Thursday, January 15, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Jan 15 2015

Humanitarian Day

Humanitarian Day is celebrated every 15th day of each year

Humanity is a word which transcends race, country, language, age, religion or culture. Humanity consists of all peoples in the planet Earth united as one. Unfortunately, this remains a dream. For to truly be united as one, each country would respect the other countries and help them as they would their own countrymen.

Humanitarian Day is the first day of the three annual “Emancipation Days of Respect” created to honor Martin Luther King Jr. to promote unity, respect and remembrance. January 15 was chosen as it corresponds to his birthday

The second annual day, Victims of Violence Holy Day, is observed on Martin Luther King Jr.’s death anniversary, April 4. The last annual day, Dream Day Quest and Jubilee, is on August 28 marking the anniversary of his speech entitled “I Have a Dream.”

This day is dedicated to those who helped end racial separation in America and is observed by encouraging people to wear white. Donating money or services to charitable or philanthropic institutions or activities would also be perfect. Fund raising campaigns for humanitarian causes, through concerts, are also done during this day.

National Hat Day

The National Hat Day is celebrated every 15 day of each year annually.

There is no evidence of when and how the hat day is started. For kids who are in school, though it is considered a big event, you are not given a holiday. This day is rather celebrated quietly with people coming up wearing different style of hats on them. Everyone chooses a hat which projects the character of the person. Hats are just another kind of headgear which will either make you look good or just makes you look like a nerd (if you don't choose the right one).

Hats have been the style statement since the early 1800’s. It was known that, people who wore hats were the gentlemen or rather the elite people of the society. For all those of you who want to feel like you are one among the elite people this is for you. You can try being that old fashioned gentleman on January 15th. This date is considered to be the official National Hat Day.

People wear hats on this day just so that they can experience the old elegance of those days. Hats are in a way really cool to have. When we come across a person who is wearing a hat we instantly have a positive impression on them. Hats give a kind of sophistication to your attire. This is one of the main reasons why people were judged by the kind of hat they wore in olden days. We all remember some of the famous personalities like Abraham Lincoln for his famous hat. There are many other people in the contemporary time who have again started the trend of wearing a hat. Michael Jackson for example has revolutionized fashion my introducing a hat to a normal jeans and plain shirt. He used a hat as a prop in most of his dances and created a path breaking style in dance.

For those of you who are still willing to celebrate hats day in your own style then there are few things you need to learn about the Hat Day. It is not only a style statement but also it helps you conserve the body heat. It is said that the maximum percentage of the body heat is released from the head. So by wearing hat you are technically stopping the body heat from leaving your body.

On the Hat Day, you need to wear a hat! Now which hat suits you is all you have to decide. There are different types of hats. Some of the famous hat styles are the cowboy hat, the baseball hat also known as caps, army hat, sports hat etc. We can see from the old movies, everyone wears a pointed hat which looks very sophisticated. The cowboy hat is also another famous type of hat which is mostly worn in the Mexican countries. Even today in some countryside towns there are people who wear the hat as a matter of pride.

In army, a hat which is given to you has great sentiments. Army officials treat their hat with utmost respect. In sports the hats either carry sponsor’s logo or their country emblem.

To celebrate this day you simply have to wear a hat whenever you are going out. You can keep changing your hat all day. Some people rent a hat so that they can live a day like the cowboy they have imagined to be when they were kids. Hats change your appearance completely and make you look more handsome and intelligent.

There is another Hat Day which is celebrated in Britain. The Traditional Thursday on the Great British Beer festival is considered to be Hat day. The 4th of August is considered to be the British Hat Day.

National Strawberry Ice Cream Day

Whether it's summer or winter, everybody loves ice cream. With so many flavors to choose from, it is easy to pick a favorite. However, today is a day to celebrate one particular flavor. January 15 is National Strawberry Ice Cream Day.

No specific person has officially been credited with inventing ice cream. Its origins date back as far as 200 B.C., when people in China created a dish of rice mixed with milk that was then frozen by being packed in snow. The Chinese King Tang of Shang is thought to have had over ninety “ice men” who mixed flour, camphor, and buffalo milk with ice. The Chinese are also credited with inventing the first “ice cream machine.” They had pots they filled with a syrupy mixture, which they then packed into a mixture of snow and salt.

Other early ice cream-like confectionery indulgers include Alexander the Great, who enjoyed eating snow flavoured with honey. Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar of Rome was said to have sent people up to the mountains to collect snow and ice which would then be flavoured with juice and fruit—kind of like a first century snow cone. These early “ice creams” were obviously a luxury indulged in by the rich, as not everyone had the ability to send servants up the mountains to collect snow for them.

One of the earliest forerunners of modern ice cream was a recipe brought back to Italy from China by Marco Polo. The recipe was very like what we would call sherbet. From there, it is thought that Catherine de Medici brought the dessert to France when she married King Henry II in 1533. In the 1600s, King Charles I of England was said to have enjoyed “cream ice” so much that he paid his chef to keep the recipe a secret from the public, believing it to be solely a royal treat. However, these two stories appeared for the first time in the 19th century, many years after they were said to have taken place, so may or may not be true.

One of the first places to serve ice cream to the general public in Europe was Café Procope in France, which started serving it in the late 17th century. The ice cream was made from a combination of milk, cream, butter, and eggs. However, it was still primarily a treat for the elite and was not yet popular among every class.

The first mention of ice cream in America appeared in 1744, when a Scottish colonist visited the house of Maryland Governor Thomas Bladen wrote about the delicious strawberry ice cream he had while dining there. The first advertisement for ice cream in America appeared in 1777 in the New York Gazette, in which Philip Lenzi said ice cream was “available almost every day” at his shop.

Early American presidents loved ice cream, too. President George Washington purchased around $200 worth of ice cream (about $3,000 today) in the summer of 1790 and also owned two pewter ice cream pots. However, the “origin” story that his wife Martha once left sweet cream on the back porch one evening and returned in the morning to find ice cream is definitely not true. Thomas Jefferson created his own recipe for vanilla ice cream, and President Madison’s wife served strawberry ice cream at her husband’s second inaugural banquet.

Up until the 1800s, ice cream was mostly a treat reserved for special occasions as it couldn't be stored for long due to the lack of insulated freezers. People would have ice cut from lakes in the winter and store it in the ground or brick ice houses, which were insulated with straw. Ice cream at this time was made using the “pot freezer” method, which involved placing a bowl of cream in a bucket of ice and salt (note: not mixing the ice and salt with the cream as many believe). In 1843, this method was replaced by the hand-cranked churn which was patented by Nancy Johnson. The churn created smoother ice cream faster than the pot freezer method.

Ice cream wasn't big business until Jacob Fussell built an ice cream factory in Pennsylvania in 1851. Fussell was a milk dealer who bought dairy products from farmers in Pennsylvania and sold them in Baltimore. He found that an unstable demand often left him with a lot of extra milk and cream, which he then turned into ice cream. His business was so successful that he opened several other factories. Because mass production cut the cost of ice cream significantly, it became much more popular and a more viable treat for people of lower classes.

Ice cream received a further boost when, in the 1870s, Carl von Linde of Germany invented industrial refrigeration. This, along with other technological advances like steam power, motorized vehicles, and electric power, made ice cream that much easier to produce, transport, and store. Next time you grab an ice cream cone, you can thank the Industrial Revolution for your treat!

