Now, It's the Official Toad, Sport and Candy

Here we go again.

Last year it was the official donut. Official polka. Official number.

And, only the polka made it. So, this year, we're taking another look at the donut, along with a whole plethora of other wanna be official things.

Like the Massachusetts Official Toad. Honest. There was actually a hearing in Boston this week to name the official toad. In the running, or hopping in this case, is the Fowler's Toad, also known as the Bufo fowleri. Blame Senator Bruce Tarr of Gloucester for introducing that piece of legislation.

But Senator Tarr isn't alone in wanting to name things official.

From Toad to Ode. "The Ode to Massachusetts" with words and music by Joseph Falzone is the candidate for official ode of the commonwealth.

Another bill would make gold the official color of the Commonwealth. Because the State House is the centerpiece of state government and because of the historical significance of the Bullfinch design of the building with its golden dome.

At least they gave a reason, unlike the sponsors of making a basketball the official sport of the Commonwealth, who just said "The sport of basketball shall be the official sport of the Commonwealth."

Yes, the donut's back again this year, with the Boston cream donut once again nominated as the official donut of the Commonwealth.

And NECCO candy has been nominated, evidently by a school group in Marblehead, to be the official candy.

Remember Jack Kerouac? One group of legislators wants March 12th set aside as Jack Kerouac Day, in recognition of his contributions to American Literature and the genre of spontaneous prose, for his contributions to French-Canadian heritage, and for his love of his hometown of Lowell.

Of course, there are some fairly serious nominations as well. Like making English the official language in the Commonwealth.

Like making the Korean War Memorial in the Charlestown Navy Yard the official memorial of the commonwealth to honor the Korean War veterans of our state. And naming the World War I veterans statue in the town of Orange as the official peace statue, the Orange Peace Statue, in Massachusetts.

Or choosing March 31st each year as Civilian Conservation Corps Day, in recognition of the contribution of 100,000 members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which used manpower and land to build roads, bridges and towers from 1933-1942.

And, a proposed act designating Captain Samuel Whittemore the official state hero.

Who? Samuel Whittemore, born in 1694 and who, when not engaged in wars and conflicts in America and Canada, was a hard working farmer in Menotomy. Where? Menotomy! It's now Arlington.

The legislators proposing the honor, tell the story of April 17, 1775 when Whittemore, working in his fields, became aware of the retreating British army which had fought the militiamen at Lexington and Concord. Over 80 years old, Whittemore armed himself, disregarded the warnings of onlookers, and stationed himself behind a stone wall directly in the path of the troops.

When the British army came into point blank range, Whittemore stood up, opened accurate fire, and killed three soldiers before he collapsed from numerous wounds inflicted by the enraged Englishmen. He was left for dead.

But, he recovered and lived to be 98.

Whittemore was the oldest Patriot to fight in the Revolutionary War. And, the sponsors add, most certainly the United States never had a braver warrior."

In honor of his courage, determination, service and contribution to American independence, they've picked February 3, the anniversary of Captain Whittemore's death, to be the day of a proper observance.

And, my favorite. Making December 31, 1999, the official Millennium holiday, with everyone in the Commonwealth taking the day off.

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