Origami Day

Origami Day occurs annually on 11 November to to commemorate American origami pioneer Lillian Oppenheimer Who popularized origami in the West during the 1950s, and is credited with popularizing the Japanese term origami in English-speaking circles. Oppenheimer was born to a Jewish family of Austrian, Hungarian, and Czech origin, the daughter of Bernard Vorhaus, an attorney who made a living importing furs. Oppenheimer is the mother of William, Molly, Rosaly, Martin, and Joseph. The three sons were all prominent mathematicians which may have inspired Lilian to apply these mathmatical principals to folding paper in order to create exact geometric shapes.

Origami (折り紙, comes from the word ori meaning “folding”, and kami meaning “paper” (kami changes to gami due to rendaku)) is the art of paper folding, which is often associated with Japanese culture. In modern usage, the word “origami” is used as an inclusive term for all folding practices, regardless of their culture of origin. The goal is to transform a flat square sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques. Modern origami practitioners generally discourage the use of cuts, glue, or markings on the paper. Origami folders often use the Japanese word kirigami to refer to designs which use cuts, although cutting is more characteristic of Chinese papercrafts.

The small number of basic origami folds can be combined in a variety of ways to make intricate designs. The best-known origami model is the Japanese paper crane. In general, these designs begin with a square sheet of paper whose sides may be of different colors, prints, or patterns. Traditional Japanese origami, which has been practiced since the Edo period (1603–1867), has often been less strict about these conventions, sometimes cutting the paper or using nonsquare shapes to start with. The principles of origami are also used in stents, packaging and other engineering applications.

The art of folding paper has accompanied traditions and celebrations of every kind, including funerals, birthdays, and more. The first actual reference to a paper model is in a poem, which somehow seems appropriate given that such things are traditionally written on paper. In that poem, a butterfly design was referenced in connection to Shinto weddings, but that’s just one of many ways that these designs were used.

In Europe, it was napkin folding that was all the rage, a tradition which was abundant during the 17th and 18th centuries as a sign of being a good host or hostess. Sadly, this particular tradition was going to fade out and become nearly forgotten until recently, when it’s beginning to see something of a resurgence. When Japan opened its borders in the late 1800’s, they started incorporating German paper folding techniques and the two techniques were combined. Recently Origami has been used as a beacon of hope, with the tradition of folding a thousand cranes being done for people who are in the hospital fighting cancer.

Oppenheimer’s use of the word Origami gradually supplanted the literal translation of paper folding that had been used earlier. In the 1960s she co-wrote several popular books on origami with Shari Lewis. Lillian Oppenheimer also ran an informal group of dedicated folders in the New York City area, and in 1978 she co-founded, with Alice Gray and Michael Shall, the non-profit Friends of the Origami Center. After Oppenheimer’s death, it was renamed OrigamiUSA. As of 2016 it is the largest origami organization in the United States.

National Sundae Day

National Sundae Day is observed each year on November 11. National Sundae Day celebrates Ice cream Sundaes. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the origin of the term sundae is obscure; however, it is generally accepted that the spelling “sundae” derives from the English word “Sunday.

The oldest known record of an ice cream sundae is an advertisement in the Ithica Daily Journal dated October 5, 1892, with the conventional day of the week spelling – Sunday. It has been hotly debated where the sundae originated. There has been a friendly rivalry between Ithica, New York, and Two Rivers, Wisconsin over which city is the true birthplace of the sundae. The Two Rivers’ claim is that in 1881, Druggist Edward Berners served the sweet concoction when customer George Hallauer ordered an ice cream soda. Because it was the Sabbath, ice cream sodas were prohibited at that time. As a compromise, Berners served the ice cream in a dish without soda and topped it with chocolate syrup. This story is disputed by some because Berners would have only been 18 at the time the story takes place. In Ithica on a Sunday after church in 1892, Chester Platt, proprietor of Platt & Colt Pharmacy, and the Reverend John M. Scott stopped at the pharmacy to enjoy a bowl of ice cream. Instead of just plain vanilla, Platt topped the scoops with cherry syrup and a candied cherry. The dessert looked and tasted so delightful it required its own name. It was named for the day it was created. Ithica also has some historical evidence supporting this, including the advertisement for a Cherry Sunday.


