National Holidays happening on 21 January

  • National Hugging Day
  • National Granola Bar Day
  • National New England Clam Chowder Day
  • One-Liners Day
  • Own Your Own Home Day
  • Squirrel Appreciation Day
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Penguin Awareness Day

Penguin awareness Day takes place annually on 20 January. The purpose of Penguin Awareness Day is to educate people concening the issues faced by penguins and bring international focus on the conservation of penguin habitats.

Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds of the order Sphenisciformes, family Spheniscida . There Are many species of Penguin including the Emperor, King, Gentoo, Adelie, Chinstrap, Galapagos and Macaroni Penguins. They live almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere, with only one species, the Galapagos penguin, found north of the equator. Highly adapted for life in the water, penguins have countershaded dark and white plumage, and their wings have evolved into flippers. Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid and other forms of sea life which they catch while swimming underwater. They spend roughly half of their lives on land and the other half in the sea.

Although almost all penguin species are native to the Southern Hemisphere, they are not found only in cold climates, such as Antarctica. In fact, only a few species of penguin live so far south. Several species are found in the temperate zone, and one species, the Galápagos penguin, lives near the equator.

The largest living species is the emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri): on average, adults are about 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in) tall and weigh 35 kg (77 lb). The smallest penguin species is the little blue penguin (Eudyptula minor), also known as the fairy penguin, which stands around 40 cm (16 in) tall and weighs 1 kg (2.2 lb). Among extant penguins, larger penguins inhabit colder regions, while smaller penguins are generally found in temperate or even tropical climates (see also Bergmann’s rule). Some prehistoric species attained enormous sizes, becoming as tall or as heavy as an adult human. These were not restricted to Antarctic regions; on the contrary, subantarctic regions harboured high diversity, and at least one giant penguin occurred in a region around 2,000 km south of the equator 35 Million years ago, in a climate which was warmer than today.

Other National Events or Holidays taking place 20 January

  • National Disc Jockey Day
  • Camcorder Day
  • National Buttercrunch Day
  • National Cheese Lovers Day
  • Penguin Awareness Day
  • Take a Walk Outdoors Day

Appreciate a Dragon Day

Appreciate a Dragon Day takes place annually on 16 January. It was launched by retired schoolteacher Mrs. Paul on 16 January 2004 as a means for people to celebrate dragons and dragon lore. A dragon is a large, serpent-like legendary creature that appears in the folklore of many cultures around the world. Beliefs about dragons vary drastically by region, but dragons in western cultures since the High Middle Ages have often been depicted as winged, horned, four-legged, and capable of breathing fire. Dragons in eastern cultures are usually depicted as wingless, four-legged, serpentine creatures with above-average intelligence.

The earliest attested dragons resemble giant snakes. Dragon-like creatures are first described in the mythologies of the ancient Near East and appear in ancient Mesopotamian art and literature. Stories about storm-gods slaying giant serpents occur throughout nearly all Indo-European and Near Eastern mythologies. Famous prototypical dragons include the mušḫuššu of ancient Mesopotamia, Apep in Egyptian mythology, Vṛtra in the Rigveda, the Leviathan in the Hebrew Bible, Python, Ladon, Wyvern, and the Lernaean Hydra in Greek mythology, Jörmungandr, Níðhöggr, and Fafnir in Norse mythology, and the dragon from Beowulf.

The popular western image of a dragon as winged, four-legged, and capable of breathing fire is an invention of the High Middle Ages based on a conflation of earlier dragons from different traditions. In western cultures, dragons are portrayed as monsters to be tamed or overcome, usually by saints or culture heroes, as in the popular legend of Saint George and the Dragon. They are often said to have ravenous appetites and to live in caves, where they hoard treasure. These dragons appear frequently in western fantasy literature, including The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, and A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin.

