Thursday, April 23, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Apr 23 2015

English Language Day


English Language Day is a United Nations (UN) observance that people celebrate on April 23 each year. It coincides with William Shakespeare’s birthday and World Book and Copyright Day.

English Language Day aims to entertain and inform people about the history, culture and achievements associated with the language. The day often features book-reading events, English quizzes, poetry and literature exchanges, and other activities that promote the English language.

English is one of the two working languages of the UN Secretariat and one of the organization’s six official languages. English is often referred to as a "world language", or the lingua franca (bridge language or common language used by speakers of different languages) of the modern era because it is widely spoken. The UN first celebrated English Language Day on April 23, 2010.

For a language that was used by only 3 tribes about 1500 years ago, English has official or special status in at least 75 countries with a total population of over two billion.

Impossible Astronaut Day


For those who don’t know, April 23rd is Impossible Astronaut Day!

"The Impossible Astronaut" is the first episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television seriesDoctor Who. Written by show runner Steven Moffat, and directed by Toby Haynes, the episode was first broadcast on 23 April 2011 in the United Kingdom, as well as the United States and Canada. It also aired in Australia on 30 April 2011. The episode features alien time traveller the Doctor (Matt Smith) and his companions Amy Pond(Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), and is the first of a two-part story, which concluded with "Day of the Moon".

In the episode, Amy Pond, Rory and River Song are summoned to Utah, USA, by the Eleventh Doctor, who is killed by a mysterious figure in a space suit. The dead Doctor is revealed to be an older self, after his younger version returns. They try to understand what the future Doctor said and are sent to Washington D.C. The team deals with the Silence, a race of aliens with the ability to make people forget their encounter with them when they look away.

The Silence was created to compete with other past aliens in terms of "scariness," including the Weeping Angels. The episode was partially filmed on location at Lone Rock, Utah; the first time in Doctor Who that principal photography took place in the United States. Before the broadcast, a fan leaked the plot of the episode following a press screening. The episode was seen by 8.86 million viewers in the United Kingdom, and received generally positive reviews from critics. "The Impossible Astronaut" gained an Appreciation Index of 88 – considered excellent. The episode was dedicated to Elisabeth Sladen, known for playing former companion Sarah Jane Smith, who died from cancer on 19 April 2011.

To celebrate the day, Whovians drew tally marks on their arms (some even drew on their face) and went about their normal day, pretending like they didn’t know where the tally marks came from. Basically, Whovians love having inside jokes that freak people out.

Movie Theatre Day


The earliest documented account of an exhibition of projected motion pictures in the United States was in June 1894 in Richmond, Indiana by Charles Francis Jenkins. Jenkins used his Phantoscope to project his film before an audience of family, friends and reporters. The film featured a vaudeville dancer performing a Butterfly Dance. Jenkins and his new partner Thomas Armat modified the Phantoscope for exhibitions in temporary theaters at the Cotton States Exposition in the fall of 1895. The Phantoscope was later sold to Thomas Edison, who changed the name of the projector to Edison's Vitascope. With the Vitascope, Edison began public showings of his films at Koster and Bial's Music Hall on 34th Street in New York City on April 23, 1896. However, the first "storefront theater" in the US dedicated exclusively to showing motion pictures was Vitascope Hall, established on Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana July 26, 1896—it was converted from a vacant store.

A crucial factor was Thomas Edison's decision to sell a small number of Vitascope Projectors as a business venture in April–May 1896. In the basement of the new Ellicott Square Building, Main Street, Buffalo, New York, Mitchell Mark (properly spelled Mitchel Mark) and his brother Moe Mark added what they called Edison's Vitascope Theater (entered through Edisonia Hall), which they opened to the general public on October 19, 1896 in collaboration with Rudolf Wagner, who had moved to Buffalo after spending several years working at the Edison laboratories. This 72-seat plush theater was designed from scratch solely to show motion pictures.

Terry Ramseye, in his book, A Million and One Nights (1926), notes that this "was one of the earliest permanently located and exclusively motion-picture exhibitions." According to the Buffalo News (Wednesday, November 2, 1932), "There were seats for about 72 persons and the admission was three cents. Feeble, flickering films of travel scenes were the usual fare." The theater remained open for two years, making it the first permanent movie theater in the world.

The State Theater in Washington, Iowa is the oldest continuously operating movie theater in the United States. It showed its first films in 1897, and is still in operation as of April 1, 2014.

National Cherry Cheesecake Day


Today is a day to eat something creamy, tangy and sweet. The cherry cheesecake fits all those descriptions. April 23 is National Cherry Cheesecake Day.

Cheesecake is a rich, decadent dessert made with cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Add a crumbly graham cracker crust and a fruit topping for the ultimate cheesecake experience.

A cheesecake may be baked or unbaked. Cheesecake may be flavored or topped with fruit, nuts, fruit sauce and chocolate. There are various flavors of cheesecake. Cheesecake in any flavor is delicious. However, the cheesecake celebrated today is National Cherry Cheesecake Day.

The cherry cheesecake is a favorite for many. That's why it is found on menus of restaurants. The cherry cheesecake is also quick and easy to make.

National Cherry Cheesecake Day celebrates the tasty mix of cherries and cream cheese. Ingredients usually include graham cracker crust, cream cheese, condensed milk, lemon juice, vanilla, cherry pie filing, sugar, butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and/or whipped topping.

The cheesecake is such a popular dessert that several days a year have been dedicated to the cheese cake. March 6 is National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day. July 30 is National Cheesecake Day!

You can enjoy cherry cheesecake at any time; however, celebrate National Cherry Cheesecake Day by eating cherry cheesecake today. Either bake one for your family or pick up one from your local bakery.

National Lost Dog Awareness Day


On April 23, the U.S. will celebrate its first annual National Lost Dog Awareness Day (NLDAD). Created by Susan Taney and Kathy Pobloskie – directors of Lost Dogs Illinois and Lost Dogs of Wisconsin, respectively – the canine-centric holiday aims to bring attention to all dogs that are lost each year. On a happier note, NLDAD also celebrates the thousands of lost dogs successfully reunited with their families.

Lost Dogs of Wisconsin (LDOW) is an all-volunteer organization created for the exclusive purpose of providing a free service to help reunite families with their lost dogs. With the help of popular social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, and their extensive connections throughout Wisconsin, LDOW is able to facilitate a statewide alert as soon as a lost or found dog report is received. By working to recover lost dogs, LDOW helps to decrease the number of homeless animals brought into shelters and animal control facilities, thereby preventing unnecessary euthanasia. Lost Dogs of Wisconsin offers an invaluable service when many feel helpless otherwise. The Lost Dogs mission has been so successful that the concept has been accepted and put into practice in Wisconsin, Arizona, Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Colorado, New Jersey and Iowa under the umbrella organization Lost Dogs of America.

The tenacious efforts of these combined states’volunteers along with over 150,000 fans have helped reunite over 21,000 dogs with their families since 2010. Getting lost dogs back home reduces stress on owners’, staff at shelters/animal control facilities, other dogs in the facilities, and ultimately saves taxpayers’ money. It also opens up kennel space for truly homeless dogs.

“When a dog goes missing, most owners do not know how or where to begin looking. Our specially-trained volunteers make them a flyer to distribute and offer helpful support and advice tailored to their situation and locale.  We also constantly remind the public that not all stray dogs are homeless and that there is likely an owner looking for a dog that has been found” explains Pobloskie.  “One of our recent success stories was a lab mix named Abner.  He was missing nine weeks during really bad weather.  We never gave up, and neither did Abner’s owner.  She read the articles on our website and followed the advice of her LDOW caseworker. Abner was successfully lured into the home of some kind Good Samaritans who patiently gained his trust.  Never doubt a dog’s ability to survive.”

National Picnic Day


It’s time to get out of the house and enjoy Mother Nature. Grab a blanket, a basket and a few goodies – it’s National Picnic Day! Not to be confused with National Panic Day, this annual holiday takes place every April 23, the day after Earth Day.

The word picnic is derived from a French book which was printed in 1692, in which the term picnic meant a group of people dining in an area and drinking wine together. Later that word had another meaning it meant an excursion or an outing in which the members carry food with them and share a meal together in an open place.

During the 19th century it happened that citizens of the London formed a picnic society to promote social gatherings. The picnics at that were considered potlucks and each participant had to provide with some kind of entertainment. The members of the Picnic Society enjoyed live music while eating there meal and having drinks in the crystal goblets. Today the National Picnic Day has a complete different picture. Now a day’s picnics are usually considered in a casual meal enjoyed on a comfortable picnic blanket. On National Picnic Day people get their blankets and baskets, grab a couple of sandwiches a bottle of wine or two and enjoy the meal outdoors with near and dear ones.

A perfect place with some lovable companions’ mouth watering meal and some sorts of music and sport is more than enough to make a perfect day and to celebrate National Picnic Day.

Openly Secular Day


Openly Secular Day is a celebration of secular people opening up about their secular worldview, and an opportunity for theistic allies to show their support for secular friends and family. This is a day to help others understand our values and how we think. You can participate by attending a local event, making a video, or posting on social media, or you can get involved in other ways!

