Tag Archives: celebration

Showing Pride during Honor America Days!

Honor America Days

Every year, from Flag Day, celebrated in June, through the Fourth of July celebration of the official birth of the United States, Americans show their pride in the greatest free country in the world with parades, flags, decorations and community events.

Honor America Days have been celebrated for decades, a time when Americans are asked to remember not only the past, but to look forward to the future. It’s a time when events and accomplishments are honored and celebrated, as well as a time for future dreams and goals to be planned in the minds of young and old alike. Honoring America’s history is not just about recognizing our military, though that certainly is a large part of it, but it’s also a time to reflect on our heritage and our past; our great diversity as a nation. America is rich in the culture of multiple races and customs. Americans are truly the result of a mixture of many different religions, beliefs, races and customs. Every city within the United States is rich in biodiversity and ethnic populations.

Depending on which part of the country you’re from, honoring America may mean different events and customs. In every part of the country, communities plan citywide events like cookouts and dances. Rodeos are a popular event in the western part of the country, while cookouts and parades are celebrated in the east and south. Flags sprout up along streets and in front of community buildings throughout the country, and red, white and blue bunting and other decorations announce the advent of summer.

Honor America Days is a time to remember the sacrifices made by thousands of Americans who walked before us; the pioneers who braved thousands of miles of empty prairies to follow their dreams, as well as those who fought wars on foreign soil to perpetuate the concept of freedom and democracy around the world. It is a time when explorers are honored and founding fathers remembered for their contributions to states, towns and households across the nation. Honoring America isn’t difficult for any American to do. Such an honor can be accomplished every time our eyes settle upon the American flag or we recite the Pledge of Allegiance. It can be honored every time we feel a lump in our throat when we see soldiers in uniform shipping off to destinations far and wide. Honoring the traditions and unique spirit of America is found in the simple sight of watching a man on horseback round up cattle, or step from the space shuttle.

The American spirit is honored during this week, something that can’t be described by anyone who isn’t an American. The feeling is invisible and can’t be touched, but it is found in the heart of every man, woman and child who has had the honor to grow up in such a free and democratic nation. Honoring America isn’t difficult for most Americans, and such observances take place on a daily basis for many. Every time the American flag is raised or a hand is placed over the heart, someone, somewhere, is honoring America.

Honor America Days is celebrated in every state in the union. The period of time leading up to the Fourth of July is a time of anticipation for millions of Americans, for there’s something about summertime in America that is different. Many families use the opportunity to take trips and vacations to national parks, memorials and landmarks, which serve to perpetuate pride in America. Children learn about the history of America and for those who are fortunate enough to be able to travel and see some of it, memories will never be forgotten.

Honor America Days may be officially designated as a specific period of time, but for Americans around the country, every day is an opportunity to honor the United States. Whether you honor America by hanging a flag in front of your house, or placing bunting on your porch or thanking a soldier on his way somewhere in service to your country, you are honoring America.

How to Celebrate Oktoberfest


Observing Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest is one of the most fun-filled ethnic holidays celebrated in the United States. Observed mostly by those of German descent, Oktoberfest is a time of happy celebration and of history and traditions that have been passed down in German bloodlines for centuries.

This popular of holidays celebrated in America that is not specifically of American origin. Millions of Germans immigrants and their descendents live in the United States, many of them congregated in states like Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. Oktoberfest is a celebration that comes from the region of Bavaria, in Germany. It’s a celebration known for beer and good times. Today, countries around the world, from Asia to Africa, celebrate their own versions of the original German holiday. Oktoberfest celebrations can be found in most communities throughout the United States every year, and such celebrations can be scheduled anywhere from June to November, though as the name implies, they are generally celebrated in the month of October. In the United States, the majorities of Oktoberfest celebrations occur in September or October and are typically sponsored and organized by German restaurants or societies. While many celebrations of Oktoberfest can last for several days, or even a week, most such celebrations in the United States last about three days. Some Oktoberfest events attract hundreds of thousands of visitors and participants from around the country.

At an Oktoberfest celebration, visitors and revelers are regaled with the sights and sounds of Germany, including music, traditional costumes and food. The beer and food is what Oktoberfest is mostly known for in the United States. Thousands of pounds of pork sausages, pork knuckles, fish and chicken are consumed every year at every Oktoberfest event throughout America, as well as millions of gallons of various types of beer, including non-alcoholic beer. Barrels of wine, coffee and tea, in addition to lemonade and water are served at Oktoberfest celebrations around the country, but it is the beer that is the star of the show. It’s a time for dancing and music, for food and drink.

But what is Oktoberfest? Many people who attend an Oktoberfest celebration haven’t the faintest idea of what they’re celebrating, but they do enjoy the laughter, entertainment and a rich variety of ethnic German cooking. Actually, Oktoberfest originally celebrated the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig, who later became a king, to Princess Therese in October of 1810. Inhabitants of Munich, Germany, were invited to join the celebration in the fields before the city gates to help observe the happy occasion. Those fields are still known today as Theresienwiese, or ‘Theresa’s Fields’, though they are more commonly called Wies’n now. At any rate, special events were held to entertain both the royal couple and the celebrants, including horse races and plenty of food and drinks for all. The event was held the following year as well, and for decades after, though most of those celebrations offered merely horse races and food. Later years saw the added attractions of carousels and swings for the amusement of children amusement, and in 1896, beer tents that offered the latest and newest beers from local breweries replaced the first beer stands. By the mid 1800’s, the festival took on new form with a fair type environment. While the horse races stopped, they were replaced with fair-type booths and entertainments until the 1870’s. Today, Oktoberfest is the largest ‘party’ in the world and millions of travelers and visitors visit the Bavarian city of Munich every year to celebrate the event that has lasted for centuries. The event, still held in Theresa’s fields, draws many different races and cultures to a country steeped in history and traditions that have been passed down for generations. For Americans who celebrate the event in the United States, it’s a time to appreciate and learn about a different culture and way of life, one that will endure in this country as long as there are Germans to celebrate Oktoberfest!

Observing Maryland Day

MD Day

Most states in America celebrate their own special birthdays, days they were officially admitted into the United States of America. Sometimes, they celebrate events that have had a huge impact on local communities within that state. Maryland is no different.

Maryland Day, observed and celebrated on March 25th of every year, is the anniversary of the day that the very first colonists landed on St. Clement’s Island, in the Maryland province, in 1634. Two ships, called ‘The Ark’ and ‘The Dove’ brought weary travelers to the island situated in the midst of the Potomac River, where they took their first steps on native Maryland earth and prayed for the safe conclusion of their journey. Since the landing in March also took place during what is usually celebrated as the Feast of the Annunciation, which is the Catholic world, honors Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. The very first religious service also took place that day, when Jesuit Father Andrew White offered thanks for the conclusion of the arduous journey on the sandy shores of St. Clement’s Island.

While those early Maryland generations more than likely remembered the day without any reminders, later generations did not think about the day too much until 1903, when the Maryland State Board of Education suggested the day become a state holiday in order to serve as a reminder of historical and ancestral roots. In 1916, the United States legislature designated the day a legal holiday.

