Oct. 6: National German-American Day, National Noodle Day, Come and Take it Day, Mad Hatter Day

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National German-American Day

Celebrate the contributions of German-Americans to U.S. culture on Oct. 6. The holiday dates to the 19th century yet was not declared a national observance until President Ronald Reagan issued Presidential Proclamation 5864 on Sept. 23, 1988.

Celebrate the contributions of famous German-Americans:

* Thank German-American architect John A. Roebling for designing the Brooklyn Bridge.

* Enjoy the journalistic standards set by publisher Joseph Pulitzer.

* Read works by authors Dr. Seuss, Gertrude Stein, John Steinbeck. L. Frank Baum or Sylvia Plath.

* Watch a movie with Hillary Duff, Sandra Bullock, Sarah Chalke or Elijah Wood.

National Noodle Day

What's the difference between noodles and pasta? It's not about shapes since pasta comes in all sorts of shapes, and noodles can be long or short and broad. The difference is that pasta has a flour and water base and noodles must have an egg according to Slashfood. "Noodles have been a staple food in many parts of the world for at least 2,000 years, though whether the modern version of the stringy pasta was first invented by the Chinese, Italians, or Arabs is debatable" according to National Geographic, reporting on the discovery of 4,000-year-old noodles.

Know your noodles:

* Buckwheat noodles: Soba (the Japanese word for buckwheat) noodles are popular in Japan, but also made in China and Russia according to "The Oxford Companion to Food."

* Egg: Used in the Italian-American dish Fettucini Alfredo.

* Ramen: Wheat noodles, eat in China and Japan.

* Instant Ramen: Inexpensive instant noodles coveted by anyone with a small food budget; popular in soups or noodle salads.

* Rice. Light noodles popular in Thai cuisine.

Come and Take It Day

Come and Take It Day has its origins in Gonzales, Texas. The Mexican government sent the town a 6-pound cannon to help with the problems with Comanche and Tonkawa Indians. During this same time, the Mexican government increased taxes and regulations. The colonists became rebellious, moving closer to a revolution and Texas independence.

This prompted the Mexican government to demand return of the cannon. Mexican soldiers were dispatched. The colonists challenged them to "Come and Take It," according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine. The cannon was used in the "Come and Take It" Battle on Oct. 2, 1835, firing the first shot in the Texas Revolution. The town celebrates with the Come and Take It Festival on the first full weekend in October. In 2011 the festival is Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.

Mad Hatter Day

April has fools but October has mad hatters. The Mad Hatter, creation of Frank L. Baum, wears the numbers 10/6 on his hat, providing a possible explanation for the celebration of Mad Hatter Day on 10/6, or Oct. 6. Celebrate the day by enjoying silliness, absurdity, and having fun. Top hats are highly recommended, but not required.

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