NATIONAL KAZOO DAY
National Kazoo Day on January 28th recognizes nearly 200 years of kazoo music in the United States.
Alabama Vest of Macon, Georgia, made the first Kazoo in the 1840s. The instrument requires little effort to create a sound (though some skill is necessary to make intelligible music) the kazoo adds both comedic punctuations to just about any childhood song. If you can hum, you can play the kazoo!
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Vest was inspired by an African horn called a Mirliton. The horn was made from bone, gourds, and a variety of other materials. Vest partnered with Thaddeus Von Clegg to produce his design in metal. Clegg, a German clockmaker, took Vest’s idea and put it into production.
Warren H. Frost first proposed the name “kazoo” when he subitted his U.S. patent application for a musical toy instrument.
The U.S. Patent Office granted Frost’s application with patent no. 270,543 on January 9, 1883.
Along came traveling salesman, Emil Sorg. He took great interest in the kazoo and carried the idea back to Western New York in 1912 where he partnered with Michael McIntyre. In 1915, McIntyre partnered with Harry Richardson, and they established The Original American Kazoo Company which began producing metal kazoos. They are still in production today in Eden, NY.
During World War I, another instrument made the scene. Larger and a little more cumbersome for a child to manage, makers touted the bazooka as an instrument anyone could play (and build).
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalKazooDay
Do you play the kazoo? We want to hear your music! You can also make a kazoo. Join a kazoo band or learn more about the kazoo! No matter how you celebrate, be sure to have fun doing it. Use #NationalKazooDay to post on social media.
Educators, visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for ways to celebrate the National Days with your students.
NATIONAL KAZOO DAY HISTORY
Founded in 1983 by Chaplin Willard Rahn of the Joyful Noise Kazoo Band, National Kazoo Day celebrates the humble kazoo and all the infectious joy it brings to people of all ages.
There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day with National Day Calendar!
January 26th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
The first female detective in the United States dies of pneumonia. Kate Warne served as a Pinkerton detective for 12 years. During her career, Warne proved integral to thwarting an 1861 assassination plot against President-elect Abraham Lincoln.
U.S. Patent Office issues patent no. 135,245 to Louis Pasteur for an “Improvement in Brewing Beer and Ale.”
The Danish toy building block company, Lego, filed an application to patent the interlocking plastic toy building blocks. Originally invented and designed out of wood by the company’s founder Ole Kirk Christiansen, the company produced its first plastic blocks in 1949.
Singer-songwriters from across the United States including Lionel Richie, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Willie Nelson, Daryl Hall, John Oats, and Paul Simon came together as USA for Africa. They record the hit single We Are the World, raising over $63 million for Ethiopian famine relief.
Seven NASA astronauts tragically die when the space shuttle Challenger breaks apart 73 seconds after launch. Crew members included Payload Gregory Jarvis, Judy Resnick, Christa McAuliffe, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, Michael Smith, and Ellison Onizuka.
January 28th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Auguste Piccard & Jean Piccard – 1853
The twin brothers attended the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Auguste studied physics, and Jean studied chemistry. Their mutual interests in ballooning led to several scientific achievements.
Jackson Pollock – 1912
The abstract expressionist painter achieved critical success during his lifetime. Some of his most iconic works include Mural (1943), She-Wolf (1943), and Convergence (1952).
Anna Gordy Gay – 1922
In 1959, the record executive formed A.N.N.A. Records in Detroit, Michigan, with her sisters Gwen Gordy and Roquel Billy Davis.
Vera Williams – 1928
The award-winning children’s author was best known for her novel A Chair for My Mother.
Henry Morton Stanley – 1841
Popularly known as the explorer who found missing explorer Dr. David Livingstone who disappeared in Zanzibar, Africa. Upon reaching the weakened and ill doctor on Lake Tanganyika, Stanley said, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” Stanley was also a journalist, soldier, politician, and author.
Charles William Nash – 1864
Nash made enormous contributions to the automotive industry. He first served the industry at General Motors as Buick’s VP and as GM’s fifth president. In 1916, Nash established Nash Motors when he purchased Jeffery Motor Company.