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.

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Daily TWiP – April 11, 1954: The most boring day of the 20th century

Here at Daily TWiP, we know for a fact that something interesting has occurred on almost every day in history – the key word here being “almost.” April 11, 1954, for example, has been scientifically determined to have been the most boring day of the 20th century.

This determination was made by True Knowledge, an answer engine founded by computer scientist William Tunstall-Pedoe. It formulates its responses based on a database of facts, some of which are submitted by users (and checked for accuracy by other users and the system itself) and some of which are gathered from credible reference sites.

When you type in the question “What was the most boring day ever,” True Knowledge brings up the answer “April 11, 1954.” The reason for this is that True Knowledge equates “boring” with “uneventful” and it has fewer events in its database for that particular date than for any other.

Its database is fairly substantial, too – as of April 8, 2011, it contained 473,994,597 facts about 15,259,256 different topics. The database information only goes back as far Jan. 1, 1900, however, making April 11, 1954 the most boring day of the 20th century rather than in the whole of history.

If you ask True Knowledge what did happen on April 11, 1954, it brings up the following results. American dance bandleader Paul Specht died, the Football Association of Indonesia of Probolinggo was founded and Teo Peter (a Romanian rock musician), Francis Lickerish (a British composer), Abdullah Atalar (a Turkish academic) and Geoff Mann (a member of the group Casino) were all born.

Other sources indicate Geoff Mann may have been born April 11, 1956, which means even less may have happened on April 11, 1954.

Since then, April 11th has done its best to reassure the world that 1954 was just a fluke. Adolf Eichmann, who organized the deportation of Jews during the Holocaust, was tried for his crimes April 11, 1961, and Apollo 13 was launched April 11, 1970.

– Teresa Santoski


Originally published April 11, 2011.

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