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Middle Name Pride Day

March 10 is Middle Name Pride Day! This day is meant to celebrate and encourage people to take pride in their often not known and seldom used middle names.

Middle names are given to children by their parents as a way to make their names unique. This holiday was created by a man named Jerry Hill, who thought that by creating this day, he could help those who are ashamed of or hate their middle names to instead embrace their unique middle names and take pride in them.

It just seemed that people can tend to hide a middle name. They might do so for any number of reasons. What MNPD represents is a chance to let a person’s middle name receive the recognition that its giver most likely intended for it.

- Jerry Hill

Parents often pick middle names to honor a family member or friend. Sometimes bolder middle names are given to children if their parents feel the name might not work as a main name. Your middle name is just as much a part of your name and who you are as your first or last name, so even if it is cringe-worthy or strange, today is the day to put your shame aside and shout our your middle name with pride!

If you’re not sure what the origin of your middle name is, then celebrate today by finding out from your parents. The story may be more interesting than you think! You can also celebrate today by calling your friends and having them call you by your middle name. You might learn something new about some of your closest friends that you might not have known otherwise.

Happy Middle Name Pride Day!

Sources: Examiner.com, Holiday Insights, Days of the Year

 

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Fight of the Century

life-frazier-cover frank sinatraOn March 8, 1971, two World Heavyweight Champion boxers, Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali faced off at Madison Square Gardens in the “Fight of the Century” to determine the true world champion.

At the time of the fight, both boxers had a legitimate claim to the title “World Heavyweight Champion.” Ali won the title in 1964 from Sonny Liston with an undefeated record, but had been stripped of the title when he refused to register in the draft in 1967. He won an appeal for his conviction and 5-year prison sentence in front of the Supreme Court in 1971 and returned to fighting. During Ali’s hiatus, Frazier had fairly won the title, and soon a match between the two champions received considerable hype and was billed the “Fight of the Century.” Surprisingly, the fight lived up to its name.

Ali had become well-known over the years for his speed and dexterity despite his large size. Frazier was known for his unmatched left hook and the way he would ferociously attack his opponent’s body. At a time when the country felt divided, the two fighters came to represent the two politically and socioeconomic sides of America. Ali represented the anti-establishment left-wing liberals, while Frazier was seen as a symbol for the blue collar pro-war conservatives. This parallel symbolism of the two fighters added to the hype of the highly anticipated fight.

ali calendarBoth fighters were guaranteed a $2.5 million purse for the fight, which was a record for any single prizefight at the time. Madison Square Garden had a raucous atmosphere on the night of the highly publicized fight with tons of police officers on hand to keep the crowd under control, and countless celebrities in attendance. Among them were Norman Mailer, Woody Allen, and Frank Sinatra, who was there taking photos for Life magazine because he was unable to obtain a ringside seat.

Unexpectedly, the fight lasted a full 15 rounds. Ali was on top for the first three rounds, delivering several quick jabs to Frazier’s face, causing it to welt up. Things turned around at the end of round three though, when Frazier struck Ali’s jaw with one of his famous hooks, causing Ali’s head to snap backwards. Frazier followed up by ferociously attacking Ali’s body as he was stunned. The bodily blows wore out Ali, and Frazier began to dominate the match in the fourth round.

By the sixth round, Frazier had attacked Ali with a flurry of his famous left hooks and Ali began to look noticeably run down. Ali still had a speed and combo advantage that kept the match close until the eleventh round. In the eleventh round, Frazier cornered Ali and pummeled him with another one of his left hooks which nearly floored Ali. Ali survived the round and the next three, though Frazier was in the lead for all of them. At the beginning of round 15, Frazier once again struck Ali with a left hook, sending him to the floor on his back. Refusing to give up, Ali stood up with a swollen jaw and lasted the rest of the round despite the terrific amount of blows issued by Frazier. The judges unanimously declared Frazier the winner, and Ali faced his very first loss.

The fight no doubt lived up to its name, and is still considered one of the greatest boxing matches in the history of the sport.

Sources: Wikipedia, LIFE, ESPN Boxing

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National Cereal Day

cerealMarch 7 is National Cereal Day! Cereal is a breakfast food that comes in all flavors, shapes, and sizes and is usually served with milk.

