Monday, December 1, 2014

Holidays and Observances for December 1 2014

Civil Air Patrol Day

Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force (USAF). It was created by Administrative Order 9 in December 1941, with Maj. Gen.John F. Curry as the first CAP national commander. The organization was originally formed to provide civilian air support to aid the war effort of World War II through border and coastal patrols, military training assistance, courier services and other activities. These efforts were recognized and, after the close of the war, Civil Air Patrol was transferred from the United States Army to the newly formed Air Force. It was incorporated as a non-profit organization of volunteers and declared to be of a benevolent nature, never again to be involved in direct combat activities.

With the approval of the Army Air Corps, Director La Guardia formalized the creation of Civil Air Patrol with Administrative Order 9, signed on 1 December 1941 and published 8 December 1941. This order outlined the Civil Air Patrol's organization and named its first national commander as Major General John F. Curry. Wilson was officially made the executive officer of the new organization. Additionally, Colonel Harry H. Blee was appointed the new operations director.

The very fear that sparked the Civil Air Patrol "movement" — that general aviation would be halted — became a reality when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. On 8 December 1941, all civil aircraft, with the exception of airliners, were grounded. This ban was lifted two days later (with the exception of the entire West Coast) and things went more or less back to normal.

Earle E. Johnson took notice of the lack of security at general aviation airports despite the attack on Pearl Harbor. Seeing the potential for light aircraft to be used by saboteurs, Johnson took it upon himself to prove how vulnerable the nation was. Johnson took off in his own aircraft from his farm airstrip nearCleveland, Ohio, taking three small sandbags with him. Flying at 500 feet (150 m), Johnson dropped a sandbag on each of three war plants and then returned to his airstrip. The next morning he notified the factory owners that he had "bombed" their facilities. The CAA apparently got Johnson's message and grounded all civil aviation until better security measures could be taken. Not surprisingly, the Civil Air Patrol's initial membership increased along with the new security.

With America's entrance into World War II, German U-boats began to operate along the East Coast. Their operations were very effective, sinking a total of 204 vessels by September 1942. The Civil Air Patrol's top leaders requested that the War Department give them the authority to directly combat the U-boat threat. The request was initially opposed, for the CAP was still a young and inexperienced organization. However, with the alarming numbers of ships being sunk by the U-boats, the War Department finally agreed to give CAP a chance.

On 5 March 1942, under the leadership of the newly promoted National Commander Johnson (the same Johnson that had "bombed" the factories with sandbags), the Civil Air Patrol was given authority to operate a coastal patrol at two locations along the East Coast: Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. They were given a time frame of 90 days to prove their worth. The CAP's performance was outstanding, and before the 90 day period was over, the coastal patrol operations were authorized to expand in both duration and territory. By the end of the war, CAP pilots had flown over 500,000 mission hours. However, more than 90 aircraft were lost, and between 59 and 64 CAP pilots were killed, including 26 who were lost while on coastal patrol.

Since that time, Civil Air Patrol has carried out three congressionally mandated objectives: emergency services (including search and rescue operations), aerospace education for youth and the general public, and cadet programs for teenage youth. In addition, it has been tasked with assisting the United States Department of Homeland Security, and also performs non-auxiliary missions for various governmental and private agencies, such as local law enforcement and the American Red Cross.

The general idea of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) originated with a collective brainstorm of pilots and aviators before the start of World War II. In the later half of the 1930s, the Axis powers became a threat to the United States, its allies and its interests. As the Axis steadily took control of the greater part of Europe and South-East Asia, aviation-minded Americans noticed a trend: in all of the conquered countries and territories, civil aviation was more or less halted in order to reduce the risk of sabotage. Countries that were directly involved in the conflict strictly regulated general aviation, allowing military flights only. American aviators did not wish to see the same fate befall themselves, but realized that if nothing was done to convince the federal government that civil aviation could be of direct and measurable benefit to the imminent war effort, the government would likely severely limit general aviation.

The concrete plan for a general aviation organization designed to aid the U.S. military at home was envisaged in 1938 by Gill Robb Wilson. Wilson, then aviation editor of The New York Herald Tribune, was on assignment in Germany prior to the outbreak of World War II. He took note of the actions and intentions of theNazi government and its tactic of grounding all general aviation. Upon returning, he reported his findings to the New Jersey governor, advising that an organization be created that would use the civil air fleet of New Jersey as an augmentative force for the war effort that seemed impending. The plan was approved, and with the backing of Chief of the Army Air Corps General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold and the Civil Aeronautics Authority, the New Jersey Civil Air Defense Services (NJCADS) was formed. The plan called for the use of single-engine aircraft for liaison work, as well as coastal and infrastructure patrol. General security activities regarding aviation were also made the responsibility of the NJCADS.

