The Friday before Memorial Day is declared National Road Trip Day and serves as the official kickoff of the summer road trip season. Millions of Americans hit the road each year over the long weekend, visiting friends and family while paying tribute to our American heroes.
Two-thirds of American drivers (54 percent)* report an increase in the number of trips they plan to take this summer and more than half (53%) of people plan to take a road trip. And we may see a new trend on the rise, with 52% of respondents reporting that the pandemic has made them more likely to take an outdoors-focused trip.
It’s clear that the open road calls when long weekends and Fridays roll around. We pack up, fuel up, stock up, and then crank up the tunes. In fact, 63 percent** of road trippers say that having good music, audiobooks, and/or podcasts to listen to are the most important parts of a successful road trip. Additionally, three in five road trippers (59 percent) say that having good snacks and drinks for the road, finding great places to eat on the way, and finding clean bathrooms to use while traveling are their most important parts of a successful road trip.
Whether we’re seeking adventure, visiting family and friends, or making a business connection, road trips are often a rite of passage. Sometimes we endure them, often hearing, “Are we there yet?” And other times we never want them to end; sometimes getting lost can be even more fun than the original plan.
Road trips that begin and end with happy passengers are always the best. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Plan ahead. Even a spur of the moment trip requires a little planning.
Two in five (42 percent) road trippers find travel apps very helpful when planning their trip, and mapping out your stops ahead of time can be a great way to save both time and money.
One way to do so is with the Pilot Flying J app’s enhanced trip planner feature. The trip planner helps users create their route and find Pilot and Flying J locations along the way, showcasing specific amenities, fuel prices and more.
Vehicle maintenance is vital to any successful road trip. Beyond the routine maintenance like oil changes and sound tires, other simple checks will keep you on the road.
check your wipers and wiper fluid
make sure your spare tire and jack are in place
all lights and signals are working
condition of your brake pads
registration is current or not about to expire
Plot your course. Consider construction, fuel and snack stops, shopping, and the interests of the other travelers.
Road trippers prioritize convenience and efficiency, primarily (58 percent) wanting to stop at all-in-one rest stops (offers gas, food, drinks, coffee, bathrooms, and more.).
Specifically, the top “road trip essential” snacks are chips and salty foods (52 percent), freshly made, grab-and-go foods (50 percent), and fast food options (49 percent).
How do you travel?
There are two kinds of people who take road trips. If you’re going together, you might want to discuss a compromise before hitting the road! The tourist takes their time getting there and doesn’t mind taking backroads to see long-forgotten ghost towns. On the other hand, the pilot enjoys seeing the country from the car, sets a course, and frowns upon unscheduled stops or side trips.
No matter the destination, road trips include an element of expectation, and they rarely disappoint. The best road trips bring us closer to people over a stick of beef jerky and car karaoke. They connect us to places through memories, a postcard, and the kindness of strangers.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalRoadTripDay
Summer is a Go! It’s that time of year where families and friends prepare for National Road Trip Day by hitting the road and discovering exciting new destinations. This year, 83 percent of travelers are expected to travel by car starting in June. Pilot Flying J is kicking off the much-anticipated holiday with a summer of deals and the launch of its Summer is a Go Road Trip Giveaway, starting May 24 through September 5, with a grand prize of $5,000 in free fuel and three-monthly prizes of $250 gift cards.
Pilot Flying J is kicking off the much-anticipated holiday with a summer of deals and the launch of its Summer is a Go Road Trip Giveaway, starting May 24 through September 5, with a grand prize of $5,000 in free fuel and three-monthly prizes of $250 gift cards.
How do you enter the contest?
Travelers can enter to win by posting pictures of their best road trip adventures on Instagram and Twitter with #SummerIsAGoGiveaway and tagging @PilotFlyingJ. On Facebook, followers can respond to Pilot Flying J’s giveaway post with a road trip picture. Earn an additional entry by including any Pilot-branded cup in the photo.
Road Trip Essentials and Savings
National Road Trip Day kicks-off a summer of deals to stock up and save on snacks, drinks and road trip essentials. Get exclusive offers to save money on the road and easily find Pilot Flying J locations with the myRewards PlusTM app.
Beginning May 24, enjoy BOGO drinks all summer long with deals on popular brands available in the app.
Stock up and save on drinks and snacks for the road with an in-app offer for $5 off purchases $15 or higher from May 28 – 31.
Fill up on the new southern or spicy chicken sandwich with $2 off in the app from May 24 – 30 at any participating Pilot Flying J location.
