Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Holidays and Observances for November 11 2014

National Sundae Day

It’s National Sundae Day! There are three cities in the United States that all claim to be the birthplace of the sundae, but the true origin of this dessert is unknown.

There are hundreds of different variations of the original ice cream sundae, all with different ice cream flavors and toppings. Did you know that the most expensive sundae on record sold for $1,000? It had five scoops of rich vanilla ice cream, edible gold leafs, candied fruit, expensive chocolate, and was served in a crystal goblet with a golden spoon.

To celebrate National Sundae Day, throw an ice cream sundae party for you and your friends. Get a few gallons of your favorite ice cream flavors and a selection of toppings, and enjoy!

National Young Readers Day

National Young Readers Day takes place on November 11th. It is celebrated each year on the second Tuesday in November. Young Readers Day is a chance to celebrate it with your children by reading to them and with them. Why not give them a new book on this day as an intelligent investment in your childrens future?

National Young Readers Day is an annual event that was co-founded in 1989 by Pizza Hut and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. To make this week special, many schools recruit local “celebrities” to read aloud a favorite children’s book to classrooms.

Reading is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning. It is a means of language acquisition, of communication, and of sharing information and ideas. Like all language, it is a complex interaction between the text and the reader which is shaped by the reader's prior knowledge, experiences, attitude, and language community which is culturally and socially situated. 

The reading process requires continuous practice, development, and refinement. Reading is typically an individual activity, although on occasion a person will read out loud for the benefit of other listeners.

Origami Day

November 11th is known commonly as Veterans' Day, Remembrance Day, or Armistice Day around the world, but it has also been designated as Origami Day by the Nippon Origami Association.

Origami is the well-known art of folding paper into desired shapes. According to the NOA, origami first began in Japan around the time paper was introduced from China in the 7th century. It was originally used to help decorate places for religious rituals, but slowly evolved over the centuries into an aesthetic art form with multiple schools of disciple. These days, most consider true origami to be accomplished by using only folds, no cuts or pastes.

One of the most commonly folded and famous origami shapes is the paper crane. It is recognized, particularly in Japan, as a symbol of hope, peace, and longevity. One popular story depicting this symbolism is that of Sadako Sasaki. She was a young girl who suffered from leukemia caused by the radiation released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb at the end of World War II. The commonly told version of her story goes that she believed if she could fold 1,000 paper cranes she would be granted a wish. However, she passed away before accomplishing the feat. School children around the world still fold paper cranes in her honor.

November 11th was chosen as Origami Day by the NOA because it matched the idea of peace expressed in Armistice Day, the end of World War I in 1918. 11/11 also symbolizes the four sides of a square - the most commonly used starting paper shape for Origami folders.

Origami was relatively unknown in the United States until a woman named Lillian Oppenheimer discovered the flapping bird. That introduction, at a family gathering in the late 40's, triggered the fascination that would dominate the rest of her long life. Lillian wanted the world to share her love of origami. She sought to find or teach more folders in the New York area, and she also started corresponding with paper-folders around the world.

Gradually, through the 50's and 60's, Lillian became more and more involved with origami, and gathered around her a small group of equally dedicated and talented people. They saw magic in the creation of beautiful objects from a simple sheet of paper, and they wanted to spread their love throughout the United States.

By the 1970's Lillian was no longer young - she was born in 1898. Her colleagues wanted to make certain that the collection she had accumulated, and the business she had started to ensure rare origami books and papers would be accessible, would live on. Among those people was Michael Shall, a young teacher from Pennsylvania. He had an ambitious dream of a new group, with hundreds, or even thousands, of members all over the world, all dedicated to sharing Lillian's original vision. With Alice Gray, Gay Gross, Natalie Epstein, Alan Kaplan, Robert Neale, Florence Temko, Gwen Williams, and other people, he founded The Friends of The Origami Center of America. In 1980 The Friends was incorporated as an all-volunteer, not-for-profit, tax-exempt, cultural and educational arts organization. We are registered as a 501(c)3 charitable corporation. In 1987, we officially purchased Lillian's supplies business, which we run as mail-order only. By the time Lillian died, in 1992, The Friends had achieved and even exceeded Michael's dream.

Please take some time, fold yourself a paper crane in silence, and wish for world peace!

Veterans Day

In the USA, Veterans Day annually falls on November 11. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States on Veterans Day.

Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans. It is marked by parades and church services and in many places the American flag is hung at half mast. A period of silence lasting two minutes may be held at 11am. Some schools are closed on Veterans Day, while others do not close, but choose to mark the occasion with special assemblies or other activities.

Veterans Day is officially observed on November 11. However, if it falls on a week day, many communities hold their celebrations on the weekend closest to this date. This is to enable more people to attend and participate in the events. Federal Government offices are closed on November 11. If Veterans Day falls on a Saturday, they are closed on Friday November 10. If Veterans Day falls on a Sunday, they are closed on Monday November 12. State and local governments, schools and non-governmental businesses are not required to close and may decide to remain open or closed. Public transit systems may follow a regular or holiday schedule.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be "filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory". There were plans for parades, public meetings and a brief suspension of business activities at 11am.

In 1926, the United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I and declared that the anniversary of the armistice should be commemorated with prayer and thanksgiving. The Congress also requested that the president should "issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples."

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) was approved on May 13, 1938, which made November 11 in each year a legal holiday, known as Armistice Day. This day was originally intended to honor veterans of World War I. A few years later, World War II required the largest mobilization of service men in the history of the United States and the American forces fought in Korea. In 1954, the veterans service organizations urged Congress to change the word "Armistice" to "Veterans". Congress approved this change and on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor all American veterans, where ever and whenever they had served.

In 1968 the Uniforms Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) made an attempt to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday of October. The bill took effect in 1971. However, this caused a lot of confusion as many states disagreed with this decision and continued to hold Veterans Day activities on November 11. In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which stated that Veterans Day would again be observed on November 11 from 1978 onwards. Veterans Day is still observed on November 11.

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