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Why do I lose an hour on November 4th? Interesting facts about Daylight Savings Time

 

Daylight Saving Time ends on 4 November 2018.   

Clocks will go back one hour on Sunday 4 November at 02:00. This means your devices will automatically reverse an hour at the strike of 2:00 a.m.,making it 1:00 a.m.

This information was obtained in an article entitled Daylight Saving Time 2018: A Guide to the When, Why, What and How (https://www.livescience.com/56048-daylight-saving-time-guide.html)

On Sunday, Nov. 4, most Americans will set their clocks back an hour, as daylight saving time (sometimes erroneously called daylight savings time) comes to a close, and most of the United States will “lose” an hour of daylight. These spring and fall clock changes continue a long tradition started by Benjamin Franklin to conserve energy. (This year, however, the Sunshine State is aiming to stop the change and remain in DST year-round, according to a Senate bill and news reports.)

Below is a look at when daylight saving time starts and ends during the year, its history, why we have it now and some myths and interesting facts about the time change.

How Did It Start?          

Benjamin Franklin takes the honor (or the blame, depending on your view of the time changes) for coming up with the idea to reset clocks in the summer months as a way to conserve energy, according to David Prerau, author of “Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time” (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2005). By moving clocks forward, people could take advantage of the extra evening daylight rather than wasting energy on lighting. At the time, Franklin was ambassador to Paris and so wrote a witty letter to the Journal of Paris in 1784, rejoicing over his “discovery” that the sun provides light as soon as it rises.

Even so, DST didn’t officially begin until more than a century later. Germany established DST in May 1916 as a way to conserve fuel during World War I. The rest of Europe came onboard shortly thereafter. And in 1918, the United States adopted daylight saving time.

Though President Woodrow Wilson wanted to keep daylight saving time after WWI ended, the country was mostly rural at the time and farmers objected, partly because it would mean they lost an hour of morning light. (It’s a myth that DST was instituted to help farmers.) And so daylight daylight saving time was abolished until the next war brought it back into vogue. At the start of WWII, on Feb. 9, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt re-established daylight saving time year-round, calling it “War Time.” [Learn more about the crazy history of Daylight Saving Time]

After the war, a free-for-all system in which U.S. states and towns were given the choice of whether or not to observe DST led to chaos. And in 1966, to tame such “Wild West” mayhem, Congress enacted the Uniform Time Act. That federal law meant that any state observing DST — and they didn’t have to jump on the DST bandwagon — had to follow a uniform protocol throughout the state in which daylight saving time would begin on the first Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October.

Then, in 2007, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 went into effect, expanding the length of daylight saving time to the present timing.

Why do we still have daylight saving time?

Fewer than 40 percent of the world’s countries observe daylight saving time, according to timeanddate.com. However, those who do take advantage of the natural daylight in the evenings. That’s because the days start to get longer as Earth moves from the winter season to spring and summer, with the longest day of the year on the summer solstice. During the summer, Earth, which revolves around its axis at an angle, is tilted directly toward the sun (at least its top half).

As Earth orbits the sun, it also spins around its own imaginary axis. Because it revolves around this axis at an angle, different parts of our planet experience the sun’s direct rays at different times of the year, leading to the seasons.

Credit: BlueRingMedia / Shutterstock.com

Regions farthest away from the equator and closer to the poles get the most benefit from the DST clock change, because there is a more dramatic change in sunlight throughout the seasons.

Research has also suggested that with more daylight in the evenings, there are fewer traffic accidents, as there are fewer cars on the road when it’s dark outside. More daylight also could mean more outdoor exercise (or exercise at all) for full-time workers.

Energy savings

The nominal reason for daylight saving time has long been to save energy. The time change was first instituted in the United States during World War I, and then reinstituted again during World War II, as a part of the war effort. During the Arab oil embargo, when Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stopped selling petroleum to the United States, Congress even enacted a trial period of year-round daylight saving time in an attempt to save energy.

But the evidence for energy savings is slim. Brighter evenings may save on electric lighting, said Stanton Hadley, a senior researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory who helped prepare a report to Congress on extended daylight saving time in 2007. But lights have become increasingly efficient, Hadley said, so lighting is responsible for a smaller chunk of total energy consumption than it was a few decades ago. Heating and cooling probably matter more, and some places may need air-conditioning for the longer, hotter evenings of summer daylight saving time.

