Vietnam Veteran’s Day–March 29, 2021

National Vietnam War Veterans Day is observed every year on March 29 and is a way to thank and honor our nation’s Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. There are 5 objectives with Vietnam Commemoration and the other four are:

  • Highlight the service of our Armed Forces and support organizations during the war
  • Pay tribute to wartime contributions at home by American citizens
  • Highlight technology, science and medical advances made during the war
  • Recognize contributions by our Allies

National Vietnam War Veterans Day will be observed on Monday, March 29, 2021.
Read more:

The last conscripted soldiers
returned home to a country
that often turned its back on them

Fortunate Son
Eve of Destruction
Heard It Through the Grapevine
The Fish Cheer
Give Peace a Chance

Pt. Sur: Headland and Light Station

In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is  the story of the earth.”–Rachel Carson.

Fog coming in Pt Sur

Point Sur is a headland.  It can create its own weather.  From Wikipedia, “Headlands sometimes create their own clouds when moist, warm Pacific Ocean breezes are pushed into higher, colder air, causing condensation, fog, fog drip and perhaps rain. The hills also get more precipitation than at sea level, for the same reason. However, despite being relatively wet, strong gusty Pacific winds prevent dense forests from forming.”

Pt Sur can be socked in by fog while the nearby  Coast Highway is bright clear. Conversely, the mainland can be foggy while the point is bathed in sunlight.

Pt Sur is actually a light station instead of just a light house. A light station comprises the lighthouse tower and all outbuildings, such as the keeper’s living quarters, fuel house, boathouse, and fog-signaling building. The Lighthouse itself consists of a tower structure supporting the lantern room where the light operates.

One of the most famous wrecks near Pt Sur actually came from the air and not from the sea. USS Macon (ZRS-5) was a rigid airship built and operated by the United States Navy for scouting and served as a “flying aircraft carrier, designed to carry biplane parasite aircraft, five single-seat Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk for scouting or two-seat Fleet N2Y-1 for training. In service for less than two years, in 1935 the Macon was damaged in a storm and lost off California’s Big Sur coast, though most of the crew were saved. The wreckage is listed as the USS Macon Airship Remains on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. 


Pt Sur Light Station

St Joseph’s Day and the Day When the Swallows Return to San Juan Capistrano–March 19

Saint Joseph’s Day, also called the Feast of Saint Joseph or the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, is in Western Christianity the principal feast day of Saint Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and legal father of Jesus Christ celebrated on 19 March. It has the rank of a solemnity in the Catholic Church.

The cliff swallows return from their winter migration in Central and South America (depending upon which source you read, this has been listed as Argentina or around Mexico and Central America). They arrive in San Juan Capistrano around St. Joseph’s Day. Normally the mission is open and there is a parade to celebrate the return of the swallows.

Mission San Juan Capistrano, world famous for its annual return of swallows every year, has suffered a gradual decline in the birds nesting on-site over the years due to urbanization. However, the mission made a concerted effort to establish nests for the sociable rough winged birds and the swallows have begun nesting in the mission again.

Last year the annual parade and celebration of the birds was cancelled. This year the Mission will offer a virtual tour on Face Book

The song was first recorded in 1940 and has been remade several time.

Happy Pi Day

First 100 digits of Pi

3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 … PI/4 = 1/1 – 1/3 + 1/5 – 1/7 + … PI/2 = 2/1 * 2/3 * 4/3 * 4/5 * 6/5 * 6/7 * … 2/PI = (1 – 1/22)(1 – 1/42)(1 – 1/62)…

Pi day.

Side note:

Since pi is an irrational number and goes on forever, I wonder if that is why some of our politicians want to have a slice of the pi because they are irrational and can yack or remain in office for what seems like forever?

What is your favorite type of pi?

Girl Scout Week

Girl Scout Week always includes the Girl Scout Birthday on March 12, so this year it runs March 7 through March 13. It begins with Girl Scout Sunday and ends with Girl Scout Sabbath. The Girl Scouts were founded in 1912 when Julia Gordon Low “registered the first 18 girls in Savannah (GA).”

