World UFO Day

July 2

No, July 2 is not Uterus Falling Out Day (occurs up to twelve times yearly depending on one’s menstrual cycle). It’s Unidentified Flying Object Day.


Some celebrate UFO Day on June 24, recalling the day in 1947 that pilot Ken Arnold witnessed several UFOs hovering over Mt. Rainier, Washington. But most aficionados observe UFO Day on July 2, the accepted date of the 1947 discovery by ranch foreman Mac Brazel of the wreckage of an unusual aircraft on Foster ranch, just outside Roswell, New Mexico. Brazel later heard reports of “flying discs” and put 2 and 2 together. After Brazel reported his findings to the Roswell Daily Record, the U.S. Army tried to cover up the find with claims of a “weather balloon” experiment gone wrong.

But we know better.

The public didn’t buy it either. Or maybe they did, but only for like 30 years. Since the 1970s a slew of books, articles, and tv specials have come out detailing the Roswell incident and the holes in the army’s stories, and have turned Roswell into the holy grail of UFO lore.

Brazel’s disc plays a vital role in the motion picture Independence Day, in which the heroes learn that alien corpses from said vessels have been kept in storage since 1947. In homage to Brazel’s discovery, the movie begins on July 2.


Cannabis Day

April 20

Yeah, this is supposed to be a school-friendly blog, but the holiday gods don’t have much to offer on April 20, and the most famous birthday today is Adolf Hitler, so Cannabis Day it is.

April 20 has not been declared Cannabis Day, Weed Day, or Marijuana Day by any official government entity—it’s just that 4/20 has become the de facto numerical code for marijuana, though there’s debate as to how this came about.

Investigative reporting by the Huffington Post reveals that the most likely source is a group of teenage friends from Northern California in the 1970’s. The gang would meet after school by a statue of Louis Pasteur at 4:20, not just to partake in the drug of choice, but to engage on an unlikely quest: to find a rumored-about marijuana field supposedly in the Point Reyes region. The rumor was that the grower who had cultivated the field had been called off to the Coast Guard. The field was left unmanned, but no one knew its exact whereabouts.

The teenagers used the code “4:20 – Louis” to designate when and where they wanted to meet up to search for the field. Eventually it was shortened to just 4:20, and long after the search was forgotten, the number became code for smoking herb.

The spread of 4:20 across California and the universe was aided by members and followers of the Grateful Dead who eventually got wind of the code. As early as 1990, flyers passed by Bay Area Deadheads before a concert read:

“We are going to meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais…”

The boys never found the elusive marijuana patch (or if they did, they’re not sharing).