strange, bizarre and kooky holidays happening in July

National Lollipop Day

national lollipop dayToday is National Lollipop Day! Early incarnations of the lollipop date back thousands of years. Archeologists have found evidence that ancient Egyptians used honey to preserve fruit, then inserted sticks to make it easier to eat.

New Haven, CT, confectioner George Smith claimed he got the idea for the lollipop from the stirrers he used when mixing sweets. They became coated with candy and Smith often took them home as a treat for his children.

Smith trademarked the name in 1931, stating that it was inspired by a famous racehorse called Lolly Pop. Many linguists contend it is derived from Northern English slang: “lolly” (tongue) and “pop” (slap).

You can whip up a batch using only four ingredients: sugar, water, corn syrup, and the flavoring of your choice. And the stick, of course.

Happy National Lollipop Day!


Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

July 19 is National Daiquiri Day

national daiquiri day

Hemingway statue at El Floridita

Today is National Daiquiri Day. Although conflicting legends abound, the most likely origin story credits an American engineer named Jennings Cox for the drink’s invention.

In 1898, Cox supervised an iron mining operation in a town off the coast of Cuba called Daiquiri. Every night he and his crew gathered at a local bar after work.

One evening when the bar ran out of gin, Cox blended Bacardi with sugar and lime and named it after the Daiquiri mines.  It quickly became a staple in Havana.

In 1909, the U.S.S. Minnesota docked in the area. Captain Charles Harlow brought junior medical officer Lucius Johnson with him on a tour of the 10-year-old Spanish-American battlegrounds. They met Cox at Daiquiri and enjoyed his creation.

Johnson brought the recipe to the Army and Navy Club in Washington, DC, where it became a favorite—except during Prohibition, of course. By the 1940s, the daiquiri had become a fixture in bars across the country.

National Daiquiri Day falls just two days before the birthday of Ernest Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961). The author immortalized the cocktail in his novel, Islands in the Stream: “This frozen daiquiri, so well beaten as it is, looks like the sea where the wave falls away from the bow of a ship when she is doing thirty knots.”

He’s also quoted as saying, “Don’t bother with churches, government buildings or city squares, if you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars.”

He certainly followed his own advice. El Floridita, a bar Hemingway frequented in Havana, Cuba, has immortalized him with a life size statue. The bartender there, Constantino Ribalaigua, created a doubly strong, sour version of the cocktail for the writer, who was diabetic and apparently worried more about the toxic effects of sugar than alcohol.

The following is based on that recipe, according to A. E. Hotchner, who documented his stay at the author’s home in Cuba in his book entitled Papa Hemingway.

Papa Doble
3 oz Bacardí Carta Blanca
Juice of 2 limes
½ oz grapefruit juice
6 drops of Maraschino liqueur

Blend all ingredients with crushed ice and serve in an ice cold coupe glass.

Whether you like your daiquiris sweet, strong or virginal, raise a glass and have a happy National Daiquiri Day–or evening, if you prefer. Cheers!


Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

Wrong Way Corrigan Day

wrong way corrigan dayToday is Wrong Way Corrigan Day. On July 17, 1938, Douglas Corrigan (January 22, 1907 – December 9, 1995), a pilot and aircraft mechanic who had recently flown from California to New York, took off from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, ostensibly to make the transcontinental trip back to Long Beach. Things didn’t go according to plan.

Five years earlier, Corrigan had purchased a used 1929 Curtiss Robin OX-5 monoplane with the intention of making a transatlantic flight just as aviator Charles Lindbergh had. He built a new engine with 165 horsepower instead of the Robin’s original 90 and fitted it with extra fuel tanks.

In 1935, he applied for permission to make a nonstop flight from New York to Ireland. The Bureau of Air Commerce rejected his request, stating that his plane was unfit for the transatlantic trip, although it met the requirements necessary to make cross-country voyages.

Corrigan made further modifications and repeatedly applied for full certification to no avail. In 1937, he was informed that his numerous alterations had rendered the plane too unstable for safe flight, and its license would not be renewed.

On July 9, 1938, Corrigan left Long Beach bound for Brooklyn, having secured an experimental license, permission for a transcontinental flight and conditional consent for a return trip. Cruising at 85 miles per hour for maximum fuel efficiency, he made the trip in 27 hours. Near the end of the flight, a gasoline leak developed in one of the tanks, filling the cockpit with fumes.

After landing at Floyd Bennett Field, where all available resources were being used to assist Howard Hughes in his preparations for takeoff on a world tour, Corrigan decided repairing the tank would take too long if he was to meet his scheduled return flight on July 17, 1938. At 5:15 that morning, with 320 gallons of gasoline and 16 gallons of oil, Corrigan took off and headed east. He kept going.

Corrigan later claimed he’d been unaware that he was navigating by the wrong end of the compass needle until 26 hours later. If he’d noticed the cockpit flooding with gasoline after ten hours, as he recounted in his autobiography, he would likely have tried to land the plane—if, that is, he believed there was land below.

Instead, he used a screwdriver to punch a hole through the floor opposite the exhaust pipe so the draining gasoline would be less likely to cause an explosion. Then he reported increasing the engine speed by more than 20 percent to decrease his flight time.

He landed at Baldonnel Aerodrome in Dublin, Ireland, after a 28-hour, 13-minute flight. His stunt (or mistake) caught the public’s attention. As a result of his newfound fame, officials were obliged to let Corrigan off the hook. His pilot’s license was suspended for only two weeks. When he and his plane returned via steamship to New York, the city greeted him with a ticker-tape parade.

The man who became known as “Wrong Way” Corrigan never admitted he’d done it on purpose.

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

July 16 is National Personal Chef Day

national personal chef dayToday is National Personal Chef Day, created by the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA) to recognize the hard work and dedication of personal chefs across the country.

A private chef works exclusively for one client, sometimes living in the home. A personal chef can be hired by as many clients as his or her schedule allows.

They do more than just cook for dinner parties. They plan menus, shop for groceries, give cooking classes and prepare meals for a variety of people, including working couples, families, seniors and those with food allergies or dietary restrictions.

If you want to outsource your food prep chores and can afford it, use a member of the USPCA. If you don’t and/or can’t, we highly recommend our guy: Domino’s.

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays