October 28, 2021
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Other than Halloween – What happens in October

By: Cassandra May Albaugh
October 8, 2021

Everyone knows Halloween happens on the last day of October. It’s one of our favorite holidays. Trick or treating with the kids, decorating your home, throwing a costume party for the adults, or visiting a haunted house are but a few of the activities we engage in. But it’s not the only event worth celebrating in October. Here are others to consider.

A few have already passed but perhaps you knew about them and enjoyed them. If not, there is always next year. For example, October 1 is International Coffee Day. It used to be called Coffee Day or National Coffee Day. It was celebrated in dozens of countries on different dates. That changed in 2014 at a meeting of the International Coffee Organization when they created a unified International Day. First celebrated in 2015, it allows people around the world to celebrate on the same day their coffee, Java, cup of Joe, or whatever they call it in their country.

World Teachers Day has also already passed. It’s celebrated always on October 5. It recognizes teachers with thanks and appreciation for helping educate your children. This is not to be confused with National Teachers Day which is celebrated the first full week of May. World Teachers Day was created at an International Conference on Education which was held in Geneva, Switzerland in 1993. Then Director General of UNESCO, Federico May initiated the proposal.

The second Monday of this month, October 11, brings us competing, conflicting holidays to celebrate. They are Columbus Day and Indigenous People Day. Let’s look at both. Columbus Day has been around since 1792. That was the year that New York City held the first Columbus Day celebration commemorating the 500th anniversary of Columbus landing in the New World. 

However, during the last few decades, many started to recognize that Columbus wasn’t the first person, nor the first European to land in or discover America. Columbus didn’t land on the mainland. He also wasn’t first. That was Leif Erikson around 1002 A.D. Coming from Greenland, Erikson and his crew sailed down the eastern coast of North America getting as far as New Foundland where they spent the winter. 

Regardless, there were already folks in America. Sometimes called natives and at other times called indigenous. It can be confusing. Here’s the difference. Natives are defined as people who lived somewhere since their birth. Thus, you can be a Native Californian because you were born and raised in this state. Indigenous people are those that first populated an area before anyone else. Native American Day, celebrated on the fourth Friday in November, originated in California in 1939, but since 1977 the term Indigenous People Day has become the more popular term to use to describe folks who were here first. 

Teachers, secretaries, nurses, doctors, and many other folks have their day throughout the year. In October, bosses get their day. It’s on October 15 this year because it’s always on the weekday closest to October 16. It gives you a chance to tell your boss what you really think of them. That is appreciation not the other stuff! Boss’s Day only comes around once a year, so make it a positive one for your boss and yourself. The day was originated in 1958 by Patricia Bays Haroski. She was an employee of State Farm Insurance Company in Illinois. Her boss was likely fair, honest, understanding, approachable and a good communicator. He was also her father. She chose the date because it was his birthday.

A final one, given the events of the last couple of years in our communities, that I’d like to highlight is “Make a Difference Day.” Started in 1990, this is celebrated on the “fourth Saturday in October.” That is October 23 this year. “On this day, millions of Americans participate in community improvement projects.” To quote the website which was my source for this article; “It doesn’t matter whether you help a non-profit organization, the community, your town, nursing home, a church, a food kitchen, or any other group in need. What matters is that you participate,” If only for one day a year, you can help make a difference or as Tom Brokaw was quoted “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.”

You can find many more interesting days to celebrate on the website. Well worth a visit to see many of the events that can be celebrated. Maybe over a cup of coffee?