International Clown Week

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International Clown Day is celebrated each year on May 24th as a tribute to the first recognised group of organised clowns, Clown groups often celebrate the week with special activities such as performing volunteer shows[1] or having their local mayor declare the week as a city celebration to coincide with the national and international clown week.[2]


Clown Week was celebrated on a limited scale in the 1950s. In 1988 the first International Clown Week chairman, was appointed by Ray Bickford, president of Clown Club of America. In 1992 Clown Club of America members were urged to write to their congressmen and senators requesting a presidential proclamation naming July 21–27 as National Clown Week. In 1969 a resolution was introduced. After clowns met with Senator John McClellan of Arkansas who was chairman of the United States Senate subcommittee on Observances and Holidays success was finally achieved.

Concurrently, Bill "Boom-Boom" Baily, was an original member of Clowns of America when it was founded in 1967. Baily was named the U.S. Chairman of National Clown Week for that organization.

Because each year a chairman had to be chosen in each state to ask their governor to issue a proclamation honoring National Clown Week, Bill pushed for National Clown Week publicity. He convinced Congressman Garmatz of Maryland and Congressman Myers of Indiana to introduce a joint resolution in Congress establishing National Clown Week as an annual event. He lobbied the United States Congress and organized a visit by clowns to the senate building in Washington, D.C.

On October 8, 1970, Public Law 91-443 under the 91st Congress, JJR 26 was passed by both the House and Senate and was sent to President Richard Nixon for his signature.[3]

The joint resolution was signed into law by President Nixon on August 2, 1971.[4]

Many clown organizations have an international constituency[5] and over time the National Clown Week has expanded to be International Clown Week.


  1. ^ Typical Clown Week Event
  2. ^ "Mayor Proclaiming Clown Week".
  3. ^ "How it all began - International Clown Week History".
  4. ^ "Proclamation 4071—National Clown Week | The American Presidency Project".
  5. ^ Clowns of America International, Clowns of Canada, Clowns International, and World Clown Association

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