Saturday, April 6, 2013

We read to know that we are not alone.” 
― William Nicholson

April is National Donate Life Month. It is also National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Thousands die needlessly each year because people continue to use their cell phones while driving, handheld or hands-free. National Distracted Driving Awareness Month was introduced as a resolution in 2010 by former Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO) and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in a 410-2 vote on March 23, 2010. The resolution mentions 9-year-old Erica Forney, who was struck and killed by a distracted driver in Fort Collins, CO, in November 2008. Erica’s mother, Shelley Forney, is a founding board member of Focus Driven – Advocates for Cell-free Driving. April 6th is Drowsy Driver Awareness Day, an annual memorial for people who have died in collisions related to drowsy driving. This is an official state-recognized “day” in the state of California.

It is day 6 of Medication Safety Week and today’s theme is Transitional Care Awareness. A change in medical regimen can be confusing and can place you at increased risk. Be diligent about communication with all healthcare professionals. Make sure you understand your medicinces and how you are to take them before leaving the hospital or doctor’s office. Ask for written instructions. Be extra cautious whenever there is a change in your medical regimen. Double-check your medicines when picking up a new or refilled prescription. If a pill doesn’t look familiar, ask why. It may be a generic of the same drug you were taking however, if you don’t ask, you won’t know! Make sure you receive written instructions upon discharge from any medical facility and insist that both the generic and brand names of each drug you are to take is included.

Today is a rather morbid day. It is Plan Your Epitaph Day. When you stop to think about it, maybe it’s best if you do it. You never know what a relative or friend may put on your tombstone once you’re gone. While we’re young, we think this is a long ways away. As we age, and get wiser, more of us consider getting directly involved with our epitaph, as well as all of the details of our demise. So, if you need a little nudge to plan your epitaph, let today be the day.

April 6th is Army Day.

Tartan Day is a celebration of Scottish heritage on April 6, the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320. An ad hoc event was held in New York City in 1982, but the current format originated in Canada in the mid 1980s. It spread to other communities of the Scottish diaspora in the 1990s. In Australasia the similar International Tartan Day is held on July 1, the anniversary of the repeal of the 1747 Act of Proscription that banned the wearing of tartan. Tartan Days typically have parades of pipe bands, Highland dancing and other Scottish-themed events.

Today is New Beers Eve. This is an unofficially holiday in the United States celebrating the end of Prohibition in the United States. The beginning of the end of Prohibition in the United States occurred as a result of the Cullen-Harrison Act and its signing into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 23, 1933. Sales of beer in the U.S would become legal on April 7, 1933, provided that the state in question had enacted its own law allowing such sales. The beer had to have an alcohol content less than 3.2% (4% ABV), compared to the 0.5% limit of the Volstead Act, because 3.2% was considered too low to produce intoxication. On the evening of April 6, people lined up outside breweries and taverns, waiting for midnight when they would be able to legally purchase beer for the first time in over 13 years. Since then, the night of April 6 has been referred to as “New Beer’s Eve.”

Each year on April 6, it is National Caramel Popcorn Day. In January we celebrated National Popcorn Day, however, today we add delicious caramel with the popcorn, one of America’s favorite snacks. Combining popcorn and caramel began back in the 1890′s with the strong molasses flavor of Cracker Jack, an early version of which was introduced at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. There are many commercial brands and forms of caramel corn that are available in grocery stores, cinemas, convenience stores. There are also specialty brands available at specialty stores, gift catalogs and online. Today would be a good day to make a homemade batch of caramel popcorn.

National STUDENT-Athlete Day (NSAD), celebrated annually on April 6, provides an opportunity to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of studentathletes. National STUDENT-Athlete Day seeks to honor those student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics, while making significant contributions to their communities. National STUDENT-Athlete Day was created by The National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS). NCAS is an ever-growing organization of colleges and universities. They have evolved in response to the need to “keep the student in the student-athlete.” The NCAS was first established by Richard Lapchick in 1985 at the Center for the Study of Sports in Society at Northeastern University and was relocated to the University of Central Florida in 2001. The mission of the NCAS is to “create a better society by focusing on educational attainment and using the power and appeal of sport to positively affect social change.”

National Teflon Day is celebrated each year on this date. Today honors the accidental invention on April 6, 1938 by Dr. Roy Plunkett. While working in his New Jersey lab that April day, Plunkett, along with his assistant, accidentally discovered polytetrafluoroethylene, which it today called, Teflon. It is a slippery substance often used in non-stick skillets. The Teflon trademark was registered in 1945. In the United States, Kansas City, Missouri resident Marion A. Trozzolo, who had been using the substance on scientific utensils, marketed the first US-made Teflon coated frying pan, “The Happy Pan”, in 1961. Dr. Plunkett was added to the Inventors’ Hall of Fame in 1985. The word Teflon also became a pop culture word in the 1980′s as President Ronald Reagan was referred to as the Teflon president since none of the bad press would stick to him and he had the ability to avoid being tarnished by certain scandals. Teflon can be found everywhere today, coating metals and fabrics, in the aerospace industry,  clothing and pharmaceuticals. Teflon cookware remains as steadfast and reliable as ever.

Today is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Day. On this day in 1830, the Church of Christ, the original church of the Latter Day Saint movement, was organized by Joseph Smith, Jr. and others at Fayette or Manchester, New York. Exactly thirty years to the day later, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints –later renamed Community of Christ—was organized by Joseph Smith III and others at Amboy, Illinois. On April 6, 1893, Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was dedicated by Wilford Woodruff.

Being the first Saturday of April, today is International Pillow Fight Day. There are massive pillow fights in cities around the world today.

