By Jan White
You’ve seen the proclamation hundreds of times. “Today is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day,” or “National Nail Polish Day,” or a Texas favorite, “National Brisket Day.” But how do we keep from missing out on these special days? Where do you find the list of these celebrations? A quick search will take you to the quintessential website: https://nationaltoday.com. Just a glance, and you’ll find an endless list of potential observances for each month. So what’s in store for June? Here’s a brief sampling of some national days you can look forward to.
June 2 – National Moonshine Day. Moonshine
The word conjures up visions of illegal homemade liquor, Prohibition, fast cars, and makeshift stills in the Appalachian woods. The passage of the 18th Amendment in 1919 made criminals of both those who wanted to drink and the black marketeers who filled their needs - moonshiners and bootleggers. Under cover of moonlight, they distilled the illegal liquor and then delivered it. Legendary tales abound of bootleggers hauling moonshine in their souped-up cars, with extra interior room and heavy-duty shocks, running from authorities. When Prohibition was repealed and the need for bootleggers waned, drivers sought another outlet to meet their need for speed. North Carolina’s tradition of auto racing found its beginning in the garages of bootleggers and the roads between North Wilkesboro and Charlotte. NASCAR was born.
These days large distilleries, looking to exploit the nostalgic memories of the illicit drink, sell moonshine. But if you want liquor closer to the feel of Prohibition moonshine, look for craft whiskeys made by small companies or individuals.
June 13 – National Weed Your Garden Day
Any true gardener knows that weeding is as essential to gardening as watering the plants or enriching the soil with fertilizers. Regular weeding keeps those nasty invaders from overwhelming your garden and depriving plants of nutrition and space. Why not use National Weed Your Garden Day to commit yourself to weed regularly. National Weed Your Garden Day can also be a day of community service. Offer to volunteer your time at the community garden or refresh planters in the downtown square. And if the thought of weeding overwhelms you, team up with a friend to make the job easier and quicker. Since pulling weeds can be challenging, once you’re done with the work, relax and treat yourself to a refreshing beverage while you enjoy your fresh, weed-free garden.
June 17 – National Flip-Flop Day
The design of the modern-day flip-flop was inspired by the Japanese “zori.” After World War II, American soldiers returning from Japan brought the zori home as novelty items for loved ones. As they became adopted into American culture, colorful flip-flops made from rubber or plastic gained popularity with beachgoers and eventually gained popularity in the mainstream. These days, flip-flops are widely considered acceptable footwear for almost any occasion – even red-carpet events.
June 25 – National Catfish Day
Fishermen nationwide will appreciate that June 25 has been dubbed National Catfish Day. Catfish get their name from the long barbels that hang on either side of their mouth, like cats’ whiskers. Catfish is one of the highest consumed fish species in America. Apart from its great taste, catfish farming has also led to a stable income for many fish farmers and provided a sustainable and environmentally friendly food source. If you don’t live near a lake or own a rod and reel, here are a few suggestions on how to celebrate National Catfish Day. 1. Eat catfish. Commemorate the day by eating catfish for one or more of your meals throughout the day. You can have it grilled, baked, or fried, in a salad or on a sandwich. Either way, it’s going to taste great. 2. Try a new catfish dish. Tap into your sense of adventure and give a new spin on your old favorites like pretzel-crusted baked catfish or catfish gumbo. Your taste buds will appreciate the variety 3. Visit a catfish farm. Get in on the action and learn all about these aquatic creatures’ life cycles and habits from the experts.
June 30 - National Meteor Watch Day
Why not wrap up the month of June by looking to the stars? And that doesn’t mean watching TikTok videos of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial. June 30 is the night when stargazers will turn their eyes to the heavens in hopes of spotting the glow of a falling star. Millions of meteors enter the Earth’s atmosphere daily, so your search will most likely be successful as long as it’s a clear night. Find a location far from the city lights- a state or national park would be perfect. Grab some friends, a blanket, some snacks, and get ready to be the lucky one that spots the first shooting star. And when you do, don’t forget to make a wish! You can also share your sky viewing adventures on social media using #NationalMeteorWatchDay.
Be sure and visit www.nationaltoday.com and find out what other national days you can celebrate.