Teddy Bear Day

National Teddy Bear Day is always celebrated on September 9th.

Since the creation of the first teddy bears, which sought to imitate the form of real bear cubs, “teddies” have greatly varied in form, style and material. They have become collector’s items, with older and rarer “teddies” appearing at public auctions. Teddy bears are among the most popular gifts for children and are often given to adults to signify love, congratulations or sympathy.

The name Teddy Bear comes from former United States President Theodore Roosevelt, who was commonly known as “Teddy” (though he loathed being referred to as such). The name originated from an incident on a bear hunting trip in Mississippi in November 1902.

After three days of hunting with the Governor of Mississippi, Roosevelt was the only member of the hunting party not to have spotted a bear. So the trip would not be a failure for him, guides tracked down an old black bear the dogs had trailed and attacked. They then tied the bear to a tree and called for the President.

But Roosevelt took one look at the bear and refused to shoot it, feeling it would be unsportsmanlike. He did, however, order that the bear be put down because it was suffering. Word of this hit newspapers across the country and political cartoonist Clifford Berryman picked up the story, drawing a cartoon showing how the President refused to shoot the bear while hunting.

The original cartoon shows a small bear cub. It later appeared in other cartoons Berryman drew throughout Roosevelt’s career, connecting bears with President Roosevelt. A New York candy shop owner saw Berryman’s original cartoon and had an idea. He put in his shop window two stuffed toy bears his wife had made. He asked permission from President Roosevelt to call these toy bears “Teddy’s bears.” The rapid popularity of these bears led the man to mass-produce them, eventually forming the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company eventually becoming the Ideal Toy Company it is today.

At about the same time, a German company, Steiff, started making stuffed bears. In 1903 an American saw a stuffed bear Margaret Steiff had made and ordered many of them. These bears, which also came to be called Teddy Bears, made the international connection.  (from me, Wikipedia and www.cute-calendar.com)

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Star Trek premieres!

xStar Trek

Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment created by Gene Roddenberry that first appeared this date in 1966. The first series, now referred to as The Original Series, ran for three seasons. It followed the galactic adventures of James T. Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise, a 23rd Century exploration vessel. In creating the first Star Trek, Roddenberry was inspired by Westerns such as Wagon Train. In fact, the original series was originally described as Wagon Train to the Stars. These adventures continued in six feature films and four spin-off television series.

In 2009, the film franchise underwent a “reboot” set in an alternate timeline, titled simply Star Trek. This film featured a new cast portraying younger versions of the crew from the original show. A sequel to that film, Star Trek Into Darkness, premiered on May 16, 2013. A thirteenth film feature and sequel, Star Trek Beyond, was released in July 2016, to coincide with the franchise’s 50th anniversary. A new Star Trek TV series, titled Star Trek Discovery, premiered in January 2017 on the digital platform CBS All Access.

Star Trek has been a cult phenomenon for decades. Fans of the franchise are called Trekkies. The series has its own full-fledged constructed language, Klingon.  And it’s responsible for the ubiquitous slogan: “Beam me up, Scottie.”

 Star Trek is noted for its influence on the world outside of science fiction. It has been cited as an inspiration for several technological inventions, including the cell phone and tablet computers. The franchise is also noted for its progressive civil rights stances. The Original Series included one of television’s first multiracial casts. (from me and Wikipedia)

 

There she is….Miss America

The Miss America pageant was first held in Atlantic City this date in 1921 and will be televised this year on September 9th.

xMiss America Pageant

Originating as a “bathing beauty revue,” the contest is now judged on competitors’ talent performances and interviews in addition to their physical appearance. Now contestants do not wear bathing suits as the competition aims to evolve with our current cultural revolution.  Miss America travels about 20,000 miles a month, changing her location every 24 to 48 hours, touring the nation and promoting her particular platform of interest.

The origins of the Miss America Pageant lie in a 1920 event entitled The Fall Frolic. Held on September 25 in Atlantic City, NJ, the event was designed to bring business to the Boardwalk: “Three hundred and fifty gaily decorated rolling wicker chairs were pushed along the parade route. Three hundred and fifty men pushed the chairs. However, the main attractions were the young ‘maidens’ who sat in the rolling chairs, headed by a Miss Ernestine Cremona, who was dressed in a flowing white robe and represented ‘Peace.'”


