Created by Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith in 1994 and first celebrated the following year, Smith National Day honors those with the last name "Smith", as well as those with the surname Smith in it. Excluding name variations, nearly three million people in the United States have the surname Smith, and it's the most common English-speaking name in the world. "Smith" means "worker".
Koopersmith chose January 6 as an anniversary because it was Captain John Smith birthday in 1580. He led the colonists to settle in Jamestown in 1607 and was undoubtedly one of the first Smiths to live in. America. January 6 is also the birthday of Jedediah Strong Smith, who was born in 1799 in Bainbridge, New York. He was one of the first explorers of the western United States; he is believed to be the first American to reach California by land and he helped launch the Oregon Trail.
SMITH magazine came out exactly two years ago, on January 6, 2006, after we were racing to launch what I know as National Smith Day. Smith National Day has nothing to do with storytelling (at least until two years ago), but is in fact a holiday celebrated to celebrate the birthday of one of the country's original Smiths, Great Lieutenant John Smith, a British colonialist who led the Settlements of Jamestown. This is what I wrote two years ago about the beginnings of the inception.
I want to thank everyone who has dedicated this work of storytelling with genuine love - no one is more genuine than co-founder Tim Barkow and senior editor Rachel Fershleiser. We will soon * reveal a whole new look and in more ways it works for SMITH, one thing we feel is the natural evolution of a human-assisted storytelling site. Assuming Mr. Barkow, who restarted the prospect did not knock me down or kill me, the next stage in SMITH's youthful life would be a big step forward. We will celebrate two years of storytelling and the release of our book, THAT'S NOT WHAT I PLANNED: A six-word memoir by well-known and little-known writer, with a big festival on the day February 9 in New York City and several events around the country soon after. Details arrive via your next SMITH Newsletter - stay tuned.
How to Observe National Smith Day
If you have the name "Smith" or a variation of it, spend the day celebrating the way you want, because today is for you! You can still celebrate even if you do not have a name. Count as many friends who know the name Smith and call them to wish them a happy Smith National Day. You can also identify other famous smiths besides John and Jedidiah Smith. Perhaps some of them have written books, made music or made movies. If so, you can enjoy their art today.
Smith and the Lesson
Smith Day includes all smith. Anyone with a "smith" in his or her last name – for example: Goldsmith or Silversmith - is included. Even Monkees' Mike Nesmith will be covered for this vacation.
However, don't feel left out if your last name doesn't contain those five letters - you're part of this too. With so many Smiths in the world, you may know at least one person with that surname by chance. Call them up and join the celebration; Smith Day is all about being together, after all. If that is not good enough for you, your name may be obscured in one of Koopersmith's other types of depression. She invented them for the surnames White, Black, Gray and Diaz.
Alternatively, you can create one yourself. In fact, I think I will declare that from now on, January 7 will be Reylan Day, in honor of my friend Reylan Fernandez. If your name is Reylan, tomorrow is your day. My hope is that the fact that there are about four Reylan people across America does not prevent this new celebration from being celebrated.
So how exactly does someone celebrate Smith Day? I think it would be a good idea to call some fellow Smiths to find out how they plan to do it. I also think it would be easiest - well, I mean the best - if I started with my mother, Bev Smith.
Bev also does not know anything about it being Smith Day, but now she knows, she will put a star on the calendar. "Maybe I'll go out for shopping and use that as an excuse," she said.
Hey, that seems reasonable to me. In addition, I know better than to refuse my mother for any reason to go shopping.
To celebrate Smith Day, I am going to see Rainier at Sloop Tavern in Ballard at 7pm. Please come down if you'd like to join me in my Smith Day celebration; Remember, this day is all about being together. I'll be easy to spot - just look for that big guy with the Seattle P-I hat.
ObservedNational Smith Day has been observed annually on January 6th.
Monday, January 6th, 2020
Wednesday, January 6th, 2021
Thursday, January 6th, 2022
Friday, January 6th, 2023
Saturday, January 6th, 2024
Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith in 1994