Other similar groups were organized, such as the AOPA Civil Air Guard and the Florida Defense Force.

During this time, the Army Air Corps and the Civil Aeronautics Administration initiated two separate subprograms. The first was the introduction of a civilian pilot refresher course and the Civilian Pilot Training Program. The motive behind this step was to increase the pool of available airmen who could be placed into military service if such a time came. The second step was concentrated more on the civil air strength of the nation in general and called for the organization of civilian aviators and personnel in such a way that the collective manpower and know-how would assist in the seemingly inevitable all-out war effort. This second step was arguably the Federal government's blessing towards the creation of the Civil Air Patrol. It was followed by a varied and intense debate over organizational logistics, bureaucracy and other administrative and practical details.

Thomas H. Beck, who was at the time the Chairman of the Board of the Crowell-Collier Publishing Company, compiled an outline and plan to present toPresident Franklin D. Roosevelt that would lead up to the organization of the nation's civilian air power. Beck received peer guidance and support from Guy Gannett, the owner of a Maine newspaper chain. On 20 May 1941, the Office of Civilian Defense was created, with former New York City mayor and World War I pilot Fiorello H. La Guardia as the director. Wilson, Beck, and Gannett presented their plan for a national civil air patrol to La Guardia, and he approved the idea. He then appointed Wilson, Beck, and Gannett to form the so-called "blueprint committee" and charged them with organizing the national aviation resources on a national scale.

By October 1941 the plan was completed. The remaining tasks were chiefly administrative, such as the appointment of wing commanders, and Wilson left his New York office and traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak with Army officials as the Civil Air Patrol's first executive officer. General Henry "Hap" Arnold organized a board of top military officers to review Wilson's final plan. The board, which included General George E. Stratemeyer (presiding officer of the board), Colonel Harry H. Blee, Major Lucas P. Ordway, Jr., and Major A.B. McMullen, reviewed the plan set forward by Wilson and his colleagues and evaluated the role of the War Department as an agency of the Office of Civilian Defense. The plan was approved and the recommendation was made that Army Air Forces officers assist with key positions such as flight training and logistics.

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. The term "Cyber Monday" was created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online. The term made its debut on November 28, 2005, in a press release entitled "'Cyber Monday Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year".

According to the Research 2005 eHoliday Mood Study, "77 percent of online retailers said that their sales increased substantially on the Monday after Thanksgiving, a trend that is driving serious online discounts and promotions on Cyber Monday this year (2005)".

In 2013, Cyber Monday online sales grew by 20.6% over the previous year, hitting a record $2.29 billion, with an average order value of $128.

The deals on Cyber Monday are online-only and generally offered by smaller retailers that cannot compete with the big retailers. Black Friday is the best day to get cheap deals on technology with nearly 85% more data storage deals than Cyber Monday. The past Black Fridays saw far more deals for small appliances, cutlery, and kitchen gadgets on average than Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is larger for fashion retail. On the past two Cyber Mondays, there were an average of 45% more clothing deals than on Black Friday. There were also 50% more shoe deals on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday.

Cyber Monday has become an international marketing term used by online retailers in Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Uganda,Japan, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The term was first used within the e-commerce community during the 2005 holiday season. According to Scott Silverman, the head of, the term was coined based on 2004 research showing "one of the biggest online shopping days of the year" was the Monday after Thanksgiving (12th-biggest day historically). Retailers also noted the biggest period was December 5 through 15 of the previous year. In late November 2005, The New York Times reported: "The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked." The idea for having such a holiday was created by Tony Valado, in 2003 while working at, and coined White Wednesday to be the day before Thanksgiving for online retailers.

Day Without Art

Day Without Art began on December 1st 1989 as a national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis.

To make the public aware that AIDS can touch everyone, and inspire positive action, some 800 U.S. art and AIDS groups participated in the first Day Without Art, shutting down museums, sending staff to volunteer at AIDS services, or sponsoring special exhibitions of work about AIDS. Since then, Day With(out) Art has grown into a collaborative project in which an estimated 8,000 national and international museums, galleries, art centers, AIDS Service Organizations, libraries, high schools and colleges take part. Visual AIDS initiated public actions and programs, published an annual poster and copyright-free broadsides, and acted as press coordinator and clearing house for projects for Day Without Art / World AIDS Day. 

In 1998, Visual AIDS suggested Day Without Art become a day WITH art, and change the name to Day With(out) Art, to recognize and promote increased programming of cultural events that draw attention to the continuing pandemic. Though "the name was retained as a metaphor for the chilling possibility of a future day without art or artists", we added parentheses to the program title, Day With(out) Art, to highlight the proactive programming of art projects by artists living with HIV/AIDS, and art about AIDS, that were taking place around the world. It had become clear that active interventions within the annual program were far more effective than actions to negate or reduce the programs of cultural centers.