Ice cream sundae soon became the weekend semi-official soda fountain confection in the beginning of the 1900s and quickly gained popularity. The Ice Cream Trade Journal for 1909 along with plain, or French sundae, listed such exotic varieties as Robin Hood sundae, Cocoa Caramel sundae, Black Hawk sundae, Angel Cake sundae, Cherry Dip sundae, Cinnamon Peak sundae, Opera sundae, Fleur D’Orange sundae, Knickerbocker sundae, Tally-Ho Sundae, Bismarck and George Washington sundaes, to name a few.

The original sundae consists of vanilla ice cream topped with a flavored sauce or syrup, whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry. Classic sundaes are typically named after flavored syrup employed in the recipe: cherry sundae, chocolate sundae, strawberry sundae, raspberry sundae, etc. The classic sundae is traditionally served in a tulip-shaped, footed glass vase. Due to the long association between the shape of the glass and the dessert, this style of serving dish is generally now known as a sundae glass. The banana split is another type of Sundae, This dessert consists of two halves of a banana, sliced lengthwise. The classic banana split consists of strawberry ice cream topped with chocolate syrup, chocolate ice cream topped with crushed pineapple, and vanilla ice cream topped with strawberry syrup. Each scoop is individually garnished with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Amother type of Sundae is the Knickerbocker Glory, This ice cream sundae is served in a large tall glass, consisting of layers of ice cream, jelly, and cream, topped with syrup, nuts, whipped cream, and often a cherry; it is popular in the United Kingdom. Another popular Sundae is the Black and white (Tin Roof Sundae). This sundae features a scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and a scoop of chocolate ice cream with creamy white marshmallow sauce, topped with Spanish peanuts.[citation needed] The Tin Roof Sundae was created in 1916, at the Potter Drug Co., in Potter, Nebraska, owned by pharmacist James Earl Thayer. His son, Harold Dean “Pinky” Thayer, worked in the soda fountain as a teenager, and is credited for inventing the ice cream treat. According to Dr. J.E. Thayer of Sidney, there are two stories of how the sundae got its name. The first is that it was inspired by the tin ceiling in the business; the other is that the stable across the street had a tin roof and that he named it after that. The Tin Roof Sundae can still be enjoyed in Potter, Nebraska, where the Potter Drug Co. now called the Potter Sundry, is still in operation.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Best known for writing the novel “Crime and Punishment” the Russian Novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky was born 11 November 1821 in the Mariinsky hospital in Moscow, Russia. Dostoyevsky was introduced to literature at an early age – fairy tales and legends, as well as books by English, French, German and Russian authors. His mother’s sudden death in 1837 devastated him. At around the same time, he left school to enter the Nikolayev Military Engineering Institute. Once he graduated, he worked as an engineer and briefly enjoyed a liberal lifestyle.

He soon began to translate books to earn extra money. Around the mid-1840s he wrote his first novel, Poor Folk, allowing him to join St Petersburg’s literary circles. He also wrote short stories and essays which explore human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russia. Although Dostoyevsky began writing books in the mid-1840s. In 1849 he attracted controversy when he was arrested for his involvement with the Petrashevsky Circle, a secret society of liberal utopians as well as a literary discussion group. He and other members were condemned to death, but the penalty proved to be a mock execution and the sentence was commuted to four years’ hard labour in Siberia.

After his release, Dostoyevsky was forced to serve as a soldier, but was discharged from the military due to his ill health. In the following years Dostoyevsky worked as a journalist, publishing and editing several magazines of his own and later a serial, A Writer’s Diary. His best novels, including Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov. He wrote eleven novels, three novellas, seventeen short novels and three essays, and has been acknowledged by many literary critics as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in universal literature. He also began to travel around western Europe, however his finances suffered because of his gambling addiction and he had to face the humiliation of begging for money.

