September 7th celebrates two great things: the United States Postal Service and… grandparents! Yes, today is both Neither Rain Nor Snow Day and Grandparents Day.

Why is it called Neither Rain Nor Snow Day? Though the Post Office has no official creed or motto, the inscription on the James A. Farley Post Office building reads: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” The quotation was derived from Herodotus’ Histories and chosen by the building’s original 1912 architects.

Neither rain nor snow

The inscription etched into the James Farley Post Office building in New York City.
Click for larger image.

Neither Rain Nor Snow Day is celebrated today in honor of the James A. Farley Post Office’s official opening day: September 7, 1914. And no, I don’t know why it’s “Neither Rain Nor Snow Day” and not “Neither Snow Nor Rain Day”… the latter of which would make more sense, given the original inscription. Huh. Maybe it just sounds better with rain first… or maybe it’s just because rain is more common nationwide! Whatever the case, you can show your post office love with this great Carve Your Own Message Card!

Carve Your Own Message Card

Hand carve with a key or letter opener and send with a forever stamp!

September 7th shares its postal glory with another great American (and worldwide!) tradition—grandparents! Grandparents Day was originally championed by Marian McQuade, who wanted to (1) further the cause of lonely elderly people in nursing homes and (2) persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed that National Grandparents Day would be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day. Generations United has a great website to help you—as older adults and as kids—close the generation gap and become stronger families together. Their motto is “Do something grand!”

V.Duncan's grandma!

My 86-year-old grandma is still going strong!
This photo was taken in August 2014.

One way to honor your grandparents (especially if they are still living) is to help them compile their life story using the Fill-in-the-Blanks Life Story interviewing packet. It’s just twelve pages, but it’s sure to be a great jumping-off point for many grand stories. So, what will you be doing for or with your elders today? Mother and fathers all get their own days… why not grandparents, too?

Did you know that September 6th is Read a Book Day? Just in time for the beginning of school!

If you haven’t already heard, the actor LeVar Burton ran a successful Kickstarter to fund Reading Rainbow to help make reading a priority for school kids again. He and the Reading Rainbow team raised over $5,000,000 (yes, that’s more than five million dollars) in order to put the new iPad app in classrooms all over the country. But that’s not all, of course. Learn more about LeVar’s commitment to helping kids to love reading at the website (link above).

Regarding the iPad app itself, LeVar wrote, “Building on the basics of the television series, we put hundreds of quality books – and educational video field trips – right in a child’s hands, and it has been a HUGE success…we have proven that kids will come to the tablet not just to play games, but to read!”

Reading Rainbow

“Butterfly in the sky; I can go twice as high. Take a look: it’s in a book… a Reading Rainbow!”

What about the top ten books in the world? How many of these epics have you read? I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hadn’t at least cracked the cover of the Bible once or twice, and Anne Frank’s diary was required reading when I was in junior high school! What about you all?

Top 10 Books

The top 10 most read books based on their sales in the last fifty years.

What book will you pick up today? Have you started something recently that you’d like to mention in the comments? I’d love to hear about your reading adventures.


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