The last day of Carnival and the day before for Ash Wednesday, Fat Tuesday is the intertwining of a period festivals and feasts that lead to a time of fasting and reflection. Also known as Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras, this enduring celebration has many traditions and deep roots around the world.
Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) dates back to an ancient Roman festival honoring the deities Lupercalia and Saturnalia which took place in mid-February. When Christians arrived in Rome, they incorporated the festival into Lenten preparations.
For centuries, this solemn feast prepared Christians for the season of Lent and used up valuable meat and supplies they would be abstaining from in the days to come. Traditions surrounding the day have changed through the ages. Through time and culture, the practices of Lent and Carnival, Mardi Gras, and Shrove Tuesday have varied and become incorporated into regional customs.
In the United Kingdom, Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day. Pancakes are the perfect menu item when the future includes abstaining from fats, eggs, and sweets! In Russia, they celebrate the entire week during Shrovetide as Pancake Week.
Carnival & Mardi Gras
While the French didn’t originate the medieval feast, they did put their stamp on it. From parades to beignets and colorful masks, the last day of Carnival is full of elaborate costumes and lavish food sure to hold the revelers over through a long fast. During the 16th century, their ancestors celebrated Boeuf Gras (fatted calf) which included a tradition of parading a bull decorated with flowers through the city. The decorated animal is followed through the streets by a retinue of colorfully dressed attendants and bands playing unusual instruments. There was even a Boeuf Gras Society in Mobile, Alabama at one time. (See history below for more information.)
New Orleans holds the crown for Carnival and Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States. While the city is filled with French flavor and style, its culture is an eclectic infusion of many cultures. Colorful King Cake and thick, savory muffuletta sandwiches only suggest the indulgence possible on Fat Tuesday. Regional specialties like Etouffee, Po’boys, and jambalaya all add to the atmosphere of the day.
And while we satisfy our cravings, let’s not forget our beverages. Signature creations from New Orleans hit the spot. Be sure to try the Sazerac made with absinthe or the citrus cocktail Arnaud’s Special. For a smooth drink with some punch mix up a Vieux Carré made with whiskey, cognac, and sweet vermouth. But you don’t have to have a cocktail to enjoy the feast! Fat Tuesday has plenty of beverages full of refreshing flavor. Coffees, sodas, and shakes of every flavor can be found.
HOW TO OBSERVE #FatTuesday
Join in festivals around the country or have your own Fat Tuesday feast! Share your favorite traditions by using #FatTuesday, #MardiGras, #ShroveTuesday
In Pensacola as we are so close to both Mobile, AL and New Orleans, there are lots of pardades, parties, balls, and more. Get ready for beads, dancing, and King Cake.
At the end of the fun try coming home to my Crockpot New England Calm Chowder. As today this dish is celebrated nationwide today too.
FAT TUESDAY HISTORY
The roots of the celebration have been woven together for centuries from medieval spring festivals and feasts that were based on the Christian calendar. Fat Tuesday is celebrated around the world in its various forms all of which harken back to these roots of spring festivals and religious fasting in preparation for the Holy day of Easter.
Credit for bringing Mardi Gras to America goes to French explorers Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d’Iberville and Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville. In 1699, d’Iberville reached the mouth of the river on Shrove Tuesday near what is now Louisiana and named it Pointe du Mardi Gras.
Thanks to their establishment of Fort Louis de la Mobile, modern-day Mobile, Alabama lays claim to the first Mardi Gras celebration on American soil in 1703.
When de Bienville established Nouvelle Orleans in 1788, Mardi Gras celebrations reportedly began immediately. In 1875, Louisiana declared Fat Tuesday an official holiday
On February 19, National Vet Girls ROCK Day recognizes the immense dedication of the nearly 2 million U.S. veteran women.
On National Vet Girls ROCK Day, not only is it a day to recognize women veterans, but it’s a day for women veterans to support one another and to share resources, build relationships and spread awareness concerning the needs of women veterans
The willingness of America’s [Women] veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude. ~Jeff Miller
Since the Revolutionary War, women have served in the armed forces, and many have not been recognized for their service. Today, the contributions of nearly 2 million women veterans deserve acknowledgment. National Vet Girls ROCK Day celebrates the bonds they formed and their experiences through military service.
While we can never truly repay the debt we owe our heroes, the least we should do for our brave veterans is to ensure that the government takes a proactive approach to delivering the services and benefits they have earned, so they can access the care they need and so richly deserve. ~Kirsten Gillibrand
Like thousands of military personnel, support transitioning from military to civilian life develops both their professional and personal success. Honoring their accomplishments, skills, and essential contributions both in the military and civilian fields elevate the place of the woman veteran to her proper position.
From the world wars of Europe to the jungles of the Far East, from the deserts of the Middle East to the African continent, and even here in our own hemisphere, our “women” veterans have made the world a better place and America the great country we are today. ~ John Hoeven
HOW TO OBSERVE
Connect with other women veterans for camaraderie and support on National Vet Girls ROCK Day. Join a VGR meetup at various designated restaurant locations throughout the United States and affirm your support of women veterans.
Tell us about your favorite woman veteran and use #VetGirlsROCKDay to share on social media. Follow AVWA and VGR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for upcoming AVWA and VGR events. (@avwaorg and @VetGirlsRock1)
Vet Girls Rock founded National Vet Girls Rock Day on February 19, 2019, to bring awareness to the contributions of women veterans to the United States military and to provide an opportunity for women veterans to celebrate the bonds they formed during their service.
The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed National Vet Girls Day to be observed annually on February 19.
You can also celebrate NATIONAL CHOCOLATE MINTD DAY as well. Better yet make it a point to give chocolate covered mints like York, or Andes to as many female veterans as you can find.
About Vet Girls Rock
Vet Girls ROCK, an initiative under Active Veterans With Answers, founded in 2017, Vet Girls ROCK serves as a resource and knowledge stream for women veterans. With the struggles of transitioning from military to civilian life; Vet Girls ROCK was created to educate, enlighten, and support women veterans through professional and personal growth that improves awareness, potential, and identify talents. Women veterans who miss that camaraderie can find it in Vet Girls ROCK.
The entire month of February is dedicated to the people who love whole buildings devoted to the reading, housing, organizing, categorizing, finding, studying and otherwise loving books. It’every s National Library Lover’s Month!
Check out some of these fantastic Authors and their books. I’ve said for years “Hollywood needs a library card. Guess someone finally heard me. ” They currently have Movies or series based on the books.
There are lots of great authors and books I cannot begin to list them all here. Make sure you bookmark and like our site for more.
Libraries provide so much more than a place for us to enjoy great novels or to discover amazing adventures and untold history. Yes, they help us ace our research papers and provide a quiet space to study, but they do so much more.
For preschoolers, libraries entertain them with theater and hands-on activities exposing them to music, art and their first friendships. Many communities rely on their libraries for meeting space for public forums, socials, fundraisers and classes.
Libraries lend not only books but music and movies. Rotating art displays give local artists exposure to the community. Larger libraries provide preservation services, preserving some of the most treasured books, periodicals and documents for future generations.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Continue enjoying your library, but consider volunteering your time, too. If you don’t have a library card, it’s never too late! Visit your library to get one! Use #NationalLibraryLoversDay to share on social media.
Of course, if you’re even a fraction addicted to books as I am you may have to start your own library. Mine is currently occupying four bookshelves with some still boxed. Since I like to reread mine I use them frequently. As I usually read a full novel in about two days I have to carry a small ton from my local library or draw from my own. I wish ereaders had been around when I started.
If you want to pass this gift to others February 14th is also International Book Giving Day.
National Florida Day on January 25 recognizes the 27th state to join the United States.
The Sunshine State is home to the oldest established city in the country. With over 400 years of history, St. Augustine’s streets and colonial architecture have stories to tell. Founded by Spanish explorers in 1565, visit the city and walk in the same footsteps as 16th-century bishops, ponder the escapades of pirates and the whereabouts of lost gold and learn about the lives of European settlers.
East and West Florida became the 14th and 15th British Colonies after the end of the French and Indian War in 1763. However, in 1783, after the end of the American Revolutionary War, The Treaty of Paris returned Florida to Spain.
The present-day borders of Florida were absorbed through two transactions: The Louisianna Purchase in 1803 brought East Florida with it (but not without dispute from the French) and through a U.S. intervention in an uprising in West Florida in 1812 causing West Florida to join the Mississippi Territory.
With an average high temperature of 79.5°F, it should be no surprise that Floridian John Gorrie brought refrigeration and air conditioning to the world in 1851.
Add to that, more than half the year with partly cloudy to sunny days, the invention of sunblock would be a necessity, too. Hungary born pharmacist, Benjamin Green, invented a sunscreen in 1944 which later became a tanning lotion known as Coppertone.
