Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Holidays and Observances for April 29 2014

National Shrimp Scampi Day

The National Shrimp Scampi Day is celebrated on April 29 in the United States. Shrimp Scampi refers to an American-Italian shrimp dish prepared by sauteing shrimp or prawns in garlic butter or olive oil, lemon juice and white wine. The shrimp is often served over pasta like linguine.

While the word “scampi” often signifies a cooking style in the United States, scampi are true living organisms particularly widespread in the Mediterranean and northeastern Atlantic, from North Africa to Norway and Iceland. Scampi are edible lobsters popular in Great Britain, Denmark, France, Italy and around the Adriatic coast. It is also called Dublin Bay Prawn, or Norway Lobster (Nephrops norvegicus).

The National Shrimp Scampi Day is an unofficial holiday of unknown origin although its history is unlikely to be long. The word scampi only came into the English-speaking world in the 1920's. While the Italian way of cooking shrimp is believed to be discovered in America after the World War II, the earliest reference to shrimp scampi in the New York Times was found in 1956.

The food holiday is for enjoying the special American shrimp dish. Some people may prepare the dish by using ones favorite recipe. While the basic way of cooking does not change, different kinds of shrimps or prawns can be used.

Zipper Day

April 29 celebrates a "handy" product millions of people around the world use every day and is often taken for granted. It's Zipper Day, an annual "holiday" that celebrates the zipper!

Whitcomb Judson patented the first one back in 1891 but it was not very user-friendly. Electrical engineer Gideon Sundback took Judson's idea and tweaked it a bit. And on this day back in 1913, Sundback received a patent on his "Hookless" fastener which was originally used on shoes and tobacco pouches. It wasn't until a few years later that the zipper was used in clothing. B.F. Goodrich used the product in its Zipper Boot, and the "zipper" was born.

It's hard to imagine what life would be like without the zipper, isn't it? Can you imagine how cumbersome it would be to button and unbutton, snap, hook or tie all your dresses, trousers, children's clothing, bags, purses, backpacks, coats or footwear? But thanks to a few creative minds, the revolutionary zipper was invented which made life a whole lot easier to maneuver - as long as we remember to zip it up!

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare

The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is an annual event held on April 29 as a "tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons, thereby promoting the goals of peace, security, and multilateralism." It is officially recognized by the United Nations (UN) and has been celebrated since 2005. On the latest observance on April 29, 2013, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave a speech where he stated:
On this Remembrance Day, I urge the international community to intensify efforts to rid the world of chemical weapons, along with all other weapons of mass destruction. Let us work together to bring all States under the Convention and promote its full implementation. This is how we can best honor past victims and liberate future generations from the threat of chemical weapons.
On November 11, 2005, during the last day of the United Nations' Tenth Session of the Conference of the State Parties, the members of the UN officially recognized the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare, following a suggestion by Rogelio Pfirter, Director-General of the Secretariat. In addition, Pfirter's proposal to erect a monument at the Hague commemorating all victims of chemical warfare was approved. April 29 was chosen as the date for the event's celebration because the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force on that day in 1997.

Although the majority of the world has either given up or destroyed their stockpiles of chemical weapons as of 2013, several nations have yet to do so. Five of these, Angola, Burma, Egypt, Israel, and North Korea, have not ratified the Convention and are suspected to possess chemical weapons. Syria is also known to possess a sizable stockpile and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted this in his 2013 speech, condemning the nation for its alleged exploitation of chemical weapons in its ongoing civil war. On September 14, 2013 the United States and Russia announced in Geneva that they reached a deal whereby Syria would ratify the treaty and give up its chemical weapons. The Syrian government has been cooperating and as of November 2013, all but one of Syria’s 23 publicly declared chemical weapon sites have been visited by international inspectors that are dismantling the Syrian chemical weapons program.

International Dance Day

On April 29, International Dance Day, also known as World Dance Day, is celebrated through promotion by the International Dance Council (CID). The day was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Committee of the UNESCO International Theatre Institute. The date was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, who was born in 1727, a French dancer and ballet master and a great reformer of dance.

The annually observed World Dance Day should increase the awareness of the importance of dance among the general public. Its goal is also to persuade governments all over the world to provide a proper place for dance in all systems of education. 

Around the world, there are events on World Dance Day, such as open-door-courses, exhibitions, articles concerning all kinds of dance, dance evenings, street shows, and special performances, etc. Above this, every year a message from a well known dance personality is circulated throughout the world. 

The CID is a non-profit umbrella organization for all forms of dance in the world. It was founded in 1973 within the UNESCO headquarters and has its headquarters in Paris, France. CID advises the UNESCO, national and local government agencies, international organizations and institutions. Currently it is represented in over 120 countries.

"Peace" Rose Day

The story of the ‘Peace’ rose is one that can be told over and over again because it encapsulates everything that we hold dear in roses – drama, love and greatness of spirit. This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the naming of this enduring rose that remains an excellent garden rose, and a symbol of our desire for that ever-elusive peace. The creation of ‘Peace’ was beautifully chronicled in Antonia Ridge’s book ‘For Love of a Rose’ and it was something of a miracle that the rose ever saw the light of day.

In 1935, the French rose breeder, Francis Meilland, the third generation in a family of rose growers near Lyon, selected 50 ‘promising’ seedlings from his seedbeds. One was tagged 3 – 35 – 40 and over the next four years Francis and his father, Papa Meilland, watched its development with interest. In spite of war clouds gathering, the unnamed rose was introduced to friends and professional rose growers who gave it an enthusiastic ‘thumbs up’. But three months later Hitler invaded France and, with the nursery under threat of destruction, three parcels of budwood were hastily sent out of France, one of which was smuggled out in the diplomatic bag to America.

For the duration of the war the Meilland family had no idea whether any of the budwood had survived. In America their agent planted the rose in his own trial beds and gave it to other rose growers for testing in all the climatic zones throughout the United States. The rose did so well that it was decided to release it in the United States and thousands of plants were propagated. Although the war was still raging in Europe, the launch date was set for 29 April 1945, in Pasadena, California.

On the same day that two doves were released into the American sky to symbolise the naming of the rose, Berlin fell and a truce was declared. It was sheer coincidence. In naming the rose, this simple statement was read: “ We are persuaded that this greatest new rose of our time should be named for the world’s greatest desire: ‘PEACE’.”

‘Peace’ went on to receive the All American Award for roses on the day that the war in Japan came to an end. On May 8, 1945, when Germany signed its surrender, the 49 delegates who met to form the United Nations were each presented with a bloom of ‘Peace’ and a message of peace from the Secretary of the American Rose Society.

What is so touching about the story of ‘Peace’ is that back in France, the rose had been named ‘Madame Antoine Meilland’ in memory of Claudia Dubreuil, the wife of Antoine Meilland and mother of Francis. She had been the heart and mainstay of the Meilland family and died tragically young from cancer. At the same time news coming back from Germany and Italy where other budwood had been sent, revealed that in Italy the rose was called ‘Gioia’ (Joy) and in Germany, ‘Gloria Dei’ (Glory of God). For the family, all the names captured the qualities that they loved in Claudia.

The name ‘Peace’ seems to have outlasted all the others. The timing of its launch was perfect and it struck such a chord that within nine years some 30 million ‘Peace’ rose bushes were flowering around the world. But it wasn’t because of sentiment alone. ‘Peace’ truly was a superlative rose, superior by far to the roses before it in terms of vigour, hardiness, and the long lasting ability of its blooms. The colour was also magnificent, a pale, golden yellow deepening to red along the petal edges.

