1st The 50 State Quarters Program started on this day in 1997, when President Bill Clinton signed the act. The first quarter honored Delaware in 1999, and Hawaii was the last one issued in 2008.
2nd The first razor with disposable blades was patented on this date in 1901. Straight edge razors, sharpened on a leather strap, were the norm until that time.
3rd On this date in 1967, Dr. Christian Barnard performed the first heart transplant in South Africa. The patient lived for 18 days. Also, Illinois was admitted to the Union as the 21st state on this date in 1818.
4th “A Streetcar Named Desire” opened on this date in 1947 in New York, with Marlon Brando playing his first major role. The rest, as they say, is history.
5th Bathtub Party Day Showers are great when you’re in a hurry, but sometimes, it feels good to soak in a tub. This just might be the day. Get some bubbles and take your time. You have earned it.
6th Hanukkah The Festival of Lights actually starts at sundown on this date this year and lasts until December 14. This eight-day event is celebrated with food, games, and gifts.
7th Pearl Harbor Day “The date that will live in infamy” came about when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1941. About 2,300 people were killed.
8th On this date in 1991, the Soviet Union was dissolved, replaced by the Commonwealth of Independent States. And on this day in 1941, the United States entered World War II, a day after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
9th The first Christmas Seals went on sale on this date in 1907 in Wilmington, Delaware. The proceeds went to fight tuberculosis. It’s also National Pastry Day. This close to Christmas, it’s really not too hard to figure out how to make or to eat pastries, now is it?
10th Emily Dickinson, one of America’s greatest poets, was born on this date in 1830. She was reclusive and sickly, and only seven of her poems were published during her lifetime. Her sister, however, found over 2,000 more of her poems and they were published gradually over the next 50 years.
11th King Edward VIII abdicated the British throne on this date in 1936? He chose to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson, who was twice-divorced and, therefore, not allowed to become royalty. Edward was named the Duke of Windsor.
12th On this day in 1899, the patent for the first golf tee was granted. And in 1925 on this date, the first motel in the United States opened in San Luis Obispo, California. The mobile society took off.
13th Violin Day Do you know someone with a violin? This is the perfect day for a few holiday songs. It’s also Santa Lucia Day in Swedish communities. A young woman wearing a crown of candles and a long white gown serves coffee, saffron buns, and other pastries to family members and friends.
14th The elusive location of the South Pole was the subject of many expeditions. Success came on this date in 1911 by Roald Amundsen, four companions, and 52 sled dogs. If that makes you cold, warm up with fish stew, because it’s National Bouillabaisse Day.
15th On this date in 1954, “Davy Crockett” with Fess Parker premiered on TV. It was the industry’s first miniseries, with its five parts. It’s also National Lemon Cupcake Day. Now doesn’t that sound good?
16th On this date in 1944, the famous Battle of the Bulge began when Hitler’s army tried to drive the Allies from the western borders of Germany. Also, on this day in 1773, the Boston Tea Party took place, when Colonists, disguised as Indians, dumped 350 chests of tea into Boston Harbor.
17th Love them or hate them, “The Simpsons,” TV’s most famous animated family, began on TV on this date in 1989. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie were the brainchildren of cartoonist Matt Groening.
18th On this date in 1985, “The Color Purple” premiered. On this date in 1796 the first Sunday newspaper, The Monitor, was printed in Baltimore, Maryland.
19th It may be a non-holiday holiday, but every year it’s important to note that on this day in 1843, Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol, a classic must-read in many homes.
20th The singing Osmond family from Utah made their debut on this day in 1962 on “The Andy Williams Show”, singing “I’m a Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas.” Little Donnie was known to steal the show. All these years later, the family still entertains.
21st This date commemorates the first crossword puzzle published in a supplement to the New York World in 1913. Also, on this date in 1620, Pilgrims on the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock.
22nd On this date in 1973 the speed limit was reduced to 55 miles per hour in the United States. Later, of course, on interstate highways, it was raised. Whoosh! In 1894 the United States Golf Association was formed. Fore!
23rd Today in 1975 Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act, which said that the International System of Units would be this country’s system of measurement—you know, meters, liters, and grams. Hmmm…
24th National Eggnog Day What a natural! Celebrate as you gather on Christmas Eve with family and friends. “Silent Night “was first sung on this date in 1818 and written by Franz Joseph Gruber.
25th Christmas Day This is the biggest holiday of the year in many countries around the world, both in terms of religious and traditional significance. You can find the Christmas story in the Bible in the book of Matthew 1:18—2:23.
26th Kwanzaa The period of Kwanzaa runs from today through January 1. The observance was created in 1966 to honor traditional African harvest festivals and the unity of the black family.
27th Howdy Doody! “Howdy Doody,” the popular children’s program, debuted on this date on NBC in 1947, with a combination of human and marionette stars. Quick! Name the princess on the show. Give up? She was Princess Summerfall Winterspring. It’s also National Fruitcake Day. You’re either a fan, or you’re not.
28th On this date in 1945, Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance and its recitation in American schools. It was composed in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister. In 1955, the Knights of Columbus persuaded Congress to add “under God” to the pledge.
29th In 1972 Life magazine ceased publication on this date. In 1851 the first U.S. branch of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was organized in Boston, Massachusetts.
30th On this date, two all-time favorite programs began. “The Roy Rogers Show” started in 1951, and “Let’s Make a Deal” took to the airwaves in 1963. It’s the birthday of Matt Lauer of the “Today Show” (1957) and of golfer Tiger Woods (1975).
31st New Year’s Eve It’s time to look back and look forward, to reflect and anticipate. What are your resolutions for the new year?