The word “dragon” has also come to be applied to the Chinese lung (龍, Pinyin long), which are associated with good fortune and are thought to have power over rain. Dragons and their associations with rain are the source of the Chinese customs of dragon dancing and dragon boat racing. Many East Asian deities and demigods have dragons as their personal mounts or companions. Dragons were also identified with the Emperor of China, who, during later Chinese imperial history, was the only one permitted to have dragons on his house, clothing, or personal articles.

The origin of dragons is disputed and a wide variety of theories have been propose. In his book An Instinct for Dragons (2000), anthropologist David E. Jones suggests a hypothesis that humans, just like monkeys, have inherited instinctive reactions to snakes, large cats, and birds of prey. A study suggests that approximately 390 people in a thousand are afraid of snakes especially children. The earliest attested dragons all resemble snakes or have snakelike attributes. Which suggests that the reason why dragons appear in nearly all cultures is because of humans’ innate fear of snakes and other animals that were major predators of humans’ primate ancestors. Dragons are usually said to reside in “dank caves, deep pools, wild mountain reaches, sea bottoms, haunted forests”, all places which would have been fraught with danger for early human ancestors.

Dragon-like creatures appear in virtually all cultures around the globe. some stories of dragons may have been inspired by ancient discoveries of fossils belonging to dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals and that the dragon lore of northern India may have been inspired by “observations of oversized, extraordinary bones in the fossilbeds of the Siwalik Hills below the Himalayas.

Greek artistic depictions of the Monster of Troy may have also been influenced by fossils of Samotherium, an extinct species of giraffe whose fossils are common in the Mediterranean region. Depictions of the Cyclops may have also been influenced by the discovery of ancient Mastadon Skulls in many parts of Crete and Greece. The ancient Greek word usually translated as “dragon” (δράκων drákōn, genitive δράκοντοϛ drákontos) could also mean “snake”,[43][4] but it usually refers to a kind of giant serpent that either possesses supernatural characteristics or is otherwise controlled by some supernatural power.[44] The first mention of a “dragon” in ancient Greek literature occurs in the Iliad, in which Agamemnon is described as having a blue dragon motif on his sword belt and an emblem of a three-headed dragon on his breast plate. In the Theogony, a Greek poem written in the seventh century BC by the Boeotian poet Hesiod, the Greek god Zeus battles the monster Typhon, who has one hundred serpent heads that breathe fire and make all kinds of frightening animal noises Zeus scorches all of Typhon’s heads with his lightning bolts and then hurls Typhon into Tartarus. the god Apollo uses his poisoned arrows to slay the serpent Python, who has been causing death and pestilence in the area around Delphi. Hesiod also mentions that the hero Heracles slew the Lernaean Hydra, a multiple-headed serpent which dwelt in the swamps of Lerna. The name “Hydra” means “water snake” in Greek.

According to the Bibliotheka of Pseudo-Apollodorus, the slaying of the Hydra was the second of the Twelve Labors of Heracles. Heracles was aided in this task by his nephew Iolaus. During the battle, a giant crab crawled out of the marsh and pinched Heracles’s foot, but he crushed it under his heel. Hera placed the crab in the sky as the constellation Cancer. One of the Hydra’s heads was immortal, so Heracles buried it under a heavy rock after cutting it off. For his Eleventh Labor, Heracles had to procure a golden apples from the tree in the Garden of the Hesperides, which is guarded by an enormous serpent called Ladon which never sleeps, and has a hundred heads. In Pindar’s Fourth Pythian Ode, Aeëtes of Colchis tells the hero Jason that the Golden Fleece he is seeking is in a copse guarded by a dragon, “which surpassed in breadth and length a fifty-oared ship”. Jason slays the dragon and makes off with the Golden Fleece together with his co-conspirator, Aeëtes’s daughter, Medea. A fragment from Pherecydes of Leros states that Jason killed the dragon, but fragments from the Naupactica and from Herodorus state that he merely stole the Fleece and escaped.,In Euripides’s Medea, Medea boasts that she killed the Colchian dragon herself. In the most famous retelling of the story from Apollonius of Rhodes’s Argonautica, Medea drugs the dragon to sleep, allowing Jason to steal the Fleece.

