Daily TWiP Archives

Something interesting has happened on (just about) every day of the year, and Daily TWiP provides the proof. An offshoot of my local events column The Week in Preview (affectionately known as TWiP), Daily TWiP was published April 2008-Aug. 2011 and is still giving readers reasons to celebrate.

Daily TWiP – May 3, 1978: The first spam email is sent

The first spam email was sent not by a money-hungry opportunist posing as exiled Nigerian royalty, but by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing employee looking to spread the word about his company’s products. It hit the inboxes of a number … Continue reading

Daily TWiP – Feb. 28, 1939: The non-word “dord” is discovered in Webster’s New International Dictionary

Even lexicographers make mistakes. An editor at Merriam-Webster discovered a big one Feb. 28, 1939 when he realized the word “dord,” which had been included in the second edition of Webster’s New International Dictionary, didn’t have an etymology. A bit … Continue reading

Daily TWiP – March 3, 1931: “The Star-Spangled Banner,” set to the tune of an English drinking song, becomes the U.S. national anthem

On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional resolution that made Maryland resident Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner” the official national anthem of the United States of America. It is relatively common knowledge that the anthem’s lyrics … Continue reading

Daily TWiP – May 16, 1777: The American with the most valuable autograph is fatally wounded in a duel

The most valuable American autograph doesn’t belong to a pop star or a sports hero, but to Button Gwinnett, one of Georgia’s representatives to the Continental Congress and the second signer of the Declaration of Independence. This is due mainly … Continue reading

Daily TWiP – May 25: Towel Day and Geek Pride Day

Here at Daily TWiP, we are overjoyed to celebrate the most exciting confluence of holidays since the International Day of Awesomeness and Chuck Norris’ birthday. Today (May 25) is both Towel Day and Geek Pride Day. Towel Day was instituted … Continue reading

Daily TWiP – June 30: National Ice Cream Soda Day

Believe it or not, ice cream sodas were once considered a sinful indulgence, and not just because of the calories. Today (June 30) on National Ice Cream Soda Day, we celebrate this soda fountain favorite that was initially believed to … Continue reading

Daily TWiP – July 22: Spoonerism Day

Some academics are remembered for making great contributions to their fields of study or for their impressive oratorical style. The Rev. William Archibald Spooner, on the other hand, is remembered for wuddling his mords. Born today (July 22) in 1844, … Continue reading

Daily TWiP – Aug. 13: International Left-Handers’ Day

Today (Aug. 13), we would like to remind you that there are two ways to do things – not a right way and a wrong way, but a right way and a left way. On International Left-Handers’ Day, we celebrate … Continue reading

Daily TWiP – Aug. 23, 1784: The short-lived state of Franklin declares its independence from North Carolina

Declaring independence is apparently contagious. Not long after the Revolutionary War officially ended in 1783, part of North Carolina decided it wanted to be independent from the rest of the state. Made up of what was then the westernmost portion … Continue reading

Daily TWiP – Feb. 5, 1897: The Indiana General Assembly unanimously votes to change the value of pi

You’d think that since pi is by definition a mathematical constant, it would be left alone to go about its business of representing the value of the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Today (Feb. 5) in 1897, … Continue reading