February
2002
 
Short articles, fun fillers and helpful tips for writing your monthly newsletter.

Short articles, fun fillers and helpful tips for writing your monthly newsletter. At a loss for things to write about this month? Here are some things you can cut and paste, or modify to meet your needs.

Year of the Horse

Chinese New Year is celebrated this year on February 12. This is the Year of the Horse. People born in the Year of the Horse are popular. They are cheerful, skillful with money, and perceptive, although they sometimes talk too much. They are wise, talented, good with their hands, and sometimes have a weakness for members of the opposite sex. They are impatient and hot-blooded about everything except their daily work. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are very independent and rarely listen to advice. They are most compatible with Tigers, Dogs, and Sheep.

The Year of the Horse this century - 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2001.

President's Day Facts

  • Ronald Regan was known as "The Gipper" and liked jelly beans.
  • Millard Fillmore had the very first bathtub installed in the White House.
  • William Howard Taft was so big, weighing 300 pounds, he had to have a special bathtub installed installed in the White House.
  • Andrew Johnson was the first of only two Presidents to be impeached.
  • William Henry Harrison caught pneumonia during his long inaugural speech and died one month later.
Groundhog is the Word
Do you know that Groundhog Day is related to an ancient Christian holy day called Candlemas? Candlemas referred to the purification of Mary 40 days after the birth of Jesus. It was once believed that if Candlemas dawned bright and clear, there would be two winters that year. By 1887 German settlers in the United States established a similar tradition of predicting the weather involving a groundhog. On February 2, the groundhog emerges from his den. If he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. The tradition lingers on with Pennsylvania's famous Punxsutawney Phil. News reporters eagerly await Phil's emergence, and whether or not he sees his shadow is reported in newspapers and television all over the country!

Valentine Trivia

The most common legend of the origin of Valentine's Day is dedicated to the memory of St. Valentine, a priest in early Rome, around the year 260 AD. The Roman Emperor at the time forbade his soldiers to marry because he believed that single men made better soldiers. In the name of love and in defiance of the Emperor's edict, St. Valentine secretly married couples.

In England during the 1700's, women wrote men's names on little bits of paper, encased the papers in pieces of clay, and dropped all the clay pieces into the water. The first paper to rise to the top, according to legend, was the name of the woman's true love.

Some unmarried women in the 1700's pinned five bay leaves to their pillows on Feb. 13. That night, they supposedly dreamt of their future husbands. Do you suppose this would have any correlation to the saying, "the man of my dreams?"

One of the first Valentine's Day customs was to write women's names on slips of paper and draw them from a jar. The woman whose name was drawn by a man became his valentine, and he paid special attention to her. For several days, each man wore his valentine's name on his sleeve. The saying, "wearing his heart on his sleeve," probably came from this practice.

In Denmark, people send pressed white flowers called "snowdrops" to their friends. Danish men also send a type of valentine called gaekkebrev (joking letter).

The first American valentine was a handmade card from the early 1700's. It contained a handwritten German verse.

Romantic valentines of the 1830's featured brokenhearted lovers. Many of the verses were about love that was not returned. (Could this be where country music got it's start?)

Americans purchase about 4 billion lbs. Of candy each year, about 19 lbs. Per person. (Check out the Hershey Chocolate website or the M&M's site for more candy trivia.)

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