National Pretzel Day

National Pretzel Day

  April 26, 2015 is National Pretzel Day! Did you know? There are a few different accounts in the origin of the pretzel.  Most people agree that it does have a Christian background and they were invented by the monks.  According to The History of Science and Technology, in 610 AD, “an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers.  He calls the strips of baked dough, folded to resemble arms crossing the chest, “pretiola” (little rewards)” Another source puts the invention in a monastery in southern France.  The looped pretzel may also be related to a Greek Ring bread from the communion bread used in monasteries a thousand years ago.  In the Catholic Church, pretzels had a religious significance for both ingredients and shape. The loops in pretzel may have served a practical purpose: bakers could hang them on sticks, projecting upwards from a central column, as shown in Job Berckheyde’s (1681) painting. The Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants introduced pretzels to North America in the 19th century.  At this time many handmade pretzel bakeries populated central Pennsylvania and their popularity quickly spread. It was in the 20th century that soft pretzels were very popular in areas such as Philadelphia, Chicago and New York. . Source: www.nationaldaycalendar.com   Did you know? Today, the average Philadelphian consumes about twelve times as many pretzels as the national average. Pennsylvania is the center of American pretzel production for both hard and soft pretzels, producing 80% of the nation’s pretzels. The annual United States pretzel industry is worth over $550 million. The average American consumes about 1.5 pounds of pretzels per year....
World Penguin Day

World Penguin Day

  April 25, 2015 is World Penguin Day! Did you know? On April 25 of every year, after spending months at sea, the colony would return. It happened like clockwork for seven years in a row, which was enough to prompt the researchers to plan for the penguins’ arrival and make a celebration out of their appearance. There is no clear record of when exactly World Penguin Day began, but celebrations have been traced back to at least 2007. Source: www.natureworldnews.com   Did you know? The largest living species is the Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri): on average adults are about 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in) tall and weigh 35 kg (75 lb) or more. The smallest penguin species is the Little Blue Penguin (Eudyptula minor), also known as the Fairy Penguin, which stands around 40 cm tall (16 in) and weighs 1 kg (2.2 lb)....
Arbor Day

Arbor Day

  April 24, 2015 is Arbor Day! Did you know? The first American Arbor Day was originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska, United States by J. Sterling Morton. On April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted in Nebraska. Birdsey Northrop of Connecticut was responsible for globalizing it when he visited Japan in 1883 and delivered his Arbor Day and Village Improvement message. In that same year, the American Forestry Association made Northrop the Chairman of the committee to campaign for Arbor Day nationwide. He also brought his enthusiasm for Arbor Day to Australia, Canada, and Europe. . Source: www.wikipedia.org   Did you know? In the years following that first Arbor Day, Morton’s idea spread beyond Nebraska with Kansas, Tennessee, Minnesota and Ohio all proclaiming their own Arbor Days.  Today all 50 states celebrate Arbor Day although the dates may vary in keeping with the local climate.  (State Arbor Days) At the federal level, in 1970, President Richard Nixon proclaimed the last Friday in April as National Arbor Day.  Arbor Day is also now celebrated in other countries including Australia.  Variations are celebrated as ‘Greening Week’ of Japan, ‘The New Year’s Days of Trees’ in Israel, ‘The Tree-loving Week’ of Korea, ‘The Reforestation Week’ of Yugoslavia, ‘The Students’ Afforestation Day’ of Iceland and ‘The National Festival of Tree Planting’ in India.  Julius Sterling Morton would be proud.  Sometimes one good idea can make a real difference....
Earth Day

Earth Day

  April 22, 2015 is Earth Day! Did you know? Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by theEarth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.. Source: www.wikipedia.org   Did you know? In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in recognition of his work.  While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations.  Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues....
National Kindergarten Day

National Kindergarten Day

  April 21, 2015 is National Kindergarten Day! Did you know? Kindergarten Day celebrates birthday of Friedrich Froebe who was born in 1782 and started the first kindergarten in 1837, in Germany. Despite being popular in Germany, the Prussian government outlawed the schools in 1851. Froebe died a year later and it wasn’t until 1860 that the Prussians relented and allowed the schools to continue. 1873 saw the first public kindergarten opened in the United States, in St Louis. . Source: www.daysoftheyear.com   Did you know? Frobel was a German teacher and a student of Pestalozzi who laid the foundation for modern education based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities.  He created the concept of the “kindergarten” through play and activity institute as a social experience for children for their transition from home to school.  His goal was that children should be taken care of and nourished in “children’s gardens” like plants in a garden.  Today, most states in the United States offer free kindergarten to children ages five and six....
National Stress Awareness Day

National Stress Awareness Day

  April 16, 2015 is National Stress Awareness Day Did you know?  National Stress Awareness Day takes place on April 16, 2015. The day was started by the Health Resource Network(HRN) in 1992 to raise awareness of stress. National Stress Awareness Day is a good chance to take a deep breath and relax. Much research has shown a negative effect stress has on the immune system, mostly through studies where participants were subjected to a variety of viruses. In one study, individuals caring for a spouse with dementia, representing the stress group, saw a significant decrease in immune response when given an influenza-virus vaccine compared to a non-stressed control group. Chronic stress takes a more significant toll on your body than acute stress does. It can raise blood pressure, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, increase vulnerability to anxiety and depression, contribute to infertility, and hasten the aging process. For example, results of one study demonstrated that individuals who reported relationship conflict lasting one month or longer have a greater risk of developing illness and show slower wound healing. . Source: www.cute-calendar.com   Did you know?  Relaxation Techniques That Zap Stress Fast 1. Meditate A few minutes of practice per day can help ease anxiety. “Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress,” says psychologist Robbie Maller Hartman, PhD, a Chicago health and wellness coach. It’s simple. Sit up straight with both feet on the floor. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on reciting — out loud or silently — a positive mantra such as “I feel at peace” or...