Reflections: Look what's happening in April!
Look what's happening in April!
By William L. Bulla
It is amazing that the month of April has so many days dedicated to honoring so many events. Of course, I understand Good Friday and Easter being recognized, but many of the others have me baffled. Let's look at a few of them.
We begin the month with April Fool's Day on the first. It is the day of practical jokes. There really wasn't a "first April Fool's Day" that can be pinpointed on the calendar. Some believe it sort of evolved simultaneously in several cultures at the same time, from celebrations involving the first day of spring.
A number of April's days are associated with historical events. They may be involved with the invention of items, recognition of activities, or the accomplishments of individuals. On the 4th we recognize the installation of the first home telephone. That date also represents the North Pole's discovery in 1898, and NATO being established in 1949.
The first public library opened on April 9, 1833 in Peterborough, N.J. Two events are recognized on April 11. In 1900, the U.S. Navy acquired its first submarine. Irish immigrant John P, Holland, designed the 53-ft craft. Also on this date in 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first Afro-American in modern major league baseball. Then we recognize the 12th for Space Shuttle "Columbia" first launched in 1981, crewed by John Young and Robert Crippen.
Shortly before midnight on April 14, the Titanic collided with an iceberg causing the ship to sink at 2:20 AM on April 15. Because of his famous ride through the streets of Boston to alert the patriots that "The British are coming..." on April 18, 1775, that date is now known as Paul Revere Day. But history occurred in two other states on that day as well. In California the Great San Francisco Earthquake happened in 1906, while in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1934, a new business began, our nation's first Laundromat opened.
In 1970, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed a bill designating April 22 as a national day to celebrate the earth. The passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act are considered to be products associated with the 1970 Earth Day.
Birthdays recognized this month include Florida's discoverer, Ponce de Leon, on April 8, Thomas Jefferson on the 9th, and Leonardo Da Vinci on the 15th. Sharing this as a birthday month is Daffy Duck, who made his debut in a Warner Brothers cartoon on April 17, 1937.
Several of the days recognized bear names that sound "delicious." April 20 is National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day, April 24 is Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day, followed by National Pretzel Day on April 26.
Normally, people react differently to one day in the middle of the month. That is April 15, Income Tax filing day. It all depends on whether they are getting a refund or having to pay taxes. Washington, DC will celebrate Emancipation Day on April 15, a day earlier than normal, since April 16 falls on a Saturday. Emancipation Day marks the anniversary of the day in 1862, that President Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act. In observance of the DC holiday, Tax Day will be moved forward one business day, this year landing it on Monday, April 18. That's the date your form has to be either submitted electronically or postmarked by for your tax return to be considered timely filed by the IRS.
A couple of days that should receive recognition are April 22, which is recognized as Girl Scout Leader Appreciation Day. It is a chance to thank those many people that volunteer time and money working with the Girl Scouts. Also annually on the fourth Thursday in April that's the 28th this year) is designated as Take Our Daughters To Work Day. It is a great opportunity for those parents fortunate enough of having daughters to share an exciting day for both the child and the parents.
Honesty Day is celebrated on April 30. It is a day viewed as an observation celebrating the honesty of past presidents like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Honesty Day is also considered a day to increase awareness about the honesty, or lack thereof, of current government officials. On honesty day, people are encouraged to be more honest. This may include telling friends, coworkers, family members and acquaintances about things that would have been left unsaid on other days. Information or opinions held back for the sake of politeness may be revealed on Honesty Day. Good luck with that!
William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.