Today is August 25
World War II – Liberation of Paris
August 25, 1944
Dietrich von Choltitz, Commander of the German garrison and the military governor of Paris, surrenders to the French. Paris had been under Nazi control for four years. Choltitz had been ordered by Adolf Hitler to blow up Paris’ landmarks and burn the city to the ground before its liberation. Choltitz defied Hitler’s orders because he did not want to go down in history as the man who had destroyed the “City of Light.”
The Wizard of Oz
August 25, 1939
The film adaptation of L. Frank Baum‘s 1900 book The Wizard of Oz is released, starring Judy Garland as Dorothy and Terry as Toto. It was the story of two women fighting over a pair of shoes.
Buddy Ebsen was originally cast as the Tin Man, but had to quit because he had an allergic reaction to the silver makeup.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE FOUNDERS DAY
On this day in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed what is now called the Organic Act. It established the National Park Service. As part of the Department of Interior, the National Park Service protects 400 areas in 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, totaling 84 million acres.
National Park Service Founders Day recognizes the superior conservation and preservation efforts of the National Parks System. Whether enjoying scenic trails, open spaces, watersheds, or recreational areas, the National Parks Service provides a natural outdoor resource accessible to every American. Hiking and biking trails entice us to explore. They also offer an outdoor experience like no other. These parks challenge us with more beauty and history than most of us can imagine.
A Trip Through Time
Not only does the National Park Service provide access to millions of acres of the most picturesque places in the country, but it also takes us back in time. Through historic trails, we walk in the footsteps of Harriet Tubman. For example, a historic trail in Maryland takes us along the path of the Underground Railroad, where Tubman led men and women away from slavery and to freedom. In Ohio, we explore the infancy of aviation in the United States.
As we travel through the beauty of the historic Natchez Trace, we’ll discover the intense and tragic histories that lay along the way. From Native Americans to European settlement and the Civil War, the Natchez Trace survived it all.
West of the Mississippi, ancient ruins and resurrected forts tell the stories of those who have gone before us. In rustic settings or an out-of-the-way oasis in New Mexico, rediscover the history of untold ages. After the arid West, head North and study the Klondike Gold Rush in Washington or the history of Columbia River, too.
Majestic beasts and glorious sunsets throughout the National Park Service entice visitors all year long. Some of these parks are in your own backyard, too! They are a mere stone’s throw away. Once you get started, you won’t want to stop. Make a list and keep going.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NPSFoundersDay
Celebrate by visiting one of the 400 management areas across the country. There’s one not far from each of us. There are several ways to get started, too!
- Make a list of the parks you’d like to see.
- Map them out! Then hit the road every chance you have.
- Help keep our National Parks clean and natural. If you pack it in, pack it out.
- Revisit your favorite ones and share photos on social media.
- Introduce a friend or family member to the world of National Parks.
- While visiting, take a hike or learn about the history and culture of the region.
- Read about the history of the National Park Service or watch a documentary.
- Take a virtual tour.
NATIONAL BANANA SPLIT DAY
National Banana Split Day recognizes the sweet ice cream treat served with a banana, whipped cream, and various toppings. Get yours on August 25th!
How to Make a Banana Split
Originally served in drug stores, soda fountains, and ice cream parlors, the banana split is traditionally served in a long dish called a boat. To make a banana split, cut the banana lengthwise and place it in the dish. Then add scoops of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream between the slices of banana. Each scoop gets a topping; add crushed pineapple to the strawberry, drizzle chocolate syrup over the vanilla, and add strawberry topping to the chocolate. Next, sprinkle with crushed nuts. Finally, garnish with whipped cream and maraschino cherries.
A 23-year-old apprentice pharmacist at Tassel’s Pharmacy in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, created the first banana split in 1904. David Evans Strickler enjoyed inventing sundaes at the store’s soda fountain. For only 10 cents, Strickler sold his first “banana-based triple ice cream sundae,” double the cost of all the other sundaes.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBananaSplitDay
Whether you go out for a banana split or make one at home, be sure to get two! One for you and one to share. Host a banana split buffet with a variety of ice creams and toppings. Let judges taste each kind. Then crown the winner with bragging rights. If you need a recipe to get you started, try this Banana Split Cheesecake recipe.
However you celebrate, don’t forget the cherry on top! Use #NationalBananaSplitDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL BANANA SPLIT DAY HISTORY
We were unable to find the creator of National Banana Split Day. However, David Strickler’s hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, proudly celebrates his creation with a festival every August. In 2013, they placed an official marker at the site of the pharmacy where Strickler first made his famous banana split. Then, the United States Post Office honored the banana split and the town of Latrobe in 2016 with a 47-cent “forever stamp” depicting the banana split. It was one of five stamps in the “Soda Fountain Favorites” series. For a time, Latrobe residents could receive a cancellation mark memorializing their claim to fame.