weird and wacky holidays happening in June

June 21 is Go Skateboarding Day

go skateboarding day

Rebellion, trademarked.

Today is Go Skateboarding Day, created in 2004 by the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC). We’d like to let the founders describe their motives.

According to the IASC site, “The holiday began June 21, 2004, as an excuse for skateboarders to make skateboarding their top priority.”

It goes on to describe the day in a way that sounds a bit less selfless:

Go Skateboarding Day is a cooperative of decentralized events that take place around the globe. Skateboard retailers, manufacturers, skateparks, distributors, organizations and individuals of all colors, creeds, and attitudes hold skateboarding events to celebrate the holiday.

Lest we despair that the S in skateboarding stands for $, that cynical capitalists aim to exploit young consumers, the IASC explains the day’s focus:

Go Skateboarding Day originated as the day for skateboarders to have fun, to raise awareness about the issues we face; to show the world what skateboarding is really all about; to reclaim our culture; and to define skateboarding as the rebellious, creative celebration of independence it continues to be.

What could be a more rebellious, creative celebration of independence than a corporate-sponsored holiday?

In the years since that first celebration, the holiday continues to grow, but the mission remains the same: Have fun, go skateboarding!

We would add only one thing: Have fun, go skateboarding and buy stuff!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

June 20 is American Eagle Day

Today is American Eagle Day. On June 20, 1american eagle day782, the bald eagle was chosen to grace the Great Seal of the United States of America.

Two centuries later, President Ronald Reagan declared June 20, 1982, National Bald Eagle Day and designated 1982 as the Bicentennial Year of the American Bald Eagle. But the observance was a one-time occurrence.

On June 20, 1995, President Bill Clinton and Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist each proclaimed the first official American Eagle Day. Since then, governors from 47 states have followed suit, according to the American Eagle Foundation, an organization working to make American Eagle Day a national holiday.

When the Founding Fathers adopted the bald eagle as our national symbol, there were approximately 25,000 to 75,000 of them in the lower 48 states, according to the Smithsonian. In 1963, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) reported there were only 487 breeding pairs left, due to hunting, destruction of habitat, lead poisoning, and the catastrophic effects of DDT, a common pesticide.

american eagle day

DDT wasn’t lethal to adult eagles but accumulated rapidly in their tissues because their diet consisted of prey also contaminated with the pesticide, a process known as bioamplification.

High levels of DDT interfered with calcium absorption, rendering the birds sterile or unable to lay healthy eggs. Shells became so thin that they cracked under the weight of a brooding adult.

The Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA) restricted the use of DDT in 1972; six years later, the bald eagle was placed on the Endangered Species List. Slowly, the population increased; the species’ status was downgraded to “threatened” in 1995. In 2006, USFWS reported 9,789 mating pairs in the lower 48 states and delisted the bald eagle the following year.

If you haven’t seen one up close, check out this list of 13 National Wildlife Refuges that are great places to spot bald eagles. If you have a lot of patience and bandwidth, watch a live nest cam.  Most of the time, nothing much happens, but every once in a while, you’ll get a glimpse of something interesting. It’s a little like the 24/7 stream of Big Brother but without the tears and subterfuge.

Happy American Eagle Day!



Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

June 19 is World Sauntering Day

world sauntering day

Grand Hotel porch: made for rockin’ and strollin’

Today is World Sauntering Day, also known as International Sauntering Day.

The first official saunter reportedly took place at Michigan’s Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Participants strolled across the 660-foot porch, which the hotel claims is the longest in existence.

W.T. Rabe invented the holiday in 1979 in response to what he saw as an alarming rise in the popularity of jogging.

He saw World Sauntering Day as a way to counteract the tendency to rush through life, to remind people to slow down and enjoy themselves.

“You don’t care where you’re going, how you’re going or how long it takes to get there,” Rabe explained. “The idea is to smell the roses and to pay attention to the world around you.”

That wasn’t Rabe’s first contribution to the world of wacky holidays. In 1976, as public relations director for Lake Superior State University (LSSU), he created the Banished Words List. (Its full name is List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use or General Uselessness.) The college receives nominations for banishment from around the world, covering all manner of words and phrases worthy of exile.

W.T. Rabe passed away in 1992. We wonder if he had any idea just how prescient his tongue-in-cheek creation was; how much we would all need to pause, look up from our screens, forget the to-do list and amble, mosey and sashay through our day.

Happy World Sauntering Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

June 16 is Ladies’ Day

ladies' day

It’s a good thing they changed the logo.

Today is Ladies’ Day, devised to attract more women to baseball games and convert them to fans.

The New York Gothams’ management held the first Ladies’ Day on Tuesday, June 16, 1883, at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan. All women, both escorted and unescorted, were admitted free. The Gothams beat the Cleveland Spiders 5-2 that day. (The team later changed its name to the New York Giants.)

Ladies’ Day proved so popular, it was made a weekly tradition by many ball clubs. More women began to fill the grandstands and over time, baseball games became more of a family affair.

Happy Ladies’ Day to one and all!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays