Tag Archives: May

What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is an exciting event for horse lovers; however it is also a very big social outing for Louisville residents and horse lovers from around the country. The most popular horse race in the United States, the Kentucky derby is one of the oldest also. It is the first of the three races that make up the Triple Crown and is an annual event. This race that is held the first Saturday of May has its own share of traditions which are not just about the horses. It is imperative that you know about these traditions if you plan to take it in this spectacular event.

Fashion is a huge part of the Kentucky Derby. Just about everyone who is everyone, even celebrities, come out to see this exciting 2 minute race. The rest of the time they are socializing, seeing what others are wearing and being seen. Therefore you must dress for the Derby. For men, the race is definitely a suit and tie occasion. In fact, the man who is not wearing a suit and tie is conspicuous because of that fact. Many gentlemen gravitate towards summer weight suits and lighter colors than one would wear for work. Tuxedos and bowties are also seen in the Millionaire’s Row section of Churchill Downs.

For women, fashion is a little more complicated, as usual. Women attending the Kentucky Derby will of course wear cocktail dresses for the occasion. However, beyond this it is a commonly known fashion guideline that those dresses must be sleeveless. Typically this provides comfort for a warm Kentucky spring day, however even if the day is unseasonably cold, fashion dictates that you wear a sleeveless dress regardless. Those years when there is wind and rain on the day of the big race, there are many ladies who are quite chilly.

The biggest fashion trend for women attending the Kentucky Derby is the wearing of wide brimmed hats. In fact for many people the wider the brim the better, but it definitely has to match the rest of the outfit. Big ribbons and bows add interest and details to the derby hat. Getting dressed for the Kentucky Derby is akin to preparing for a summer wedding. You must be dressed up and comfort is sacrificed. You’ll be standing in those high heels that go perfectly with the sleeveless dress for hours despite how quickly the race is finished.

Whether you are looking forward to enjoying a mint julep or two from a souvenir glass or a bowl of burgoo, the tradition Derby stew made of pork, chicken, beef and vegetables, you must be dressed for the occasion. The Kentucky Derby is recognized far and wide as a major social event and as such attendees must dress appropriately. You never know who you will see there.

Get started now looking for that perfect suit and tie for the men and the irresistible sleeveless dress and wide-brimmed hat for the ladies. You’ll blend in seamlessly with the other well-dressed horse racing fans at Churchill Downs on that lovely first Saturday in May.

How to Celebrate Steelmark Month


Thinking about Steel during Steelmark Month

Steel is a material that many Americans take for granted. But did you know that without steel, we would not have skyscrapers, or tall office buildings, nor armored equipment and weapons for our military?

Steelmark month was designed and designated to encourage Americans to recognize the contribution that steel, and the steel industry, has made to the national security of the United States, as well as her defense. It goes without saying that the United States military appreciates the discoveries and innovations within the steel industry that serve to create not only body armor, but steel plates used in the construction of tanks, missiles, submarines, Humvees and aircraft within every branch of the military. Without steel, American soldiers and support personnel would lack adequate protection from enemy missiles, mortars and other weapons. While the invention of new weapons increasingly forces the United States steel industry to create new materials to protect our soldiers, steel has been invaluable in both the domestic and military history of the United States.

Steel manufactures and associations throughout America, including the American Iron and Steel Institute, United States Steelworkers and the Steel Manufacturer’s Association, are vital to American military defense and Homeland Security, as well as being major providers of steel products and services for millions of cities around the United States. Supporting domestic steel production is a vital component of the U.S. Steel industry, and one that many Americans don’t consider very often.

Steelmark Month, observed every May, is a time when American citizens can discover and appreciate the advancements and products that support not only the defense of, but also the American way of life, as we know it today. Without steel, Americans would not be able to fly, sail or drive anywhere. Steel is found in everyday products that many of us take for granted, from the chair we’re sitting on to the wastebasket we toss our trash in. Efforts to keep steel production within the United States, instead of outsourcing our steel needs as well as our steel-related products, is an effort that has gained attention in our country in the last decade. Limiting our reliance on foreign sources of steel is a major topic of many politicians in Washington D.C. and at state levels.

Steel plays a vital role in the strength of the United States military, and our ability to produce vast quantities of it has helped to maintain our military strength for over a hundred years. From handheld weapons to missile launchers to tanks and aircraft, steel has been the number one supporter of the military since the founding of our country.

Manufacturing steel is a hard, dirty job, but thousands of Americans across the United States enter the workforce within the steel industry every year. They work in various aspects of the industry, from mining minerals to designing the latest in armored vehicles, tanks and weapons for our military personnel. Millions of buildings are erected every year throughout the country, built upon a foundation of steel rods, beams and girders. Without steel, America would not be the successful and powerful nation that it is today.

Celebrating Steelmark Month is something that every American should observe. Children in schools are taken on tours to factories and taught about the importance of steel in our everyday life, but adults tend to neglect such lessons. While we see examples of steel use around us every day as we work, play or run errands, we take them for granted. Appreciating the steel industry for its innovations and advancements is the driving force behind Steelmark Month, one that every American should take a few moments to ponder during the month, recognizing its presence in our lives.

Remembering Heroes on Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces

Armed Forces Day, which has been celebrated every the third Saturday in May since 1950, is a day in which all military service members from every branch of the military, past and present, are honored for their duty, loyalty and sacrifice to the United States of America.

