The Reason We Celebrate Flag Day


American calendars are crammed with a number of holidays and observations. So many, in fact, that some of the lesser-known dates don't seem to get a lot of recognition. Coming on the heels of Memorial Day, Flag Day (June 14) has relatively few fireworks ignited in its honor. But there is a reason why it's deserving of a day all its own.

In 1777, the Continental Congress passed a resolution embracing the American flag as a national symbol. Originally consisting of 13 stars and 13 stripes, it evolved into the familiar 50-star pattern we see today. Early on, however, it didn’t make much sense to consider honoring its creation. Originally, the flag wasn't meant to be a symbol of patriotism but a way of identifying people during the American revolution. It was more like a piece of military equipment.

As the meaning behind the flag changed, people began to regard its creation with more reverence. In the 1800s, a number of people decided that the flag's inception was worthy of recognition, creating a groundswell of support that eventually went national. In the early days of the Civil War, textile manufacturers who stood to profit from mass patriotism backed the idea. So did private citizens. In 1861, a Connecticut resident named George Morris pushed for a day of observance, with his hometown of Hartford observing June 14 as a kind of flag birthday. So did Charles Dudley Warner, a nationally known newspaper editor from Hartford, where the textile industry was largest.

In 1885, schoolteacher B.J. Cigrand wrote to newspapers and magazines advocating for the date. Later, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks managed to convince President Woodrow Wilson to issue a formal proclamation for the day in 1916. President Harry Truman signed its observance into law in 1950.

For Truman, the concept of Flag Day was not only to celebrate its creation, but to acknowledge the ideals behind it. Though it's not a federal holiday, it is a time to pay respect to what's become part of American iconography.

[h/t Reader's Digest]

10 of the Best Indoor and Outdoor Heaters on Amazon

Mr. Heater/Amazon
Mr. Heater/Amazon

With the colder months just around the corner, you might want to start thinking about investing in an indoor or outdoor heater. Indoor heaters not only provide a boost of heat for drafty spaces, but they can also be a money-saver, allowing you to actively control the heat based on the rooms you’re using. Outdoor heaters, meanwhile, can help you take advantage of cold-weather activities like camping or tailgating without having to call it quits because your extremities have gone numb. Check out this list of some of Amazon’s highest-rated indoor and outdoor heaters so you can spend less time shivering this winter and more time enjoying what the season has to offer.

Indoor Heaters

1. Lasko Ceramic Portable Heater; $20


This 1500-watt heater from Lasko may only be nine inches tall, but it can heat up to 300 square feet of space. With 11 temperature settings and three quiet settings—for high heat, low heat, and fan only—it’s a dynamic powerhouse that’ll keep you toasty all season long.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Alrocket Oscillating Space Heater; $25


Alrocket’s oscillating space heater is an excellent addition to any desk or nightstand. Using energy-saving ceramic technology, this heater is made of fire-resistant material, and its special “tip-over” safety feature forces it to turn off if it falls over (making it a reliable choice for homes with kids or pets). It’s extremely quiet, too—at only 45 dB, it’s just a touch louder than a whisper. According to one reviewer, this an ideal option for a “very quiet but powerful” heater.

Buy it: Amazon

3. De’Longhi Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heather; $79


If you prefer a space heater with a more old-fashioned vibe, this radiator heater from De’Longhi gives you 2020 technology with a vintage feel. De’Longhi’s heater automatically turns itself on when the temperatures drops below 44°F, and it will also automatically turn itself off if it starts to overheat. Another smart safety feature? The oil system is permanently sealed, so you won’t have to worry about accidental spills.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Aikoper Ceramic Tower Heater; $70


Whether your room needs a little extra warmth or its own heat source, Aikoper’s incredibly precise space heater has got you covered. With a range of 40-95°F, it adjusts by one-degree intervals, giving you the specific level of heat you want. It also has an option for running on an eight-hour timer, ensuring that it will only run when you need it.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Isiler Space Heater; $37


For a space heater that adds a fun pop of color to any room, check out this yellow unit from Isiler. Made from fire-resistant ceramic, Isiler’s heater can start warming up a space within seconds. It’s positioned on a triangular stand that creates an optimal angle for hot air to start circulating, rendering it so effective that, as one reviewer put it, “This heater needs to say ‘mighty’ in its description.”

