Saturday, the 17th of May, 2014 is the 137th day in 2014 and in the 20th calendar week.

General Events:

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
May 17, 2014 in the World

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) is a Civil awareness day that is celebrated on May 17, 2014. It is coordinated by the Paris-based “IDAHO Committee,” founded by French academic Louis-Georges Tin. The day aims to coordinate international events to garner support for the respect of lesbians and gay rights worldwide. May 17 was chosen as the day of the event because homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) on this date in 1990.

In 2009 a new petition was launched, in conjunction with other LGBT organisations, and it was supported by more than 300 NGOs from 75 countries and three Nobel Prize winners. And on the eve of the 2009 IDAHO day, France became the first country in the world to officially remove transgender issues from its list of mental illnesses. The report that the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association, ILGA, released on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia 2009, confirms that no less than 80 countries around the world still consider homosexuality illegal, and that in 7 of them, homosexual acts are punishable by death. In almost all countries, transphobic laws limit the freedom not to act as socially determined by one person’s sex at birth.

Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender and one of the three main categories of sexual orientation. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to “an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectionate, or romantic attractions” primarily or exclusively to people of the same sex. The most common terms for homosexual people are lesbian for women and gay for men, though gay is also used to refer generally to homosexual men and women.

Where is Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia?
Worldwide

World Information Society Day
May 17, 2014 in the World

World Information Society Day is celebrated on May 17, 2014. The day had previously been known as World Telecommunication Day to commemorate the founding of the International Telecommunication Union in 17 May 1865. It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973. The main objective of the day is to raise global awareness of societal changes brought about by the Internet and new technologies. It also aims to help reduce the Digital divide.

The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies. The ITU coordinates the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promotes international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world, and assists in the development and coordination of worldwide technical standards.

Where is World Information Society Day?
Worldwide

Armed Forces Day
May 17, 2014 in the USA

Armed Forces Day takes place on May 17, 2014. Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. It falls near the end of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May. First observed on 20 May 1950, the day was created on 31 August 1949, to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense. The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions and air shows. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy established Armed Forces Day as an official holiday. The United States’ longest running city-sponsored Armed Forces Day Parade is held in Bremerton, Washington. Because of their unique training schedules, National Guard and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day/Week over any period in the month of May.

Where is Armed Forces Day?
Nationwide USA

Norwegian Constitution Day
May 17, 2014 in Norway

Norwegian Constitution Day is celebrated on May 17, 2014. Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and is an official national holiday observed each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai (meaning May Seventeenth), Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen (The Constitution Day), although the latter is less frequent.

Where is Norwegian Constitution Day?
Nationwide Norway

Lag B’Omer
May 17, 2014 in the World

Many Jewish communities around the world observe Lag B’Omer, also known as Lag BaOmer, on the 18th day of the month of Iyar in the Jewish calendar. The name of this observance refers to the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer.

The Lag B’Omer holiday originates from the time of Rabbi Akiva, a scholar and teacher of Jewish law who lived approximately during the years 50 to 135. In a number of Jewish documents, there are passages, which report that 24,000 of his students died in a plague, because they had not respected each other. The plague ended on the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer, a period of 49 days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot.

Some scholars think that the “plague” refers to the Roman occupation of Jewish lands and that the students died resisting the Roman army, perhaps in the Bar Kokhba revolt in the years 132 to 135. Lag B’Omer is also known as Lag BaOmer or Lag LaOmer.

The Counting of the Omer is a time for spiritual growth and some Jewish groups forbid haircuts, weddings, dancing and other forms of entertainment in this period. However, Lag B’Omer is a time of celebration and these restrictions are either lifted for one day or ended. Many people hold picnics or barbecues, sing, dance, and encourage their children to play outside with bows, arrows, bats and balls. In Meron, Israel, three-year-old boys are given their first haircuts on this holiday.

On the evening at the start of Lag B’Omer, children and young people light bonfires that they prepared in the days leading up to the holiday. People may also offer Chai Rotel by donating or offering 18 rotel (about 13 gallons or 54 liters) of liquid food or drink to pilgrims attending the celebrations at the Hilula of R’Shimon bar Yochai in Meron, Israel. Many people believe that anyone who does this will be granted a miracle. An example of this would be that a woman who cannot have children through pregnancy may miraculously become pregnant.

Lag B’Omer is not a public holiday in Israel, but schools close for the day. It is also not a public holiday in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, or the United States. However, Jewish organizations may be closed or offer a limited service to allow celebrations to be held.

Note: Many Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.

Where is Lag B’Omer?
Worldwide

Pack Rat Day 2014
May 17, 2014 in the World

Pack Rat Day is celebrated on May 17, 2014. A pack rat is a who engages in compulsive hoarding and on Pack Rat Day is a chance to celebrate them, because they may use the collected items someday. The day is also an opportunity for hoarders to reflect their acquisitiveness – are the collected things really needed? Packratting has been associated with health risks, impaired functioning, economic burden, and adverse effects on friends and family members. When clinically significant enough to impair functioning, hoarding can prevent typical uses of space so as to limit activities such as cooking, cleaning, moving through the house, and sleeping. It can also be dangerous if it puts the individual or others at risk from fire, falling, poor sanitation, and other health concerns.

Where is Pack Rat Day?
Worldwide

National Cherry Cobbler Day
May 17, 2014 in the USA

Today is National Cherry Cobbler Day! Cherry cobbler is a baked dessert made with a rich fruit filling and a biscuit dough crust. In the 19th century, pioneers in the American West were forced to adapt many recipes due to a lack of basic ingredients. The traditional pie evolved into the cobbler, which was often served as the main dish of the meal!

No one knows how cobblers got their name, but there are several theories. One source suggests that the word “cobbler” evolved from “cobeler,” which was a specific type of wooden bowl used in cooking. Other culinary historians believe the name may have been inspired by the dessert’s resemblance to a cobblestone.

To celebrate National Cherry Cobbler Day, bake your own delicious cobbler and serve it as the main course for dinner tonight!

Where is National Cherry Cobbler Day?
Nationwide USA

Historical Events:

1521 – Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, is executed for treason.

1536 – Anne Boleyn’s 4 “lovers” executed

1620 – 1st merry-go-round seen at a fair (Philippapolis, Turkey)

1672 – Frontenac becomes governor of New France (Canada)

1756 – Britain declares war on France (7 Years’ or French & Indian War)

1792 – 24 merchants form New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street

1803 – John Hawkins & Richard French patent the Reaping Machine

1814 – Norwegian constitution passed by constitutent assembly at Eidsvoll

1845 – Rubber band patents

1884 – Alaska becomes a US territory

1902 – Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.

1949 – British government recognises Republic of Ireland (previously Irish Free State)

1961 – Castro offers to exchange Bay of Pigs prisoners for 500 bulldozers

1970 – Thor Heyerdahl crosses Atlantic on reed raft Ra

1983 – Israel & Lebanon sign a peace treaty

1989 – Longest Cab Ride Ever: 14,000 miles cost $16,000!