In 1949, the United States Secretary of Defense created a single day for Americans to celebrate our national military: Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine soldiers and support personnel. The President of the United States at that time, President Harry S. Truman, said the day should be recognized to “praise the work of the military services at home and across the seas,” and that Armed Forces Day marked “the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality.” The New York Times said of the event, “This is the day on which we have the welcome opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces, to all the individuals who are in the service of their country all over the world. Armed Forces Day won’t be a matter of parades and receptions for a good many of them. They will all be in the line of duty and some of them may give their lives in that duty.”

To this day, Armed Forces Day is a day for all civilians in America to stop for at least a moment to honor and thank those who daily put their lives on the line for the continued pursuit of freedom and democracy, both at home and abroad. Celebrated with parades, flag waving and military air shows, the day is one filled with pride and military splendor. In Washington D.C., over 10,000 military soldiers from each branch of the military, veterans and enlisted alike, participate in a parade before the President and his cabinet members. The event is televised throughout the nation, a spectacular display of pomp, ceremony and unity of strength. Throughout the world, military personnel from different branches and duty stations join in on parades and ceremonies that mark the special day. In many ports of America, grand old battleships are made ready to ceremoniously sail one more time, or at least open their bulkheads for Americans from all walks of life to step aboard a part of American military history.

Famous Americans make speeches and somberly honor the soldiers who have fought and died for our country, as well as those who serve, or have served, months or years of their lives in foreign countries in the name of security, freedom and democracy. Military personnel and veterans who speak of duty, courage, honor and loyalty visit children in schools around the country. Through the years, great military leaders have spoken of honoring American fighting men and women and the importance of supporting our forces. President Dwight D. Eisenhower said of Armed Forces Day, “It is fitting and proper that we devote one day each year to paying special tribute to those whose constancy and courage constitute one of the bulwarks guarding the freedom of this nation and the peace of the free world.”

The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated and observed during a time of great world tensions, when the threat of nuclear war hung over every nation of the world, along with the threat of encroaching communism. Keywords today, some of which include dedication, devotion, appreciation, liberty, patriotism and unity, continue to serve Americans in their pursuit for freedom and democracy. Armed Forces Day should be recognized and honored by all Americans, young and old of all races, creeds and beliefs. A statement made by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 says it all quite succinctly. “Word to the Nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard.”

What Is Asian Pacific Heritage Month

Celebrating Diversity during Asian Pacific Heritage Month

May is Asian Pacific Heritage Month. What does that mean? It means that Asian Americans around the United States celebrate ethnic heritage, customs and traditions throughout the country. Whether they are first generation Americans or have been here for a hundred years or more, Asian Pacific Americans are part of the American patchwork quilt of history.

The origins of Asian Pacific Heritage Month began back in the 1970’s, during the administration of President Jimmy Carter. In October of 1978, President Carter signed a resolution that officially designated one week in May as Asian Pacific Heritage Month, a time period that celebrated Asians, and Asian communities, around the country. May was selected as an appropriate month to celebrate such culture and heritage for two specific reasons. The first was that Japanese immigrants first arrived within the United States in May of 1843. The second was that the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in May of 1869, which would never have been completed if it were not for the efforts of thousands of Asians who worked on the railroad, sometimes as indentured servants or virtual slaves. The vast majority of laborers who completed laying the tracks that spanned thousands of miles across the American plains and mountains were Chinese.

While New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles support large numbers of Asian populations, growing numbers of immigrants from all Asian Pacific countries are flocking to the freedom and democracy enjoyed by the United States. They bring with them a wealth of heritage and customs that go back thousands of years. Such traditions are celebrated throughout the United States during the month-long events that are held in both large cities and small towns across America.

Asian Pacific Heritage Month was enacted into law in 1992, and extended the weeklong observation to a month-long event in order to honor and recognize the contributions of Asians in the United States throughout her history. Today, many popular Asians forge the way for further generations in honoring and representing their native homelands. Such popular figures as newscaster Connie Chung and author Amy Tan have brought Asians to the forefront of the media. Ice skater Michelle Kwan, a silver medalist in the 1998 Olympic games, has done much to illuminate the contributions of Asians in the world of sports, as has Kristi Yamaguchi.

Asian traditions and customs are still widely followed, even here in the United States, and every Chinese New Year sees Dragon Dances, foods and fireworks that offer a unique view into different cultures and traditions, more than most Americans are accustomed to. The Asian community is huge in large cities, and the popularity of Asian food has gone a long way in smoothing the paths of communication and cooperation between not only Asians and Americans, but other cultures and countries as well. School children across the country are offered lessons and activities during Asian Pacific Heritage Month that create interest and knowledge about distant lands and distant people, many of whom have immigrated to the United States to pursue freedom and democracy.

Asian Pacific people come from Japan, Hawaii and China. They come from distant places like Thailand and Vietnam, Indonesia and Korea. Asian Pacific people come from Malaysia and Taiwan, as well as the Philippines and the Marshall Islands. They bring with them their history, their language and their unique customs and beliefs. America is truly the land of opportunity for many immigrants who brave new horizons to come to this country. The contributions of Asian Americans in history as well as their current contributions are what make America so successful in fields of science, technology and medicine. Asian Pacific Heritage Month is a time for all Americans to stop and appreciate the efforts of Asian Americans throughout history that make this country what it is today.