It certainly had a wide celebrity…but I was aware that it was only the frog that was celebrated. It wasn’t I.
-Mark Twain’s Autobiography

Frog Jumping Day… What a mysterious name. Is it a day dedicated to jumping over frogs? Or a day dedicated to jumping like frogs? Or merely a day dedicated to frog’s that jump? The question may seem like one for the ages, but we have the actual story. It all starts with a ma whose renowned as an important figure in American history, an further an important part of the world’s literary culture and tradition, Mark Twain.

History of Frog Jumping Day

Everyone starts somewhere, from embarrassing lines of poetry in primary school to the first stumbling notes you tease out of an instrument. Mark Twain was no different. While he would go on to be one of the most notorious members of American Literary History, he started with a simple short story known as “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog”, included in a compilation called ”The celebrated jumping frog of Calaveras County, and other sketches”. The titular story was actually written for a friend of Mark Twain’s named Artemus Ward to be included in a book yet to be published.

Mark Twain took this request very seriously, and proceeded to produce not one, but two versions of the story… that would never make it to print. You see, he never quite got to the part about the jumping frog contest, and it took Ward pressing him for the tale yet another time before he actually managed to produce one. By the time it was produced, however, it was far too late for inclusion in the intended book and ended up seeing publication in The New York Saturday Press on November 18, 1865.

But Jim wasn’t always Jim Smiley! In the second edition he became Jim Greeley, only to be changed back when the book was published. That frog just kept jumping!

How To Celebrate Frog Jumping Day

Well the first thing we’d suggest is get a copy of ”The celebrated jumping frog of Calaveras County, and other sketches”, and give it a solid read-through! If you want to get really authentic, find a copy of it in its original French! After that, it’s time to set out on an adventure of your own, it can be a sign for you to finally ‘jump to it’ and get to something you’ve been delaying! Frog Jumping Day can be celebrated in whatever way speaks to your heart!

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Quick Facts

Dates
Every May 13th
Hashtag
#FrogJumpingDay