Monday, December 15, 2014

Holidays and Observances for December 15 2014

Bill of Rights Day

On this day in 1791, Virginia becomes the last state to ratify the Bill of Rights, making the first ten amendments to the Constitution law and completing the revolutionary reforms begun by the Declaration of Independence. Before the Massachusetts ratifying convention would accept the Constitution, which they finally did in February 1788, the document's Federalist supporters had to promise to create a Bill of Rights to be amended to the Constitution immediately upon the creation of a new government under the document.

The Anti-Federalist critics of the document, who were afraid that a too-strong federal government would become just another sort of the monarchical regime from which they had recently been freed, believed that the Constitution gave too much power to the federal government by outlining its rights but failing to delineate the rights of the individuals living under it. The promise of a Bill of Rights to do just that helped to assuage the Anti-Federalists' concerns.

The newly elected Congress drafted the Bill of Rights on December 25, 1789. Virginia's ratification on this day in 1791 created the three-fourths majority necessary for the ten amendments to become law. Drafted by James Madison and loosely based on Virginia's Declaration of Rights, the first ten amendments give the following rights to all United States citizens:

1.Freedom of religion, speech and assembly 
2.Right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of a well-regulated militia
3.No forcible quartering of soldiers during peacetime 
4.Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure 
5.Right to a grand jury for capital crimes and due process. Protection from double jeopardy, self-incrimination and public confiscation of private property without just compensation. 
6.Right to speedy and public trial by jury and a competent defense 
7.Right to trial by jury for monetary cases above $20 
8.Protection against excessive bail or fines and cruel and unusual punishments 
9.Rights not enumerated are retained by the people 
10.Rights not given to the federal government or prohibited the state governments by the Constitution, are reserved to the States... or to the people

Cat Herders Day

For all those hard workers in the cat herding business, today is a day to celebrate, so take a load off from those furry little felines and enjoy your day.  Seriously, today is officially National Cat Herder’s Day but not in the real terms.

Cat Herders Day was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy of Wellcat Holidays to honor all of the people in the world whose lives can be compared to the impossible task of herding cats. This time of year it is easy to feel as if we’re chasing after a bunch of independent-minded felines.

Though not literal cat herders, many of us have been figurative cat herders at some point. Teachers or volunteers with a large group of grade schoolers on a field trip definitely qualify. Coaching a little league baseball team of 8 years and under is another example. To all the cat herders out there, literally or figuratively speaking, today is for you.

This holiday is a metaphor for all the chaotic feelings that you are feeling this time of year.  So take this day and relax and release all the holiday stress.  Stop worrying today about what you have to get done before the holidays and just relax today.

If you don’t you might as well be herding cats!

National Lemon Cupcake Day

National Lemon Cupcake Day is celebrated on December 15th. A lemon cupcake is a small lemon cake designed to serve one person, which may be baked in a small thin paper or aluminum cup. As with larger cakes, icing and other cake decorations, such as sprinkles, may be applied.

A standard cupcake uses the same basic ingredients as standard-sized cakes: butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. Nearly any recipe that is suitable for a layer cake can be used to bake cupcakes. Because their small size is more efficient for heat conduction, cupcakes bake much faster than a normal layered cake.

Cupcakes may be topped with frosting or other cake decorations. They may be filled with frosting or pastry cream. For bakers making a small number of filled cupcakes, this is usually accomplished by using a spoon or knife to scoop a small hole in the top of the cupcake.