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National Joe Day is one of those obscure holidays with the purpose of exercising some fun. Although not designated by Congress as an official national holiday, it is celebrated every year on March 27th.
The origins of this holiday are rather murky, but the gist is that everyone can call themselves Joe on this day. If you’re female, just say it is short for Josephine. Anyone can call themselves Joe on this holiday – even the real Joes.
Possibly derived from the Scottish word jo or joe, meaning sweetheart, joe refers to the regular guy or everyman. According to Merriam-Webster, the first documented use of the term, Joe, was in 1846. Offshoots are Joe Blow, Average Joe, Ordinary Joe, Joe Lunch bucket, Lucky Joe and Good Joe. Joe simply stands for the everyman, for the underdog or the common man.
Joe also refers to coffee; and customers in the 1940's, started asking for ‘a cup of Joe,’ although the origins of this are uncertain. Around 1941, Joe Blow was first recorded as military slang referring to the average working guy.
G.I. Joe was a cult phenomenon. G.I. was first used in the U.S. army in 1935 to denote Government Issue. G.I. Joe came to represent the average soldier, and was originally depicted in the 1940’s comic strip called, "Private Breger." This character became its own successful cartoon series and was even fashioned into action toy figures.
Joe Cool is the alter-ego of the beagle, Snoopy, from Charles Schultz’s ‘Peanuts’ cartoon. Snoopy dons sunglasses and walks on two legs to become the nonchalant, Joe Cool. Vince Guaraldi wrote the song, Joe Cool, for a Peanuts special; and it was also recorded by blues artist, B.B. King.
So sweethearts, celebrate March 27th by wearing your sunglasses, calling yourself Joe and treating yourself to a ‘cup of Joe.’ After all, it is National Joe Day.
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