The event was so successful that The Businessmen’s League planned to repeat it the following year as a beauty pageant beauty or a “bather’s revue” (to capitalize on the popularity of newspaper-based beauty contests that used photo submissions). Thus, newspapers as far west as Pittsburgh and as far south as Washington, D.C., were asked to sponsor local beauty contests. The winners would participate in the Atlantic City contest. If the local newspaper would pay for the winner’s wardrobe, the Atlantic City Businessmen’s League would pay for the contestant’s travel to compete in the Inter-City Beauty Contest.” Herb Test, a “newspaperman,” coined the term “Miss America” for the winner. (from me and Wikipedia)

Celebrating Read a Book Day and International Literacy Day

Read a Book Day is celebrated today. And for slackers, when it comes to reading: no worries. Contrary to the name, you don’t have to read a whole book in just one day. Read a Book Day is a day to encourage people to read either for themselves, for children or for elderly people to give them some quality time.

Reading is not only fun, but it can also improve your health by lowering stress levels, stimulates brain activity and improves your memory. It also opens worlds otherwise unknown, gives wings to thoughts and dreams, and provides companionship.

So reading is fun and healthy: Grab a book and try it for yourself

And, on Sunday, we celebrate International Literacy Day.

International Literacy Day is observed worldwide on September 8, first celebrated in 1966. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally.

Some 776 million adults lack minimum literacy skills; one in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women; 75 million children are out-of-school and much more attend irregularly or drop out. Next to the writer’s engagement, there are various companies and charity organizations that support the fight against illiteracy. Literacy Day also signifies the recognition of the country to strive towards total and complete literacy for the nation.

Literacy has been described as the ability to read for knowledge and write coherently and think critically about the written word. Literacy can also include the ability to understand all forms of communication, be it body language, pictures, video or sound (reading, speaking, listening and viewing).

So whether you read books via actual books, e-readers or audio books, lose yourself in a great story or use them to learn something new.

(from me, Wikipedia and www.cute-calendar.com)

 

Continental Congress

The Continental Congress, also known as the Philadelphia Congress, was a convention of delegates called together from the Thirteen Colonies, which became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution.

The Congress first met this date in 1774, then twice more. The first call for a convention was made over issues of the blockade and the Intolerable Acts penalizing the Province of Massachusetts, which enabled Benjamin Franklin to convince the colonies to form a representative body. Much of what we know today comes from the yearly log books printed by the Continental Congress called “Resolutions, Acts, and Orders of Congress,” which gives a day-to-day description of the debates and issues.

Although the delegates were divided early on as to whether to break from Crown rule, the second Continental Congress on July 2, 1776, passed a resolution asserting independence, with no opposing vote recorded. The Declaration of Independence was issued two days later declaring themselves a new nation: the United States of America. It established a Continental Army, giving command to one of its members, George Washington of Virginia. It waged war with Great Britain, made a militia treaty with France, and funded the war effort with loans and paper money. (from Wikipedia)

Uncle Sam is born….

Uncle Sam

The “Uncle Sam” image, the symbol of America, was first used this date in 1813.

Uncle Sam (initials U.S.) is a common national personification of the American government that, according to legend, came into use during the War of 1812 and was supposedly named for Samuel Wilson, who supplied rations for the soldiers. His birthday is September 13, 1766, which is why the date chosen to celebrate is always on September 3rd.

The first use of Uncle Sam in literature was in the 1816 allegorical book “The Adventures of Uncle Sam in Search After His Lost Honor” by Frederick Augustus Fidfaddy, Esq. An Uncle Sam is mentioned as early as 1775, in the original “Yankee Doodle” lyrics of the Revolutionary War. It is not clear whether this reference is to Uncle Sam as a metaphor for the United States.

There are two memorials to Uncle Sam, both of which commemorate the life of Samuel Wilson: the Uncle Sam Memorial Statue in Arlington, Massachusetts, his birthplace; and a memorial near his long-term residence in Riverfront Park, Troy, New York. He is buried in New York. (from: Wikipedia and www.cute-calendar.com)