Monday, April 27, 2015

Holidays and Observances for Apr 27 2015

Babe Ruth Day

On April 27, 1947, the Yankees hosted Babe Ruth Day at Yankee Stadium. The event was held to honor the ailing baseball star, who was nearing the end of his life because of throat cancer. Ruth, the legendary “Sultan of Swat,” died a year later at age 53.

The New York Times reported about Ruth’s appearance in front of 58,339 fans at Yankee Stadium: “Just before he spoke, Ruth started to cough and it appeared that he might break down because of the thunderous cheers that came his way. But once he started to talk, he was all right, still the champion. It was the many men who surrounded him on the field, players, newspaper and radio persons, who choked up.”

George Herman Ruth spent most of his childhood at a Roman Catholic reformatory in Baltimore and rarely saw his parents. A reportedly ill-behaved and free-spirited student, Ruth found an escape in baseball, a sport taught by a Catholic brother at the school. In 1914, at age 19, Ruth joined the minor league Baltimore Orioles, where teammates gave him the nickname Babe. Later that season, he was acquired by the major league Boston Red Sox.

Ruth began his career as a pitcher. His skill helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 1916 and 1918. In 1919, however, the Red Sox sold Ruth to the Yankees for a large sum. It is often said that the team owner Harry Frazee made the deal to finance the production of his Broadway play, though Ruth’s demands for more money and reckless off-field behavior were his true motivation.

In New York, Ruth played the outfield to become a full-time hitter, and he turned into the game’s greatest star. Ruth’s fame came at an important time for baseball; before the 1921 season, it was revealed that gamblers had fixed the 1919 World Series, casting doubt over the future of the sport. The Times’s obituary of Ruth noted that, by early in the 1921 season, fans had forgotten all about the scandal as their “attention became centered in an even greater demonstration of superlative batting skill by the amazing Babe Ruth. Home runs began to scale off his bat in droves, crowds jammed ball parks in every city in which he appeared.”

Ruth’s popularity allowed the Yankees to move to their own ballpark in the Bronx, which became known as the House That Ruth Built. Ruth had his greatest season in 1927, hitting 60 home runs, a record that would stand until 1961. Ruth’s legend grew during the 1932 World Series, when he was said to have “called his shot,” pointing to the outfield stands before hitting a home run.

Ruth was also a legend off the field, where he enjoyed an extravagant life style in the New York of the Roaring Twenties. He liked to stay out late, eating and drinking heavily. He was also known for his rapport with his fans, particularly children. “He made friends by the thousands and rarely, if ever, lost any of them,” The Times reported. “Affable, boisterous and good-natured to a fault, he was always as accessible to the newsboy on the corner as to the most dignified personage in worldly affairs.”

Matanzas Mule Day

April 27, 1898. In one of the first naval actions of the Spanish-American War, US naval forces bombarded the Cuban village of Matanzas. It was widely reported that the only casualty of the bombardment was one mule. The “Matanzas Mule” became instantly famous and remains a footnote in the history of the Spanish-American War.

Matanzas is the capital of the Cuban province of Matanzas. Known for its poets, culture, and Afro-Cuban folklore, it is located on the northern shore of the island of Cuba, on the Bay of Matanzas (Spanish Bahia de Matanzas), 90 kilometers (56 mi) east of the capital Havana and 32 kilometers (20 mi) west of the resort town of Varadero.

Matanzas is called the City of Bridges, for the seventeen bridges that cross the three rivers that traverse the city (Rio Yumuri, San Juan, and Canimar). For this reason it was referred to as the "Venice of Cuba." It was also called "La Atenas de Cuba" ("The Athens of Cuba") for its poets.

Matanzas was founded in 1693 as San Carlos y San Severino de Matanzas. This followed a royal decree ("real c├ędula") issued on September 25, 1690, which decreed that the bay and port of Matanzas be settled by 30 families from the Canary Islands.

Matanzas was one of the regions that saw intensive development of sugar plantations during the colonial era. Consequently, many African slaves were imported to support the sugar industry, particularly during the first half of the nineteenth century. For example, in 1792 there were 1900 slaves in Matanzas, roughly 30% of its population. In 1817, the slave population of Matanzas had grown to 10,773, comprising nearly 50% of the overall population. By 1841, 53,331 slaves made up 62.7% of the population of Matanzas. Census figures for 1859 put the Matanzas slave population at 104,519. Matanzas was the site of several slave insurrections and plots, including the infamous Escalera conspiracy (discovered in late 1843). Due to the high number of both slaves and, importantly, free Afro-Cubans in Matanzas, the retention of African traditions is especially strong there. In 1898, Matanzas became the location of the first action in the Spanish–American War. The city was bombarded by American Navy vessels on April 25, 1898, just after the beginning of the war.

Morse Code Day

Samuel Finley Breese Morse (April 27, 1791 – April 2, 1872) was an American painter who turned inventor. After having established his reputation as a portrait painter, in his middle age Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs. He was a co-developer of the Morse code, and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy.

In 1836 Samuel Morse, Joseph Henry, and Alfred Vail began developing an electric telegraph system capable of sending pulses of electric current. First employed in 1844, their telegraph used these signals to create indentations on paper as the electric currents were received. Morse worked on a code to translate these indentations (at first he planned to use a number-based system, but Vail added letters), and the “dots” and “dashes” (or “dits” and “dahs”) code was born.

Morse code was a popular mehtod of communication for over a century — it can be learned quickly and transmitted by tones, lights, or clicks. Although the military recently replaced Morse code with newer communication systems, it still has practical uses today. For example, it can be used as an assistive communication device for people with certain motion disabilities, and usually proves faster than alternative “row scanning” methods. In fact, contests have shown that skilled Morse code “readers” can translate in their heads at rates of 40 words per minute (WPM), with a 1939 record of 75.2 WPM. And the record for the fastest straight keyed message was achieved in 1942 at a rate of 35 WPM. Many amateur radio enthusiasts still learn and use Morse code, and there’s even a radio station, W1AW, that plays practice transmissions for anyone trying to learn.

National Prime Rib Day

Get primed and ready because April 27 is National Prime Rib Day!

Prime rib, or standing rib roast, is a choice beef cut from one of the eight primal cuts of beef. And if you slice the standing rib roast, so called because it is roasted standing up with the ribs stacked up vertically, you can remove the bones and get a nice number of ribeye steaks. So either way, you win!

This cut contains the "eye" of the rib and is well-marbeled with fatty muscle. Rubbing the outside of this roast with salt and seasonings and slow-roasting yields a tender, tasty meal.

If you're thinking about barbecue (which you should), take a tip from the professionals and smoke it for a few hours before dry roasting.

If the phrase prime rib brings to mind memories of the Sunday roast, make some gravy on the side, and if you're feeling fancy, whip up some Yorkshire Puddings as well. But if you want to know the best way to prepare prime rib, be sure and check out this marvelous primer.

National Tell A Story Day

National Tell A Story Day is celebrated on April 27th in the US.  In Scotland and England it falls on October 27th.  It is far more prominent in the UK.

On this day, people get together to celebrate story telling of every kind – fiction, non fiction, tall tales, scary tales or even folk tales.  It is a fun way to get together – in a library, at home or in front of a camp fire and tell all kinds of stories.  It fosters a sense of togetherness and fun.  One can even read stories from a book or use other media.

In the old days, stories were a way to pass down tradition and family history from one generation to another.  It is a good idea to also tell stories about important people and use aids like photos to make it more real.  

This kind of story telling can help develop the budding imagination of children.  Everyone, regardless of age likes to hear a good story.  So, dust off your creative side and tell a tale that would fire anyone’s imagination – a tall tale, a whopper of a tale or a spooky one.

Every country has its own tradition of stories – it is great way to learn about other cultures and connect with people.  One can even tell stories based on themes.