Sunday, March 22, 2009

What's Special About This Week--March 23-27

March 23, 1956--Pakistan became an independent republic on this date. Republic Day is celebrated each year in Pakistan. March 23, 1940, marks the passage of the Pakistan Resolution by Muslims of South Asia, so this day is also known as Pakistan day. The day will be noted with military parades in major cities throughout the country. You may not be able to make it to Pakistan this year for the celebrations but you can visit their tourism site for virtual visit.
March 23, 1923--"Yes, We Have No Bananas" released. What?! You don't know this classic song. My parents sang it to me almost every time we didn't have bananas when I wanted them and probably many other times as well. My children either know the song or have purposely driven it from their song list because I know I sang it to them many times as well. Here is a link to the Muppets singing "Yes, We Have No Bananas" in a way that only the Swedish Chef could. Just in case you could not understand the words, you can go here to hear the music and see the the words.

March 24--National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day Who doesn't love chocolate covered raisins? I am sure that there are folks out there who don't like raisins or chocolate or the combination of the two, but I am not one of them. Just in case you are thinking that because I am a big chocolate covered raisin fan I made this day up, check this site (one of many) and then send someone a National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day card. They will be so grateful.

March 24, 1900--The last sighting of a wild passenger pigeon occurred on this date (or, according to one site I found, Marcy 20, 1900). The bird was shot and killed by a 14-year old boy on his family farm in Ohio. The last known surviving passenger pigeon was kept in the wild until she was found dead in her cage at the Cincinnati Zoo on in September of 1914. The passenger pigeon was a beautiful bird as you can see if you visit the Extinction Website page on this long, lost bird.

March 25--Pecan Day Please note that National Pecan Day does not come until April. Nutty, isn't it? Check here to learn just a little--very little--more about it.

March 25--Greek Independence Day Greek history is traced back thousands of years and the world owes much to the philosophers, scientists, dramatists, and other thinkers and doers of ancient Greece. However, in 1453, Greece was taken into the Ottoman Empire and was ruled by the Turks for 368 years. On March 25, 1821, a bishop in the Greek Orthodox Church bravely raised the Greek flag and declared "Freedom or death." The fighting that followed lasted for many years. It was 1947 before the current borders of Greece were established. You can read much more of this history at this website focused on Greek Independence.

March 26--Make Up Your Own Holiday Day Let me know what day you would create today. Here is a site to help you get started thinking about a very special holiday.

March 26--Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianole Day in Hawaii. Prince Kuhio was one of Hawaii's most famous leaders. He was a cousin to Queen Liliuokalani, the last queen of Hawaii, and she named him to be her heir. But the he and the world had different plans for him. You can read all about him and his holiday here. If you are lucky enough to go to Hawaii for this holiday you will find celebrations ranging from parades to canoe races, cultural demonstrations and luaus.

March 27, 1790--Shoelace invented As with most dates for an invention, the exact date for the invention of the shoelace is debatable. Let's just assume this date is close. The year 1790 is the year I found most frequently in my brief search for the invention of the shoelace and the man most associated with it is Harvey Kennedy who is said to have made over $2,500,000 from his patent. You can decide for yourself whether Kennedy actually invented anything by reading this brief history of the shoe lace and shoes.

March 27, 1512--Ponce de Leon sighted Florida Juan Ponce de Leon was traveling north from Puerto Rico when he spotted land near what is today St. Augustine, Florida. He claimed the land for Spain and gave the region its name, Pascua de Florida--Feast of Flowers. You can read a little more about Ponce de Leon at this site. The story of Ponce de Leon often includes reference to The Fountain of Youth. When Ponce de Leon sailed with Christopher Columbus to Hispaniola he heard about a magical fountain with waters that restored youth to any one who drank from it. Many of his explorations were based on the hope of finding the fountain. He never found it. Read more about his search here. While you are thinking about a Fountain of Youth, you might want to look for Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting which talks about a family that never grows old. The book, beautifully written and rather exciting in places, leaves the reader wondering if eternal life would be a blessing or a curse. Would like to never grow old?

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