Today is Sorry Charlie Day, a day that honors those who have been rejected and lived through it. We have all been rejected at some point. Take a minute today and reflect upon a past dejection. Then, smile with he realization that “_ _ it happens….to all of us!”

The weekend of April 6 – 7, 2013 has been designated as the 23rd Annual “Just Pray NO!” to drugs Worldwide Weekend of Prayer and Fasting. Since April 7th, 1991 “Just Pray NO!” Ltd. has sought to unite Christians from around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families. Not only is substance abuse America’s number one health problem, the devastation of alcoholism and other drug addiction has impacted families and communities worldwide. Substance abuse has been directly linked to violence and sexual immorality and is a major source of income for organized crime and terrorist activities. The “War on Drugs” directly impacts the “War on Crime” and the “War on Terrorism!”

Some of the writers born April 6th include:

Jean-Baptiste Rousseau (1671), Louis de Cahusac (1706), Nicolas Chamfort (1741), James Mill (1773), Alexander Herzen (1812), Aasmund Olavsson Vinje (1818), Nadar (1820), Levon Shant (1869), Erich Mühsam (1878), Gerhard Ritter (1888), Lowell Thomas (1892), Dudley Nichols (1895), Veniamin Kaverin (1902), Julien Torma (1902), Marcel-Marie Desmarais (1908), Willis Hall (1929), Douglas Hill (1935), Homero Aridjis (1940), Cleo Odzer (1950), Rob Epstein (1955), Cathy Jones (1955), Sebastian Spreng (1956), Graeme Base (1958), Jack Canfora (1969), Anders Thomas Jensen (1972), Joe Machine (1973), Hirotada Ototake (1976), Kendra Todd (1978), and Al Mukadam (1985).

Today we remember Isaac Asimo who passed away on this day in 1992 at the age of 72. The American author and professor of biochemistry is best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. His works have been published in nine out of ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification. Asimov is widely considered a master of hard science fiction and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the “Big Three” science fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov’s most famous work is the Foundation Series; his other major series are the Galactic Empire series and the Robot series. The Galactic Empire novels are explicitly set in earlier history of the same fictional universe as the Foundation Series. Later, beginning with Foundation’s Edge, he linked this distant future to the Robot and Spacer stories, creating a unified “future history” for his stories much like those pioneered by Robert A. Heinlein and previously produced by Cordwainer Smith and Poul Anderson. He wrote hundreds of short stories, including the social science fiction “Nightfall”, which in 1964 was voted by the Science Fictions Writers of America the best short science fiction story of all time. Asimov wrote the Lucky Starr series of juvenile science-fiction novels using the pen name Paul French. The prolific Asimove also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as much nonfiction. Most of his popular science books explain scientific concepts in a historical way, going as far back as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage. He often provides nationalities, birth dates, and death dates for the scientists he mentions, as well as etymologies and pronunciation guides for technical terms. Asimov was a long-time member and Vice President of Mensa International, albeit reluctantly; he described some members of that organization as “brain-proud and aggressive about their Iqs”. He took more joy in being president of the American Humanist Association. The asteroid 5020 Asimov, a crater on the planet Mars, a Brooklyn, New York elementary school, and one Isaac Asimov literary award are named in his honor.

The poet Petrarch first saw his idealized love, Laura, in the church of Saint Clare in Avignon on this day in 1327.

One of the largest earthquakes recorded in the history of England, Flanders, or Northern France, took place April 6, 1580.

The New York Slave Revolt of 1712 began near Broadway on April 6, 1712.

On April 6, 1808, John Jacob Astor incorporated the American Fur Company, that would eventually make him America’s first millionaire.

On this day in 1861, the first performance of Arthur Sullivan’s debut success, his suite of incidental music for The Tempest, which led to a career that included the famous Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

The Grand Army of the Republic, an American patriotic organization composed of Union veterans of the American Civil War, was founded on this day in 1866. It lasted until 1956.

Celluloid was patented April 6, 1869.

In Athens on April 6, 1896, the opening of the first modern Olympic Games was celebrated. This was 1500 years after the original games were banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I.

Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reached the North Pole on this day in 1909.

Varney Airlines made its first commercial flight on April 6, 1926. Varney is the root company of United Airlines.

Gandhi raised a lump of mud and salt and declared, “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.” on this day in 1930 which began the Salt Satyagraha.

The first Tony Awards were presented for theatrical achievement on April 6, 1947.

Leonard Bernstein caused controversy with his remarks from the podium during a New York Philharmonic concert featuring Glen Gould performing Brahms’ First Piano Concerto on April 6, 1962.

The first communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit was called Early Bird and it was launched on this day in 1965.

Four California Highway Patrol officers were killed in a shootout on April 6, 1970 in what became known as the Newhall Incident. The Newhall massacre or Newhall Incident was a shootout between two heavily armed criminals and officers of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in the Newhall unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. In less than 5 minutes, four CHP officers were killed in what was at the time the deadliest day in the history of California law enforcement. The Newhall massacre resulted in a number of changes at the CHP, including procedural changes in arresting high risk suspects and standardization of firearms and firearms training used across the department.

The American League of Major League Baseball began using the designated hitter forty years ago today.

Travelers Group announced an agreement to undertake the $76 billion merger between Travelers and Citicorp on This day in 1998. The merger was completed on October 8, of that year, forming Citibank.

winters tale

Today we bring you The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare. We have new copies in stock.


Disclaimer: Much of the information in this blog is taken directly from Wikipedia and Amazon.   Images have been taken from various sources around the World Wide Web.

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