Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Holidays and Observances for February 19 2014

National Chocolate Mint Day

The National Confectioners Association has declared Feb. 19 is National Chocolate Mint Day. In celebration of this day, you can explore with various chocolate mint recipes that suit your taste buds and needs.

The combination of chocolate and mint came about in the early 1900's when patrons were given dark chocolate and mint leaf after dessert to cleanse their palates and freshen their breathes.

Mint is not just there to garnish your meal or dessert plate. The benefits to eating mint leaves or drinking the tea, is that it not only aid your digestive system but it helps calm a headache and ease heartburn.

The health benefits to eating mint leaves are its rich in vitamin C which helps your immune system. Also consuming fresh mint gives you some of the daily requirement needed for iron and potassium.

The health benefits to eating dark chocolate are it helps decrease blood pressure and increase blood flow. Also it may help in preventing plague from forming in the arteries.

Chocolate and mint are a lovely marriage of sweet and refreshing, so today on National Chocolate Mint Day it’s a wonderful day to give it a try if you have never had it before.

For those who love chocolate and mint they have a choice of getting this treat in either milk or dark chocolate, although it is commonly sold with dark chocolate.

On National Chocolate Mint Day try variety of these flavors in a scoop of ice cream, a piece of cake, some cookies, a shake or smoothie.

Chocolate mint is similar to chocolate peppermint except the inside of the mint candies are green representing the color of mint leaves. However peppermint and mint both help aid in digestion and calm stomach discomfort.

Iwo Jima Day

On this day, Operation Detachment, the U.S. Marines' invasion of Iwo Jima, is launched. Iwo Jima was a barren Pacific island guarded by Japanese artillery, but to American military minds, it was prime real estate on which to build airfields to launch bombing raids against Japan, only 660 miles away.

The Americans began applying pressure to the Japanese defense of the island in February 1944, when B-24 and B-25 bombers raided the island for 74 days. It was the longest pre-invasion bombardment of the war, necessary because of the extent to which the Japanese--21,000 strong--fortified the island, above and below ground, including a network of caves. Underwater demolition teams ("frogmen") were dispatched by the Americans just before the actual invasion. When the Japanese fired on the frogmen, they gave away many of their "secret" gun positions.

The amphibious landings of Marines began the morning of February 19 as the secretary of the navy, James Forrestal, accompanied by journalists, surveyed the scene from a command ship offshore. As the Marines made their way onto the island, seven Japanese battalions opened fire on them. By evening, more than 550 Marines were dead and more than 1,800 were wounded. The capture of Mount Suribachi, the highest point of the island and bastion of the Japanese defense, took four more days and many more casualties. When the American flag was finally raised on Iwo Jima, the memorable image was captured in a famous photograph that later won the Pulitzer Prize.