Reflecting on January . . .

Except for those of us who might be called snow bunnies, most folks don’t care for the month of January, which normally is a cold and dreary month.  January, however, yields many reasons for travel, and certainly reflecting on the past  . . . such as . . . .

The first presidential election was held in January 1789; subsequently four U.S. presidents were born in the month of January,  and four U.S. presidents died in the month of January; among them President Theodore Roosevelt.

January is also the month for kings: Nobel Peace Prize recipient and Baptist Minister, Martin Luther King, Jr. not only celebrated a birthday in January, but Congress set aside the third Monday in the month of January, in observance and to honor Dr. King, a prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. 

Note:  The Martin Luther King Memorial ,  located in the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was officially opened in August 2011, joining many other memorials to great leaders of our time, and as popular tourist attractions.  Because MLK Day is on a Monday and is considered a three-day holiday weekend for many, it is a perfect opportunity for many to travel to Washington, D.C.

 Henry VIII, was King of England for some 40 years before his death in January 1547, and Elvis Presley, known as the King of Rock n’ Roll, was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8thNote: Although thousands of fans will visit Presley’s birthplace in January, many more will visit during Annual Fan Appreciation Day, taking place in August, which is the month Presley died.  Presley is also tied to Memphis, TN.

Eight states were admitted to the Union over a number of years in the month of January, while three states seceded from the Union (in the month of January) during the Civil War.

Two wars ended: The War of 1812-1814, when General Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans, and the Vietnam peace agreement was signed, thus ending the Viet Nam war in 1973.  Note: Viet Nam has become a popular tourist destination.  The country which is one of many contrasts with its beautiful seashore and white sandy beaches, vying with the Mekong Delta and River;  Chu Chi Tunnels, an immense network of underground tunnels located near Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon);  and Sa Pa Terraces (near the border of China) and Phu Quoc, the former known for its thick bamboo woodlands and the latter for pristine tropical forests, as well as many other historic sites.  If Viet Nam is not on your  travel schedule, then you may opt for great food, lots of great music and a fun time in New Orleans.

Other significant January events include Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation; Ellis Island Immigrant Station formally opened; Gold is discovered in California; Henry Ford introduced the assembly line;  NBC’s, The Today Show premiered; First Super Bowl held in Los Angeles; Space Shuttle Challenger exploded; the great leader of India, Mohandas Gandhi is assassinated; and the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery, was submitted.

As we say hello and goodbye to the month of January, let’s think snow; after all, snow is good for tourism . . .and those snow bunny tourists!

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