In 2015, Openly Secular Day will be on April 23, as part of the week following Ask an Atheist Day. We encourage both individual students and affiliate groups to promote Openly Secular Day during Ask an Atheist activities.

Real and perceived atheist prevalence reduces anti-atheist prejudice. Therefore, Openly Secular Day will help people realize they already know good and compassionate atheist, agnostic, humanist and nonreligious people. Join us by celebrating Openly Secular Day and the secular people in your life!

Discrimination is rampant against those who are secular. Teens are made homeless after being thrown out of their homes; young activists receive death threats; people lose relationships with friends, family, and coworkers for not believing the same. A 2014 Pew research study, for example, showed 53% of people would be less likely to vote for someone who does not believe in God. Many minority groups, such as gay candidates, were less stigmatized than secular candidates. Disturbingly, respondents were more likely to vote for an adulterous candidate than an openly secular one.

We envision a world where there are no social costs for being secular, where families and communities remain whole when some members have moved away from religion or supernaturalism.

We believe that increasing visibility of secular people will lower prejudice against them, much as it has for the LGBT community. For example, 68% of those who personally know gay or lesbian people favor marriage equality, compared with just 32% of those who don’t know anyone (Pew Research, June 2013). Secular people will realize they are not alone when they are open and others say, “So am I.”

We share stories of pain to show how discrimination hurts and why it needs to end – like that of Damon Fowler, a high school student kicked out of his home when he came out of the atheist closet; or Adriana Ramirez and Margaret Doughty, who were denied U.S. citizenship because their morality is not religiously-based.

We share narratives of joy to demonstrate our values of Acceptance, Reason, and Love; express what we believe, show how love can flow despite differences, and that people are glad they became open. Ultimately, we strive to save relationships that might be lost to misunderstanding.

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day


Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational program in the United States and Canada and Australia that revolves around parents taking their children to work for one day. It is the successor to Take Our Daughters To Work Day, which was expanded to include boys in 2003. In the U.S., it occurs on the 4th Thursday in April every year; in the Canadian province of Ontario, it occurs on or around November 7. In Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane Australia it occurs on January 5, just after Christmas Break.

Take Our Daughters To Work Day was created in New York in the summer of 1992 by the Ms. Foundation for Women and its president, Marie C. Wilson, with support from foundation founder Gloria Steinem. The first celebration took place on Thursday, April 22, 1993 and has since been celebrated on the 4th Thursday of April every year in order for the 37 million children, parents, schools in over 3.5 million workplaces across the country, in addition to participants in over 200 countries around the world, to plan ahead for the annual event. The day has generally been scheduled on a day that is a school day for most children in the United States, and schools are provided with literature and encouraged to promote the program. Educators are provided with materials for incorporating career exploration into school curricula on the day before or after the event.

In 2000, when asked by the Minneapolis Star Tribune which activities he would propose for a national day for boys equivalent to Take Our Daughters to Work day, author Robert Bly suggested that fathers take their sons to the library and show them the books they love. Noting that women have often been excluded from the work world, Bly said, "I think it's just as likely now that men will be shut out of the inward world, the literature world."

According to Christina Hoff Sommers in her book The War Against Boys, one early proposal by the Ms Foundation to include boys was Son's Day. Son's Day would take place on a Sunday so the boys would avoid missing a day of school. Son's Day would require boys to stay at home, do cleaning and cooking and be educated about topics such as rape, sexism and violence against women.

The program was officially expanded in 2003 to include boys; however, most companies that participated in the program had, since the beginning, allowed both boys and girls to participate, usually renaming it "Take Our Children to Work Day" or an equivalent. The program's official website states that the program was changed in order to provide both boys and girls with opportunities to explore careers at an age when they are more flexible in terms of gender roles. The Ms. Foundation also states that men who have hosted children have benefited from being seen as parental figures in addition to their roles as professionals, which can contribute to combating gender stereotypes as well.

Prior to the inclusion of boys, the Ms. Foundation contended that the program was designed to specifically address self-esteem issues unique to girls and initially resisted pressure to include boys. Much of this pressure came from educators who did not wish to include the event in their curriculum given that their male students were not encouraged to participate.

In 2007, upon becoming its own separate foundation, the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work program was turned over to Carolyn McKecuen, a MacArthur Genius Award recipient, who took effective control as its Executive Director before relocated to Elizabeth City, North Carolina where it has remained since. Gloria Steinem continues to maintain a role with the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Foundation as a member of its board of directors.