Its contribution to the rose world has been immeasurable. Because of its vigour and dependability, ‘Peace’ has been used in breeding programmes across the world. It is recorded that ‘Peace’ is the ‘mother’ in 150 varieties and the ‘father’ in a further 180 varieties. There would be many more if breeders always declared the parentage of new releases. Indeed it is probably safe to say that most of our modern roses are descended in some way from ‘Peace’. In South Africa a few of the great garden roses that have ‘Peace’ in their lineage are: ‘Double Delight’, ‘Casanova’, ‘Blue Moon’, ‘Soaring Wings’, and ‘Electron’.

‘Peace’ also breathed new life into the gardening world, which sorely needed reviving after the war. The huge amount of publicity it received internationally made people excited about growing roses again. I was told that in South Africa it was in every public park and the ‘must have’ variety for every garden. Because it grew so well and so easily, people were not afraid to try their hand at other roses and so the rose industry in this country took off, once again.

Although new varieties, like ‘Iceberg’ have become even more popular, ‘Peace’ is still a good garden rose with glossy green leaves and well shaped blooms that are slightly lighter than their European counterparts because of our bright South African sunlight. I recommend planting it with ‘Rudi Neitz’, which is a taller hybrid tea rose, more upright in growth, with fewer thorns and a deeper gold to red colouring that equals that of ‘Peace’ in Europe. A grouping of three ‘Rudi Neitz’ at the back and four or five ‘Peace’ in front makes a beautiful bed.

Francis Meilland died in 1958 but his son Alain and daughter Michelle and their children continue the Meilland tradition of breeding roses. After ‘Peace’ became so well known, Francis wrote in his diary: “How strange to think that all these millions of rose buses sprang from one tiny seed no bigger than the head of a pin, a seed which we might so easily have overlooked, or neglected in a moment of inattention.”

That’s the miracle of the rose!

World Wish Day

April 29, 2012 – the anniversary of the wish that inspired the creation of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. World Wish Day is a global celebration of wish granting. Wish-granting celebrations and events will take place in the 48 countries we serve. World Wish Day celebrates the day that sparked a global wish-granting movement.

The creation of Make-A-Wish was inspired in the U.S. in 1980 by the fulfillment of a wish of a 7-year-old boy with leukemia named Chris Greicius, who wished to be a policeman. On April 29th, his mother, several friends and a group of police officers, with the cooperation of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, granted his wish with a custom-made uniform, helmet, badge, and helicopter ride. Chris's magical wish touched the entire community and inspired the beginning of the Make-A-Wish.

Make-A-Wish has become the largest wish-granting organization in the world and can be found in 48 countries on five continents. The Make-A-Wish Foundation of America grants the wishes of children in the United States, Guam and Puerto Rico through its 62 chapters, while Make-A-Wish Foundation International serves children outside the United States in 47 countries on five continents through its 36 affiliate offices. With the help of generous donors and over 30,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 290,000 wishes worldwide since inception.

Viral Video Day

April 29 is Viral Video Day, an annual "holiday" created by Jace Shoemaker-Galloway, a freelance writer who has written thousands of articles covering all sorts of traditional, unusual and downright wacky holidays.

Viral videos are short video clips that catapult to popularity by sharing through social media or email. And thanks to the advances in technology and the availability of video cams on cell phones and digital cameras, creating short video clips are simple and affordable to make.

Whether used as a political or marketing tool or to capture an important event or popular dance craze, the most popular viral videos often inspire or educate us, touch our hearts, make us laugh or even make us cry.

While some of these popular videos star celebs, politicians or famous people, many of the most popular viral videos feature animals, children and everyday, ordinary people. Although there doesn't appear to be any magical formula to determine which videos will go viral and create the most buzz, some lucky folks who post their videos on video sharing sites can make some pretty nice cashola. And some viral videos become so popular, even Hollywood comes-a-calling!

Viral Video Day not only celebrates the best viral videos of the past, but also encourages folks across the country to create their own original content. Join in on the celebration by sharing your favorite viral videos of all time or creating your own video and sharing it en masses.

Go ahead - take your best "shot." Who knows? Maybe your video will rise to viral video stardom and make the Most Popular Viral Videos of All Time list?

Most Popular Viral Videos of All Time
Happy Viral Video Day!