Due to its new, widespread availability in the late 1800s, additional ice cream recipes began to take form. Soda fountains emerged in 1874, and with them came the invention of the ice cream soda. Religious leaders condemned indulging in ice cream sodas on Sundays and set up “blue laws” banning their serving, which is thought by many to be how ice cream sundaes came about.  Evidence seems to indicate that shop owners got around the problem by serving the ice cream with syrup and none of the carbonation and called them “ice cream Sundays.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary, they later modified the name to “sundae” to avoid association with the Sabbath. However, several cities take credit for being the home of the ice cream sundae and it can't be proved that getting around blue laws was truly how the first person came up with the idea of an ice cream sundae, though it does seem plausible enough. But whatever the case, this seems to have been at least partially how the sundae was popularized.

Contrary to popular belief, the ever-popular ice cream cone was not invented at the 1904 World’s Fair.  For instance, ice cream cones are mentioned in the 1888 Mrs. Marshall’s Cookbook and the idea of serving ice cream in cones is thought to have been in place long before that. However, the practice didn't become popular until 1904. As to who specifically at the World’s Fair served the cones that popularized the treat, nobody knows exactly.  The story goes that an ice cream vendor at the St. Louis World Fair ran out of cardboard cups in which to serve his ice cream. The stall beside him had waffles on offer, but due to the heat he wasn't selling very many. Thus, and offer was made to roll up his waffles to make cones, and the resulting product was a hit.  However, that may well just be a legend as there are no documented specifics, like the names of the vendors, to be able to verify the story and many ice cream vendors at that World’s Fair have claimed to be the ones to serve the cones there first.  Whatever the case, it was the World’s Fair that popularized the cones and certainly some ice cream vendor or vendors were behind it, whether by happy accident as the story goes or because they planned it that way has been lost to history.

Ice cream was first sold in grocery stores in the 1930s. World War II further popularized the dessert as the treat was great for troop morale and became somewhat of a symbol of America at the time (so much so that Italy’s Mussolini banned ice cream to avoid the association). This war time ice cream resulted in the biggest producer of ice cream in America in 1943 being the United States Armed Forces.

Today, it is estimated that over 1.6 billion gallons of ice cream and related frozen dairy products are produced annually in the United States alone. In addition, U.S. citizens eat a whopping four gallons of ice cream per person each year on average.

Celebrate National Strawberry Ice Cream Day by treating yourself to a delicious bowl or cone of strawberry ice cream.

Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) was a Baptist minister and social activist who played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. Inspired by advocates of nonviolence such as Mahatma Gandhi, King sought equality for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and victims of injustice through peaceful protest. He was the driving force behind watershed events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington, which helped bring about such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and is remembered each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday since 1986.

The second child of Martin Luther King Sr. (1899-1984), a pastor, and Alberta Williams King (1904-1974), a former schoolteacher, Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929. Along with his older sister, the future Christine King Farris (born 1927), and younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King (1930-1969), he grew up in the city’s Sweet Auburn neighborhood, then home to some of the most prominent and prosperous African Americans in the country.

A gifted student, King attended segregated public schools and at the age of 15 was admitted to Morehouse College, the alma mater of both his father and maternal grandfather, where he studied medicine and law. Although he had not intended to follow in his father’s footsteps by joining the ministry, he changed his mind under the mentorship of Morehouse’s president, Dr. Benjamin Mays, an influential theologian and outspoken advocate for racial equality. After graduating in 1948, King entered Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree, won a prestigious fellowship and was elected president of his predominantly white senior class.

King then enrolled in a graduate program at Boston University, completing his coursework in 1953 and earning a doctorate in systematic theology two years later. While in Boston he met Coretta Scott (1927-2006), a young singer from Alabama who was studying at the New England Conservatory of Music. The couple wed in 1953 and settled in Montgomery, Alabama, where King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. They had four children: Yolanda Denise King (1955-2007), Martin Luther King III (born 1957), Dexter Scott King (born 1961) and Bernice Albertine King (born 1963).

The King family had been living in Montgomery for less than a year when the highly segregated city became the epicenter of the burgeoning struggle for civil rights in America, galvanized by the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision of 1954. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks (1913-2005), secretary of the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter, refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus and was arrested. Activists coordinated a bus boycott that would continue for 381 days, placing a severe economic strain on the public transit system and downtown business owners. They chose Martin Luther King Jr. as the protest’s leader and official spokesman.

