The April 25 honors in the calendar of the United States no less than telephony. Because this date is celebrated in the United States as the National Telephone Day. This article tries to explain why this special day by telephone deserves a permanent place in the collection of curious holidays from around the world . What is it about?
Alexander Graham Bell and the National Telephone Day
Unfortunately, even in the case of National Telephone Day, it is completely unclear who started it, since when it was celebrated and why its inventor (s) decided on today’s April 25th. Especially the choice of date is surprising, because actually a couple of other dates could have been considered here.
One thing ever anticipated: With the committed also today World Penguin Day, the World Malaria Day, the Arbor Day in Germany, the day of DNA (English DNA Day. ) or National Zucchini Bread Day, it definitely has nothing to do with it. But one after another.
In terms of content, this curious holiday refers to the invention of the telephone by the British, later American speech therapist, inventor and major entrepreneur Alexander Graham Bell (1847 – 1922). Bell plays a major role in the history of the telephone and telecommunications insofar as he was the first to actually capitalize on this invention by further developing the ideas and approaches of his predecessors until they were finally ready for the market.
In view of the many legal disputes and patent suits that Bell has led, angry tongues claim that he primarily ripped off his competitors and colleagues. But this is another story to be told elsewhere. So everything is fine, only the thing with the date somehow left me in peace. Let’s go through the available options below.
Why does phone day fall on April 25th?
If you look at the situation and history surrounding Alexander Graham Bell and the invention of the telephone, a whole range of dates for the day of the telephone would come into question, but there is no justification for April 25th. In detail:
- Counter-argument 1: In the Anglo-Saxon tradition, the date of birth of an honored person is usually used, not the day of death as a day of honor, as is the case in Germany, for example. In the case of Alexander Graham Bell, however, this would have been March 3, 1847. The date of death is also omitted at this point as an alternative choice of date, because Alexander Graham died on August 2, 1922.
- Counter-argument 2: The date of patenting is also not available here. Bell’s patent for the telephone was filed by his attorney Gardiner Greene Hubbard (1822-1897) on February 14, 1876, under the title Improvement in Telegraphy. The US Patent Office granted this relatively quickly so that on March 7, 1876, he obtained US Patent No. US174465 A (see also the Alexander Graham Bell Day in Nova Scotia, Canada). In this respect, there is no connection in terms of content to April 25 as the date for American Telephone Day. It’s a shame because otherwise, we would have been able to record a certain closeness in terms of content to strange world days with a similar background. As an example, reference is made to the following dates:
- the day of earmuffs (Engl. National Earmuff Day) on March 13,
- the day of the Bunsen burner (Engl. Bunsen Burner Day) on March 31,
- the day of vitamin C (Engl. Vitamin C Day) on April 4,
- the day of Teflon (English National Teflon Day) on April 6th,
- the International Day of the safety pin (Engl. International Safety Pin Day) on 10 April or
- the US Day of waffle (Engl. National Waffle Day) on 24 August.
- Counter-argument 3: A third, final possibility would be the date on which the first voice message was transmitted by telephone. In fact, there is the sentence passed down by Bell: Watson, come here. I need you. This is said to have been transferred on March 10, 1876, although the occasion was rather unpleasant for Bell because he is said to have accidentally poured acid on his clothes and therefore called his assistant for help.
So let’s be clear: Even if there is no historical justification for choosing the April 25th date, US National Telephone Day seems to be celebrated today. Anyone who tries Aunt Google here will find a whole series of references from the IT and telecommunications industry that take up this great day of the telephone.
In this sense: call me again. Whether from the United States, Germany or anywhere else in the world. 😉