Launching astronauts into space, Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center in Brevard Country, is a fun and unique visit. While Disney, Universal, and others have rides, themes, and shows. This place makes both history and the future a tangible experience. We just happened to be there on a day they launched a new satellite!
Cape Canaveral and the home of the Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County has come a long way from its first launch in 1950. From Appollo missions to Hubble Telescopes and Mars Rovers, Cape Canaveral continues missions well into the future. Missions include commercial ventures including SpaceX launches.
Florida offers more than enough to do and see. From man-made worlds and relaxing beaches to long, colorful and intricate history, the Sunshine State’s open spaces and sunny faces require more than one visit.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Join National Day Calendar as we dig into Florida’s sunny beaches and rich history. Seek buried treasures and explore all Florida’s fascinating culture! Look to the past or look to the future and use #NationalFloridaDay to share on social media.
In 2017, National Day Calendar began celebrating each state in the order they entered the union starting the week of Independence Day and ending with Hawaii. We highlight a small part of each states’ history, foods and the people who make up the state. There’s so much more to explore!
Florida is also home of the oldest noncontinuous settlement in America. The City of five flags know as Pensacola is actually older than St Augustine. The original settlement was wiped out by a hurricane. So St Augustine claims the oldest continuous city.
Pensacola has a long Naval Tradition and is The Cradle of Naval Aviation. Every year both resident and visiting pilots, take training at one of our local bases. While NAS Pensacola is home to The Famous Blue Angels Squadron that Flew over The White House recently, we made national news for a tragic event just a short time ago.
We had an active shooter who infiltrated and murdered students at the flight school here. While we deeply morn those lost in this tragedy, we are grateful to the brave who helped our sheriff’s officers put an early end to this shooter. Before more could be harmed these warriors risked life and injury to subdue the shooter. Since this event the bases have gone to restricted access to keep others and the community safe.
For more information about us ask a local. Here are some of my picks, and I haven’t even come close to listing them all.
T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park – St. Joseph Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center – Mayo Manatee Springs State Park – Chiefland Colt Creek State Park – Lakeland Highlands Hammock State Park – Sebring Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park – Okeechobee Don Pedro Island State Park – Cape Haze Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park – Naples Hugh Taylor Birch State Park – Ft. Lauderdale Big Cypress National Preserve – Ochopee Canaveral National Seashore – Titusville & New Smyrna Beach Everglades National Park – Miami, Naples & Homestead MUSEUMS Salvador Dali Museum – St. Petersburg Museum of Florida History – Tallahassee John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art – Sarasota Castillo de San Marcos – St. Augustine Bok Tower Gardens – Lake Wales Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse – Ponce Inlet Villa Vizcaya – Miami
A civil rights activist and composer, James Weldon Johnson became United States consul to Puerto Cabello in Venezuela under President Theodore Roosevelt. He is also noted for composing the song Lift Every Voice and Sing.
Martin Luther King Jr Day, on the third Monday in January, honors the American clergyman, activist, Civil Rights Movement leader. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.(January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience. King has become a national icon in the history of American progressivism. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor.
A gifted and friendly student, King attended Morehouse College, where he earned a BA in sociology. Combining a passion for racial equality with a rediscovered spirituality, King then attended Crozer Theological Seminary following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps earning a Bachelors of Divinity.
Shortly after he completed his Ph.D. in theology at Boston University in 1955, a 42-year-old Rosa Parks (See Rosa Parks Day, which is observed December 1) refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The opportunity for the NAACP to bring their civil rights efforts to the forefront was before them, and they chose King to lead the successful city-wide boycott of the Montgomery transit system.
Young Civil Rights Movement
Just over a year later, King, along with over 60 other ministers and activists, founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Together they coordinated non-violent protests and gave a voice to the young civil rights movement.
Through the next twelve years, King would be influential in organizing marches, sit-ins, and political rallies for civil rights. During a 1963 March on Washington, D.C. for Jobs and Freedom, King spoke before more than 200,000 regarding the challenges African Americans face. His “I Have a Dream” speech has gone down in many history books as one of the greatest speeches ever given. Brutally honest, a call to action, and a vision of hope, King’s speech resonated throughout the nation.
In early 1964, during a march outside Selma, 1,500 men and women met a wall of state troopers. There, King led the marchers in prayer and successfully avoided any confrontation with authorities. On July 2, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. That same year, King became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his unswerving work in the Civil Rights Movement.
In early 1965, Selma, Alabama, became the center of the Civil Rights movement. A new voting rights legislation was introduced in Congress. It proposed banning literacy tests and mandating federal oversight where tests were administered. Additionally, it gave the U.S. attorney general the duty of challenging the use of poll taxes for state and local elections. Televised violence in February of that year resulted in the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson. King’s presence and President Johnson’s support of the marchers helped bring peace. Throughout the next month, marchers continued between Selma and Montgomery. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in August of that year.
Author, speaker, father, theologian, activist. King died on April 4, 1968, when James Earl Ray assassinated him in Memphis, Tennessee. King arrived in Memphis with other SCLC members in support of a sanitation workers’ strike. They were staying at the Lorraine Motel when Ray’s bullet struck King on the balcony. Riots and violence would follow, and President Johnson would call for peace, referring to King as the “apostle of nonviolence.”
HOW TO OBSERVE #MartinLutherKingJrDay
Many schools, businesses, and government offices are closed during Martin Luther King Jr Day. Schools hold programs or teach curricula engaging students in Civil Rights history and lessons throughout the week. Learn more about the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Watch one of the documentaries or read one of the books listed below:
Use #MartinLutherKingJrDay to post on social media.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAY HISTORY
While President Ronald Reagan signed the established observance into law in 1983, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was first observed as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.
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Ratification Day on January 14th annually recognizes the act the officially ended the American Revolution. This day is in commemoration of the ratification of the Treaty of Paris on January 14, 1784, at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland by the Confederation Congress and established the United States as a sovereign entity.
- The Confederation Congress issued a proclamation on April 11, 1783, “Declaring the cessation of arms” against Great Britain.
- Congress approved the preliminary articles of peace on April 15, 1783.
- The Treaty of Paris was ratified on January 14, 1784.
The following is an excerpt from the proclamation of ratification:“By the United States in Congress assembled, a proclamation: Whereas definitive articles of peace and friendship, between the United States of America and His Britannic Majesty, were concluded and signed at Paris, on the 3rd day of September 1783 … we have thought proper by these presents, to notify the premises to all the good citizens of these United States …Given under the seal of the United States, witness His Excellency Thomas Mifflin, our president, at Annapolis, this fourteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four … ” ~ Definitive Articles of the Peace of Paris – Signed by representatives of Britain and The United States on September 3, 1783.
HOW TO OBSERVE #RatificationDay
Learn more about the Treaty of Paris.
Use #RatificationDay to post on social media.
RATIFICATION DAY HISTORY
Ratification Day recognizes the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris. In Annapolis Maryland at the State House, a ceremony takes place where officials signed the treaty. The Old Senate Chamber has been renovated and preserved just as it was at the signing. Every January 14, a flag in the design that was displayed at the time of the signing of the Treaty of Paris flies over the State House; twelve stars forming a circle with one star in the center.
Across the country on January 9th each year, citizens take the lead to show support on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
Law Enforcement Officers of every rank and file have chosen a profession that puts their life on the line every day for their communities. They’ve answered a call to public service that is demanding and often unappreciated.
From local, state and federal, their duties command dedication. The jobs are often thankless and take them away from their families for long hours. Rarely do they know what their days have in store for them. Often law enforcement are the only paid emergency resource a community has. More often they work in coordination with other local, state, and federal organizations to make communities safer.
On National Law Enforcement Day, we have an opportunity to thank them for their service and offer a token of respect.
HOW TO OBSERVE #LawEnforcementAppreciationDay
There are several ways to show your support. Send a note of thanks to your local, county or state police agency. Wear blue, turn your social media channels blue or shine a blue porch light to show your support. Find more ideas at Concerns of Police Survivors and share your support using #NationalLawEnforcementAppreciationDay to share on social media.
NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT APPRECIATION DAY HISTORY
Several organizations came together to create National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in 2015 to thank officers across the country for all the daily sacrifices they make for their communities. Some of the organizations supporting the observance include:
- Concerns of Police Survivors
- FBI National Academy Associates
- Fraternal Order of Police
- International Association of Chief of Police
- Officer Down Memorial Page
- Law Enforcement United
- National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
- International Conference of Police Chaplains
- National Troopers Coalition
Since then the inaugural celebration, nationwide many more organizations have joined forces to support National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.) to spread encouragement and respect to these dedicated men and women.