Sunday, September 1, 2013

Holidays for September 1st 2013

Emma M. Nutt Day: The First Woman Telephone Operator

Today, September 1, is the national holiday that celebrates the world of telephone operators. It was a very important job for many decades and probably was one of the first social networks in some ways. Sadly, in many aspects, the position has been eliminated being replaced by automation in telephone systems. But how many remember using the telephone and speaking with the operator to connect your call?

In January 1878 the Boston Telephone Dispatch company had started hiring boys as telephone operators, starting with George Willard Croy. Boys (including reportedly Emma's husband) had been very successful as telegraphy operators, but their attitude (lack of patience) and behavior (pranks and cursing) was unacceptable for live phone contact, so the company began hiring women operators instead. Thus, on September 1, 1878, Emma was hired, starting a career that lasted 33 or 37 years, retiring in 1911 or 1915. A few hours after Emma started work her sister Stella Nutt became the world's second female telephone operator, making Stella Nutt and Emma Nutt the first two sisters in world history being telephone operators. although, unlike Emma, she stayed for only a few years.

The customer response to her soothing, cultured voice and patience was overwhelmingly positive, so boys were soon replaced by women. In 1879 these included Bessie Snow Balance, Emma Landon, Carrie Boldt, and Minnie Schumann, the first female operators in Michigan.

Emma was hired by Alexander Graham Bell who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone; apparently she changed jobs from a local telegraph office. She was paid a salary of $10 per month for a 54 hour week. She, reportedly, could remember every number in the telephone directory of the New England Telephone Company.

To be an operator, a woman had to be unmarried and between the ages of seventeen and twenty-six. She had to look prim and proper, and have arms long enough to reach the top of the tall telephone switchboard. Much like many other American businesses at the turn of the century, telephone companies discriminated against people from certain ethnic groups and races. African American and Jewish women were not allowed to become operators.

National Hummingbird Day

National Hummingbird Day is always the 1st Saturday in September. October 3 is Butterfly & Hummingbird Day. This holiday is for honoring and celebrating the beautiful and unique bird called the hummingbird. This bird is a treat to watch eat and fly; so on this special day go out and buy yourself a hummingbird feeder and enjoy watching the life of a hummingbird. It's fun to learn how to feed them.

Our research did not find the creator, or the origin of this day.

This holiday is referred to as a "National" day. However, we did not find any congressional records or presidential proclamations for this day. Even though we didn't, this is still a holiday that is publicized to celebrate. So have fun with it and celebrate it!

This holiday is celebrated by educating the public about hummingbirds. Learning about the hummingbird and how to take care of it in our gardens is a fun thing to do. Classrooms will study about these beautiful birds too.

According to wikipedia encyclopedia "Hummingbirds are birds in the family Trochilidae, and are endemic to the Americas. They can hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings 15–80 times per second (depending on the species). They can fly backwards, and are the only group of birds able to do so." " Their English name derives from the characteristic hum made by their wings."

"Hummingbirds are small birds with long, thin bills.""The bill, combined with an extendible, bifurcated tongue, allows the bird to feed upon nectar deep within flowers. The lower(mandible) can flex downward to create a wider bill opening; this facilitates the capture of flying insects in the mouth rather than at the tip of the bill."

Nursing Mothers Day

Today, Sept. 1, is the feast of St. Giles, patron saint of breastfeeding and nursing mothers. The story goes that St. Giles became a hermit in Southern France in the late 600s - early 700s and reportedly sustained himself for several years only on the milk of a hind.

Although St. Giles seems like an unusual choice, having a patron saint of breastfeeding does demonstrate the Church's advocacy of breastfeeding. Popes Gregory the Great, Benedict XIV, Pius XII, and Pope John Paul II all supported breastfeeding, some even publicly addressing mothers or meeting with scientists. Bishop James T. McHugh introduced the Pope at the 1995 Vatican breastfeeding conference. I am impressed that there was such a conference, aren't you? The Sisters of Life also promote breastfeeding in their work with pregnant and new mothers. Fr. Virtue wrote a chapter on breastfeeding in his Ph.D. dissertation. Fr. Sauppe designed a chapel and composed mysteries of the rosary devoted to the childhood and breastfeeding of baby Jesus (Kippley, Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood). The latest development, in case you haven't heard, is the Church's announcement that the diocese of St. Augustine will now celebrate the feast of Our Lady of La Leche on Oct. 11. Our Lady of La Leche is the patron saint of nursing mothers and women who want to become pregnant. Just as the scientific community touts the physical and emotional advantages of breastfeeding, the Catholic Church also understands these benefits plus the added spiritual dimension of nursing one's child.

Nursing Mothers Day comes just one month before Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which occurs every October. As such, this homey holiday may jog the mammaries (er, memories) of women who may need to schedule their annual mammograms.

Building and Code Staff Appreciation Day

It's like Valentine's Day for planning board workers.

Not that you should need another reason to take in the high-stakes, non-stop, blocker-buster-like excitement of a Montville Board of Adjustment meeting, but in case you do, here's a little extra incentive: a chance to show some love to the men and women who keep our buildings up to snuff, code-wise.

Building and Code Staff Appreciation day doesn't seem to have any documented day of origin that I can find and, sure, it isn't like the board is going around inspecting buildings in its spare time. Still, if the board's main duty, as it's described on the township's website, is to "hear appeals, to grant variances from the strict application of the zoning ordinance and to rule on 'use' applications," I think it's close enough for funk.

Chicken Boy's Day

September 01 is celebrated as Chicken Boy Day! Chicken boy was a 22 ft statue of a boy with a chicken head. He was holding a bucket of chicken. He was the mascot for a restaurant by that name. Over the years, he has become an pop culture icon. So, to celebrate this icon, put on a chicken suite for the day!

Chicken Boy was first perched atop a fried chicken restaurant in downtown Los Angeles on Broadway (also Historic Route 66) between 4th and 5th streets, near L.A.'s Grand Central Market in the 1960s. At that time, International Fiberglass Company, in Venice, California, was manufacturing the more familiar roadside Paul Bunyan and Muffler Man statues for use as outdoor advertising. The Los Angeles chicken restaurant bought one and hired an artist to customize it. A chicken head was fabricated to replace the man's head. T he arms were re-worked to face forward and hold a bucket, rather than as the axe-wielding original. The iconic downtown statue remained in place until 1984 when the restaurant owner died. The statue was given to Amy Inouye, after many queries and requests, and it went into storage until a suitable location could be found, as it turned out some 20 years later.

Amy Inouye, a Los Angeles art director, saved, then stored Chicken Boy and in 2007 moved the statue to its current location at 5558 North Figueroa. Inouye's design firm, Future Studio, had relocated to a commercial space that had a reinforced roof strong enough to support the statue. The Chicken Boy statue was recovered as a result of community effort and donated funds.

National No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day

September 1 is National No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day.

You must be wondering what this holiday is all about. Usually, the name of the holiday gives it all away. Well, it’s pretty simple; this day celebrates words (in the English language) that don’t rhyme with any other word. Hey, I don’t make them up, I just report them!

On this day your job is to go on a cupid word hunt, see how many words that don't have a rhyming buddy you can find. Once you have a list of those words, find them a close match.

Passenger Pigeon Extinction

Probably the most terrible example of mass slaughter in the history of wildlife was not the bison but the passenger pigeon - a story that almost defies belief. The early Europeans in North America frequently commented on the huge numbers of blue, long-tailed, fast and graceful pigeons in the country. One of the first settlers in Virginia wrote that, `There are wild pigeons in winter beyond number or imagination, myself have seen three or four hours together flocks in the air, so thick that even have they shadowed the sky from us.' Similar reports can be found from the Dutch on Manhattan Island in 1625, from Salem in Massachusetts in 1631 and some of the first explorers in Louisiana in 1698.

As late as 1854 in Wayne County, New York, a local resident wrote that. `There would be days and days when the air was alive with them, hardly a break occurring in the flocks for half a day at a time. Flocks stretched as far as a person could see, one tier above another.' On 8 April 1873 at Saginaw in Michigan there was a continuous stream of passenger pigeons overhead between 7.30 in the morning and 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Other reports describe flocks a mile wide flying overhead for four or five hours at a time during their migration in the early spring from the south to their breeding areas in New England, New York, Ohio and the southern Great Lakes area. The flocks were so thickly packed that a single shot could bring down thirty or forty birds and many were killed simply by hitting them with pieces of wood as they flew over hilltops.

