NATIONAL BARBIE DAY
On March 9th, National Barbie Day celebrates an iconic toy that premiered on this day in 1959. Barbie debuted at the American International Toy Fair in New York.
March 9th, 1959 also celebrates Barbie’s official birthday.
In 1959, Ruth Handler created the Barbie doll and launched an American icon. Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, and she came with a full array of accessories. While toymakers mass-produced toys for years, before Barbie, none of them had adult features. Barbie’s adult features made the toy a first of its kind. Interestingly, Barbie’s marketing strategy relied on television advertising. For example, Barbie was the sole sponsor of the Mickey Mouse Club, marketing directly to children. At the time, the approach was unique. Estimates place over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide in over 150 countries.
Detractors often criticize Barbie for being an unattainable ideal of a woman. While her figure alone is unrealistic, over the years, Barbie evolved both in style and shape. In 2019, the Barbie brand honored pioneering women across several eras, as well. The modern Barbie offers positive role models in business, science, education, and more. Barbie continues to change, year after year, keeping up with the styles and the headlines.
In 1961, Mattel introduce Ken Carson as Barbie’s boyfriend.
In 1998, the Toy Hall of Fame inducted Barbie into its hallowed halls. The toy joined hundreds of other famous toys, some of which National Day Calendar celebrates throughout the year. Some of those include the Duncan yoyo, chess, and Radio Flyer wagon.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBarbieDay
- Visit the largest Barbie Museum in Montreal.
- Explore the Toy Hall of Fame.
- Discover vintage barbies tucked away in a closet, attic, or basement – they may be worth something.
- Introduce a Barbie doll to a new generation.
- Read Dream Doll: The Ruth Handler Story by Jacqueline Shannon.
- Throw Barbie a birthday party with all her friends.
- Share your favorite Barbie Doll and accessories.
- Explore these 5 Iconic Toys & How They Came to Be.
- Use #NationalBarbieDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL BARBIE DAY HISTORY
National Barbie Day commemorates the day the Barbie doll made its debut in 1959. However, we have not identified the origins of the first celebrations.
Q. Who makes Barbie?
A. The toymaker, Mattel, produces Barbie toys.
Q. Who is Barbie’s sister?
A. Barbie has several sisters. However, Barbie’s family dynamic keeps changing. These are the sisters that Mattel has released in various forms:
March 9th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
The battle between the North’s U.S.S. Monitor and the South’s C.S.S. Virginia marks a turning point in naval warfare. Originally a Union ship named the U.S.S. Merrimack and sunk by the U.S. Navy the year before to prevent capture, the Virginia was resurrected by the Confederates and clad in iron below the waterline. The Union Navy’s response was its first iron-clad vessel named the Monitor. The battle between the two ironclad warships resulted in little damage to either ship and signaled the end of the wooden warship era.
Porky Pig makes his Warner Brothers animation debut in I Haven’t Got a Hat
Ruth Handler introduces the first Barbie Doll at the American International Toy Fair in New York City.
Jerry Lee Lewis marries for the seventh time. The 76-year-old musician married his caregiver Judith Brown who was 62 at the time.
March 9th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Edward Acheson – 1856
Credited with 69 patents, Edward Acheson developed synthetic abrasives, perfected methods for making graphite and producing artificial diamonds. Many of his companies continue today.
Margaret Murray Washington – 1861
Margaret Murray Washington was an advocate for women and the founder of several schools throughout her career. Her focus and programs paralleled those of her husband, Booker T. Washington in many ways.
Samual Barbar – 1910
Samuel Barber gained musical recognition for his compositions during the 20th century. His distinctive, modern style earned him two Pulitzer Prizes and an international following.
Yuri Gagarin – 1934
The Soviet cosmonaut became the first human in space on April 12, 1961, when he was launched into orbit around the Earth aboard the Vostok 1.
Raúl Juliá – 1940
The award-winning Puerto Rican actor gained international recognition during his career. Some of his most noted roles include Gomez in The Adams Family, Alejandro in Presumed Innocent, and Chico Mendes in The Burning Season.
Bobby Fischer – 1943
In 1958, the American chess player became the youngest chess master at the age of 15. Fourteen years later in 1972, Fischer became the first American chess player to take home the world championship chess title when he defeated Soviet Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Juliette Binoche – 1964
The award-winning French actress has found international success. Some of her notable films include Chocolat, The English Patient, and Certified Copy.
Emmanuel Lewis – 1971
During the 1980s, Emmanuel Lewis was best-known for playing Webster in the television sitcom by the same name.
Leland Stanford – 1824
Tamara Platonovna – 1885
Howard Aiken – 1900
Mickey Spillane – 1918
Ornette Coleman – 1930