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January 1: New Year's Day
February12: Lincoln's Birthday
February 14: Valentine's Day
February 19: Presidents' Day
February 22: Washington's Birthday
March 8: International Women's Day
March 17: St. Patrick's Day

January is Innovative Thinking Month—a time to look at new approaches to old (and new) situations. We in AFSCME are redesigning government. Maybe there are segments of our councils and/or local unions that would benefit from redesign.

January 4: Utah Admission Anniversary—the 100th anniversary of the day Utah became the 45th state.

January 7-13: Autism Awareness Week—a week filled with events, family activities, and information on autism.

January 11: International Thank You Day—a day to thank someone from your past or present who did something nice for you. Write, call, or fax your thanks.

January 15: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday—recognizes the contributions of the civil rights leader, minister, and recipient of the 1964 Nobel Prize for Peace. He was born in 1929, and was murdered on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, where he was supporting an AFSCME strike by sanitation workers. This is also celebrated as Humanitarian Day.

January 15-19: National Word Processing Transcriptionist Week—a time to acknowledge the contribution of word processing personnel in all areas of business and health care. This is their week to celebrate.

January 17: Maintenance Day—a day to honor the unsung heroes who work so hard to keep buildings, hospitals, nursing homes, factories, and other places of business in good, safe, working order. They are generally Jacks/Jills of all trades, and AFSCME represents many. Let’s salute them all!

January 20: George Burns’s Birthday—the beloved actor and comedian turns 100 today. “Say goodnight, Gracie.”

January 21-FFebruary 19: Ramadan—The Month of Fasting—begins on the Islamic lunar calendar date Ramadan 1, 1416. The date may vary since each new month of the Islamic calendar begins only when Allah reveals the first sliver of the new moon. All adults of sound body and mind fast from dawn until sunset to achieve spiritual and physical purification and self-discipline, abstaining from food, drink, and intimate relations. Different dates may be used by different Muslim sects or groups. Has your council/local union ever held a program on Islam?

January 24: National School Nurse Day—a day to honor the school nurse and to foster a better understanding of the role of school nurses in the educational setting. Is there a school nurse in your children’s school?

January 25: First Televised Presidential News Conference—beginning a tradition, Pres. John F. Kennedy held the first televised presidential news conference five days after his inauguration—35 years ago today.

January 28: Super Bowl XXX—the NFC and AFC champions will do battle at Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Ariz. Maybe your local could sponsor a tailgate party get-together for the game.

January 29: Kansas Admission Day—the 135th anniversary of the day Kansas became our 34th state.

January 31: Nationally Certified Psychiatric Technicians Day—a day to acknowledge the mental health employees who have worked to gain the education and experience needed for national certification. Caring for the mentally ill is a job that calls for dedication and stamina. Take a well-deserved bow!

February is Afro-American History Month—a special time to recognize the achievements and contributions of black Americans. This year’s theme: “African American Women: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” AFSCME members around the country celebrate this month at the union and on the job.

February 2: Charter Members Named to Baseball Hall of Fame—the 60th anniversary of the day five charter members of the brand-new Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y., were announced. Of 226 ballots cast: Ty Cobb was named on 222, Babe Ruth on 215, Honus Wagner on 215, Christy Mathewson on 205, and Walter Johnson on 189.

February 5-11: Boy Scouts of America Anniversary Week—chartered by Congress 80 years ago, the scouts offer great opportunities to the young people who join. In cooperation with the AFL-CIO and members of its unions, the Boy Scouts of America are developing skilled trades exploring posts. If your council/local union is involved with scouting, the AFL-CIO would like to know. Call Alan Bosch at (202) 637-5193.

February 8: James Dean’s Birthday—the American stage, film, and television actor who won great popularity during his brief career would have turned 65.

February 9: AFL-CIO Merger Anniversary—on this day in 1955, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations announced a merger agreement with George Meany to serve as president.

February 12: Clean Out Your Computer Day—a day dedicated to purging and organizing computer files that are devouring disk space, slowing systems, and confounding users who try to locate documents.

