We all know the image of Uncle Sam from war posters made for recruiting. For most he becomes the image of the government asking for volunteers to join a cause. Well apparently he was actually a man who delivered meat to the US troops out of Troy, NY in 1813. His name was Sam Wilson, he was born September 13th, 1776, and the barrels he delivered were marked US and a delight to men who were to get fed. The day was officially recognized in 1989.
How to celebrate – Look up all the different symbols that represent Americans. (There are quite a few) Read about the War of 1812. Design your own legend of an American.
Paul Bunyan and his pet cow “Babe” are known for roaming the Northern Mid-West and advancing the logging industry particularly during the French Canadian Papineau Rebellion in 1837 where his legend apparently was created. His is one of those stories hand down over the years by word of mouth and not written until many, many changes were added to the original. The Great Lakes were created by Bunyan as water bowls for “Babe”, Bunyan cleared the land in North and South Dakota for farmers, Bunyan trained Carpenter Ants to do logging to save men from the back breaking work and the 10,000 lakes in Michigan were created by “Babe”s” footprints walking across the land. I don’t know, I think I believe all that. Why not?
How to celebrate – Read about Paul Bunyan. Become a lumberjack. Visit the Northern Mid-Western states.
Fairy Tales are generally saved for children but they needn’t be. We all like a story that ends with a happily ever after. There does seem to be a little difficulty determining what makes a Fairy Tale, a Legend, a Myth or just a Story. I’m not sure there is a scientific way to determine one over the other, although there probably is and not all Fairy Tales are intended to end happily. The Grim Brothers wrote their Fairy Tales because they hated children and wanted to scare them. So that sort of flies in the face of “Happily Ever After”. Then there are Stories like Camelot that meet the requirements of all the categories. It is a legend, as it contains some truth; myth because of magical creatures and people; a fairy tale because it has a Happy Ever After ending (well kind of), and of course, it is a story.
How to celebrate – Determine your best example of a Fairy Tale. Write a new Fairy Tale. Read a Fairy Tale.
Today was created by Donita K. Paul in 2004 because she felt we do not appreciate our dragons enough. I agree, we don’t. Our dragons go forgotten and if we aren’t careful they may soon disappear. Just ask Puff. Whether they are your hero or your villain, they have been with since time began and even though most of us have never seen a real one we tend to believe that they did exist, boys using them to rescue damsels in distress and girls as powerful pets they can control. Appreciate your dragon before they completely vanish.
How to celebrate – How many story dragons can you name? Buy a dragon and hide it in the house for others to find. Say goodnight to your dragon every night.
I’m not sure why Leprechaun Day is in the middle of May but then, why not? This Irish legend is told to own a pot of gold and that if you can capture one, they will give it to you. Good luck, the pot of gold is just as real as the leprechaun itself. Still, it is fun to think that a leprechaun might be real. After all, a lot of us play lotto and that runs nearly the same chance of being captured. It’s all about the belief that there is something out there that can change your life if you are lucky enough to find it. Truth is, luck is in the caring of others who will give you that chance, and so few do. So it’s not so much find a leprechaun as it is finding a human who will give you that lucky chance to change your life and find the true pot of gold, being able to do what you love to do.
How to celebrate – Go looking for a leprechaun. Create your own end of the rainbow. Take a chance on someone and become their leprechaun.
February 28th National Tooth Fairy Day
There are two Tooth Fairy Days a year. February 28th and August 22nd. The Tooth Fairy was invented by Esther Watkins Arnold in 1927 to try and get children to take oral health care seriously by doing something silly. I thought the Tooth Fairy was much older than that! Dental health is important though many of us do not think about it until it’s too late. Imagine not being able to eat your favorite foods anymore or smile with your mouth wide open. That is why the Tooth Fairy is important, it’s a reminder that we need to take care of ourselves.
How to celebrate – Dress up like the Tooth Fairy. Make dental health care fun, not scary. Determine how much each tooth is worth to you.
February 26th National Tell A Fairy Tale Day
Fairy Tales have been a part of most of our lives, either told to us by our parents or on tv. They are stories meant to teach us valuable lessons. They teach us about heroes and villains and what makes each of them who they are. They are stories handed down over the ages and honestly, the meaning doesn’t vary all that much even though the times do. Some of the Fairy Tales even defeat themselves as in the Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales which were meant to scare children. Because the brothers did not like children!
How to celebrate – Tell your child a fairy tale. Create your own fairy tale. Make a list of all the Fairy Tales you can remember without looking them up.
April 9th National Unicorn Day
Unicorns are probably the best known of all the mythical beasts of history. They seem to first have appeared in Greek stories though it is thought, even then, that the Unicorn came from India. Children love the idea of Unicorns, and over the years they have been given bright colors and rainbows to enhance them to make them appeal to children even more. In legend, women were the only ones who could tame Unicorns. Unicorn Day was established in 2015.
How to celebrate – Try to remember all the stories you have heard or read that had unicorns in them. Get yourself a stuffed unicorn. Study mythology.
Dragons have been a part of our history since time began. Interestingly they are all a part of mythology but have served as a source of entertainment, chivalry, and adventure. Some are fire-breathing while others have indestructible scales, some fly, and some are bound to the ground.
Donita K. Paul created Appreciate a Dragon Day in 2004 mainly as an educational tool. Though knights are said to have fought them and Hobbits avoided them, the most popular dragon in history comes from a children’s story, Puff the Magic Dragon.
How to celebrate – Create your own dragon. Read stories to your children about dragons. Discover just how many dragons there have been over time.
John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, was born in Leominster, Mass. in 1774. He is famed for spreading the apple industry across America and showing the importance of the fruit.
His practice started in Warren, Pa. on the Brokenstraw Creek where he planted a small orchard and fenced it off. He left the field to neighbors allowing them to sell off shares of the fruit harvested from the trees. He would return every year or two to tend to the fields and reap whatever profits he could get. He traveled across Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and what would become West Virginia.
In fact, he made a great deal of money using others to do his work while he continued to travel and own numerous apple orchards, all fenced in and operated by neighbors. He looked the part of a beggar, often going shoeless, though he could well afford them.
In many ways he is a true American hero. He did create an industry and helped many people around him, though he really did not care for people all that much. He was also an Evangelists, though his people skills left few transformed by his vision.
He did, however, have one true love in life, animals. He would often go without in order to make sure the animals around him were taken care of. Few wild animals ever threatened him while most befriended him. He was, more-or-less the Doctor Doolittle of his time.
How to celebrate – Have an apple in honor of Johnny Appleseed. Plant your own apple tree and see if you can get it to grow. Go to an orchard and pick your own apples.