Aug. 7, 2011: National Friendship Day

"Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together," President Woodrow Wilson once said in a speech. Recognizing the importance of friendship, Congress declared in 1935 that the first Sunday of August would be celebrated as National Friendship Day.

In honor of the loved ones who stick by us through good times and bad, here are five fun facts about friendship:
1. In 1997, Winnie the Pooh was named the world's Ambassador of Friendship by the U.N.

2. Birds of a feather don't necessarily flock together. In friendships, as in romantic relationships, opposites sometimes attract. This video shows a cat, named Fum, and a barn owl, named Gebra, who are playful pals.

3. These days many people have more "online friends" than "real-life friends." According to Guinness World Records, people in Malaysia have the highest amount of digital friends in the world. Social network users there average 233 digital friends each. The country with the lowest number of digital friends? Japan. Social network users there average only 29 digital friends each.

4. Need a reason to spend more time with friends? A recent Brigham Young University study revealed that social connections can improve a person's odds of survival by a hefty 50 percent. The study also found that little social interaction is just as harmful to a person's health as being an alcoholic and twice as harmful as being obese.

5. Need some ideas on how to celebrate National Friendship Day? You could grab a friend and take a stroll through Valley Falls Park in Vernon or take in a movie at Showcase Cinemas in Manchester.

Why not play a round of miniature golf at Monster Mini Golf in Windsor Locks or take a swing in the batting cages at Somers Golf Center in Somers?

Of course you could always catch up over dinner at Zanto in Suffield or dig for deals at the Mansfield Drive-In flea market in Mansfield. You could even send your friend a bouquet from Wildflowers of Tolland in Tolland (yellow roses symbolize friendship, by the way.)

If you have a friend with fur, fins, feathers or scales, you could get them a treat at Petco in Enfield.
What's a good way to show a friend that they are appreciated?