February 18-24: National Engineers Week—the 46th annual observance. AFSCME represents engineers all across the country. Three cheers for these folks who help us all get the job done.

February 18: Chinese New Year—begins at sunset tonight, the second new moon following the winter solstice. This is year 4694, the Year of the Rat. Why not hold a council/local union program about our members of Asian ancestry and their customs and traditions.

February 20: Mardi Gras—the last feast before Lent begins tomorrow. This day is celebrated especially in New Orleans.

February 21: First Woman Graduates from Dental School Anniversary—the 130th anniversary of the day Lucy Hobbs graduated from a dental school in Cincinnati, Ohio.

February 22: Montgomery Bus Boycott Arrests Anniversary—Montgomery, Ala.’s city leaders issued an ultimatum to the organizers of the three-month-old Montgomery bus boycott on Feb. 20, 1956, making it clear that arrests were planned if the boycott did not end. Two days later, 80 boycott leaders, including Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr., presented themselves for arrest. The resulting national publicity led to victory—and an end to segregation on public buses throughout the South.

February 24: Wilhelm Grimm’s Birthday—the mythologist and author was born 210 years ago today. With his brother, Jacob, he collected and published the stories that made up Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

March is Mental Retardation Awareness Month—a time to educate the public about the needs of the nation’s more than 7 million citizens with mental retardation and about ways to prevent retardation. Today many hold down jobs. Are there members of your local with mental retardation? Do they get the kind of support they need at work and in the union?

March 4-8: National School Breakfast Week—focuses on the importance of a nutritious breakfast served in the schools, giving children a good start to their day. AFSCME continues the fight to save school breakfasts and lunches from the congressional budget ax.

March 4: Vermont Admission Day—the 205th anniversary of the day Vermont became the 14th state.

March 10-16: Girl Scout Week—observes the anniversary of the founding of the Girl Scouts of America, the largest voluntary organization for girls and women in the world. Last year, the Minnesota State AFL-CIO presented the Mother Jones Award to AFSCME Local 3142 member Lonna-Jean Schmidt. She was honored for her work with the Girl Scouts.

March 10: Telephone Invention Anniversary—the 120th anniversary of the day Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the first telephone message to his assistant in the next room: “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.”

March 18: First Electric Razor Anniversary—it was marketed by Shick, 65 years ago.

March 22: National Goof-Off Day—a day of relaxation and a time to be oneself; a day for good-humored fun and good-natured silliness. Everyone needs one special day each year to goof off.

March 25: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Anniversary—the devastating New York City fire that 85 years ago left 146 workers dead, most of them young immigrant women, became a turning point in labor history. It brought about reforms in health and safety laws.

March 30: Francisco Jose de Goya’s Birthday—the Spanish painter and etcher was born 250 years ago. It is estimated that he executed more than 1,800 paintings, drawings, and lithographs during his lifetime.

March 31: Bunsen Burner Day—a day to honor Robert Wilhelm Eberhard von Bunsen, the inventor of the Bunsen burner, who was born 185 years ago today. It is one of the most indispensable instruments for chemists and chemistry students.

For more information about national and local events, look for Chase’s Calendar of Events in your local library or bookstore.


AFSCME Members Recognized for Leadership in Scouting

Each year, AFL-CIO state federations and central labor councils present the George Meany Scouting Award to union members who have demonstrated support for and involvement in scouting. In 1995, the following AFSCME members received the award:

Susan Pletcher, member of Local 2498 in Greensburg,Pa. Presented by the Central Westmoreland County, Pa., Labor Union, AFL-CIO.

Donald Szymczak, member of Local 66 in Duluth, Minn. Presented by the Duluth AFL-CIO Central Body.

George Spitale, president of Local 418 in Jamestown, N.Y. Presented by the New York State AFL-CIO.

In addition, AFSCME Local 2985 member Richard D. Crissinger Jr., from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received a Labor Wood Badge Scholarship recognizing his work with the Hawkeye Area Council of Boy Scouts. He will be able to use the scholarship for further training.


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