Happy Mother's Day to all you moms. In case you didn't get you mom a great gift, you can remind her that you will probably be helping with her nursing home costs.
The United States celebrates Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May. In the United States, Mother's Day was loosely inspired by the British version of the day and was imported by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War. However, it was intended as a call to unite women against war. In 1870, she wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation as a call for peace and disarmament. Howe failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother's Day for Peace. Her idea was influenced by Ann Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who, starting in 1858, had attempted to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers' Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors.
When Jarvis died in 1907, her daughter, named Anna Jarvis, started the crusade to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother's Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908, in the church where the elder Ann Jarvis had taught Sunday School. Originally the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, this building is now the International Mother's Day Shrine (a National Historic Landmark). From there, the custom caught on — spreading eventually to 45 states. The holiday was declared officially by some states beginning in 1912. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother's Day, as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war.
Nine years after the first official Mother's Day, commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become. Mother's Day continues to this day to be one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.
Enjoy one of the major holidays with encouraged daytime drinking.
Today is also National Chicken Dance Day -
Although I'm sure that Werner Thomas, the creator of the original Chicken Dance music ( "Der Ententanz" (The Duck Dance)) never have Beyoncé's dancing in mind
May 14, 1925 -
A middle-aged society matron goes shopping for flowers for her party and World War I veteran, suffering PTSD, decides to commit suicide rather than be institutionalized, all on the same afternoon. Much internal contemplation ensues.
Virginia Woolf's novel, Mrs. Dalloway was published on this date. The novel is considered one of Virginia Woolf's best, and was revolutionary in its time for its themes of neuroses, homosexuality, and feminism.
May 14, 1936 -
Walden Robert Cassotto, singer, actor, Bronx Science grad, was born in NYC on this date.
Bobby Darin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
May 14, 1951 -
The seminal It's Time For Ernie, debuts on NBC on this date.
Show like as Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, Monty Python's Flying Circus, The Uncle Floyd Show, Saturday Night Live, The David Letterman Show and even Captain Kangaroo and Sesame Street were influenced by Kovacs and his television work.
TV has never been quite the same since.
May 14, 1989 -
Moonlighting, one of the better "boy/girl detective show" airs it's last episode on ABC on this date.
Even after the series had long since 'jumped the shark', Bruce Willis' toup was a thing to behold.
May 14, 1998 -
The final episode of Seinfeld aired on this date.
Jerry Seinfeld holds both the record for the "most money refused" according to the Guinness Book of World Records by refusing an offer to continue the show for $5 million per episode, and another record for the Highest Ever Annual Earnings For A TV Actor, while the show itself held the record for the Highest Television Advertising Rates until 2004, when the final episode of Friends aired.
Not too shabby for a show about nothing.
Today in History:
May 14, 964 -
Give me that old time religion.
Pope John XII died of injuries inflicted eight days prior by a jealous husband who caught him in flagrante delicto with his wife.
The first inoculation against smallpox was administered on May 14, 1796, by Edward Jenner, when Jenner took fluid from a cowpox blister and scratched it into the skin of James Phipps, an eight-year-old boy
(a brief aside - how much do you trust your kid's doctor -
"Good Afternoon Mr and Mrs. Phipps. Little Jimmy seems fine, nothing out of the ordinary. I'll see him next year for his check up. Oh by the way, I'd like to smear some pus from a cow sore into a small open wound I've just inflicted upon Jimmy. It's no big deal.")
This medical wonder came only four days after Napoleon's army defeated the Austrians in the Battle of Lodi.
Louis XV had died of smallpox (on May 10, 1774. Bizarrely enough, Louis' ancestors, Henry IV was assassinated on May 14, 1610 and his son, Louis XIII died on May 14, 1643.)
When he died, Louis XVI became king, and only five years later (on La Quatorze Juillet, French for "the Fourth of July"), the Revolution began (mostly because Louis' wife kept telling everyone to eat cake), which resulted in the Rain of Terror, which resulted, eventually, in Napoleon.
Which practically brings it all full circle, if you're not a stickler for circularity.
May 14, 1878 -
Robert A. Chesebrough begins selling Vaseline (registered trademark for petroleum jelly (U.S. Patent 127,568.)
May 14th, 1932 -
New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker, organized a day-long Beer rally known as the "We Want Beer Parade." Nearly 100,000 people showed up in support of repeal and the legalization of beer.
May 14, 1943 -
At approximately 4:10 a.m., Australia’s AHS Centaur, a hospital ship, was sunk without warning after it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.
Of the 332 medical personnel and civilian crew aboard, only 64 survived.
It's Israel's 69th anniversary today (Israel became a nation at midnight May 14th, in 1948, upon the termination of the British mandate.)
I wonder if the President will be sending Israel a birthday card any time soon.
May 14, 1973 -
The last Saturn V rocket was launched on this date, carrying Skylab One, the first manned space station. At the time, it was the largest payload launched into space by any nation .
During the following nine months, three successive teams of astronauts would crew Skylab. The space station would fall back into the Earth’s atmosphere in July 1979, accidentally scattering debris across Western Australia (luckily no one was injured.)
May 14, 1998 -
May you live to be 100 and may the last voice you hear be mine. - Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert Sinatra, Ole' Blue Eyes, died on this date.
Chairman of the Board may have summed up his career when he said, ''What I do with my life is of my own doing. I live it the best way I can. I've been criticized on many, many occasions, because of - acquaintances, and what have you."
And so it goes.