The word cereal was derived from Cerealia. This was an ancient Roman celebration that celebrated the goddess of grain, Ceres. In the late 1800s, Americans’ diets were mostly high-protein meat-based ones. The unhealthy effects of this were noticeable – laziness, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems abounded. Cereal was created as a healthy breakfast alternative.

If you’re skeptical of the health benefits of cereal and why our ancestors chose this alternative, you should know that when cereal was first created it was not the sugar-filled food it has since become. Older versions of cereal were dense and bran-packed. They often had to be soaked overnight so that digestion would not be difficult. The fiber rich food was much healthier than meaty meals that were the norm then.

Dr. James Caleb Jackson created these bran nuggets for visitors to his sanitarium, which we liken these days to a health resort. At his sanitarium, he provided healthy food options and treatments for those looking to improve upon themselves. John Kellogg, who was a surgeon and fellow health food nut, took Jackson’s idea and began to experiment. John Kellogg and his brother, Keith Kellogg, began to test out new foods made from boiled wheat. As a sheer accident, the two left out some of their creations overnight. When they returned the next morning, they found the batch had gone stale. Rather than throwing the batch out, they decided to experiment more. They rolled out the batch and noticed that each wheat berry turned into its very own flake. Taking the idea and using corn instead, they created one of the most well-known cereals of all time – Corn Flakes!

Over the years, others began to experiment with cereal making and brands like Grape Nuts, Post Toasties, and Cheerios were created. In 1939, the addition of sugar began to change cereal’s previous status as a health food. The first sweetened cereal to hit the shelves was Ranger Joe Popped Wheat Honnie. Statistics say that 49% of Americans today have cereal for breakfast.

You can celebrate today by chowing down on your favorite cereal. Healthy or not – make sure to have a bowl!

Sources: Punchbowl, National Cereal Day, Al.com

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Patsy Cline Dies

patsy clineOn March 5, 1963, American country singer Patsy Cline died. She is best known for hit songs like “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces,” and “Crazy.” Cline’s career was short, but she helped pave the trail for women in the then male-dominated country music scene.

Cline was born on September 8, 1932, in Winchester, Virginia as Virginia Patterson Hensley. It wasn’t until she began performing professionally that she adopted the stage name “Patsy.” Her mother Hilda was only 16 when she married Cline’s father, Samuel, who was 25 years her senior. Her parents split when she was in high school, and Cline was forced to drop out of school to take on odd jobs to help support her family. Meanwhile, she had been nursing a passion for music since she was 8 years old. She had perfect pitch, and couldn’t read music, but taught herself how to play piano at this early age. On the side of her odd jobs, she began performing on several local radio programs as well as in variety and talent showcases. These small performances began to slowly attract a large following of fans who were drawn to her contralto voice and emotionally expressive singing style.

When she began performing with bandleader Bill Peer, who was also her second manager, he convinced her to go by the name “Patsy,” which was the shortened version of her middle name and her mother’s maiden name. The second half of her famous stage name came in 1953 when she married Gerald Cline. Facing lifestyle differences (Gerald wanted Patsy to become a housewife), they divorced in 1957. Peer helped Cline get her first recording contract with Four Star Records in 1955. She recorded a few honky tonk singles within the first two years of her contract, but they failed to mobilize her career.

Finally in 1957, Cline earned a spot performing on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts. She performed “Walkin’ After Midnight,” which she thought at the time to be ”just a little old pop song.” She was the unanimous winner of the competition, and after listeners began avidly requesting to hear the song on the radio, Cline released it as a single. She became one of the first country artists to have a crossover hit when the song reached No. 2 on the country chart and No. 16 on the pop chart. A short time after her success began to take hold, Cline married her second husband Charles Dick, with whom she had two children.

In 1960, Cline signed a new recording contract with Decca Records and began recording a series of hit singles, the first of which was “I Fall to Pieces,” which was her first No. 1 song on the country charts. Her successful crossover presence became concrete with this song, which also charted on the pop and adult contemporary charts. She began to positively influence other female singers in the male-dominated country music industry including  Loretta LynnDottie WestJan Howard, sixteen-year-old Brenda Lee and a thirteen-year-old Barbara Mandrell. Cline was known for “…giv[ing] anyone the skirt off her backside if they needed it,” according to Opry star Del Wood. Even when she didn’t have much money herself, she often paid expenses for these young female country singers to keep them in Nashville and help their careers thrive. Also in 1960, Cline’s request to join the Grand Ole Opry was accepted – she was the only performer in history to become part of the Opry in this way.

