Thursday, November 20, 2014

Holidays and Observances for November 20 2014

Great American Smokeout


The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November each year by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By quitting — even for one day — smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing cancer risk.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet about 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes — a bit under 1 in every 5 adults. As of 2012, there were also 13.4 million cigar smokers in the US, and 2.3 million who smoke tobacco in pipes — other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco.

Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout. They may use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. The Great American Smokeout event challenges people to stop using tobacco and helps people know about the many tools they can use to help them quit and stay quit.

In many towns and communities, local volunteers use this event to publicize the need to quit, and press for laws that control tobacco use and discourage teens from starting, and support people who want to quit.

Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have support, such as:
  • Telephone smoking-cessation hotlines
  • Stop-smoking groups
  • Online quit groups
  • Counseling
  • Nicotine replacement products
  • Prescription medicine to lessen cravings
  • Guide books
  • Encouragement and support from friends and family members
Using 2 or more of these measures to quit smoking works better than using any one of them alone. For example, some people use a prescription medicine along with nicotine replacement. Other people may use as many as 3 or 4 of the methods listed above.

Telephone stop-smoking hotlines are an easy-to-use resource, and they are available in all 50 states.

Call us at 1-800-227-2345 to get more information on quitting tobacco and to find telephone counseling or other support in your area.

The Smokeout event has helped dramatically change Americans’ attitudes about smoking. These changes have led to community programs and smoke-free laws that are now saving lives in many states. Annual Great American Smokeout events began in the 1970s, when smoking and secondhand smoke were commonplace.

The idea for the Great American Smokeout grew from a 1970 event in Randolph, Massachusetts, at which Arthur P. Mullaney asked people to give up cigarettes for a day and donate the money they would have spent on cigarettes to a high school scholarship fund. Nearly 1 million California smokers quit on the first Great American Smokeout day. Then in 1974, Lynn R. Smith, editor of the Monticello Times in Minnesota, spearheaded the state’s first D-Day, or Don’t Smoke Day.

The idea caught on, and on November 18, 1976, the California Division of the American Cancer Society got nearly 1 million smokers to quit for the day. That California event marked the first Great American Smokeout, and the Society took the program nationwide in 1977. Since then, there have been dramatic changes in the way society views tobacco advertising and tobacco use. Many public places and work areas are now smoke-free – this protects non-smokers and supports smokers who want to quit.

Each year, the Great American Smokeout event also draws attention to the deaths and chronic diseases caused by smoking. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, many state and local governments responded by banning smoking in workplaces and restaurants, raising taxes on cigarettes, limiting cigarette promotions, discouraging teen cigarette use, and taking further action to counter smoking. These efforts continue today.

Because of individuals and groups that have led anti-tobacco efforts, there have been significant landmarks in the areas of research, policy, and the environment:
  • In 1994, Mississippi filed the first of 24 state lawsuits seeking to recuperate millions of dollars from tobacco companies for smokers’ Medicaid bills.
  • In 1977, Berkeley, California, became the first community to limit smoking in restaurants and other public places.
  • In 1983, San Francisco passed the first strong workplace smoking restrictions, including bans on smoking in private workplaces.
  • In 1990, the federal smoking ban on all interstate buses and domestic flights of 6 hours or less took effect.
  • In 1994, Mississippi filed the first of 24 state lawsuits seeking to recuperate millions of dollars from tobacco companies for smoking-related illnesses paid for by Medicaid.
  • In 1999, the Department of Justice filed suit against cigarette manufacturers, charging the industry with defrauding the public by lying about the risks of smoking.
  • In 1999, the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) was passed, requiring tobacco companies to pay $206 billion to 45 states by the year 2025 to cover Medicaid costs of treating smokers. The MSA agreement also closed the Tobacco Institute and ended cartoon advertising and tobacco billboards.
  • In 2009, The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was signed into law. It gives the FDA the authority to regulate the sale, manufacturing, and marketing of tobacco products and protects children from the tobacco industry’s marketing practices.
  • In 2012, the FDA published a list of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) in tobacco products and tobacco smoke. The list helps people better understand the amount of toxic, addictive, and cancer-causing substances in every puff of smoke.
Those states with strong tobacco control laws are now reaping the fruits of their labor. From 1965 to today, cigarette smoking among adults in the United States decreased from more than 42% to around 18%. Smoking is responsible for nearly 1 in 3 cancer deaths, and 1 in 5 deaths from all causes. Another 8.6 million people live with serious illnesses caused by smoking.Strong smoke-free policies, media campaigns, and increases in the prices of tobacco products are at least partly credited for these decreases.

