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April 14th

Hard work spotlights the character of people. Some turn up their sleeves. Some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all. – Sam Ewing


104th day of the year (105th in leap years) with 261 days to follow.

Holidays for Today:
~ International Moment of Laughter Day
~ Look up at the Sky Day
~ National Dolphin Day
~ National Ex-Spouse Day
~ National Gardening Day
~ National Pan American Day
~ National Pecan Day
~ National Reach as High as You Can Day


  • 1629 Christiaan Huygens, Netherlands, mathematician, early telescopic studies elucidating the nature of the rings of Saturn and the discovery of its moon Titan; invention of the pendulum clock ; and studies of both optics and the centrifugal force
  • 1866 Anne Mansfield Sullivan, Feeding Hills, Massachusetts, educated Helen Keller
  • 1921 Thomas Schelling, Oakland, California, economist (Nobel /”having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis”)
  • 1925 Rod Steiger West Hampton, New York, actor (Heat of the Night, Oklahoma!, On the Waterfront, Doctor Zhivago, Illustrated Man, Pawnbroker, Chosen)
  • 1927 Alan MacDiarmid, New Zealand, chemist (Nobel / discovery and development of conductive polymers — plastic materials that conduct electricity)
  • 1929 William Edgar Thornton, M.D., Faison, North Carolina, former astronaut (STS-8, STS 51-B/Spacelab 3); holds more than 35 issued patents
  • 1932 Loretta Lynn, Butcher’s Hollow, Kentucky, country singer (Coal Miner’s Daughter)
  • 1936 Kenneth Mars, Chicago, Illinois, actor (The Producers, Young Frankenstein, The Land Before Time)
  • 1949 John Shea, North Conway, New Hampshire, actor (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman , Agent X )
  • 1950 Francis Collins, Staunton, Virginia, scientist, director of National Health Institutes , noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project (HGP) and described by the Endocrine Society as “one of the most accomplished scientists of our time”
  • 1954 Bruce Sterling, Brownsville, Texas, sci-fi author (Involution Ocean, Schismatrix / Mirrorshades/ cyberpunk)
  • 1960 Brad Garrett, Woodland Hills, California, actor (Everybody Loves Raymond , ‘Til Death, Fargo tv series)
  • 1971 Peter Gibson, Greenwich, Connecticut, author (American Intellectuals)
  • 1973 David Miller, San Diego CA, tenor (member of the operatic pop musical quartet Il Divo)
  • 1977 Sarah Michelle Gellar, New York City, New York, actress (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cruel Intentions, Scooby-Doo, The Grudge, The Return, The Crazy Ones, Star Wars Rebels)
  • 1993 Vivien Cardone, Port Jefferson, New York, actress (Everwood, All Roads Lead Home)
  • 1993 Graham Phillips, Laguna Beach, California, actor (Ben 10: Race Against Time, The Good Wife)
  • 1996 Abigail Breslin, New York City, New York, actress (Little Miss Sunshine, Nim’s Island, Definitely, Maybe, My Sister’s Keeper, Zombieland, Rango)

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Confucius


  • 1775 The first abolition society in North America is established. The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage is organized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.
  • 1828 Noah Webster copyrights the first edition of his dictionary.
  • 1846 The Donner Party of pioneers departs Springfield, Illinois, for California, on what will become a year-long journey of hardship, cannibalism, and survival.
  • 1849 Hungary declares itself independent of Austria with Lajos Kossuth as its leader.
  • 1860 The first Pony Express rider reaches Sacramento, California.
  • 1864 Battle of Dybbøl: A Prussian-Austrian army defeats Denmark and gains control of Schleswig. Denmark surrenders the province in the following peace settlement.
  • 1865 President Abraham Lincoln fatally shot in Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth.
    1865 U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and his family are attacked in his home by Lewis Powell.
  • 1881 The Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight is fought in El Paso, Texas.
  • 1890 The Pan-American Union is founded by the First International Conference of American States in Washington, D.C.
  • 1894 The first ever commercial motion picture house opened in New York City using ten Kinetoscopes, a device for peep-show viewing of films.
  • 1910 President William Howard Taft begins tradition of throwing ceremonial first ball on opening day of baseball season.
  • 1912 The Titanic, launched on 31 May 1911, on route from Southampton to New York with 2200 passengers, strikes iceberg off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia at approximately 11:30pm, and sinks early the next morning (1500+ death toll).
  • 1935 “Black Sunday Storm”, the worst dust storm of the U.S. Dust Bowl.
  • 1939 John Steinbeck novel “The Grapes of Wrath” is published.
  • 1956 In Chicago, Illinois, videotape is first demonstrated.


