National Day Calendar
September 8, 2021 – National Ampersand Day | National Mushroom Month
This Town Grows Over One Million Pounds Of Mushrooms A Day!
Welcome to September 8th, 2021 on the National Day Calendar. Today we celebrate fascinating fungus and the 27th letter.
The largest organism on Earth isn’t an animal. It isn’t a tree, either. Surprisingly, it’s a fungus called the honey mushroom that grows in Oregon’s Malheur National Forest. The mushroom has a system that covers nearly 2000 acres, both above and below ground. It’s also estimated to be around 8,000 years old, which makes it one of the oldest living things on the planet. For the fresher kind, folks can visit the mushroom capital of the world which is found in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Here they produce more than one million pounds of edible mushrooms a day. This town is gearing up to celebrate National Mushroom Month with a festival that draws a crowd of 100,000. So if you happen to be near Chester County drop by for a portobello burger.
Every kid learns to recite their ABCs, but did you know that two hundred years ago there was a 27th letter? It appeared at the end, just after ‘z’ and though it’s not clear why this letter got the boot, the ampersand still holds a special place. It’s called a ligature, which is a fancy word for combining two letters. In this case the ‘e’ and the ‘t’ came together to represent the Latin word ‘et,’ which means ‘and.’ The symbol has been around for nearly 2000 years since the Latin shorthand system was created for Cicero. Today the ampersand gets special attention in logos and is the most often used special character in passwords. On National Ampersand Day celebrate this letter that left the alphabet song for its own starring role in language history.
I’m Anna Devere and I’m Marlo Anderson. Thanks for joining us as we Celebrate Every Day.