Category Archives: It’s A Fact

Things You Never Knew About Thanksgiving

Image result for thanksgiving

Gus Frerotte and Greg Hill celebrate with turkey after their annual Thanksgiving day game. AP

Football is so ingrained in the Thanksgiving holiday that many people think the game is just as important as the turkey. 

The first NFL football game that took place on Thanksgiving Day was in 1934 when the Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears. The Lions have played on Thanksgiving ever since, except when the team was called away to serve during World War II, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  

The Dallas Cowboys also always play on Thanksgiving. Their first Thanksgiving Day game was held in 1966, and the Cowboys have only missed two games since then. 

6. The night before Thanksgiving is the best day for bar sales in the US.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is responsible for the most bar sales in America, more than New Year’s Eve, the Super Bowl, or even St. Patrick’s Day. 

It makes sense, since nearly all Americans have Thanksgiving off and dealing with family members can be very stressful. (But at least stuffing your face with fatty Thanksgiving foods is a perfect hangover cure.)

7. Thanksgiving leftovers inspired the first-ever TV dinner. 

TV Dinner
Swanson introduced the TV dinner on September 10, 1953.

In 1953, the TV dinner company Swanson overestimated the demand for turkey by over 260 tons, according to Smithsonian Magazine. 

The owners of the company had no idea what to do with all the leftovers, so they enlisted the help of company salesman Gerry Thomas.

Taking inspiration from airplane meals, Thomas ordered 5,000 aluminum trays, and loaded them with the turkey leftovers to create the first TV dinner. 

8. Ben Franklin wanted the turkey to be the official bird of the US.

Benjamin Franklin thought turkeys were much more American than bald eagle. Franklin wrote a letter to his daughter that said: “I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; his is a bird of bad moral character.”  

Franklin thought the turkey was a “much more respectable bird.” 

8. Thomas Jefferson canceled Thanksgiving during his presidency. 

George Washington was the first to declare Thanksgiving as a holiday, but it was on a year-to-year basis, so presidents had to re-declare it every year, according to the Washington Post. Jefferson was so adamantly against Thanksgiving that he refused to declare it a holiday during his presidency, and many say that he called the holiday “the most ridiculous idea ever conceived.” 

Most historians agree that Jefferson really refused to declare the holiday because he fervently believed in the separation of church and state, and thought that the day of “prayer” violated the First Amendment. 

It wasn’t until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a federal holiday, that our beloved turkey day was officially scheduled to fall on the fourth Thursday of every month. 

9. FDR tried to change the date of Thanksgiving — and it caused a lot of problems. 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt Thanksgiving
FDR was responsible for “Franksgiving.”

In 1939, Franklin Roosevelt changed the date of Thanksgiving from the last Thursday in November to the second-to-last, according to the US National Archives.

The change was made in an attempt to lift the economy during the Great Depression, the idea being that it would give people more time to shop for Christmas. 

But it ended up making everybody confused. Most states held Thanksgiving on its original date, and three states — Colorado, Mississippi, and Texas — celebrated the holiday in both weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It caused such a public outcry that people began referring to it as “Franksgiving.” After two years, Congress ditched the new policy and set the fourth Thursday of November as the legal holiday. 

10. Minnesota produces the most turkeys in the US.

Minnesota produces more turkey than any other state in America. Last year, the state produced more than 1.16 billion pounds of turkey, valued at nearly $839 million, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.

North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, and Virgina are also top producers.

11. There is an annual tradition of offering a turkey a presidential pardon — and no one is really sure when it began. 

Thanksgiving Turkey Pardon 2009
President Obama pardons a turkey called “Courage” in 2009.

Thank you for reading 🙂


What is Sukkot? Do You Know?

What Is Sukkot?