In China, fossils of large prehistoric animals are common, and these remains are frequently identified as “dragon bones” and are commonly used in Chinese traditional medicine. Scandinavia also has many stories of dragons and sea monsters, such as Fafnir and Fasalt. Many dragon images around the world were based on folk knowledge or exaggerations of living reptiles, such as Komodo dragons, Gila monsters, iguanas, alligators, or, in California, alligator lizards.

National Fig Newton Day

National Fig Newton day takes place annually on 16 January. Fig Newtons, are a Nabisco trademarked version of the fig roll, a cookie filled with fig paste. They are produced by an extrusion process. Their distinctive shape is a characteristic that has been adopted by competitors, including generic fig bars sold in many markets.

Figs became popular in the 19th Century when physicians recommended a daily intake of biscuits and fruit to stave off most illnesses which they thought were related to digestion problem and Fig rolls were the ideal solution to this advice. They were a locally produced and handmade product until a Philadelphia baker and fig lover, Charles Roser, invented and then patented a machine in 1891 which inserted fig paste into a thick pastry dough. Cambridgeport, Massachusetts–based Kennedy Biscuit Company purchased the Roser recipe and started mass production. The first Fig Newtons were baked at the F. A. Kennedy Steam Bakery in 1891. The product was named after the city of Newton, Massachusetts, and contrary to popular belief, has nothing to do with Sir Isaac Newton. The Kennedy Biscuit Company had recently become associated with the New York Biscuit Company, and the two merged to form Nabisco—after which, the fig rolls were trademarked as Fig Newtons.

Prohibition Remembrance Day

Prohibition Remembrance Day is observed annually on January 16th to commeomrate the anniversary of the ratification of The Eighteenth Amendment on 16 January 1919. This prohibited the production, transportation, and sale of alcohol. It was ratified by the requisite number of states, but did not go into effect for another year. Prohibition Remembrance Day commemorates the ratification and implementation of Prohibition, and the almost fourteen years that American citizens lived under it.

Prohibition had come about after many years of work by those in the temperance movement, which wanted complete abstinence from alcohol. As a whole, the movement had close ties to the church. One of the main groups that was instrumental in the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment was the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), which believed an amendment would protect children, women, and families from the effects of alcohol abuse, by reducing social problems such as poverty, crime, mental illness, and drunkenness. Another important temperance group was the Anti-Saloon League, which had first took on alcohol by working to ban its sale at the state level. The fight against alcohol was dramatized by campaigners such as the hatchet-wielding Carrie Nation, who traveled around the country smashing up saloons. By the time the amendment went into effect, many states already had prohibition laws on the books, which helped with the final passage of the amendment. For example, by 1916 there were 23 states that had laws against saloons, and some had already banned the manufacture of alcohol as well.

On August 1, 1917, the US Senate passed a resolution with the language for a prohibition amendment, and On December 17, 1917, the House of Representatives passed a revised resolution. The following day the Senate approved the revised version, and it was sent to states for ratification. On January 16, 1919, the amendment became official, as Nebraska became the 36th state to ratify it. With it the consumption of alcohol was not banned, but the production, transportation, or sale of it was. There was a stipulation that it could not go into effect right away though, so it was not until January 17, 1920, that it began being implemented. In order to enforce the amendment, and to define which drinks were considered “intoxicating liquors,” the Volstead Act was passed by Congress, overriding a presidential veto.

The amendment was quite controversial during its thirteen year existence, and public pressure eventually led to its repeal. There were debates to its positive and negative qualities during its implementation, as there have been since its repeal. Overall alcohol consumption declined during it, cirrhosis rates for men decreased, and admissions to mental hospitals for issues surrounding alcohol went down. There is some indication that overall violent crime didn’t increase dramatically during Prohibition, and many people did decide to follow Prohibition when it came into effect.