After giving birth to her son in 1961, Cline was involved in a head-on car collision with her brother which nearly took her life. This was the second near-fatal accident she had been in during her lifetime. She spent a month recovering in the hospital, with a broken wrist, dislocated hip, and a jagged cut across her forehead which required stitches and left a scar she later covered using make-up and wigs. Because the time she spent recovering, she wasn’t able to help publicize “I Fall to Pieces” as much as she would have liked and began searching for her next hit. A song written by Willie Nelson called “Crazy” was offered up to Cline, but at first she had a small amount of disdain for it due to its composition and Cline’s inability to hit the high notes in the song due to rib injuries she sustained from her accident. Initial tries at recording the song were unsuccessful. The next week, after Cline’s injuries had more time to heal, she was convinced to record the song again, using her own style and not trying to mimic Nelson’s original demo. Cline recorded the song in one take, hitting all the high notes she had previously been unable to. The song went on to become her greatest pop hit.

Cline’s fame only grew further from this point, and she became the first female artist to be billed above the male artists she performed with while touring. She befriended other country and pop music legends of the time including Johnny Cash, June Carter-Cash and Elvis, who she lovingly referred to as “Big Hoss.” Within the following year she became the first woman in country music to perform at Carnegie Hall, recorded and released more hits like “She’s Got You,” and began recording her fourth studio album.

In 1962 and 1963, many of Cline’s friends recalled her saying she felt a sense of impending doom and that she thought she might die soon. She began writing her will on Delta Airlines stationary, giving away personal belongings to friends, and asking those near her to take care of her children after she was gone. One night, as she was leaving the Grand Ole Opry, a fellow musician recalled her saying, “Honey, I’ve had two bad ones (accidents). The third one will either be a charm or it’ll kill me.”

On March 3, 1963, a benefit concert for disc jockey  ”Cactus” Jack Call, who had died in a car accident a year earlier, was held in Kansas City, Kansas. Cline was among the slew of other musicians who performed at the benefit, and she received a standing ovation after singing her last song, “I’ll Sail My Ship Alone.” Anxious to get back to her family in Nashville, she refused a 16-hour car ride with friend and fellow country singer Dottie West, and instead boarded a private jet the next day. Cline’s then manager, Randy Hughes, piloted the plane and they took off toward Nashville despite warnings of high winds and inclement weather.

When the plane did not arrive at the Nashville that night, friends and family began to worry. The next morning the plane was found 90 miles outside of Nashville. It had crashed nose down and all riders died instantly. Aside from Cline and her manager, two other country artists who had performed in the benefit, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins, lost their lives. Soon after the bodies were recovered, looters scavenged the plane, and the remnants of Cline’s belongings, her wrist watch stopped at 6:20, her Confederate flag cigarette lighter, her studded belt and three pairs of her gold lamé slippers were donated to the Country Music Hall of Fame. She was buried in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia.

For her contributions to country music, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame 10 years after her death, making her the first female solo artist to be inducted. She received several other posthumous awards and her life has been recalled in several biographies and biopic movies. After her death, three of her singles, “Sweet Dreams,” “Leavin’ On Your Mind,” and “Faded Love” all reached top 10 success on the country music charts. She was buried in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia and her headstone reads, “Virginia H (Patsy) Cline ‘Death Cannot Kill What Never Dies: Love’”.

Sources: Wikipedia, Biography.com, Citypages Blogs

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Old Stuff Day

antiquesroadshowMarch 2 is Old Stuff Day. There is some confusion about what the true meaning of this day is, but it has been broken into two different celebratory forms. The first involves the celebration of old stuff – antiques, vintage items, and things that have been around for a while. The other meaning revolves around the fact that today we should not do the same “old stuff” that we usually do.

adventuretimeIf you’d like to take the first route to celebrating today, then you should spend it appreciating or acquiring some new old items in your life. Pull out some old photo albums and have a nostalgic romp into your past or the past of your family or friends. Take a trip to an antique store, vintage shop, or flea market and look for some antique pieces to add to your collection. Generally items are considered “vintage” or “antique” when they are 20 years old or older. You could also take today to travel to an older relative’s home and have them recount stories of their past to you.