A Guide to The Jewish Holiday of Sukkot, The Feast of Tabernacles, and the Meanings Behind it

By Menachem Posner

Sukkot 2019 (October 13-20, 2019)

Sukkot is a weeklong Jewish holiday that comes five days after Yom Kippur. Sukkot celebrates the gathering of the harvest and commemorates the miraculous protection G‑d provided for the children of Israel when they left Egypt. We celebrate Sukkot by dwelling in a foliage-covered booth (known as a sukkah) and by taking the “Four Kinds” (arba minim), four special species of vegetation.

The first two days (sundown on October 13 until nightfall on October 15 in 2019) of the holiday (one day in Israel) are yom tov, when work is forbidden, candles are lit in the evening, and festive meals are preceded by Kiddush and include challah dipped in honey.

The intermediate days (nightfall on October 15 until sundown on October 20 in 2019) are quasi holidays, known as Chol Hamoed. We dwell in the sukkah and take the Four Kinds every day of Sukkot (except for Shabbat, when we do not take the Four Kinds).

The final two days (sundown on October 20 until nightfall on October 22 in 2019) are a separate holiday (one day in Israel): Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah.

The Significance of Sukkot

Of all the Jewish holidays, Sukkot is the only one whose date does not seem to commemorate a historic event. The Torah refers to it by two names: Chag HaAsif (“the Festival of Ingathering,” or “Harvest Festival”) and Chag HaSukkot (“Festival of Booths”), each expressing a reason for the holiday.

In Israel, crops grow in the winter and are ready for harvest in the late spring. Some of them remain out in the field to dry for a few months and are only ready for harvest in the early fall. Chag HaAsif is a time to express appreciation for this bounty.

The name Chag HaSukkot commemorates the temporary dwellings G‑d made to shelter our ancestors on their way out of Egypt (some say this refers to the miraculous clouds of glory that shielded us from the desert sun, while others say it refers to the tents in which they dwelled for their 40-year trek through the Sinai desert).

Dwelling in the Sukkah

For seven days and nights, we eat all our meals in the sukkah and otherwise regard it as our home. Located under the open sky, the sukkah is made up of at least three walls and a roof of unprocessed natural vegetation—typically bamboo, pine boughs or palm branches.

(Read more here: How to Build a Sukkah)

The goal is to spend as much time as possible in the sukkah, at the very minimum eating all meals in the sukkah—particularly the festive meals on the first two nights of the holiday, when we must eat at least an olive-sized piece of bread or mezonot (grain-based food) in the sukkah. The Chabad practice is to not eat or drink anything outside the sukkah. Some people even sleep in the sukkah (this is not the Chabad custom).

(Read more here: The Sukkah)

Taking the Four Kinds

Rabbi Danny Cohen of Chabad of Hebron and his son Shneor offer the lulav and etrog to a soldier during Sukkot. (Photo: Israel Bardugo)

Rabbi Danny Cohen of Chabad of Hebron and his son Shneor offer the lulav and etrog to a soldier during Sukkot. (Photo: Israel Bardugo)

Another Sukkot observance is the taking of the Four Kinds: an etrog (citron), a lulav (palm frond), three hadassim (myrtle twigs) and two aravot (willow twigs).

(Read more here: Four Kinds Owner’s Manual)

On each day of the festival (except Shabbat), we take the Four Kinds, recite a blessing over them, bring them together and wave them in all six directions: right, left, forward, up, down and backward. The sages of the Midrash tell us that the Four Kinds represent the various personalities that comprise the community of Israel, whose intrinsic unity we emphasize on Sukkot.

(Read more here: The Four Kinds)

Hoshanot and Hoshanah Rabbah

Jews circling the bimah on Sukkot. Credit: Alex Levin

Jews circling the bimah on Sukkot. Credit: Alex Levin

Every day of Sukkot we say Hallel, a collection of psalms of praise (Psalms 113-118) as part of the morning prayer service. Every day aside for Shabbat, we recite Hallel while holding the Four Kinds, waving them in all directions at certain key points in the service, which are outlined in the siddur (prayerbook).

Afterward, we circle the bimah (the podium on which the Torah is read) holding the Four Kinds, reciting alphabetically arranged prayers for Divine assistance known as Hoshanot.