Employees, across the United States and around the world, typically invite their own children or relatives to join them at work, but the program particularly encourages employees to invite children from residential programs or shelters who may not be exposed to many adults in skilled professions today.
Take a Chance Day


If you are a gambler, you will just love this day. Today is "Take a Chance Day". This sounds pretty risky (but fun) to me........

Life is filled with risks. To get what you want, sometimes you have to take a chance. And, today is created to do just that. Today is the day to take a chance on virtually any object or goal. Will it be love? will it be luck? Or, just lollipops? We hope you fully participate in this day, and that you attain everything you seek. So go ahead and take a chance. As they say "Nothing ventured, nothing gained".

If you are in love and a little afraid of taking the next step, perhaps today is the day to take a big leap. After all, it's somewhat coincidental that today is also Lover's Day.

Note: If you are going to "take a chance" at winning the lottery, we suggest you only buy one ticket. After all, everyone is going to take a chance today, so the odds are really low.

Talk Like Shakespeare Day


Celebrate Shakespeare's 450th Birthday by bringing out your inner poet. On April 23rd the Bard turns a spirited 450 years old and his words and stories live with us still. People all over the world have celebrated his birthday in creative ways but if you want to surely impress your friends, family, and colleagues, Talk Like Shakespeare! Need to brush up on how to sound like the man himself? Check out the tips below.

  • Instead of you, say thou or thee (and instead of y’all, say ye).
  • Rhymed couplets are all the rage.
  • Men are Sirrah, ladies are Mistress, and your friends are all called Cousin.
  • Instead of cursing, try calling your tormenters jackanapes or canker-blossoms or poisonous bunch-back’d toads.
  • Don’t waste time saying "it," just use the letter "t" (’tis, t’will, I’ll do’t).
  • Verse for lovers, prose for ruffians, songs for clowns.
  • When in doubt, add the letters "eth" to the end of verbs (he runneth, he trippeth, he falleth).
  • To add weight to your opinions, try starting them with methinks, mayhaps, in sooth or wherefore.
  • When wooing ladies: try comparing her to a summer’s day. If that fails, say "Get thee to a nunnery!"
  • When wooing lads: try dressing up like a man. If that fails, throw him in the Tower, banish his friends and claim the throne.

According to tradition, the great English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare is born in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1564. It is impossible to be certain the exact day on which he was born, but church records show that he was baptized on April 26, and three days was a customary amount of time to wait before baptizing a newborn. Shakespeare's date of death is conclusively known, however: it was April 23, 1616. He was 52 years old and had retired to Stratford three years before.

Although few plays have been performed or analyzed as extensively as the 38 plays ascribed to William Shakespeare, there are few surviving details about the playwright's life. This dearth of biographical information is due primarily to his station in life; he was not a noble, but the son of John Shakespeare, a leather trader and the town bailiff. The events of William Shakespeare's early life can only be gleaned from official records, such as baptism and marriage records.

He probably attended the grammar school in Stratford, where he would have studied Latin and read classical literature. He did not go to university but at age 18 married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years his senior and pregnant at the time of the marriage. Their first daughter, Susanna, was born six months later, and in 1585 William and Anne had twins, Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet, Shakespeare's only son, died 11 years later, and Anne Shakespeare outlived her husband, dying in 1623. Nothing is known of the period between the birth of the twins and Shakespeare's emergence as a playwright in London in the early 1590s, but unfounded stories have him stealing deer, joining a group of traveling players, becoming a schoolteacher, or serving as a soldier in the Low Countries.

The first reference to Shakespeare as a London playwright came in 1592, when a fellow dramatist, Robert Greene, wrote derogatorily of him on his deathbed. It is believed that Shakespeare had written the three parts of Henry VI by that point. In 1593, Venus and Adonis was Shakespeare's first published poem, and he dedicated it to the young Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd earl of Southampton. In 1594, having probably composed, among other plays, Richard III, The Comedy of Errors, and The Taming of the Shrew, he became an actor and playwright for the Lord Chamberlain's Men, which became the King's Men after James I's ascension in 1603. The company grew into England's finest, in no small part because of Shakespeare, who was its principal dramatist. It also had the finest actor of the day, Richard Burbage, and the best theater, the Globe, which was located on the Thames' south bank. Shakespeare stayed with the King's Men until his retirement and often acted in small parts.

By 1596, the company had performed the classic Shakespeare plays Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. That year, John Shakespeare was granted a coat of arms, a testament to his son's growing wealth and fame. In 1597, William Shakespeare bought a large house in Stratford. In 1599, after producing his great historical series, the first and second part of Henry IV and Henry V, he became a partner in the ownership of the Globe Theatre.

