Thursday, June 19, 2014

Holidays and Observances for June 19 2014


Juneteenth is the day of celebration in America which commemorates the setting free of slaves and the abolishment of slavery in the U S state of Texas on June 19, 1965. The day is also called the Emancipation Day or Freedom Day and is celebrated on the nineteenth of June or the whole week around the day. Juneteenth is a portmanteau of June Nineteenth formed by joining the two words. This holiday honors the African American heritage and commemorates the African American freedom and it is a day of reflecting the past and a day of renewal in to a new and kinder human race.

On September 22 1862, during the civil war, the president of United States, Abraham Lincoln issued an Emancipation Proclamation that declared the freedom of all slaves in the confederate state of America by the first of January 1963. But this proclamation had minimal or no effect on the practice of slavery in the state of Texas and the lives of the slaves remained the same. The proclamation did not have effect on the slaves of Texas because of minimum number of Union troupes in the state to enforce the new order.

The civil War ended on April 9th 1965 and two months later on June 19th Union General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston in Texas with the news that the war had ended two months earlier and the slaves were free. General Ganger's Order number 3 which declared the freeing of all the slaves from then on, was accepted with immediate jubilation and celebration. This order freed the bondage of the remaining 250,000 slaves in the state.

The Juneteenth became the official holiday of Texas in the year 1980 and later on the observation spread to many other states in America and even some other countries.

Juneteenth has been declared the official holiday of Texas but it is only a partial staffing holiday and the state offices do not close on the day. Thirteen other states also list it as an official holiday but the Lone Star State remains the only state granting it as a full state holiday, a day when government employees have the day off.

Juneteenth festival has been observed either as a day or week long celebration of the African American history and culture. The day's celebration is opened with a prayer or religious ceremony and includes a reading from the Emancipation Proclamation. Food and barbecue dinner are a specialty of the day and music and dance heightens the joyous celebration. Many events and competitions are hosted on the day and parades and rodeos are also conducted to mark the celebration. Baseball games, Miss Juneteenth contest, picnics, family gathering, barbecue cookouts, and parties are organized on the day which provides a chance for the African Americans community members to get together and enjoy the day.

Seminars and classes are conducted around the week or during the full month of June to discuss and educate about the condition prevailing in the country a century ago and the outlook of the people today. Government organizations and libraries create displays to honor the African American history. Many programs and competitions are conducted in the schools that educate the younger generation about the day.

The Juneteenth festival is a way to connect to the African American history and slavery. It is a time for reflection and also a time to recognize, encourage and respect different culture and different people.

Juneteenth festival is celebrated to commemorate the freedom of thousands of people from the hard and tiring life as a slave; it is a day to observe the African American freedom from the evil hands of slavery. This day gives us an opportunity to reflect, honor and pay respect to the suffering of the African slaves.

 It is a day to honor the hardship, torture and suffering of the innocent slaves and a time for assessment, self improvement and planning for the future where this dark and cruel slavery or discrimination would never be repeated. The motive of the Juneteenth festival is to endorse family bonding and cultural awareness among the African American community. It is a day to acknowledge the 200 years of slavery and humiliation faced by the African Americans. On this day we can take at least one step towards oneness among the fellow human being; oneness irrespective of race, religion, sex or nationality.

National Martini Day

National Martini Day takes place on June 19. The martini is a cocktail made with gin and vermouth, and garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Over the years, the martini has become one of the best-known mixed alcoholic beverages. H. L. Mencken called the martini "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet" and E. B. White called it "the elixir of quietude". 

The traditional method of preparation is to pour gin and dry vermouth into a mixing glass with ice cubes, stir, strain into chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a green olive or a twist of lemon peel. The ratio of gin to vermouth has been steadily increasing since the cocktail was created. During the latter part of the 20th century, 6:1, 8:1, 12:1, or even 50:1 or 100:1 martinis became considered the norm. 

