Jan. 16: Appreciate a Dragon Day, National Fig Newton Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observed, National Nothing Day

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Appreciate a Dragon Day

The last decade has brought us many dragons to admire, at least on the big screen. You can also find these fantastic creatures in books or in local parks, in the form of statues. There's the colorful mosaic statue in Nashville, Tenn., or the dragon statue in Parfet Park in Golden, Colo.

Notable dragons you can appreciate:

* Toothless in "How to Tame Your Dragon"

* Norbert, Hagrid's dragon or any other dragons in the Harry Potter series

* Donkey's love, Dragon in Shrek 2

National Fig Newton Day

Sorry, cookie-munching science geeks, the Fig Newton was not named after Sir Isaac Newton. That's a myth. The Kennedy Biscuit Co. in Cambridgeport, Mass., named the cookie, as well as other products, after a nearby town. The company not only had Newtons, they had "cookies and crackers named called Shrewsbury, Harvard and Beacon Hill," according to Cambridge Historical Society. What's more interesting is the machine used to make the cookies.

Baker James Henry Mitchell invented a machine that was a funnel within a funnel to fill a cake-like cookie with the fig jam we all know and love, according "The Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands" (Food Timeline). Most of the figs produced are used to make these delicious cookies according to "The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink."

Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observed

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Martin Luther King Jr. was born on Jan. 15, 1929. King was the youngest recipient of the prize and according to the Nobel Foundation, at 35 he was the youngest recipient of the prize. He used the prize money, $54,123, to further the civil rights movement. We observe his birthday on the third Monday of January, as per Public Law 98-144. King is best known for his moving "I Have a Dream" speech delivered to an audience of 250,000 marchers in Washington.

He was assassinated "On April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tenn., where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated," according to Nobel.

National Nothing Day

As ridiculous as it sounds, National Nothing Day is a real holiday. Newspaperman Harold Pullman Coffin invented the holiday on Jan. 16, 1973, as a day to celebrate nothing. He obviously missed the memo about fig-filled cookies, mythical dragons and civil rights leader. Coffin created the day for Americans to sit and forgo any type of celebrating, honoring or observing. If you're lucky enough to have the day off from school or work, you might be able to do just that.

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