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Mad Hatter Day Was First Recognized As An Official Holiday In 1988

October 6 is a day set aside each year to bring out your silly side while celebrating National Mad Hatter Day.

The fictional character, The Hatter (also known as The Mad Hatter) from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is typically acting silly, and that is how the creators of this day decided on their theme of silliness for National Mad Hatter Day.  Sir John Tenniel illustrated The Mad Hatter and all of Lewis Carroll’s colorful characters beginning in 1864.  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first published in 1865.

  • The phrase “mad as a hatter” comes from the late 18th and early 19th centuries when haberdasheries used mercury nitrate.  The exposure to this metal over time caused the tradesmen to develop symptoms making people believe they were mad.
  • In 1986 some computer-folk in Boulder, CO celebrated a general day of silliness, inspired by the drawings of the Mad Hatter by John Tenniel in Alice In Wonderland. It was announced that year on computer networks, becoming more popular as people realized its value – some people did less damage by celebrating silliness than if they had done their jobs.
  • In 1988 it was first recognized as an official holiday and received its first national press coverage.
  • English illustrator John Tenniel depicted Hatter wearing a hat with 10/6 written on it. The 10/6 refers to the cost of a hat — 10 shillings and 6 pence, and later became the date and month to celebrate Mad Hatter Day.
  • The Mad Hatter comic book character made his debut in Batman #49 in 1948. He is the supervillain who keeps his Wonderland counterpart’s costume and personality, with a lot of his gadgets stored in his hat. In the world of Batman, he is a scientist who uses mind-controlling devices to manipulate his victims.
  • The real Mad Hatter was probably a man named Theophilus Carter.  A seller of furniture not hats, he impressed his eccentricity upon Carroll in Oxford. While some reports suggest Carter was unaware of his influence on the Wonderland character
  • If you stare into the mirror at the Mad Hatter’s shop in Disneyland, you’ll get a visit from the Cheshire Cat.
    Planning a trip to Disneyland anytime soon? Then be sure to make a date with the Hatter—and the Cheshire Cat. At the Mad Hatter’s shop, located in Fantasyland, look into the large oval-shaped mirror on the wall. After a few minutes, the Cheshire Cat will make a fleeting appearance.
  • The Mad Hatter’s exchange with Alice at the tea party is classic. He asks her if she would like more tea, only to realize she hasn’t yet had any. When Alice responds by saying she can’t take any more, he responds with this quote…“YOU MEAN YOU CAN’T TAKE LESS. IT’S VERY EASY TO TAKE MORE THAN NOTHING.”
  • Mad Hatter Riddle: On which day of the year do fewest people die?


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