April 18, 2013 - High Five Day

Did you ever wonder who invented the high five?

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.

Probably it is one of those things that was independently invented several times. At any rate, the high five caught on and spread all over the world. It burst out of basketball and baseball into all other sports, and it burst out of sports into everyday life. People high five to celebrate a great hit, a score, a win, a good performance, a large sale, a high test score, and so much more. It can be a sort of “congrats” gesture from someone who had nothing to do with the success, or it can be a triumphant “I did it!” gesture from the person who succeeded.

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)

Anniversary of the publishing of the first crossword puzzle book

Anniversary of Albert Einstein's death

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