Today, school districts honor the week or so prior to the observance of the legal holiday by offering curriculum that teaches children about their state. They learn that Maryland was named after King Charles’ wife, Mary and that Lord Baltimore was given control over the entire colony just so long as he shared any gold or silver he found in his new realm with the king. They are also taught that Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the United States Constitution and that during the War of 1812, Baltimore’s Fort Henry provided the scene from which Francis Scott Key wrote our beloved ‘Star Spangled Banner’ and watched the ‘bombs bursting in air’.

Every year on Maryland Day, bands play the famous tune and honor not only their state, but also the legacy it has left for future generations. Civic leaders are careful to make sure that ceremonies and local events serve to remind residents and visitors alike that Maryland is a state of many ‘firsts’ in American history.

St. Clement’s Island is now a National Park, and millions of visitors to Maryland visit the site every year on vacations, observing the place where those first tired and fearful colonists landed and stepped foot in their native state. Uncertainty and difficulties followed the colonists for years before the colony was firmly established, and their dedication and determination to survive both harsh elements and harsh surroundings is a reason to honor and celebrate the day. If it was not for such courageous ancestors, Maryland, as we know it today, might not exist. Now, over three hundred fifty years later, Maryland natives are happy and proud to honor their ancestors with civic events, parades and banners and, most importantly of all, reminders that serve to offer modern day Marylanders a moment or two to appreciate the bravery of those colonists as they struggled to create homes, towns and cities out of the wild and dangerous wilderness that surrounded them.

The anniversary of the first colonials to set foot on Maryland soil in 1634 is an important day of observance in Maryland every year, and despite the passage of time, the day serves to keep the memories of those who came before us alive in memory, perpetuated by Maryland Day, honored and celebrated every March 25th.

How to Celebrate National Flag Week


National Flag Week

June 14th of every year is set aside as Flag Day, a day when American flags adorn houses, streets and businesses around the country to commemorate the adoption of the first Stars and Strips by the Continental Congress in 1777.

Flags are a symbol of patriotism for many countries and cultures, and Americans are no different. Flags offer a symbol of unity and strength, of honor and loyalty. The flag of the United States of America stands for liberty and freedom, justice and loyalty. The Stars and Stripes are a patriotic reminder of our roots, our history and our future. As such, the American flag is both revered and feared throughout the world, as it stands for democracy, freedom and the pursuit of human rights. Flag Day has been celebrated as a national observance since 1949, when Congress approved a resolution that designated June 14th of every year as a day to observe and display the flag on all government buildings. In 1966, Congress requested that the week of June 14th be designated as National Flag Week, asking that all Americans fly their flags during the observed period of time.

The idea of celebrating a separate flag day was introduced in 1885 by a Wisconsin schoolteacher who felt that a birthday should be held to celebrate the 108th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States of America. In 1894, New York’s governor directed that all public buildings fly the flag on the 14th of June, and in other states, organizations and groups promoted the idea of a period of official recognition for the ‘birthday’ of the American flag. In 1894, the first public schools to celebrate Flag Day were located in Chicago, with hundreds of thousands of school children honoring and saluting the flag. Three decades later, Flag Day was officially recognized by the Wilson presidential administration, which officially established a national observance in 1916, though it wasn’t until 1949 that President Truman’s administration signed an Act of Congress, which officially declared June 14th of every year as National Flag Day.

National Flag Week is also a time in which citizens throughout the country learn how to properly display and take care of their flags. Flags should be flown only between sunrise and sunset, but many people today leave their flags up all the time. During bad weather, the flag shouldn’t be left out unless it’s made of all-weather material. In addition, manners dictate that the flag should be raised quickly, though lowered slowly. No other flag should be flown above the American flag. Flags shouldn’t be allowed to touch the ground. On Memorial Day, Armistice Day, Peace Officers Memorial Week, and Patriot’s Day, flags should be flown at half-staff.

Proper disposal or retirement of flags should follow a time-honored procedure, and many local American Legion Posts will regularly conduct and offer both dignified and honorable disposal of worn or tattered flags on Flag Day. On most occasions, the flag disposal ceremony consists of the retirement of colors, followed by a traditional flag-burning ceremony in which many people from the community attend. It’s a somber observation, one ripe with tradition and a certain amount of pomp and ceremony.
National Flag Week is celebrated in every city, county and state within the United States and in Embassies around the world, a time when American traditions and ideals are observed and honored by millions. Nothing shows pride of country and unity in purpose as much as National Flag Week, a time when the red, white and blue can be seen in proud display.

When Is Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Day

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. spent most of his adult life promoting equal rights for African Americans in the United States. He was a man who saw no distinctions between black and white, and strove to create a society in which people of all colors and religions could live, work and worship side by side. His peaceful efforts to unite the races brought him worldwide attention during the 1950’s and 1960’s, only to end with his violent death in 1968.

Martin Luther King stood for equality, and it didn’t matter if one was Chinese-American, or Mexican-American or Native American; he felt that everyone deserves the same chances as everyone else to make it in America. As the world’s first ‘melting-pot’ society, King believed that opportunity should not be limited by race or social status. King brought his point across in a non-violent manner that clashed with the anti-war protests of the 1960’s as well as the nation’s experience with Black Right’s activists like the Black Panthers, and their nemesis, the group of white supremacists called the Ku Klux Klan. Martin Luther King endured countless threats and beatings from those who wished to perpetuate a separated society, and he went to jail over two dozen times, defending the rights of all races.

Martin Luther King tried to teach young people that tolerance and opportunity belonged to all people, not just a favored few. He instructed his followers to do so through peaceful and instructive lessons that seek to unify one of the greatest free countries in the world.
Martin Luther King day is observed on a national level on his birthday, January 15th, or every third Monday of every January. The day, officially declared a national holiday in August of 1983, was observed for the first time in 1986 in many states, but it wasn’t until January 2000 that every state in the Union officially recognized the day as a federally observed day of remembrance. While federal buildings and banks are closed in honor of the civil rights leader, most schools and businesses remain open. Mostly celebrated by human rights’ activist groups, Martin Luther King Day is taken as an opportunity by schools throughout the nation to teach tolerance and unity among all races, creeds and beliefs. It’s a day when many volunteer their services within communities. Many labor unions and civil rights’ groups promote the holiday every year, which serves to shine a beacon on King’s desire to provide fair employment and pay wages for everyone in the workplace, whether male or female, black, white or brown. For the most part, nonprofit organizations and those associated with civil and human rights celebrate the holiday, while schoolchildren around the country are taught about King’s life and beliefs. Children are encouraged to volunteer or to partake in special school activities that serve to perpetuate King’s legacy on the younger generation.

It is clearly understood today that while Martin Luther King Jr., was by no means a perfect man, his ideals have withstood the onslaught against his personal and political beliefs and habits. The institution of a national holiday in King’s honor has inspired some to question the naming of a national holiday after one single person. The only other national holidays observed in the honor of a single person are Washington’s’ birthday and Columbus Day, among a few others that are celebrated as state or regional holidays.

As King’s widow, Coretta Scott King wrote, “The holiday must be substantive as well as symbolic… let this holiday be a day of reflection, a day of teaching nonviolent philosophy… a day of getting involved in nonviolent action for social and economic progress.”

Martin Luther King Day celebrates unity in the pursuit of the American dream, one that must remain available to all races and creeds and socioeconomic status.

How to Celebrate Veterans Day

Honoring Veterans Day

November 11th is a day set aside to honor all military service veterans. It is a day to remember the loyalty and the dedication of all servicemen and women for their service to the United States of America, who have given their time, their tears, their blood, and sometimes their very lives to strengthen and defend America, democracy and human rights around the world.

Veterans Day is meant to thank and appreciate men and women who have or are serving in any branch of the United States Army, Marines, Air Force or Marines. It also includes those who have or do service in the National Guard and other military branch services, regardless of rank or service station.

Veterans Day used to be called both Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, the date selected because November 11th is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice at the end of the First World War in 1918. According to historical records, the First World War ended in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, which makes it understandable that such a date would be set aside in commemoration forever thereafter. President Woodrow Wilson oversaw the first observation of the day in 1919, and by 1926 Congress passed a resolution asking all Americans to recognize the special day.

In 1938, Veterans Day became recognized as a national holiday. It is a national day of observance and government offices and banks are closed, though schools and most private businesses remain open. Veterans groups and organizations throughout the country celebrate the day, and citizens attend parades, cemetery services and other local events. Schools often honor the day by inviting veterans to speak to students, and red, white and blue decorations, as well as American flags, adorn sidewalks, buildings, homes and schools around the nation.

The observance of Veterans Day is to recognize and honor soldiers and servicemen and women serving in the United States and abroad, while Memorial Day is meant to honor the military dead from battles and wars fought by Americans throughout this country’s history. It doesn’t matter whether or not the service veteran saw actual combat or not, or if they have served in peacetime or during a time of war. American veterans have given years of their lives to the service of their country, whether that service was given in Fort Lewis, Washington, or Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iran or Iraq.

Veterans Day is a day for grandfathers and fathers to tell their children and grandchildren about their experiences, to perpetuate feelings of loyalty and service of country to the younger generation. It is a time of appreciation and an awakened awareness of what veterans, both young and old, do and have done for their country. Veterans Day is not meant to glorify war or encourage hatred or intolerance of different cultures, but a time to realize that the price of freedom and democracy sometimes comes at a very high price. Every country in the world has some sort of military force, and Veterans Day is celebrated in other countries besides the United States, though the names and dates may be different.

Veterans Day offers all Americans the chance to fully appreciate the sons, daughters, husbands, wives and brothers and sisters of nearly every family in the country for feeling enough pride in their country to defend it against tyranny and attack. Veterans Day is a time when Americans say ‘thank-you’ to the men and women of all races, creeds and beliefs, for doing what they feel is their duty and offering several years’ of their lives to the ideals that America stands for; peace, freedom and democracy.

How to Honor Civil Rights Day

Honoring Civil Rights Day

In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower suggested that the United States government should form a group recognizing and addressing the issues of civil rights in a formal manner. The result was the formation of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
Generally observed on the third Monday of January, along with Martin Luther King’s birthday, Civil Rights Day is a day to reflect on the dreams and aspirations of millions of Americans of different color, races, creeds and beliefs.

Civil rights are defined as specific rights as guaranteed by the United State’s Constitution, which are freedom of religion, freedom of speech and of the press, and the right to equal protection under the law, as well as due process. Since the end of the Civil War and the freeing of slaves after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, the search and drive for equal rights among Africa-Americans, Latinos, Asians and Native American’s has propelled America through several eras of growing pains and lessons gained from multiple public figureheads. The 1950’s and 1960’s saw an unprecedented number of moves within every geographical area within the United States, to recognize and address issues of equality between African-Americans, Asians and Latino citizens within around the country. Such men as Martin Luther King Jr., and César Chávez, as well as well as group movements such as the Black Panthers and the American Indian Movement has drawn much attention to the plight and inequality of many races within the United States.

The very first governmental legislation that sought to ensure the rights of former slaves were introduced and defined in the Civil Rights Acts of the 1800’s, which gave African-American males the right to vote and to own property. By 1870, the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed ‘equal protection under the law to all persons (not only to citizens) within their jurisdictions’. David Souter, a Supreme Court Justice, said of the amendment, “it is the most significant structural provision adopted since the original Framing”. While the Amendment was not generally recognized and put into actual process in the 1950’s and 1960’s, it served as the basis for the prevention of racial segregation in public schools. Since the advent of civil rights movements of the 1960’s, Americans of different colors and beliefs today are able to enjoy freedoms that their ancestors never dreamed possible.

However, the United States of America is ‘dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…’ and even though it took years of struggle and sacrifice to attain current standards, America as a whole has grown in resources and ideology since then. Federal regulations drafted and implemented in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s saw individual states passing their own civil rights laws, and the era spawned the organization that is known today as the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as well as the Congress of Racial Equality and the Urban League.

The famous civil rights movements held during the 1960’s, mainly led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., are a part of America’s history and are recognized and remembered as a time of struggle, of changing attitudes and the breaking down of barriers that had separated races since the earliest colonial times. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited employers and businesses from discriminating against anyone because of the color of his or her skin, their beliefs, their ethnicity or their nation or origin. It ordered that public facilities be accessible to people of all colors and backgrounds, and did away with the idea of segregation.

Today, children of all races and colors play together on school playgrounds and join together in friendship and learning in campuses around the country. People of different races enjoy living side-by-side and learning from each other. Civil Rights Day is a day when the efforts and sacrifice of those who came before us paved the way to open relations and broke down barriers between those of different race, color and creed.

History of Earth Day

President Kennedy’s five day national conservation tour in 1963 sowed the seeds for the eventual establishment of Earth Day.  The idea, an effort to bring national political attention to the care and importance of our environment, derived from Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1962.

Nelson believed that if the President would participate in conservation efforts, the support of the country would follow.  While he was not completely incorrect, there was not an immediate adoption of a day to honor the environment.

Several years after Kennedy’s eleven state tour, Nelson closely watched the anti-Vietnam War protests throughout the country and realized that if the same amount of energy could be harnessed in support of the environment – politicians could no longer ignore the pressing issue of declining environmental condition.  The inspiration that he received from watching the “teach-ins” taking place on college campuses throughout most of the country provided inspiration for a way to gain national political support for the environment. He used his own influence to establish a national protest in favor of the environment to be held during the early part of 1970.

Nelson’s public and national announcement of this demonstration excited the American public, who for the months leading up to the protest sent letters and donations of support to the Senator and his organization to begin Earth Day recognition efforts.  Perhaps the country was relieved to see reason for positive protesting in light of the horrors of the Vietnam War, or perhaps they because afraid when national media attention became directed at the mistreatment and decline of the environment – but regardless of why it happened – the Senator gained huge support.

Nelson remarks today that Earth Day really did organize itself. Although he took the time and patience to get the idea moving – he never expected the 20 million people who turned up nationally in support of environmental protection in the United States.

It is notable to remark that during the same year of 1970 that Earth Day was first celebrated, the Environmental Protection Agency was formed by President Richard Nixon. Beginning that year, and continuing through present day, the national government has taken a vested interest in protecting the environment from harmful pollution in order to preserve the Earth we have now for generations to come.

Gaylord Nelson continued his devotion for the environment through the next decade as a US Senator, and in honor of his contributions to environmental protection and towards the improvement of our future he was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1995 by President Bill Clinton. In addition to establishing Earth Day, Nelson provided many other types of support for environmental causes which encompassed a span of several decades. Nelson was also the recipient of the EPA Only One Award and the Ansel Adams Conservation Award.

Earth Day continues to evolve, seemingly on its own merit and with little in the way of structured organizations. Most college campuses and cities within the US recognize the importance of celebrating and preserving nature as it was intended in order to guarantee a safe and healthy future for generations to come.

Each year, Earth Day is dedicated to a specific item of interest in addition to the environment in general.  In 2006 the topic of interest was affecting climate change and reducing global warming.  The three year campaign to get attention and action directed towards these topics will hopefully result in a renewed commitment to the environment throughout the world.

How to Celebrate Colorado Day

Happy Birthday, Colorado!

Colorado Day celebrates the admission of the Colorado Territory into the United States in 1876, thereby giving it the nickname, ‘The Centennial State’, one that has lasted to this day. Nicknames seem to be a favorite for Colorado, whose state capitol, Denver, is also know that the ‘Mile High City’, since the elevation of Denver is more than a mile above sea level.

Instituted as a part of the United States in August of 1876, the western state that is known for its cowboys, cattle ranches, gorgeous mountain vistas and rolling plains, is a favorite travel spot for Americans every year. The 38th state to enter the Union, Colorado brings with it a history of Indian wars, determined settlers and ranchers, gunslingers and rodeos. The colorful, purple Rocky Mountain Columbine has been designated at its state flower and the Lark Bunting its favorite bird. A variety of landscapes, and weather patterns, make Colorado a treasured tourist destination for millions of Americans around the country.

Spanish explorer Francisco Coronado traveled through the southwestern portion of the state in 1541, and the area incorporating the eastern part of Colorado and many other states were purchased through the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The Treaty of Hidalgo, offered by Mexico to the United States in 1848, brought the western portion of modern day Colorado to the United States, and then in 1850, the government purchased former claims by Texas on Colorado lands. The first non-Native American Indian settlements in Colorado were begun in the early 1850’s, but Colorado’s Pike’s Peak Gold Rush of the later part of that decade saw the infusion of thousands of gold seekers flocking to Colorado’s Rocky Mountains in search of gold and silver.

St. Charles, now known as Denver, became one of Colorado’s first cities, followed by settlements throughout the state, from the plains of the eastern slope, over the Rocky Mountain peaks to the western slope, adobes and flatlands of western Colorado. Colorado is the Spanish word for ‘colored red’, and her red-tinted earth proved a fitting name for the isolated land in the middle of the Great Plains. The state flag symbolizes the beauty of Colorado, from the gold designating her abundant sunshine to the white, which represents her almost perpetually snow-capped mountains, while the blue serves as a reminder of her unbelievable blue skies. The red represents her earth.

Colorado’s history is rich in Native American cultures and traditions, and traditional customs and events share a part of Colorado’s rich heritage. Colorado is also known for its hunting seasons and wilderness that offer pristine mountains, meadows and experiences for native Coloradans and visitors alike. Colorado is a land of great diversity and change, and has grown exponentially since its official birth, offering natives and transplanted citizens alike a wealth of opportunity. Mostly agricultural, Colorado is quickly stepping forward into the 21st century with an influx of technology and job opportunities that will enable the state to both grow and remain rich in her unique heritage as an ‘old western’ state, where old blends with new and life still maintains an even, laid-back pace.

Colorado Day is celebrated in typical western tradition, with rodeos, fairs, and civic community events that host dances, festivals and any event that brings good, clean fun to its inhabitants. Colorado has enjoyed a lustrous history that is perpetuated by her reputation as a true ‘western’ state, one that personifies the heritage of the American cowboy and way of life. Every Colorado Day is an event to be celebrated and honored, and for native Coloradoans, is a day of extreme pride and enjoyment reflecting the American Spirit.

How To Celebrate Thanksgiving Day

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving day is so much more than turkey and football. It’s more than the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the kickoff to the Christmas holiday season. Literally, it’s about giving thanks for what Americans have, not what they don’t have. It’s a day to remember ancestors and the generations that have passed before, their experiences and tribulations, dreams and legacies.

The United States is one of the few nations in the world who traditionally celebrate such a day of thanks on a specific date, and Governor Bradford from Plymouth Colony was the first to issue an official proclamation to honor the day. Pilgrims celebrated the first non-official Thanksgiving in 1621, though such a celebration set aside to offer thanks for a bountiful harvest and surviving another year did not originate with the new colonists, but has been handed down through time itself since the beginning of mankind. Pilgrims entered nearby forests and hunted turkeys for their feast, which nearly a hundred American natives also attended, bringing with them deer and wild vegetables. The celebration lasted three days, with plentiful food, games and entertainment for all.

Another day of Thanksgiving was observed on November 23, 1623, after a particularly difficult year, again ordered by Governor Bradford, and many believe that it was this celebration which began the tradition of setting aside that particular day for offering thanks for generations to follow, though the day was not officially observed on the same day, nor every year afterward. However, it wasn’t until 1789 that President George Washington ordered a day of thanksgiving, and other presidents followed suit, including James Madison, who asked for a day to give thanks for peace in 1815. The history of celebrating a day of thanks was sporadic at best. Over the years however, it was felt by both politicians and citizens, that American people should observe a national Thanksgiving Day, and the efforts of Sarah Hale, editor for Godey’s Lady’s Book, set forth on efforts for the following twenty years for a national day of observance to be set. Her last editorial regarding the subject appeared in the magazine in 1863, and her tireless efforts, in addition to the fact that the North had just won the major, though costly, battle of Gettysburg, prompted President Abraham Lincoln to issue a proclamation that the last Thursday of every November be set aside as an official day of giving thanks.

Through the years, presidents have written proclamations and documents extolling how fortunate Americans are, and while not without sacrifices, the American way of life is envied by many other nations. The days leading up to Thanksgiving Day are filled with holiday preparations, and school children practice their parts for plays depicting the first Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims. Thanksgiving Day is considered the busiest travel day of the year as families make plans to enjoy the feast and celebrations together. Typical foods eaten on Thanksgiving Day have passed down over generations and consists of roast turkey with dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, squash, plum pudding and pumpkin pie.

In many communities, religious services are observed, followed by a day filled with cooking and televised football games. It’s a time for family and family reunions, of laughter and warmth. Thanksgiving Day is a special day for all Americans, and even the poor and homeless are treated to turkey dinners as thousands volunteer their time, their money and the spirit of Thanksgiving and generosity to those who aren’t as fortunate as others.

As President Roosevelt said in 1938, “Thus from the earliest recorded history, Americans have thanked God for their blessings. In our deepest natures, in our very souls, we, like all mankind, since the earliest origin of mankind, turn to God in time of happiness. In God we Trust.”