Beginning in January, many of us look forward to Girl Scout cookies. This year, it is much more difficult to find Girl Scout cookie sales in the usual places. You can still buy them online (which I was ‘forced’ to do while researching this blog post.)

COVID-19 has changed more than cookie sales. According to the Girl Scouts webpage, different troops have been involved in a variety of civic activities:

  • Supporting Biomedical COVID-19 Research
  • Spreading a Message of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Printing 3D Face Shields for Frontline Workers
  • Organizing a Black Lives Matter Vigil and Rally
  • Bringing Joy to Seniors in a Time of Heightened Isolation
  • Tackling Equity and Voter Suppression Through Education
  • Bringing Comfort to Frontline Workers with Cookie Donations

Some Girl Scouts have also established Little Free Pantries.Little Free Pantries, which apply the community library concept to food donations, assist neighbors who may be dealing with food insecurity—helping them stock their pantries with dry goods and canned goods.

Reblog: August Chiwy, World War II Post

Denzil at Discovering Belgium posted a story about another nurse of color during the Battle of the Bulge.

On June 6, 1921 in the village of Mubavu in the Belgian Congo (now part of Burundi), a baby girl was born and given the name Augusta Marie Chiwy. The name of her mother, a Congolese woman, is unrecorded. Her father Henri Chiwy was a Belgian veterinarian. Augusta was one of thousands of biracial children fathered by Belgian men working in Africa during Belgium’s colonial era. When Augusta was nine years old, her father returned to his hometown of Bastogne in Belgium, and brought his daughter with him.

In Bastogne, Augusta was cared for by her father and his sister, whom Augusta called “Mama Caroline.” She attended a Catholic boarding school near her home where she was described as bright, ambitious and popular. She was also petite, measuring just 152 cm. At the age of 19 Augusta decided she wanted to become a nurse and began attending a nursing college in Leuven. She qualified as a nurse in 1943, and started working at the St. Elizabeth Hospital in Leuven.

Click on story to read the rest .

March 8 is International Women’s Day

The origin of women’s day goes back to 1908 when 15,000 women held a rally in New York demanding reasonable working hours, better pay and the right to vote, BBC News reported. The women’s day date, March 8 became significant only in 1917 after women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia. The first international women’s day gathering was held in 1911. Since then this day has been celebrated for well over a century. In 1975, the United Nations recognised the day as the symbol of decades of women’s struggle to gain equality and adopted it as the International Women’s Day

The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose To Challenge’. A challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change.

I tried taking the Quiz and it was too hard for me. (Once in a while being humbled is good for the psyche.)

What will you choose raise a hand to challenge today?

Oh Say Can You See

That the Star Spangled Banner became our National Anthem 90 year ago today when Herbert Hoover signed a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931?

The anthem’s history began the morning of September 14, 1814, when an attorney and amateur poet named Francis Scott Key watched U.S. soldiers—who were under bombardment from British naval forces during the War of 1812—raise a large American flag over Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland.

The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men’s social club in London. “To Anacreon in Heaven” (or “The Anacreontic Song”), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. This setting, renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner”, soon became a well-known U.S. patriotic song. With a range of 19 semitones, it is known for being very difficult to sing. Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today.

“The Star-Spangled Banner” was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889, and by U.S. president Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Janine Strange, National Anthem Girl was the first person to sing the National Anthem in all 50 states.

Days to Celebrate in March

March is the third month of the year and named after Mars in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. It is the second of seven months to have a length of 31 days. In the Northern Hemisphere, the meteorological beginning of spring occurs on the first day of March. The March equinox on the 20 or 21 marks the astronomical beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, where September is the seasonal equivalent of the Northern Hemisphere’s March.

Statue colossale de Mars (Pyrrhus) – MC0058 – Vestibule du Palais des Conservateurs – Muséi Capitolini (Rome).

March begins on the same day of the week as November and ends on the same day of the week as June every year. It begins on the same day of the week as February in common years only. In years preceding common years, it begins and ends on the same day of the week as August of the following year and ends on the same day of the week as November of the following year and in years preceding leap years, it begins and ends on the same day of the week as May of the following year. In common years, it begins on the same day of the week as June of the previous year and in leap years, September and December of the previous year. In common years, March ends on the same day of the week as September of the previous year and in leap years, April and December of the previous year

March is Women’s History Month. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.

It all began with one single day in 1908 in New York City when thousands of women united and marched for better labor laws, conditions, and the right to vote. A year later on February 28, in a gathering organized by members of the Socialist Party, suffragists and socialists gathered again in Manhattan for what they called the first International Woman’s Day.

In 1980 Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation which expanded Women’s History Week to Women’s History Month.

Music is also Music in Our Schools Month.

For more than 30 years, March has been officially designated by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) for the observance of Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®), the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation. 

The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music. MIOSM is an opportunity for music teachers to bring their music programs to the attention of the school and the community, and to display the benefits that school music brings to students of all ages.

Music is supposed to help children with this math and arithmetic skills. Could it be because of counting out the beat or figuring out how many half, quarter, eighth and triplet notes it takes in one measure of music?

March 16 is Freedom of Information Day.

March 16th recognizes National Freedom of Information Day annually during Sunshine Week. It also commemorates the birthday of President James Madison.  

Madison earned the name the Father of the Constitution and as the foremost advocate for openness in government. Additionally, he is hailed as being instrumental in the drafting of the United States Constitution and as the key champion and author of the United States Bill of Rights. Madison held individual rights and freedom of information in high importance.

  • On March 16, 1751, James Madison, Jr. was born in Port Conway, Virginia.  Madison died on June 28, 1836, on his Montpelier Estate.
  • The people elected James Madison as the 4th President of the United States of America (1809-1817).
  • In 1966, Congress passed the Freedom of Information Act into law.

George Washington’s Real Birthday *

*At the time that George Washington was born, England was following the Julian Calendar.. The Gregorian Calendar system was not adopted in England and its colonies until 1752. So George’s actual birthday is February 11, 1732 because he was born under the old Julian Calendar..
” Although at first many colonial communities refused to go along with this, George Washington apparently took the change in stride and, from 1752 on, accepted February 22nd as his birthday”. Small historical footnote.

What Are We Celebrating Today

Frozen or on the rocks?

Salt rim or plain?

Cuervos or Mr and Mrs. T?

Patron or Don Julio?

Queso or avocado?

If you guessed National Margarita Day, pour yourself a tall, chilled one.

The earliest occurrence of the famed cocktail was in 1938 by the father of the drink Carlos “Danny” Herrera. He made it in his restaurant located in Baja California, for a famous customer named Marjorie King, a dancer on the hit American theatrical broadway “Ziegfeld follies” because she was allergic to spirits but not tequila — and just like that our beloved drink was born.

The problem is, Herrera isn’t the only person to claim to be the OG margarita maker. One of them was Francisco “Pancho” Morales who was a bartender in Mexico, who first mixed the cocktail in 1942 in Juárez, Mexico and then left to become a US citizen and work as a milkman for 25 years. He has the backing of the official Mexican newspaper — Notimex.

The wildest story is this last one. Margarita Sames, a Dallas “higher class” citizen, believed she created the drink in her vacation home for her guests in Acapulco, Mexico in 1948. Tommy Hilton (yes… that Hilton) who was friends with Margarita attended the party, and then brought it back to his hotel chains and put it on the menu. But before he could even breath, Jose Cuervo, of the famous tequila brand, claimed he was already running ad campaigns for the drink in 1945, with the catchphrase, “Margarita: It’s more than a girl’s name.” Regardless of where the drink was first made, one thing is for certain — everyone was having fun.