During mail call one evening at Marine Corps boot camp, I received several letters from home.

The drill instructor was getting irritated at having to keep calling my name. “You must have a lot of people at home who like you, huh?” he barked.

“Sir, no, sir!” I shouted.

“Oh, so you’re calling me a liar?” goaded the DI.

Trained as a Marine to think quickly on my feet, I yelled out, “Sir, creditors, sir!”

The DI had to leave the room so we wouldn’t see him laughing.


A young man was having some money problems, and needed $200 to get his car fixed and road-worthy again. But had run out of people to borrow from.

So, he calls his parents via the operator, and reverses the charge and says to his dad, “I need to borrow two hundred dollars.”

At the other end, his father says, “Sorry, I can’t hear you, son, I think there may be a bad line.”

The boy shouts, “Two hundred. I need two hundred dollars!”

“Sorry, I still can’t hear you clearly,” says his father.

The operator cuts in, “Sorry to butt in, but I can hear him perfectly.”

The father says, “Oh, good. YOU send him the money!”


ONE-LINERS: Signs Your Girlfriend is Going to Dump You…

— Your visa card and your belt both hit their limit.
— She just started a college course that meets seven nights a week.
— She’s been wearing an engagement ring for three weeks, but you don’t recall proposing to her.

— She says she has to tell you something… on Jerry Springer.
— Whenever she introduces you it’s always, “I would like you to meet an old friend of mine…”
— She leaves a message on your phone and identifies herself by both her first and last names.

— Your other girlfriend told you so.
— The dartboard behind your photo on her wall.
— Her girlfriends look at you, tilt their heads, and say, “You haven’t got a clue, do you?”

There was a man who computed his taxes and found that he owed $3,407. He packaged up his payment and included this letter:

Dear IRS:

Enclosed is my tax return & payment. Please take note of the attached article from the USA Today newspaper. In the article, you will see that the Pentagon is paying $171.50 for hammers and NASA has paid $600.00 for a toilet seat.

Please find enclosed four toilet seats (value $2,400) and six hammers (value $1,029).

This brings my total payment to $3,429.00. Please note the overpayment of $22.00 and apply it to the “Presidential Election Fund,” as noted on my return. Might I suggest you the send the above mentioned fund a “1.5 inch screw.” (See attached article…HUD paid $22.00 for a 1.5 inch Phillips Head Screw.)

It has been a pleasure to pay my tax bill this year, and I look forward to paying it again next year.


A mother mouse and a baby mouse are walking along, when all of a sudden, a cat attacks them.

The mother mouse goes, “BARK!” and the cat runs away.

“See?” says the mother mouse to her baby. “Now do you see why it’s important to learn a foreign language?”

pic of the day: Dogwood Blooms

Pink Dogwood blooms

Did you hear about the teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his boots?

He asked for help and she could see why. With her pulling and him pushing, the boots still didn’t want to go on. When the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost whimpered when the little boy said, “Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.” She looked and sure enough, they were.

It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet. He then announced, “These aren’t my boots.”

She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream,”Why didn’t you say so?” like she wanted to.

Once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off. He then said, “They’re my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear them.”

She didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again. She said, “Now, where are your mittens?”

He said, “I stuffed them in the toes of my boots…”

Her trial starts next month.

An out-of-towner drove his car into a ditch in a desolated area. Luckily, a local farmer came to help with his big strong horse, named Buddy. He hitched Buddy up to the car and yelled, “Pull, Nellie, pull!” Buddy didn’t move.

Then the farmer hollered, “Pull, Buster, pull!” Buddy didn’t respond.

Once more the farmer commanded, “Pull, Coco, pull!” Nothing.

Then the farmer nonchalantly said, “Pull, Buddy, pull!” And the horse easily dragged the car out of the ditch.

