weird and wacky holidays happening in August

August 2 is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

national ice cream sandwich day

Jersey Shore circa 1905

Today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.

According to Geraldine Quinzio, author of Sugar and Snow: A History of Ice Cream Making, the ice cream sandwich was invented in 1899 by a pushcart peddler in New York City. It consisted of vanilla ice cream pressed between two thin graham crackers.

In July of 1900, The New York Tribune reported that the vendor was so busy making the sandwiches that he didn’t have time to make change and required all customers to pay exactly one penny.

The photograph you see here was taken at the New Jersey shore in 1905  and shows a popular pushcart on the beach. Supposedly, the modern iteration of the sandwich using rectangular chocolate cookies was created in 1945 by Jerry Newberg, who sold them at Forbes Field, in Pittsburgh, PA.

Here are a few of the “fun facts” quoted everywhere from blogs to news outlets today:

  • It’s estimated that 48 ice cream sandwiches are consumed per second in the United States.
  • If all the ice cream sandwiches made during the year were placed end to end, they would circle the globe 3 1/2 times.
  • Almost 50 percent of all ice cream sandwiches are consumed by residents of states on the Eastern seaboard.

We don’t know this trivia’s original source but we’ve tracked it back to a newspaper article dated December 21, 1995. We hope someone will freshen up those stale statistics. Inquiring minds want to know how many times ice cream sandwiches would wrap around the planet now.

Other versions of the ice cream sandwich have been created all over the world, many predating the American kind. We’ll leave that debate to the food historians.

Happy National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!


Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

August 1 is World Middle Finger Day

World Middle Finger Day logoToday is World Middle Finger Day, created in 2012 by Charles Greene to encourage everyone to exercise their right to peaceful protest with a universal gesture of defiance.

He chose August 1st because it falls between July 4th and September 11, two dates that inspire nationalistic fervor. World Middle Finger Day acknowledges the value of dissent.

Greene posted an official anthem, starring adorable puppets, on YouTube. Be warned: it isn’t family-friendly. Your child’s preschool teacher will never believe he learned that rude gesture from a puppet.

Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

Don’t just stand there blubberin’, feeling sad and blue.
C’mon, pull yourself together, ’cause there’s something you can do:

Give them the finger, give them the finger, the middle one on either of your fists.
Give them the finger, give them the finger, and do it with a flippin’ of the wrist.

Though you’ll never be forgiven, it’s the finger that you’re giving ’em,
But life’s worth living after all—

Give them the finger, give them the finger:
Feeling good, feeling better, walking tall!

Happy World Middle Finger Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

August 25 is Thoughtful Thursday

thoughtful thursdayToday is Thoughtful Thursday, originated by Lorraine Jara in 1988 as part of Be Kind to Humankind Week.

She created after hearing about a boating accident near her hometown of Toms River, NJ. Two young men, drowning after their rowboat capsized, were pulled from the water by two young women in another small boat. They had no radio and called out to a passing vessel for help.

According to the story, the pilot said he couldn’t be bothered and continued on his way. One of the men later died. Ms. Jara was moved to act, offering to erect a memorial in the young man’s name. His family demurred, preferring to keep their mourning private.

She decided to establish a site that would encourage everyone to care for each other. Other days are Motorist Consideration Monday, Touch a Heart Tuesday, Willing to Lend a Hand Wednesday, Forgive Your Foe Friday, Speak Kind Words Saturday and Sacrifice Our Wants for Others’ Needs Sunday. Each day is accompanied by an affirmation devised by Ms. Jara.

Happy Thoughtful Thursday. Let’s try to be kind to humankind every day of the year.

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

August 15 is Taffy Sculpting Day

taffy sculpting dayToday is Taffy Sculpting Day on the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ. It is the first competition in the city’s annual Weird Week.

According to organizers, today’s “wacky, but not tacky” contest challenges participants to build a work of art from saltwater taffy. One year, an entrant modeled a Ferris wheel from the candy.

Tuesday is French Fry Sculpting Day. Potato Elvis has been a fan favorite in the past.

“That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles” Contest takes place on Wednesday. Unsurprisingly, artists’ material consists of a giant cookie.

Can there be any losers when you get to eat your mistakes?

Also on Wednesday is the “Ears Looking at You” Contest, an attempt to revive the dying art of ear wiggling.

Thursday is Paper Clip Sculpting Day. (Note: don’t eat your mistakes.)

On Friday, the Miss and Mister Miscellaneous Pageant welcomes those who’ve always wanted to be in a talent show but missed out or didn’t make the cut. Age groups are 5 and under, 6 to 8, 9 to 12, teens and adults.

Also on Friday, the Little Miss and Little Mister Chaos Pageant invites children from 3 to 5 years old to sit on a stage and make as much noise as they can by banging pots and pans together, with rock music urging them to greater effort. (Pots and pans are provided.)

We’re guessing the creator of that last contest won’t be too popular with parents when their kids want to recreate the fun at home.

Have a Happy Taffy Sculpting Day and a wonderfully Weird Week!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays