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National Spaghetti Day!

Today we celebrate one of my favorite pasta because today is National Spaghetti Day.  This day is observed annually on January 4th.

In the Philippines, where I am from, it is a tradition to have food with noodles on different special occasions or parties like birthdays, graduation, anniversary, office parties and more.  We call it Filipino spaghetti, which is distinctively sweet with the tomato sauce sweetened with banana ketchup or sugar. It typically uses a large amount of ground meat), sliced hotdogs, and cheese all mixed together in a pot before serving.

Spaghetti is a staple food of Italian cuisine which is made of milled wheat and water and sometimes enriched with vitamins and minerals.  Authentic Italian spaghetti is made from durum and semolina, but in most places, it is just made of a variety of flour.  The word Spaghetti is an Italian word for spaghetti, which is diminutive of spago, meaning “thin string” or “twine”.

Spaghetti is usually served with pasta sauce made from tomatoes and spices.  Nowadays, chefs around the world serve spaghetti in a variety of ways like white sauce or the Alfredo sauce or just with Olive Oil which is called Spaghetti Aglio e Olio where the sauce is made from oil infused with garlic, a traditional Italian dish from Naples.

In the United States around the end of the 19th century, spaghetti was offered in restaurants as Spaghetti Italienne (which likely consisted of noodles cooked past al dente, and a mild tomato sauce flavored with easily found spices and vegetables such as clovesbay leaves, and garlic) and it was not until decades later that it came to be commonly prepared with oregano or basil.

So, today, celebrate this day, by cooking some spaghetti for your lunch or dinner.  Share some recipes on social media using #SpaghettiDay.

1965 L.B.J. envisions a Great Society in his State of the Union address

On January 4, 1965, in his State of the Union address, President Lyndon Baines Johnson lays out for Congress a laundry list of legislation needed to achieve his plan for a Great Society. On the heels of John F. Kennedy’s tragic death, Americans had elected Johnson, his vice president, to the presidency by the largest popular vote in the nation’s history. Johnson used this mandate to push for improvements he believed would better Americans’ quality of life.

Following Johnson’s lead, Congress enacted sweeping legislation in the areas of civil rights, health care, education, and the environment. The 1965 State of the Union address heralded the creation of Medicare/Medicaid, Head Start, the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the White House Conference on Natural Beauty. Johnson also signed the National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities Act, out of which emerged the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Through the Economic Opportunity Act, Johnson fought a War on Poverty by implementing improvements in early childhood education and fair employment policies. He was also a strong advocate for conservation, proposing the creation of a green legacy through preserving natural areas, open spaces, and shorelines and building more urban parks. In addition, Johnson stepped up research and legislation regarding air- and water pollution control measures.

(excerpted from