July 31 is the Moby-Dick Marathon

moby-dick marathonThe 24-hour Moby-Dick Marathon begins at noon today at the Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT.

An actor portraying Herman Melville will recite the novel’s first chapter aboard the Seaport’s 1841 wooden whaler. Visitors can sign up to read a chapter aloud.

Hopefully, the reading will progress at the proper pace, to conclude at noon on August 1st, when revelers will celebrate the 198th anniversary of Melville’s birthday and have a tasty slice of great white cake.

While everyone is welcomed to bring a picnic or buy a meal at one of the museum’s restaurants, no food or drink except bottled water will be allowed on board the historic ship.

Happy Moby-Dick Marathon and happy birthday (just a bit early) to Herman Melville!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

July 30 is Jimmy Hoffa Day

Today is Jimmy Hoffa Day. On July 30, 1975,  James Riddle “Jimmy” Hoffa disappeared after leaving the Machus Red Fox Restaurant on the outskirts of Detroit, Michigan.

jimmy hoffa day

A labor leader and union activist with strong ties to the Mob, Hoffa presided over the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) from 1958 until 1971, when he was forced to resign in exchange for a pardon from President Richard Nixon.

He’d been in prison since 1967, convicted of attempting to bribe the jury on an extortion case he had ultimately won. To secure early release, Hoffa agreed to give up his position and refrain from taking part in any union-related activities until 1980, when his full prison sentence would have ended.

Once free, he refused to curb his ambitions and tried unsuccessfully to sue the government for abridging his rights. At the time of his disappearance, Hoffa was at work on an autobiography and fighting to regain the power he had ceded to his right-hand man, Frank Fitzsimmons.

On July 30, 1975, Hoffa went to the Red Fox Restaurant to allegedly meet with three men: a Detroit labor leader, a local mobster and a major player in New Jersey Teamster politics. Hoffa arrived at 2:00 pm. He called his wife from an outside payphone 30 minutes later to complain that no one had shown up and he would wait a few more minutes before giving up.jimmy hoffa day

Several sources report seeing him in the parking lot speaking with three men, then getting into a car. A truck driver claimed that a 1975 Mercury Marquis Brougham nearly hit him as he was pulling in, drawing his attention to a man he recognized as Hoffa and something that may have been a rifle or shotgun.

Traces of blood and hair were found in the 1975 Mercury Marquis Brougham owned by Chuckie O’Brien, Hoffa’s foster son. O’Brien’s father was killed on a picket line when the child was only three years old. Hoffa brought him home and raised him as a son.

At the time, DNA testing did not exist. In 2001, the FBI tested the evidence, matching it to hair taken from Hoffa’s hairbrush. O’Brien had previously denied that Hoffa had ever been in his car. He was questioned but no charges were filed.

Hoffa was declared legally dead in 1982. Theories abound but the case has never been solved.

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

July 29 is Rain Day

rain dayToday is Rain Day. Why? According to records kept by the town of Waynesburg, PA, it has rained there on July 29th in 114 of the last 142 years, a statistical anomaly.

Every year, the town holds a festival, come rain or come shine. Events include a t-shirt design competition, umbrella and window decoration contests and the requisite beauty pageant.

Here’s a sample of the Miss Rain Day application and contractual agreement.  “I am of good character, have never been married, divorced, had a marriage annulled, given birth to a child or convicted of a crime.” Picky, picky!

Happy Rain Day, Waynesburg!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

The Great Texas Mosquito Festival

great texas mosquito festival

Willie Man-Chew

Since 1981, the Great Texas Mosquito Festival has been celebrated on the last Thursday, Friday and Saturday of July in Clute, TX.

Visitors are greeted by a 26-foot-tall mosquito clad in a cowboy hat and boots. Promoters claim it’s the world’s largest and we certainly hope they’re right.

Highlights include the Mosquito Calling Contest, where entrants are judged on their ability to emulate and attract the biggest, orneriest skeeters around.

What festival would be complete without a beauty pageant? Anyone in shorts can compete in the Mosquito Legs Contest.

Other events are the Mosquito Chase 5K Run, Horseshoe Pitching Tournament, BBQ and Fajita Cook-off, Haystack Dive, Bingo and 6oo-meter Kids Run.

Other attractions are carnival rides and games, a petting zoo, food vendors and nightly musical entertainment. Organizers estimate 13,000 attend the three-day festival each year, sponsored in part by Budweiser, Sonic, Whataburger and Texas Roadhouse.

A dark side to the proceedings is revealed by the sponsorship of Dow, Olin and BASF chemical companies and Killum Pest Control. We urge all mosquitoes to beware. Willie has sold you out: it’s a trap!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays