Monday, September 23, 2013

Holidays for September 23rd 2013

Autumn Stroll Day

Autumn Stroll Day falls on or near the first day of Fall. Temperatures are cooler and leaves are beginning to change colors so it's a perfect time to take a stroll whether it be in your neighborhood, a park, or hike at a state or national park. Enjoy the fresh air and the beauty the fall foliage displays.

Checkers Day and Dogs in Politics Day

September 23rd is Checkers Day. (Another name for this celebrated occasion is Dog in Politics Day.)

Although this holiday may be an ideal occasion for setting up the checkerboard and playing a few rounds with a friend or family member, the actual origins of this special day have nothing to do with board games at all.

In 1952, Dwight E. Eisenhower was campaigning for the United States Presidency, with Richard M. Nixon as his running-mate. Political rumors swirled, speculating that Nixon might have appropriated campaign funds for personal uses.

On September 23, 1952, Vice Presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon made a public speech to clarify questions and deflect controversy. At the end of his presentation, Nixon mentioned that his daughters had been given a dog as a gift. The dog's name, of course, was Checkers. Nixon said they intended to keep the dog, although he was a gift.

Perhaps Nixon's audiences were expected to draw similar conclusions about political donations.

Since that date, September 23rd has been tagged Checkers Day, a prime time for playing with a pet pooch or challenging a human to a game of Checkers.

Fish Amnesty Day

Yup, that's right. It's finally Fish Amnesty Day again! Fish Amnesty Day was created by PETA 10 years ago as a much less violent alternative to National Hunting and Fishing Day, which (by an amazing coincidence) happens to be on the same date.

For some reason, fish are often the last animal people cut from their diets when they go vegetarian, so if you're someone who's been thinking about giving up eating fish but never got around to it, this is a great time to take the plunge. PETA has a whole site about the lives of these fascinating animals at, and once you've checked that out, if you'd like to celebrate Fish Amnesty Day by giving up fish for good, click here to take PETA's pledge to be veg.

I will be marking this momentous occasion with a meal at my favorite vegetarian sushi restaurant, Kotobuki. Happy Fish Amnesty Day, everyone!

Click here to order a free vegetarian starter kit.

September Equinox

There are two equinoxes every year – in September and March – when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal. Seasons are opposite on either side of the equator, so the equinox in September is also known as the "autumnal (fall) equinox" in the northern hemisphere. However, in the southern hemisphere, it's known as the "spring (vernal) equinox".

On the equinox, night and day are nearly exactly the same length – 12 hours – all over the world. This is the reason it's called an "equinox", derived from Latin, meaning "equal night". However, even if this is widely accepted, it isn't entirely true. In reality equinoxes don't have exactly 12 hours of daylight

The September equinox occurs the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from north to south.

This happens either on September 22, 23, or 24 every year. On any other day of the year, the Earth's axis tilts a little away from or towards the Sun. But on the two equinoxes, the Earth's axis tilts neither away from nor towards the Sun, like the illustration shows.

Family Day

Family Day is a national initiative created by CASA Columbia to promote simple acts of parental engagement as key ways to help prevent risky substance use in children and teens.

What started out in 2001 as a grassroots initiative to inform parents about all the benefits of frequent family dinners, has grown into a national movement that is supported by a network of partners and sponsors across the country.

Family Day has evolved and expanded to reflect how important it is to connect with your kids at various times throughout the day including while driving your kids to soccer practice, tucking little ones into bed or having frequent family dinners.

These everyday activities have a lasting effect on your children. Each of these moments offers an opportunity to communicate with your kids and to really listen to what’s on their mind.

As children age, it is vital to keep those lines of communication open, especially during adolescence when they are at risk of engaging in risky behavior including smoking, drinking or using drugs.

At CASA Columbia we know that:
  • Adolescence is the critical period for the initiation of risky substance use and its consequences. 
  • Nine out of 10 Americans who meet the medical criteria for addiction started smoking, drinking, or using other drugs before age 18. 
  • Addiction is a disease that in most cases begins in adolescence so preventing or delaying teens from using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs for as long as possible is crucial to their health and safety.
While there are no silver bullets – addiction can strike any family regardless of ethnicity, affluence, age or gender – parental engagement can be a simple, effective tool to help you prevent substance use in your kids.

Make every day Family Day in your home!

Restless Legs Syndrome Awareness Day

September 23, 2013

Whereas, restless legs syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and a distressing, irresistible urge to move them; and

Whereas, an estimated 1 million adults in the United States and millions of others worldwide are affected by restless legs syndrome, a disease for which there is no known cure; and

Whereas, restless legs syndrome is difficult to diagnose and has a significant impact on sleep, concentration, and productivity, with approximately 60 percent of patients waking three or more times a night and almost 50 percent reporting that symptoms adversely affect concentration the next day; and

Whereas, increased awareness and expanded knowledge of the realities of life with restless legs syndrome will allow communities to better support people who struggle with the challenges of this condition; and

Whereas, the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation, now known as the Willis-Ekbom Disease Foundation, is a nonprofit organization that has joined other groups to promote restless legs syndrome awareness and support, including improved education, diagnosis, research and treatment; and

Whereas, the state of North Carolina joins the Willis-Ekbom Disease Foundation and other interested agencies and organizations in urging patients, supporters, healthcare providers, and the general public to share information about this disease and available treatments, giving hope of a better future for people with restless legs syndrome;

National Great American Pot Pie Day

Get ready to celebrate Pot Pies! As the days grow shorter and cooler breezes begin to drift across America, thoughts of home-cooked meals include visions of hearty, stick-to-your ribs comfort foods -- like pot pies. Because pot pies -- a true American creation -- have been warming up the country's insides for decades, what better way to usher in the season each year than to proclaim the first day of fall -- this year on September 23 -- as "Great American Pot Pie Day" and the official launch of "Pot Pie Season."

"Autumn is the perfect time to serve pot pies," said Caryn Crump, vice president and general manager of Marie Callender's, a licensed brand of ConAgra Foods. "That's why we're naming it 'Pot Pie Season.' In today's fast-paced world, parents often don't have the time or energy to cook, especially in the fall when school work and related activities kick into high gear. Marie Callender's Pot Pies offer a satisfying, convenient way to get dinner on the table fast for a hungry family."

But in the midst of excitement around football-weather nights, brightly colored leaves and pot pies simmering in ovens across America, Marie Callender's recognizes that not all families are equally fortunate in being able to put dinner on the table each night. "Childhood hunger is an ongoing issue in our country today," said Crump. "Marie Callender's is committed to helping feed children and their families through the ConAgra Foods Feeding Children Better Foundation program, the nation's largest corporate initiative dedicated to fighting child hunger in America."

Marie Callender's will donate 10 cents for every Marie Callender's pot pie sold on September 23, Great American Pot Pie Day, with a guaranteed minimum donation of $15,000 to the ConAgra Foods Feeding Children Better Foundation to support the Kids Cafe program, one of the nation's largest free meal service initiatives for children. The ConAgra Foods Feeding Children Better Foundation initiative is funded by ConAgra Foods, Inc., based in Omaha, Nebraska. The ConAgra Foods Feeding Children Better Foundation is the national sponsor of Kids Cafes.

"We are delighted to partner with Marie Callender's for the first annual Great American Pot Pie Day," said Robert Forney, president and chief executive officer of America's Second Harvest. "Of the more than 31 million Americans facing hunger, 13 million are children, so we are extremely appreciative of Marie Callender's and its parent company, ConAgra Foods, for supporting our mission to end hunger in our country."

To create awareness for the first-ever "Great American Pot Pie Day" and the funds that the celebration will help generate for Kids Cafes across the nation, Marie Callender's will host a variety of community activities on September 23 in four cities -- Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. At the end of the day's activities, as many as 50,000 frozen pot pies will be given away to busy commuters during the afternoon drive time -- just in time for dinner! Marie Callender's also will donate thousands of pot pies to food banks located in the four cities.

Marie Callender's(R) creates convenient, great tasting frozen meals for those who love homemade food but lack the time, energy and expertise to make it themselves. With numerous varieties to choose from, Marie Callender's offers Complete Dinners, One-Dish Classics, Pot Pies and dessert Cobblers, as well as a line of Signature Family Meals. Marie Callender's meals are made with traditional homestyle recipes, high quality ingredients and generous portions. Marie Callender's is a licensed brand of ConAgra Foods(R).

ConAgra Foods, Inc. is one of North America's largest packaged food companies, with a strong presence in consumer grocery as well as restaurant and foodservice establishments. ConAgra Foods' consumer brands include: Hunt's, Healthy Choice, Banquet, Armour, Bumble Bee, Louis Kemp, La Choy, Lunch Makers, Knott's Berry Farm, Wesson, Country Pride, Blue Bonnet, Kid Cuisine, Parkay, Reddi-wip, Cook's, Butterball, ACT II, Slim Jim, Eckrich, Chef Boyardee, Orville Redenbacher's, PAM, Snack Pack, Van Camp's, Peter Pan, Hebrew National, Gulden's, Pemmican, Brown 'N Serve, Swiss Miss, and many others. For more information, please visit us at .