Saturday, July 5, 2014

Holidays and Observances for July 5 2014

Bikini Day

On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveils a daring two-piece swimsuit at the Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris. Parisian showgirl Micheline Bernardini modeled the new fashion, which Reard dubbed "bikini," inspired by a news-making U.S. atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week.

European women first began wearing two-piece bathing suits that consisted of a halter top and shorts in the 1930s, but only a sliver of the midriff was revealed and the navel was vigilantly covered. In the United States, the modest two-piece made its appearance during World War II, when wartime rationing of fabric saw the removal of the skirt panel and other superfluous material. Meanwhile, in Europe, fortified coastlines and Allied invasions curtailed beach life during the war, and swimsuit development, like everything else non-military, came to a standstill.

In 1946, Western Europeans joyously greeted the first war-free summer in years, and French designers came up with fashions to match the liberated mood of the people. Two French designers, Jacques Heim and Louis Reard, developed competing prototypes of the bikini. Heim called his the "atom" and advertised it as "the world's smallest bathing suit." Reard's swimsuit, which was basically a bra top and two inverted triangles of cloth connected by string, was in fact significantly smaller. Made out of a scant 30 inches of fabric, Reard promoted his creation as "smaller than the world's smallest bathing suit." Reard called his creation the bikini, named after the Bikini Atoll.

In planning the debut of his new swimsuit, Reard had trouble finding a professional model who would deign to wear the scandalously skimpy two-piece. So he turned to Micheline Bernardini, an exotic dancer at the Casino de Paris, who had no qualms about appearing nearly nude in public. As an allusion to the headlines that he knew his swimsuit would generate, he printed newspaper type across the suit that Bernardini modeled on July 5 at the Piscine Molitor. The bikini was a hit, especially among men, and Bernardini received some 50,000 fan letters.

Before long, bold young women in bikinis were causing a sensation along the Mediterranean coast. Spain and Italy passed measures prohibiting bikinis on public beaches but later capitulated to the changing times when the swimsuit grew into a mainstay of European beaches in the 1950s. Reard's business soared, and in advertisements he kept the bikini mystique alive by declaring that a two-piece suit wasn't a genuine bikini "unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring."

In prudish America, the bikini was successfully resisted until the early 1960s, when a new emphasis on youthful liberation brought the swimsuit en masse to U.S. beaches. It was immortalized by the pop singer Brian Hyland, who sang "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini" in 1960, by the teenage "beach blanket" movies of Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, and by the California surfing culture celebrated by rock groups like the Beach Boys. Since then, the popularity of the bikini has only continued to grow.

Hop-a-Park Day

Some city and town parks in the U.S. put on special events on this day—check out yours to see if your community does.

Even if your local parks aren't hosting events, you can still go enjoy a lovely Saturday at the park! We are encouraged to use and support our local parks—which means of course leaving it as nice (or nicer) than we found it.

This would be a perfect day to do a park clean-up.

I think it would be fun to travel to every single one of your local parks (hop, hop, hop) today. Take at least one photo per park, and write notes to yourself so your remember which one has that great climbing structure you didn't know about, say, and which has tennis courts. 

One thing my family realized recently is that several of our city parks are connected by “wilderness” trails. We discovered this feature by accident when we saw a small sign at the back side of one of our parks. Now I am a lot more alert to try to read every sign at a park, in case we have been missing other “gems” like these pretty get-away-from-the-city trails!

Celebrate your parks by mixing it up...

If you normally use a park just to play baseball, see what you've been missing in other corners of the park.

Have you ever tried a “par course” or fitness trail at a park? It can be a lot of fun to try each exercise station!

International Cherry Pit Spitting Day

Oh my goodness, how many of us have been just waiting for THIS one to come along?  hahaha I have to laugh.  As I laughed I tried to find the history of this event, but apparently it's just something that evolved over time.  As people have eaten fruit with pits, they've always just spit them out, and human beings have a built in competitive spirit and a sport was born.  What amazed me is how FAR some of these people can spit these things!  I admit, I've never tried it, and I'm not sure I ever would . . . or not that I would admit, but check this out!  I looked up the Guinness Book of Records for the furthest recorded cherry pit spit (or stone as the records call it) and this is a copy and paste of that record: 
The longest spit of a cherry stone in competition is 28.51 m (93 ft 6.5 in) by Brian "Young Gun" Krause (USA) at the International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship at Eau Claire, Michigan, USA in 2004. On the same day in the freestyle competition he spat a stone 33.62 m (110 ft 4 in).  
Now, take out the tape measure and calculate how doggone faro 110 feet, 4 inches is!  Imagine getting that distance with a spit!  It's gross, but it's also impressive.

International Day of Cooperatives

The United Nations' (UN) International Day of Cooperatives is observed on the first Saturday of July each year. Some of the day's goals are to increase awareness on cooperatives, as well as strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other supporting organizations including governments.

Cooperatives around the world celebrate the International Day of Cooperatives in many ways. Activities include: messages from the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the UN translated into local languages for worldwide distribution; news articles and radio programs publicizing the awareness of the day; fairs, exhibits, contests and campaigns focused on the topics related to the day; meetings with government officials, UN agencies and other partner organizations; economic, environmental, social and health challenges (such as tree planting); and sponsored cultural events such as theatres and concerts.

