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Today Is National Nothing Day

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Anybody who’s ever worked in radio, TV or a newspaper is familiar with Chase’s Calendar of Events. It’s an annual publication, almost like a text book that goes through the various observances, holidays and events that happen on each date around the world. Every day there’s something going on in the world – some festival, some holiday, some celebration and you’ll likely find it listed in Chase’s.

But beginning in 1973, California columnist Harold Pullman Coffin designated every January 16 as National Nothing Day. The purpose is to provide Americans with one day each year when they can just sit without celebrating, observing or honoring anything. It’s sponsored by the National Nothing Foundation and registered in Capitola, California.

That was working out just fine until 1986, when we began observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the third Monday of every January. Every third Monday in January could fall anywhere between the 15th and 21st, meaning that about one in every seven January 16s fall on a public holiday, spoiling the whole idea of a National Nothing Day.

Of course, we’re being facetious, and a public holiday doesn’t interfere with National Nothing Day this year. So if you just like to be left alone and you don’t want to be bothered with anything, today is the day for you.

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