Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. This date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country, no matter in which state you lived. (Remember, Alaska wasn’t a state at the time.)
According to the Treasury Department, there are three reasons why US currency is green (the “greenback”): 1) That color ink was readily available in large quantities back when they were first being printed; 2) It is highly resistant to chemical and physical changes, and; 3) it’s a color that the public identifies with strong and stable credit.
Sign up for every free customer rewards program you can. Even if you rarely shop at that place, having a rewards card for that place will eventually net you some coupons and discounts. Here’s the basic game plan for maximizing these programs: create a Gmail address just for these mailings, collect every card you can, and then check that account for extra coupons whenever you’re ready to shop. Many rewards programs mail out great coupons via email that can really save some cash.
If you’re cautious about giving out other personal information, make it up. This might violate the rules of the program, but in most cases, the program’s benefits are “virtual,” meaning they don’t require direct contact with your identity.
Be diligent about turning off lights before you leave. If you spend one minute turning off lights before a two hour trip, that’s the equivalent of earning $50 an hour. That’s some impressive savings, particularly if you do it before longer trips. The key is to use less energy, particularly when you’re not using the device.
Master the ten second rule. Whenever you pick up an item in order to add it to your cart or to take it to the checkout, stop for ten seconds and ask yourself why you’re buying it and whether you actually need it or not. If you can’t find a good answer, put the item back. This keeps me from making impulse buys on a regular basis.
Remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts. It’s easy to spend online when you have your card information stored in an account – just click and buy. The best way to break this habit is to simply delete your card from the account. That way, when you’re tempted to spend, you’ll be forced to spend the time to dig out your card – and really think about why you’re spending this money.
Make your own gifts instead of buying stuff from the store. You can make food mixes, candles, bread, cookies, soap, and all kinds of other things at home quite easily and inexpensively. These make spectacular gifts for others because they involve your homemade touch, plus quite often they’re consumable, meaning they don’t wind up filling someone’s closet with junk. Even better – include a personal handwritten note with the gift. This will make it even more special than anything you could possibly buy down at the mall, plus it saves you money.
Becoming a better driver can help you save money! Smooth braking and acceleration, as well as slower driving, will improve your mileage and keep money in your wallet.
Cancel unused club memberships. Are you paying dues at a club that you never use? Like, for instance, a gym membership or a country club membership? Cancel these club memberships, even if you think you might use them again someday – you can always renew the membership at a later date if it turns out that you actually do miss it.
Today, June 1, “Snow White and the Huntsman” hits the big screen but it is far from the Disney’s animated classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” That makes today as good a day as any to share 15 fun facts about the Snow White fairy tale.
1. The film, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ took 3 years to produce. In fact it was known mockingly in the industry as ‘Disney’s Folly, ’ and even Walt’s wife, Lillian, said ‘No one’s ever gonna pay a dime to see a dwarf picture. ’ She had to eat her words – it was a major success from the day it was released!
2. Disney had to mortgage his house in order to finance the production of the film, which eventually cost a whopping $1. 5 million, a vast amount for a film made in 1937. He had initially hoped it could be produced for just $250, 000, so this was a huge miscalculation on his part.
3. The premier of the film took place at the Cathay Circle Theater on December 21st, 1937 and it was given a standing ovation. It went on general release on February 4th, 1938, and made more money than any other motion picture in that year.
4. Until 1939, ‘Snow White’ was the highest grossing film in American cinema history but it was ousted by ‘Gone With the Wind. ’ However, it is still one of the top ten money-making American films of all time.
5. The songs were composed by Larry Morey and Frank Churchill. Some of the most popular songs were ‘Whistle While you Work, ’ ‘Some Day My Prince Will Come, ’ and ‘Heigh-Ho. ’ I am sure most of us are able to sing along to these classic melodies. The film was nominated for ‘Best Musical Score. ’
6. There were about 50 names suggested for the seven dwarfs, including Silly, Awful, Sniffy, Dizzy, Cranky and Scrappy. The final seven were Bashful, Grumpy, Sneezy, Doc, Dopey, Sleepy and Happy.
7. The film was re-released in 1944 during World War II, in order to raise revenue for the studio. It has been re-released every 7-10 years and the film was restored in 1987 for its 50th anniversary re-issue. It was also digitally restored in 1993.
8. Each of the dwarfs has its own character. Doc looks the oldest and is always considered to be the leader of the dwarfs. He wears glasses and tends to jumble up his words. At the mine, his job is to check the gems to make sure they are authentic.
9. Happy laughs a lot and is the fattest of the dwarfs.
10. Grumpy has the biggest nose of the seven dwarfs and he is as grumpy as his name suggests. He disapproves of Snow White, just because she is a woman, but underneath his crusty exterior he actually cares about her safety. He tries to warn her about the Wicked Queen, and rushes to help her when she is in danger.
11. Bashful is very shy and is probably secretly in love with Snow White.
12. Sleepy always looks tired. At the mine his job is to haul the diamonds and rubies by cart for Doc to inspect. He has the longest beard.
13. Sneezy has an allergy to flowers – hence he is always sneezing. He has the shortest beard of all the dwarfs.
14. Dopey looks younger than all the dwarfs and has no beard at all. He never speaks, and his job is to clean up all the unusable gems. You can always see him at the end of the line of dwarfs as they make their way to and from the mine.
15. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs won an honorary Academy Award for Walt Disney ‘as a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field. Walt Disney received a full size Oscar statuette and seven miniature ones. The child actress Shirley Temple presented them to him.