Posts

August 11 is Presidential Joke Day

presidential joke dayToday is Presidential Joke Day. On August 11, 1984, while preparing to give a weekly radio address from his ranch in California, Ronald Reagan was asked to do a routine sound check.

Although the president enjoyed telling jokes about Russia, on that morning his remark was meant only for the sound engineers getting ready for the National Public Radio broadcast. Instead of counting “one, two, three” and so on, the president said:

My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation which will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.

The comment was captured on tape and leaked to the media, then the world. NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw reported that on August 15, 1984, a coded message sent from Soviet headquarters placed troops on wartime alert, stating, “We now embark on military action against the U.S. forces.”

The alert was withdrawn 30 minutes later, after ships in the North Pacific contacted headquarters to question their orders. The official word from the Kremlin claimed that someone in the Far Eastern Command had declared a state of war without authorization.

Some U.S. officials believed the Soviet government had sanctioned the action to retaliate against Reagan’s offensive words. Others thought it was a joke. One speculated the culprit had been drunk. We’ll never know because the guilty party was never revealed.

Setting aside its questionable humor value, we must conclude that Ronald Reagan’s joke is the most powerful ever told because the hard feelings it engendered could have caused a nuclear war.

Hear the quip here. Have a happy Presidential Joke Day and remember: Always, always, always assume the mic is live and don’t say anything you wouldn’t want to hear on the six o’clock news!

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

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

Festival of Popular Delusions Day

festival of popular delusions dayToday 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!

 

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays