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.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ValentinesDay
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.
Observed each year on February 14th, National Donor Day (also known as National Organ Donor Day) is a day to increase awareness about organ donation and the lives that can be saved. In the United States, more than 120,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ donation.
Give the gift of Life.
The observance focuses on five different types of donations: Organs – Tissues – Marrow – Platelets – Blood. Many nonprofit health organizations sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups across the nation. Approximately every two seconds, there is someone in the U.S. who needs blood, which translates to the need for over 41,000 daily donations.
Each type of donation saves lives. While blood, platelets, tissue, marrow, and some organs may be donated at any time, most organs are donated upon death. A single donor can save up to 8 lives and help more than 75 people.
Some blood donors have been making donations as young as the age of 17. They can donate a pint of blood every 53 days. One pint of blood can save up to three people. If you’ve never thought about donation, you’re of the 17 percent of non-donors. However, only 37 percent of the population of the United States is eligible to donate blood.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalDonorDay
If you’ve received the gift of an organ, tissue, marrow, platelets or blood, share your story. Several year’s ago blood transfusions saved my life. I wish I could donate.
Use #NationalDonorDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL DONOR DAY HISTORY
National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers partners, with the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and many nonprofit health organizations.
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 Wear Red Day, on the first Friday in February, is an annual campaign to raise awareness about heart disease in women.
Wear your red today! Dress to impress, and raise everyones knowledge of heart disease in women. As February is heart health month for all, red will bring attention this great cause.
Heart disease and stroke kill one in three women. These diseases are 80 percent preventable according to Go Red for Women’s official website.
Go to www.goredforwomen.org for more information.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WearRedDay
This national campaign has revved up its red!
- Wear red to show your support for saving women’s lives
- Show us how you Go Red on your social media profiles using #GoRedWearRed
- Donate to help raise funds for awareness and research. Get your red gear at shopheart.org and a portion of every purchase goes back to the programming and mission of the American Heart Association.
- Know your numbers. Find out more about your risk factors at the American Heart Association website.
- #GoRedGetFit – earn prizes and get healthy while fighting heart disease with the American Heart Association. Find out more at GoRedForWomen.org or join the challenge on Facebook GoRedGetFit.
NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY HISTORY
The Go Red for Women campaign started in 2004 when the American Heart Association took on the challenge of raising awareness about the number 1 cause of death in women.
On National Shower with a Friend Day on February 5th is a tongue in cheek way of educating people about the benefits filtered, chlorine-free water.
Check out the link below to see if you should shower in filtered water. https://www.uswatersystems.com/the-truth-about-chlorine-in-your-shower-water
Winter is the coldest and loneliest season of the year. With dwindling daylight and Valentine’s Day at its heart, February can often leave people feeling dejected and somber. The day injects a bit of humor into the season while also serving to educate people on the benefits of showering in fresh, filtered water (and the effects of chlorine).
Learn more about how chlorine is harmful to shower or bathe in or consume.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ShowerWithAFriendDay
Shower with filtered water. Learn more about the harmful effects of chlorine and how to filter it. Use #ShowerWithAFriendDay to post on social media.
Every year on February 4th, World Cancer Day seeks to spread awareness for cancer. This day also focuses on the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer.
Every year, 17 million new cases of cancer throughout the world are diagnosed. Cancer will be fatal for nearly 10 million of those who receive this news. By the year 2040, it is estimated that there will be 27.5 million new cases of cancer. The most common cancers include lung, female breast, bowel, and prostate.
Despite the prevalence, it is possible to reduce the risk of getting cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, these things can help to prevent many types of cancer:
- Avoid tobacco or stop using it
- Eat a diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, and limited amounts of processed meat
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day
- Protect yourself from the sun
- Never have unprotected sex
- Keep up with routine medical screenings
Sadly, it’s not just adults who get cancer. This deadly disease also affects children. About 300,000 children around the world are diagnosed with cancer each year. In the United States, cancer is the most common cause of death by disease for children. Some of the most common types of childhood cancers include leukemia, brain cancers, lymphomas, and solid tumors. Many childhood cancers do not have a known cause. Early diagnosis and access to treatment greatly increases survival.
Certain countries have higher cancer rates than others. Australia has the most new cases of cancer. Every year there are 468 new cases for every 100,000 residents. The United States ranks fifth on the list. Each year, there are about 352 new cases per 100,000 residents. Other countries that have high rates of cancer include New Zealand, Ireland, Hungary, Belgium, France, and Denmark.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldCancerDay
This day is organized by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). Events on this day include free cancer screenings, educational discussions on recognizing the signs and symptoms of cancer, training public health officials on how to detect cancer, and live events on social media. A provider of cancer services, The Icon Group, encourages its staff, partners, and loved ones to spread messages of hope on paper butterflies to those who need it most.
- Reach out to someone who has been diagnosed with cancer
- Learn about the ways to prevent the risk of cancer
- Donate to a cancer support or cancer research organization
- Read about famous cancer survivors like Colin Powell, Olivia Newton-John, and Robin Roberts
- Wear a lavender ribbon to spread cancer awareness (there are also other colors that represent specific types of cancer)
- If you’ve been affected by cancer, share your story to encourage others.
My father lost his battle with prostrate cancer in January 2011. If Cancer has touched your life it is important that we continue the search for cures.
Whatever you do on this day, be sure to share it on social media with #WorldCancerDay.
WORLD CANCER DAY HISTORY
The Union for International Cancer Control established World Cancer Day on February 4th, 2000. The day was founded in Paris at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium. Today, there are over 900 World Cancer Day events held in 127 countries.
Don’t forget International Childhood Cancer Day is February 15th.
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.