Although overall drinking went down, in some areas more people drank, and they drank more. This fostered an underground bootlegging industry that was controlled by organized crime groups such as the Mafia, as well as by other gangs. Some members of the police force were bribed, and some politicians turned a blind eye. Still, many were prosecuted for violating liquor laws, which overburdened the justice system. While bootlegging was running rampant, gambling and prostitution also increased.

In the cities there were many speakeasies, or underground drinking establishments, but in the country and among the working class, drinking mainly moved from being in saloons to being a part of home life, exemplified in the rise in production of “bathtub gin” and moonshine. There also were many instances of the re-distilling of the alcohol in things such as perfume and paint, which were materials that contained poisons.

Prohibition also was costly. There was a large amount of money spent to enforce it, and there was a loss of tax revenue from the lack of alcohol sales. As the Great Depression began at the end of the decade, it was harder to justify Prohibition when an economic benefit from its repeal could be seen.

Many groups formed to repeal Prohibition, such as the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment (AAPA). Many women joined the repeal movement, after they saw the destructiveness of alcohol being increased by the amendment itself. The Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR) gained 1.5 million members, many of whom had previously supported Prohibition, but now saw it as leading to corruption, violent crime, and underground drinking. Many members also believed that when children saw that people were not following laws, it could have a negative effect on them. The WONPR, the AAPA, and other groups came together and founded the United Repeal Council. The council lobbied at the 1932 Republican and Democrat Conventions, and the Democratic Party’s platform eventually included a plank calling for the repeal of Prohibition, and candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt said he would work to repeal Prohibition.

After Roosevelt was elected, he signed the Cullen-Harrison Act on March 22, 1933, which legalized 3.2% alcohol beer, and wine, and went into effect on April 7—which is now celebrated in the United States as National Beer Day. Congress proposed the Twenty-first Amendment on February 20, 1933, and state conventions ratified it, the last doing so on December 5, 1933, which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment.


National Holidays, Events and Anniversaries taking place on 16 January

  • National Nothing Day
  • Appreciate a Dragon Day
  • International Hot and Spicy Food Day
  • National Fig Newton Day
  • National Good Teen Day
  • Prohibition Remembrance Day

NATIONAL NOTHING DAY

National Nothing Day is an “un-event” which takes place annually on 16 January. It was proposed in 1972 by columnist Harold Pullman Coffin and has been observed annually on January 16 since 1973, when it was added to Chase’s Calendar of Events. It is not actually a public holiday, as that requires an act of Congress. The purpose of National Nothing Day is to provide Americans with one National day when they can just sit without celebrating, observing or honoring anything.

The third Monday of every January has subsequently been inaugurated as Martin Luther King Jr. Day which falls between the 15th and 21st. This means that one-in-seven January 16’s now fall on a public holiday (e.g. Monday, 16th Jan 2012), effectively usurping the very nature of Nothing Day. In contrast, the Realist Society of Canada (RSC) has a religious holiday called THABS ( “There has always been something” Day, THABS is dedicated to the celebration of the “realization” that “if there was ever nothing, there would be nothing now”. It is celebrated July 8 of each year.

Martin Luther King Jnr

American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African American Civil Rights Movement Martin Luther King Jnr. Was Born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He grew up in Atlanta & attended Booker T. Washington High School, where he skipped both ninth and twelfth grade and entered Morehouse College at age fifteen without formally graduating from high school. In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology, and enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951. King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, when he was twenty-five years old, in 1954. King then began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University and got his Doctor of Philosophy on June 5, 1955, with a dissertation on “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman”. Civil rights leader, theologian, and educator Howard Thurman was an early influence on King and While studying at Boston University, King often visited Thurman. inspired by Gandhi’s success with non-violent activism, King visited Gandhi’s birthplace in India in 1959, which deepened his understanding of non-violent resistance and his commitment to America’s struggle for civil rights. African American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin also studied Gandhi’s teachings and taught King the principles of non-violence.