Dostoyevsky also suffered from epilepsy throughout his adult life. But he persevered and though sheer energy and force of will he managed to publish a large volume of work. Fyodor Dostoyevsky sadly passed away on 9th February 1881,  however he has since become one of the most widely read and renowned Russian writers, His books remain popular and have been translated into more than 170 languages and sold around 15 million copies. He has also influenced a vast range of writers, from Anton Chekhov and James Joyce to Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre and Ayn Rand, to name but a few.

Armistice Day/ Veteran’s Day

November 11th is Armistice Day. Armistice Day is held annually in remembrance of the sacrifices made by all the brave men and women who joined the Armed Services, Air Force and Royal Navy and who who fought and died during World War I and II, to protect the freedoms which today, we take for granted. The Date; the 11th day of the 11th Month at the 11th hour is also significant as Peace was finally declared following World War I at 11:00, November 11 1918 after Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car in the forest of Compiègne which went into effect at 11 a.m. Paris time on 11 November 1918 (“the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”), and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although not formally a surrender. The Germans were responding to the policies proposed by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in his Fourteen Points of January 1918. The actual terms, largely written by French Marshal and Supreme Commander of the Allied Armies Ferdinand Foch, included the cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of German troops to behind their own borders, the preservation of infrastructure, the exchange of prisoners, a promise of reparations, the disposition of German warships and submarines, and conditions for prolonging or terminating the armistice. Although the armistice ended the actual fighting, it took six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty, the Treaty of Versailles.

To mark the occasion Church Services are also held worldwide on Remembrance Sunday and two minutes silence takes place at 11:00 am to honour the fallen. It is only when you visit the cemeteries and battlefields that it possible to comprehend the sheer scale of the loss of life and to understand the futility & horrors of war. It’s also a really sobering experience to see haunting images of the landscape, which even today still bears witness to the tragic events which happened during World War I and II.

Armistice Day (which overlaps with Remembrance Day and Veterans Day) commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. While this official date to mark the end of the war reflects the ceasefire on the Western Front, hostilities continued in other regions, especially across the former Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottoman Empire. The date was declared a national holiday in many allied nations, to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during war. An exception is Italy, where the end of the war is commemorated on 4 November, the day of the Armistice of Villa Giusti.After World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and to Remembrance Day in the countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Armistice Day remains an official holiday in France and Belgium. Armistice day was declared a holiday because President Wilson felt it was necessary to leave a day to celebrate the end of warsIn many parts of the world, people observe two consecutive minutes moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. local time as a sign of respect in the first minute for the roughly 20 million people who died in the war, and in the second minute dedicated to the living, generally understood to be wives, children and families left behind but deeply affected by the conflict.

This gesture of respect was suggested by Edward George Honey in a letter to a British newspaper, although Wellesley Tudor Pole had established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917. From the outset, many veterans in many countries have also used silence to pay homage to departed comrades. The toast of “Fallen” or “Absent Comrades” has always been honoured in silence at New Zealand veteran functions, while the news of a member’s death has similarly been observed in silence at meetings. Similar ceremonies developed in other countries during the inter-war period. In South Africa, for example, the Memorable Order of Tin Hats had by the late 1920s developed a ceremony whereby the toast of “Fallen Comrades” was observed not only in silence but darkness, all except for the “Light of Remembrance”, with the ceremony ending with the Order’s anthem “Old Soldiers Never Die”. In Australia, meanwhile, the South Australian State Branch of the Returned Sailors & Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia similarly developed during the interwar period a simple ceremony of silence for departed comrades at 9 p.m., presumably to coincide with the traditional 11 a.m. time for Armistice ceremonies taking place in Europe (due to the ten-hour time difference between Eastern Australia and Europe)

In the United Kingdom, beginning in 1939, the two-minute silence was moved to the Sunday nearest to 11 November in order not to interfere with wartime production should 11 November fall on a weekday. After the end of World War II, most Armistice Day events were moved to the nearest Sunday and began to commemorate both World Wars. The change was made in many Commonwealth countries, as well as the United Kingdom, and the new commemoration was named Remembrance Sunday or Remembrance Day. Both Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are now commemorated formally in the UK. In recent years Armistice Day has become increasingly recognised, and many people now attend the 11am ceremony at the Cenotaph in London – an event organised by The Western Front Association, a UK charity dedicated to perpetuating the memory of those who served in the First World War.


Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on November 11, that honors military veterans; that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I; major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. The United States previously observed Armistice Day. The U.S. holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, a U.S. public holiday in May; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service. It is also not to be confused with Armed Forces Day, a minor U.S. remembrance that also occurs in May, which specifically honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.

Because it is a federal holiday, some American workers and many students have Veterans Day off from work or school. When Veterans Day falls on a Saturday then either Saturday or the preceding Friday may be designated as the holiday, whereas if it falls on a Sunday it is typically observed on the following Monday. When it falls on weekend many private companies offer it as a floating holiday where employee can choose some other day. A Society for Human Resource Management poll in 2010 found that 21 percent of employers planned to observe the holiday in 2011.

Non-essential federal government offices are closed. No mail is delivered. All federal workers are paid for the holiday; those who are required to work on the holiday sometimes receive holiday pay for that day in addition to their wages. In his Armistice Day address to Congress, Wilson was sensitive to the psychological toll of the lean War years: “Hunger does not breed reform; it breeds madness,” he remarked As Veterans Day and the birthday of the United States Marine Corps (November 10, 1775) are only one day apart, that branch of the Armed Forces customarily observes both occasions as a 96-hour liberty period. Election Day is a regular working day, while Veterans Day, which typically falls the following week, is a federal holiday. The National Commission on Federal Election Reform called for the holidays to be merged, so citizens can have a day off to vote. They state this as a way to honor voting by exercising democratic rights.

Remembrance Sunday

This years marks 100 years since the end of World War I and To mark the Hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I this years Poignant Remembrance Sunday service was Led by Members of the The Royal Family including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Prince William the Duke of Cambridge, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cambridge, Duchess of Cornwall, HRH Prince Andrew – The Duke of York, HRH Prince Edward – The Earl of Wessex, Sophie Countess of Wessex, The Princess Royal Princess Anne, Prince Michael of Kent, Meghan Merkle and Field Marshal Lord GutJohnrie of Craigiebank. There was a Brief service conducted by the Bishop of London then at The first stroke of Big Ben at 11am the firineg of a gun from Horse Guards Parade by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery marked the start of two minutes’ silence, which was followed by The Last Post, sounded by the Buglers of the Royal Marines.

The event included the traditional Laying of the Wreaths and March-past the Cenotaph War Memorial in Whitehall London finishing at Horseguards Parade. This year nearly 10,000 people took part many dignitaries who laid wreaths at the event including HM Queen Elizabeth II, HRH Prince Charles prince of Wales, the German President, Prince Andrew, Prince EdwardPrincess Ann, Prince Michael of Kent. They were followed by Prime Minister Theresa May, Deputy Prime Minister and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Vince Cable, the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, Nigel Dodd leader of the Democratic Union Party, John Bercow, speaker of the House of Commons, and Lord Fowler Speaker of the house of Lords.

Others who laid wreaths included the Duke’s equerry, Captain Ben Tracy and culture secretary, Karen Bradley, Former Prime Ministers David Cameron John Major, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, the Home Secretary Philip Hammond and the Education Secretary plus the Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn, Scottish National Party Leader, Jermey hunt on behalf of the Overseas Territories, The forty seven High Commissioners of the Commonwealth including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Northern Ireland, Guyana, Gambia, Barbuda, Lesotho, Tonga, Fiji, Bangladesh, Solomon Islands, St Dominique Brunei, Namibia, Cameroon, Falkland Islands, Nigeria, St Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Togo and Tobago and the Ambassador of Ireland Adrian o’Neil. They were followed by the Chiefs of the Armed Services and Roy Wilsher on behalf of the civillian sevices. Fifteen Religious leaders also took part including representatives of the Roman Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Zaoastrian and Hindu faiths and The President of the Royal British Legion also laid a wreath as did the Chairman of the British Legion, and Pauline Cotton Secretary of Transport for London