The motorist was most appreciative and very curious. He asked the farmer why he called his horse by the wrong name three times.

The farmer said, “Oh, Buddy is blind and if he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn’t even try.”


~She had a boyfriend with a wooden leg, but broke it off.

~Calendar days are numbered.

~What do you call a train loaded with toffee? A chew chew train.

~What is the world’s most popular wine? I don’t like Brussels sprouts.

~How do chickens dance? Chick to chick.

~A hangover is the wrath of grapes.


A couple had been married for 45 years and had raised a brood of 11 children and were blessed with 22 grandchildren. When asked the secret for staying together all that time, the wife replies, “Many years ago we made a promise to each other: the first one to pack up and leave has to take all the kids.”


Max went into the doctor’s office for his annual checkup, and the Doc asked if there was anything unusual he should know about.

So Max told the Doc that his suit must have shrunk over the last year, because it didn’t fit when he went to get ready for a wedding recently.

The Doc said, “Suits don’t shrink just sitting in a closet. You probably put on a few pounds.”

“That’s just it, Doc, I know I haven’t gained a single pound since the last time I wore it.”

“Well, then,” said Doc, “You must have a case of Furniture Disease.”

“What in the world is Furniture Disease?” asked Max.

“That’s when your chest starts sliding down into your drawers.”

Jack decided to go skiing with his buddy, Bob. They loaded up Jack’s station-wagon and headed north. After driving for a few hours, they got caught in a terrible blizzard. They pulled into a nearby farmhouse and asked the attractive lady of the house if they could spend the night.

“I’m recently widowed,” she explained, “and I’m afraid the neighbors will talk if I let you stay in my house.”
“Not to worry,” Jack said, “we’ll be happy to sleep in the barn.”

Nine months later, Jack got a letter from the widow’s attorney. He called up his friend Bob and said, “Bob, do you remember that good-looking widow at the farm we stayed at?”
“Yes, I do.”

“Did you happen to get up in the middle of the night, go up to the house and visit with her?”
“Yes, I have to admit that I did.”

“Did you happen to use my name instead of telling her your name?”
Bob’s face turns red and he said, “Yeah, I’m afraid I did.”
“Well, thanks! She just died and left me everything!”

The tiresome jury selection process continued, each side hotly contesting and dismissing potential jurors. Don O’Brian was called for his question session.

“Property holder?”

“Yes, I am, Your Honor.”

“Married or single?”

“Married for twenty years, Your Honor.”

“Formed or expressed an opinion?”

“Not in twenty years, Your Honor.”


While working as a mall Santa, I had many children ask for electric trains. “If you get a train,” I would tell each one, “you know your dad is going to want to play with it too. Is that okay?”

The usual answer was a quick yes, but after I asked one boy this question, he became very quiet. Trying to move the conversation along, I asked what else he would like Santa to bring him. He promptly replied, “Another train.”


TODAY’S TRIVIA: Have there always been continents?
Not as we know them today. Many scientists figure Earth began as one huge continent – dry as a bone. Water was delivered in comets, the thinking goes, and the oceans developed. Much more recently, all the world’s land masses were huddled into one supercontinent called Pangaea. It began to break up about 225 million years ago, eventually fragmenting into the continents as we know them today.

~ What mammal has the largest brain?
The sperm whale’s brain, which can weigh as much as 20 pounds, is the biggest. The blue whale has a larger body size, but its brain is about five pounds lighter. An adult human brain weighs approximately three pounds (the largest was a little over five pounds).

~ Are crocodiles cannibals?
Yes, the crocodile is a cannibal; it will occasionally eat other crocodiles.

~ What does Pan American Day celebrate?
This day commemorates the First International Conference of American States, which concluded on April 14, 1890.

~ What are you supposed to do on National Reach as High as You Can Day?
Today you’re supposed to evaluate your goals and do your best to reach them. It’s a reminder not to let your dreams go adrift. Reach for them. Reach as high as you can!
QUIP OF THE DAY: Fool-proof tip for self-improvement: Just follow all the advice you give everybody else.


Thought for the day. . . So many of our dreams at first seems impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable. – Christopher Reeve

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