Did You Know?

I have a book that I used when I was teaching about what happened every day of the year. This book was very useful because it told about events, then it gave prompts for the students to write about something. I used it often as I worked in the upper grades.

Since it is an older book, there are some facts that have changed, but many of the historic events are still pertinent.

I found out there is a World Egg Day. It was first celebrated in 1996 as egg farmers and egg lovers banded together to make the egg an important food in many cultures. A few changes of herbs and spices, and you have an ethnic dish from another culture.

I always considered the egg an inexpensive source of protein. It is so versatile that it can be used for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When I cannot think of anything special to eat, I fix an egg in some manner.

Beware if you are using farm fresh eggs they do not peel well. I have found that I can use my microwave egg poacher to cook the eggs, then, I can chop them for salads.

Fire Prevention Week happens at the beginning of October. There have been many pictures in the newspaper showing children visiting the local fire stations. I always learned something during that experience. The firefighters showed the gear they wear when they enter a home that is on fire. There were always fire drills that week as well. Every family should have an exit plan for safety.

Are you or were you a fan of the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew? My little book tells me that more than 800 books/stories were written under 60 pseudonyms. These characters were the brain-child of a man named Stratemeyer. He operated under the name, the Stratemeyer Syndicate selling at least four million books by his death in the 1930s. Of course, millions of copies have been sold since that time as well.

Consider some of the best sellers of today. Will they be around 80 years from now? Will they still be read and sold? The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew are not “classics,” but they have entertained countless generations of children.

I also found out that October is National Pizza Month. More cheese is used making pizza than any other dish out there. The history of pizza dates back to 1000 B.C. The first pizzeria in the U.S. opened in 1905 in New York City. Pizza at that time was made of mostly fresh ingredients. It was not until the 1960s that pizza began to be mass-produced.

My Italian friend’s mother often made pizza and homemade rolls for us to have as a snack. She did not use cheese on her pizza. Hers was made with tomato sauce, herbs and pepperoni. It was different, but it was very good.

I remember our town’s first pizza shop. It was run by one of my neighbors. He lost his job, then, opened the pizzeria to put food on his table. The pizza was delicious. It was so popular that he ended up moving the business to a larger facility. It was the place to go after a football or basketball game. You could actually watch your pizza being put together. You could see the crust being thrown to stretch it out just right. When the mass-marketers came onto the scene, this small shop closed its doors. We have to be very careful about what we call progress. If small businesses are sacrificed, is the addition of a big box store really progress?

Charles Schulz’s cartoon strip, “Peanuts” was first published in October 1950. “Peanuts” now graces the pages of many newspapers. It spawned a plethora of episodes whose characters have been used for advertisement as well as feature length cartoons. I bet you remember watching some of the shows during the holidays. They were a staple in this house with the children clamoring to see them every year.

I had forgotten that Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was born in October. In her book “This Is My Story,” she wrote, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I used this phrase as a story-starter on many occasions. It still applies today for those who are being bullied or those who feel bad about their abilities. The phrase always sparked a healthy discussion.

Sweetest Day is not something we ever celebrated, but I remember that my niece was married on this day years ago. It is not as its name suggests a day for sweethearts. It is a day to do thoughtful things for others. It began in Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1940s. I think every day should be “Sweetest Day” as we do nice things for others.

Then, of course, there is Halloween – the evening before All Saints Day. The day began with certain customs but has been high-jacked to become the day for costumes and trick or treat.

At this point I have just touched the tip of the iceberg. Do some research for yourself if you are interested in finding out about other October events.

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, Pa. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.