Hadley and his colleagues found that the four weeks of extra daylight saving time that went into effect in the United States in 2007 did save some energy, about half of a percent of what would have otherwise been used on each of those days. However, Hadley said, the effect of the entire months-long stretch of daylight saving could very well have the opposite effect. A 1998 study in Indiana before and after implementation of daylight saving time in some counties found a small increase in residential energy usage. Temporary changes in Australia’s daylight saving timing for the summer Olympics of 2000 also failed to save any energy, a 2007 study found.

Part of the trouble with estimating the effect of daylight saving time on energy consumption is that there are so few changes to the policy, making before-and-after comparisons tricky, Hadley told Live Science. The 2007 extension of daylight saving time allowed for a before-and-after comparison of only a few weeks’ time. The changes in Indiana and Australia were geographically limited.

Ultimately, Hadley said, the energy question probably isn’t the real reason the United States sticks with daylight saving time, anyway.

“In the vast scheme of things, the energy saving is not the big driver,” he said. “It’s people wanting to take advantage of that light time in the evening.”

Who observes daylight saving time? (and who doesn’t)

Most of the United States and Canada observe DST on the same dates. But of course, there are exceptions. Hawaii and Arizona are the two U.S. states that don’t observe daylight saving time, though Navajo Nation, in northeastern Arizona, does follow DST, according to NASA.

And, every year there are bills put forth to get rid of DST in various states, as not everyone is keen on turning their clocks forward an hour. This year, Florida’s Senate and House passed legislation called the Sunshine Protection Act that would ask the U.S. Congress to exempt the state from the federal 1966 Uniform Time Act. If approved, Florida would remain in DST year-round. In order to allow Florida’s year-round DST, however, the U.S. Congress would have to amend the Uniform Time Act (15 U.S.C. s. 260a) to authorize states this allowance, according to The New York Times.

And in California, voters may get to decide: In this fall’s statewide ballot, voters can vote for or against Proposition 7 that would attempt to repeal the annual clock changes. If the Prop gets approved, that would mean the Legislature can act to eliminate the time changes, possibly leading to year-round DST, according to Land Line magazine.

Other states have also proposed exemptions from the federal time act. For instance, Sen. Ryan Osmundson, R-Buffalo, introduced Senate Bill 206 into the Senate State Administration Committee in February 2017, which would exempt Montana from daylight saving time, keeping the state on standard time year-round, according to the bill. Three bills put forth last year in Texas aimed to abolish DST for good: House Bill 2400, Senate Bill 238 and House Bill 95, according to the broadcast company kxan. Nebraskans may be off the hook for clock changes as well. In January 2017, state Sen. Lydia Brasch, a Republican of Bancroft, proposed a bill called LB309 to eliminate daylight saving time in the state, according to the bill.

Some regions of British Columbia and Saskatchewan don’t change their clocks. These include the following areas in British Columbia: Charlie Lake, Creston (East Kootenays), Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, and Taylor; In Saskatchewan, only Creighton and Denare Beach observe DST, according to NASA.

Most of Europe currently observes daylight saving time, called “summer time,” which begins at 1 a.m. GMT on the last Sunday in March and ends (winter time) at 1 a.m. GMT on the last Sunday in October. However, even the European Union may propose an end to clock changes, as a recent poll found that 84 percent of 4.6 million people surveyed said they wanted to nix them, the Wall Street Journal reported.

If the lawmakers and member states agree, the EU members could decide to keep the EU in summer time or winter time, according to the WSJ.

The United Kingdom moved their clocks forward on March 26, 2017, and back again to standard time on Oct. 29, 2017, according to the U.K. government. They performed this same ritual on March 25, and will again on Oct. 28, 2018.

The DST-observing countries in the Southern Hemisphere — in Australia, New Zealand, South America and southern Africa — set their clocks an hour forward sometime during September through November and move them back to standard time during the March-April timeframe.

Australia, being such a big country (the sixth-largest in the world), doesn’t follow DST uniformly: New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory follow daylight saving, while Queensland, the Northern Territory (Western Australia) do not, according to the Australian government. Clocks in the observing areas spring forward an hour at 2 a.m. local time on the first Sunday in October and push back an hour at 3 a.m. local daylight time on the first Sunday in April.

Russia instituted year-round daylight saving time in 2011, or permanent “summer time,” which seemed dandy at first. But in the depths of winter, sunrise occurred at 10 a.m. in Moscow and 11 a.m. in St. Petersburg, Prerau, author of “Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time,” said. This meant Russians had to start their days in the cold, pitch-dark. The permanent summer is coming to an end, however, as now Russian president Vladimir Putin abolished DST in 2014, according to BBC News. As such, the country will remain in “winter time” forever, or until another law is passed.

Myths and Interesting Facts

  • Turns out, people tend to have more heart attackson the Monday following the “spring forward” switch to daylight saving time. Researchers reporting in 2014 in the journal Open Heart, found that heart attacks increased 24 percent on that Monday, compared with the daily average number for the weeks surrounding the start of DST.
  • Before the Uniform Time Act was passed in the United States, there was a period in which anyplace could or could not observe DST, leading to chaos. For instance, if one took a 35-mile bus ride from Moundsville, West Virginia, to Steubenville, Ohio, he or she would pass through no fewer than seven time changes, according to Prerau. At some point, Minneapolis and St. Paul were on different clocks.
  • A study published in 2009 in the Journal of Applied Psychologyshowed that during the week following the “spring forward” into DST, mine workers got 40 minutes less sleepand had 5.7 percent more workplace injuries than they did during any other days of the year.
  • Pets notice the time change, as well. Since humans set the routines for their fluffy loved ones, dogs and cats living indoors and even cows are disrupted when, say, you bring their food an hour late or come to milk them later than usual, according to Alison Holdhus-Small, a research assistant at CSIRO Livestock Industries, an Australia-based research and development organization.
  • The fact that the time changes at 2 a.m. at least in the U.S., may have to do with practicality. For instance, it’s late enough that most people are home from outings and setting the clock back an hour won’t switch the date to “yesterday.” In addition, it’s early enough not to affect early shift workers and early churchgoers.

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on Sept. 9, 2016, and then updated by Stephanie Pappas with information about energy use during daylight saving time. It was also updated in March 2017 to include bills put forth in the United States to eliminate DST in certain states, and again in 2018.

Why is the Food For New Year’s Day Special?

Shared from the East Cobb, GA Patch

Georgia’s New Year’s Meal: Pork, Greens And Black-Eyed Peas

Here’s why we eat what we do on New Year’s Day — plus a greens recipe from Chef Kevin Gillespie’s restaurant, Revival.

By Doug Gross, Patch Staff | Dec 29, 2017 3:50 pm ET

 

 

ATLANTA, GA — On New Year’s Day in Georgia, there’s little question what will be on many folks’ dinner tables.

In Italy, they’ll eat lentils. Japanese kitchens will be serving up Soba noodles and folks of Scandinavian origin will be wolfing down pickled herring. But, in the American South, it’s pork, greens, corn bread and black-eyed peas that will be filling the bellies of hungry New Year’s revelers.

But how did we come by this specific meal? Well, separating fact from fiction when tracking down traditions can be tricky business. But here’s a look at what we know about the Southern New Year’s meal.

Pork

In the South, we are not alone in making pork a New Year’s staple. Folks all over the country, with ancestors from all over the world, make some variation of this dish.

Why? Many believe it’s because pigs root forward — toward the future — unlike, say, a chicken, which scratches backward, toward the past.

“And sauerkraut with pork was eaten for good luck on New Year’s Day, because, as the (Pennsylvania) Dutch say, ‘the pig roots forward’,” wrote historian William Woys Weaver wrote in “Sauerkraut Yankees,” a Pennsylvania Dutch cookbook with recipes dating back to 1848.

There may be a seasonal reason for this tradition, too. Throughout history, pigs would have been butchered in the fall, when the weather was cooler, meaning there would be plenty of fresh cuts come the new year.

Black-Eyed Peas

According to one popular story, black-eyed peas became a symbol of luck in the South during the Civil War. According to this legend, during Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s march toward Savannah, his troops confiscated all the food they could find, but ignored black-eyed peas because they were considered animal feed.

That made them one of the only edible foods left behind and, therefore, a “lucky” food.

Some historians, though, question that story. The peas originated in West Africa and were introduced in the Southern United states around the 17th Century, so the association could have African roots. Hoppin’ John, the combination of seasoned black-eyed peas and rice, almost certainly has its roots in that region.

And, another theory suggests the tradition sprung from early Southern Jewish communities because of the peas’ similarity to a food mentioned as a New Year’s meal in the Talmud.

Greens

We’re usually talking collard greens here, although mustards or turnips will do. But, greens are a Southern New Year’s staple, for sure.

Pretty much everybody at least agrees on what this one means — green means money and eating greens at the beginning of the year means you’ll have a prosperous 365 days ahead.

“Some folks consider the black-eyed peas to represent coins and the greens to represent folding money, a la cash, while others simply consider it general good luck to eat them,” Dan Gillotte, chief Executive Grocer at Austin, Texas’s Wheatsville Food Co-Op, said to Mic.com.

Cornbread

Cornbread has the least documented origin story among the New Year’s Day meal selection. The general consensus is that the golden carb represents real gold — another omen for financial success in the coming year.

We suspect it might actually just be that cornbread is delicious with greens, black-eyed peas and pork. And that’s just fine by us.

If all this has got you hankering to make your own New Year’s meal, Revival— chef Kevin Gillespie’s Southern-style restaurant in Decatur — was kind enough to share their recipe for smokped greens with Patch. Let us know if you whip up a batch!

Revival’s Hickory-Smoked Local Greens

  • 1 qt. double chicken stock
  • 1 large sweet onion (baseball sized)
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 1 big pinch dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 big pinch salt
  • 1 big pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. butter, cut into small chunks
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 bunches greens (collards, black kale, Siberian kale, mustard greens, turnip greens)
  1. Bring stock to just under a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Peel and slice onion very thin (use a mandolin if available). Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper to stock. Using an immersion blender, add butter one piece at a time. This will emulsify and look creamy. Add vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. It should seem aggressively seasoned. Pour liquid into a semi-shallow heat-proof dish (preferably metal).
  2. Separately, blanch and shock the greens of your choice (a blend is great). Squeeze out excess water.
  3. Add the greens to the liquid, really packing them in as they get smaller. The liquid should just barely cover the greens.
  4. Put the dish above a wood-burning grill. The grill should stay around 180 degrees. Cook for 6 hours, stirring periodically to be sure the greens on the bottom get stirred up to the top. Cool greens in the liquid overnight (Do not skip this step!). Warm up the greens and liquid serve.

Avoiding Homesickness this Holiday Season

Homesickness can be a problem during the holidays, even if it hasn’t been at any other time of the year. Au pairs often miss their friends and family, familiar places and their own traditions and customs. The holiday activities in the United States seem, and may actually be, different just at a time when an au pair would welcome something familiar. 

It is common for au pairs’ emotions to be close to the surface during the holidays. Her highs are higher, her lows are lower. The enormity of what she has done–actually living in another country (which is an amazing thing when you think about it!)–hits her and throws her into a self-protective mode.

Host parents can help her through this unfamiliar territory by talking to her about what your specific family activities will be (gifts, meals, visitors, religious services, in-home traditions, or none of these, as the case may be.) In the spirit of cultural exchange, ask her if she has any favorite holiday traditions or foods that you might be able to incorporate into your family’s celebration of the season. Let her know what you will be doing, when you will be doing it, and what she can expect. Talk to her about what has to be accomplished and get her involved and interested. Don’t expect her to just “know” what needs to be done. Give her some clear, agreed upon assignments. Make her feel a part of things. And, let her know her contribution is needed and appreciated.

Photo: Sheila Sund (Flickr)

5 Thanksgiving Tips for Au Pairs & Host Parents

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November each year. Even though a few other countries also celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s still considered a uniquely American holiday, one that the au pairs look forward to experiencing. You can learn more about it here.

I really enjoyed Thanksgiving with my host family. It was as I imagined! So much food to try. Everyone got dressed up and shared what they were thankful for. It was so warm and special. The next day we began to prepare for Christmas. It was magical.” Selina from Germany

Below you will find some tips to help you have a terrific Thanksgiving experience.

 

Host Parents

1.  Please plan to include your au pair in your Thanksgiving celebration, if at all possible. Thanksgiving with an au pair offers an opportunity to consider the relevance of the history and meaning of Thanksgiving as you compare the hospitality offered by the Native Americans to the recently arrived Pilgrims and the hospitality you offer your au pair.

2.  If you are traveling or will not be able to invite your au pair to join you for Thanksgiving, give her plenty of notice and help her make alternate plans. You don’t want to leave your au pair alone over the holiday.

Au Pairs

3.  If you are invited to attend dinner, please let your family know within 5 days of the invitation, whether you are planning to attend. It is considered rude in America to accept the invitation for dinner and then change your mind later in the month. Please be thoughtful.

4.  Make sure to discuss time off during this holiday weekend. Many host families work the Friday after Thanksgiving so do not assume you have this day off or the entire weekend. Talk to your host family, BEFORE you make any plans.

