Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Sophie from Columbia, SC. Sophie Wonders, “Why is April 11, 1954 the most boring day in history?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Sophie!
Do you ever watch the evening news with your family? Sure, many people read the news online nowadays. Still, there’s something about settling in on the couch to watch the evening anchor talk about everything that happened while you were going about your day.
Imagine turning on the T.V., flipping to your favorite news channel, and giving the anchor your rapt attention, only to find that the day’s news was . . . nothing.
Can that happen? Can any day be that boring? According to computer programmer William Tunstall-Pedoe, yes, it can. And he’s even identified that incredibly boring day: April 11, 1954.
In 2010, Tunstall-Pedoe set out to identify the most boring day in history—or, at least, the most boring day in the 20th century. He used a search engine that he invented, called True Knowledge. The engine contained over 300 million individual facts.
Using an algorithm to scan through each day in the 20th century, Tunstall-Pedoe discovered that nothing of note happened on April 11, 1954. That is, unless you’re Turkish engineering professor Abdullah Atalar, who was born that day. An athlete named Jack Shufflebotham of England also passed away. No other well-known people were born or died.
There also don’t seem to be any noteworthy news stories from around the world. No major events from the stock market, sporting events, or NASA. No major films were even released that day.
If you’re thinking something MUST have happened on April 11, 1954, you’re not alone. Since Tunstall-Pedoe shared his findings, many people have looked. They’ve searched Google, asked family members, and tried to jog their own memories. Can you think of anything that happened on April 11, 1954?
We didn’t think so! Perhaps it was, indeed, the most boring day in history. However, some people think another one should take the prize. On April 18, 1930, people across England tuned their radios to the BBC for the evening news. The report? “There is no news,” read the announcer. 15 minutes of piano music followed the report.
Have you ever had a boring day? Everyone does from time to time. But it seems that some days are boring for the entire world! What do you think will be the most boring day of the 21st century?
Standards: C3.D2.His.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.7, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2