The seventh day of the holiday is known as Hoshanah Rabbah. This is the day when our fates for the coming year—which were signed on Rosh Hashanah and sealed on Yom Kippur—are finalized. On this day, we circle the bimah seven times. We also say a short prayer and strike the ground five times with bundles of five willows (also known as Hoshanot)

(Read more here: Hoshanot: Winding and Willows)

Sukkot in the Holy Temple

In the days of the holy Temple in Jerusalem, there was a special regimen of sacrifices that were to be brought on the altar. On the first day, no less than 13 bulls, two rams, and 14 lambs were to be sacrificed. Every day, the number of bulls was depleted by one. All in all, 70 bulls were brought, corresponding to the 70 nations of the world.

Along with Passover and Shavuot, Sukkot is one of the Shalosh Regalim, the three annual pilgrimages, when every male Jew was to be in Jerusalem. Every seven years, on Sukkot, the king would read aloud from the Torah to the entire nation—men, women and children. This special gathering was known as Hakhel.

(Read more here: What Is Hakhel?)

Water and Joy

On Sukkot, G‑d determines how much rain will fall that winter (the primary rainy season in Israel). Thus, while every sacrifice in the Temple included wine libations poured over the altar, on Sukkot, water was also poured over the altar in a special ceremony. This ritual engendered such joy that it was celebrated with music, dancing and singing all night long. This celebration was called “Simchat Beit Hasho’evah.”

Even today, when there is no Temple, it is customary to hold nightly celebrations that include singing and dancing (and even live music during the intermediate days of the holiday).

This holiday is so joyous that in Talmudic times, when someone said the word chag (“holiday”) without specifying which one, you could know that they were referring to Sukkot.

(Read more here: The Joyous Water-Drawing Ceremony)

Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah: Even More Joy

Chabad Telethon/Youtube

Chabad Telethon/Youtube

The Torah tells us that after the seven days of Sukkot, we should celebrate an eighth day. In the diaspora, this eighth day is doubled, making two days of yom tov. On the final day, it is customary to conclude and then immediately begin the annual cycle of Torah reading, making this day Simchat Torah (“Torah Celebration”).

Although the eighth day follows Sukkot, it is actually an independent holiday in many respects (we no longer take the Four Kinds or dwell in the sukkah). Diaspora Jews eat in the sukkah, but without saying the accompanying blessing (there are some who eat just some of their meals in the sukkah on the eighth day but not the ninth).

The highlight of this holiday is the boisterous singing and dancing in the synagogue, as the Torah scrolls are paraded in circles around the bimah.

(Read more here: What to Expect at Simchat Torah)

Final Note

By the time Simchat Torah is over, we have experienced a spiritual roller coaster, from the solemn introspection of the High Holidays to the giddy joy of Sukkot and Simchat Torah. Now it is time to convert the roller coaster into a locomotive, making sure that the inspiration of the holiday season propels us to greater growth, learning and devotion in the year ahead.By Menachem Posner

Rabbi Menachem Posner serves as staff editor at, the world’s largest Jewish informational website. He has been writing, researching, and editing for since 2006, when he received his rabbinic degree from Central Yeshiva Tomchei Temimin Lubavitch. He resides in Chicago, Ill., with his family.More from Menachem Posner  |  RSS

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Facts About Plastic

Plastic production is off the charts

The popularity of plastic, which began rising in the 1950s, is growing out of control—18.2 trillion pounds of plastic have been produced around the world, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. And there’s no sign of slowing down, considering scientists say that another 26.5 trillion pounds will be produced worldwide by 2050.

Plastic ends up in our oceans

“Every piece of plastic that has ever been created will remain in the environment in some form, but once we conveniently throw out our trash at home, wind and runoff carry our waste from landfills and streets down the sewer and directly to the ocean,” says Mystic Aquarium’s chief clinical veterinarian Jennifer Flower, DVM, MS. “With the average American throwing away 185 pounds of trash per year and globally producing over 320 million tonnes of plastic annually, the marine environment is taking a big hit from our daily disposal of plastic. Our plastic consumption is directly affecting the marine life in the ocean including fish, which is a main source of food for humans as well. Often our society is so focused on making our lives more convenient in the short term, but in the long run, our health and the health of marine life are at the expense of those everyday conveniences.”

BPA mimics human hormones

BPA (bisphenol A) is a chemical that has been used in the production of plastics since the 1960s and often comes into direct contact with food, including plastic packaging, kitchenware, and the inner coatings of cans and jar caps. Studies show that BPA interacts with estrogen receptors and play a role in the pathogenesis of several endocrine disorders, including female and male infertility, early puberty, breast and prostate cancer, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). There’s a reason you see so many products being marketed as BPA-free these days.

BPA linked to obesity

As a known endocrine disruptor, BPA can interfere with normal endocrine system functioning, including the serum levels of hormones that regulate metabolism. There is growing evidence that BPA may play a role in the development of obesity both in utero and later in life.

BPA affects thyroid function

Thyroid hormones, which regulate energy in the body, are also altered by BPA. In November 2016, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health published evidence linking BPA with autoimmune thyroid disorders (such as Hashimoto’s disease). Lab tests measuring BPA exceeded measurable detection limits in 52 percent of individuals with elevated thyroid antibodies. The toxic levels of BPA had caused their thyroid gland to be under autoimmune attack.

BPA causes birth defects and miscarriages

A new study has found evidence that BPA may negatively impact women’s reproductive systems and cause chromosome damage, birth defects and miscarriages. Researchers from Washington State University and the University of California, Davis, found that monkeys exposed to BPA in utero experienced reproductive abnormalities that increased their risk of giving birth to offspring with Down syndrome or even suffering a miscarriage.

BPA increases diabetes risk

A report issued by the US Endocrine Society indicates that exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs)—like BPA—can raise your risk of diabetes. The group pointed to numerous studies, including a long-term epidemiological study which tied EDCs to type 2 diabetes

Bottled water is full of microplastic

Large pieces of plastic break down into microplastics. A recently released study tested 259 water bottles from 11 brands sold across nine countries, including the United States. The findings? A whopping 93 percent of those tested contained microplastic contamination—at an average of 10.4 plastic particles per liter of water. That’s double the plastic contamination found in tap water. Of these plastic particles, 65 percent were “fragments” of plastic, including the plastic used to make the bottle caps.

Heat and plastic don’t mix

According to Harvard medical experts, when food is wrapped in plastic—or placed in a plastic container and microwaved—BPA and phthalates may leak into the food. They note that migration is likely to be greater with fatty foods, such as meats and cheeses. “Heated plastic leaches chemicals 55 times faster, so whether you’re reheating a plate in the microwave, putting hot food in a storage container, or using a plate that’s been run through a hot dishwasher, you’re upping your chance of chemical leaching,” says Casper. If you want to microwave leftovers, choose a glass dish like Pyrex and leave the BPA-free lid off just to be safe.

Plastic promotes Alzheimer’s disease

“Plastic promotes the formation of toxic brain proteins linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Jennie Ann Freiman MD, author of The SEEDS Plan, a book inspired by her own mother’s Alzheimer’s disease. “The brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease are riddled with plastic deposits. Anyone with brain fog or impaired thinking should take note.”

Scratches in plastic lead to leaching

Bits of plastic get into your food from containers through a process called leaching, and when plastic is scratched, it speeds up the leaching process. For that reason, be sure to throw out worn plastic items (such as food storage containers). To further avoid this toxic transfer, eat less canned food and more frozen or fresh food. Also, avoid using bottles and plastic containers that are made from polycarbonate (often marked with a number 7 or the letters PC) and phthalates (marked with a number 3 or PVC).

