Home Featured Who gave Paul Bunyan his own holiday?

Who gave Paul Bunyan his own holiday?

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Good morning, fine folks! Thanks for joining us here at The County Line once again. We hope this Tuesday acts like a Friday for you.  

The calendar says today is June 28, but what it probably leaves out is that today is a holiday. We’re talking about the kind of holiday we like best around here: undeniably irrelevant, completely unknown, wildly uncelebrated, and wholly unnecessary. We check every box today with a truly stunning announcement. 

Without further ado, from me to you: Happy National Paul Bunyan Day. Let’s go through our criteria here, just to illustrate clearly the top-grade nonsense we’re dealing with:

Irrelevant and unknown: We’re grouping these two together because the reason applies for both, which is that no one has thought about Paul Bunyan since that one time he was mentioned in a lesson about folklore in fourth grade social studies class. 

I have only a few vague memories of the PB story left rattling around in my brain, probably the same ones you just thought about as you read this. He was a big, strong lumberjack with a blue ox. That’s it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single Paul Bunyan tall tale. They’re certainly not making movies about him. On a side note, I vividly remember that baseball broadcasters in the 1990s loved referencing Bunyan when talking about Mark McGwire.

According to the esteemed scholars at Wikipedia, Bunyan tales were first passed by word-of-mouth among loggers in North America in the late 1800s, at least as far back as 1870 but perhaps even earlier. This origin undoubtedly earns Old Paul some cool points (it’s hard to imagine anyone tougher than 19th century lumberjacks), but it doesn’t say much for his relevance in 2022. Check the box.

Wildly uncelebrated: I did not invent this holiday, but I’m confident in saying that I am the second person to ever learn of its existence. The order goes: 

1. whoever invented it 

2. me 

3. you 

Not only is this one far too obscure, but how would somebody even go about celebrating? Chop down a tree? Grab some blue spray paint for the livestock? Human growth hormone injection parties? Check the box.

Unnecessary: It’s hard to imagine the 21st century person who would argue for this holiday’s existence. This is honestly one of the most out-of-leftfield faux-holidays we have spotlighted in this post, which is quite a high (or low) bar to clear. 

What group of people were asking for this? What purpose does it serve? I don’t have any answers to these questions, so check the box.

There you have it. Unequivocally irrelevant, unknown, uncelebrated, and useless: the perfect County Line combination. Hats-off to Big P!

In honor of this great date, our Quote of the Day fits the occasion:

“It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought.” – John Kenneth Galbraith

This writer wholeheartedly concurs.

Let’s check in with the intern for today’s weather:

Just a few minutes past 6:30 a.m. CT, it’s 60 degrees outside The County Line’s main office in Russell Springs. The intern correspondent in Jamestown reports an identical 60-degree reading, and the thermometer at the Columbia office shows essentially the same, one degree hotter at 61. Plenty of cloud cover will keep temperatures relatively mild today, with an expected high in the 80-82-degree range. Unfortunately for local farmers, those clouds won’t do much else. It looks like another dry one—no rain expected.

We’re also wishing a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY today to a mythical figure in his own right, Josh Claywell. As always, readers are encouraged to send additions to our birthday and anniversary calendars. Email us at countyline@adair-russell.com to get your special dates added to the list!

That’s all for now. Thanks again for reading. Don’t forget to check back throughout the day for plenty of wide-ranging content—always from local voices. Today’s agenda includes a special exclusive video drop this evening, featuring our friends at the Tribe44 Podcast. 

Downey Eye Clinic
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Wes Feese is one of this company's owners and founders. He has previously worked as an editor, news reporter, sportswriter, photographer, and freelance contributor for newspapers across central Kentucky. He grew up in the Egypt community of Adair County and is a graduate of Adair County High School and Lindsey Wilson College.