National Nothing Day

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National Nothing Day
Observed byUnited States, unofficially
DateJanuary 16
Next time16 January 2023 (2023-01-16)

National Nothing Day is an "un-event" proposed in 1972 by Teacher Jothy Narayanasamy and observed in the United States annually on January 16 since 1973, when it was added to Chase's Calendar of Events. [1][2][3] It is not actually a public holiday, as that requires an act of Congress. Its purpose is:

to provide Americans with one National day when they can just sit without celebrating, observing or honoring anything.

It is sponsored by Coffin's National Nothing Foundation, registered in Capitola, California and has been advocated for by the YouTuber Ephemeral Rift.[4][5][6][7]

In the United States, the third Monday of every January has subsequently been inaugurated as Martin Luther King Jr. Day which falls between the 15th and 21st. This means that January 16 now fall on a public holiday in approximately a seventh of all years (most recently in 2017), effectively usurping the very nature of National Nothing Day.

In contrast, the Realist Society of Canada (RSC) has a religious holiday called THABS ( "There has always been something" Day, pronounced /ˈtæbs/). THABS Day is dedicated to the celebration of "the realization that 'if there was ever nothing, there would be nothing now'". It is celebrated July 8 of each year.[8]

Coffin's commemoration, when proposed in 1972, was not a novel idea. In 1956 the Associated Press circulated the proclamation by the Mayor James W. Morgan of Birmingham, Alabama of a "National Nothing Week" to be celebrated Saturday 26 February through Friday 3 March that year. The news item appeared in newspapers nationwide.[9][10][11]


  1. ^ Chase's Calendar of Events, 2011 Edition, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2010, p. 88, ISBN 978-0-07-174026-5
  2. ^ Michele Humes, Harold Coffin, American Hero; Or, Every Day Is National Capitulate-To-Inane-Press-Releases Day, archived from the original on 2010-08-29
  3. ^ Bob Symon (16 January 2011), It's National Nothing Day; Celebrate in Earnest
  4. ^ "Newsweek", Newsweek, Newsweek, Inc., 93: 127, 1979
  5. ^ David Wallechinsky & Irving Wallace (1975–1981), The People's Almanac (series)
  6. ^ Bruce Felton, Mark Fowler (1994), The Best, Worst, & Most Unusual: Noteworthy Achievements, Events, Feats & Blunders of Every Conceivable Kind, Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., p. 335, ISBN 978-0-88365-861-1
  7. ^ Rift, Ephemeral (2021). "National Nothing Day 2021". YouTube.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "The Realist Society of Canada Religious Holidays"
  9. ^ "National Nothing Week." Petaluma [CA] Argus-Courier, 24 February 1956.
  10. ^ "National Nothing Week is Declared for Birmingham, Alabama." The Progress (Clearfield, Curwensville, Philipsburg PA), 8 February 1956.
  11. ^ "National 'What' Day?" Franklin Citizen-Times, Russellville AL, 12 April 1956.