Daily Archives: October 17, 2013

October 18: Alaska Day

Flag_of_Alaska.svgOn March 30, 1867, the United States purchased the Alaskan Territory from Russia, a purchase of 586,412 square miles for a total of $7.2 million, negotiated by Secretary of State William Seward. Although many ridiculed this exchange as Seward’s Folly, years later, the last Monday in March became known as Seward’s Day.

Denali_Mt_McKinleyAlthough the purchase was made in March, the official transfer didn’t occur until October 18, 1867, nearly six months later. The ceremony was held in Sitka, one of the southernmost cities of Alaska, where representatives of both sides met to lower the Russian flag and raise the US flag in its place.

Today is Alaska is the largest U.S. state (in square miles) by far, and yet the 4th least populous. Alaska Day is now a state holiday, celebrated, especially in Sitka, with parades, reenactments, and, of course, the day off!

“For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.”

Psalm 95:3-5

P.S. October 18 is also International Necktie Day, so be sure to be stylin’!

October 17: Mulligan Day

Are you ready for a do-over?

Golfer_swingIn golf, a player can do a mulligan and simply redo their shot. The term comes from David Mulligan, a Canadian golfer in the 1920s. One day, he made a poor tee-shot (the stories debate exactly why), so he simply put down a new ball and teed again. His friends rejected his term “correction shot,” and decided to call it a mulligan. I’m sure they ribbed him mercilessly over it, and yet the name and practice spread.

Thankfully, Mulligan Day isn’t limited to golf. The holiday is meant to encourage people to try something again. So maybe it didn’t go too well the first time! Oh well. Take a mulligan and try again.

P.S. October 17 is also Wear Something Gaudy Day!