Ah, January – a time for new beginnings. Say goodbye to the chaos and revelry of the holidays and close the books on a year full of unprecedented times. As the calendar flips over, it’s time to start the year strong with healthy routines that help us manage our lives and our bodies better.
However, January isn’t exclusively about dieting, exercising and budgeting. As you are gearing up for the year ahead, here are ten interesting facts about January that have nothing to do with resolutions.
Two Ways to Look at the Year
‘January’ is derived from the name of Roman deity Janus. Also known as the God of Gateways, Janus had two heads so he could see from the front and back simultaneously. That seems perfect because this month many of us look back at the previous year in thoughtful reflection while also looking hopefully forward towards the New Year.
Keep Calm and Ladle On
Because January is the coldest month of the year, it’s fitting to commemorate National Soup Month. Whether your favorite soup has noodles, is creamy, clears your sinuses with spiciness or comes from a can, there’s nothing better to warm you up on a cold day. Did you know soup is traced back as far as 6000 B.C.? An even more random fact is that hippopotamus was the first known meat used for soups!
Rockin’ Around the Schoolhouse
Were you part of the generation that learned some of their biggest lessons on the weekend? Premiering the morning of Saturday, January 6, 1973, Schoolhouse Rock debuted its series of three-minute shorts played between regularly scheduled cartoons. Each of the original 37 educational vignettes taught basic math, grammar and history lessons with catchy tunes and playful animation. As a result, several generations of adults can musically explain how a bill becomes a law and that conjunctions connect words, phrases and clauses.
Soak In The Month
I bet you didn’t know that January 8th is National Bubble Bath Day! Go ahead, turn on the faucet and add a fizzy bath bomb while I fill you in on the details. Bubble baths have long been renowned for their ability to soothe, relax and pamper. Rediscover the joy of a long, luxurious soak whether you celebrate the day with delightfully fragrant and frothy bubbles by candlelight, or splash around your tub with a beloved rubber ducky from days gone by.
Give the Gift of Life
While donating blood is important every month, January has the distinction of being National Donate Blood month. Giving blood is a simple, safe process that typically takes just over an hour from start to finish. Don’t worry about running out – the average adult body contains roughly ten pints of blood, but only about one pint is given during a donation. If you are interested in giving blood, we suggest contacting your local Red Cross, who supplies approximately 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply.
Flush with Gratitude for Thomas Crapper
Some facts you just can’t make up! On January 13, 1863, a London plumbing genius, Thomas Crapper, manufactured one of the first widely successful lines of flush toilets. While it’s true Crapper did not invent the toilet, he did develop the ballcock, an improved tank-filling mechanism still used in toilets. Today, bathrooms continue to be an important and valued feature of homes. According to Angie’s List, with an average cost of $11,364, remodeling a bathroom increases home resale value with a return on investment of up to 80 percent!
The Greatest of All Time
One of America’s most beloved sports heroes, Muhammad Ali, was born as Cassius Clay, in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17, 1942. At age 22, he became the World Heavyweight Boxing Champ when he knocked out Sonny Liston. Often referring to himself as “the greatest,” Ali was not afraid to sing his own praises. In one of his most famously quoted descriptions, Ali claimed he could “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” in the boxing ring. Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, Ali remained active in various philanthropic and humanitarian causes until he died in 2016.
Diagnosis: An Important Historical First
On January 23, 1849, 28-year old Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to obtain a medical degree in the United States. No small feat, her application was rejected by 16 medical schools before finally earning acceptance to Geneva Medical College (now Hobart College) in New York. Ranked first in her class, Blackwell earned the respect of her peers on her way to graduating in 1849. Elizabeth’s accomplishment inspired countless women to enter the field, including her sister Emily, who became the third woman in the U.S. to get a medical degree – talk about proud parents!
Farewell to One Legendary King
On January 28, 1547, England’s King Henry VIII died and was succeeded by his son, Edward VI. The second Tudor monarch, Henry’s dramatic rule began in 1509. His break with the papacy in Rome established the Church of England and began the Reformation. More notably, perhaps, Henry married a total of six wives – 2 marriages annulled, 2 wives executed, 1 wife died in childbirth and 1 wife survived him. His life even inspired the hit musical, Six!
Greetings, Mr. Darcy
Jane Austen introduced the world to lively, quick-witted Elizabeth Bennett and haughty, darkly-romantic Fitzwilliam Darcy, the proverbial opposites destined to become madly in love when Pride and Prejudice was published on January 28, 1813. This book may be more than 200 years old, but the themes of dysfunctional family dynamics, differences between the sexes and conflict of manners make it just as relevant to today’s readers. Plus, it is simply a pleasure to read.
Cheers to another year and a fresh start! If a new home or a renovation is on your list of 2021 resolutions, contact a PrimeLending Home Loan Expert today.