A twofer: Prohibition ends and the U.N. celebrates Volunteer Day

xxprohibition

On this day in 1933, the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition. I’ll drink to that! (from http://www.cute-calendar.com)

 

 

xxvolunteer-pixabay

As an appreciation for voluntary engagement, the United Nations (UN) has proclaimed December  5th as International Volunteer Day. Since 1986 the International Volunteer Day compliments people who do work without payment and supports this habit. Organizations use this day to solicit their work and inform the public about their efforts, goals and work.

The International Volunteer Day supports a unique topic each year but the aim is always to win more people for voluntary work. These people’s work is valuable for every society because people grow together as a community and skills shortage can be balanced. Community services especially depend on volunteers, and such services are a valuable experience also for the volunteers as they learn about things they maybe don’t get in touch with during their actual career.  (from www.cute-calendar.com)

Sherlock Holmes introduced…

xxsherlock-holmes

Sherlock Holmes appeared for the first time in print in A Study in Scarlet this date in 1887. Holmes is a fictional private detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Homes is known for a proficiency with observation, forensic science and logical reasoning, which he employs when investigating cases for a wide variety of clients. The character’s popularity became widespread with the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine in 1891. All but one are set in the Victorian or Edwardian periods. Most are narrated by the character of Holmes’s friend and biographer Dr. Watson, who usually accompanies Holmes during his investigations and often shares quarters with him at the address of 221B Baker Street, London, where many of the stories begin.

Though not the first fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes is arguably the most well-known, listed by Guinness World Records as the “most portrayed movie character” in history. Holmes’ popularity and fame are such that many have believed him not to be a fictional character, but a real individual. The stories and character have had a profound and lasting effect on mystery and popular culture. (from Wikipedia)

Black Friday

xxblack-friday

Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. The term dates back to at least 1966, although its usage was primarily on the East coast. The term has become more common in other parts of the country since 2000. Because Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, Black Friday occurs between the 23rd and the 29th of November. According to Reuters, in 2007 135 million people participated in the Black Friday shopping rush.

Black Friday is not an official holiday, but as many workers have the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday, this increases the number of potential shoppers. Retailers often decorate for the Christmas and holiday season weeks beforehand. Many retailers open extremely early, with most of the retailers typically opening at 5 AM or even earlier. Some of the larger retailers (depending on the location) such as Sears, Best Buy, Macy’s and Walmart have been reported to open as early as midnight on the start of Black Friday in localized areas and remain open for 24 hours throughout the day until midnight the following Saturday. Upon opening, retailers offer door-buster deals and loss leaders to draw people to their stores. Although Black Friday, as the first shopping day after Thanksgiving, has served as the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season at least since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the term “Black Friday” has been traced back only to the 1960s.

The term “Black Friday” may have originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. More recently, merchants and the media have used it instead to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers go from being in the red (i.e., posting a loss on the books) to being in the black (i.e., turning a profit). (from Wikipedia and www.cute-calendar.com)

Thanksgiving is here

xxthanksgiving-3

Thanksgiving is an annual tradition, which since 1863, is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. During Thanksgiving Day families and friends usually gather for a large meal. The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year in the US, and therefore flights and hotels are very expensive around this time. Thanksgiving is at least a four-day weekend vacation for schools and colleges. Most business and government workers are given Thanksgiving and the day after (Black Friday) as paid holidays. As people reunite with friends and family at Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Eve — the night before Thanksgiving — is one of the busiest nights of the year for bars and clubs.

xxthanksgiving-2

In New York City (Manhattan), the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is held annually. This huge celebration is televised nationally and features popular large balloons of cartoon characters and TV personalities. The Santa Claus float traditionally ends the Thanksgiving Parade, as this holiday is unofficially the sign for the beginning of the Christmas season. On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, people start buying their Christmas gifts.

xxpilgrims

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated to give thanks for helping the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony survive the cold winter that year. The feast lasted for three days. A note of the Governor of Plymouth Colony regarding the turkeys eaten during the very first Thanksgiving celebration probably gave rise to the tradition of having turkey at Thanksgiving since turkey is the featured item on nearly any Thanksgiving table all over the country. Unofficially, the day is often referred to as “Turkey Day.” (from www.cute-calendar.com)

Steamboat Willie premieres ….

Steamboat Willie, an animated short film directed by Walt Disney, debuted this day tomorrow in 1928. The cartoon is considered to be the debut of Mickey Mouse and his girlfriend Minnie and was the first fully synchronized sound cartoon.

In 1994, members of the animated field voted Steamboat Willie 13th in the book The 50 Greatest Cartoons that listed the greatest cartoons of all time. In 1998 the film was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry for being deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” (from Wikipedia)

Charles Darwin

xxdarwins-theory-of-evolution

Charles Darwin, an English naturalist and geologist, is best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors and, in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted in a process he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.

Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence this date, in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts. Darwin’s work established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. In 1871, Darwin examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex.

Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history and was honored by burial in Westminster Abbey.

John F. Kennedy Assassination

xxjfk-1

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated this day in 1963 in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas. Fatally shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy was traveling with his wife, Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally and Connolly’s wife in a presidential motorcade. A ten-month investigation by the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone in shooting Kennedy, and that Jack Ruby also acted alone when he killed Oswald before he could stand trial.

Conspiracy theories continue to be put forth, but the Justice Department has concluded “that no persuasive evidence can be identified to support the theory of a conspiracy…” Despite this, a poll in 2013 concluded that 60% of Americans believe that a group of conspirators was responsible for the assassination.

xxjfk-2