In the spring of 1985, Thomas Sokolowski, then head of New York University’s Grey Art Gallery, was showing the work of a promising 29-year-old artist. A few months later, a mutual friend called to tell him the artist had died. “I asked, ‘of what?’” Sokolowski recounts. “Of AIDS”, his friend said. “While I was not unaware of the pandemic,” Sokolowski says, “it still was not the first thing you thought of at that time.”

By 1985, 12,000 Americans were known to have AIDS and 7,000 died from it that year.

"I remember it just sort of started from there", Sokolowski says. “There started to be articles in the paper about AIDS. I was living in the Village and, being a gay person and being involved in the art world, I’d read about this dancer or that singer dying of AIDS. And then, in 1989 and 1990, two of my dear friends died.”

Because gay men were the most affected by the disease and the arts communities of California and New York had many gay members, the art world was reeling from the loss of so many of its own.

One night, at Sokolowski’s Manhattan apartment, a group of arts-community friends sat around a table for dinner and asked ‘what can we do?’ to bring AIDS into the general public’s consciousness. “We felt strongly that we had clout in the art world,” Sokolowski recalls.

The result of that dinner — and the monthly meetings that followed for years — was the 1989 formation of Visual AIDS, a group dedicated to using the arts to bring public attention to the AIDS crisis. The group would go on to found “Day Without Art.” And it would create perhaps the most universally recognizable symbol — the red ribbon — which stood for the clarity, unity, compassion, and determination that soon took over the fight against AIDS.

Visual AIDS's first nationwide effort was a December 1 “Day Without Art”, when some of the nation's museums shut their doors — symbolizing what would happen if AIDS wiped out the arts community — while others remained open but addressed the AIDS issue in other ways. The event, which would eventually foster World AIDS Day, received national media coverage, including calls to Sokolowski from network anchors Peter Jennings and Dan Rather. The next year, Visual AIDS came up with the idea of a “Night Without Light,” when 27 of New York City's major skyscrapers, bridges, and many of the theater district's marquees went dark.

But the culmination of Visual AIDS's efforts was the creation of the little red ribbon on a gold safety pin. Sokolowski and his group managed to get presenters and awardees at the 1991 Tony Awards ceremony to wear them on national television throughout the evening. The ribbons quickly became a global symbol of the commitment to fight AIDS.

Eat a Red Apple Day

December 1 is Eat a Red Apple Day! You know the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?” It's true! Apples have high nutritional value and are an extremely healthy snack. The peel alone contains antioxidants that help reduce damaged cells and fight diseases. Apples are also fat, sodium, and cholesterol free.

Did you know that there are 7,500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world? They can come in a variety of shapes, flavors, and colors including all shades of red, green, and yellow.

Fall is quickly approaching, and the season delivers not only crisp, autumn air but our favorite crisp, autumn treat: apples. Originating in the Tien Shan mountains of Kazakhstan millions of years ago, the apple has been part of the human diet for tens of thousands of years. Just in time for the change of seasons, here are a few more fun facts about this nutritious and delicious fall staple.

They were cultivated in Jamestown—but not for eating. North American apple harvesting began with the settlers at Jamestown in 1607. They brought with them seeds and cuttings from Europe, and while the original varieties planted were not all suited for cultivation in the New World, their seeds began to produce all-new varieties of American apples. Many of these apples were still fairly bitter, unlike the sweet varieties we enjoy today, but they had an important purpose in colonial society: cider.

Cider had become a popular beverage in England in the wake of the Norman conquest in 1066, after which new apple varieties were introduced from France. The New World settlers brought their taste for cider with them. Most colonists grew their own apples, and due to sanitation concerns, they often served a fermented cider at meals instead of water, including a diluted cider for the children. Cider became so popular that it was sometimes used to pay salaries, and Virginian statesman William Fitzhugh once remarked that the cider produced from his orchard of 2,500 trees was more valuable than 15,000 pounds of tobacco.

Thomas Jefferson was also a founding father of the Fuji. Thomas Jefferson is not only a founding father of the United States, he’s also known for his love of food—in fact, he was responsible for America’s first ice cream and some of its first pasta. And he helped bring the popular Fuji apple to the United States, albeit unwittingly. As the story goes, Edmund Charles Genet, French minister to the United States in the 1790s, gave Thomas Jefferson a gift of apple cuttings that Jefferson donated to a Virginia nursery, which then cultivated a variety of apple known as the “Ralls Genet.” In 1939, Japanese apple breeders crossed the genes from the classic Red Delicious apple variety with that of Jefferson’s Ralls Genet, resulting in the now ubiquitous Fuji apple.