You need to prepare a martini? No problem, here is what you need to do to serve a straight Martini: Pour all ingredients (55ml gin and 15ml dry vermouth) into a mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well. Strain in chilled martini cocktail glass. Squeeze oil from lemon peel onto the drink, or garnish with olive. To serve it on the rocks: Pour all ingredients over ice cubes in old-fashioned glass and garnish as above.

Recess at Work Day

Since its inception in 2004 the 3rd Thursday in June has been designated as Recess At Work Day. Acknowledged by Chase’s Calendar of Events (the Official Bible of Unofficial Holidays) and worldwide media, Recess at Work Day has evolved over the years. It has evolved because of people like you; people who have embraced the holiday and used it to make your organization a better place for employees, volunteers and members.

What started out as a day of fun in 2004; a day of schoolyard games; has morphed into a day to recharge teams, celebrate success, and offer a chance for some learning. It has evolved into what I call an opportunity to RECESSitate any group, team, customers or business.

Look Who Has Participated:
Over the years I have hula hooped at Harford Hospital, celebrated the successes of school cafeteria workers, and enjoyed breakfast while delivering a fun professional development program for McDonalds Corporation. As you can see Recess At Work Day is good for any industry who understands the importance of morale, engagement, and productivity; any organization that values its number one asset – its people. 1-800-MATTRESS seized the marketing opportunity and invited their customers to come take a Recess and try out a new mattress.

The definition of RECESSitate is to undergo a period of learning, recharging or celebrating; versus the definition of Resuscitate which is to bring back from the dead. That’s what Recess At Work Day is all about; that’s what this system is all about. It’s about RECESSitating your organization before the need for resuscitating. The benefits of RECESSitating or a RECESSitation as I like to call it, include, but are not limited to:
  • Improved employee morale
  • Increased employee engagement
  • Higher productivity
  • Stronger work teams
  • Better Communication
  • Stronger Leadership/Grooming Leadership
  • A more fun workplace
And given the last few years, don’t you think your organization deserves some time to have a little fun with a purpose? To have their hard work and loyalty recognized.
World Sauntering Day

What is Sauntering?
  • In layman’s language, saunter means “leisurely walk or stroll.”
  • But it is not a simple jog, walk, run or trot.
  • Sauntering is a kind of strolling.
  • It is a very stylish and casual of movement which leads anyone from one place to the other.
  • The dictionary meaning of sauntering is taking a stroll slothfully and pointlessly but enjoying it.
When is World Sauntering Day Celebrated?
World Sauntering Day is celebrated on the 19th day of June every year.

What is the Significance of this Day?
Basically, it is that day while revival of the missed art of Victorian sauntering takes place. World Sauntering Day is to de-motivate the style of lollygagging, sashaying, fast waking, jogging and trotting. 

  • World Sauntering Day got its origin in the year 1979 by W. T. Rabe a one-time publicist in Detroit, a director of public relations at Lake Superior State University and a manager at the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island of Michigan
  • W. T. Rabe was the creator of a publicity stunt basically to encourage visitors and residents of the island to saunter, and to enjoy the beauty around them.
  • W. T. Rabe started it as a doze against jogging for which people went crazy then, and surprisingly the people who first sauntered on this day which later was declared as a holiday on the hotel's 660-foot front porch.
  • In fact not only in Michigan but in many other countries it has also been declared as a holiday, though might be an unofficial one.
  • This date also has its mark in the history of United States where June 19 is celebrated as Juneteenth day which symbolizes the end of slavery.
  • The reason behind it being that on 19th June in the year 1865 soldiers of the Union that was headed by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived at Galveston in Texas and That was really a great news as from then all the slaves were set free.
  • In honor to mark this freedom it came to be celebrated as the freedom day or rather the Juneteenth Day.
  • Also in China it is marked as the Dragon Boat Festival, also called as Fifth Month Festival or Summer Festival.
  • Similarly, Garfield, the famous lovely, cute cat Garfield created by Jim Davis celebrates his birthday on the same day.
  • Lou Gehrig the famous baseball player who died in the year 1941 also celebrates his birthday on 19th of June 1903.
  • Also in some places World Sauntering Day is celebrated on the 28th of August but the official date will always be June 19th.
How can the Day be Celebrated?
There is no restriction as such on World Sauntering Day to move around or rather saunter. Anyone can do it men women even children of all ages or groups. In fact it is one day when every one has a chance to roam, rove and ruminate; all what pleases them.

