Valentine’s Day began as St. Valentine’s Day, a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. February 14th first became associated with romantic love during the High Middle Ages as the tradition of courtly love was then flourishing. During 18th century England, this day evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending Valentine cards.
Mixed opinions prevail regarding who or what was celebrated in mid-February. Some point to martyred saints by the name of Valentine or Valentinus. The most popular story tells of the saint who defied a decree by Emperor Claudius II who outlawed marriage for young men because he believed single men made better soldiers. St. Valentine, preferring young lovers to be wed than have them sneaking around (or believing in the power of love), would marry them in secret. However, it may have been another Valentine who performed the marriages. Either way, at least two of them were beheaded for their actions.
Another possible origin for Valentine’s Day takes us back to a pagan festival called Lupercalia. As a way to discourage participation in the fertility festival, the Christian church placed St. Valentine’s Day in the middle of February.
Since the Renaissance, we’ve been exchanging Valentine’s cards. These handmade missives of romance grew into a more commercial venture by the Victorian era. Today, school children exchange Valentine greetings, too. They prepare for the day by making unique boxes to receive their many hearts, cupids, and pun-filled rhymes.
Chocolates and candy have also become a part of the celebration. While couples tend to be the focus of the day, singles celebrate being single, too. Friends take each other out or reject the overall notion of Valentine’s Day. Dinner and a movie, candlelight, and flowers also fit the bill for couples. It’s one of the busiest days of the year for florists.
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You can surprise your special someone with flowers, chocolate or a card. Bring a smile to their face with an original poem or homemade meal.
Get Recipes that will impress without spending days in the kitchen. Many can be done at the last minute if needed.
Get something special for your Valentine and use #ValentinesDay to post on social media.International Book Giving Day
VALENTINE’S DAY HISTORY
Credit is traditionally given to Pope Gelasius for declaring February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day around the year 496 to separate the church from the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, an ancient pagan fertility festival which occurred on February 15th.
Devoted to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children and providing access to books for children in need, Book Giving Day calls on volunteers to share their favourite book with a young reader. Although the holiday originated in the UK, book lovers around the world now join in the celebrations every year.
Book Giving Day has few organised events. Instead, individual volunteers are encouraged to give a favourite book or books to children. This can take many forms; some people give books as gifts to their own children or to those of friends. Others donate books to children’s libraries, schools or charities. Still others leave books in places where they’ll be found, such as doctors’ waiting rooms or coach stations.
The organisers of Book Giving Day support the holiday by sharing participants’ stories and offering bonuses such as downloadable holiday bookplates to use in gifts.
Support These Literacy Organisations
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.
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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:
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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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On January 18, National Michigan Day recognizes the Great Lake State.
Surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan has more shoreline than any of the contiguous 48 states. Of the 50 states, only Alaska has more.
First explored by the French, the area became a U.S territory in 1783. Flush with iron and copper, Michigan would become a center of industrial activity.
Lake Michigan separates the upper and lower peninsulas of the 26th state granted statehood, making Michigan unlike any other in design. To move from one peninsula to the other, ferries used to carry travelers back and forth. But in 1957, the Mackinac Bridge connected the two sides making the journey more convenient and safer. At 26,372 feet long, it is the third longest suspension bridge in the world.
Industry and Music
Industry dominated the early 20th century in Michigan. From logging, shipping, rail and automotive, the population grew with an influx of workers during war and peacetime. Influenced by skilled trades, engineering, and manufacturing, employment exploded.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, assembly workers were in high demand all across the country. The Willow Run plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan built B-24 Bombers. As the epicenter of the automobile industry, Michigan was ripe for the increased production.
One of the Willow Run factory workers became a Rosie the Riveter spokesperson wearing the iconic bandana and flexing her muscle to sell war bonds. Rose Will Monroe’s efforts, as well as thousands of other women in Michigan and across the country, changed the course a war and the image of women for generations.
Known for its Motown sound and legendary music makers, Michigan and Detroit launched some of the most memorable names in jazz and gospel music. From Smokey Robinson and Diana Ross to the Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder, the birth of Motown was the launching of an era.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMichiganDay
Join National Day Calendar as we recognize Michigan’s industrious spirit and natural beauty. Uncover hidden treasures and explore all Michigan’s history, lakes, and peninsulas!
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Isle Royale – Houghton
Motor Cities – Detroit
Pictured Rocks – Grand Marais
Agate Falls Scenic Site – Trout Creek
Bond Falls Scenic Site – Paulding
Colonial Michilimackinac Historic State Park – Mackinaw City
Hoffmaster State Park – Muskegon
Ionia State Recreation Area – Ionia
Ludington State Park – Ludington
Tahquamenon Falls State Park – Paradise
Grand Rapids Public Museum – Grand Rapids
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum – Paradise
Hitsville U.S.A. – Detroit
Yankee Air Museum – Belleville
Automotive Hall of Fame – Dearborn
Michigan Science Center – Detroit
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts – Kalamazoo
Air Zoo – Kalamazoo
The Henry Ford – Dearborn
Michigan Iron Industry Museum – Negaunee
Notable Auto Industry
While the horseless carriage was invented in Germany and France, Michigan laid claim to production, design, and innovation earning Detroit the Motor City nickname Motown.
Attracted to the machine industry and availability of shipping to large metropolitan areas of Chicago and New York by rail and water, Michigan made an ideal place to set up shop. Businessmen like Henry Ford and Ransom Olds didn’t have far to go; they were born in the great state of Michigan. Others made their way to the Great Lake State from as near as New York and as far as Europe. Those with names we recognize today. Businessman, machinists, inventors, and designers. Horace and Elgin Dodge, Henry M. Leland, Louis Chevrolet, William C. Durant, David Dunbar Buick.
Pontiac – Ottawa Chief – (1720 – April 20, 1769)
Edna Ferber – Author – ( August 15, 1885 – April 16, 1968)
Charles Lindbergh – Aviator – (February 4, 1902 – August 26, 1974)
Alfred Hershey – Geneticist – (December 4, 1908 – May 22, 1997)
Norman Shumway – Surgeon – (February 9, 1923 – February 10, 2006)
Della Reese – Singer/Actress – (July 6, 1931 – November 19, 2017)
Francis Ford Coppola – Director – (April 7, 1939 -)
Robert G Heft – Educator – (January 19, 1941 – December 12, 2009)
John Hughes – Director – (February 18, 1950 – August 6, 2009)
Alexa Canady – Physician – (November 7, 1950 -)
Earvin Johnson – Basketball Player – (August 14, 1959 – )
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.
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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.