Still, today about 1 in 5 US adults smoke cigarettes (that’s more than 43.6 million people). Nearly 15 million people smoke tobacco in cigars or pipes. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women. About 87% of lung cancer deaths in men and 70% in women are thought to result from smoking. Smoking also causes cancers of the larynx (voice box), mouth, sinuses, pharynx (throat), esophagus (swallowing tube), and bladder. It also has been linked to the development of cancers of the pancreas, cervix, ovary (mucinous), colon/rectum, kidney, stomach, and some types of leukemia. Cigars and pipes cause cancers, too.

Smoking is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the US. Another 8.6 million people live with serious illnesses caused by smoking.

Fortunately, the past few decades have seen great strides in changing attitudes about smoking, understanding nicotine addiction, and learning how to help people quit. Today, the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout event is celebrated with rallies, parades, stunts, quitting information, and even “cold turkey” menu items in schools, workplaces, Main Streets, and legislative halls throughout the US.

National Absurdity Day


Are you aware of the existence of a National Absurdity Day? First thing that surely will come to anyone’s mind is that this day promotes absurdity. And how absurd! Why would we want to be nonsensical, illogical or senseless? Would not that place us in an embarrassing situation? Well, it is your chance to be absurd on this year’s National Absurdity Day! National Absurdity Day is always observed, in the United States of America, on the 20 day of November, each year.

No factual record had been found in our extensive research on the founder and official purpose of this day. Whoever created this day may be in dire need of an excuse to nonsense actions that this day provided the perfect excuse. But for the sheer joy of enjoying this rare day, let us be grateful for the opportunity it provides.

The National Absurdity Day gives us a chance to think of and note down some of the preposterously illogical events in history, in our nation and our very lives. It is a fun day, a day to laugh at our folly and do crazy things. Let us all remember to be safe and take extra care in whatever foolish activity we may want to do on this special day.

Here are some suggestions on how to spend the National Absurdity Day:
  • Avoid people and, should it be quite difficult, pretend you need no one in your life;
  • Have a drinking session with your pet dog and share with your pet all your frustrations in life;
  • Treat yourself to a saloon with your pet cat and demand they treat your pet as they would treat you, as paying customer;
  • Greet your friends through a social media site informing them of the special day;
  • Send senseless eCards to friends and relatives.
National Peanut Butter Fudge Day


A lot of people like peanuts. A lot of people like peanut butter. A lot of people like fudge. Here is a day to celebrate the combination of all three of those foods.
November 20 is National Peanut Butter Fudge Day.

Peanut butter fudge is the perfect treat for anyone who loves peanut butter. If you have never tried peanut butter fudge, it might be a nice treat for you to try. It is almost guaranteed that you will love that rich, decadent dessert.

Peanut butter has been a staple in American homes for more than a century. It can be served in a sandwich by itself or with jelly. Peanut butter can be eaten on fruit such as apples and strawberries. Peanut butter can be mixed with ice cream, combined with chocolate, or whipped into fudge.

According to legend, the origin of fudge can be traced back to the 1800s when people used the word "fudge" to mean "cheat" or "mess up." One day, a chef accidentally "fudged" a batch of caramel he was trying to make, inventing the delicious confection we know and love it today.

Fudge is now made in many heavenly flavors, including the rich peanut butter variety. Why not make a batch in honor of National Peanut Butter Fudge Day.

Transgender Day of Remembrance


Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which occurs annually on November 20, is a day to memorialize those who have been killed as a result oftransphobia (the hatred or fear of transgender and gender non-conforming people) and to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgendercommunity.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a trans woman who is a graphic designer, columnist, and activist, to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. Since its inception, TDoR has been held annually on November 20, and it has slowly evolved from the web-based project started by Smith into an international day of action. In 2010, TDoR was observed in over 185 cities throughout more than 20 countries.

