strange, bizarre and kooky holidays happening in July

July 24 is Amelia Earhart Day

Amelia Earhart Day

image – history.com

Today is Amelia Earhart Day, celebrating the aviation pioneer’s birth on July 24, 1897.  In 1932, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, for which she received the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross. A member of the National Woman’s Party and an early proponent of the Equal Rights Amendment, Earhart’s self-confidence and spirit of adventure made her an inspiration to young women.

Earhart vanished without a trace on July 2, 1937, during her attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Despite the likelihood that the plane was never found because it crashed into the Pacific Ocean and sank, theories about her disappearance persist to this day, running the gamut from midair abduction by aliens to a secret move to New Jersey to live under an assumed name.

One popular hypothesis claims the Japanese captured Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan, torturing and executing them or holding them in secret for the rest of their lives. Some claim Earhart was a spy for the U.S. Others say she was one of many English-speaking women forced to make radio broadcasts as Tokyo Rose, although propagandists wishing to demoralize American servicemen surely would have seen the benefit in using her real name.

On July 9, 2017, the History Channel aired Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence, featuring a photograph that showed two Caucasian people on a dock at Jaluit Atoll and a vessel carrying something that looked like plane wreckage in the background.

A military history blogger scouring archival images son found that the photo had been taken in 1935, two years before the crash. This revelation called into question the veracity of the entire documentary. The cable channel canceled reruns and deleted streaming video of its program pending an investigation. Unfortunately, it called into question the veracity of the entire documentary

No matter the truth of her death, we can all celebrate the life and accomplishments of this extraordinary woman.

Happy Amelia Earhart Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

July 23 is Gorgeous Grandma Day

Gorgeous Grandma DayToday is Gorgeous Grandma Day, created by author Alice Solomon. After graduating from Wellesley College in 1984, at age 50, she felt she and her generation had been written off and branded “senior citizens” by society.

Solomon believed this occurred the moment she hit the half-century mark. “In an instant and only one day older, I was thought of as over the hill, no longer sharp, strong, vital, useful, sexy, hip, interesting, or worthy of hiring; in other words finished, kaput,” she explained in a 2007 interview. The concept of Gorgeous Grandma was born.

For months, I tried to think of a name for our group, one that would be upbeat, fun, catchy and grab attention. Finally, ‘gorgeous’ was selected because it presents a snappy, ‘notice me’ image, while ‘Grandma’ instantly defines an age group and stage of life regardless of whether a woman is actually a grandmother.

Using that definition, Solomon created Gorgeous Grandma Day to celebrate women over 40. She wrote two books on the subject, became a motivational speaker, a part-time radio host and launched Gorgeous Grandma Communications in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Nowadays it’s hard to imagine labeling any 50-year-old as a senior citizen. For that matter, the term “senior citizen” no longer carries the stigma it once had. Thanks to Alice Solomon and many other women like her, today’s generation doesn’t have to worry about that.

Have a happy Gorgeous Grandma Day! (You know who you are.)

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

National Day of the Cowboy

national day of the cowboyToday is the National Day of the Cowboy, always observed on the fourth Saturday of July. On March 18, 2016, Idaho became the 11th state to pass a law recognizing the holiday.

The National Day of the Cowboy Organization created this day in 2005 to acknowledge the contributions of the cowboy (and cowgirl) to the history of America.

Celebrate today by watching a classic Western movie, taking in a rodeo, putting on a pair of boots and kicking up your heels or learning how to throw a lasso.

Have a happy National Day of the Cowboy!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

July 21 is Invite an Alien to Live with You Day

Today is Invite an Alien to Live with You Day. Relax! We aren’t talking about the aliens that a certain reality star turned politician has said are coming to murder us and steal our jobs—although, once we’re dead, they’d technically just be taking advantage of sudden employment opportunities.

invite an alien to live with you day

When “Ay” met “Nanu nanu”

This type of illegal alien comes from the planet Ork. Robin Williams was born on July 21, 1951; he was introduced to us as Mork on February 28, 1978, when his spaceship crashed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and he wandered onto the set of Happy Days.

On September 20, 1977, the show had aired an episode that would later inspire the term “jump the shark,” which connotes the moment when the quality of a particular program begins to decline. In it, Fonzie dons water skis—still wearing his signature leather jacket, of course—and proves his courage by jumping a shark tank.

When series creator Garry Marshall announced, less than five months later, that his eight-year-old son had suggested they put a spaceman on the show, everyone involved thought it was a horrible idea. Actors agreed: Dom DeLuise and Roger Rees backed out of playing Mork. Two days before the shoot, a staffer tracked down a comic she’d seen doing an alien bit and brought him in.

As writer Brian Levant told E!,  “It is 3:30, we have a run-through of this episode, which is considered to be the biggest piece of s–t in the history of the show and it was brilliant. The run-through lasted an hour and fifteen minutes of a 22-minute show. And it was Robin Williams’ literal birth as an entertainer.”

Marshall’s spinoff Mork & Mindy premiered on September 14, 1978, and ran for four seasons, seen by an average of 55 million to 60 million per week. Viewers were taken in by Williams’ frenetic, madcap style and impish charm. He was a walking verb orbited by exclamation points.

After he committed suicide on August 11, 2014, it was revealed that he’d been suffering from Lewy body dementia, a progressive brain disease that can cause visual hallucinations, memory loss, decreased mental focus, rigid body movements, sleep disorders, anxiety and depression. Today would have been his 65th birthday.

Perhaps the best way to celebrate today is to acknowledge our sadness and then remind ourselves of the gifts he gave us by watching Mork and Mindy, his comedy specials or a marathon of our favorites from his movie career. He once said, “The truth is, if anything, I’m probably addicted to laughter.” We certainly got hooked on him.

There are hundreds of Robin Williams quotes online. Many are scripted lines, which shouldn’t count, in our opinion. So we’ll say up front that he spoke the following words as Mork from Ork. We don’t know if he ad-libbed any of it, as he was famous for doing, but it sums up what we hope he knew:

“I don’t know how much value I have in this universe, but I do know that I’ve made a few people happier than they would have been without me, and as long as I know that, I’m as rich as I ever need to be.”

We miss you, Robin.

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays