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Helen Maguire

A few years ago, a good friend of ours, Keith Paddick, introduced us to the concept of the “Art of Doing Nothing.” In fact, NWC published his essay on the topic in last year’s January issue.

As it turns out, Keith is not alone in thinking that we ought to promote this “art.”

In 1972, columnist Harold Pullman Coffin proposed that National Nothing Day “un-event” be observed annually on January 16. In 1973, it was added to Chase’s Calendar of Events. It is not actually a public holiday, because that would require 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.

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 once every seven years January 16th will fall on MLK day (effectively usurping the very nature of Nothing Day).

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