NATIONAL PAUL BUNYAN DAY
On June 28, we remember fondly the tales of the big blue ox and a mighty lumberjack. It is National Paul Bunyan Day!
Described as a giant and a lumberjack of unusual skill, Paul Bunyan is one of the most famous North American folklore heroes. In the tales, Paul Bunyan was almost always accompanied by his companion, Babe the Blue Ox.
Was He Real?
First appearing in print in 1906, in a story published by Northern Michigan journalist James MacGillivray, Bunyan’s character originated in folktales circulated among lumberjacks in the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada. One account states that the tales began during the Papineau Rebellion of 1837. In 1914, William Laughhead reworked the stories for a logging company’s advertising campaign. The campaign breathed new life into the growing legendary character of Paul Bunyan. It was the 1922 edition of Laughead’s tales that inspired many others and soon the character’s plaid shirt and far-fetched characteristics spread across all of the United States and Canada.
Many cities in the north-central section of the United States, claim the title as the official home of Paul Bunyan.
While folklore surrounding the lumberjack, Paul Bunyan is one character that has an origin story. One Paul Bunyan legend claims it took five storks to carry him as a newborn. As he grew a little older, when he clapped his hands and laughed, windows shook and shattered. The story continues that he sawed off the legs of his parents’ bed in the middle of the night when he was only seven months old. Folklore also credits Bunyan with forming the Grand Canyon as he and Babe the Blue Ox walked through dragging his axe behind him. Another myth suggests Bunyan created the Great Lakes so Bake had a watering hole.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL PAUL BUNYAN DAY
Read one or several of the Paul Bunyan tales. Use #NationalPaulBunyanDay to share on social media.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL PAUL BUNYAN DAY
Within our research, we were unable to find the creator and origin of National Paul Bunyan Day.
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