Their roosting sites were correspondingly enormous- some covered an area five miles by twelve with up to ninety nests in a single tree - branches broke and whole trees were toppled by the sheer weight of roosting birds, often standing on top of each other, and leaving a pile of droppings several inches deep under the trees. The exact number of passenger pigeons in North America when the Europeans arrived is not known but the best guess is 5 billion- about a third of all the birds in North America at the time and the same as the total number of birds to be found today in the United States.

One reason why the passenger pigeon existed in such prodigious numbers was the lack of natural predators apart from hawks and eagles. It was, however, surprisingly vulnerable to human intervention. Each female laid only one egg a year, which made it difficult to replace any losses quickly. Only a flimsy nest was made and its habit of nesting in vast colonies and migrating in huge flocks made it very easy to attack. The birds fed mainly on acorns, chestnuts and beech nuts in the extensive woodlands of North America and so when these were steadily cut down their habitat and food supplies were reduced. Human intervention was at first relatively restrained, largely because of the limited numbers living in North America. The Indians captured the pigeons in large nets and by the 1630s the settlers of New England were doing the same. The young squabs were regarded as a great delicacy and the adults were sought after for their feathers as well as their meat. In the first couple of centuries of European settlement it is doubtful whether the number of pigeons declined very much given the relatively small number of humans in the area. After 1830 the practice of releasing live pigeons from traps for shooting practice began, but this in itself would not have proved fatal to the existence of the species even though about 250,000 a year were being killed in this way in the 1870s.

The population had certainly been reduced by the middle of the nineteenth century but was still several billion strong. The real onslaught began with the onset of large-scale commercial hunting carried out by well-organised trappers and shippers in order to supply the developing cities on the east coast of the United States with a cheap source of meat. It began once railways linking the Great Lakes area with New York opened in the early 1850s. By 1855 300,000 pigeons a year were being sent to New York alone. The worst of the mass slaughter took place in the 1800s and 1870s. The scale of the operation can be judged by figures that seem almost incredible but which were carefully recorded as part of a perfectly legal and highly profitable commerce. On just one day in 1860 (23 July) 235,200 birds were sent east from Grand Rapids in Michigan. During 1874 Oceana County in Michigan sent over 1,000,000 birds to the markets in the east and two years later was sending 400,000 a week at the height of the season and a total of 1,600,000 in the year. In 1869, Van Buren County, also in Michigan, sent 7,500,000 birds to the east. Even in 1880, when numbers had already been severely reduced, 527,000 birds were shipped east from Michigan.

Not surprisingly, even the vast flocks of pigeons could not withstand slaughter on this scale. Numbers fell rapidly and by the late 1880s large flocks, which had once been so common, had become a matter for comment and investigation, and most were no more than a few hundred strong. The last known specimens were seen in most states of the eastern United States, in the 1890s, and the passenger pigeon died out in the wild in Ohio about 1900. The last survivor of a species that had once numbered 5 billion died in captivity in 1914.

American Chess Day

It's American Chess Day, September 1. Today we celebrate the game of kings and without question, one the most popular of the ancient board games still being played today. Surprisingly, chess mastery is less about intelligence than it is about practice, experience and pattern recognition.  Whip out the old chess board today and see if you can lose gracefully to your beloved.

National Cherry Popover Day

It’s National Cherry Popover Day! A popover is a doughy type of muffin made from egg batter. As it bakes, the dough rises to "pop over" the edge of the muffin tin and form a hollow shell. You can then fill the center with butter and jam, gravy, or a delicious cherry sauce. Cherry popovers have several health benefits. Cherries are a good source of melatonin, which can stimulate your brain and help you sleep better at night. Now that’s a reason to celebrate! Today, make or buy a batch of popovers and smother them with a homemade cherry sauce to celebrate National Cherry Popover Day!

International Calendar Adjustment Day

Also called Missing Eleven Days Day, today is

One result of Great Britain’s decision to replace the Julian Calendar with the Gregorian Calendar in 1752 was an 11 day “Calendar Adjustment” that meant everyone in Britain and her American colonies went to sleep on September 2nd, and woke up the next morning on September 14th, end of story, calendar adjusted, life goes on. That’s how it went down in the colonies, but London was another story. Some of the thicker yobs got it into their heads that they had been bloody well cheated, Guv’nor, and earnestly began rioting in the streets, angrily demanding their 11 days back. This display of popular idiocy in the Mother Country had a profound effect on a small group of young colonists who started thinking that maybe it was a good idea to put more than an ocean between us, and those Young Turks would make history together in Philadelphia 24 years later.