Get ready for a summer in the sun with BOGO 50% off on all sunglasses from May 31 – June 6 when using the offer in the app.
Cool down with 99 cent fountain or frozen drinks with the purchase of any hot food item at the register through August 31.
Follow @PilotFlyingJ on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share your National Road Trip Day plans with the hashtags #NationalRoadTripDay and #RoadTripReimagined to enter to win.
NATIONAL ROAD TRIP DAY HISTORY
In 2019, Pilot Flying J, the largest travel center operator in North America, founded National Road Trip Day, the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, to officially kick off the unofficial first day of the summer travel season. Pilot Flying J prepares all spring for the summer travel season and helps provide guests with the fuel, food, drinks, and travel necessities needed to make it from point A to point B as easily and conveniently as possible. With 750 travel center locations in North America, Pilot Flying J is a convenient, one-stop-shop for travelers, offering clean bathrooms and a large assortment of snacks, beverages and food options. To learn more about National Road Trip Day, visit pilotflyingj.com/nationalroadtripday.
The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed the first National Road Trip Day in 2019 and to be observed annually on the Friday before Memorial Day.
Each year in the United States, Americans observe the Federal holiday, Memorial Day, the last Monday in May. It honors and remembers all men and women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Memorial Day is also a day to remember all loved ones who have passed away.
Traditionally on Memorial Day, the flag of the United States of America is raised briskly to the top of the staff then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position where it remains until noon. At noon, it is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.
When the flag is at half-staff, the position is in remembrance of the more than one million men and women who gave their lives for their country. Raising the flag at noon signifies the nation lives, that the country is resolved not to let their sacrifice be in vain but to rise up in their honor and continue to fight for liberty and justice for all.
In the United States, Memorial Day also traditionally marks the beginning of summer.
HOW TO OBSERVE #MemorialDay
Attend Memorial Day services in your community. In your own way, pay tribute in remembrance of service members who have died while serving. Visit a veterans’ cemetery to honor those who’ve impacted your life. Use #MemorialDay to post on social media.
MEMORIAL DAY HISTORY
Honoring the men and women who have died while serving in the military, communities, individuals, and organizations have kept Memorial Day in various forms in the United States since the end of the Civil War. General John Logan first called for a nationwide day of remembrance on May 5, 1868. The observance was called Decoration Day, and it was observed on May 30th, 1868.
General James Garfield spoke at Arlington National Cemetery with Generals Grant, Howard, Logan, Pane, Wool, and Hancock in attendance. Volunteers also decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers.
Across the country, humble tributes occurred on that first Decoration Day. Just outside Fort Stevens near Washington, D.C., there was a small cemetery where 40 soldiers were buried, one of whom belonged to a widow from Northern Vermont. He was one of three sons she lost to the war. On Decoration Day, she went to the cemetery carrying 40 wreaths for 40 graves.
Someone placed a laurel wreath upon the head of a Lincoln statue at City Hall, Washington, D.C.
In Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroads transported passengers to the Spring Grove Cemetery. As a tribute, communities displayed flags at half-mast along the routes. More volunteers placed floral wreaths on the soldiers’ graves, and speeches were made. Many of the first Decoration Days recognized only the Union soldiers. However, other events included the Confederate soldiers as well. Over time, the day grew to include all those soldiers lost during the conflict.
Decoration Day gradually became known as Memorial Day and now honors all U.S. service members who have died during a military conflict. Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30th for many years. Then, in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968. Since 1971, Memorial Day has been observed the last Monday of May.
Memorial Day, as the name implies, was established to create a day of remembrance to honor soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the U.S. Civil War.
Our culture today, however, associates the holiday with the start of summer activities, like barbecues and going to the beach.
How did this once somber holiday become the signal of summer?
After the Civil War ended in the spring of 1865, Americans were struggling with the enormous loss of 620,000 people to the conflict. Days of remembrance began to spring up all around the country, but Waterloo, New York is officially recognized as the birthplace of Memorial Day.
Waterloo began having an annual and organized remembrance day as of May 1866, when businesses closed and the graves of the military were decorated with flags and flowers.
Memorial Day, as the name implies, was established to create a day of remembrance to honor soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the U.S. Civil War. Our culture today, however, associates the holiday with the start of summer activities, like barbecues and going to the beach. How did this once somber holiday become the signal of summer?
After the Civil War ended in the spring of 1865, Americans were struggling with the enormous loss of 620,000 people to the conflict. Days of remembrance began to spring up all around the country, but Waterloo, New York is officially recognized as the birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo began having an annual and organized remembrance day as of May 1866, when businesses closed and the graves of the military were decorated with flags and flowers.
