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20 Offbeat Holidays and Anniversaries to Celebrate in March

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This year presents a month of March packed to the gills with traditional holidays: St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Passover, Passover: Night Two. Luckily our gills have extra room for all the unusual holidays and memorable anniversaries March has to offer as well.

1. March 1: National Peanut Butter Lovers Day


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If you love peanut butter, today is the day to proudly polish off your PB-based sandwich of choice. Reflect on all of the amazing qualities of peanut butter, from its delicious taste to its fantastic gum-removing capabilities. If that’s not enough, there’s even a year-round website for lovers of the legume-based spread.

2. March 1: 52nd Anniversary of the Peace Corps


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A volunteer army intended to combat the evils of Cold War communism with kindness, the Peace Corps took its first steps when President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order on this day in 1961. At the time he was only requesting a trial mission, but the Peace Corps has since become a worldwide humanitarian institution.

3. March 2: National Old Stuff Day

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Sorry hoarders, this holiday does not actually honor the person with the most (old) stuff. Rather, National Old Stuff Day encourages its observers to take a moment to recognize the same old stuff you do every day, and think about how you can break out of these stale routines. So seize the day, because tomorrow may just be more of the same old, same old.

4. March 3: National Anthem Day


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By the dawn’s early light, we do believe the United States adopted The Star Spangled Banner as its national anthem on this very day. Francis Scott Key wrote the famous words in his 1814 poem “Defence of Fort McHenry,” which would later be set to a popular British standard tune. Although recognized over time by various American institutions, the song did not become the official anthem until Congress passed a resolution making it so in 1931.

5. March 4: Casimir Pulaski Day


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The name may sound familiar to fans of indie soft-rocker Sufjan Stevens, but Casimir Pulaski Day is in fact a real Illinois holiday. Observed on the first Monday in March, CPD honors Revolutionary – and Polish – officer Casimir Pulaski. He died in battle, never having become a citizen of the country for which he fought. In 2009, President Obama signed a joint resolution granting him posthumous citizenship 230 years later. (New York City also celebrates Pulaski, but they do it on October 11.)

6. March 5: Cinco de Marcho


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Last year, one of our readers tipped us off to a new holiday called Cinco de Marcho. The 12 Days of Cinco de Marcho commence on the fifth of March, followed with a rigorous training regimen by observers to prepare their livers for St. Patrick’s Day. For games and activities, check out the official site. For your inevitable 12-day-long hangover, aspirin or ibuprofen should help.

7. March 7: Alexander Graham Bell Day


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One hundred thirty-seven years ago to the day, American inventor Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for a little invention called “the telephone.” He was only 29 years old at the time. Instead of spending the day asking yourself what meaningful contribution you made to society before the age of 30, fill your heart with thankfulness because without Graham Bell there wouldn’t be text messages.

8. March 9: National Panic Day


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Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy enthusiasts may struggle to fully embrace this holiday, but this March 9th event encourages you to indulge all of your deepest fears and let loose a rampage of unbridled hysteria. Observational practices may include—but are certainly not limited to—tearing out one’s hair, standing in public spaces and shrieking like a banshee, sobbing uncontrollably, or finally breaking ground on that underground bunker you have always dreamed of building.

9. March 12: National Alfred Hitchcock Day


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Did you know Alfred Hitchcock never won an Oscar for Best Director? Today, regale your friends and family with your encyclopedic knowledge of Hitchcock trivia, or learn some new facts. May we suggest a movie marathon for the evening activity? If you dare…

10. March 12: Katie Fisher Day

Started this year by comedian Matt Fisher in memory of his sister Katie, Katie Fisher Day asks observers to select a person they love, bake cookies, and mail said cookies to said loved one. Sweet message, sweet reward. We're really hoping this new offbeat holiday sticks around!

11. March 13: 232nd Anniversary of the Discovery of Uranus


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The most unfortunately named planet had the good fortune to be discovered by Sir William Herschel on this day in 1781. The world almost missed out on one of the best astronomical puns, as Herschel initially misreported his finding as a common comet. A few other earlier scientists are believed to have observed Uranus prior to Herschel’s discovery, but because he was the one who notified the Astronomer Royal, Herschel gets all the credit for Uranus. We hope you giggled as much reading this paragraph as we did writing it.

12. March 14: National Pi Day


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Don’t let the sound of the name fool you, 3/14 does not commemorate the sweet, baked circuitous treat. However, it is circuitous-related. It is the official day of the Greek letter symbolizing the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, pi, also known as 3.14159265359…

13. March 15: The Ides of March


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Or, roughly, the 2057th anniversary of Julius Caesar’s assassination by Brutus & Co. One of the most famous Roman emperors received the ultimate backstabbing from his political contemporaries who felt he had gotten a little too big for his britches—or in his case, his toga. The word “ides” derives from the Latin word idus, a time word that indicates “middle of the month.” In the case of March, May, July, and October, this meant the 15th day. If you’re a Shakespeare fan, you know that it’s best to beware on this day.

14. March 16: Everything You Do Is Right Day


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Yes, that’s correct. We couldn’t agree more.

