Dinosaur Day and International Dinosaur Day - The Mysterious Origins - Fossil Crates

Dinosaur Day and International Dinosaur Day - The Mysterious Origins


Origins of Dinosaur Day and International Dinosaur Day

Origins of the 3rd Tuesday of May and June 1st as Dinosaur Days

Dinosaurs are so cool they have TWO days set aside for their awesomeness, June 1st and the 3rd Tuesday of May, seemingly by decree of the public. I think I've figured out the origin of the 3rd Tuesday of May Dinosaur Day (aka International Dinosaur Day).  What I haven't yet sleuthed is the origins of the June 1st day.  Let's dive into what I was able to discover.

Third Tuesday in May International Dinosaur Day

The 3rd Tuesday of May was seemingly first celebrated in 2016 by what appears to be an elementary school teacher named Duane McDonal of Florida.  I have found no "International Dinosaur Day" before 2015.  No social media hashtags, no internet forum posts, nothing.  However, the websites that talk about all the fun, not-government-official holidays share the same origin story, which actually has nothing to do with the origins of the day but rather simply reswizzle the words from an October 8th, 2015 post about the word dinosaur's origin on a Facebook page dubbed International Dinosaur Day.

Here is the oldest appearance I was able to find on it:

From the page, International Dinosaur Day on October 8th, 2015 (the day of the page's creation):

"Beginning on May 17th, 2016 the first International Dinosaur Day will be celebrated. Our goal is to encourage student interest in Science, all things Fossilized and certainly all things Dinosaur. Join in your own capacity and help promote this new celebration to help students all over the world develop a deeper interest in Dinosaurs and the peripheral fields of Scientific Endeavor."

On March 18th, 2016 the page posted: 
"This date was selected by Teachers to encourage student interest in Dinosaurs and the peripheral fields of Science over the summer break. The 3rd Tuesday is after all the high stakes testing and before the summer break from school." 

April 17th, 2017, from the aforementioned Facebook page:

"Please encourage your staff/administrators to put International Dinosaur Day on the calendar!
I hear often that U.S. students are not where they should be when compared to students of the world. The goal of International Dinosaur Day is in part to encourage TEACHERS and Parents to instill a love of the various fields of Science via those fantastic creatures that once roamed the earth. As students are thinking about summer fun, field trips wouldn’t it be nice if they wanted to visit museums and libraries and planned field trips? Remember that International Dinosaur Day is the third Tuesday in May. In 2017 it is on May 16th! Spread the Word"


And this gem, from a man named Duane McDonal responding to an error in an article:

Thank you for your posting on International Dinosaur Day, which is tomorrow. The only uncorrected error in your posting is that the day is celebrated on the third Tuesday in May, not always on the same date. Here is the official synopsis: International Dinosaur Day is an annual event celebrated on the third Tuesday in May. It was started by teachers to generate interest in Dinosaurs and the related subjects of Math, Science, Reading and the related subjects as well. Art, creativity, speech, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Music and even Physical Education can be enhanced with Dinosaurs as the subject matter. Students on the Autism Spectrum are very often keenly aware of Dinosaurs. The third Tuesday in May was selected as it is after all the high stakes testing and just before all of the End of the School Year hoopla. Celebrating International Dinosaur Day prior to summer break will also spur an interest in visiting museums, libraries and natural areas as students seek to know more about these fascinating creatures and all extinct animals. These endeavors will in turn help to promote conservation of our remaining natural resources."

My conclusion is that, from the minds of a teacher and his colleagues in Florida (as best I can tell), a holiday has taken off!  After all, who doesn't love to celebrate dinosaurs and why argue?  :-)


June 1 Dinosaur Day

This one has me stumped.  The earliest I can find of June 1st being a "Dinosaur Day" is at Joe Wos' Mazetoons.com site.  I believe this is the beginnings of the June 1st date right here.  I don't know if he intentionally chose June 1st to be "Dinosaur Day" or if he was simply launching his mazes and June 1st was the day that made sense to do so based on his schedule.  Coincidentally (?), the first blog post he made was in October 25th, 2015, 17 days after "International Dinosaur Day" was proclaimed.  

I wonder if individuals searching for International Dinosaur Day found his blog post and presumed that that was the official day?  Or if a search engine marketeer optimizing website traffic noticed people searching for "dinosaur day," did their own searches, saw both dates, then wrote an article to lead to people clicking on their site?  Some other reason?

Searching for hashtags on social media sites doesn't produce any kind of concerted use of #DinosaurDay before 2019.  For instance, Instagram's first use of #dinosaurday#### on June 1st is 2018 has a #dinosaurday2018 on June 1st (a single post).  

I'm open to any info should someone know its origins.  For now I'm going with Joe Wos!  And I have gained a great appreciation to the power of the people. :-)

If anyone knows where and why June 1 became another day of dinosaur celebration (not that anyone is complaining!) please let me know.

Thank you kindly!


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.