12/16/08

Chocolate? Tea? Earthquake?

Not many special days excite me as much as December 16th.

You DO know what December 16th is, don’t you? It’s National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day! Can there be a better day than this?
Chocolate-covered cherries, chocolate-covered cashews, raisins, pecans – you name it.
Yes, I’m a chocoholic and a lover of dark chocolate in particular.

But there’s more to December 16th than chocolate.

If tea is your thing, you might know that it was on this date in 1773 that chests full of tea were thrown into Boston Harbor. Thank goodness it wasn’t chocolate!

On this date exactly 200 years after the Boston Tea Party – in 1973 – O. J. Simpson became the first NFL player to rush 2000 yards in a season. Now, 35 years later, it’s a different December for O.J., isn’t it?

In 1976 on this date, George the Goose died. George was an amazing goose that lived to the ripe old age of 49 years, 8 months.

And just this morning, December 16, 2008, an earthquake hit right here. It was 7:42 this morning when my house shook and shook; the furniture moved. By newsworthy standards, the earthquake was small, only 3.6 on the Richter scale, but, by my standards, it was plenty big enough. It’s too early to know if there has been damage anywhere.

Since 7:42 this morning, I’ve learned that it’s not unusual to have earthquakes on December 16th.
For example, in 1811, there were “violent and prolonged” earthquakes in the Midwest of the United States. Apparently, these were tremendous quakes. In 1857, there was a massive earthquake in Naples, Italy. And, again on December 16th but in 1920, over 180,000 people died during an earthquake in China.


Speaking of tragedy and loss of life, it was on December 16th in 1944 that the Battle of the Bulge began. Have you ever wondered why such a name for something that led to over 200,000 casualties? Battle of the Bulge wasn’t the official name by either side but this effort became known as the Bulge because of the way the surprise attack and counteroffensive appeared from overhead and on maps; the effort created a bulge 60 miles deep.


But the name of this event on one December 16th brings me back to my favorite aspect of December 16th – National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day. After all, it’s this love of chocolate that can lead to personal bulge battles.

Happy December 16th!

3 comments:

Exaggerato said...

You may not have mentioned this in your article, but December 16th is observed in South Africa as the Day of Reconciliation, successor to the apartheid-era Day of the Vow.

Sherry said...

Exaggerato: Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment. Actually, there are about 90 to 100 other observances I could have mentioned for the 16th but I had to narrow it down. Before the earthquake today, I had planned to write about the chocolate observance only.

Tricia said...

There are lots of great historical references here, and an earthquake would leave me trembling a bit, but I'm with you on the obvious importance. I had no idea there was a celebratory marker for chocolate-covered anything, and since I'm two days late, I think I'll binge and get a head start for next year...like I need an excuse!

 
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