Sunday, October 12, 2008

What's Special About This Week--Oct. 13-17

October 13, 1775--United States Navy established
You can see that when the United States Navy was established there was no United States of America. Technically speaking, it was the Continental Navy that was used to fight in the Revolutionary War. Read more about it at this Navy history site.

October 13, 1921--WWJ radio was issued the first license for a radio station in Michigan
WWJ did not go on the air until the following spring. WWJ, currently an all-news station, is broadcast from Detroit and can be found at 950 on your AM dial.

October 14--national lower case day
This day honors the birth of the poet E. E. Cummings who was born on October 14, 1894. He became famous not only for his poetry but also for writing most of his works without any capital letters. In fact, he often signed his name using only lower case letters. To read some of his poetry you can visit the famous poets site. Warning: sometimes his work is a little difficult to understand but some of it is just wonderful. One of my favorites is "in just-spring".

October 14, 1960--Formation of the Peace Corps announced
At 2:00 a.m. on October 14, 1960, President John F. Kennedy stood on the steps of the Student Union at the University of Michigan to announce the formation of the Peace Corps. Hundreds of thousands of people have served around the world under the auspices of the Peace Corps. Read more about the Peace Corps, including the speech that President Kennedy gave 48 years ago.

October 15--National Grouch Day
Even if your name is not Oscar, you may be a grouch sometimes. According to Sesame Street Magazine today is the day to celebrate all the grouches and the grouchiness in your world.

October 15, 1951--"I Love Lucy" premier
It never ceases to amaze me that this TV show, now 57 years old, is still loved today. It is in reruns everywhere and I know many people whose parents were not even born when Lucy was on the air who can tell you all about a few favorite episodes. It was never a show that I enjoyed so that adds to my amazement that so many of you enjoy it today.

October 16--Dictionary Day
This day recognizes the birthday of Noah Webster who was born in Connecticut in 1758. Webster is known as the "father of the American dictionary" because he wrote the first comprehensive dictionary of American usage. He believed that American students should not have to learn British English and grammar. Learn more about Noah Webster here.

October 16--Let Them Eat Cake Day
Most people would say that this phrase comes from the former queen of France, Marie Antoinette, who, along with her husband, was thrown out of power by the French Revolution. Historians doubt that she really said "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" which is the French for "Let them eat cake." The unrest of the French people was very real, though. Read more about the origins of this phrase and a little about the French Revolution here.

October 17, 1961--MOMA hangs a work by Matisse upside down
MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art, must have this kind of problem often if they are hurrying to hang up modern art. This mistake was not corrected until December 3 of the same year.

October 17--Do Something Daring Day
I dare you to do something daring.

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