5.  If your host family is unable to include you in their Thanksgiving plans, please let me know if you have trouble making other plans. You may be able to join a friend and their host family for the holiday dinner.

Bonus Tip for the Kids

If you are looking for a fun recipe to make with your au pair, check out these turkey cupcakes. Find more fun activities and recipes on the Au Pair in America Fall Holidays pinboard.

Photo: Tim Sackton (Flickr)

Stay Safe while indulging in Alcohol

 

                                       great_gatsby

Indulging in Alcohol has been a pastime that dates back to Roman times. In almost every culture, alcohol has played a very important role in its history, good or bad. “We drink for different reasons”, says Caren Osten Gerszberg, the co-founder of the popular lifestyle blog Drinking Diaries. We drink, “to quench thirst, to loosen up, because it tastes good, to enhance a meal, because we’re addicted, as part of a ceremony, to celebrate, to mourn. We drink when we’re happy. We drink when we’re sad.” In my twenties, getting together with my girlfriends meant finishing a few bottles of wine. Now I have two kids in their twenties, a sophomore in college and a recent Graduate, and I know they are doing the same. Rite of passage, way to unwind, liquid courage, social bonding–whatever the reason there is plenty of boozing taking place for girlfriends across the country. However, my girls were taught to drink responsibly because they know the risks of drinking  are far greater than the rewards. In the U.S our laws restrict anyone under the age of 21 from drinking alcohol, therefore, to drink underage is a huge risk personally and is against the rules for Au pair In America.

As your counselor I recommend that you withstand drinking underage in the USA. When that time comes that you are legally allowed to drink in the U.S. Or if you are currently of drinking age, here is the advice I have told my own daughters.

Top rules you need to know before the big “Salud”!

                                        we-want-beer

Rule No.1:

DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. This rule not only concerns your safety but your future as an Au pair. Your Host Family has trusted you with their car to drive their children. Do not ruin that trust or risk damaging their property. I’ll warn you now that If you drive under the influence, you will get arrested.  The police in Georgia have cracked down on drinking and driving. For anyone over 21 the legal limit is a BAC ( Blood Alchohol Content ) of .08. This is having only 1 alcoholic beverage.  If you are under 21 and if you have had even a sip of alcohol, you can be arrested for underage drinking as well as driving under the influence.  Read Georgia’s drinking laws below:

“Like most states, the maximum BAC (blood-alcohol content) permissible by DUI law in Georgia is .08 percent. Over this level, a driver is considered ‘per se intoxicated’ and can be proven guilty Georgia DUI based on this confirmed intoxication level alone.

‘Zero tolerance laws’ are intended to keep drivers under the legal drinking age from indulging in the risk of drinking and driving, and therefore there are stricter penalties and limits for underage drivers. A person under the age of 21 is allowed just .02 percent BAC limit by law before being subjected to DUI penalties.”

 

Rule No. 2:

PLAN AHEAD. Plan how you will get home before you go out and always make sure your phone is charged.There are many options for getting home such as an Uber, Lyft, a Taxi or a Designated Driver (a friend that agrees not to drink and to make sure everyone is safe while consuming alcohol. )(https://get.uber.com/sign-up/?exp=home_signup_form) .

Rule No. 3:

DRINK IN MODERATION. Know the alcohol content of your drink. The alcohol content or alcohol by volume (ABV) is a standard measurement of how much alcohol is contained in your drink. Interestingly, there is the same amount of alcohol in:

  • 1 regular beer (340 ml/12 oz)
  • 1 glass of wine (140 ml/5 oz)
  • 1 glass of fortified wine (85 ml/3 oz)
  • 1 shot of spirits (45 ml/1.5 oz)

So count each drink the same, whether it’s a shot of Tequila or a glass of Merlot. Also, a good rule of thumb is that your body digests one drink an hour. So be aware of how much you are consuming and know when enough is enough.

Rule No. 4:

BE SAFE. I want you to have a fulfilling Au pair experience, which will include meeting new friends and even becoming a part of a whole new family. I know how hard each of you work during the week, so when you do have free time I hope that you will have fun and enjoy it, but please BE SMART and keep in mind why you’re here. The experiences you make in America will last a lifetime, so you will want to remember every minute of it.

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Refer a Family to Au Pair in America

Refer a Family to Au Pair in America

Refer a Family to Au Pair in America and earn $$$$$$$$500.00

amazon_card 

 

Do you know a family that might be interested in hosting an au pair? Referring families is easy! If you refer a host family and they match with an au pair you will receive a $500 Amazon gift card.

