Thursday, October 24, 2013

Holidays for October 24th 2013

31 Day of Halloween Horror
24. The Howling

National Bologna Day

Our food holiday has a first name... October 24 is National Bologna Day!

Any way you slice it, the sausage similar to the mortadella from - you guessed it - Bologna, Italy, is a childhood staple.

Bologna has been around since about the 1400s. Typically, it’s made of finely ground beef, pork or both, with pieces of fat seen throughout the sausage. These days it can be kosher and halal, and chicken, lamb and turkey are popular substitutes or additions.

Children across the globe grew up eating bologna sandwiches: In North America, cheese is usually added to a slice of the sausage and sandwiched between two pieces of white bread. In Commonwealth countries, the sandwich looks the same, but instead of bologna, it’s called polony.

These days, the bologna sandwich has gotten a bit of a facelift. Chefs across the country have added this childhood comfort food to their menus, especially their late night and bar menus.

United Nations Day

On October 24, 1945, the United Nations (UN) came into force when the five permanent members of the security council ratified the charter that had been drawn up earlier that year. These members were: France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Since 1948, the event's anniversary has been known as United Nations Day. It is an occasion to highlight, celebrate and reflect on the work of the United Nations and its family of specialized agencies.

On and around October 24, many activities are organized by all parts of the UN, particularly in the main offices in New York, the Hague (Netherlands), Geneva (Switzerland), Vienna (Austria) and Nairobi (Kenya). These include: concerts; flying the UN flag on important buildings; debates on the relevance of the work of the UN in modern times; and proclamations by state heads and other leaders.

The foundations for a “League of Nations” were laid in the Treaty of Versailles, which was one of the treaties to formally end World War I. The treaty was signed in Versailles, France, on June 28, 1919. The league aimed to encourage disarmament, prevent outbreaks of war, encourage negotiations and diplomatic measures to settle international disputes and to improve the quality of life around the world. However, the outbreak of World War II suggested that the League of Nations needed to take on a different form.

The ideas around the United Nations were developed in the last years of World War II, particularly during the UN Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, the United States, beginning on April 25, 1945. The UN was officially created when a UN charter was ratified on October 24 that year.

United Nations Day was first observed on October 24, 1948. The UN recommended that United Nations Day should be a public holiday in member states since 1971. There were also calls for United Nations Day to be an international public holiday to bring attention to the work, role and achievements of the UN and its family of specialized agencies. These have been spectacular, particularly in the fields of human rights, support in areas of famine, eradication of disease, promotion of health and settlement of refugees.

The UN does not work alone but together with many specialized agencies, including: the World Health Organization (WHO); the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); International Labour Organization (ILO); United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The UN emblem consists of a projection of the globe centered on the North Pole. It depicts all continents except Antarctica and four concentric circles representing degrees of latitude. The projection is surrounded by images of olive branches, representing peace. The emblem is often blue, although it is printed in white on a blue background on the UN flag.

Lung Health Day

This day was created to bring attention to, duh, the health of your lungs. DoSomething has decided to focus on indoor air pollution. Why? Because the air quality in your home and school can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Scary stuff, huh? But don’t fret, all hope isn’t lost.

First you should know the dangers. The three most common and dangerous indoor air pollutants are:
  1. Carbon monoxide: 400 die and thousands are sickened annually.
  2. Secondhand smoke: 7,500-15,000 children are hospitalized or sickened with respiratory tract infections, and older adults with cardiovascular or lung illness are at higher risk of health problems.
  3. Radon gas: It's silent. It's odorless. It's found in many American homes, and it is the second biggest cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoke.
Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to asthma, headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea and fatigue. But there are some preventative steps you can take.

The single most effective way to keep the air in your home healthy is to keep things out of your home that cause air pollution, including cigarette smoke, excess moisture and chemicals.

The second most important strategy is to ventilate to pull dangerous pollutants out of the house. Run the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen. Open your windows.

Buying plants can help as well. They are the lungs of the earth and produce the oxygen that makes life possible. They also filter toxins and can reduce pollutants in your home too! Just remember to get house plants grown without pesticides and pot them in ceramic or other non-plastic pots. Certain plants are especially helpful in reducing indoor air pollution:
  • Aloe Vera: eliminates emissions from most toxic materials
  • Fig Trees: Reduces formaldehyde
  • Chrysanthemum: Toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia
  • Spider Plants: Exceptional for eliminating formaldehyde
  • Chinese Evergreen, Bamboo Palm and Lillies: Many toxic materials
Most people don’t know about the dangers of indoor pollution, so get out there and educate people on how they can improve indoor air quality. Find more ways to breathe easier in our 11 ways to reduce pollution in your home. And remember to equip yourself with the facts - check out our 11 facts about air pollution. Share them with your family and friends. Post flyers around your neighborhood. Do what you can to spread the word and help keep all our lungs healthy and clean!

40-Hour Work Week Day

This is the holiday celebration that everyone should appreciate. On this day in 1940, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 went into effect.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt characterized the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), as “the most far-reaching, far-sighted program for the benefit of workers ever adopted in this or any other country.” A law drafted by Senator Hugo Black of Alabama and signed into law in June 1938, the FLSA was designed to “put a ceiling over hours and a floor under wages” by establishing an eventual maximum 40 weekly work hours, a minimum wage of 40 cents an hour by 1945, and prohibiting most child labor. The act`s objective was summarized as the “elimination of labor conditions detrimental to the maintenance of the minimum standards of living necessary for health, efficiency and well being of workers.”

Before the dawn of the FLSA, John L. Lewis, president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), ordered a series of strikes directed at securing the closed shop, establishing the CIO`s exclusive right to represent workers in collective bargaining, and to defend his newly favored sit-down strike tactic.* While such employers as United States Steel Company complied with Lewis`s demands in March 1937, General Motors and Republican Steel contested the new sit-down`s legality, calling for the Michigan courts to rescue their properties by ordering injunctions against sit-down protesters. Those actions caused a further rise in tension between workers and factory owners, until Governor Frank Murphy`s intervention successfully prevented widespread violence in the automotive industries.

Later that same year, a bitter strike broke out in South Chicago, where 10 people were killed while police were defending the property of Goodyear Tire. Public opinion turned against Lewis and the newly formed CIO because of the recent labor violence caused by the new sit-down strike tactic. As a way to solve some of the issues facing industrial workers, such as in the steel and coal industries, the FLSA was born. But prior to its final ratification, three different versions were batted around Congress.

Nearly 700,000 workers were affected by the wage increase initially and some 13 million more were ultimately affected by the hours provision. Those affected by the act were mostly white males (39 percent), compared with only 14 percent of women. Labor unions made efforts to exclude blacks and women from unionized industrial jobs, due to the the latter`s scarcity, and high unemployment during the Depression. However, organized blacks with industrial jobs ultimately benefited from the wage increase and hours provision, although the majority of blacks found their employment in the unskilled and semi-skilled categories, where few or no labor unions had been established. Therefore, the FLSA did not affect several million blacks who worked in the agricultural and domestic sectors.

The strongest opposition came from the U.S. Supreme Court, which in case after case, had struck down laws establishing a minimum wage, number of hours worked, and child labor provisions. Among the most noteworthy cases, the court struck down a federal child-labor law in 1918 in the case of Hammer v. Dagenhart. Also, in the case of Adkins v. Children`s Hospital the court narrowly struck down the District of Columbia law that established minimum wages for women. Strong opposition to the act also came from Southern congressional members whose constituents thought they would be put out of business by a 25 cents-an-hour minimum wage requirement.

As part of the New Deal programs, President Franklin Roosevelt had made promises to effectuate changes in the treatment of workers and was consistently hampered in his efforts by the Supreme Court. During his first administration, Roosevelt nominated as Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, an ardent advocate of labor reform and strong activist against the exploitation of child laborers. Roosevelt also introduced such legislation as the National Industrial Recovery Act (NRA), which absorbed 4,000,000 unemployed people into industrial jobs before it was found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court; and the National Employment System Act (1933), which established the U.S. Employment Service.

Although the constitutionality of the act was unanimously supported initially by the Supreme Court, the FLSA has been altered and amended on at least 43 subsequent occasions. Those alterations and amendments have provided and clarified benefits to workers in various employment sectors. Most notably, those amendments include:
  • The transfer of functions of the Children`s Bureau and of the Chief of the Children`s Bureau to the Secretary of Labor in 1946;
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits the discrimination of employees on the basis of gender for their rate of pay;
  • Fair Labor Standards Amendment of 1966, which prohibits the discrimination of employees on the basis of their age for their rate of pay; and 
  • the Minimum Wage Increase Act of 1996, which raised the minimum wage paid to $5.15 per hour.
Black Thursday

The Wall Street Crash of 1929, also known as Black Tuesday and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, began in late October 1929 and was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, when taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its fallout. The crash signaled the beginning of the 10-year Great Depression that affected all Western industrialized countries. The American mobilization for World War II at the end of 1941 moved approximately ten million people out of the civilian labor force and into the war. World War II had a dramatic effect on many parts of the economy, and may have hastened the end of the Great Depression in the United States. Government-financed capital spending accounted for only 5 percent of the annual U.S. investment in industrial capital in 1940; by 1943, the government accounted for 67 percent of U.S. capital investment.
Anyone who bought stocks in mid-1929 and held onto them saw most of his or her adult life pass by before getting back to even.
—Richard M. Salsman
Food Day

Food Day is a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food and a grassroots campaign for better food policies. It builds all year long and culminates on October 24.

Food Day aims to help people Eat Real. That means cutting back on sugar drinks, overly salted packaged foods, and fatty, factory-farmed meats in favor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and sustainably raised protein. Food Day envisions shorter lines at fast-food drive-throughs and bigger crowds at farmers markets.

This annual event involves some of the country’s most prominent food activists, united by a vision of food that is healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, farm animals, and the people who grow, harvest, and serve it.

With Food Day, we can celebrate our food system when it works and fix it when it’s broken. Across the country, 3,200 events took place in 2012 and 2,300 in 2011, from community festivals in Denver, Savannah, and New York City, to a national conference in Washington, DC, to thousands of school activities in Portland, Minneapolis, and elsewhere.

The typical American diet is contributing to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. Those problems cost Americans more than $150 billion per year. Plus, a meat-heavy diet takes a terrible toll on the environment.

Eating Real can save your own health and put our food system on a more humane, sustainable path. With America’s resources, there’s no excuse for hunger, low wages for food and farm workers, or inhumane conditions for farm animals.

The most important ingredient in Food Day is you! Use October 24 to start—or celebrate—eating a healthier diet and putting your family’s diet on track. Food Day is not just a day; it’s a year-long catalyst for healthier diets and a better food system. Let’s use this energy to make a meaningful and long-lasting difference!

National Crazy Day

You’re not alone.

Today is National Crazy Day. Today we recognize what we all know to be true. You, me and that seemingly normal lady sipping a latte at the table next to you are certifiably crazy (she harbors a secret wish to immersed in a vat of pickle relish (dill). It’s true!).

By becoming one with our secret insanities, we can let go of our endless obsession with appearing normal and accept ourselves and our fellow men and women for the nut jobs they truly are. Imagine a world where everyone is free to admit their grasp on reality is more of a distant wave from a fast moving clown car headed straight for Whackedville. Out yourself today. Don’t wait. Open the window. Throw back the shutters and scream, “I can’t stop tickling penguins!”

Take Back Your Time Day

What is it? "Take Back Your Time Day" is a nationwide initiative to challenge the epidemic of overwork, over scheduling, and time famine that now threatens our health, our families, our communities, and our environment.

Why should you care? Are you, or your friends or relatives, working more now but enjoying it less? Does your family's schedule feel like a road race? If so, you're not alone. Millions of Americans are overworked, over-scheduled and just plain stressed out.

It starts at work. We're putting in longer hours on the job now than we did in the 1950s, despite promises of a coming age of leisure before the year 2000. In fact, we're working more than medieval peasants did, and more than the citizens of any other industrial country! Mandatory overtime is at its highest levels ever, in spite of a recession. On average, we work 350 hours, nearly nine full weeks, longer than our peers in Western Europe do. Twenty six percent of us got no vacations at all last year while the Europeans AVERAGED six weeks!

Overwork threatens our health, reducing time for exercise and encouraging consumption of calorie-laden fast foods. Job stress costs our economy $200 billion a year.

Overwork threatens our marriages, families, and relationships as we find less time for each other.

It weakens communities as we have less time to volunteer.

It reduces employment as fewer people are hired, then required to work longer hours.

It leaves many of us with little time to vote, much less be informed, active citizens.

It reduces our security, contributing to accidents large and small.

It even leads to growing neglect and abuse of pets.

And finally, it contributes to the destruction of our environment, encouraging use of convenience and throwaway items and leaving us without time even to recycle. Every environmentalist knows that on a finite planet, unlimited economic growth is unsustainable. Already we'd need four planets if the whole world duplicated our lifestyle. We need to offer free time rather than more money and stuff as the reward for increasing productivity.

We're not against work; in fact, we understand that useful and creative work is essential to happiness. But American life has gotten way out of balance. Producing and consuming more has become the single-minded obsession of the American economy, while other values, such as strong families and communities, good health and a clean environment, active citizenship and social justice, time for nature and the soul, are increasingly neglected. By contrast, the Europeans demand a balanced life. Wouldn't you like one too?

On Friday, October 24, 2003, thousands, perhaps millions, of Americans will just say NO to the overwork, over-scheduling and overstress that threaten to overwhelm our lives. They'll take the day or part of it off work, and join in hundreds of activities to initiate a much-needed national conversation about work/life balance and how we can reclaim it.

The date falls nine weeks before the end of the year, making the point that we Americans now work nine weeks more than our trans-Atlantic neighbors.

World Development Information Day

The United Nations' (UN) World Development Information Day is annually held on October 24 to draw attention of worldwide public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.

Many events are organized to focus attention on the work that the UN does, particularly with regard to problems of trade and development. Many of these are aimed at journalists working for a range of media, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines and Internet sites. Direct campaigns may also be organized in some areas. These may use advertisements in newspapers and on radio and television as well as posters in public places.

In South Africa, indabas (gatherings of community representatives with expertise in a particular area) are often held. Representatives of local, national and international bodies are invited to share, discuss and consolidate their ideas around a particular development issue of local or national importance.

On May 17, 1972, the UN Conference on Trade and Development proposed measures for the information dissemination and the mobilization of public opinion relative to trade and development problems. These became known as resolution 3038 (XXVII), which was passed by the UN General Assembly on December 19, 1972.

This resolution called for introducing World Development Information Day to help draw the attention of people worldwide to development problems. A further aim of the event is to explain to the general public why it is necessary to strengthen international cooperation to find ways to solve these problems. The assembly also decided that the day should coincide with United Nations Day to stress the central role of development in the UN's work. World Development Information Day was first held on October 24, 1973, and has been held on this date each year since then.

In recent years, many events have interpreted the title of the day slightly differently. These have concentrated on the role that modern information technologies, such as Internet and mobile telephones can play in alerting people and finding solutions to problems of trade and development. One of the specific aims of World Development Information Day was to inform and motivate young people and this change may help to further this aim.

Niagara Falls Barrel Day

On this day in 1901, a 63-year-old schoolteacher named Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to take the plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

After her husband died in the Civil War, the New York-born Taylor moved all over the U. S. before settling in Bay City, Michigan, around 1898. In July 1901, while reading an article about the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, she learned of the growing popularity of two enormous waterfalls located on the border of upstate New York and Canada. Strapped for cash and seeking fame, Taylor came up with the perfect attention-getting stunt: She would go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Taylor was not the first person to attempt the plunge over the famous falls. In October 1829, Sam Patch, known as the Yankee Leaper, survived jumping down the 175-foot Horseshoe Falls of the Niagara River, on the Canadian side of the border. More than 70 years later, Taylor chose to take the ride on her birthday, October 24. (She claimed she was in her 40s, but genealogical records later showed she was 63.) With the help of two assistants, Taylor strapped herself into a leather harness inside an old wooden pickle barrel five feet high and three feet in diameter. With cushions lining the barrel to break her fall, Taylor was towed by a small boat into the middle of the fast-flowing Niagara River and cut loose.

Knocked violently from side to side by the rapids and then propelled over the edge of Horseshoe Falls, Taylor reached the shore alive, if a bit battered, around 20 minutes after her journey began. After a brief flurry of photo-ops and speaking engagements, Taylor's fame cooled, and she was unable to make the fortune for which she had hoped. She did, however, inspire a number of copycat daredevils. Between 1901 and 1995, 15 people went over the falls; 10 of them survived. Among those who died were Jesse Sharp, who took the plunge in a kayak in 1990, and Robert Overcracker, who used a jet ski in 1995. No matter the method, going over Niagara Falls is illegal, and survivors face charges and stiff fines on either side of the border.