Three years after the end of the Civil War, Major General John Logan, head of an organization of Union veterans called the Grand Army of the Republic, called for a national celebration to honor fallen Civil War soldiers. Future president James Garfield presided over the first “Decoration Day” as it was first called, on May 30, 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery. The date was chosen, supposedly, because flowers would then be in bloom. Future celebrations were held at former Civil War battle sites, like Antietam and Gettysburg.
Though the observances continued, at the end of the 19th century, memories of the Civil War began to wane, and with the day falling on the last day of May, was beginning to be celebrated as a summer holiday. At the time, workers had few days off, and it soon became common practice to visit cemeteries in the morning and engage in more relaxing activities in the afternoon. By the mid 1880s, newspaper editorials decried that the holiday had become “desecrated” by people playing sports on Decoration Day, but that didn’t have much effect on the general populace. By the time the first Indianapolis 500 race was held on May 30, 1911, barely an eye was batted.
However, the world wars in the first half of the 20th century brought Decoration Day back into the public consciousness. In fact, the day originally only honored soldiers who had been killed in the Civil War, but as America entered into conflict after conflict in the 20th century, the day evolved to honor all of our fallen dead.
In order to create three-day weekends, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968, which established the day as an official federal holiday called “Memorial Day” to be celebrated on the last Monday in May. With that three-day holiday in effect and fewer and fewer people having personal connections to the military, the drumbeat towards Memorial Day becoming the start of the summer season only continued onward.
Today, many towns and cities across the country do still hold solemn Memorial Day observances and parades to honor fallen military members. And while this year, the summer celebrations may be distant and less social, America may need the merriment we now associate with Memorial Day more than ever.
National Paperclip Day on May 29th each year celebrates a small but handy invention. Yes, even the paperclip has its own day of honor. The day celebrates the well-known piece of curved wire that keeps our papers together and helps us stay organized.
While many may have claimed earlier invention of the paperclip, according to the Early Office Museum, Samuel B. Fay received the first patent for a “bent wire paper clip” in the United States in 1867. The original intention of Fay’s clip was to attach tickets to fabric. However, U.S. patent 64,088 recognized that paperclips could also hold papers together.
As many as 50 others received patents for similar designs before 1899. One other notable name receiving a patent for his paperclip design in the United States was Erlman J. Wright in 1877. At that time, he advertised his clip for use in fastening newspapers.
The Gem paperclip, which was most likely in production in Britain in the early 1870s by The Gem Manufacturing Company, was never patented. It is the most common type of wire paperclip and is still in use today. It was introduced to the United States around 1892, and in 1904, Cushman & Denison registered a trademark for the “Gem” name in connection with paperclips. Paperclips are still sometimes called Gem clips.
Today, paperclips come in various sizes, shapes, and colors and can make your paperwork look more fun and lively.
Paperclips are not just for holding papers together. There are many other things that you can do with them!
Replace a zipper tab
Unclog a spray bottle
Unclog a single-serve coffee maker
Emergency hooks for broken necklaces
The Paper ClipProject
During World War II, this small, universal office supply provided a visual method of protest when any outward signs of objection could be dangerous, even in familiar company.
Early in the war, Norwegians were particularly persistent in their development of symbols. The paperclip represented “sticking together” until the Nazis caught on and banned the wearing of paperclips.
According to a March 5, 1941, Provo, Utah newspaper article (The Daily Herald), the Norwegians switched to new symbols quickly as the bans could be issued.
In 1998, a group of middle school students led by language arts teacher Sandra Roberts and associate principal David Smith began a project through a Holocaust education class. The voluntary after-school class, Whitwell Middle School principal Linda Hooper’s idea, would be the foundation for developing tolerance and diversity.
Inspired by the story of the protesting Norwegians and their paperclips, the students began to collect six million paperclips – one paper clip representing one Jew who perished during the Holocaust. Adults today still wrestle with how the Holocaust could even happen. Imagine middle-school students trying to understand the magnitude of such an event on humanity.
The Paper Clip Project gained international attention, and by 2001 the students collected more than 30 million paperclips. The school dedicated a Children’s Holocaust Memorial, which displays an authentic German railcar filled with a portion of the paperclips.
For more information on this inspiring story, the book, and the film that followed, visit www.oneclipatatime.org.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPaperclipDay
How many paperclips do you use in a day? Share your favorite paperclip tips and ideas using #NationalPaperclipDay to post on social media.