Positive hues of the Day Celebration:
  • Well then if one is celebrating World Sauntering Day then he/she does not need to justify or give any reason as such as to why he/she is celebrating this day because it is legal to do so and no one can point it out.
  • So, life is often more enjoyable when one takes out time to saunter through it.
  • One will always love it even more if he/she saunter’s along with friends and family.
  • So, it is better if one makes it a day that reminds him/her to spend time with friends and family and let the thoughts and views feel free to be shared with all.
  • This is a fast paced world where nobody has time for none .Everyone is busy sitting in front of their computers aiming to catch up with the rest who are already ahead.
  • So, I n this busy world when one is getting a day to actually celebrate in a manner where not only oneself but everybody around can be happy and make the others happy and show care with concern actually by simply enjoying a bit by sauntering then one should grab it immediately.
World Sickle Cell Day

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a serious condition that affects people all over the world; the complications that arise from it are usually fatal. Sickle cell disease is a set of red blood cell disorders that are mostly inherited. In sickle cell disease the red blood cells become tough and sticky and resemble ‘sickles.’ The infected cells perish early which leads to a constant depletion of red blood cells in the blood. Further as the blood moves through blood vessels, these infected cells get stuck to the walls and obstruct the blood flow which leads to more complications. With good medical care people with sickle cell disease can live into adulthood but with a decreased life expectancy.

sickle cell disease is common among the African, Asian nations and amongst people who do not have access to proper medical supervision and care. In the United States mainly the African-Americans are affected, with every one in 500 African-American child being affected with the disease. In Africa nearly 2% of newborns are affected with sickle cell disease. In the United Kingdom more than 200 newborns are infected with sickle cell disease. In the Middle East more than 6000 babies are born annually with sickle cell disease.

World Sickle Cell Day
In the year 2008, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution which determines sickle cell disease as a public health problem and one of the world’s foremost genetic disease, requiring heightened awareness and activism, diagnosis and management. The result of the resolution was that June 19th was declared as World Sickle Cell to increase awareness of the condition all over the world.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has started work on a war footing to promote a world wide agenda to address hemoglobin dysfunctions.

WHO has made a commitment to:
  • Recognize that sickle cell disease is a major health issue.
  • Increase awareness of the world community regarding sickle cell disease.
  • Eliminate harmful and wrong prejudices associated with sickle cell disease.
  • Urges member countries where sickle cell disease is a public health problem to establish health programs at the national level and operate specialized centers for sickle cell disease and facilitate access to treatment.
  • Promote satisfactory access to medical services to people affected with sickle cell disease.
  • Provide technical support to all countries to prevent and manage sickle cell disease.
  • Promote and help research to improve the lives of people affected with sickle cell disease.
World Sickle Cell Day
The World Sickle Cell day is celebrated across the globe with special emphasis in African Nations and Asia. The celebrations include a press, media campaigns, music shows, cultural activities, and talk shows.

Since no known cure exists for sickle cell disease, the main goal is to prevent further complications due to sickle cell disease. The main emphasis is hence on educating medical professionals, care givers, and associated personnel about prevention, research, and resources to minimize the complications due to sickle cell disease. Hence June 19th is devoted mainly to spread awareness, through talks, seminars, pamphlets, literature and consultations.

National Dump The Pump Day

The 9th annual National Dump the Pump Day on June 19 is a day to highlight that when gas prices are high, using public transportation is a great alternative to driving that will help people save money.

We know what happens when gas prices are high. Many people park their cars and take public transportation instead. In fact, using public transportation is an economical way to beat high gas prices…if it is available. According to APTA’s most recent Transit Saving Report, a two-person household can save, on the average, more than $10,174 a year by downsizing to one car.

As gas prices continue to rise, people need to save money. This is a time to increase public transportation service, not decrease it. However, Congress has yet to pass a well funded, long-term, multimodal surface transportation bill that will increase public transportation investment.