Not all plastic is recyclable

Did you know that plastic bags, straws, and coffee cups aren’t even recyclable? For instance, National Geographic cites the problem with recycling a coffee cup: While the outside of a coffee cup is made of paper, there’s a thin layer of the plastic inside (to protect you from getting burned and to insulate the cup from cooling too quickly). Those two different materials would need to either be separated by hand or with a special machine, and that practice is too time-consuming and expensive.

You’re eating plastic dust at every meal

No matter how clean you think your house is, a Heriot-Watt University study reveals that you could be swallowing more than 100 tiny plastic particles with every meal. So where is it coming from? The soft furnishings and synthetic fabrics all-around your house, which mix with dust and then fall on your dinner plate. The scientists concluded that the average person swallows up to 68,415 potentially dangerous plastic fibers a year simply through eating.

Plastic water bottles aren’t being recycled

Water bottles are made of completely recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, which means they are 100 percent recyclable. However, of the approximately 50 billion plastic water bottles Americans used in 2006, we recycled just 23 percent; essentially, we toss 38 billion water bottles a year into landfills. Current statistics show that 1 million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and that number is expected to rise another 20 percent by 2021. So ditch single-use plastic bottles and invest in a reusable bottle, like Simple Modern that is made entirely from stainless steel—even the lid.

Plastic entanglement kills marine life

According to Greenpeace, all known species of sea turtle, 54 percent of all marine mammal species, and 56 percent of all seabird species have been affected by entanglement (mostly by plastic rope and netting) or ingestion (mostly by plastic fragments and microplastic) of marine debris. This includes an estimated 58 percent of seals and sea lions, plus whales, dolphins, porpoises, and manatees.

Plastic emits methane

A study published in PLOS One found that some of the most common plastics release the greenhouse gasses methane (the primary component of natural gas) and ethylene (a hydrocarbon gas) when exposed to sunlight. Researchers noted concerns over the scale of plastic production and waste, as these could contribute to greenhouse gas emissions over time—and these can impact climate change.

Beauty products count, too

There are more single-use plastic products to consider in your daily life beyond straws, water bottles, and grocery bags. For instance, more than 80 billion plastic bottles are being disposed of around the world every year just from shampoo and conditioner alone. This is why environmentally conscious packaging is an important and growing trend. Companies dedicated to sustainable beauty practices, like Ethique (the French word for ‘ethical’), have prevented the manufacture and disposal of more than 350,000 plastic containers worldwide. They’re the world’s first completely zero-plastic, zero-waste beauty brand; their concentrated face, hair, and body products last two-to-five times longer than their traditional bottled counterparts, and dissolve completely—even the sleeves they arrive in are 100 percent dissolvable and compostable, meaning zero consumer waste.

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Facts About Cats~

They Have Amazing Night Vision

  1. Cats can have 8 times as many rod cells than humans, allowing them to see much better in low light. They’re elliptical pupils and a structure called “tapetum lucidum” help collect more light back to the retina for better night vision. It’s because of this that cats are some of nature’s best nocturnal hunters!
Image by Nickolay Lamm 

2. Cats Show Affection With Their Eyes

When your cat gazes at you with its eyes half closed or blinks slowly, it’s a sign of trust! It means they are relaxed and content around you. These slow blinks can be thought of as kitty kisses!

3. The Oldest Known Pet Cat is From 9,500 Years Ago

Most people think the Egyptians domesticated cats, but the oldest record of a pet cat is from 9,500 years ago in Cyprus, Greece. This predates egyptian cats by 4,000 years!

Image by Kiara M. Newman

4. A French Cat Was Sent on a Space Mission

Félicette, also known as “Astro Cat” was the first and only cat to visit outer space. Electrodes wired in her brain sent signals of neurological activity back to earth. Her mission was in 1963 and she made it back safely!

Image Source

5. Cats Hear Better Than Dogs.

Cats can hear two octaves higher than humans and 1 octave higher than dogs. An article posted on animal planet’s websitesays that cat ears are “like a sophisticated satellite dish turning to pick up a signal.”

