In honor of William McKinley, who was born on this date and was known to wear a carnation on his lapel, we celebrate National Carnation Day (also known as Red Carnation Day or just Carnation Day). Throughout his political career, McKinley’s name was often spoken in the same breath as the carnation, a longstanding symbol of his support.
It all started in 1876, when he was running for the Republican nomination in Ohio for a seat in the House of Representatives of the United States of America. His competitor, the botanist Levi Lamborn, became famous for producing a variety of bright crimson carnations that he called “Lamborn Red.”
Before the candidates’ debates, Lamborn offered McKinley a boutonniere he’d created out of one of his flowers. After McKinley’s electoral victory, he began to believe that carnations brought him good fortune.
National Carnation Day: A Brief History
In honor of the late President William McKinley, we celebrate National Carnation Day, also known as Red Carnation Day. His January 29th birthday was a long time ago, and he was known for his fondness of flowers. The flower remained a staple of McKinley’s political wardrobe for quite some time, making repeated appearances throughout his presidency.
The story begins in 1876, when he ran for Congress as a Republican in Ohio. Horticulturist Levi Lamborn, who competed with him, had developed a kind of vivid scarlet carnation that he called “Lamborn Red.” Thus, Lamborn presented McKinley with one of his flowers before the candidates’ debates. Moreover, after McKinley’s election victory, he began considering carnations lucky charms.
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McKinley was a walking bouquet of carnations; the flowers decorated his attire and a vase in his office. Throughout his time in the White House, he maintained a large bouquet of carnations in the Cabinet Room. A common political saying goes something like, “If you don’t receive an office when you visit the President, give him a carnation.”
When a guest came to the White House, President McKinley would take one of the flowers and put it in the guest’s buttonhole. Everyone knew that a man who left the president’s presence with a flower in his lapel had failed to achieve his goal.
A carnation the president was wearing at the time of his tragic assassination in September 1901 is said to have been given to a young girl. People think his good fortune disappeared after he stopped wearing the carnation. In memory of him, the holiday known as “National Carnation Day” was established after his passing.
The Carnation League of America, founded by Lewis G. Reynolds of Dayton, Ohio, celebrated the first national Carnation Day in 1903. To show respect and “promote the growth of good citizenship and enhance the greatness of the country by the right observation of national holidays,” people on this day refrain from speaking and instead wear red carnations as a symbol of patriotism.
Carnations: What You Need To Know
In the event that you have even the slightest bit of enthusiasm for gardening or horticulture, celebrating National Carnation Day gives you a wonderful opportunity to find out more about these stunning flowers. In order to help you get started with your research on carnations, here are a few intriguing tidbits:
It Is Possible To Alter The Color Of Carnations
By carrying out this straightforward experiment, you will have the opportunity to watch a white or light-colored carnation transform into a different shade as it takes in food-colored water.
Carnations Are The Second Most Popular Flower, Behind Only Roses
When it comes to marking significant events with a gift of flowers, carnations are the second most popular flower selection after roses. The most popular flower option is the rose.
You Are Free To Consume Carnations
Carnations are a popular choice when it comes to decorating cakes, baked goods, and even salads; yet, not many people are aware that they may really be consumed.
How To Observe National Carnation Day
Carry Around A Carnation
Since today is National Carnation Day, you should celebrate by donning a carnation. Put it on to show your support for the United States of America and to remember the late President William McKinley.
Give Someone Carnations
In the end, it was a fortunate assumption on President McKinley’s part to think that they were lucky charms. Even if you don’t think there is any truth to the claims that carnations have magical properties, you should nonetheless let someone else investigate this.
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Pay A Visit To The Statehouse In Ohio
Take a tour of the museum and keep an eye out for any unique McKinley exhibits. Do not fail to visit the Capitol Cafe and the Statehouse Museum Shop while you are here. They provide special deals to customers who are dressed in red, are carrying a red carnation, or are wearing red apparel.