It’s not actually America’s favorite fruit, but it’s grown across the country. Despite its iconic place in American culture, the apple is no longer America’s favorite fruit. Over the last 40 years, banana consumption has surpassed that of the apple. In fact, Americans eat an average of 28 pounds of fresh bananas per year, compared to an average of 19 pounds of apples.

While bananas are only grown commercially in Florida and Hawaii, though, apples are grown in every state, making it the third most important fruit for the U.S. economy, behind grapes and oranges. The United States is home to approximately 7,500 apple producers, which grow around 48,000 tons of apples per year, generating some $2.7 billion annually.

An apple a day may really keep the doctor away. Apples are low in calories and free of fat, sodium and cholesterol. They are rich in fiber, disease-fighting anti-oxidants and a variety of vitamins and minerals including potassium, folate, niacin and vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Eating apples has been associated with lower risk of a variety of cancers, stroke and diabetes. In addition, these nutritional powerhouses may help protect the brain from developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and even lower a person’s risk of tooth decay.

The apple can be eaten raw, cooked, baked, or juiced. Snack on your favorite variety (Red Delicious or Macintosh, perhaps?) and celebrate Eat a Red Apple Day!

Rosa Parks Day

Rosa Parks Day is an American observance to honor civil rights activist Rosa Parks, who was known for refusing to give up her seat on a bus. It is a legal observance in California on February 4 and Ohio on December 1.

Rosa Parks Day promotes equal opportunities, civil rights, and fairness across communities in the U.S. Church leaders, politicians, and organizational leaders unite in states like California and Ohio to promote the day with a range of events and activities.

Many schools have classroom activities that focus on Rosa Parks' struggles for equality and achievements against discrimination.

On December 1, 1955, African American seamstress Rosa Parks was travelling in a Montgomery City bus when the bus driver asked her to vacate her seat for a white man. The driver's request was standard practice of racial segregation in buses at the time. Rosa Parks refused to leave her seat on the grounds of fairness, freedom and equality. As a result, she was arrested and convicted of violating the laws of segregation, known as the "Jim Crow" laws. She appealed her conviction and formally challenged the legality of segregation. At the same time, civil rights activists, including Martin Luther King Jr, boycotted the Montgomery bus system.

The boycott lasted for 381 days, into December 1956, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the segregation law was unconstitutional and the Montgomery buses should be integrated. This boycott kickstarted other civil rights protests throughout the U.S. Over the years, the Rosa Parks bus has become a symbol of the fight for equal rights. It has been fully restored and is now displayed in the Henry Ford Museum. Rosa Parks' Day, on February 4, is also known as the Day of Courage.

World AIDS Day

The United Nations' (UN) World AIDS Day is held on December 1 each year to honor AIDS victims. It also focuses on issues surrounding HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).

World AIDS Day is the focal point of the World AIDS Campaign, which is active all year round. On December 1, there are many health education campaigns that promote the day. Anti-discrimination activities are also launched on or around this date.

Many people hold events on World AIDS Day to remember people died of AIDS-related conditions. One example is an AIDS Memorial Quilt project, which allows friends and family members of a deceased AIDS sufferer to construct quilt panels, which are then exhibited throughout the United States.

AIDS stands for "acquired immune deficiency syndrome" or "acquired immunodeficiency syndrome" and denotes a condition, which results from the damage done by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) to the immune system. The condition was first identified in 1981 and the name "AIDS" was first introduced on July 27, 1982.

HIV can only be transmitted between people through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the blood stream with a bodily fluid. Hence, there has been a lot of stigma around the spread of HIV and people living with HIV and AIDS. It has been estimated that around 33 million people around the world have been infected with HIV and that around two million people die from AIDS related conditions each year. On October 27, 1988, the UN General Assembly officially recognized that the World Health Organization declared December 1, 1988, to be World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day has also been observed on this date each year since then.

A simple red ribbon is one of the most widely recognized symbols of HIV and AIDS and the people who live with these conditions. The symbol was presented by the Visual AIDS Artists Caucus in 1991. The individuals in this group wished to remain anonymous, keep the image copyright free and create a symbol to raise consciousness of HIV and AIDS. The red ribbon was originally intended to be worn as a badge, but is now used in a wide variety of ways.

The symbol of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS consists of the word "UNAIDS". The letters "U" and "N" are in black and the rest of letters are in red. To the left of the word 'UNAIDS' is a red ribbon superimposed on the symbol of the United Nations. This symbol is shown in black and consists of a projection of the globe centered on the North Pole surrounded by olive branches.

The symbol of the World AIDS Campaign consists of a sketched image of a red ribbon and the words "world aids campaign". The words "world" and "campaign" are in black and the word "aids" is in red. The ends of the ribbon merge into splashes of green, blue, purple and orange. The splashes of color can be interpreted in a variety of ways, and often indicate the diversity of people living with HIV and AIDS.