This was Followed by the National Anthem, other music was performed by Chapel Royal Choir School and the Massed Bands of the Black Watch and the Royal Marines, which included Rule Britannia, Heart of Oak (The Unofficial Anthem of the Royal Navy) and Nimrod from Sir Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” ,The Minstrel Boy by Thomas Moore, Men of Harlech, The Skye Boat Song, Isle of Beauty by Thomas Haynes Bayly, David of the White Rock, Oft in the Stilly Night by John Andrew Stevenson, Flowers of the Forest, Nimrod from the Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar, Dido’s lament by Henry Purcell, OH Valiant Hearts by Charles Harris, Solemn Melody by Walford Davies, Last Post – a bugle call, Beethoven’s Funeral March No. 1, by Johann Heinrich Walch, O God, Our Help in Ages Past – words by Isaac Watts, music by William Croft, Reveille – a bugle call and God Save The Queen.

This was followed by a March past the Cenotaph with Princess Ann taking the salute. Organisations taking part in the march-past the Cenotaph included Royal navy association, Royal Airforce Association, Paratroop Regiment association, Royal Marines Association, Merchant Navy Association, Fleet air arm association, Gurkhas Association, Burma Star association, the Chinditz, Royal Mechanical Engineers association, Royal Northumberland fusiliers association, Royal Army Corps, 656 squadron Association, Home Guard, Royal Engineers Association, Army Air Corps, Metropolitan Police, Royal Pioneer CorpsReconnaissance corps, Maritime Air Association, Bomber Command, Royal Observer Corps, Falklands Association, Sappers Association! War Widows Association, Irish Defence Association, Royal Marine Commandos association, The Salvation Army, NAAFI Association, National Association of Retired Police Officers, Saint Johns Ambulance, The Red Cross Association, Commonwealth Graves Association, the RAF survival equipment association, Army Cadets, Sea Cadets, Army Training Corps, the Church Lads Brigade, THE Girl Guides, The Scouts, The Cubs and The YMCA.

With It being one hundred years since the end of World War I, the event was marked by bells being rung simultaneously at different cathedrals and Churches throughout the country at 12:30 pm. Elsewhere In Liverpool a special service at St George’s hall featured Joey, the giant puppet from the play Warhorse,  The Royal National Memorial Arberetum in Alrewas also held a service, The arboretum’s focal point, the national Armed Forces Memorial, is designed so that on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a shaft of sunlight dissects its inner and outer walls, falling on a bronze wreath sculpture. In Wales a day-long motor racing event on Anglesey was paused for the two-minute silence and included a remembrance ceremony. The races were organised by Mission Motorsport which uses racing as part of rehabilitation for physically or mentally injured veterans, including helping those with post-traumatic stress disorder, At the Field of Remembrance at Cardiff Castle, which is one of six created across the UK by the British Legion, more than 10,000 crosses were laid. Elesewhere The Archbishop of Canturbury, Bishop of Durham, led a remembrance service at St. Gabriel’s Church in Sunderland. The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO laid a wreath at The Armed Forces Memorial during the service which was attended by more than 3,000 people.

The Portland stone memorial is the nation’s tribute to more than 16,000 servicemen and women who have died on duty, or as a result of terrorism, since 1948. In Scotland, First Minister Alex Salmond joined the Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost of Edinburgh Donald Wilson, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, military leaders, veterans and serving personnel at the Stone of Remembrance at the City Chambers in Edinburgh. He observed a two minute silence and laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Scotland. The First Minister then attended a Service of Remembrance at St Giles Cathedral. In Northern Ireland Taoiseach Enda Kenny laid a wreath on behalf of the Irish Government, at the cenotaph in Enniskillen.