From urban to suburban to rural communities, public transportation is a vital resource to Americans, and a cornerstone of our nation’s economy and local economies. In fact, public transportation helps to make a community economically competitive. Additionally, public transportation offers job access to millions of Americans since nearly 60 percent of trips taken on public transit are work commutes.

Public transportation use reduces our nation’s dependence on foreign oil by 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline a year and it also saves 37 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually. Last, but not least, public transportation has a proven track record of reducing congestion. The latest research shows that in 2011, U.S. public transportation use saved 856 million hours in travel time, 450 million gallons of fuel, and $21 billion in congestion costs in 498 urban areas.
Quick Facts
  • In 2013, Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation - - the highest in 57 years. 
  • Since 1995 public transit ridership is up 37.2 percent, outpacing population growth, which is up 20.3 percent, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT), which is up 22.7 percent.
  • People board public transportation 35 million times each weekday, .
  • Public transportation is a $57 billion industry that employs more than 400,000 people.
  • More than 7,200 organizations provide public transportation in the United States.
Public Transportation Helps People Save Money
  • Using public transportation is the quickest way to beat high gas prices.
  • According to APTA’s Transit Saving Report, a two-person household can save, on the average, more than $10,174 a year by downsizing to one car.
  • Public transportation provides an affordable, and for many, necessary, alternative to driving.
Public Transportation Provides Economic Opportunities & Drives Community Growth and Revitalization
  • Every $1 invested in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns.
  • Every $10 million in capital investment in public transportation yields $30 million in increased business sales.
  • Every $10 million in operating investment yields $32 million in increased business sales.
  • From 2006-2011, residential property values performed 42 percent better on average if they were located near public transportation with high-frequency service.
Public Transportation Saves Fuel and Reduces Congestion
  • Public transportation has a proven record of reducing congestion.
  • The latest research shows that in 2011, U.S. public transportation use saved 865 million hours in travel time and 450 million gallons of fuel in 498 urban areas.
  • Without public transportation, congestion costs in 2011 would have risen by nearly $21 billion from $121 billion to $142 billion in 498 urban areas. 
Public Transportation Reduces Gasoline Consumption
  • Public transportation use in the United States saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually.
  • Households near public transit drive an average of 4,400 fewer miles than households with no access to public transit.
Public Transportation Reduces Carbon Footprint
  • Public transportation use in the United States reduces our nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually. This is equivalent to Washington, DC; New York City; Atlanta; Denver; and Los Angeles combined stopping using electricity. 
  • One person with a 20-mile round trip commute who switches from driving to public transit can reduce his or her daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds, or more than 4,800 pounds in a year.
  • A single commuter switching his or her commute to public transportation can reduce a household’s carbon emissions by 10 percent and up to 30 percent if he or she eliminates a second car.
Public Transportation Enhances Personal Opportunities
  • Public transportation provides personal mobility and freedom for people from every walk of life.
  • Access to public transportation gives people transportation options to commute to work, go to school, visit friends, or travel to a doctor’s office.
  • Public transportation provides access to job opportunities for millions of Americans.
Garfield the Cat Day

Garfield The Cat Day is celebrated annually on 19th June. The day is set aside to honour all things related to the ginger feline. Garfield was famously created by cartoonist Jim Davis and appeared in a cartoon strip on 19th June 1978. Garfield’s owner: Jon Arbuckle and his dog friend; Odie, also appear in the cartoon strip.

The world renowned comic strip featuring Garfield is set in Muncie, Indiana. Topical subjects focussed on are: obsessive eating, love for consuming lasagne and a distaste of Mondays. Davis took the human faculties, that we do not like discussing and anthropomorphised them in our ginger friend.

When celebrating Garfield the Cat day why not dress up as the cat himself? Organise a dress-up day at work where everybody has to come as a character from the well-known comic strip. You could donate money raised to a local charity and make it a real event! Alternatively, you could set up a local competition whereby youngsters test out their artistic skills by drawing a three frame cartoon strip based on Garfield.