The second way to celebrate this day involves first figuring out if you or someone you know is always doing the same “old stuff.” If your life or the life of someone you know has gotten a bit redundant, it’s time to shake things up. Do something you’ve always wanted to or go someplace you haven’t been to. Try out a new hobby and get out of your daily routine. Go on an adventure, wear something you wouldn’t normally, or try some new foods! Basically, take whatever you normally would do, and do the opposite.

Sources: Examiner.com, Holiday Insights, National Whatever Day, eHow, Days of the Year

 

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Justin Bieber’s Birthday and GIVEAWAY

justin bieber wall calendarMarch 1 is Justin Bieber‘s birthday! Bieber is a pop musician, dancer and actor. He is most well known for his teen heartthrob status and for his songs “One Time” and “Baby,” which is the second most viewed video on YouTube.

Bieber was born to a single mother on March 1, 1994 in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. His interest in music started at a young age when he was gifted a drum set by his mother. At the age of 12, he participated in a talent competition at his school, coming in second. Bieber and his mother began uploading videos to YouTube of him singing and performing on various musical instruments shortly after to share with his friends and family. After just a few months, his YouTube channel started gaining a considerable fan base, and Bieber attracted the attention of former marketing executive, Scooter Braun. Braun contacted Bieber’s mother, and Bieber was flown to Atlanta, Georgia to begin recording demos when he was 13.

While in Atlanta, Braun set up a meeting between Bieber and R&B recording artist, Usher. Usher was impressed by Bieber’s prodigy-like talent and signed him to Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG), and then to an Island Records recording contract. It has been reported that Justin Timberlake had also wanted to sign Bieber, but lost a bidding war against Usher. Usher made the young musician his protégé, and he released his debut extended play, My World, in 2009, which went platinum in the United States. Seven songs from his debut album charted on the Billboard Hot 100, making him the first artist to accomplish this feat. In 2010, he released his first full-length studio album, My World 2.0, featuring 10 new songs for his already large and growing fan base.

After embarking on a successful world tour, Bieber released his documentary biopic called Never Say Never, and fans flocked to see their favorite pop star on the big screen. The concert documentary earned $73 million at the box office, and featured guest appearances by fellow musicians Usher, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and more. He then recorded a number one holiday album titled Under the Mistletoe in 2011.

justin bieber comp book

The pop star released his third full-length studio album Believe, featuring the hit song “Boyfriend” in 2012. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Though Bieber’s image has been somewhat tarnished throughout the years due to various public scandals, his fanbase of “Beliebers” grows daily, and it is reported that he gains 24,00o Twitter followers every day. He is currently second in Twitter followers only to Katy Perry. He has won and been nominated for a plethora of awards including Artist of the Year at the 2010 and 2012 American Music Awards, and Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album at the Grammy Awards. Forbes named him the third most powerful celebrity in 2012, and he earns an estimated $55 million per year.

Happy birthday, Justin Bieber!

Sources: Biography.com, IMDB, Hollywood Life, ACESHOWBIZ, Wikipedia

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National Open an Umbrella Indoors Day

catumbrellaMarch 13 is National Open an Umbrella Indoors Day! We all know the age-old superstition that opening an umbrella indoors will bring you bad luck, and today is meant to put that superstition to test!

Most of us go through life not questioning the origin of the superstitions we choose to go along with or laugh at, but it’s possible that this particular superstition got its start in ancient Egypt. Egyptian nobility or religious leaders used umbrellas to shade themselves from harsh light of the sun and to keep at bay evil spirits that might have done them harm. Opening an umbrella inside, or even in the shade, was thought to be unlucky because it was a sign of disrespect toward the God of the Sun. It is also thought that perhaps this superstition was developed in 18th century London. At this time, large waterproof umbrellas with metal spokes came into popularity. Because of their size, they were awkward to open, and when opened inside could break objects or injure others. It was thus dubbed unlucky to open these large contraptions indoors.

Today’s unofficial holiday was created by Thomas Edward Knibb of Frederick, Maryland in 2003. He created the day in an effort to defy the superstition and encourage people to test its credibility by throwing caution to the wind and opening your umbrella inside.

You can celebrate today by grabbing your favorite umbrella, making sure you are clear of any breakable objects or poke-able eyes, and opening it in an indoor space. Be sure to take note of any bad luck you have following your brave indoor umbrella endeavor so you can decide for yourself if this superstition is something you should take seriously or not!

Sources: Yahoo, Days of the Year, National Day Calendar

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