Nerdy Holidays For Higher Education

calendar_january_joelanmanSocial media managers are all too familiar with obscure holidays like “Speak Like a Pirate Day” or “National High Five Day.” These dates offer a great opportunity to connect with audiences around a dynamic concept. However, these holidays don’t always mesh with content from colleges and universities. For higher education communicators, I’ve created an intellectual and scholarly (read: nerdy) list of holidays and anniversaries that tap into our expertise.

Let the Duke social media team know how you celebrate these days and suggest additions to the list in the comments section.



January 2nd:  Science Fiction Day

January 7th: Zora Neale Hurston’s birthday

January 9: Simone de Beauvoir’s birthday

January 13: “International” Skeptics Day

January 15th: Wikipedia Day

January 18: Thesaurus Day

January 25: Opposite Day



February 1: Langston Hughes’s birthday

February 7: Charles Dickens’s birthday

February 12: Charles Darwin’s birthday

February 22: World Thinking Day

February 24-28: Fair Use Week (changes every year)

February 27th: John Steinbeck’s birthday



March 2: Dr. Seuss’s 110th birthday

March 6: Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s birthday

March 8: International Women’s Day

March 11: Douglas Adams’ birthday

March 14: Pi Day

March 15: Ides of March

March 25: Tolkien Reading Day

March 31: 125th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening



April 3: Tweed Day

April 13: Scrabble Day

April 16: National Librarian Day (Library Week is April 13-19)

April 22: Earth Day

April 22: Vladimir Nabokov’s 115th birthday

April 25th: DNA day

April 27th: Morse Code Day and Samuel Morse’s birthday



May 5: Soren Kierkegaard’s birthday

May 5: Karl Marx’s birthday

May 6: National Teacher Appreciation Day

May 11: Salvadore Dali’s 110th birthday

May 18: International Museum Day

May 25: Ralph Waldo Emerson’s birthday

May 27: 70th anniversary of first performance of “No Exit”

May 30: Walt Whitman’s birthday



June 5: Frederico Garcia Lorca’s birthday

June 6: 30th Anniversary of the release of Tetris

June 8: 65th Anniversary publishing of “1984”

June 16: Bloomsday / Celebration of James Joyce

June 28: Tau Day (for detractors of Pi Day)



July 3: Franz Kafka’s birthday

July 3: Li Shizhen’s birthday

July 4: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthday

July 10: Nikola Tesla’s birthday

July 12: Henry David Thoreau’s birthday

July 12: Pablo Neruda’s birthday

July 21: Ernest Hemingway’s 115th birthday

July 29: 60th Anniversary of publication of Lord of the Rings



August: National Inventors month

August 1: Anniversary of the first Comic-Con

August 9: P.L. Travers’s birthday (And 2014 is the 80th Anniversary of Mary Poppins)

August 12: Erwin Schrodinger’s birthday

August 13: International Left Handers Day

August 25: 405th anniversary of Galileo’s first telescope demonstration



September 13: Programmers Day

September 13: Roald Dahl’s birthday

September 17: 60th Anniversary of publication of Lord of the Flies

September 17th: Constitution Day

September 22: 50th Anniversary of Opening of Fiddler on the Roof

September 24: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birthday

September 25: Shel Silverstein’s birthday

September 28: Ask a Stupid Question Day



October 7: Anniversary of the invention (patent) of the bar code

October 13: “International” Skeptics Day

October 15: Friedrich Nietzsche’s Birthday

October 16: Dictionary Day,  Noah Webster’s birthday

October 16: Oscar Wilde’s Birthday

October 24: United Nations Day

October 28: 100th birthday of Jonas Salk, inventor of Polio vaccine

October 18: Anniversary of the publication of Moby Dick



November 6: Chinua Achebe’s birthday

November 7: Albert Camus’s birthday

November 8: Bram Stoker’s birthday

November 9: 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

November 10: 45th anniversary of Sesame Street

November 11: Fyodor Dostoevsky’s birthday

November 13: 5th Anniversary of the discovery of water on the moon

November 22: Evolution Day

November 26: Anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland

November 30: Mark Twain’s birthday



December 1: Anniversary of the first business school (ESCP Europe was established)

December 10: Human Rights Day

December 21: Anniversary of the first crossword puzzle

December 7: Letter Writing Day

December 9: Grace Hopper’s birthday


TIP: In addition to these, we suggest asking professors with specific expertise if there are any important dates their fields that they could speak to.

Photo: Creative Commons / joelanman.

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