Well, the gesture of slapping another person's upraised hand may be as old as humanity—nobody is sure about that!—but calling it a high-five is probably modern.
|Brown and Smith|
Basketball players Wiley Brown and Derek Smith claim they created the high five in 1979, but there is also a story about basketball player Lamont Sleets inventing the gesture based on something that happened to him when he was a kid. (Turns out, this story was a hoax!)
|Burke and teammate Dusty Baker|
Another contender for the honor of having invented the high five is Glenn Burke, a super friendly baseball player who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is said to have invented the gesture in 1977.
The National High Five Project is a fundraiser to fight cancer. You can register to participate by pledging that you will give high-fives, and by getting family and friends to sponsor your high-fiving. The money goes to a reputable charity that is involved in cancer research and treatment.
By the way...
Some gestures are not worldwide. Check out this link to compare Japanese and American gestures.
Also on this date:
Birthday of lawyer Clarence Darrow (famous because of the “Monkey Trial” about teaching evolution)