How To Celebrate On Mardi Gras Day

Free For All on Mardi Gras Day

Most people don’t really understand what the celebration of Mardi Gras is all about, they just know that it’s a very popular holiday celebrated in New Orleans, Louisiana, every year, just before Christians throughout the United States observe the season of Lent.

First of all, Mardi Gras means ‘Fat Tuesday’ in French, and since New Orleans’ population is heavily comprised of those with French ancestry, it stands to reason that the holiday bear a French name. It used to also be known as the Twelfth Night celebration, at least in the days leading up to the nineteenth century. This celebration of revelers has been practiced since the mid-1700’s in New Orleans, and was meant to mark the day before the fasting of Lent began. Many in the general population took the opportunity to gorge themselves on feasting and revelry before the more somber and limiting restrictions of Lent came to pass, and as the years passed, this celebration has morphed into an all out free-for-all every spring.

The reason behind the celebration is found in religious custom. Typically, during the season of Lent, meat was prohibited, with the exception of fish. Because of that, and due to the lack of refrigeration, many people found themselves with an overabundance of meats on hand just prior to the Lent observance. Lent always begins on the seventh Wednesday prior to Easter Sunday, more commonly known as Ash Wednesday. It came to pass that people would hold a feast on the day before that, on Tuesday, not only to use up supplies of meat, but also as a chance to fill up on favorite foods and drinks before the observance of Lent curtailed such enjoyments. The day is also known as Shrove Tuesday.

Today, this date, at least in New Orleans and in other specific locations around the world, is celebrated by extravagant parades and revelry that sometimes gets out of hand. New Orleans’s Mardi Gras is know for its colorful, fanciful parade floats, whose riders toss candy and colorful beads to the crowds that line the streets. It’s also known for it’s wild parties and escapades that cause the cities’ law enforcement personnel onto the streets in cars, on foot and on horseback to contain crowds and maintain some semblance of peace and order. Young people especially use Mardi Gras as an opportunity to go wild, and while most of the antics of young people are meant in good fun, it doesn’t always end that way. Club owners and vendors make enormous amounts of money during the celebration of Mardi Gras, when hundreds of thousands of people descend on New Orleans to celebrate, eat and drink their fill.

While many American’s frown on the antics and rowdiness of activities of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the celebration tradition has been observed there for over two hundred years and shows no signs of stopping. While some attendees may get out of line, the majority of Mardi Gras celebrants are law abiding and venture to New Orleans to enjoy the atmosphere of a custom that has been passed down from generation to generation.

Mardi Gras is also celebrated in many homes around the country, though not on such a grand scale as the celebration in New Orleans. Family get-togethers mark the beginning of a somber season of self-reflection that leads to Easter Sunday and the birth of new life and hope for millions of Christians around the country.

Mardi Gras is a national recognized holiday in America, and while it’s not a day off for most people, the day is meant to signal the end of one season and the beginning of another, and whether celebrated with parades and revelry or a quiet evening enjoying a nice dinner at home, the date is one that has become permanently etched in the consciousness of Americans.

When Is César Chávez’s Day

César Chávez’s Day

César Chávez’s name is synonymous with civil rights, and most closely identified with the rights of immigrant Mexican-American workers throughout the United States. Cesar Chavez was called by President John F. Kennedy, “One of the heroic figures of our time.”

Born on March 31, 1927, César Chávez was a second generation American who was born in the wastelands of Yuma, Arizona. Because of the difficulties of making a living during the years leading up to the Great Depression in America, his family migrated from farm to farm and ranch to ranch throughout the western states in order to find seasonal work. Working on farms and ranchlands is not an easy job, and during that time, was about the only option that many poor people had to earn and make a living. Schooling for children was nearly non-existent, as families were expected to follow the crops to survive. Because it was so difficult to attend school on any regular basis, the children of migrant farm workers, including César Chávez, lacked formal education opportunities.

As a young man, César escaped the fields and joined the Navy in 1946. After his tour of duty ended, he returned to California, where he married and fathered eight children. In 1952, César joined the Community Service Organization, which was at that time a powerful Latino civil rights group. He became increasingly involved in fighting racial and economic discrimination, organized voting drives and attempted to form laws and regulations that protected the rights of migrant farm workers throughout the United States.

In 1962, César founded the National Farm Workers Association, which today is known as the United Farm Workers of America. For thirty years, César fought for his fellow migrant workers, leading strikes and boycotts that drew national attention to the plight and economic status of Latinos around the country. Coinciding with many African-American civil rights movements around the country, César managed to draw national attention to his cause until he was able to form a union that was designed to protect and serve the needs of migrants working in every state of the continent.

César Chávez’s birthday is celebrated every March 31st, a day for Americans of all races to appreciate the efforts of one man to improve the lot of many. César didn’t only fight for the rights of Latino’s; he fought for the rights of every American. He fought against child labor and for equal pay for all men and women, regardless of education or the color of their skin. He followed peaceful avenues to promote his cause, and for that he is respected not only in America, but around the globe as well.

César Chávez organized peaceful boycotts, strikes, protests and events that focused the eyes of America on the poor people of this country, people that were forced by times or circumstances to follow the crops to make their living. His efforts saw the first organized efforts to provide medical and educational programs for such migratory individuals and families, and have ensured humane living conditions and pay for hundreds of thousands of people across the nation.
All Americans, Latino, remember César Chávez’s’ birthday or not. Despite the fact that César Chávez never made more than ten thousand dollars a year in his lifetime, he stands for the epitome of success in what he has given his nation. By materialistic standards, many might have considered César Chávez a poor man, but to millions of people he served and helped, César Chávez was one of the richest men alive. The dedicated American passed away in 1993, but his life and efforts and huge sacrifices are remembered and celebrated in schools and homes, businesses and national organizations throughout the country.

How To Celebrate Boss Day

Celebrating Your Boss on Boss Day!

Be honest. How many people actually like their bosses? Actually, millions of employees around America love and adore their bosses! So, when recognition is offered for secretaries, legal assistants, parents, fathers, mothers and grandparents, why not the boss?

National Boss Day is officially observed every October 16th. If that date happens to fall on a weekend, then the day is celebrated on the working day that is closest to the 16th. The intention of the day was meant as a way for employees to show due appreciation for their bosses and supervisors in whatever occupation or industry an employee works in. For many employees, that means offering the ‘boss-man’ a card or a verbal note of approval, but for others, it’s a time to throw a party or to treat the boss and other management staff to a brunch or buffet planned at work, or even to bestow gifts.

The event first started back in the late 1950s when a State Farm Insurance employee named Patricia Haroski officially registered the holiday with the United States Chamber of Commerce. She wanted to show public recognition and appreciation for her boss and also hoped to help improve the relationship between other local employees and their bosses by encouraging employees to understand the particular difficulties and challenges that a boss faces on a day-to-day basis. She chose that particular day because it was also her father’s birthday, and since he was such a great boss himself, it seemed natural that Boss Day should also fall on his birthday.

As with many other American holidays and days of recognition, it took a while for the word to spread around Patricia’s state, then surrounding states, before it crossed the country. Today, every state recognizes Boss Day, and every year sees more and more employees appreciating their bosses and the work they do. Of course, American card companies began to create and produce Boss Day greeting cards, and today, two of America’s favorites, Hallmark and American Greetings, offer dozens of cards to present a boss serious, humorous or heartfelt offerings of thanks, appreciation and support.

Today’s bosses have come a long way since the 1940s and 1950s. Bosses today are a little less willing to demand certain skills and tasks from their employees and instead offer skills development and decision making courses which encourage employees to take an active participation in the running of their business. Laws that have been passed protect both employees and employers from abuse and unreasonable demands and the basic rights to equal pay for equal work. In many companies, bosses work alongside and support their employees, offering not only monetary rewards for work performed, but also emotional support as well. While some bosses don’t fit this description, and never will, most American bosses recognize and realize that if it were not for their employees, they would not have a business. Most bosses appreciate the skills and efforts of their employees, and vice versa.

When asked, most employees state that the most satisfaction they get from a specific job is directly related to their relationship with their employer. On Boss Day, employees are able to express their gratitude or appreciation for great bosses, and for those that have not met the mark, the day serves as a learning process for the betterment of employer-employee relations.

National Boss Day can be celebrated with a card or a nod of thanks. Appreciation can be shown with a handshake or a hug, a smile or a handwritten note on a scrap of paper. No matter where Americans work, there is almost always a ‘boss-man’ to answer to. So go ahead, tell your boss what you really think of him. After all, National Boss Day gives employees the freedom to do just that.

When Is Election Day

Celebrating the Vote on Election Day!

The right to vote is an American foundation that has been observed and honored since the beginning of the United States of America is 1776. Election Day is traditionally observed on the first Tuesday of every November, between November 2nd and November 8th.

The United States Congress initiated the law in 1885 and designated that Election Day was to fall on a Tuesday, which would allow people from outlying communities time to travel to their designated voting, or polling places in order to vote. Monday was not chosen as a national voting day because of the lack of time for such travel and the fact that most people spent their Sunday’s in church worship. November was chosen as a likely month for elections to occur because it fell after crops were gathered, which also allowed for people to be more apt to travel from their homes and farms to vote.

The Second Article of the United States Constitution specifies that everyone vote for the president of the United States on a single day, though these days, early voting privileges are enjoyed by millions of Americans who fill out mail-in ballots earlier than the actual voting day. The same goes for absentee voting completed by Americans living or traveling out of the United States on Election Day, as well as military service members and personnel throughout the world. Timing is essential, and such voters must have their ballots postmarked by a certain date in order for them to be counted.

Within the United States, Election Day is a legal holiday, and many places of business are closed for the day, though many locations remain open. It’s a day when employees across the nation are allowed to come in to work late or leave early so that they may have time to get to their polling places and vote before voting booths are closed. In schools across the country, children practice voting and learning about the voting process by holding mock elections in classrooms and sometimes, entire schools are involved in such mock elections.

Within the United States, hundreds of thousands of polling places allow residents to vote, and volunteers staff most of these places. Polling places are determined by address, and prevent residents from having to travel long distances to vote. States also hold elections on Election Day, for state legislature members, governors and congressmen, while the date of local elections are determined by each state. Federal elections are held on even numbered years for all seats of the United States House of Representatives and roughly one-third of the Senate seats, while the President and Vice-Presidential seats are held every four years. At local levels, many city, county and state governments choose the odd numbered years for their elections, though that is not a hard and fast rule.

Election Day is celebrated in the United States as an opportunity to speak and let your vote be counted among the millions of other Americans voting for various political positions within local, county, state and federal government entities and is a guaranteed right for all American citizens. Many people today take such a right for granted, and choose not to participate in elections. However, many countries around the world do not allow their citizens to have a say in how local and state governments are run. Millions of immigrants come to the United States every year to enjoy such freedom of choice. Deciding to vote, or not, is an American freedom, one which has withstood the test of time since the early beginnings of our country. Election Day is and will always be a day to honor, observe and recognize the forethought of our Founding Fathers in guaranteeing such rights, and as such, they should never be taken for granted.

How To Celebrate New Year’s Day

Celebrating New Year’s Day

Since the beginning of time, people have celebrated the first day of a new year, hoping for better crops, larger herds, no sickness or drought. The ancient Egyptians, Romans and the Greeks all set aside a day to mark their calendars as the first day of the New Year, and it wasn’t until after December 25th was officially recognized as Christmas Day that the Church also designated January 1st as a religious festival that coincided with the ceremonial circumcision of the baby Jesus. Known first as the Feast of the Circumcision, this New Year’s Day observance was first celebrated be the Roman church in the year 487, though it’s only been recognized by the Anglican Church since about 1549.

The United States celebrates the New Year in different ways. America’s first President, George Washington, began a tradition by opening his house in Philadelphia to the public to enjoy a formal reception on New Year’s Day, and through his seven years as president, he continued with the tradition, shaking hands and serving punch and cakes. President Thomas Jefferson also followed Washington’s example, and the receptions grew larger and fancier. By the time President Taft held his own New Year’s celebration in 1910, hundred of guests had gathered to join military and political leaders from around the country as the New Year struck. This White House tradition was suspended during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt after his first attempt to receive guests on January 1, 1934. His medical condition prevented him from standing for long occasions, and throughout his three terms as president, the New Year’s ‘White House party’ events were curtailed.

Eventually, those in the political arena began to hold New Year’s parties and receptions at private residences, a practice that continues to this day. Following the strike of midnight, participants revel in New Year festivities and wish for a more prosperous year than the one that just made a noisy farewell. These days, New Year’s Day is celebrated with parades in nearly every major city in America. The most famous New Year’s Day parade is the Tournament of Roses parade, held in Pasadena, California, every New Year’s Day since 1886. Founded by the Valley Hunt Club, the parade began as a simple draping of floral arrangements on horse drawn carriages, followed shortly thereafter by some sort of sporting event. Today, the Tournament of Roses Parade attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world, and the parade is televised throughout the world as well. The parade is followed by the infamous Rose Bowl football game, a championship game between the two leading college football teams in the country. The first post Tournament of Roses football game kicked off in 1902 at Tournament Park. The second year, a football game wasn’t played following the parade, but a chariot race did entertain thousands and continued to do so until 1916, when football became the sporting event of choice. Post Tournament of Roses football games have been played in the Rose Bowl since 1923, when that famous stadium was built.

Other collegiate football games are played throughout the United States on New Year’s Day, including the Orange Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. No New Year’s day would seem the same without the drone of radios and televisions blaring scores and touchdowns as the ladies of the house create sumptuous halftime snacks like chili, chips, beer and soda. For most Americans, New Year’s Day is a holiday for family and reflection, when New Year’s Resolutions are made to improve goals or to make changes to previous resolutions. Whether celebrated alone or in a group of people having a party, New Year’s Day, since ancient times, is a day to hope and wish for better times, health and the continued pursuit of happiness.

When Is Nevada Day

Celebrating Nevada Day!

The state of Nevada is one of many that celebrate its admission into the United States. Nevada was admitted to the Union on October 31, 1864. As such, the ‘Silver State’ celebrates with parades and events that can match few others around the United States.

Carson City, the state capital, hosted the first ever celebration in honor of the day on October 31, 1889, upon the twenty-fifth anniversary of Nevada’s becoming the 36th state, and has continued to do so ever since. In 1891, the first governor of Nevada signed a bill that stated that ‘No court business was to be transacted on Admission Day’, which was what they called the date. Carson City, as well as nearby Reno, celebrated in grand style for the times. Because the state population was spread out, local celebrations and events were not common until well after the turn of the century.

During the early years following statehood, several attempts were made to officially designate a date to honor the inclusion of Nevada into the United States of America, including a huge effort in 1908 by the State Federation of Women’s Clubs in Reno. They went so far as to pass a resolution calling for a legislative bill, but their efforts failed.

In the early part of the 20th century, the celebration of Nevada’s admission into the Union would have been considered boring to entertainment standards today, but in 1914, the nonofficial day was observed by a free public tour of Reno’s States Historical Society, where the focus of attention was on a Civil War era Gridley sack of flour.

Such efforts to institute a state holiday didn’t pay off until the 1930’s. The first official observance of Nevada Day, as it is now called, was not celebrated until 1933, when that year finally saw the efforts of generations of Nevadans to see an official day set aside to recognize and honor Nevada’s official status. However, the day produced lackluster efforts until, in 1938. The size and popularity of future Nevada Day celebrations has continued to grow in size. The second Nevada Day event in 1939 drew almost 40,000 citizens from around the state to celebrate its 75th Anniversary, and Native American Indian tribes from surrounding areas also participated in the event. Since then, Nevada Day has become one of the biggest celebrations in the state.

Over the next two decades, Nevada Day continued to draw more and more people to its events, but not until the popular television show, ‘Bonanza’ aired, did Nevada see the huge influx of celebrants, both native Nevadans and those from other states. The saga of the weekly television show about the Cartwright family, who owned the famous Ponderosa ranch on the outskirts of Carson City, brought Nevada into the national spotlight every week. Their yearly Nevada Day parade in 1964 made parade marshals out of the stars of the immensely popular show, including Lorne Green, Michael Landon and Dan Blocker. That year, nearly 70,000 people were either in attendance or watched the parade on local television channels.

Nevada Day and its parade and celebrations have become a tradition in Nevada, and school children are taught their exciting and unique history as the Silver State. One of its favorite cities, Las Vegas, is now the focal point for another famous television show, CSI, which continues to throw the spotlight on the illustrious state. Nevada continues to see an influx of inhabitants as its dry, warm climate beckons to those from colder climes.

Over the years, the Nevada Day celebrations have gained national attention, and travelers from across the United States venture to the Silver State to help her celebrate her very special birthday every year.

When To Celebrate Constitution Week

Celebrating Constitution Week!

The Constitution of the United States of America is generally regarded by people around the world, but most especially by American citizens, to be the greatest document written by man that declares the rights of men everywhere to be free. Freedom is the cornerstone of the American way of life: freedom to worship whomever we please, freedom to gather, freedom to come and go as we please, and other such freedoms are ingrained into the American spirit forever.

September 17, 1787 is one of the most important dates in the history of the United States because it was on this day that the Constitution was signed by the men who wrote it. Forever enshrined in the Smithsonian, millions of Americans every year flock to Washington D.C. to glimpse this famous document that serves as a basis for everything America stands for and believes in.

The first celebration of the signing of the Constitution took place in Philadelphia, and to this day, the biggest and most festive celebrations take place in the city that served as our first capitol. In the 1900’s however, the day took on a special importance, especially when the one-hundredth anniversary of the signing approached. A national celebration of the day was celebrated in Philadelphia in 1887 with the direction of the Centennial Constitution Commission. Every state in the Union was represented at the festivities, as were territories not yet included in statehood. A parade of more than 12,000 people helped to celebrate the grand event, followed by another parade the following day, with over 30,000 participants.

Groups and organizations today, such as the Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution, often lead festivities in honor of the signing, and school plays and biographical lessons are given to honor the Founding Fathers and their ideals. Children start off their school year by learning about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere as part of their school curriculum and crafts and readings are geared toward the beginnings of our country.

Over two hundred years has passed since the signing of the United States Constitution, but the day is still honored with due pomp and ceremony in Washington D.C. and many other cities around the nation. It is a day to remember the roots of our country, our freedom and our way of life. Constitution Week is a time to remember the father of our country, George Washington, and his service as general and first president of our nation, as well as the sacrifices made by other of our founding fathers. Noah Webster said that George Washington was “the greatest political leader of his time and also the greatest intellectual and moral force of the Revolutionary period.”

Constitution Week celebrates the writing of the document that makes America what it is today. It was framed and created on principals and is worthy of acceptance by all Americans. It provides protection against tyranny and assures democracy. It allows the American people to decide the course of their future, where every citizen has the right to vote, to debate and to disagree without fear. The greatness of the Constitution is that it gives power to the people, and it is the people who decide our future. As one of the greatest documents outlining human rights and freedoms in the history of mankind, it is right that Americans everywhere should remember September 17th as the day they were given their freedoms, freedoms which are never to be taken for granted, but that are worth fighting for, and at times, dying for. Constitution Week is a period of time where all Americans celebrate America and her special place in the world, a time where American pride and spirit rings across the nation.

When is Andrew Jackson Day

Andrew Jackson Day

Andrew Jackson served as the seventh President of the United States and held office for two terms, from 1829 to 1837. Born in South Carolina in 1767, he is considered one of the few presidents that have ever been elected to office by an overwhelming popular vote.

Jackson’s history is distinctly American. Born in the woods of South Carolina, he was basically self-taught. As a young man, he practiced law in Tennessee, though he also had the reputation of a ‘wild man’, engaging in brawls and duels. He is even known to have killed one man in a duel after the man offended his wife. A proud, noble man, Jackson lived near Hermitage, Tennessee, and was the first man elected to the House of Representatives from that state.

Nicknamed ‘Old Hickory’, Jackson was known to be unbending when it came to concepts of honor, loyalty and dedication. He felt that governmental duties were ‘so plain and simple’ that official positions should easily be filled by the common man, and not self-declared politicians. During elections for his second term as President, Jackson won a 56% vote from the American public.

Andrew Jackson is remembered as a president who said what he thought, and such a concept as ‘politically correct’ behavior is something he would have laughed at. Jackson was a man of his word, and everyone knew where he or she stood with him. His popularity was a constant during his years in the Oval Office, and even his opponents could not fault him for his moral stand and respected him for his tenacity.

Inhabitants of his native state of Tennessee celebrate Andrew Jackson Day on March 15th every year. It’s an official holiday in that state, but in no others, which serves to show the affection Tennesseans have for their former son. Born in the backwoods of America, he, like Abraham Lincoln, who later followed him in public service as a lawyer and political candidate, followed his heart and did what he felt was right and just in the eyes of the American people. At the age of fourteen, Jackson fought and was wounded in the Revolutionary War. He became a national hero during the War of 1812, and was the first president to hail from the western side of the Appalachian Mountains.

Millions of Americans celebrate the life and times of this unique president. Not only in Tennessee, but also throughout the nation, as well as those in Washington D.C. celebrate the life of this great and popular president. Visitors from around the country are able to take Andrew Jackson tours and find a multitude of items pertaining to this most favored of American presidents, from paintings to documents to statues. Jackson’s home in Hermitage, Tennessee, is the focal point of travelers from around the country, and is one of the better-preserved early American homes in the United States. Visitors to New Orleans can visit monuments to battles Jackson led in that area during the War of 1812, and visitors to the White House can find the Southern Magnolia tree he planted in honor of his wife. Is remembered as the first president to actually pay off the national debt and actually leave office with a surplice of money in the U.S. Treasury! As president, Jackson expanded both the power and reputation of the office and carried out reforms and exercised his power of veto on more than one occasion. Tennesseans celebrate Andrew Jackson day every year with birthday parties that they fondly call, “Happy Birthday to Old Hickory” events, where southern food and entertainments are in plentiful supply.

America’s office of the Presidency has seen many colorful presidents, but none quite so colorful as Andrew Jackson. His rough and tumble ways seem to personify the American spirit, even in such a prestigious setting, but Jackson wasn’t a man who cared much for doing things the ‘correct’ way; he was more worried about what was right, and followed his convictions to the end.

When Is Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

The United States of America has few presidents that are more beloved and admired than Abraham Lincoln, our sixteenth president. There’s something about the tall, homely man that evokes in people the sense that Lincoln was a genuinely gentle man, one who cared deeply for his country and was distraught at the Civil War that broke out during his years of presidency.

The first observation of Lincoln’s birthday was held in 1866. Washington D.C. was determined to remember their assassinated president with speeches and memorial services that honored the man and what he stood for. Attended by President Johnson, his Cabinet members, as well as senators and legislators from nearly every state in the Union, the event was well represented for this first memorial address offered in the name of the beloved president. The anniversary of Lincoln’s birth on February 12th was designated as the day to honor his memory and flags throughout the capitol and the nation flew at half-staff. That first memorial was a somber affair, an occasion that honored his birth as well as periods of silence marking his sudden and violent death.

Lincoln took the presidential office in March of 1861, and the War Between the States broke out about a month later, plunging the country into a period of darkness that has never been repeated. Lincoln was re-elected to the presidency in 1864, but in April of 1865, just as the war came to an end, he was shot at Ford’s Theatre while watching a play. He died the following morning, and his death plunged the nation into mourning, both in the North and the South. Upon his death, his secretary of war stated, “He now belongs to the ages.”

By 1909, the hundredth anniversary of his birth, Lincoln’s name and memory had become an American favorite, and Americans revered and honored his name more than any other president in history to date. Memorial tablets were placed at Lincoln’s birthplace in Springfield, Illinois, which is a National and Historical Landmark to this day. As each year passed, millions of Americans celebrated the life of the president who sought to hold a divided nation together, and who died as a result of that dedication. Lincoln’s name made a great impact on other countries around the world as well, and many nations joined to honor his memory throughout the world.

In 1910, a bill was passed by Congress to erect a National Monument in Washington D.C. in honor of Lincoln, and thus began building and construction plans for the Lincoln Memorial that is visited by millions of people every year, not only by Americans, but world travelers as well. The monument was completed in 1922. Lincoln’s portrait from 1864 has been used on the five-dollar bill in American for generations.

Schools across the nation observe and celebrate Lincoln’s birthday every year. Children of all ages learn one of Lincoln’s most famous and heartfelt speeches, the Gettysburg Address, given after a horrific battle that cost the lives of thousands of Americans fighting amongst themselves. Lincoln’s legacy urges Americans today to stand united, as he stated, “A house divided amongst itself cannot stand” and to this day, Americans strive to follow his lead and example. As one of the country’s favorite presidents, the anniversary of his birthday, celebrated every February 12th, is a special occasion in states around the nation, celebrated with patriotic parties, speeches and events. Abraham taught all Americans that even those who come from humble beginnings can strive and reach any goals they set for themselves, even if it includes reaching the greatest position in the country, as President of the United States.
During his second Inaugural address, Lincoln spoke words that endure to this day when he said, “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

What Is Pascua Florida Day

About Pascua Florida Day

It seems that several explorers bumped into what would eventually be known as American shores without realizing where they were; Christopher Columbus, Leif Erikson and Ponce de León, among others.

Actually, Ponce de León sailed with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World in 1493 and remained on an island to the south of Florida called Santo Domingo. Ponce de León was a Spanish explorer who was seeking a fountain of youth. That’s right, a fountain of youth. This is no new-age fad, you see, but a thousand year old endeavor to remain young and vital. The Royal Family of Spain was so pleased with the explorer that they gave him an island in the Bahamas, and it was there that he began his search for the island called ‘Bimini’, which was one of the islands in the island chain that was supposed to contain this legendary fountain of youth

On his travels in early 1513, Ponce de León sighted the shores of southern Florida, and landed near what is known today as St. Augustine. However, he didn’t know that he had landed, not on an island, but on a vast continent. Because he saw enormous amounts and different varieties of flowers, and that it was the time of the Spanish Easter celebration, he called the location, ‘Pascua de Florida’, which in the Spanish language roughly means ‘flowery Easter’. Regardless, Ponce de León claimed the land for Spain and continued exploring the river ways and bays found throughout the Florida Keys in search of his elusive fountain. After arriving in Cuba, he abandoned his search and briefly returned to Spain.

Ponce de León didn’t give up easily. Five years later, the Spaniard tried again, this time with two ships and two hundred men. In 1521, his ships landed along the eastern shoreline of Florida. They actually stepped on American land, only to find themselves being shot at by Native Americans armed with bows and arrows. Unfortunately, an arrow struck Ponce de León and he and other injured crewmen sailed to Cuba, where he died from his wounds several months later.

Floridians have honored Ponce de Leon’s discoveries and spirit by creating Pascua Florida Day, celebrated every April 2nd, in recognition of the Spanish explorer’s naming of their state. While the day is neither a federal or national holiday, Florida natives and school children take the time to learn a bit about the history of their state as the anniversary of Pascua Florida Day approaches every year. Because the explorers landed during the time of the Spanish Easter celebration, Ponce de León felt that the name, Pascua Florida, was completely appropriate for this new, uncharted land.

Unfortunately, it was some time before Florida was properly settled. Native American tribesmen drove off not only Ponce de Leon’s men, but also those of the Narváez Expedition some eighteen years later, and again twenty years after that! Exploration and settlement of Florida would take many decades to develop, but thanks to the initial exploration, though accidental, of Ponce de León in his search for the fountain of youth, determined men and women followed in his footsteps to claim the southern land for Spain.

Celebrated exclusively in Florida, Pascua Florida Day is a day to remember the daring and adventurous spirits of the men and women who came before us, to brave uncertainties, harsh winters and unfriendly inhabitants in order to broaden horizons and discover new lands and living opportunities. Florida celebrates this day with parades, civic events and speeches that remind not only Floridians, but all Americans, that we are here only because of the men and women who came before us, braving limitless difficulties and hardships to pave the way for settlement.