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National Day Of The Horse / National Violin Day / National Guard Birthday
NATIONAL DAY OF THE HORSE
National Day of the Horse on December 13th encourages people of the United States to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States.
The domesticated horse we know today, also known as Equus caballus, was introduced into North America by Spanish explorers. Escaped horses eventually spread across the American Great Plains.
Interestingly, there is a debate about the origin of E. caballus. Recent mitochondrial studies of an ancient horse called Equus lamei suggest that it is equivalent to the modern, domesticated horse. E. lamei once populated North America and died out more than 11,000 years ago. This could mean that E. caballus is technically a native species, and its evolutionary origin is North America.
The North American Horse
Aside from the anthropological debate, the horse has contributed significantly to the advancement of civilization in North America. Not only did the horse serve as vital transportation, but they cleared forests for farmland. They led the way westward and into battle, too. Horses diversified Native American hunting habits and defined the western cowboy.
In North America, the legendary horse is embedded in our culture and runs deep into the roots of our history. As the country grew, our indebtedness to the horse grew, too. While few people see the horse as much more than a recreational animal today, they still serve on working ranches. As a therapy animal, horses relieve the symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and other disorders. Long past their age as a plow horse or part of the cavalry, they continue connecting to humans, and we continue to rely on them.
NATINAL VIOLIN DAY
I had to include this from among the many choices today - my favorite fiddler of all time - the late Vassar Clements - got me interested in blue grass fiddle.
Today honors an instrument also known as the fiddle, National Violin Day on December 13th celebrates the bow stringed instrument loved around the world.
By drawing the bow across the strings, the violinist manipulates the sound in several ways. A violinist uses numerous bowing techniques to master the violin. The strokes dictate not only notes, but the quality of the note played.
While we associate the violin with classical music, it easily crosses genres. For instance, the violinist demonstrates the versatility of the violin by extensive use in baroque music, jazz, folk music, rock and roll, and soft rock.
“Violin” comes from the Medieval Latin work “vitula” which means stringed instrument.
Although having ancient origins, violin-makers developed most of the violin’s modern characteristics in Italy during the 16th century. Further modifications formed in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The person who makes or repairs violins is called a luthier.
It is believed that Turkic and Mongolian horseman from Inner Asia were the world’s earliest fiddlers. They played two-stringed upright fiddles strung with horsehair strings. Likewise, they played using horsehair bows and often featured a carved horse’s head at the end of the neck. The violins we play today (as well as the violas and cellos) with bows still strung with horsehair are a legacy of the nomads.
· 1555 – Andrea Amati receives credit for the oldest documented four-string violin, like the modern violins.
· The “Lady Blunt” brought a record dollar amount when it was auctioned on June 20, 2011. The Stradivari violin sold for $15.9 million.
· Musicians and collectors alike seek instruments made by Stradivari almost more than any other maker.
NATIONAL GUARD BIRTHDAY
December 13th commemorates the birth of the National Guard.
A component of the United States Army, the National Guard is primarily composed of citizen soldiers who hold down full-time, civilian jobs, attend school or as is often the case, both. At the same time, they are available to provide support and protection for the states’ civilians or to be called for military operations for the country.
Each U.S. state, District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the territories of Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands maintain both an Army National Guard and an Air National Guard.
National Guard Mission
National Guard Soldiers serve both community and country. Our versatility enables us to respond to domestic emergencies, overseas combat missions, counter-drug efforts, reconstruction missions and more. The Guard always responds with speed, strength and efficiency, helping to defend American freedom and ideals.
From before the start of the American Revolution to Hurricane Katrina and beyond, the National Guard has provided support and protection for its citizens.