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Today is National ... 6/16

Posted by on Jun. 16, 2013 at 11:29 AM
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Well, this year June 16th also happens to be Father's Day! 

On July 19, 1910, the governor of the U.S. state of Washington proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day.” However, it was not until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official, that the day became a nationwide holiday in the United States.

Mother's Day: Inspiration for Father's Day

The “Mother’s Day” we celebrate today has its origins in the peace-and-reconciliation campaigns of the post-Civil War era. During the 1860s, at the urging of activist Ann Reeves Jarvis, one divided West Virginia town celebrated “Mother’s Work Days” that brought together the mothers of Confederate and Union soldiers. In 1870, the activist Julia Ward Howe issued a “Mother’s Day Proclamation” calling on a “general congress of women” to “promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, [and] the great and general interests of peace.”

However, Mother’s Day did not become a commercial holiday until 1908, when--inspired by Jarvis’s daughter Anna, who wanted to honor her own mother by making Mother’s Day a national holiday--the John Wanamaker department store in Philadelphia sponsored a service dedicated to mothers in its auditorium. Thanks in large part to this association with retailers, who saw great potential for profit in the holiday, Mother’s Day caught on right away. In 1909, 45 states observed the day, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson approved a resolution that made the second Sunday in May a holiday in honor of “that tender, gentle army, the mothers of America.”

Origins of Father's Day

The campaign to celebrate the nation’s fathers did not meet with the same enthusiasm--perhaps because, as one florist explained, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.” On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday. The next year, a Spokane, Washington woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910.
  
Slowly, the holiday spread. In 1916, President Wilson honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane when he pressed a button in Washington, D.C. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day. However, many men continued to disdain the day. As one historian writes, they “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products--often paid for by the father himself.”

Father's Day: Controversy and Commercialism

During the 1920s and 1930s, a movement arose to scrap Mother’s Day and Father’s Day altogether in favor of a single holiday, Parents’ Day. Every year on Mother’s Day, pro-Parents’ Day groups rallied in New York City’s Central Park--a public reminder, said Parents’ Day activist and radio performer Robert Spere, “that both parents should be loved and respected together.” Paradoxically, however, the Depression derailed this effort to combine and de-commercialize the holidays. Struggling retailers and advertisers redoubled their efforts to make Father’s Day a “second Christmas” for men, promoting goods such as neckties, hats, socks, pipes and tobacco, golf clubs and other sporting goods, and greeting cards. When World War II began, advertisers began to argue that celebrating Father’s Day was a way to honor American troops and support the war effort. By the end of the war, Father’s Day may not have been a federal holiday, but it was a national institution.

In 1972, in the middle of a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday at last.  Today, economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts.

by on Jun. 16, 2013 at 11:29 AM
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TigerofMu
by Sonja on Jun. 16, 2013 at 11:39 AM


JUNE 16, 2013 – NATIONAL FUDGE DAY

NATIONAL FUDGE DAY

Celebrated annually on June 16, it is National Fudge Day.  Today is a food holiday that allows you to indulge in your favorite flavor of fudge.  Some of the most popular fudge flavors are chocolate, chocolate nut, peanut butter, maple, and maple nut.

A Western confectionery, fudge is usually sweet and rich.  It consists of combining sugar, butter and milk, heating it to the correct temperature and then mixing it while it cools to get it to a smooth, creamy consistency.  There are many varieties and flavors of fudge, with chocolate being the most popular.

In 1886 a letter was found, written by Emelyn Bettersby Hartridge, a student at Vassar college in Poughkeepsie, New York, referring to fudge that her cousin had made, in Baltimore Maryland, selling it for 40 cents per pound.  Hartridge was able to obtain the recipe and in 1888, she made 30 pounds of fudge for the Vassar College Senior Auction.  

In the late 19th century, some shops on Mackinac Island, Michigan, began to produce similar products as the Vassar College fudge, and sold it to summer vacationers.  Fudge is still produced in some of the original shops there today.

To celebrate National Fudge Day, pick some up at your local confectionery store, share it with your family and/or friends and enjoy!!

You may also want to try making some homemade fudge yourself.  Following is a “tried and true” recipe to get you started.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fudge/

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