Thankfully, margaritas come in a ton of different varieties, it’s not a surprise why 76% of Americans enjoy a nice margarita. From strawberry and peach to mango and berry, to slightly stronger drinks with beer, to even having healthier versions like skinny margaritas and sportier cocktails (just swap out the triple sec for a Gatorade). It doesn’t matter if you’re at a bar, at home on the sofa or just finished an important meeting; grab the nearest fruit, tequila, triple sec and mix that baby up to the rhythm of “one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor”. But do drink responsibly, too much tequila has been known T’kill’ya!

Keepers of the Flame: A Love Letter to Libraries

Libraries have been one of the loves of my life for years. I was fortunate to be a military librarian for over 30 years and I still volunteer as a librarian for the USS Midway (CV-41) Research Library. I thought that I’d celebrate military libraries with a re-posting of this library tribute from the U.S Naval Academy website.

I learned about this website from a recent Scuttlebutt Vol 6, issue 3, 11 February 2021, edited by Carl Snow, put out bi-weekly for the library volunteers and other interested members of the USS Midway.

The real Keepers of the Flame are libraries. There are two categories of libraries worthy of your consideration:  genealogy libraries and military/naval history libraries. What to send to each? That is certainly up to you, but I suggest you contact them first to see if they would welcome your treasures, your documents, your artifacts. Our Naval Academy Nimitz Library is one of the best, and Dr.Jennifer Bryan maintains its Special Collections and Archives. Here is the web site entry about such donations from another major military library, the Navy Department Library (under the Naval History and Heritage Command) at the Washington Navy Yard: 

The Navy Library is open to the public and provides resources vital to the writing and publishing of naval history, as well as information relating to the needs of today’s Navy. The library catalog is online, and the library posts numerous publications, documents and subject presentations on the Naval History & Heritage Command’s Website. The library’s collection continues to expand thanks to the installation of compact mobile shelving and materials acquired from Navy offices, private individuals, and organizations such as the Naval Historical Foundation. Significant holdings have been obtained from disestablished libraries (including Naval Air Systems and the Navy Judge Advocate General), as well as from libraries whose collections have been downsized (such as the State Department). Over 13% of the book titles in the library are unique in the international OCLC (Worldcat) database.

Materials that enhance the Archives’ collections and support the research of U.S. Navy personnel, historians, scholars, and other researchers are greatly appreciated. Please email if you have material you are interested in donating. Do not send unsolicited material. 

What type of items are of interest? The question is, what items do you have? Email the library to see if they would welcome your items into their collection, which includes:

From the front page of the Scuttlebutt Vol 6, issue 3, 11 February 2021

Some of your items almost certainly relate to family history. Genealogy libraries are well known to researchers, perhaps not so much to the general public.  For example, the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) is considered one of the ten destination libraries for genealogy, as is the Birmingham [Alabama] Public Library and the Detroit Public Library – do a search for top genealogy libraries. Vertical files can hold collections that are not bound– and LAPL even has its own bindery. If you were to send them loose pages of your unpublished biography, they will bind it and enter it into their collection–and WorldCat. Check with your local library and talk to the Genealogy Librarian, let them know what you have. They are so much more interested in your holdings than your kids!

February 12- Happy Year of the Ox

For more information about the Year of the Metal Ox, click here.

The years of the Ox in the Chinese Horoscope are: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, and 2021.

This year is going to be lucky and also perfect to focus on relationships, whether we are talking about friendships or love. In the Chinese Zodiac, the Ox is very hardworking and methodical. 2021 is going to be a year when work will get rewarded, and those zodiac signs who are lucky in terms of money this year will be the ones that will make a considerable effort.

The Yin energy, specific to the Chinese zodiac sign of Ox, will be quite poignant. This is going to be a year when we will fully feel the weight of our responsibilities, a year when it is necessary to double our efforts to accomplish anything at all.

Since this is a Metal year, for the second successive year, the color of 2021 is going to be white.

Besides white, we have the lucky colors of the Ox: yellow and green, colors that, in Feng Shui, attract prosperity and success. To increase your luck, wear metal accessories.

🎶Buffalo Soldier🎶 (2. Analysis)

Luisa has provided an analysis and insight that many if us as Americans might not see on our own. Look at our racial history with fresh eyes.

Buffalo Soldier Pt 2 Analysis

The title and lyrics (see here) refer to the black U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment, known as “Buffalo Soldiers”, formed in 1866, that fought in the Indian Wars.
Many of the privates in this segregated regiment were slaves taken from Africa who went to rid the west of Native Americans , so that white people could occupy their lands.
That nickname was given by the Indian tribes who were fighting against them, as a result of their skin colour and hair texture, which seemed to resemble the mane of the buffalo. They accepted the name and wore it proudly knowing the Native Americans worshipped the buffalo and that name that appellation could be considered as a sign of their respect.

Their specific task was to protect the white colonizers who had settled in their lands from “Indian” attacks. In practice, the black people who had been taken from Africa as slaves, once freed (just after the Civil War) were sent to kill the natives, in the name of the Country that was no longer slaver but even ‘allowed’ them to form military regiments.

That war was a fight for freedom on both sides. The African American soldiers were fighting to obtain a freedom they had never known (although the war against slavery was over), while the Native Americans were fighting to defend their freedom.

Over a Century Later, “Harlem Hellfighters” Are Official

From Stars and Stripes by Chad Garland, 1 Feb 2021

My friend, Da Blonde, shared this with me from the Ft Belvoir Retiree Council.

“They called themselves the “Black Rattlers” and the French dubbed them “Men of Bronze,” but the Army now officially recognizes a historic Harlem unit by what the enemy called them in World War I — the “Hellfighters.”

The “Harlem Hellfighters” is now the official special designation for the 369th Sustainment Brigade, the New York National Guard said Friday. The unit traces its lineage to the all-Black 369th Infantry Regiment, which earned the moniker over a century ago in fierce fighting that’s been credited with helping to break down racial barriers.

The regiment was the first unit of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I that allowed Blacks to serve.”

Read more to find out why they were not allowed to participate in the Rainbow Parade that was the send off for the 42nd Infantry Division

When Will the Looney Tunes Stop?

In the real Looney Tunes, Porky Pig has a signature line, ‘Ththththat’s all, folks.”

Mitch McConnell:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday blasted Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s embrace of “loony lies and conspiracy theories” as a “cancer for the Republican Party.”

Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality,” McConnell said in a statement first shared with The Hill. “

I was living near Washington, DC when the plane hit the Pentagon. I saw the huge gash in the side of the Pentagon where the plane hit. At the National Defense University Library, we shared space with the Pentagon Librarians who were temporarily re-assigned there because the Pentagon Library was closed (almost forever) when the nose of the plane affected the rear wall of the library and the resulting moisture created such toxic mold that hundreds of books were damaged and the library was a toxic waste site until it could be cleaned.

One of my best friends was responsible for saving many of the books in the library because she thought to call the experts in book preservation before it was too late. Did you know that freezing the books can halt the build up of mold?

Another friend fractured her foot and had 2nd degree burns on her head and hands escaping from the Pentagon after the plane struck. Several of her friends died from burns or smoke inhalation after the plane struck.

I think most of these conspiracy theories are bunk, but this one I have seen the aftermath for myself.

Do the conspiracy theorists, seemingly smug in their cocoon of superiority, realize that they are defaming or lying about real people who have sustained real injuries?

Snow What!

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today so we are supposed to have six more weeks of winter. It’s a tradition dating all the way back to 1887. According to Stormfax Almanac, Phil is only 39% accurate with his predictions. Admittedly, it’s tough to get it right for the entire country.

Last Sunday, amidst the falling snow, neighborhood children (with more than a little help from their Dads), created at least two snow men and one small snow child. The creator of the snowman with the scarf actually crawled around through the snow pushing the snow ball that became the snowman’s base. His kids helped patch of the uneven spots in the snowball.