Today we are celebrating that machine that has kept us clothed since the 1830’s in France, and in the US, since 1846. For years the sewing machine was a valued tool in nearly every house in the world. It has given us new clothes as well as repaired old clothes, helped us with table cloths, napkins, hats… well you name it and a sewing machine probably made it. It’s rare to find a sewing machine in homes today. It’s easier and faster to just go out and buy what we need, and in some cases even cheaper. The hours spent on making clothes at home, such as prom dresses and wedding gowns is pretty much lost today, it’s sort of sad, but life goes on.
How to celebrate – Look around and see if you still have a sewing machine. Learn how to sew. Be thankful you don’t have a sewing machine.
Everyone wants to know what the weather is going to be like so they can plan accordingly. We look to our weatherman (weatherperson) to tell us what to expect. Half the time they are right! The first weatherman in the US was John Jeffries who kept weather records from 1774 to 1816. Today celebrates his birth on February 5th, 1744. With the weather extremes that come today it is important to listen to your weatherperson, they can save your life. For the most part, weather is a record of the history in your area. Records tell us what to expect, even though as of late weather hasn’t been one for the records. Of course equipment has changed almost as much as the weather and makes the predicting a little more exact.
How to celebrate – Thank your weatherperson. Watch the forecasts every day, keep your own record of how often they are correct. Remember a 50% chance of rain does not mean maybe it will rain, and maybe it won’t. It means 50% of the cover area will get rain.
Tartan Day is a celebration of the mixture of colors and lines that show the family heritage in Scotland. It was a sign of the clan that one came from and is still proudly shown today. It’s significance became so strong that at one point in the UK’s history the English created the Act of Proscription banning the use of tartans.
The Scots did not take this Act all that well and went to a long war that finally ended in 1320 with the Scottish Declaration of Independence. (Though in many ways they are still fighting that war today.)
Scotland has always had a place in the hearts of Americans. In fact, our Declaration of Independence was based on the Scottish Declaration. Many of our original colonist were of Scottish decent, our society owes a great deal to a country that is still trying to become an official country of it’s own. In 1982, Mayor Ed Koch declared Tartan Day in New York. In 1986 Canada’s government agreed with Koch and created Tartan Day for their entire country. In 1998, US made the same proclamation.
The tartan has been a proud part of Scottish history, Canadian history and American history… anyplace freedom is cherished. It equates to the flying of a flag with everyone in that country taking pride in their own clans flag.
While the tartan is not limited to Scotland, it is best known in Scotland. Ireland comes to mind first since so much of their history is intertwined with Scotland’s but the tartan also is worn in Australia, Canada, France, Greece, New Zealand, Normandy and the United States.
How to celebrate – Research if your family has a tartan of it’s own. Proudly display your family tartan colors. Create your own tartan pattern and colors.