Today is August 17

Published 7:30 am Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...


On August 17th, National Nonprofit Day (NND) recognizes the goals and positive impacts nonprofits have on communities and the world.

Somewhere a volunteer reads to school children. At the same time, a patient receives steady medication. A lawyer provides legal services for low-income individuals. A lost soul’s life is remembered with dignity, thanks to a nonprofit funeral home. Elsewhere, a first-time homebuyer moves into his own home. NND reminds us that each of these scenes is possible thanks to the nonprofit sector. It’s the result of the work performed by capable people and organizations.

Through nonprofits, awareness, research, and aid reach the people who need it most. Nonprofits also generate tremendous benefits to their surrounding communities and the broader world.

For example, following the recent U.S. recession in 2012, the nonprofit sector provided 5.4% of the nation’s entire GDP (gross domestic product), or $887.3 billion. Non-profits continuously employing nurses, web developers, lawyers, computer engineers, and more (sources: John Hopkins and Tactical Philanthropy Advisors reports).

For these reasons and more, National Nonprofit Day salutes those who set out to make a difference. 

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalNonprofitDay

The observance encourages you to take some time to learn more about nonprofits. Understand that the funding for these organizations often satisfies more than the mission statement. Discover all the benefits of supporting a nonprofit. Visit to find out more and use #NationalNonprofitDay to share on social media.


Sherita J. Herring, a renowned speaker, best-selling author, and business strategist, founded National Nonprofit Day to educate, enlighten and empower others to make a difference while acknowledging those in the trenches, impacting lives every day – the Change-Makers of the World! 

The Tariff Act of 1894, signed into law on August 17, imposed the first federal income tax on corporations, including exemptions for nonprofit corporations and charitable institutions. With a few modifications, nonprofit exemptions remain a solid part of the law and have served significant benefits for communities and the economy.

The Registrar at National Day Calendar declared National Nonprofit Day to be observed annually in 2017.



Black Cat Appreciation Day on August 17th aims to dispel all myths surrounding black cats. Additionally, the day shouldn’t be confused with National Black Cat Day.

Superstitions aside, cats are simply adorable, even black ones. These feline creatures in their sleek, black coats may carry an air of mystery. However, most cats do. Along with that, their ability to find mischief or to avoid you equals that of tabbys, cinnamons, gingers, calicos, whites or grays.

However, one black cat fact that holds true is they are less likely to be adopted. Just like black dogs, this variety of cat gets shunned at shelters. Despite this, black cats still respond to love and attention no differently than other felines.

So, let a black cat cross your path. They aren’t witches. More than likely, adopting a black cat will help keep the mouse population down around the place. Expect the number of cuddles in your life to increase, too!

HOW TO OBSERVE #BlackCatAppreciationDay

Consider adopting a black cat. Take photos of your black cat, too! Support your local shelters and volunteer. You can groom a black cat (or any cat for that matter), give him cuddles, and maybe even take one home.  Overcome your fears and use #BlackCatAppreciationDay while sharing your new-found love for those black cats on social media. 

Are you curious about other superstitions? Explore the Myths Surrounding Friday the 13th!


This day exists to dispel myths and fears of Black Cats. 

Black Cat Appreciation FAQ

Q. Are there other cat holidays on the calendar?
A. Yes! There are several including, National Kitten DayInternational Cat DayHug Your Cat Day, and World Lion Day.

Q. Do cats require a lot of attention?
A. All pets require a certain amount of investment of time and money. Their food, veterinary care, grooming, and social needs vary from cat to cat, but they all need basic care to remain healthy and happy. 

Q. Do cats and dogs get along?
A. They can, but not all do. Depending on the age of the animals, temperament, and whether they have spent any time with the other species will all factor into whether they get along. 

Q. What are the myths regarding black cats?
A. There are several. Once, black cats were considered companions of witches. If the black cat crossed your path it would bring bad luck. However, other cultures saw black cats in a more favorable light and saw them as a good omen. 


August 17th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


The governor of Roanoke Island, John White, returns from England after three years to find the colony deserted.


The steamboat designed by Robert Fulton, the Clermont, begins its inaugural trip up the Hudson River. The boat is the first of its kind offered in public service.


The Centre Market Place bath opened to the public and offered New York City’s first showers. Patrons paid 5¢ for the use of the baths and received a towel and bar of soap. They were allowed to take the soap home.


Charles Kettering receives patent No. 1,150,523 for the first electric self-star. His invention put crank starts in the automobile industry’s rearview mirror. (The rearview mirror wouldn’t be invented for another 30 years.)


Prospector George Carmack’s discovery of gold at Bonanza Creek triggers the first gold rush in Alaska – the Klondike Gold Rush.


George Orwell published the allegorical novella Animal Farm.


Wife of sports editor and grandmother Alice Roth earns free Philadelphia Phillies tickets after being unfortunate enough to be struck by not one, but two foul balls. Batter Richie Ashburn fouled the first ball into the stands, breaking Roth’s nose. Medics began carrying her away when Ashburn fouled a second pitch, breaking a bone in her knee.


After a magnitude 7.5 earthquake in Yellowstone National Park creates what is now known as Hebgen Lake in Montana.


Russian spacecraft Venera 7 launches and four months later becomes the first spacecraft to land on another planet.


Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman complete the first transatlantic flight by balloon in their Double Eagle II.


Monty Python’s Life of Brian premieres in the United States.  


Moscow bans gay pride events in the city for 100 years. Courts later uphold the ban.

August 17th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

Davy Crockett – 1786

Congressman, folk hero, soldier and frontiersman, Crocket earned an almost mythological reputation in the United States.

Laura de Force Gordon – 1838

de Force Gordon was a champion of women’s rights. Not only was she the first woman to run a daily newspaper in the United States, but she became only the second women admitted to the California Bar. Much of her own efforts as a journalist made the legislation possible.

Archibald Henry Grimke – 1849

The son of a slave and owner, Grimke would be one of the first African American students to attend Harvard Law School. He was an effective speaker and advocate for civil rights.

Frederick Russell – 1870

Russell is noted establishing the protocols that perfected the typhoid vaccine. His vaccine program was further administered through the United States Army.

Samuel Goldwyn – 1879

Goldwyn produced 140 films during 42 year his career. The filmmaker is known for movies such as The Best Years of Our Lives and Guys and Dolls.

Mae West – 1893

West brought her own brand of sass and humor to Broadway and the silver screen.

Leslie Groves – 1896

During his military career, Groves oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and Manhattan Project.

Kent Twitchell – 1942

Twitchell’s murals grace the sides of more than a dozen structures in California.

Robert De Niro – 1943

The Oscar-winning actor, Robert De Niro, has appeared in over 90 films. From Taxi Driver to GoodfellasWag the Dog, and The Irishman, De Niro’s versatility shines through.

Martha Coolidge – 1946

Former President of the Directors Guild of America, Martha Coolidge has directed 52 films.

Kathryn Thornton – 1952

As a NASA astronaut, Thornton has flown three missions into space. Her first mission was aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1989.

Belinda Carlisle – 1958

Following her role as lead singer for the Go Gos, Carlisle pursued a successful solo career.

Sean Penn – 1960

The Academy Award-winning actor is known for his roles in films such as Mystic River, Milk, and Dead Man Walking.