15. March 20: Extraterrestrial Abductions Day


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There’s no reason to believe that there will be an unusual proliferation of Unidentified Flying Objects on this out-of-this-world holiday. At least that’s what Big Brother wants you to believe…

16. March 22: 50th Anniversary of the Beatles’ First Album


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Only 50 years ago did the Fab Four embark on their career that would arguably change music forever. Not necessarily their most famous album, Please Please Me still featured such classics as I Saw Her Standing There and Love Me Do. The album was so popular in the British Isles that it topped the charts for 30 consecutive weeks only to be bumped from the top spot by another Beatles album.

17. March 23: National Puppy Day


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You never need an excuse to spend all day long watching adorable young pups playing, but today it is your nationally mandated duty. If merely observing is not enough for you, go to the official website to vote for America’s Most Beautiful Puppy, consider donating to your local animal shelter, or just take the plunge and adopt one! We strongly advise first consulting your partner, parent, or roommate on that last option.

18. March 25: 150th Anniversary of the U.S. Medal of Honor


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Though created in 1861, the highest military honor the United States has to offer made its official debut in 1863 when the United States Department of War awarded it to Union Army soldier Jacob Parrott. Since then, more than 3400 Medals of Honor have been presented to individuals across all divisions of the military.

19. March 25: International Waffle Day


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A tradition that originated in Sweden, and should not be confused with America’s “National Waffle Day” in August, International Waffle Day basically encourages the consumption of all things bready and waffled. The world holiday came out of a religious Swedish holiday called Våffeldagen, which basically means “Our Lady’s Day” or at least so the Internet tells us. To celebrate this day, Swedish families would make waffles. One day, someone had the brilliant idea to divide into two holidays and conquer the world. We can all agree everyone won that day.

20. March 31: Eiffel Tower Day


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One of the world’s most famous “towers” was dedicated to the city of Paris on this day in 1889. Named for its designer, Gustav Eiffel, the structure was intended to commemorate the French Revolution. This Parisian landmark isn’t the only famous structure with Eiffel’s paw prints all over it. He also helped design the framework of New York’s own Statue of Liberty.

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Live Smarter
Why the Best Time to Book Your Thanksgiving Travel Is Right Now
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You're never going to get a true steal on holiday plane tickets, but if you want to avoid spending your whole salary flying to visit your relatives over Thanksgiving, the time is nigh to start picking seats. That's according to the experts at Condé Nast Traveler, who cite data from Expedia and Skyscanner.

The latter found that it was cheapest to secure Thanksgiving tickets 11 weeks before the holiday. That means that you should have bought your ticket around September 4, but it's not too late; you can still save if you book now. Expedia's data shows that the cheapest time to buy is 61 to 90 days before you leave, so you still have until September 23 to snag a seat on a major airline without paying an obscene premium. (Relatively speaking, of course.)

When major travel holidays aren't involved, data shows that the best time to book a plane ticket is on a Sunday, at least 21 days ahead of your travel. But given that millions of other Americans also want to fly on the exact same days during Thanksgiving and Christmas, the calculus of booking is a bit more high stakes. If you sleep on tickets this month, you could be missing out on hundreds of dollars in savings. In the recent study cited by Condé Nast Traveler, Expedia found that people booking during the 61- to 90-day window saved up to 10 percent off the average ticket price, while last-minute bookers who bought tickets six days or less from their travel day paid up to 20 percent more.

Once you secure those Turkey Day tickets, you've got a new project: Your Christmas flights. By Hopper's estimates, those flights rise in price by $1.50 every day between the end of October and December 15 (after which they get even more expensive). However, playing the waiting game can be beneficial, too. Expedia found that the cheapest time to book Christmas flights was just 14 to 20 days out.

Before you buy, we also recommend checking CheapAir.com, which tracks 11,000 different airfares for flights around the holidays to analyze price trends. Because as miserable as holiday travel can be, you don't want to pay any more than you have to.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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Big Questions
Why Can’t You Wear White After Labor Day?
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Wearing white in the summer makes sense. Desert peoples have known for thousands of years that white clothing seems to keep you a little bit cooler than other colors. But wearing white only during the summer? While no one is completely sure exactly when or why this fashion rule came into effect, our best guess is that it had to do with snobbery in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The wives of the super-rich ruled high society with an iron fist after the Civil War. As more and more people became millionaires, though, it was difficult to tell the difference between respectable old money families and those who only had vulgar new money. By the 1880s, in order to tell who was acceptable and who wasn’t, the women who were already “in” felt it necessary to create dozens of fashion rules that everyone in the know had to follow. That way, if a woman showed up at the opera in a dress that cost more than most Americans made in a year, but it had the wrong sleeve length, other women would know not to give her the time of day.

Not wearing white outside the summer months was another one of these silly rules. White was for weddings and resort wear, not dinner parties in the fall. Of course it could get extremely hot in September, and wearing white might make the most sense, but if you wanted to be appropriately attired you just did not do it. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, and society eventually adopted it as the natural endpoint for summer fashion.

Not everyone followed this rule. Even some socialites continued to buck the trend, most famously Coco Chanel, who wore white year-round. But even though the rule was originally enforced by only a few hundred women, over the decades it trickled down to everyone else. By the 1950s, women’s magazines made it clear to middle class America: White clothing came out on Memorial Day and went away on Labor Day.

These days the fashion world is much more relaxed about what colors to wear and when, but every year you will still hear people say that white after Labor Day is unacceptable, all thanks to some snobby millionaires who decided that was a fashion no-no more than 100 years ago.

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