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13 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate In September

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Even after Labor Day has come and gone, there is still plenty to celebrate this month. If none of the following holidays catch your fancy, just remember that September also marks Happy Cat Month.

1. SEPTEMBER 3: SKYSCRAPER DAY

Celebrate the architectural triumphs that make the skyline of your city unique with this ode to oversized buildings. This day coincides with the birthday of Louis Sullivan, the influential architect who helped develop and advance the skyscraper movement in the late 19th century.

2. SEPTEMBER 4: NATIONAL NEWSPAPER CARRIER DAY

This day honors Barney Flaherty, who was hired as the first paperboy for the New York Sun way back in 1833. (International Newspaper Carrier Day, meanwhile, is celebrated on October 11.)

3. SEPTEMBER 5: CHEESE PIZZA DAY

No frills, just deliciousness.

4. SEPTEMBER 6: FIGHT PROCRASTINATION DAY

Don't put it off!

5. SEPTEMBER 7: NEITHER RAIN NOR SNOW DAY

September 7 is the anniversary of the opening of the New York Post Office in 1914, and the name of the holiday comes from the inscription on the building: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

6. SEPTEMBER 13: GRANDPARENTS DAY

Mom and dad get one, so why not the older generation? Grandparents Day has been celebrated annually on the first Sunday after Labor Day since 1978. Many other countries have their own versions sometime during the year and, unlike the U.S., they often give grandmothers and grandfathers their own separate days.

7. SEPTEMBER 16: MAYFLOWER DAY

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This is the anniversary of the day in 1620 when 102 men, women, and children set sail from Plymouth, England aboard the Mayflower.

8. SEPTEMBER 16: ANNE BRADSTREET DAY

On the anniversary of her death in 1672, we honor Anne Bradstreet, who emigrated to the colonies in 1630 and is considered to be America's first poet for her 1650 work, The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America. She was also the first female writer to be published in the British colonies.

9. SEPTEMBER 17: CONSTITUTION DAY

On September 17, 1787, the Constitution of the United States of America was officially signed, although it wasn't voted into effect until two years later. Since 1952, Citizenship Day has also been celebrated on September 17.

10. SEPTEMBER 22: ELEPHANT APPRECIATION DAY

This ode to oversized pachyderms was created by Mission Media Inc. founder Wayne Hepburn in 1996. Years before, his daughter had given him an elephant paperweight that incited a life-long obsession with the animals, that culminated in the creation of this holiday.

11. SEPTEMBER 22: HOBBIT DAY

On the fictional birthday of both Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, J.R.R. Tolkien fans celebrate all things Lord of the Rings.

12. SEPTEMBER 24: NATIONAL PUNCTUATION DAY

Let the oxford comma debates abound!

13. SEPTEMBER 26: JOHNNY APPLESEED DAY

There is some debate about whether this American folklore hero should be celebrated on the anniversary of his birth on September 26, or on the anniversary of his death in March. But this is a celebration, after all, so let's stick with his birthday.

All photos courtesy of iStock unless otherwise noted.

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7 Surprising Uses for Tequila
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Happy National Margarita Day! While you could celebrate by having a few drinks, you could also skip the hangover by unlocking one of tequila's amazing abilities outside of the glass. Many spirits are useful for activities beyond sipping (vodka, for example, is a great stain and odor remover), but tequila holds some particularly magical powers. Here are just a few of them.

1. SYNTHETIC BAUBLE

In 2008, a team of scientists in Mexico discovered that when the heated vapor from an 80-proof tequila blanco was combined with a silicon or stainless steel substrate, it resulted in the formation of diamond films. These films can be used in commercial applications, such as electrical insulators, or to create one big fake diamond. Who knew that spending $50 on a bottle of Don Julio was such a wise investment?

2. ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCE

Keeping with the science theme: In 2011, researchers at England’s University of Oxford suggested that we may one day be gassing up our cars with tequila. They identified agave, the plant from which tequila is produced, as a potential biofuel source—and a particularly attractive one, as the plant itself is not consumed by humans and can thrive in desert climates.

3. WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT

Scientists have long promoted the potential benefits of the agave plant for its ability to help dissolve fats and lower cholesterol. The bad news? These properties get a bit diluted when the plant is distilled into alcohol. Even more so when it's whipped into a sugary margarita.

4. SLEEP AID

Take three or more shots of tequila and you’re bound to pass out. A single shot can have the same effect—just not in that drunken stupor kind of way. Relaxation is one of the positive side effects of tequila drinking; a small amount (1 to 1.5 ounces) before bedtime can reportedly help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

5. COLON CLEANSER

Too much of a good thing may not bring a welcome turn of events for your liver … but your colon will thank you! Researchers at Mexico’s University of Guadalajara have identified the blue agave as a potentially helpful source for delivering drugs to the colon in order to treat colitis, IBS, Crohn’s disease and even cancer.

6. DIABETES PREVENTATIVE

If Ernest Hemingway had known about the healing properties of tequila, his signature drink might have been a margarita instead of a daiquiri. In 2010, experiments conducted at Mexico’s Polytechnic Institute of Guanajuato revealed that the agave plant (which is high in fructans, a fructose polymer) could stimulate the GLP-1 hormone, aiding in increased insulin production.

7. COLD REMEDY

“Plenty of liquids” is a well-known remedy for getting oneself out from under the weather. But expanding that definition to include a kicked-up shot of tequila makes a day laid out on the couch sound much more appealing. In the 1930s, doctors in Mexico recommended the following concoction to fight off a cold.

.5 ounce of tequila blanco
.5 ounce of agave nectar (to eliminate bacteria and soothe sore throats)
.5 ounce of fresh lime juice (for Vitamin C)

Though some people (including tequila companies) swear by its healing powers, others say it's hogwash.

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Big Questions
Where Should You Place the Apostrophe in President's Day?
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Happy Presidents’ Day! Or is it President’s Day? Or Presidents Day? What you call the national holiday depends on where you are, who you’re honoring, and how you think we’re celebrating.

Saying "President’s Day" infers that the day belongs to a singular president, such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays are the basis for the holiday. On the other hand, referring to it as "Presidents’ Day" means that the day belongs to all of the presidents—that it’s their day collectively. Finally, calling the day "Presidents Day"—plural with no apostrophe—would indicate that we’re honoring all POTUSes past and present (yes, even Andrew Johnson), but that no one president actually owns the day.

You would think that in the nearly 140 years since "Washington’s Birthday" was declared a holiday in 1879, someone would have officially declared a way to spell the day. But in fact, even the White House itself hasn’t chosen a single variation for its style guide. They spelled it “President’s Day” here and “Presidents’ Day” here.


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Maybe that indecision comes from the fact that Presidents Day isn’t even a federal holiday. The federal holiday is technically still called “Washington’s Birthday,” and states can choose to call it whatever they want. Some states, like Iowa, don’t officially acknowledge the day at all. And the location of the punctuation mark is a moot point when individual states choose to call it something else entirely, like “George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day” in Arkansas, or “Birthdays of George Washington/Thomas Jefferson” in Alabama. (Alabama loves to split birthday celebrations, by the way; the third Monday in January celebrates both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert E. Lee.)

You can look to official grammar sources to declare the right way, but even they don’t agree. The AP Stylebook prefers “Presidents Day,” while Chicago Style uses “Presidents’ Day.”

The bottom line: There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Go with what feels right. And even then, if you’re in one of those states that has chosen to spell it “President’s Day”—Washington, for example—and you use one of the grammar book stylings instead, you’re still technically wrong.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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