Image by Gregory Breton

6. Egyptian Cats Had Elaborate Funerals

In ancient Egypt, the family of a deceased cat would mourn by shaving off their eyebrows and having a burial ceremony. They would mummify the cat along with some mice to keep them company in the afterlife.

Image Source

7. Cat Brains are More Similar to Human Brains than Dog Brains

Human brains and cat brains have a very similar structure. Cats and humans have identical regions of the brain responsible for emotion. They even have the capacity for short-term and long-term memory, just like humans.

Image Source

8. Some Cats Like Water!

Some cats in hot climates like to cool off by taking a dip. For example, Turkish Vans love to swim and hunt fish. Most cats don’t like water because their fur is not water resistant, but the Turkish Van has a water resistant coat.

Image Source

9. Cats Sweat Through Their Paws

Cats don’t have sweat glands all over their body like humans do. Instead, they sweat through their paws. A sweaty cat may leave behind wet paw-prints! Since their paws have very little surface area, they take extra steps to stay cool like finding a shady spot or laying down on cool surfaces.

10. Cats Can’t Taste Sweet Things

Cats are the only known mammals who do not have taste receptors for sweetness.  A 2005 Monell Chemical Senses Center study in Philadelphia found that cats lack the amino acids needed to make the sugar detector gene. This is true for all cats- lions, tigers, and leopards included.

Image Source

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Did You Know?


There are multiple stories about Beethoven’s now-famous last words. One report said he stated, “I will hear in Heaven.” Another report attributed “Plaudite, amici, comedia finita est” to the famed composer (“Applaud, friends, the comedy is finished”). And yet another story says someone brought him a dozen bottles of wine, to which he replied: “Pity, pity, too late.

Image result for beethoven

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Bugs of the Summer~Information
firefly lit up on a leaf

Lightning bug facts

These fascinating creatures are among several species of bio-luminescent insects that produce visible light. They store the chemicals and enzymes needed to produce the flashes in their bodies and mix it with oxygen to create the light. These flashes are unique to each species and the observer (and potential mates) can recognize which one they are seeing just by watching the flight pattern or counting the flashes. Females wait in the grass in one spot while flashing their ‘come hither’ lights directing the males to a rendezvous. Once mated, the females lay their eggs and die shortly after. Lightning bugs do not bite or sting and the light they emit has no heat. That’s why they are irresistible to kids. They fly slowly and are easy to catch in cupped hands. Some species of fireflies also have bio-luminescent eggs that flash when disturbed and the larvae (known as glow-worms) also emit light. Fireflies are pollen eaters and do not do any harm to flowers, grasses or trees.

Lightning bug lore

These unique little insects are special to many cultures around the world. They are believed to hold the souls of the departed in Japan. Another Asian legend was that fireflies were the souls of warriors that had fallen in battle. Native Americans believed that the fox tried to steal fire from the fireflies and set his tail on fire with some bark. He gives the hawk the flaming bark as he left the village, who scattered the embers as he flew away. That’s how the Apache people first received fire. The Victorians, who were experts at celebrating death and mourning believed that if a firefly came into a home that someone would die.

striped junebug

June bugs mean summer is here

June bugs did not have the same allure as the lightning bugs, however we still liked them because they meant that summer was officially here, and they also made good fishing bait. We saw two different beetles that we called June bugs here in western Kentucky. We saw striped ones and brown ones at night and the bigger, metallic green ones during the day. The night-time June bugs often arrived in May and while their numbers were the highest in early summer, they stayed around most of the season. The big, bumbling, clumsy beetles were attracted to the light over the garage door every evening and there were a couple of fat toads that lived under the porch steps that were well fed on June bugs. When they inevitably hit the garage door and fell to the ground, the toads were always waiting to slurp them up with their long, sticky tongues. There are over 100 species of scarab beetles that people call June bugs.

