January 16: National Day Calendar + RVing with Rex 4th Birthday

There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate every day!

Good morning. In addition to today being Monday, January 16, it’s also Martin Luther King, Jr Day which is a national holiday.

On the third Monday in January, Martin Luther King Jr Day honors the American clergyman, activist, Civil Rights Movement leader. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (January 15, 1929–April 4, 1968) is best known for his role in advancing civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience.

End of the day at Las Vegas RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are many other things to celebrate today: International Hot and Spicy Food Day, National Fig Newton Day, National Religious Freedom Day, National without a Scalpal Day, and RVing with Rex’s fourth birthday.

No need to get me a present but I certainly wouldn’t mind if you told all your friends about the site.

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None of these days or the similar ones you may see shared on social media throughout the year are actually national holidays. But they do provide a bit of good fun and levity which was part of Marlo Anderson’s goal when he started the National Day Calendar. Anderson’s initial blog quickly took off as he realized how much people loved the concept of national days and he has since expanded to a system where the public can suggest new days and a team then votes on what makes it onto the calendar.

There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day with National Day Calendar.

Hatch chile pappers © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

International Hot and Spicy Food Day

Each year on January 16th, International Hot and Spicy Food Day celebrate all the delicious hot and spicy foods around the world.

Most people know that chili peppers are one of the hottest foods on the planet. But did you know that the hottest chili pepper in the world is always changing? This is because chili peppers are constantly evolving. But how is the hottest chili pepper determined? Chili peppers contain capsaicinoids. This is the active compound in chili pepper that’s responsible for their spicy sensation. Capsaicinoids are measured by the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU).

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Louisiana hot sauces © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Recently, the Carolina Reaper was named the hottest chili pepper. This super spicy chili pepper has a SHU of 2,200,000. This is 200 times hotter than a jalapeno pepper! Can you imagine popping a Carolina Reaper into your mouth? If that’s way too hot, here are some other chili peppers that are a little less spicy:

  • Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (2,009,231 SHU)
  • 7 Pot Douglah (1,853,936 SHU)
  • Naga Viper (1,349,000 SHU)
  • Ghost Pepper (1,041,427 SHU)
  • Red Savina Habanero (500,000 SHU)

By comparison, the SHU of a jalapeno pepper is only between 2,500 and 8,000.

Cajun cuisine at its finest © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

National Fig Newton Day

National Fig Newton Day on January 16th annually recognizes a tasty pastry enjoyed across the country. 

A Nabisco’s trademarked version of the fig roll, Newtons are a pastry filled with fig paste. Fig Newtons have an unusual and characteristic shape that has been adopted by many competitors including generic fig bars.

Up until the 19th century, many physicians believed most illnesses were related to digestion problems. As a remedy, they recommended a daily intake of biscuits and fruit. Fig rolls served as an ideal solution to their advice which remained a locally produced handmade product. 

Work station © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In 1891, Philadelphia baker and fig-lover Charles Roser invented and patented the machine which inserted fig paste into a thick pastry dough. The Cambridgeport, Massachusetts-based Kennedy Biscuit Company then purchased Roser’s recipe. They began mass production after purchasing the recipe. In 1891, they produced the first Fig Newtons baked at the F.A. Kennedy Steam Bakery. The company named the pastries after the town of Newton, Massachusetts.

After recently becoming associated, the Kennedy Biscuit Company and the New York Biscuit company merged to form Nabisco. The new company trademarked the fig rolls as Fig Newtons.

Observe National Fig Newton Day by enjoying a Fig Newton, fig roll, or making your own. People of all ages enjoy this tasty bar. It comes in various flavors but fig seems to be the most popular. Enjoy it with coffee, tea, or juice. 

National D-Day Memorial at Bedford, Virginia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

National Religious Freedom Day

Each year, National Religious Freedom Day commemorates the day the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was signed on January 16, 1786. Each year, by Presidential Proclamation, January 16th is declared Religious Freedom Day. 

The First Freedom Center in Richmond, Virginia, commemorates this day by holding an annual First Freedom Award banquet.

The statute guarantees the fundamental freedom to openly practice one’s faith without fear of being harassed, jailed, or killed. Additionally, under the statute, each person may freely change their religion without retribution. In the United States, people of different faiths have equal rights to practice their religion.

Cowpens National Battlefield, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Around the world, religious restrictions continue to rise. According to Pew research, legislation, attitudes, and policies are rising globally in the last decade. Even those countries usually considered restrictive are increasing their limitations. When looking at countries with the most equality, they too show a change in policies and attitudes toward religious freedom. Religious freedom is a global concern, not only a national one. 

While recognizing the U.S. commemoration, take a broader look. Learn more about religious freedom in the United States and around the world. 

Mount Rushmore National Memorial © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

National without a Scalpel Day

Each year on National without a Scalpel Day January 16th recognizes the opportunities to treat disease without a scalpel. On this day in 1964, pioneering physician Charles Dotter performed the first angioplasty. The ground-breaking procedure to open a blocked blood vessel took place in Portland, Oregon. Not only did the angioplasty allow the patient to avoid leg amputation surgery but she left the hospital days later with only a Band-Aid.

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Today, minimally invasive, image-guided procedures (MIIP) can treat a broad range of diseases throughout the body, in adults and children:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Aneurysms
  • Life-threatening bleeding
  • Infertility
  • Fibroids
  • Kidney stones
  • Back pain
  • Infections
  • Blocked blood vessels
World’s Largest Pistachio © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Even though trained specialists perform MIIP throughout the world, many people do not know about MIIP or if they could benefit from these life-changing treatments. The Interventional Initiative was established to raise awareness and educate the public about MIIP.

Worth Pondering…

I think people are looking for an excuse just to have some fun.

―Amy Monette