National Days happening 9 February

  • Extraterrestrial Culture Day
  • National Bagel and Lox DaY
  • National Develop Alternative Vices Day
  • National Toothache Day
  • Pizza Pie Day
  • Read in the Bathtub Day
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Friedlieb Runge

German analytical chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge was born 8 February 1794 near Hamburg. From a young age, Runge conducted chemical experiments, serendipitously identifying the mydriatic (pupil dilating) effects of belladonna (deadly nightshade) extract. In 1819, Runge was invited to show Goethe how belladonna caused dilation of the pupil, which Runge did, using a cat as an experimental subject. Following the lecture Goethe gave Runge a bag of Coffee as a thank you and A few months later, Runge identified caffeine and noted its rejuvinating effect on the mind.

Runge studied chemistry in Jena and Berlin, where he obtained his doctorate. After touring Europe for three years, he taught chemistry at the University of Breslau until 1831. From then until 1852 he worked for a chemical company, His chemical work included purine chemistry, the identification of caffeine, the discovery of the first coal tar dye (aniline blue), coal tar products (and a large number of substances that derive from coal tar), paper chromatography, pyrrole, chinoline, phenol, thymol and atropine. He was the first to notice in 1855 the phenomenon of “Liesegang rings which he observed while experimenting on the precipitation of reagents in blotting paper. Unfortunately Runge was dismissed from the company by a resentful manager and died fifteen years later on 25 March 1867, in Oranienburg.

National Holidays and Events happening on 6 February

  • International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
  • Lame Duck Day
  • Take Your Child to the Library Day
  • National Frozen Yogurt Day
  • International Pisco Sour Day

National Lame Duck Day takes place On 6 February in recognition of the ratification of the 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution or the Lame Duck Amendment. The term “lame duck” originated as a description of stockbrokers in 1700s England who could not pay off their debts, however The name later carried over to those in business who, while known to be bankrupt, would continue to do business. In politics a lame duck refers to a person currently holding a political office who has either:

  • lost a re-election bid
  • chosen not to seek another term
  • Has been prevented from running for re-election due to a term limit
  • holds a position that has been eliminated

Prior to the ratification of the 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution, there was for Congress a 13-month delay between election day and the day the newly elected officials took office. In the case of a lame duck, this was a 13 month notice his or her job was terminating crippling their influence. Hence the ‘lame’ or injured duck. The same applied to the president. The 20th Amendment changed the date the newly elected president took office from March 4th to January 20th. The 20th Amendment shortened this period from 13 months to 2 months.

During a lame duck session, members of Congress are no longer accountable to their constituents. It is possible for their focus to switch to more personal gain instead of acting on behalf of their constituents with an eye toward re-election. While lame duck sessions still occur (20 such sessions have occurred since the amendment took effect in 1935), the time limit gives less opportunity for sweeping legislation to be approved. Nevertheless, lame duck Congresses have declared war, impeached a president, censured a senator and passed the Homeland Security Act among other actions. It is also considered a time when the peaceful transition of power occurs. Preparations take place for the out-going president to leave office and the newly elected president to take over the role.

World Nutella Day

World Nutella Day takes place annually on 5 February. World Nutella Day was founded on 5 February 2007 by Sara Rosso, an American blogger in Italy. Nutella is a brand of sweetened palm oil spread, flavored with hazelnut and cocoa solids, generically called chocolate spread. Nutella was first introduced in 1965, although its first iteration dates to 1963. When it was introduced by Pietro Ferrero, who owned a bakery in Alba, Piedmont, an area known for the production of hazelnuts, When he sold an initial batch of 300 kilograms (660 lb) of Pasta Gianduja in 1946. This product was originally sold as a solid block, but Ferrero started to sell a creamy version in 1951 as Supercrema.

In 1963, Ferrero’s son Michele Ferrero revamped Supercrema with the intention of marketing it throughout Europe. Its composition was modified, and it was renamed “Nutella”. The first jar of Nutella left the factory in Alba on April 20, 1964. The product was an instant success and remains widely popular. In 2012, French senator Yves Daudigny proposed a tax increase on palm oil from €100 to €400 per tonne. At 20 percent, palm oil is one of Nutella’s main ingredients, and the tax was dubbed “the Nutella tax” in the media.

On 14 May 2014, Poste italiane issued a 50th anniversary Nutella commemorative stamp.The 70 Euro cent stamp was designed by Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato and features a jar of Nutella on a golden background. Ferrero held a Nutella Day on 17 and 18 May to celebrate the anniversary. World Nutella Day is now sponsored by the Italian company Ferrero, the makers of Nutella

National Holidays and other events occurring 4 February

  • Liberace Day
  • National Create a Vacuum Day
  • National Homemade Soup Day
  • National Stuffed Mushroom Day
  • National Thank a Mailman Day
  • Quacker Day
  • USO Day

National Quacker Day takes place annually on 4 February. It was started by Jeanne Bice who founded a woman’s clothing company called The Quacker Factory with the aim of making clothes that stood out, had “sparkle and shine,” and made people smile. She was widowed in 1981 and started the clothing line that would turn into Quacker Factory with her business partner, Maryanne Diedrich. In 1981, Bice moved to Florida. She opened her first store, The Silent Woman, in Ripon, Wisconsin

and On February 4, 1995, Bice and her clothing line made their debut on the cable shopping channel QVC. Bice became an instant hit and her whole clothing line sold out while she was still on the air. Quacker Factory soon went from a small business to a multi-million dollar business, and Bice appeared many times on QVC before her death in 2011. Bice officially created National Quacker Day in 2010 and had it take place on February 4, on the anniversary of the date she first appeared on QVC. She created it “to honor ALL ‘Quacker’ Women…and their GREAT spirit.”

Events and National Days happening 3 February

  • The Day the Music Died
  • Elmo’s Birthday
  • National Carrot Cake Day
  • National Cordova Ice Worm Day
  • National Girls and Women in Sports Day
  • National Wedding Ring Day

The Day the music Died

Rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were all tragically killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa on 3 February 1959 on what has since become known as “the Day the Music Died”. Buddy Holly, was born September 7, 1936 in Lubbock, Texas, to a musical family during the Great Depression, and learned to play guitar and sing alongside his siblings. His style was influenced by gospel music, country music, and rhythm and blues acts, and he performed in Lubbock with his friends from high school.

He made his first appearance on local television in 1952, and the following year he formed the group “Buddy and Bob” with his friend Bob Montgomery. In 1955, after opening for Elvis Presley, he decided to pursue a career in music. He opened for Presley three times that year; his band’s style shifted from country and western to entirely rock and roll. In October that year, when he opened for Bill Haley & His Comets, he was spotted by Nashville scout Eddie Crandall, who helped him get a contract with Decca Records.

Holly’s recording sessions at Decca were produced by Owen Bradley, who had become famous for producing orchestrated country hits for stars like Patsy Cline. Unhappy with Bradley’s musical style and control in the studio, Holly went to producer Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico, and recorded a demo of “That’ll Be the Day”, among other songs. Petty became the band’s manager and sent the demo to Brunswick Records, which released it as a single credited to “The Crickets”, which became the name of Holly’s band. In September 1957, as the band toured, “That’ll Be the Day” topped the US and UK singles charts. Its success was followed in October by another major hit, “Peggy Sue”.

The album Chirping Crickets, released in November 1957, reached number five on the UK Albums Chart. Holly made his second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in January 1958 and soon after, toured Australia and then the UK. In early 1959, he assembled a new band, consisting of future country music star Waylon Jennings (bass), famed session musician Tommy Allsup (guitar), and Carl Bunch (drums), and embarked on a tour of the midwestern U.S. Holly is often regarded as the artist who defined the traditional rock-and-roll lineup of two guitars, bass, and drums. He was a major influence on later popular music artists, including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and Elton John. He was among the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1986. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 13 in its list of “100 Greatest Artists”.

Mexican American singer, songwriter, and guitarist Ritchie Valens was born May 13, 1941 A rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement. he had several hits, most notably “La Bamba”, which he had adapted from a folk song. Valens transformed the song into one with a rock rhythm and beat, and it became a hit in 1958, making Valens a pioneer of the Spanish-speaking rock and roll movement. He also had the American number 2 hit ”Donna. Valens’ recording career lasted eight months,

American musician, singer and songwriter The Big Bopper, (Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson Jr.) Was born October 24, 1930 His rockabilly look, style, voice, and exuberant personality made him an early rock and roll star. He is best known for his 1958 recording of “Chantilly Lace”.

Tragedy struck On February 3, 1959, when After a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, Buddy Holly chartered an airplane to travel to his next show, in Moorhead, Minnesota. Travelling  with The Big Bopper and Richie Valens , sadly the plane crashed soon after take off, killing Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and pilot Roger Peterson in a tragedy later referred to by Don McLean as “The Day the Music Died” in his 1971 song “American Pie”. Valens was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Brandy Alexander Day

Brandy Alexander day takes place annually on 31 January. A Brandy Alexander is a brandy-based cocktail consisting of cognac, crème de cacao, and cream that became popular during the early 20th century. It is a variation of an earlier, gin-based cocktail called simply an Alexander. The cocktail known as Alexander today may contain gin or brandy.

There are many rumors about its origins. Some sources say it was created at the time of the London wedding of Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles in 1922. Drama critic and Algonquin Round Table member Alexander Woollcott claimed that it was named after him. Other sources say it was named after the Russian tsar Alexander II. The drink may have been named after Troy Alexander, a bartender at Rector’s, a New York City restaurant, who created the drink in order to serve a white drink at a dinner celebrating Phoebe Snow, a character in a popular advertising campaign in the early 20th century. The cocktail is known to have been John Lennon’s favorite drink. He was introduced to the drink on March 12, 1974 by Harry Nilsson, in the midst of Lennon’s so-called “lost weekend.” The pair began heckling the Smothers Brothers, and whilst being ejected Lennon allegedly assaulted a waitress. Lennon later said the drinks “tasted like milkshakes.”

Brandy Alexander has also been mentioned in many Films and Television series including Days of Wine and Roses, which features alcoholic Joe Clay (Jack Lemmon) taking Kirsten Arnesen (Lee Remick) out on a date. When she explains that she dislikes liquor but likes chocolate, he orders her a Brandy Alexander. This begins Kirsten’s descent into alcoholism. In the 1981 film Tattoo, Bruce Dern takes Maude Adams out for dinner and orders a Brandy Alexander. When she comments that he does not look the Brandy Alexander type, he replies, “I like the foam…it reminds me of the ocean.” In the James Gray movie Two Lovers, Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow) tells Leonard (Joaquin Phoenix) she drinks Brandy Alexanders with her boyfriend Ronald, a rich lawyer. Leonard orders one at a restaurant to impress her, but ruins the effect by mistaking the stirrer for a straw. In the tv series “Greenleaf” the bishop’s wife Lady Mae drinks it on a daily base.