Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Holidays and Observances for September 23 2014

National Voter Registration Day


National Voter Registration Day is a celebration of our democracy and the largest one-day effort to register voters. It falls on every 3rd Tuesday of September.

In 2008, 6 million Americans didn't vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn't know how to register. In 2014, we want to make sure no one is left out.

On September 23, 2014, volunteers, celebrities, and organizations from all over the country will "hit the streets" for National Voter Registration Day. This single day of coordinated field, technology and media efforts will create pervasive awareness of voter registration opportunities--allowing us to reach tens of thousands of voters who we could not reach otherwise.

What It Means
  • Volunteers at transportation hubs, retail stores, sporting events, and concerts.
  • Technology to help eligible voters find registration drives nearby and register to vote online.
  • A network of grassroots, local organizations engaged in their own communities.
  • Tens of thousands of voters registering to vote online and offline in a single day.
What It Will Accomplish
  • Register Voters: A network of a thousand organizations operating on the ground and through social media will register tens of thousands of voters in the field and tens of thousands more online while also receiving pledges to vote from those already registered.
  • Mobilize Volunteers: By partnering with nonprofits not usually engaged in voter registration drives, and amplifying existing drives through event-based recruitment and cultural outreach, National Voter Registration Day will bring together thousands of volunteers across the nation to register voters.
  • Educate Eligible Voters: Millions of voters need to register and re-register every year. By utilizing new technology and leveraging partners, we'll educate more Americans than ever before, bringing new voters into the fold. 
  • Change the Conversation: National Voter Registration Day will be an opportunity to put our differences aside and celebrate the rights that unite us as Americans; democracy.
National Voter Registration Day has been made possible in part by a working group of organizations providing coordination and support. These organizations include, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Education Fund, Bus Federation Civic Fund, Fair Elections Legal Network, League of Women Voters, Nonprofit VOTE, Rock the Vote, and Voto Latino. 


National Checkers Day And  Dogs In Politics Day


Today is National Checkers Day And Dogs in Politics Day, which marks the anniversary of the one of the greatest speeches in U.S. political history.

And it’s named after a dog.

On Sept. 23, 1952, Sen. Richard Nixon of California gave a televised and radio-broadcast address to refute charges he used some of an $18,000 campaign fund for personal use. He was on the presidential ticket with Dwight Eisenhower, the former World War II Supreme Allied Commander, and the duo was running against Illinois Democrat Governor Adlai Stevenson.

Nixon was accused of taking campaign funds and diverting them for personal use. As last-minute scandals have a way of changing the tide of a presidential contest, calls came for Ike to dump Nixon from the ticket. Rather than duck for cover, however, Nixon fought back with a televised address. For approximately 30 minutes, Nixon refuted the charges by providing and detailed breakdown of his finances.

But the speech earned its nickname when Nixon mentioned one donated item sent to his family as a personal gift, and he had no intention of returning it:
“A man down in Texas heard Pat [Nixon’s wife] on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog. And, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was?" 
“It was a little Cocker Spaniel dog in a crate that he’d sent all the way from Texas. Black and white spotted. And our little girl — Tricia, the six-year old — named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we’re gonna keep it.”
The “Checkers” speech had an estimated 60 million viewers and listeners, and the reaction was overwhelmingly favorable toward Nixon. It is also regarded as one of the greatest political speeches in U.S. history, and a milestone in terms of demonstrating the effectiveness of television.

Aided by the “Checkers” speech and the positive response, Nixon remained on the GOP ticket, and was vice president for two terms. Nixon narrowly lost the 1960 presidential election to John Kennedy, but ultimately won the Oval Office in 1968 and was handily re-elected 1972. He resigned from office in 1974 amid the Watergate scandal; he died in 1994.

Checkers died in 1964, and she was buried in Bide-a-Wee Pet Cemetery, located in Long Island, NY.

Restless Legs Awareness Day


Restless Legs Awareness Day aims to promote awareness of this medical condition or syndrome. It is held on the same day each year to coincide with the birth date of Professor Karl-Axel Ekborn (born 23rd September 1907, died 1977). This eminent Swedish neurologist first wrote and described the disease in 1945. Since then, a lot has been learned about its symptoms although (to date) there is no known primary cause. It may be associated with dopamine or blood iron levels.

Characterised by urges to move the legs even when at rest, it can also sometimes occur in the arms. Secondary causes include some medication or other pre-disposing medical conditions.

