U.S. Air Force Day
Initially formed as a part of the United States Army in 1907, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces in September 1947. As of 2017, the service operates more than 5,369 military aircraft and 406 ICBMs. It has a $156.3 billion budget and is the second largest service branch, with 328,255 active duty airmen, 145,789 civilian personnel, 69,200 reserve airmen, and 105,700 Air National Guard airmen.
National Mahjong Day
Mahjong originated from China, but the inventor of this game is unknown. According to some historians, the proof for this belief is the three dragon tiles which coincide with Confucius’ idea about three vital virtues: filial piety, humaneness, and sincerity. After the People’s Republic of China took control of the government in 1949, all gambling activities were prohibited including mahjong. It was not until 36 years later that people could enjoy this game legally. The first Mahjong set was sold in the US by Abercrombie & Fitch in 1920 and sold more than 12,000 sets. A total of up to 144 tiles are typically used in a game of mahjong, featuring depictions of bamboo, circles and characters from numbers one to nine; as well as special symbols from seasons, winds, dragons and flowers.
Today’s Birthdays of Note….
Francis Scott Key – Lyrics for The Star Spangled Banner – born in Frederick County, Maryland
Dan Aykroyd – Actor & Comedian – born in Ottawa, Canada