Can You Declare a National Day?

Last Monday on Marketplace, Kai Ryssdal introduced listeners to Lewis Wallace’s exploration: “Just how do national days get on the calendar?”

You see, June 1 was National Barefoot Day, National Pen Pal Day, National Say Something Nice Day, and National Heimlich Maneuver Day, and Wallace traced each national day back to their origins. (She even captured the 95-year-old Dr. Henry Heimlich voicing his amusement that he was competing with a potentially-chokeable National Hazelnut Cake Day.)

What I found useful was the discovery of an even higher power, if you will, of national calendar days: an organization called National Day Calendar. At, you can not only discover the declared national holidays, you can actually apply to register one yourself.

According to the website, an approved national day registration will receive many benefits, including a press release stating the new designation, annual inclusion in their daily post on the National Day Calendar and social media accounts, a professionally-framed 18″ x 24″ certificate proclaiming the day, a proclamation sent to over 10,000 media that follow National Day Calendar as a resource, and inclusion on the daily radio update heard on hundreds of radio stations in the United States.

Out of the more than 10,000 applications submitted for consideration each year, only 20 to 25 are added to their calendar. But they do accept one-time applications, like for a town’s centennial anniversary or something similar.

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Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay