Today is Festival of Popular Delusions Day. It is said to have originated in Germany on June 5, 1945. Let’s begin with a little background information regarding this mysterious holiday.
On June 6, 1944, over 160,000 Allied soldiers landed on a 50-mile stretch of beach in Normandy, France. The area was heavily guarded by Nazi troops to prevent enemy access to the country’s interior. Operation Neptune, which would become known as D-Day, aimed to break through the line and free continental Europe.
The assault was initially scheduled to take place in May but had to be postponed until more landing craft could be secured. It appeared that poor weather conditions on the morning of June 6th would cause another delay. General Dwight D. Eisenhower made the decision to proceed as planned.
Heavy cloud cover hindered air strikes and some airborne troops that parachuted in missed their landing zones by miles. By the end of the day, an estimated 10,000 Allied troops had been killed, wounded or were missing in action. The Allies fought to gain ground, finally making it out of Normandy on August 15th. Ten days later, they liberated Paris. German forces retreated soon afterward.
On June 6, 1944, German troops weren’t expecting an invasion. They assumed the Allies wouldn’t attack when the bad weather would put them at a disadvantage. June 5, 1944, turned out to be the last day the Nazis could delude themselves that they would rule the Earth for a thousand years.
Supposedly, that was the inspiration for the first Festival of Popular Delusions Day. Maybe we’re delusional for wanting to believe this legend. There are certainly plenty of popular delusions to choose from these days. No matter which one you pick, have a happy Festival of Popular Delusions Day!