There are three dates that mark the end of World War 2 with the surrender of Japan. The first is August 14th, 1945 when Japan sent a cable to the US stating their intention to surrender. August 15th, when the US accepted the surrender of Japan and then September 2nd when the formal surrender of Japan occurred on the deck of the USS Missouri on September 2nd. With the surrender of Japan World War 2 officially came to an end, Germany having surrendered earlier in the year. The world’s most horrific war had come to an end though it would, in some case, take years to get all troops to stop fighting as they had not received word of the surrender themselves.
How to celebrate – Read about World War 2. Learn why it was so difficult for Japan to surrender. Discover who was a part of the Allies, and who was a part of the Axis.
While we all strive to be more and more politically correct and sensitive to each other we must also remember that when we begin to exclude parts of history we then exclude all of history. If we are to forget those moments of history we do not like to remember we also forget those who brought us out of those dark moments. This is the theory of All or Nothing. You can tear down statues of General Lee, “Stonewall” Jackson and all reminders of the Confederacy… but then we lose the importance of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas and the 54th Massachusetts. To remember heroes you must remember what made them heroes, to disregard it is to forget those deeds done by people to change it.
How to celebrate – Don’t disregard history just because you didn’t like it. Choose to remember, not forget. You cannot have a hero without first having a villain.
February 26th National Tell A Fairy Tale Day
Fairy Tales have been a part of most of our lives, either told to us by our parents or on tv. They are stories meant to teach us valuable lessons. They teach us about heroes and villains and what makes each of them who they are. They are stories handed down over the ages and honestly, the meaning doesn’t vary all that much even though the times do. Some of the Fairy Tales even defeat themselves as in the Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales which were meant to scare children. Because the brothers did not like children!
How to celebrate – Tell your child a fairy tale. Create your own fairy tale. Make a list of all the Fairy Tales you can remember without looking them up.
Today is the day that Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address to dedicate a national cemetery to those men who died in early July, both defending their country and trying to save a way of life. You can pick your side, both had their merits, both had their faults. It seems like there is a lot today that we want to try to forget, or erase from history but the truth is, history has brought us to where we are today, good or bad. And that’s what Lincoln was trying to say. Often it takes terrible things happening to teach us lessons we needed to learn, if we block them out like they never existed, then we have not learned the lesson history offers. Four score and seven years earlier our forefathers created the land Lincoln knew. It wasn’t perfect but it was better than most places and because we did learn our lessons we have made it all that better since. Don’t forget history because it is likely to repeat itself because of our ignorance.
How to celebrate – Read all of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Study the causes of the Civil War.
Uncle Sam apparently comes from what soldiers in 1813 called Sam Wilson when he delivered the meat to their camps around Troy, New York. They were so happy to see him that he became their favorite Uncle! In 1961, Congress declared a resolution creating a celebration for Uncle Sam and Troy, New York. This resolution became official in 1989 declaring Septemeber 13th “Uncle Sam” Wilson day, apparently Sam Wilson’s birthday in 1776. No one seems to know if Uncle Sam and Sam Wilson looked like each other.
How to celebrate – Visit Troy, New York. Read about the War of 1812. See if you have any uncles that look like Sam.
Remember Lily Tomlin’s telephone lady on Saturday Night Live? Well, she was probably based on the first ever female telephone operator, Emma M. Nutt. Her work began on September 1st, 1878 and she continued to operate (Pun intended) for the next 33 years. I am sure it was a wonder when she first started but after 33 years I am pretty sure she was glad to be rid of all those wires and not having to be pleasant constantly to all the rude people she had to speak to. I wonder, however, how many secret phone calls she had the opportunity to listen into! Not that she ever did.
How to celebrate – Visit a telephone museum. Call an operator just for fun. Watch Lily Tomlin’s telephone character on youtube.
May 18th International Museum Day
Museums remind of us of where we have been, and possibly show us where we are going as well. Things we just can’t live without today had to come from somewhere and generally those proto-types can be found in museums all over the world. Of course, museums also teach us about animals and nature as well. This day was created in 1977 by the International Council of Museums.
How to celebrate – Visit a museum. Look for all the antiques
in your house. Donate historical items
you no longer want to a museum so that others can enjoy them.
Today Mexicans (and Americans) celebrate Cinco de Mayo (often confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, September 16th). Cinco de Mayo celebrates the remebrance of the Battle of Puebla on May 5th. France controlled Mexico in the early 1860’s and Mexico wanted their freedom (they fairly won it at Puebla). It was France’s second intervention in Mexico, but it was also their last. Perhaps a little strange is that Mexico’s battle for freedom occurred on what is today American soil. Puebla is in California near Los Angles. Spain and Britain also went to war with Mexico but came to terms before the battle.
How to celebrate – Study the history of Mexico. Celebrate Mexico’s freedom from foreign interference. Visit the site of the battle.
While this holidays is normally restricted to the New England region it really should be celebrated all across America. It is a bit confusing since it falls on the third Monday of the month so the date varies, but it celebrates when America first separated from England. It celebrates Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride as well as the battles at Lexington and Concord in 1775. The actual day was April 19th but that doesn’t matter. Now Paul Revere never completed his ride, in fact he didn’t really get very far before he was arrested. He also did not shout “The British are coming”! as is often depicted. Back then, most of us were British and that would mean nothing to the homesteads he was warning. “The Redcoats are coming” would have been more like it since the Redcoats were known to be the soldiers. Also the battles at Lexington and Concord weren’t really battles as they were very one sided and did not last very long. However, the Redcoats never forget their attempt to get back to Boston.
How to celebrate – Remember the Patriots that started making the Untied States the United States. Visit New England. Study history, it is relevant.
National Tell A Fairy Tale Day – February 26th
Fairy Tales are oral history handed down over time. Of course, they are embellished a little and a lot of the truth may have been removed, they mostly started from some real source. For example, Snow White is based on the life of Margarette von Waldek who lived in Germany where her family was involved in mining. Children were used to go down the narrow passages, becoming the Dwarves in the Fairy Tale. Waldek fell in love with a Prince but died before they could be united.
How to celebrate – Read a Fairy Tale. Study the real truth
behind your favorite Fairy Tales. Make someone dream come true.