Founder's Day - Real or Just My Imagination?

So I’m writing a cozy mystery that’s going to be called “Founder’s Dead.” Which I thought was a clever play on words for Founder’s Day. (Because I’m super clever like that and stuff.)

And then I was thinking, hey, I should publish this on the actual Founder’s Day. You know the holiday/bank holiday that supposedly exists. But then I start googling it and all my googlefu can uncover is that Founder’s Day is a minor holiday of the American Revolution, and then seems to insinuate that it’s now called Thanksgiving. Or something.

So now I’m starting to wonder if I didn’t make up this holiday and it never existed at all. Which then just makes my title unpunny and sad.

But the worst part is why did I think it was an actual holiday in the first place?

Am I insane or have my googling skills utterly failed me?

Please help!

I’ve only ever heard of Founder’s Day in movies and TV shows, in relation to the founding of a particular town. A local event that may or may not be a public holiday. I’ve never experienced an actual Founder’s Day myself. Perhaps you could set it as a local holiday.

 Weird! I really thought it was a national thing. I don't know where my brain got that idea. But yeah, I could make it a local town holiday for the book and it would be okay. 

Thanks. :slight_smile:

In fiction, and I presume real life, Founder’s Day celebrations are held on Saturdays. That way most people don’t have to take time off from work, and they can go to church on Sunday.

Wikipedia thinks that Founder’s Day is an American Holiday related to the revolution. It is extremely minor having grown up in the US I have never heard of it. My only recollection of Founders Day is it being celebrated in the Foundation Books by Asimov. In those books it is a fictional holiday.

Many US colleges celebrate the anniversary of their founding with an event called “Founders Day”. You may have encountered one of those and remembered it as a larger-scale occasion.

Maybe. But in my head I remember seeing it on the calendar. Like how it will say President’s Day and Veterans Day, Columbus Day, etc. I can even remember a time in my past, looking at a real calendar and seeing it there.

I suppose the real question is why I have such boring delusions?

My middle school(I’m a teacher) hosts a Founder’s Day essay contest every year. I asked quite a few people what Founder’s Day is and almost no one knew.

Apparently, it is something very obscure that my district continues to have a minor contest for.

I’ve definitely seen local used car lots and furniture stores run low budget tv commercials for “founder’s day sales”. I’m guessing it was just an excuse to offer free hot dogs and balloons to kids and drum up some business?

Every day is Founder’s Day.

A quick Google search reveals that many colleges and universities each seem to have their own “Founder’s Days”.

TV shows seem to have episodes entitled “Founder’s Day” – Eureka and The Vampire Diaries both did. So did a bunch of other ones:

**Eureka
Vampire Diaries
The Waltons
Little House on the Prarie
Are You Being Served (!)
Galaxy High School
**

There are (or were) Founder’sd day holidays in South Africa, the former Rhodesia, and Ghana, besides the US.

And there’s apparently a Founders Day in Scouting, although I don’t recall it


https://www.google.com/#q="Founder's+Day"+TV

Google N-Gram Viewer gets lots of hits for “Founder’s Day”, with the plot peaking in the 1920s:

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=Founder’s+Day&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2CFounder%20’s%20Day%3B%2Cc0
A quick look shows that a lot of these are the sort associated with colleges.

Founder’s Day - Real or Just My Imagination?

I’m fairly certain that you’ve conflated “Founders Day” with “Ground Hog Day.” They both have 3 syllables, and if you pronounce “f” like *“gr” *and *“ers” *like “hog”, well, it’s practically a perfect match.

Add to this the fact that the first Ground Hog Day was in 1887, exactly 111 years after we declared independence from those rodent-toothed British folks in 1776 (note the double “8”/double “7” date match), well…I believe I’ve made my point quite conclusively.

I’m sure you did!

(What was your point exactly?)

That it’s easy to mix up holidays with similarities, be they real, or semi-real.

Thanks so much, everyone for the great answers! I giggles at a few like Tibby’s and found others educational. That’s why the straight dope is my favorite message board.

I found the story of the school with the mysterious essay contest of unknown origins to be the most interesting. There is spooky story material there, for sure. :smiley:

So maybe Founder’s Day is kind of like May Day, no one celebrates it anymore, but it is possible that an enterprising, overachieving calendar maker could have added Founder’s Day to her calendar and that’s where the memory comes from.

I have had some strange calendars in my life.

So that’s my new head canon so I don’t feel like I’m crazy. Thanks straight dope for sort of fighting my ignorance and replacing it with imagination! :stuck_out_tongue: