National Go Barefoot Day was launched by a non-profit organization called Soles4Souls, to encourage people to donate new and used shoes to the victims of natural disasters. After the tsunami disaster in 2004, the non-profit group started a campaign to raise shoes for tsunami victims. More than 17 million pairs of shoes have been distributed around the world since 2005.
An estimated 300 million children around the world lack adequate shoes. Clothes4Souls, Hope4Souls, and Travel4Souls are now also a part of the organization.
Today is also Do-Dah Parade Day, Heimlick Maneuver Day, Say Something Nice Day, Stand for Children Day, and Turtle Races Day!
Here are some interesting things that happened on this day in history:
- Scotch Whiskey first appeared in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland in 1495, with Friar John Cor as the distiller.
- Anne Boleyn was crowned the Queen of England in 1533.
- In a 15-minute action, experienced British gunners of HMS Shannon, with 38 guns, defeated the USS Chesapeake, also with 38 guns, off Boston in 1813. The American ship was taken as a prize into Halifax. The Americans lost 146 killed or wounded, the British 83.
- Also in 1813, Captain John Lawrence reportedly uttered the Navy motto "Don't give up the ship".
- Geologist Henry Hind, who accompanied 2 expeditions that did much to effect an awareness of the potential of the great North-West in the Canadas, was born in Nottingham, England in 1823.
- Sir James Clark Ross located the North Magnetic Pole in 1831. He set up the British flag, took possession of the North Magnetic Pole and adjoining territory in the name of King William IV, and erected a cairn.
- In 1857, William Hall became the first black and the first Nova Scotian to receive the Victoria Cross. At a siege in Lucknow, India, he bravely continued to fire while companions fell all around him.
- Sir Charles Stanley, Viscount Monck, was commissioned the first Governor General of Canada in 1867.
- Thomas Edison patented a voting machine in 1869.
- A gang of wolf hunters looking for a stolen horse killed 20 Assiniboine camped in the Cypress Hills in 1873. Some of the attackers were tried but none convicted. The event sped up the arrival of police.
- At the Kaministiquia River, near present-day Thunder Bay, Ontario, construction began on the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1875.
- The Canadian Pacific Railway arrived in Alberta, at Medicine Hat, in 1883.
- The Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition opened in Portland, Oregon in 1905.
- John Krohn began a walk along the perimeter of the United States with a wheelbarrow in 1908. His walk lasted 357 days, for a total of 9024 miles. He wore out 11 pairs of shoes, 112 pairs of socks, and 5 wheels for the wheelbarrow.
- Queen Mary completes its maiden voyage, arriving in New York in 1936.
- Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz wed for the second time in 1949.
- The report of the Massey Commission was tabled in the House of Commons in 1951; among its recommendations was the creation of the Canada Council.
- "Everything Is Beautiful" by Ray Stevens hit #1 on the charts in 1970.
- Singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette, who has received the most Grammys ever won in a single year by a Canadian, was born in Ottawa in 1974.
- Also in 1974, the Heimlich maneuver for rescuing choking victims was published in the journal Emergency Medicine.
- Ted Coombs began a 5193-mile roller skate from Los Angeles to New York City in 1979.
- Connie Chung joined Dan Rather as an anchor of CBS Evening News in 1993.
- The People's Republic of China began filling the reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam in 2003.
- A fire at the backlot of Universal Studios Hollywood in 2008 destroyed several icons from movies, such as Courthouse Square, the clock tower from Back to the Future, and the King Kong exhibit on the studio tour.
Stay tuned for our next, "On This Day in History"!