Cooperatives are important in the world's economic and social development. Based as on the principle of cooperation, cooperatives help create new ethics and values in business and economics. In 1895 ICA was formed and since 1927 it observes the first Saturday of July as International Cooperative Day. In 1994 the United Nations recognized and reaffirmed that cooperatives were vital in the world's economic, social and cultural development. However two years earlier – on December 16, 1992 – the UN General Assembly proclaimed the first Saturday of July 1995 as the International Day of Cooperatives, marking the centenary of ICA's establishment.

The United Nations’ logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map represents all the people of the world. It has been featured in colors such as white against a blue background or blue against a white background.

Promotional material used to publicize the day included images featuring an array of colors similar to those of a rainbow. These colors are linked with those that are used by ICA, which, together with the UN and other organizations, plays a big role in promoting and coordinating events for the day.

National Apple Turnover Day

Every year in the United States, on the fifth day of the month of July, lovers of fruit-stuffed pastries all over the country have an excuse to indulge in a decadent breakfast treat. This is because National Apple Turnover Day falls on this date, and offers an opportunity to nosh on an apple turnover and spread awareness of this classic, fluffy, pan fried sweet.

Apple turnovers may be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch or as a snack. The turnovers have a shelf life of about 4 days, and are best if frozen immediately (rather than being stored in the refrigerator). Frozen apple turnovers are best if eaten with 6 months of freezing.

As there is little documented information about National Apple Turnover Day that is readily available, it is difficult to determine the roots of this food holiday.

Apples themselves are said to have originated in the Tien Shan mountain range in Northwestern China, and they have been beloved by ancient rulers such as Ramses II and Ramses III, who presented them as offerings to the god Ra. The oldest accounts of turnovers date back to England and America in the mid to late 18th century.

You can celebrate National Apple Turnover Day by purchasing a batch of the fried pastries and distributing them among friends and family members, or simply enjoying an apple turnover (or more than one) on your own. You may also with to challenge your culinary prowess by whipping up some turnovers in your own kitchen at home. In some cities you will find competitions and parties in celebration of the day.

How to Make Apple Turnovers This video from Youtube features Nicky from, who demonstrates a quick and simple recipe for making apple turnovers at home. Nicky starts with fresh granny smith apples, which she pares and chops, and mixes with orange juice and zest. You may use either a sharp knife or a parer to peel your apples.

National Graham Cracker Day

The graham cracker is a cookie of sorts, common in the United States, which is typically sweetened with sugar, honey, and/or cinnamon. The current recipe is a far cry from their original one — a mild, unsweetened biscuit made of unbleached flour with bran and wheat germ added. Graham crackers were originally invented in the early 1800s by a Presbyterian minister by the name of Sylvester Graham, who introduced this snack item as part of his then-radical vegetarian diet which eschewed white flour and spices.

Why? Graham hoped to end what he believed to be the scourge of his time: masturbation.

Graham, one of seventeen children, found sexual urges to be something to be repressed, and found “self-abuse” — a colloquialism common in the 1820s and 1830s — to be a particular ill of society. By some combination of pseudoscience and faith, he concluded that a vegetarian diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, limited dairy, and bland starches would result in an end to lustful behavior. For the last two decades of his life, Graham (who died at age 57) preached that his diet, later called the Graham Diet, would help those who followed it (called Grahamites) abstain from sexual activity, and, in particular, from self-love, which Graham argued led to insanity and blindness.

The Grahamite movement waned after its leader’s death in 1851, but one man in particular stayed true to Graham’s bland food (and sexual abstinence) edict. That man, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, was the superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan, and he insisted that patients abide by a similar diet. When his brother, Will Keith Kellogg, the sanitarium’s bookkeeper, accidentally left cooked wheat out, letting it go stale, the Kelloggs decided to try and force it through the rollers anyway. Instead of softening, the wheat came out hard, and in flake form. Dr. Kellogg served the flakes, which were genuinely well received by the sanitarium’s patients.

But while Dr. Kellogg was a Grahamite of sorts, his brother Will was not. Will saw a mass market opportunity by adding a touch of sugar to the corn flakes, causing a rift between himself and his steadfast brother. Will founded the Kellogg’s corporation, now an $18 billion company; John focused on “rehabilitating” masturbators, and, per Wikipedia, at times resorted to mutilation.

Bonus fact: For a while, Oberlin College in Ohio adopted the Graham diet, going meat-free, as well as eschewing condiments and seasonings, according to the student newspaper. These items were banned outright, even if you brought it into the dining hall yourself. But one day, a professor named John P. Cowles decided to challenge the system by bringing a pepper shaker to a meal there, and found out that the rules were taken quite seriously — he was fired. But a year or so later, student dissatisfaction with the rules ended up crescendoing, finally culminating in a return to more typical dining hall fare.

National Workaholics Day

If you live to work, thrive on challenges, live and breathe the office and haven’t taken a vacation in years, this special occasion may be right up your alley! July 5 is National Workaholics Day, an annual “holiday” dedicated to those hard-working Americans who love to work and those who love them.

Life with a Workaholic
While the boss may appreciate the workaholic’s work ethic, working all the time can be detrimental to one’s personal life. For the workaholic, there is no such thing as a 40-hour workweek. Taking time off from work is simply not an option. If you have no healthy life balance and are always on the job, work addiction can be problematic.

It can be difficult for the significant other to deal with a workaholic especially when the spouse is practically married to the job. He or she is addicted to work and the job is the mistress. A 1999 study revealed that the divorce rate is twice the national average when one person in the relationship is a workaholic.

In honor of National Workaholic Day, take today off. Turn off all the electronic devices and step away from the computer - after you finish reading this, of course! Spend some quality time with your loved ones today and enjoy life a little. Get back to work tomorrow!