When it comes to burgers, a Brioche Buns recipe is the ideal pairing with something right off the grill. Chances are, most gourmet burgers you’ve had have been on brioche buns! Now make them at home.
Hi Bold Bakers!
Summertime is grilling time and nothing goes better with Kevin’s homemade burgers than my ultimate homemade Brioche Hamburger Buns! This hamburger bun recipe creates an irresistibly soft and buttery roll that’s also slightly sweet, which is the perfect companion to a big, juicy burger.
If you’ve ever been to a restaurant that has gourmet burgers, chances are they’re served on a brioche bun. In my opinion, the best buns for a hamburger are brioche because, not only are they sturdy and spongy, they have a light sweetness, ideal for your savory protein of choice — like cheeseburgers, hamburgers, sloppy joes, portobello mushroom burgers, pulled pork, fried fish, or fried chicken.
They’re soft to bite through, sweet to cut the savory of your protein, and strong enough to hold the weight of your perfect meal, all while sopping up any of those delicious juices that are planning on escaping!
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips for Making Brioche Hamburger Buns
These buns can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 weeks, so there’s no reason not to make these for the long summer months!
To make sliders, make smaller sized pieces, around 2 1/2 oz.
A shower cap works great as a cover for proofing bread dough. Instead of plastic wrap, the shower cap is a great, reusable tool to ensure that no air can harm your dough!
Feel free to introduce some whole wheat flour to this dough for more fiber!
While making your dough, don’t be afraid to hold back on the liquid. You can always add more, but you can’t take it back.
Prep Time 25mins
Cook Time 22mins
When it comes to burgers, a Brioche Buns recipe is the ideal pairing with something right off the grill. Chances are, most gourmet burgers you’ve had, have been on brioche buns! Now make them at home.
Author: Gemma Stafford
2 1/4cups (11 oz./319g)all-purpose flour
1teaspoon instant dry yeast
1/2 cup (4fl oz./113ml)whole milk
1/4cup (2 oz./57g)butter,softened
In a large bowl of a mixer, combine all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
In a separate jug whisk together the milk and eggs.
Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and knead on medium speed with the dough hook attachment. (Tip: hold back a little liquid in case you don’t need it all to make the dough come together)
Once the dough comes together and there is no dry flour add in the sliced, softened butter. Continue to knead the dough for another 6-8 minutes. You will notice it is a soft, shaggy dough.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a smooth ball. Place it into a greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or a shower cap), and keep in a warm place for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
To make your Hamburgers: Divide the dough roughly into 6 (3 ¾ oz.) pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to proof. This should take about 45 to 60 minutes. (Shaping the dough into a smooth ball is very important. Watch how, here.)
Once proofed, brush each bun with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 20-22 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Store buns in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Because of the butter and eggs, they can spoil after 3 days so you can either keep them in the fridge or in the freezer for longer shelf life.
“Battle Hymn of the Republic,” by William Steffe, arr. Peter J. Wilhousky
West Point Band with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square Strings Mack Wilburg, conductor
Live from Trophy Point at West Point, the United States Military Academy
From Music and the Spoken Word Independence Day Special: “Defending Independence” July 4, 2015
Philip Harris, 3 weeks ago
America needs this kind of spirit at the moment.
Richard Largen, 6 days ago
The only time I saw my dad cry was to this song.
He was a Green Beret and was away when a young man in our church was killed by a land mine in Vietnam.
My dad was asked to bring his body home. My dad was standing in the aisle of the church with the casket behind him. My grandpa was the pastor of the church. My family was seated in the balcony. He was standing there in his dress uniform larger than life itself.
He tried but he couldn’t hold back the tears. I’m guessing he felt some guilt. My dad did four tours in Southeast Asia, cracked two vertebrae in his neck and fractured his skull in a parachuting accident and lived to see another day.
The soldier was there for four months and didn’t survive.
He also joined the Army because of my dad. I learned that day my dad was a human being.
He was still my hero then and now. He’s been gone five years. I miss him but I find strength in knowing that I will one day see him again.
I couldn’t listen to the song without crying until he passed away. I know that when he passed that burden he carried had been lifted away by God’s mercy.
Nanik Dasani,1 month ago
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored
He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on (gloria)
Glory, glory, hallelujah (gloria)
Glory, glory, hallelujah (gloria, gloria)
Glory, glory, hallelujah (gloria)
His truth is marching on
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps
I can read His righteous sentence in the dim and flaring lamps
His day is marching on
Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory glory hallelujah
His truth is marching on
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me
As He died to make men holy let us live to make men free
Philip Harris, 3 weeks ago