If you’re reading this on the day it’s published, congratulations! You have enough willpower to do something productive before celebrating the pothead equivalent of St. Patrick’s Day. There is debate surrounding the origins of “4:20.” It’s not the police code for marijuana, as some suggest. “High Times” claims a group of teenagers in San Rafael, California, coined it in 1971 as the time they’d meet to smoke after school.
Whatever its beginnings, 4:20 has morphed from the time to spark up to a full day puff-a-thon on April 20. Celebrating 4/20 just for the sake of its numbers seems lame. There should be a bigger reason behind your party. That’s why we’ve tracked town six concrete reasons to celebrate April 20 that have nothing to do with drugs. Pick your favorite and amaze stoner pals with your knowledge.
6. Volunteer Recognition Day
Most potheads are well intentioned and love humanity. They “totally mean” to do something to help people but usually get sleepy or forget. This is your chance to commemorate the people who remember. On Volunteer Recognition Day, people donate to nonprofit groups or spend time with the less fortunate. Packing bowls in their honor also works.
5. Danica Patrick becomes first female to win Indy car race
On this day in 2008, the sultry driver made history by winning the Indy Japan 300. Patrick was named Rookie of the Year in 2005 and remains one of the top competitors in the male-dominated sport. Her first win scored a blow for feminists and bad female drivers everywhere. Observe this occasion by not driving.
4. Saint Agnes of Montepulciano Feast Day
Agnese Segni di Montepulciano lived in Tuscany, Italy, from 1268-1317 AD and entered the monastery at age nine to become a nun. During her lifetime, she became known for performing miracles, such as creating multiple bread loaves from very few. In 1726, Pope Benedict XIII canonized her and April 20 is her feast day. Catholics celebrate her by chowing down. This gives you an excellent excuse for your munchies.
3. Character Actor Day
You won’t find any record of this holiday because we just coined it. Three of the greatest character actors of our time were born on this day: George Takei (1937), Clint Howard (1959) and Crispin Glover (1964). Rent their hits “Gentle Ben,” “Back to the Future,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,” “Hot Tub Time Machine” and all the “Star Treks” with Sulu. Spend all day on the couch. It’s also the birthday of Carmen Electra, Joey Lawrence and Adolf Hitler, but you’ll want to stay away from their catalogs.
2. Opening Day of Tiger Stadium, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field
Three of Major League Baseball’s most historic stadiums opened on this day in history. Tiger Stadium in Detroit and Fenway Park in Boston hosted their first games in 1912. Four years later, the Chicago Cubs played their first game at what is now Wrigley Field (then called Weeghman Park). Celebrate America’s Game today. Baseball is so much more interesting high.
1. Civil Rights Act of 1871
On this day in history, one of America’s most humanist acts became law. Following the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan began gaining influence in the South and such an Act became necessary to protect African Americans. It essentially says that you can’t beat on or violate anybody because of their race or beliefs. Seems odd that we’d need an extra law for that, but it was a different time. Commemorate the day by partying with different races or fooling around with someone your parents would hate.