There are a lot of family members that I love dearly but there are some that have special places in my heart. One of those that hold that special place was John Cooper. John and his wife Mary lived in Cincinnati, Ohio and John was a much older cousin but he had a huge record collection and every time they came home to visit, he brought me an album, usually a kid’s album. A lot of the albums were also folk classics and John had excellent taste in music. One artist that showed up multiple times in my little collection (that eventually grew to over 4,000 albums) was Burl Ives. Burl Ives was born on this date in 1909. Mr. Ives’ Disney credits include So Dear to My Heart (as Uncle Hiram Douglas) and the Summer Magic (as Osh Popham). Mr. Ives also voiced Sam the Snowman from the classic TV special Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Enjoy some truly classic music and classic voices by taking in the Voices of Liberty under an acoustically perfect dome at the American Adventure at EPCOT.
Two hundred thirty-eight years ago, our nation's leaders established the Continental Army, beginning a rich heritage of successfully defending this great country and her citizens. Today, we celebrate the continued strength, professionalism and bravery of our ready and resilient Soldiers in the all-volunteer force. Our Soldiers remain Army Strong with a lifelong commitment to our core values and beliefs. I have not mentioned this one for a bit but in light of the birthday of the Army and Flag Day take a moment at 5 PM at The Magic Kingdom to enjoy the Flag Retreat in Town Square.
The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America's birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag Birthday'. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as 'Flag Birthday', or 'Flag Day'.
On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day. See the previous note about the Flag Retreat at The Magic Kingdom.
While we are on a patriotic run, on this date in 1954, President Dwight David Eisenhower signs the order adding the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of The United States of America. That gives you three reasons to attend the Flag Retreat.
Today is National Bourbon Day. Bourbon is made in America, more specifically it was invented in Kentucky where whiskey picked up some unique characteristics from the limestone water from which it was created and the charred oak barrels in which it is aged. To pin it down even further, most Kentuckians would argue that bourbon must come from Bourbon County, Kentucky. Even those of us who are not drinkers respect the tradition. If you are at Walt Disney World and you are imbibing a few potent potables, please support the fine state of Kentucky and tradition.
On this date in 1895, Cliff Edwards was born in Hannibal, Missouri. Hannibal, Missouri was the stomping ground of Mark Twain and he was a bit of a skeptic and there is some degree of skepticism about the exact date a location of Mr. Edwards’ birth. Cliff’s claims to fame are pretty impressive as he was the voice of both Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio and Jim Crow in Dumbo. Let’s make this a Magic Kingdom double header by riding Dumbo and staying late for Wishes, the fireworks spectacular.
Remember, your best excuse is always: waiting for your dreams to come true.