January – a time for new beginnings. Say goodbye to the chaos and revelry of the holidays and close up the books on another year full of accomplishments and disappointments. As the calendar flips over, it’s time to get back on track with the healthy routines that help us manage our lives and our bodies better. But January isn’t only about diets, exercise regimes and financial discipline. As you are gearing up for the year ahead, here are 10 interesting facts about January that have nothing to do with keeping resolutions.
Two Ways To Look at the Year – ‘January’ comes from the name of Roman deity Janus. Also known as the God of Gateways, Janus had two heads so he could see in front and back at the same time. That seems perfect since this is the month many of us look back at previous year in thoughtful reflection and forward towards the New Year with hope and excitement.
Keep Calm and Ladle On – Since January is the coldest month of the year, it makes perfect sense to commemorate National Soup Month. Whether your favorite soup has noodles, is creamy, clears your sinuses with spiciness or comes from a can, there’s nothing better to warm you up on a cold day. But did you know soup can be traced back as far as 6000 B.C.? But perhaps more notable is that hippopotamus was the first known meat used for soups.
Rock Around the Schoolhouse – On the morning of Saturday January 6, 1973, Schoolhouse Rock premiered its series of three-minute shorts that played between regularly scheduled cartoons. Each of the original 37 educational vignettes set basic math, grammar and history lessons to a catchy tune accompanied by playful animation. As a result, several generations of adults can musically explain how a bill becomes a law and that conjunctions connect words, phrases and clauses. A success from the start, Schoolhouse Rock ultimately won four Emmys before exiting the airwaves in 1985.
The Month to Soak It Up – I bet you didn’t know that January 8th is National Bubble Bath Day! Go ahead, turn on the faucet and add some Mr. Bubble while I fill you in on the details. Bubble baths have long been renowned for their ability to soothe, relax and pamper. Rediscover the joy of a long, luxurious soak whether you celebrate the day with delightfully fragrant and frothy bubbles by candlelight, or splash around your tub with a beloved rubber ducky from days gone by.
Give the Gift of Life – While giving blood is important every month, January has the distinction of being National Donate Blood month. Giving blood is a simple and safe process that typically takes just over an hour from start to finish. Don’t worry about running out, you have plenty of blood to give. The average adult body has about 10 pints of blood and only about one pint is given during a donation. If you are interested in giving blood, we suggest you contact your local Red Cross, who supplies approximately 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply.
Flush with Gratitude for Thomas Crapper – Some facts you just can’t make up. On January 13, 1863, a London plumbing genius named Thomas Crapper manufactured one of the first widely successful lines of flush toilets. While it’s true Crapper did not invent the toilet, he did develop the ballcock, an improved tank-filling mechanism still used in toilets today. Today, bathrooms continue to be an important and valued feature of homes. According to Angie’s List, with an average cost of $11,364 remodeling a bathroom increases home resale value with a return on investment of up to 80 percent. If you’re interested in getting a renovation home loan to remodel your bathroom, contact a PrimeLending home loan expert.
The Greatest of All Time – One of America’s most beloved sports heroes, Muhammad Ali was born (as Cassius Clay) in Louisville, Kentucky on, January 17, 1942. At age 22, he became the World Heavyweight Boxing Champ when he knocked out Sonny Liston. Often referring to himself as “the greatest,” Ali was not afraid to sing his own praises. In one of his most famously quoted descriptions, Ali claimed he could “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” in the boxing ring. Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, Ali remained active in various philanthropic and humanitarian causes until his death in 2016.
Diagnosis: An Important Historical First – On January 23, 1849, 28-year-old Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to achieve a medical degree in the United States. No small feat, her application was rejected by 16 medical schools before finally earning acceptance to Geneva Medical College (now Hobart College) in New York. Ranked first in her class, Blackwell earned the respect of many of her peers on her way to graduating in 1849. Elizabeth’s accomplishment inspired many women to enter the field, including her sister Emily, who became the third woman in the U.S. to get a medical degree.
Goodbye to One Fickle King – On January 28, 1547, King Henry VIII of England died and was succeeded by his son, Edward VI. The second Tudor monarch, Henry’s rule began in 1509. His break with the papacy in Rome established the Church of England and began the Reformation. More notably, perhaps, Henry married a total of six wives – 2 marriages annulled, 2 wives executed, 1 wife died in childbirth and 1 wife survived him. He sure packed a lot of living (and loving) into 55 years!
Hello Mr. Darcy – Jane Austen introduced the world to lively, quick-witted Elizabeth Bennett and haughty, darkly-romantic Fitzwilliam Darcy, the proverbial opposites destined to become madly in love when Pride and Prejudice was published on January 28, 1813. This book may be more than 200 years old, but the themes of dysfunctional family dynamics, differences between the sexes and conflict of manners make Pride and Prejudice just as relevant to today’s readers. Plus, it is simply a pleasure to read.
Here’s to another great year! I can’t wait to see what historical firsts or significant stories lie ahead in 2017.