The purpose of World Turtle Day, May 23, sponsored yearly since 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue, is to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.
Turtle Day is celebrated worldwide in a variety of ways, from dressing up as turtles or wearing green summer dresses, to saving turtles caught on highways, to research activities.
Founded in 1990, American Tortoise Rescue is the founding sponsor of World Turtle Day. American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) is certified by state and federal agencies as a nonprofit 501(c)(3)corporation to provide for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle. Foundlings that cannot be adopted because of ill health remain in the care of American Tortoise Rescue for the remainder of their lives.
Featured in Chase’s Book of Annual Events, the day was created as an annual observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world. Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, founders of the rescue American Tortoise Rescue advocate humane treatment of all animals, including reptiles. Since 1990, ATR has placed about 3,000 tortoises and turtles in caring homes. ATR assists law enforcement when undersize or endangered turtles are confiscated and provides helpful information and referrals to persons with sick, neglected or abandoned turtles.
World Turtle Day was started to increase respect and knowledge for the world’s oldest creatures. These gentle animals have been around for about 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing as a result of the exotic food industry, habitat destruction and the cruel pet trade.
Adults and children can do a few small things that can help to save turtles and tortoises for the next generation:
– Never buy a turtle or tortoise from a pet shop as it increases demand from the wild.
– Never remove turtles or tortoises from the wild unless they are sick or injured.
– If a tortoise is crossing a busy street, pick it up and take it in the same direction it was going – if you try to make it go back, it will turn right around again.
– Write letters to legislators asking them to keep sensitive habitat preserved or closed to off road vehicles, and to prevent off shore drilling that can lead to more endangered sea turtle deaths.
– Report cruelty or illegal sales of turtles and tortoises to your local animal control shelter.
– Report the sale of any turtle or tortoise of any kind less than four inches. This is illegal everywhere in the U.S.
In 2011, Jagex Games Studios hosted a number of events within their MMORPG, RuneScape, to celebrate World Turtle Day.
National Maritime Day is a United States holiday created to recognize the maritime industry. It is observed on May 22, the date that the American steamship Savannah set sail from Savannah, Georgia on the first ever transoceanic voyage under steam power. The holiday was created by the United States Congress on May 20, 1933.
Harvey Milk Day is organized by the Harvey Milk Foundation and celebrated globally each year held May 22 in memory of Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist assassinated in 1978.
In California, Harvey Milk Day is recognized as a day of special significance for public schools. The day was established by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009 following the success of the award-winning feature film Milk retracing Milk’s life.
The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is a United Nations–sanctioned international holiday for the promotion of diversity issues. It is currently held on May 21. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed this holiday due to UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in November 2001. It was proclaimed by UN Resolution 57/249.
Diversity Day, officially known as “The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development”, is an opportunity to help communities understand the value of cultural diversity and learn how to live together in harmony. It was adopted in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
National Waitstaff Day is celebrated on May 21st of each year. Waiting staff, wait staff, or waitstaff are those who work at a restaurant or a bar attending customers — supplying them with food and drink as requested. Traditionally, a male waiting tables is called a “waiter” and a female a “waitress” with the gender-neutral version being a “server”. Other gender-neutral versions include using “waiter” indiscriminately for males and females, “waitperson”, or the little-used Americanism “waitron”, which was coined in the 1980s.
Waiting on tables is (along with nursing and teaching) part of the service sector, and among the most common occupations in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that, as of May 2008, there were over 2.2 million persons employed as servers in the U.S.
Many businesses choose for the people waiting to all wear a uniform, a tradition that has been around in the waiting industry for centuries.
In recent times there has been a trend towards automation in the service of food and drink waiting, with the advent of technologies such as robotics to take on the waiting roles that once required human staff.