Author Archives: Robin Bernstein

The Day the Music Died

February 3, 1959, a snowy day in Clear Lake, Iowa, was the site of a terrible plane crash that claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper, along with the inexperienced pilot who was hired to fly the single-engine plane.  This day has been immortalized through the 1971 hit song, “American Pie” by Don McLean, with lyrics such as “February made me shiver, with every paper I’d deliver, bad news on the doorstep…when I read about his widowed bride…the day the music died.”  In 2017, the original version was selected by the Library of Congress to be preserved in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant.”

Why is this day recognized as significant?  Could it be the popularity of Don McLean’s song?  Could it be because all three artists on the plane were up and coming rock stars?  Could it be the circumstances surrounding the tragedy?  We may never know the answers to these questions; however, we do know that Buddy Holly was 22–at the peak of his career; Ritchie Valens, was 17–just beginning his career; and The Big Bopper was 28—a talented, early rock star; were all too young to die.

Since that disastrous day, much has been written and memorialized through song, books, films, television, and museums.  One such tribute is the actual crash site located in Clear Lake, Iowa.  It is small and easily missed, but well worth the trip.  You know you will have arrived at the entrance when you see his infamous trademarked glasses.  From there it is about ½ mile walk to the actual location of the crash where one will find memorabilia left by fans along with a guitar/record monument.  For a more formal exhibit, the Surf Ballroom, where they had their last performance, is not too far away.

If you’re interested in learning more about this day in history, or about any of the artists, here are some resources you might find helpful:

Bellevue University Discovery Search

Biography:  The Day the Music Died:  Rock’s Great Tragedy

Buddy Holly Crash Site

Buddy Holly Story (1978)

The Day the Music Died Pinterest Page

La Bamba (1987)

National Thesaurus Day

Have you ever searched for a new word for an existing word? Or, wanted to expand your vocabulary? Or, improve your creative writing and/or written and spoken communication skills?  Chances are you probably have used “Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases” at one time or another.  Today is in honor of Peter Mark Roget, the author of this book first published in 1852.  Today is National Thesaurus Day, observed on the day Roget was born in 1779.  Roget had a successful career in medicine prior to retiring; afterwards, he spent the rest of his life devoted to writing this book of synonyms.


Roget’s Thesaurus is one of the most widely used reference books in the English language.  The term thesaurus comes from the Greek word, thesaurus which means treasure or storehouse.  Originally published with 15,000 words, it was arranged into six primary categories:  Existence, relation, quantity, number, and time.  It continues to be published and now features over 230,000 still organized by ideas and concepts

Expanding your vocabulary can have positive health effects as it can help you get ahead in your life and career.  Students and writers who want to improve the quality of their work and avoid repetition should pick one up and take the time to thumb through it.  A quick search of the word “thesaurus” yielded “lexicon,” “vocabulary,” “glossary,” “phrasebook,” “wordlist,” and “dictionary,” just to name a few.

Remember, language is the key to knowledge, and knowledge is power.  Here are some resources you can use to start impressing your family and friends with big, complicated, and fancy sounding words…

Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases by Peter Mark Roget

Bellevue University E-Catalog

National Thesaurus Day Pinterest Page

Start Your Business Plan Today

Have you ever wanted to start a business but never had time, or, did not know where to start? Well, it’s never too early or too late to start a business plan. Did you know it was “National Write a Business Plan Month?” Why do we have a month to celebrate this? Well, no one really knows for sure, but one thing is for certain…there is a national something every day and every month, sometimes multiple occasions can occur on the same day and month. Maybe December was chosen for this occasion to get a jump start on New Year’s Resolutions or for last minute tax benefits. Regardless of the reason, now is the time to act.

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National Novel Writing Month

Who knew that it was National Novel Writing Month?  Certainly not this blogger.  However, as a writer, it is great to see that there are initiatives continuing to encourage writing.  This internet-based project, often shortened to “NaNoWriMo” takes place during the entire month of November.  Continue reading

International Artist Day

Do you have an appreciation for art?  Are you interested in art?  Do you want to learn more about art?  If the answer to any or all three questions is “yes,” then today is your day.  International Artist day began in 2004 to recognize artists and the contributions they make.  This day inspires communities to promote their local artists own ideas and celebrate the influences they have on American and world culture.  October 25th is the chosen date because it is Pablo Picasso’s birthday; however, any day is appropriate for hosting an International Artist Day event. Continue reading

Remembering 9/11

9 11Where were you September 11, 2001?  Bet you will never forget, and as a result of that fateful day, every September 11th Americans observe this day as the National Day of Service and Remembrance.  The more common name is “Patriot Day,” not to be confused with Patriot’s Day, which commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, held the third Monday of April.  Continue reading

Women’s Equality Day

Womens equalityWHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the certification of the Nineteenth Amendment, as a symbol for the continued fight for equal rights.  We recognize the day as “Women’s Equality Day.” Continue reading

Nelson Mandela International Day

Mandela“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  Those true words were uttered by the human rights lawyer, prisoner of conscience, international peacemaker, and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa, Nelson Mandela.  The UN General Assembly asks individuals around the world to make a difference in their communities to honor Nelson Mandela’s legacy on the day he was born, today, July 18th. Continue reading

Observing National Higher Education Day

national higher edu dayToday we are highlighting a day that represents all that a library stands for—educating and inspiring students.  National Higher Education Day is fairly new, having started in February, 2015, by Izamar Olaguez and Marcie Hronis; however, the registrar at National Day Calendar declared it to be observed annually on June 6th.  The original purpose of the day was to provide and communicate funding opportunities, such as financial aid and scholarships, to students who thought obtaining a college degree was not possible. Continue reading

Jewish American Heritage Month

Jewish American HeritageMay is Jewish American Heritage Month, officially recognized by President George W. Bush on April 20, 2006.  Each year this proclamation is renewed by the current president to recognize and celebrate Jewish American culture, achievements and contributions since they first arrived in New Amsterdam, the southern tip of Manhattan Island, in 1654.  Continue reading