In 1972, American journalist Harold Pullman Coffin proposed the country have a holiday to honor doing nothing, and today, people across the U.S. are using Jan. 16 to do what Coffin proposed: nothing.
The “non-event” of National Nothing Day has been observed every year since 1973 and is a day for people across the country to relish in the act of doing nothing. The purpose of the uneventful day has been described as, “to provide Americans with one National day when they can just sit without celebrating, observing or honoring anything.”
This year, National Nothing Day lands on the same day that America commemorates one of its most celebrated civil rights icons, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
King was assassinated in April of 1968 and in 1986 the U.S. designated a day to honor the civil rights leader.
President Barack Obama will be participating in a community service at the Browne Education Campus in Washington D.C. Monday morning. President Obama and First Lady Michelle will later attend a celebration honoring Mr. King at the Kennedy Center, known as Let Freedom Ring.
This will be the first MLK Day for the new Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington D.C. The National Park service will be laying a wreath at the memorial and will offer educational programs throughout the day.
Friends and family of the late civil rights hero gathered on Sunday at Washington D.C.’s National Mall to celebrate what would be Mr. King’s 83rd birthday. Mr. King died at the age of 39.
His son, Martin Luther King III, spoke to gatherers of his father’s legacy but argued that we still have a long way to go with regards to achieving his father’s goals.
“We’re celebrating the best of what we are, but also what we must become, knowing that we’ve not arrived there yet,” Martin Luther III said.