In March 1955, a pregnant, unmarried fifteen-year-old school girl named, Claudette Colvin, refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in compliance with the Jim Crow laws, then on December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat. In response Nixon and King orchestrated the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted for 385 days, and became so tense that King’s house was bombed. King was arrested during this campaign, which ended with a United States District Court ruling in Browder v. Gayle that ended racial segregation on all Montgomery public buses. In 1957, King, Ralph Abernathy, and other civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), to organise non-violent protests to bring about civil rights reform. As the leader of the SCLC, King maintained a policy of not publicly endorsing a U.S. political party or candidate. He also expressed a view that black Americans, as well as other disadvantaged Americans, should be compensated for historical wrongs. On September 20, 1958, while signing copies of his book Stride Toward Freedom King was stabbed in the chest with a letter opener by Izola Curry, a deranged black woman, and narrowly escaped death. King used Gandhi’s nonviolent techniques to change the civil rights laws in Alabama & applied non-violent philosophy to the protests organized by the SCLC believing that organized, nonviolent protest against southern segregation was more effective

imageMany Americans believed that the Civil Rights Movement was the most important issue in American politics in the early 1960s. King organized and led marches for blacks’ right to vote, desegregation, labour rights and other basic civil rights. Most of which were successfully enacted into the law of the United States with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Albany Movement was formed in Albany, Georgia to organise nonviolent attack on every aspect of segregation within the city and attracted nationwide attention. In April 1963, the SCLC began a campaign against racial segregation and economic injustice in Birmingham, Alabama, using nonviolent but intentionally confrontational tactics, developed in part by Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker. Black people in Birmingham, organizing with the SCLC, occupied public spaces with marches and sit-ins, openly violating laws they considered unfair. King and the SCLC also held demonstrations in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1964, marching nightly through the city suffering violent attacks from white supremacists. Hundreds of the marchers were arrested and jailed. In December 1964, King and the SCLC joined forces with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Selma, Alabama to secure voter registration. This led to A local judge issuing an injunction that barred any gathering of 3 or more people affiliated with the SNCC, SCLC, DCVL, or any of 41 named civil rights leaders, however King defied it by speaking at Brown Chapel on January 2, 1965.

King was also among the leaders of the so-called “Big Six” civil rights organizations who were instrumental in the organization of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which took place on August 28, 1963. The other leaders and organizations comprising the Big Six were Roy Wilkins from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Whitney Young, National Urban League; A. Philip Randolph, Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; John Lewis, SNCC; and James L. Farmer, Jr. of the Congress of Racial Equality. The march highlighted the desperate condition of blacks in the southern U.S. and brought peoples concerns and grievances to the attention of the Federal Government And also aimed to Safeguard the civil rights and physical safety of civil rights workers and blacks and bring an end to racial segregation in public schools; meaningful civil rights legislation, including a law prohibiting racial discrimination in employment; protection of civil rights workers from police brutality; a $2 minimum wage for all workers; and self-government for Washington, D.C.then governed by congressional committee. King also delivered a 17-minute speech, later known as “I Have a Dream”.

The march was a resounding success and more than a quarter of a million people of diverse ethnicities attended the event, sprawling from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial onto the National Mall and around the reflecting pool. At the time, it was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington, D.C.’s history. Malcolm X however, called it the “Farce on Washington,” and the Nation of Islam forbade its members from attending the march.Throughout his participation in the civil rights movement, King was criticized by many other groups. This included opposition by more militant blacks and such prominent critics as Nation of Islam member Malcolm X. Stokely Carmichael was a separatist and disagreed with King’s plea for racial integration because he considered it an insult to a uniquely African-American culture. Omali Yeshitela urged Africans to remember the history of violent European colonization and how power was not secured by Europeans through integration, but by violence and force.



King, James Bevel, the SCLC and SNCC, originally Tried to March from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery, on March 7, 1965 but were prevented my Mob Violence and Police Violence against the demonstrators. This day has since become known as Bloody Sunday And was a major turning point in the effort to gain public support for the Civil Rights Movement, demonstrated the potential of King’s nonviolence strategy. In 1966, after several successes in the South, King and others in the civil rights organizations moved to a Chicago slum to show their support and empathy for the poor And several marches took place in Bogan, Belmont Cragin, Jefferson Park, Evergreen Park (a suburb southwest of Chicago), Gage Park, Marquette Park. In Chicago they left Jesse Jackson, a seminary student who had previously joined the movement in the South, charge of their organization and Jackson continued their struggle for civil rights. In 1965 King began to publicly express doubts about the Vietnam War and

On April 4, 1967 he appeared at the New York City Riverside Church delivering a speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”. In which He opposed the U.S.’s role in the Vietnam war because it took money and resources that could have been better spent in the United States. this cost him significant support among white allies, including President Johnson, union leaders and powerful publishers.King also began to speak of the need for fundamental changes in the political and economic life of the nation and a redistribution of resources to correct racial and economic injustice and oN the day after President Johnson’s State of the Union Address, King called for a large march on Washington against “one of history’s most cruel and senseless wars”.

In 1968, King and the SCLC organized the “Poor People’s Campaign” to address issues of economic injustice. And King assembled“a multiracial army of the poor” that marched on Washington to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience at the Capitol until Congress created an ‘economic bill of rights’ for poor Americans which ensured economic aid to the poorest communities in the United States and to invest in rebuilding America’s cities. He envisioned a change that was more revolutionary than mere reform, and cited systematic flaws of “racism, poverty, militarism and materialism”.The Campaign proved controversial even within the civil rights movement. On March 29, 1968, King went to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of the black sanitary public works employees, represented by AFSCME Local 1733, who had been on strike since March 12 for higher wages and better treatment. On April 3, King also addressed a rally and delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address at Mason Temple, the world headquarters of the Church of God in Christ.

Sadly King was shot in the chest on April 4 1968 while staying at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis by James Earl Ray. Despite emergency chest surgery, King was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital at 7:05 p.m. The assassination led to a nationwide wave of race riots in Washington D.C., Chicago, Baltimore, Louisville, Kansas City, and dozens of other cities. Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was on his way to Indianapolis for a campaign rally when he was informed of King’s death And President Lyndon B. Johnson declared April 7 a national day of mourning for the civil rights leader. Vice-President Hubert Humphrey attended King’s funeral. Two months after King’s death, escaped convict James Earl Ray was captured at London Heathrow Airport while trying to leave the United Kingdom on a false Canadian passport in the name of Ramon George Sneyd on his way to white-ruled Rhodesia. He was extradited to Tennessee and charged with King’s murder. He confessed to the assassination on March 10, 1969, though he recanted this confession three days later. On the advice of his attorney Percy Foreman, and was sentenced to a 99-year prison term. However Ray’s lawyers maintained he was a scapegoat similar to the way that John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald is seen by conspiracy theorists.

Soon after King’s assassination, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which was seen as a tribute to King’s struggle in his final years to combat racial discrimination in the U.S. Internationally, King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004 and received the Nobel Peace Prize. King’s legacy influenced the Black Consciousness Movement and Civil Rights Movement in South Africa. King’s work served as an inspiration for South African leader Albert Lutuli, another black Nobel Peace prize winner who fought for racial justice in his country. King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, followed in her husband’s footsteps and was active in matters of social justice and civil rights until her death in 2006. The same year that Martin Luther King was assassinated, she established the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia, dedicated to preserving his legacy and the work of championing nonviolent conflict resolution and tolerance worldwide. Their son, Dexter King, currently serves as the center’s chairman. Daughter Yolanda King, who died in 2007, was a motivational speaker, author and founder of Higher Ground Productions, an organization specializing in diversity training.