Typically, a TDoR memorial includes a reading of the names of those who lost their lives during the previous year, and may include other actions, such as candlelight vigils, art shows, food drives, film screenings, and marches. The TDoR is the culmination of Transgender Awareness Week. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has extensively covered TDoR. GLAAD has interviewed numerous transgender advocates (including actressCandis Cayne), profiled an event at the New York City LGBT Community Center, and discussed media coverage of TDoR.

Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender — that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people.

We live in times more sensitive than ever to hatred based violence, especially since the events of September 11th. Yet even now, the deaths of those based on anti-transgender hatred or prejudice are largely ignored. Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. This trend shows no sign of abating.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who've died by anti-transgender violence.

Universal Children's Day


The United Nations' (UN) Universal Children's Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide. UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, promotes and coordinates this special day, which also works towards improving children's welfare.

Many schools and other educational institutions make a special effort to inform children of their rights according to the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Teachers stimulate their pupils to think about the differences between themselves and others and explain the idea of “rights”. In countries where the rights of children are generally well-respected, teachers may draw attention to situations in countries where this is not the case.

In some areas UNICEF holds events to draw particular attention to children's rights. These may be to stimulate interest in the media around the world or to start nationwide campaigns, for instance on the importance of immunizations or breastfeeding.

Many countries, including Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, hold Universal Children's Day events on November 20 to mark the anniversaries of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, other countries hold events on different dates, such as the fourth Wednesday in October (Australia) and November 14 (India). Universal Children's Day is not observed in the United States, although a similar observance, National Child's Day, is held on the first Sunday in June.

On December 14, 1954, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should introduce an annual event from 1956 known as Universal Children's Day to encourage fraternity and understanding between children all over the world and promoting the welfare of children. It was recommended that individual countries should choose an appropriate date for this occasion.

At the time, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a Children's Day on an “appropriate” date. Many of the countries respected this recommendation and the Universal Children's Day has since been annually observed on November 20. There are however, some countries, such as Australia and India, which still chose various different dates during the year to celebrate this day.

On November 20, 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and on November 20, 1989, it adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since 1990, Universal Children's Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the declaration and the convention on children's rights.

Universal Children's Day is part of the work carried out by UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund. UNICEF's logo consists of an image of a mother and child, a globe, olive branches and the word “UNICEF”. All parts of the logo are in UN's blue color, although it may be presented in white on a blue background.

World Philosophy Day


World Philosophy Day annually observed on the third Thursday of November to honor philosophical reflections around the world. It is a day for people to share thoughts, openly explore and discuss new ideas and inspire public debate or discussion on society’s challenges.

World Philosophy Day is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) initiative that draws people around the world to engage in shared reflection on contemporary issues. Various events and activities include:
  • Philosophical dialogues, debates, lectures, and meetings involving renowned philosophers.
  • International conferences on philosophical topics such as the connection between philosophy, education and culture.
  • Exhibitions and philosophy book fairs.
  • Philosophy cafes.
Different organizations, community groups and government agencies in many countries, including (but not exclusive to) Chile, France, Morocco, the Philippines, and Turkey, have participated in actively promoting World Philosophy Day.

Philosophy has opened the door for new concepts and innovative ideas, laying the foundations of critical thinking, independence and creativity across cultures for many centuries. UNESCO introduced World Philosophy Day in 2002 to honor philosophical reflections throughout the world by opening spaces and encouraging people to share their philosophical heritage, opening their minds to new ideas, and inspire public debate on society’s challenges.

UNESCO’s Director-General Ko├»chiro Matsuura gave a public message about World Philosophy Day in 2004 to highlight the day’s meaning and importance. He said that philosophy gave the conceptual grounding to the principles and values that shaped the possibility of world peace – democracy, human rights, justice and equality. Reflection on contemporary society’s unsolved problems and unanswered questions was always at the heart of philosophical analysis and thinking.