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10 Musicians With Official "Days" Named After Them

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Rock stars have got it made. They’ve got fame, fortune, and a bevy of attractive better halves. If they’re really lucky, they’ve also got a mantel piled with Grammys. And if they’re really, really lucky, someday they might even have a full 24-hour time period named in their honor. Just as these 10 musicians do.


In January, Bill Simpson—the mayor of Aberdeen, Washington—announced that beginning this year, February 20th will be celebrated annually as Kurt Cobain Day. “Aberdeen residents may justifiably take pride in the role our community played in the life of Kurt Cobain and the international recognition our community has gained from its connections with Kurt Cobain and his artistic achievements,” states the official proclamation. The city—population 16,896—already pays tribute to its most famous resident on its welcome sign, which touts the slogan “Come As You Are.”


Fifty years ago, Beatlemania made its official arrival stateside when the Fab Four took the stage on The Ed Sullivan Show twice in one week (first in New York, then on location in Miami Beach). But their fans in Liverpool proved there’s no place like home by declaring July 10th—the day the band arrived back to England in 1964—as Beatles Day.


January 8th—Elvis Presley’s birthday—has become a day of tribute for the original King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s fans around the world. But Graceland in Memphis is still the mecca for his most devoted admirers, where Elvis Presley Day is a multi-day affair with a jam-packed calendar of events that this year included a gospel music tribute, a trivia tour, and, of course, cake!


Nearly 23 years after Purple Rain hit theaters, Prince made a triumphant return to his hometown of Minneapolis for a trio of concerts on July 7, 2007 on what became known as Prince Day. In addition to shows at the Macy’s Auditorium and Target Center, the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince also put on a show for the crowd at First Avenue, the club featured in the cult classic rock drama.


Among the many fine contributions Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has made to the pop culture conversation in the past several months is the official declaration of February 6th as Bob Marley Day. This year would have marked the 69th birthday of the Jamaican singer-songwriter, whom Ford’s proclamation describes as “an influential musician, advocate for human rights, and international ambassador of peace.” No word yet as to whether this will be declared the official Bob Marley Day dance.


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Though the date changes from summer to summer, the event itself is a highly anticipated annual event: Jerry Day serves as a cultural and community tribute to one of the music industry’s most celebrated guitarists, and one of San Francisco’s most beloved native sons. The music-filled festival all goes down at The Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park.


Though he was born in Seattle, the city of San Francisco also recognizes the contributions that Jimi Hendrix made to its music scene, particularly the half-dozen shows he played at the city’s legendary Winterland Ballroom, by naming September 13th Jimi Hendrix-Winterland Day. The official proclamation cites Hendrix as a “symbol of the ingenuity and experimentation that San Francisco prizes.”


Shortly after Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch lost his battle with cancer in 2012, fan Mike Kearney organized a musical tribute in the musician’s honor in Gowanus, Brooklyn as “an outlet in which to communicate, express ourselves, and offer our gratitude for the gift of Adam Yauch.” Kearney has kept the event going ever since, with this year’s MCA Day planned for May 3rd at Littlefield Performance + Art Space. Past years have featured a lineup of DJs and Beastie Boys-inspired art.


September 5th, a.k.a. Freddie for a Day, is an annual AIDS fundraising event in the name of Freddie Mercury. It was started by Liz Swanton, a City of London banker (and Web Editor of the Mercury Phoenix Trust AIDS charity) who once raised more than $2300 by dressing up like the late Queen frontman for a day. So she decided to make it a regular thing. The 2013 event raised more than $226,000.

10. ABBA

It takes three whole days to fete the Swedish pop sensations known as ABBA. International ABBA Day coincides with International ABBA Weekend, which will take place from March 28th to 30th this year in Roosendaal, in the Netherlands. The celebration kicks off with a pub meet-up, which leads into a record and memorabilia fair. ABBA-themed contests, presentations, and special guests are also on the itinerary, as is an all-ABBA disco party to conclude the event. Mamma mia!

All images courtesy of Getty Images unless otherwise noted.

Big Questions
What's the Difference Between Stuffing and Dressing?

For carbohydrate consumers, nothing completes a Thanksgiving meal like stuffing—shovelfuls of bread, celery, mushrooms, and other ingredients that complement all of that turkey protein.

Some people don’t say “stuffing,” though. They say “dressing.” In these calamitous times, knowing how to properly refer to the giant glob of insulin-spiking bread seems necessary. So what's the difference?

Let’s dismiss one theory off the bat: Dressing and stuffing do not correlate with how the side dish is prepared. A turkey can be stuffed with dressing, and stuffing can be served in a casserole dish. Whether it’s ever seen the inside of a bird is irrelevant, and anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong and should be met with suspicion, if not outright derision.

The terms are actually separated due to regional dialects. “Dressing” seems to be the favored descriptor for southern states like Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia, while “stuffing” is preferred by Maine, New York, and other northern areas. (Some parts of Pennsylvania call it "filling," which is a bit too on the nose, but to each their own.)

If “stuffing” stemmed from the common practice of filling a turkey with carbs, why the division? According to The Huffington Post, it may have been because Southerners considered the word “stuffing” impolite, so never embraced it.

While you should experience no material difference in asking for stuffing or dressing, when visiting relatives it might be helpful to keep to their regionally-preferred word to avoid confusion. Enjoy stuffing yourselves.

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High School's Anonymous Pantry Offers Discreet Access to Necessities

Being a teenager is tough enough without having to worry where your next meal is coming from. At Washington High School in Washington, North Carolina, students are able to access an in-house pantry stocked with basic resources, away from the prying eyes of their peers.

In 2015, the high school’s former principal Misty Walker opened a hygiene closet in partnership with Bright Futures, an organization dedicated to helping schools in the community. She told the Huffington Post that she got the idea after being approached by students looking for basic items like toothbrushes and toothpaste. Today, the pantry stocks food, clothing, and school supplies provided by local donors.

If students ever wish to use the closet, all they need to do is confide in a teacher, counselor, or administrator. They will then be taken by a staff member to one of the school’s pantries where they can shop in a private setting free from stigma. Because the program is anonymous, there are no flyers hung up advertising the pantry. Instead, the administration relies on word of mouth to spread the news.

Washington High School's assistant vice principal Melissa Harris took over the project following Walker's departure, and she tells Mental Floss that today it's stronger than ever. "The food pantry is being replenished by partners and student organizations," she says. "Our carpentry kids are also participating in the overhaul and design of the new space. The toiletry closet and clothes closet are in constant use and our partners are assisting in keeping that replenished and it has been a blessing to our students."

Some high schools across the country have followed Washington's lead in recent years. William Penn High School in New Castle, Delaware, and Northridge High School in Layton, Utah, are just a few of the institutions with similar programs.

But Washington High remains ahead of the curve. In preparation for the holidays, the school is hosting food drives for its December backpack program: The plan is to send students home with backpacks filled with two weeks' worth of supplies to get them through the long break. 


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