The beginning of the 17th century saw the performance of the first of his great tragedies, Hamlet. The next play, The Merry Wives of Windsor, was written at the request of Queen Elizabeth I, who wanted to see another play that included the popular character Falstaff. During the next decade, Shakespeare produced such masterpieces as Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, and The Tempest. In 1609, his sonnets, probably written during the 1590s, were published. The 154 sonnets are marked by the recurring themes of the mutability of beauty and the transcendent power of love and art.

Shakespeare died in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1616. Today, nearly 400 years later, his plays are performed and read more often and in more nations than ever before. In a million words written over 20 years, he captured the full range of human emotions and conflicts with a precision that remains sharp today. As his great contemporary the poet and dramatist Ben Jonson said, "He was not of an age, but for all time."

World Book Night


World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person.  Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers. 

World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging reading in those who don’t regularly do so. But it is also about more than that: It’s about people, communities and connections, about reaching out to others and touching lives in the simplest of ways—through the sharing of stories. 

World Book Night is a nonprofit organization. We exist because of the support of thousands of book givers, booksellers, librarians, and financial supporters who believe in our mission. Successfully launched in the U.K. in 2011, World Book Night was first celebrated in the U.S. in 2012. Thank you to our U.K. friends for such a wonderful idea!

Thank you for visiting us! We hope you explore our site to learn more about World Book Night, keep updated on new developments, support our organization, and apply to be a World Book Night U.S. book giver!

Each year, World Book Night is celebrated around the world on April 23.

April 23 is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, as well as Shakespeare’s birthday. It was also chosen in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, who died on April 23, 1616 (the same day as Shakespeare). In the Catalan region of Spain, the day is celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one.

World Book Night was the product of a round table discussion at London’s Book Industry Conference in May 2010, the purpose of which was to imagine a way to encourage more adults to read. What better way to spread a love for reading than to inspire passionate readers to go out into their communities and share copies of their favorite books with those who don’t regularly read? Giving is an incredibly powerful part of our culture—and culture, art, and a writers’ talent are all themselves ‘gifts’.

World Book Night was first celebrated in the UK and Ireland in 2011; in 2012, it was also celebrated in the USA and Germany.

To find out more about what’s coming up, please navigate around our site and sign up for our email newsletter to be among the first to hear news and developments.

World Book and Copyright Day


April 23 marks the anniversary of the birth or death of a range of well-known writers, including Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Maurice Druon, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Haldor Kiljan Laxness, Manuel Mejía Vallejo, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and William Shakespeare. For this reason, UNESCO's General Conference chose this date to pay tribute to books, the authors who wrote them, and the copyright laws that protect them.

A range of activities to promote reading and the cultural aspects of books are held all over the world. Many of these emphasize international cooperation or friendships between countries. Events include: relay readings of books and plays; the distribution of bookmarks; the announcement of the winners of literary competitions; and actions to promote the understanding of laws on copyright and the protection of authors' intellectual property.

In some years, the Children's and Young People's Literature in the Service of Tolerance is awarded. This is a prize for novels, collections of short stories or picture books that promote tolerance, peace, mutual understanding and respect for other peoples and cultures. There are two categories: one for books aimed at children aged up to 12 years; and one for those aimed at young people aged 13 to 18 years.

World Book and Copyright Day is an occasion to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors and to encourage people to discover the pleasure of reading. It is hoped that this will lead to the renewed respect for those who have made irreplaceable contributions to social and cultural progress. In some years, the UNESCO Prize for Children's and Young People's Literature in the Service of Tolerance is awarded. It is also hoped that World Book and Copyright Day will increase people's understanding of and adherence to copyright laws and other measures to protect intellectual copyright.

The year 1995 was named the United Nations Year for Tolerance and UNESCO's General Conference, held in Paris, concentrated on this theme. The delegates voted to establish an annual occasion to carry the message of tolerance into the future, in the form of a day to celebrate books, authors and the laws that protect them. The date was chosen because April 23 marks the anniversary of the birth or death of a range of internationally renowned writers and because of the Catalan traditions surrounding this day. In Catalonia, a region of Spain, April 23 is known as La Diada de Sant Jordi (St George's Day) and it is traditional for sweethearts to exchange books and roses. World Book and Copyright Day has been held annually since 1995.

Each year a poster is designed and distributed around the world. It features images designed to encourage people, particularly children, to read books and appreciate literature. There is also a logo for World Book and Copyright Day. It features a circle, representing the world, and two books, one of which is open.