National Presidential Joke Day Date in the current year: August 11, 2024

National Presidential Joke Day National Presidential Joke Day is celebrated annually on August 11. This fun holiday was created to remind people that presidents are human and can crack jokes just like everyone else.

National Presidential Joke Day was created to commemorate a controversial joke Ronald Reagan made during a soundcheck for his weekly evening radio broadcast on August 11, 1984. The president was joking around with the NPR audio engineers and riffed on the speech he was going to make, saying: “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes”.

Although the soundcheck was not broadcast live, it was transmitted to radio stations across the country. Many re-broadcasters had already started recording the feed by that point, and Reagan’s impromptu joke ended up being recorded. Major news channels that recorded the joke kept it under wraps due to their agreement with the White House. However, someone leaked it; rumors of the off-the-record joke quickly spread, and within the next couple of days the quotation was published by several major outlets.

Reagan’s joke was denounced by major Soviet newspapers and the Soviet government, and his poll numbers took a hit. Even though most commentators agreed that the joke was in poor taste but ultimately harmless, Reagan’s remark got international attention due to heightened Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Presidential jokes, even those (or especially those) in poor taste, are just a reminder that presidents are human beings like ourselves. George Washington, for example, was not only a strong leader of the nascent nation, but a person with a great sense of humor. His letters, even those written during the hardest periods of the American Revolution, were full of funny quips, and among the names he gave his dogs throughout his life were Drunkard, Madam Moose, Sweet Lips, Taster, Tipper, and Trulove. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush could deliver a punchline, and Barack Obama used his sense of humor – dry, ironic, self-deprecating and sharp – to humanize himself and advance his agenda.

There are many ways to celebrate National Presidential Joke Day. You can watch compilations of Ronald Reagan’sone-liners on YouTube, read about famous presidential jokes and missteps and share some of your favorite jokes on social media with the hashtags #NationalPresidentualJokeDay and #PresidentialJokeDay, or host a presidential joke-themed trivia night for your family and friends.

It’s worth mentioning that you should be careful and double-check information while researching presidential jokes because jokes that were allegedly told by U.S. presidents were, in fact, not. For example, some websites claim that John Adams once said, “In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress.” However, this quote actually originated from the 1969 Broadway musical 1776 created by Sherman Edwards (music and lyrics) and Peter Stone (book).

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National Presidential Joke Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, Ronald Reagan, presidential jokes