Saturday, November 16, 2013

Holidays for November 16th 2013

Birth of the Blues Day

November 16 “Birth Of The Blues Day” (anniversary of the birth of musician W.C. Handy in 1873…generally considered to be the “Father of The Blues”)

William Christopher Handy (November 16, 1873 – March 28, 1958) was a blues composer and musician. He was widely known as the "Father of the Blues".

Handy remains among the most influential of American songwriters. Though he was one of many musicians who played the distinctively American form of music known as the blues, he is credited with giving it its contemporary form. While Handy was not the first to publish music in the blues form, he took the blues from a regional music style with a limited audience to one of the dominant national forces in American music.

Handy was an educated musician who used folk material in his compositions. He was scrupulous in documenting the sources of his works, which frequently combined stylistic influences from several performers.

National Fast Food Day

It’s National Fast Food Day! The concept of ready-cooked food for sale can be attributed to the Ancient Romans. In many cities, street stands or "thermopoliums" (small pub-like shops) offered hot sausages, bread, and wine to patrons on-the-go. Thousands of years later, in 1867, the first American fast food restaurant opened in New York. It was a hotdog stand on Coney Island!

Today, fast food is an American staple. There are over 300,000 fast food restaurants in the United States alone, making it nearly impossible to drive down the road without going by at least one fast food chain restaurant.

Need more proof of the popularity of fast food? In 1970, U.S. consumers spent $6 billion on fast food. Thirty years later in 2000, U.S. consumers spent $110 billion! Take part in this American tradition and enjoy National Fast Food Day!

Have a Party With Your Bear Day

Is your Teddy Bear a real "party bear"? Hopefully he is, because today is Have a Party With Your Bear Day. And, what a swell day it is going to be! You get to have a party. And, you get to spend time with your Teddy Bear. I bet you can't think of anything that is more fun!!

Get out the party banners and balloons. Make a cake. Send out the invitations. Invite all of your teddy bears, and your human friends, too. Let them bring their Teddys along. Today is going to be a fun day.

Have a happy Party With Your Bear Day.

Other days to spend with your Teddy Bear:
Teddy Bear Picnic Day - July 10th
Winnie the Pooh Day - January 18th
Teddy Bear Day - September 9th

International Day for Tolerance

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for Tolerance is annually observed on November 16 to educate people about the need for tolerance in society and to help them understand the negative effects of intolerance.

The International Day for Tolerance is a time for people to learn about respecting and recognizing the rights and beliefs of others. It is also a time of reflection and debate on the negative effects of intolerance. Live discussions and debates take place across the world on this day, focusing on how various forms of injustice, oppression, racism and unfair discrimination have a negative impact on society.

Many educators use the theme of this day to help students in classrooms or in lecture theatres understand issues centered on tolerance, human rights and non-violence. These issues are also found in textbooks, lesson material and other educational resources used for this event. The UN Chronicle Online Education also features articles about tolerance. Information on the day is disseminated through flyers, posters, news articles and broadcasts, and other promotional material to raise people’s awareness about the importance of tolerance. Other activities include essays, dialogues and story-telling of people’s personal accounts of intolerance and how it affects their lives.

Human rights activists also use this day as an opportunity to speak out on human rights laws, especially with regard to banning and punishing hate crimes and discrimination against minorities. In the workplace, special training programs, talks, or messages from workplace leaders about the importance of tolerance are utilized on this day.

In 1996 the UN General Assembly invited member states to observe the International Day for Tolerance on November 16, with activities directed towards both educational establishments and the wider public (resolution 51/95 of 12 December). This action came in the wake of the United Nations Year for Tolerance, 1995, proclaimed by the assembly in 1993 (resolution 48/126). The year was declared on the General Conference of UNESCO’s initiative. On November 16, 1995, the UNESCO member states adopted the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and Follow-up Plan of Action for the year.

The 2005 World Summit Outcome document outlines the commitment of Heads of State and Government to advance human welfare, freedom and progress everywhere, as well as to encourage tolerance, respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilizations and peoples.

UNESCO’s logo, which features a temple including the UNESCO acronym (for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) within itself and the words “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization” underneath the temple, is used for online or print promotional material associated with the International Day for Tolerance. The use of the complete name in English, in association with one or several other languages provides an explanation of the acronym of the organization. The six official languages of UNESCO are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

Images of people of all backgrounds, cultures and ages, which are assembled into a collage, are also used for the International Day for Tolerance to get the message across to people about understanding tolerance regardless of differences.

International Games Day @ Your Library

International Games Day @ your library is an initiative run by volunteers from around the world and auspiced by the American Library Association to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games. It is completely free to participate! You can register here and there is a free press kit with press releases and posters here.

In the 21st century, libraries are about much more than books. On Saturday, November 16, 2013, more than one thousand libraries around the world will showcase gaming programs and services in support of IGD13. This year marks our 6th annual event. Our peak numbers so far were in 2011, when more than 27,700 people played games at more than 1,400 libraries across the U.S. and in other countries; in 2012, many venues were affected by early voting for the US federal elections and the storms on the east coast of the U.S., but we still had nearly 20,000 participants, and reached libraries on every inhabited continent.

Gaming of all types at the library encourages young patrons to interact with a diverse group of peers, share their expertise with others (including adults), and develop new strategies for gaming and learning. Plus, it's a way for traditionally underserved groups to have fun in the library and interact with other members of the community. Games Day is a great opportunity for families to get out of the house and play together in the one community institution that welcomes everyone.

Each year, ALA coordinates two parallel activities for International Games Day.

The first is a national video game tournament. We'll be using the Ann Arbor District Library's GT software again for this year's tournaments. Participating libraries organize a local tournament during which their players compete against players at other libraries for national bragging rights!

The second is the Global Gossip Game, which takes the familiar game of whispering secrets from one player to another and laughing at how the phrase changes, and has it travelling from library to library around the world. Last year we started in Melbourne, Australia, traveled through 7 languages on all 6 inhabited continents, and finished in Homer, Alaska 26 hours later, with the phrase changing from "Life must be lived as play" to "He bites snails"! (You can view the full report here.) This year, we've already got an Antarctic library playing - so we're on track CONFIRMED for all 7 continents!

In addition, ALA partners with donors to provide free copies of games for libraries across the country. Our sponsors for 2013 are USAopoly, Konami, Heartland Products, and GameTable Online. Past donors have included companies such as AlphaBound,, Hasbro, North Star Games, Ravensburger, PopCap, and Wizards of the Coast. Please contact us if your company is interested in sponsoring International Games Day or donating games, prizes, or snacks to local libraries.

National Button Day

Look at yourself, are you wearing buttons? Buttons are a key part in our society, but are commonly neglected. Buttons were invented over 3,000 years ago, and were originally worn as accessories, not holding ancient people types tunics together. From the Bronze Age, to Roman and Greeks in their heyday, buttons were basically overrated brooches. By 1,200 buttons had become a safer alternative for pins, and they had traveled from Mongolia to Europe. By 1250, the French had named the button, and had seen the real potential for the neglected phenomenon. Long story short, buttons really took off after that, kings wore them, famous people had them, and buttons were like the skinny jeans of medieval times, until Puritans in the 16th century condemned the innocent button sinful. After that, buttons were considered lawful and now, are neglected again. So today on November 16, do something nice for National Button Day!