hall, had earlier seen the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and the signing of the Articles of Confederation. The assembly immediately discarded the idea of amending the Articles of Confederation and set about drawing up a new scheme of government. Revolutionary War hero George Washington, a delegate from Virginia, was elected convention president.

During an intensive debate, the delegates devised a brilliant federal organization characterized by an intricate system of checks and balances. The convention was divided over the issue of state representation in Congress, as more-populated states sought proportional legislation, and smaller states wanted equal representation. The problem was resolved by the Connecticut Compromise, which proposed a bicameral legislature with proportional representation in the lower house (House of Representatives) and equal representation of the states in the upper house (Senate).

On September 17, 1787, the Constitution was signed. As dictated by Article VII, the document would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states. Beginning on December 7, five states--Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut--ratified it in quick succession. However, other states, especially Massachusetts, opposed the document, as it failed to reserve undelegated powers to the states and lacked constitutional protection of basic political rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. In February 1788, a compromise was reached under which Massachusetts and other states would agree to ratify the document with the assurance that amendments would be immediately proposed. The Constitution was thus narrowly ratified in Massachusetts, followed by Maryland and South Carolina. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document, and it was subsequently agreed that government under the U.S. Constitution would begin on March 4, 1789. In June, Virginia ratified the Constitution, followed by New York in July.

On September 25, 1789, the first Congress of the United States adopted 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution--the Bill of Rights--and sent them to the states for ratification. Ten of these amendments were ratified in 1791. In November 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Rhode Island, which opposed federal control of currency and was critical of compromise on the issue of slavery, resisted ratifying the Constitution until the U.S. government threatened to sever commercial relations with the state. On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island voted by two votes to ratify the document, and the last of the original 13 colonies joined the United States. Today, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest written constitution in operation in the world.

Bloodiest Day (the Battle of Antietam)


On this day in 1862, at the Battle of Antietam, Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and Union General George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac fight to a standstill along a Maryland creek on the bloodiest day in American history. Although the battle was a tactical draw, it forced Lee to end his invasion of the North and retreat back to Virginia.

After Lee's decisive victory at the Second Battle of Bull Run, Virginia, on August 30, 1862, the Confederate general had steered his army north into Maryland. Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis believed that another Rebel victory might bring recognition and aid from Great Britain and France. Lee also sought to relieve pressure on Virginia by carrying the conflict to the North. His ragtag army was in dire need of supplies, which Lee hoped to obtain from Maryland farms that were untouched by the war.

Lee split his army as he moved into Maryland. One corps marched to capture Harpers Ferry, Virginia, while the other two searched for provisions. Although a copy of Lee's orders ended up in the hands of McClellan, the Union general failed to act quickly, allowing Lee time to gather his army along Antietam Creek at Sharpsburg, Maryland. McClellan arrived on September 16 and prepared to attack.

The Battle of Antietam actually consisted of three battles. Beginning at dawn on September 17, Union General Joseph Hooker's men stormed Confederate General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's troops around the Dunker Church, the West Woods, and David Miller's cornfield. The Federals made repeated attacks, but furious Rebel counterattacks kept the Yankees in check. By early afternoon, the fighting moved south to the middle of the battlefield. Union troops under General Edwin Sumner inflicted devastating casualties on the Confederates along a sunken road that became known as "Bloody Lane," before the Southerners retreated. McClellan refused to apply reserves to exploit the opening in the Confederate center because he believed Lee's force to be much larger than it actually was. In the late afternoon, Union General Ambrose Burnside attacked General James Longstreet's troops across a stone bridge that came to bear Burnside's name. The Yankees crossed the creek, but a Confederate counterattack brought any further advance to a halt.

The fighting ended by early evening, and the two armies remained in place throughout the following day. After dark on September 18, Lee began pulling his troops out of their defenses for a retreat to Virginia. The losses for the one-day battle were staggering. Union casualties included 2,108 dead, 9,540 wounded, and 753 missing, while Confederate casualties numbered 1,546 dead, 7,752 wounded, and 1,108 missing.

Although the Union army drove Lee's force back to Virginia, the battle was a lost opportunity for the Yankees. McClellan had an overwhelming numerical advantage, but he did not know it. Another attack on September 18 may well have scattered the Confederates and cut off Lee's line of retreat.

A week later, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation and expanded the Northern goal from a war for reunification into a crusade for the end of slavery.

VFW Ladies Auxiliary Day


The Ladies Auxiliary, which was founded in 1914 to help veterans and their families, is the backbone of VFW volunteer efforts. Promoting patriotism and helping veterans in need are just two of the many ways that the Auxiliary serves America's communities. The Ladies Auxiliary also has its own volunteer programs directed at VA, State, and Community Hospitals.

For as long as men have been going into battle, women have been nursing sick and wounded warriors back to health. Until recently, this was a necessity because governments did not provide adequate medical facilities for their servicemen. In fact, medical care was often so abysmal that more men died of disease and food poisoning than of wounds.

Today, the Ladies Auxiliary is involved in a kaleidoscopic range of activities. While continuing to support the VFW and its causes, the Ladies Auxiliary has developed a social conscience of its own. With the paramount goal of helping families in distress, its members perform community service, fund cancer research, fight drug abuse and illiteracy, advocate for the rights of the elderly, and support the VFW National Home, Special Olympics, and other worthy causes.

Membership has been broadened to include not only wives of VFW members, but also their mothers, widows, sisters, half-sisters, daughters, grandmothers, and granddaughters. Foster mothers and foster daughters are also eligible, provided their relationship with the VFW member predates his military service. With their inexhaustible supply of goals and members, there is no doubt that the Ladies Auxiliary is here to stay.

Our Bylaws calls for our members to:

"... maintain true allegiance to the Government of the United States of America, and fidelity to its Constitution and laws; to foster true patriotism, and to preserve and defend the United States from all her enemies, whomsoever."

Promoting patriotism and helping veterans in need are just two of the many ways that the Auxiliary serves their Posts and America's communities. The Ladies Auxiliary also has its own volunteer programs directed at VA, state, and community.

Time's Up Day


Have you had a tiff with a good friend or relative that has been going on for way too long? If so, today's the day to make amends. It's "Time's Up Day," and thanks to the folks at Wellcat Holidays, you now have the opportunity and impetus to do something about it.

Perhaps you can pick up the phone and give them a call, or send a text asking how they're doing. If you really want to go all out, nothing says "peace and love" like a box of chocolate or "let's bury the hatchet" like a good, single-malt Scotch!

So before you end up like the Hatfields and McCoys, swallow your pride and take that first step towards making amends -- you'll be glad you did.