 

Refer as many families as you want and get $500 for every on that matches- there is no limit to how many gift cards you can earn! PLUS – refer three families, and receive a fourth Amazon gift card free!

 

There are interested families everywhere! Visit the Au Pair Referral Page to hear how easy it is to refer from one of your fellow au pairs and read some helpful tips for referring new host families.

Last year two au pairs in our cluster earned $500.00

View this au pair video about referring families :

http://www.aupairinamerica.com/referafamily

Lady Liberty To Host Visitors Again!

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The Statue of Liberty

Our most famous icon symbolizing the American people and culture will re-open on July 4th after damage from Hurricane Sandy.  On October 29th the 820 mile (1320km) wide hurricane brought high winds and storm surges to much of the Eastern United States, including New York City.  The Statue of Liberty is on Liberty Island, a 12 acre island located a mile south of lower Manhattan. Normally, the confines of the New York Harbor protect Liberty Island from extreme weather. However, when Hurricane Sandy hit, Liberty Island was in the direct path of a massive storm surge. Nearby in Battery Park, water rose 13.8 feet (4.2m). On Liberty Island, that meant nearly 75% of the Island was under water.

The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986.

th.jpgStatue

Visits to Liberty Island can be planned by going to the website:

http://www.nps.gov/stli/planyourvisit/statue2012reopening.htm

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 MLK

Each year on the third Monday of January, schools, federal offices, post office and banks across America close as we celebrate the birth, the life and the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  It is an occasion for joy and celebration for his life and his work toward nonviolent social change in America and the world.

Take the day to visit the Martin Luther King JR Memorial in Atlanta and find out more  about Dr. King and his life. Below is his most famous speech titled I have a dream. This is a beautiful and moving speech.

I Have A Dream Speech:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”¹

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”2

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

                Free at last! Free at last!

                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!3

Beat Those Winter Blues!

Beating those winter blues! After the decorations are put away, the celebrations are over, the New Year has begun: and the post holiday winter blues are starting to hit you and your host family.  What can you do to get through the long cold winter months happily? Get outside every day with the kids, bundle up and play outside.  Go to the park, take a walk, ride bikes; we have been having an unusually warm winter, so enjoy it!  Even when cold, it is important to get out and get fresh air. Stay on routine with the kids; get up on time, have breakfast, get to the bus stop on time.  Make sure homework is done and everyone gets to their activities on time.  Bedtime routines are important, make sure everyone gets enough sleep and that includes YOU! Register for your classes, and get ready to start learning something new! Call a friend and meet for coffee and conversation if you feel housebound. Set up a play date with another au pair and her host children (similar ages) and enjoy a day together! Join a gym with another au pair! Use the library in your town.  Sign the kids up for free programs (talk to host parents about the programs!)  Join the English conversation group, improve your English and meet people! Prepare a Global Awareness presentation for one of your host kids’ classes, ask me for help! Volunteer at a local hospital, school, animal shelter, food bank if you have extra time on your hands and need to do something!  Doing for others is always an answer for the blues!! Come to our next cluster meeting and meet some new friends! And, don’t forget your calendar on the website filled with great ideas and activities to do with your host kids! www.aupairinamerica.com  hit current au pair resources and calendar of the season.

Keep Healthy This Cold and Flu Season

Keep Healthy This Cold and Flu Season!

Here are a few tips that are helpful in keeping yourself and your host children healthy this winter season.

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1. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Say your abc song to make sure you are washing long enough!

2. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. Make a habit of never touching your face.

3. Don’t leave your used tissues lying around. Wash your hands after throwing them away. 14424787-woman-with-tissue-and-spray-feels-unwell-with-flu-isolated-on-white

4. Routinely disinfect shared objects at home. Don’t forget the keyboard of computers and the TV remote. Door knobs and stair rails are places to clean as well.

5. Consider getting a flu shot. It is a myth that the shot will make you sick.  The flu shot can prevent most flu infections.

6. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue on the inside of your arm when you sneeze or cough. Flu germs can travel up to 20 feet very quickly.  11369430-close-up-of-a-man-stifling-a-sneeze-in-his-elbow


7. If you are sick avoid going to crowded places and keep your distance from family members.

8. Get enough rest. Don’t be tempted to stay out late with friends. Let your body have a chance to heal.

9. If a fever last more than three days, see a doctor.

10. Keep cool air circulating and surfaces dry. Germs like moist, warm environments.

flu season