International Awareness Day aims to increase understanding of RLS and the jerky movements and in some cases distress caused. A cure is still being sought. In 2013, the North Carolina (USA) proclaimed that this day should be observed by all citizens.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder that causes a strong urge to move your legs. This urge to move often occurs with strange and unpleasant feelings in your legs. Moving your legs relieves the urge and the unpleasant feelings.

People who have RLS describe the unpleasant feelings as creeping, crawling, pulling, itching, tingling, burning, aching, or electric shocks. Sometimes, these feelings also occur in the arms.

The urge to move and unpleasant feelings happen when you're resting and inactive. Thus, they tend to be worse in the evening and at night.

RLS can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. It may make you feel tired and sleepy during the day. This can make it hard to learn, work, and do other daily activities. Not getting enough sleep also can cause depression, mood swings, or other health problems.

RLS can range from mild to severe based on:
  • The strength of your symptoms and how often they occur
  • How easily moving around relieves your symptoms
  • How much your symptoms disturb your sleep
One type of RLS usually starts early in life (before 45 years of age) and tends to run in families. It may even start in childhood. Once this type of RLS starts, it usually lasts for the rest of your life. Over time, symptoms slowly get worse and occur more often. If you have a mild case, you may have long periods with no symptoms.

Another type of RLS usually starts later in life (after 45 years of age). It generally doesn't run in families. This type of RLS tends to have a more abrupt onset. The symptoms usually don't get worse over time.

Some diseases, conditions, and medicines may trigger RLS. For example, the disorder has been linked to kidney failure, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, and iron deficiency. When a disease, condition, or medicine causes RLS, the symptoms usually start suddenly.

Medical conditions or medicines often cause or worsen the type of RLS that starts later in life.

RLS symptoms often get worse over time. However, some people's symptoms go away for weeks to months.

If a medical condition or medicine triggers RLS, the disorder may go away if the trigger is relieved or stopped. For example, RLS that occurs due to pregnancy tends to go away after giving birth. Kidney transplants (but not dialysis) relieve RLS linked to kidney failure.

Treatments for RLS include lifestyle changes and medicines. Some simple lifestyle changes often help relieve mild cases of RLS. Medicines often can relieve or prevent the symptoms of more severe RLS.

Research is ongoing to better understand the causes of RLS and to find better treatments.

Celebrate Bisexuality Day


Celebrate Bisexuality Day is observed on September 23 by members of the bisexual community and their supporters.

This day is a call for the bisexual community, their friends and supporters to recognize and celebrate bisexuality,bisexual history, bisexual community and culture, and all the bisexual people in their lives.

First observed in 1999, Celebrate Bisexuality Day is the brainchild of three United States bisexual rights activists: Wendy Curry of Maine, Michael Page of Florida, and Gigi Raven Wilbur of Texas. Wilbur said,
Ever since the Stonewall rebellion, the gay and lesbian community has grown in strength and visibility. The bisexual community also has grown in strength but in many ways we are still invisible. I too have been conditioned by society to automatically label a couple walking hand in hand as either straight or gay, depending upon the perceived gender of each person.
This celebration of bisexuality in particular, as opposed to general LGBT events, was conceived as a response to the prejudice and marginalization of the bisexual persons by some in both the straight and greater LGBT communities. To quote Wendy Curry, "We were sitting around at one of the annual bi conventions, venting and someone--I think it was GiGi--said we should have a party. We all loved the great bisexual, Freddie Mercury. His birthday was in September, so why not Sept? We wanted a weekend day to ensure the most people would do something. GiGi's birthday was Sept 23rd. It fell on a weekend day, so, poof! We had a day." In its first year, an observance was held during the meeting of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, which occurred during the week of the 23rd.

While at first it only took hold in areas with an extremely strong bisexual presence, it is now celebrated in some countries outside the United States, including Canada and Australia. It features discussions, dinner parties and dances in Toronto, and a large masquerade ball in Queensland, Australia. At Texas A&M University, the week featured discussion panels and question-and-answer sessions. It has also been celebrated in Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

On September 18, 2012, Berkeley, California became what is thought to be the first city in the U.S. to officially proclaim a day recognizing bisexuals. The Berkeley City Council unanimously and without discussion declared Sept. 23 as Bisexual Pride and Bi Visibility Day.

In 2013 on Celebrate Bisexuality Day, the White House held a closed-door meeting with almost 30 bisexual advocates so they could meet with government officials and discuss issues of specific importance to the bisexual community; this was the first bi-specific event ever hosted by any White House.

On the same day in the UK, government minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson MP issued a statement saying, "I welcome Bi Visibility Day which helps to raise awareness of the issues that bisexual people can face and provides an opportunity to celebrate diversity and focus on the B in LGB&T."