By the time the Supreme Court ruled segregated seating on public buses unconstitutional in November 1956, King, heavily influenced by Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) and the activist Bayard Rustin (1912-1987), had entered the national spotlight as an inspirational proponent of organized, nonviolent resistance. (He had also become a target for white supremacists, who firebombed his family home that January.) Emboldened by the boycott’s success, in 1957 he and other civil rights activists–most of them fellow ministers–founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a group committed to achieving full equality for African Americans through nonviolence. (Its motto was “Not one hair of one head of one person should be harmed.”) He would remain at the helm of this influential organization until his death.

In his role as SCLC president, Martin Luther King Jr. traveled across the country and around the world, giving lectures on nonviolent protest and civil rights as well as meeting with religious figures, activists and political leaders. (During a month-long trip to India in 1959, he had the opportunity to meet Gandhi, the man he described in his autobiography as “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”) King also authored several books and articles during this time.

In 1960 King and his family moved to Atlanta, his native city, where he joined his father as co-pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. This new position did not stop King and his SCLC colleagues from becoming key players in many of the most significant civil rights battles of the 1960s. Their philosophy of nonviolence was put to a particularly severe test during the Birmingham campaign of 1963, in which activists used a boycott, sit-ins and marches to protest segregation, unfair hiring practices and other injustices in one of America’s most racially divided cities. Arrested for his involvement on April 12, King penned the civil rights manifesto known as the “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” an eloquent defense of civil disobedience addressed to a group of white clergymen who had criticized his tactics.

Later that year, Martin Luther King Jr. worked with a number of civil rights and religious groups to organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a peaceful political rally designed to shed light on the injustices African Americans continued to face across the country. Held on August 28 and attended by some 200,000 to 300,000 participants, the event is widely regarded as a watershed moment in the history of the American civil rights movement and a factor in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The march culminated in King’s most famous address, known as the “I Have a Dream” speech, a spirited call for peace and equality that many consider a masterpiece of rhetoric. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial–a monument to the president who a century earlier had brought down the institution of slavery in the United States—he shared his vision of a future in which “this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” The speech and march cemented King’s reputation at home and abroad; later that year he was named Man of the Year by TIME magazine and in 1964 became the youngest person ever awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In the spring of 1965, King’s elevated profile drew international attention to the violence that erupted between white segregationists and peaceful demonstrators in Selma, Alabama, where the SCLC and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) had organized a voter registration campaign. Captured on television, the brutal scene outraged many Americans and inspired supporters from across the country to gather in Selma and take part in a march to Montgomery led by King and supported by President Lyndon Johnson (1908-1973), who sent in federal troops to keep the peace. That August, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which guaranteed the right to vote–first awarded by the 15th Amendment–to all African Americans.

The events in Selma deepened a growing rift between Martin Luther King Jr. and young radicals who repudiated his nonviolent methods and commitment to working within the established political framework. As more militant black leaders such as Stokely Carmichael (1941-1998) rose to prominence, King broadened the scope of his activism to address issues such as the Vietnam War and poverty among Americans of all races. In 1967, King and the SCLC embarked on an ambitious program known as the Poor People’s Campaign, which was to include a massive march on the capital.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, King was fatally shot while standing on the balcony of a motel in Memphis, where he had traveled to support a sanitation workers’ strike. In the wake of his death, a wave of riots swept major cities across the country, while President Johnson declared a national day of mourning. James Earl Ray (1928-1998), an escaped convict and known racist, pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. (He later recanted his confession and gained some unlikely advocates, including members of the King family, before his death in 1998.)

After years of campaigning by activists, members of Congress and Coretta Scott King, among others, in 1983 President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) signed a bill creating a U.S. federal holiday in honor of King. Observed on the third Monday of January, it was first celebrated in 1986.