Buy it: Amazon

Outdoor Heaters

6. Mr. Heater Portable Buddy; $104

Mr. Heater/Amazon

Make outdoor activities like camping and grilling last longer with Mr. Heater’s indoor/outdoor portable heater. This heater can connect to a propane tank or to a disposable cylinder, allowing you to keep it in one place or take it on the go. With such a versatile range of uses, this heater will—true to its name—become your best buddy when the temperature starts to drop.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiland Pyramid Patio Propane Heater; Various


The cold’s got nothing on this powerful outdoor heater. Hiland’s patio heater has a whopping 40,000 BTU output, which runs for eight to 10 hours on high heat. Simply open the heater’s bottom door to insert a propane tank, power it on, and sit back to let it warm up your backyard. The bright, contained flame from the propane doubles as an outdoor light.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Solo Stove Bonfire Pit; $345

Solo Stove/Amazon

This one is a slight cheat since it’s a bonfire pit and not a traditional outdoor heater, but the Solo Stove has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon for a reason. Everything about this portable fire pit is meticulously crafted to maximize airflow while it's lit, from its double-wall construction to its bottom air vents. These features all work together to help the logs burn more completely while emitting far less smoke than other pits. It’s the best choice for anyone who wants both warmth and ambiance on their patio.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Dr. Infrared Garage Shop Heater; $119

Dr. Infrared/Amazon

You’ll be able to use your garage or basement workshop all season long with this durable heater from Dr. Infrared. It’s unique in that it includes a built-in fan to keep warm air flowing—something that’s especially handy if you need to work without wearing gloves. The fan is overlaid with heat and finger-protectant grills, keeping you safe while it’s powered on.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Mr. Heater 540 Degree Tank Top; $86

Mr. Heater/Amazon

Mr. Heater’s clever propane tank top automatically connects to its fuel source, saving you from having to bring any extra attachments with you on the road. With three heat settings that can get up to 45,000 BTU, the top can rotate 360 degrees to give you the perfect angle of heat you need to stay cozy. According to a reviewer, for a no-fuss outdoor heater, “This baby is super easy to light, comes fully assembled … and man, does it put out the heat.”

Buy it: Amazon

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Nightmare Fuel: An Ohio Car Wash Transforms Into a Haunted Drive-Thru for Halloween

Stefano Pollio, Unsplash
Stefano Pollio, Unsplash

People afraid of water, enclosed spaces, and fast-moving machinery may already find car washes kind of creepy. But the average car wash has nothing on the Rainforest Car Wash in Medina, Ohio. As reports, the business is bringing back its haunted car wash for the second year in a row in 2020.

For most of the year, the Rainforest Car Wash keeps customers entertained with fun jungle adventure decor inside its facilities. For Halloween 2019, the car wash took a departure from its classic theme to create a spooky experience for guests. The first haunted drive-thru was such a hit that the Ohio chain decided to bring it back to its Medina location for October 2020.

For the price of $20, customers will be able to get their car cleaned and their blood pumping at the same time. The event will run from October 16 to the 18th and October 23 to the 25th. It will also be held during special weekend hours: from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Drivers who enter the car wash will subject themselves to creepy, costumed characters jumping out at them throughout the ride. If they can survive the experience, guests will be sent home with trick-or-treat goodie bags.

This will be the business's second annual haunted car wash, but the attraction fills a new need in the community this time around. Because customers experience the event in their cars, they can get their thrills while staying socially-distanced.

"This event is one of the few things you can do this Halloween that is completely safe," Anthony Bencivenni, Rainforest's district manager, said in a press release. "Each participant will get to escape from the day-to-day for a little while to enjoy the event from the comfort of their vehicle. This year has been particularly difficult for many in our community, and in light of that, we feel it's critical to provide an opportunity for our local families to enjoy special moments, have fun together, and make lasting memories."

Too scared to visit a haunted drive-thru in person? Read about these behind-the-scenes secrets of haunted houses from the safety of your home.