Today is an unusual day for Wacky Wednesday. I say this because the words and holidays are unusual. Our first word is Gabelle. A noun referring to an unpopular tax on salt in France. It began in the mid-14th century lasting until 1790 in the midst of the French Revolution. Napoleon Bonaparte reinstated this tax in 1806. It was terminated then reinstated again and finally abolished in 1945. Salt was used for cooking, preserving food, making cheese, and raising livestock making the salt tax the most hated tax in France.
Our next word is Halfpace. This noun has a few meanings. It can be another name for footpace. It can be a small stage on which something stands; like a throne or an altar. It can also be a landing at the top of a flight of stairs before the stairs turn and ascend in the opposite direction. With the stairs definition, one can think of it as a floor between floors.
For our holidays this week, we only have one that’s related to food. Today is National Julienne Fries Day. Julienne Fries are sometimes called shoestring fries and they refer to a specific type of cut for the skinny sliced potatoes. The look like matchsticks. This was also a method for cutting different vegetables for soups. Today is also National Vinyl Record Day, National Middle Child Day, and Congressional Startup Day (changes annually). Startup Day celebrates small business startups and helps entrepreneurs connect with their lawmakers. So, are you a middle child? Do you still have vinyl records? Today is the day to buy more.
76 years ago, during World War II, the Allied forces invaded northern France with beach landings in Normandy. This event was used as the opening sequence for the film Saving Private Ryan (1998). The “D” stands for day. The title was conventionally used for the date of any important military operation. Days leading up to D-Day were designated as D-1, D-2. Days following D-Day were designated as D+1, D+2, etc. This event was as important to World War II as the Battle of Gettysburg was for the Civil War. The official name for D-Day was Operation Neptune.
This was the turning of events for Nazi Germany as they began to lose control of territories. Less than a year after the D-Day invasion, the Allies formally accepted Nazi Germany’s surrender. The relevance of this invasion and the purpose of World War II is obvious. Here in the United States, we are experiencing continued hate towards people of color and other minorities. Nazis and white supremacists are as abundant today as they were during the days of World War II. I hope the United States does not have to resort to fighting each other to finally put an end to this madness.
I do not condone violence of any kind no matter the justification. I try to live my life with kindness as my religion. Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Being kind does not mean I’m not angry. There is nothing wrong with being angry and expressing that anger in production, non-violent ways. Now I have a message for the Nazis out in the world. Whether you believe you’re a Nazi or not doesn’t make you different from them. If you’re racists and promote hate speech, you’re a Nazi. Nazis are not welcome in my country. Get out!