June bug lore

Many cultures with June bug lore believe that the presence of June bugs represent someone with a tough personality and not easily crushed by life’s troubles. On the opposite side of this, the term ‘crazy as a June bug in May’ describes someone who acts irrationally, probably because the June bugs seem irrational when they bumble around the lights at night.

June bug facts and how to deal with the larvae

It is unknown why certain insects are attracted to night-time lights. Most often it is the males, although in a few species both genders flock to the light. Often, they fly around the lights all night until they drop to the ground, exhausted. A popular theory is that they rely on a light source, such as the moon or the sun to navigate, however scientists really do not know why they have this behavior. June bugs flock to lights in such numbers that they often interfere with outdoor activities, bumbling and bumping into guests and family members on patios and in pools. June bugs to not bite or sting, however they do have prickly, stiff hairs on their legs that might pinch a bit if they land on you. The real problem with June bugs is the larval form. These grubs (which are also great fish bait) live in lawns and turf grass and cause damage by eating the roots. Damage appears as brown patches of dead grass and turf that is easily pulled with no roots attached. The grub population also attracts moles and armadillos and they can wreck a lawn with their tunnels and digging. A natural way to rid your lawn of these grubs is by broadcasting Hb nematodes across the lawn. The nematodes are tiny, microscopic worms that burrow into the grubs and kill them from the inside. If you go this route, then do not use the poisons that are available on the market, as they will kill the nematodes you’ve just bought too.

Summer in the South means bugs and humidity and you can either choose to embrace it or move. I grew up in a time where summer evenings were for sitting on the porch with a glass of sweet tea and your neighbors, or kids playing hide-and-seek or catching lightning bugs. Even now, the sight of fireflies blinking as I drive down the highway brings back fond memories and I head home to sit in my porch swing with a tall glass of sweet tea and enjoy the show in my front yard.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Memorial Day Facts

Interesting Memorial Day Facts:
The true origins of who held the first Memorial Day celebration is a debated subject.
Approximately 620,000 soldiers on both sides died during the Civil War.
The Grand Army of the Republic was created by the Union Army to honor their dead. After World War I the American Legion took over their duties.
Congress passed a law in 2000 that requires all Americans to stop what they are doing at 3pm on Memorial Day to remember and to honor those who have died serving the United States. President Clinton signed this action.
The flag is supposed to be flown at half-mast until noon, and then raised to full mast until sunset on Memorial Day.
The tradition of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day originated from John McCrae’s 1915 poem In Flanders Fields. In Canada they wear red poppies to honor their soldiers on Remembrance Day in November each year.
Although not as popular today, one tradition was to eat a picnic meal while sitting on the ground of a cemetery. There are still some people in the rural areas of the South that continue to practice this tradition.
It’s common for volunteers to place the American flag on graves in the national cemeteries. Memorial Day is also a popular day for people to visit cemeteries and honor those who have died while serving in the military.
It’s estimated that approximately 32 million people travel by car over Memorial Day weekend.
Memorial Day also marks the beginning of the summer vacation season while Labor Day marks the end.
In some areas of the rural South, they hold annual Decoration Days around this time for certain cemeteries, often in the mountains.
Memorial Day is sometimes confused with Veterans Day. However, Veterans Day honors all United States military veterans, while Memorial Day honors the soldiers who died while serving.
In 1966, President Johnson named Waterloo, New York as the original place of Memorial Day.
There were more American lives lost during the Civil War then the two World Wars combined. Approximately 620,000 died during the Civil War while approximately 116,516 died in World War I and approximately 405,399 died in World War II.
There are more than 300,000 fallen soldiers buried at Arlington Cemetery. On average, there are 28 burials there each day.
Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia celebrate Confederate Memorial Day. These are former Confederate states, and they celebrate on various other days ranging from January 19th to June 3rd.
In 2012 there was a movie made called Memorial Day. John and James Cromwell and Jonathan Bennett starred in the film. The story revolves around a 13 year old boy who finds his grandpa’s footlocker from the 2nd World War.
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