In March of 1999, a few of the Society’s advisory members and I decided that we needed an official day to celebrate happiness. I mean how fun would that be — and we had holiday’s recognizing sad days, food days and historic days — so why not a happy day.
August 8 seemed like the perfect day since that’s when the Society got its first member that I didn’t personally know. The question was how did you create an official holiday?
Since I wasn’t sure I figured if we requested proclamations from all 50 state governors — after all, who wouldn’t want their citizens to celebrate National Admit You’re Day (the name of the original holiday)? So, for the next four months, several of our members and I tried to secure proclamations from all 50 states — which included letters, phone calls and emails.
Now, even twenty-one years later, I’m still surprised by our responses — that also got the Society an additional AP story which got us international media coverage for our first National Admit You’re Happy Day.
Note to readers: These were the governors in 1999 and we don’t request proclamations each year—maybe we’ll reconsider for our 25th Happiness Happens Day.
Happy Governors — Proclaimed August 8 National Admit You’re Happy Day
Connecticut—John G. Rowland
Maryland—Paris N. Glendening
Massachusetts—Argeo Paul Cellucci
Nevada—Kenny C. Guinn
New Hampshire—Jeanne Shaheen
New Jersey—Christine T. Whitman
North Carolina—James B. Hunt, Jr
Oregon—John A. Kitzhaber
Rhode Island—Lincoln Almond
Texas—George W. Bush
Vermont—Howard Dean, M.D.
West Virginia—Cecil H. Underwood
Wisconsin—Tommy G. Thompson
Stick in the Mud Governors
Wouldn’t give us a proclamation because we didn’t meet state guidelines (I always thought happiness deserved an exception)
Delaware—Thomas R. Carper
Hawaii—Benjamin J. Cayetano
Kentucky—Paul E. Patton
North Dakota—Edward T. Schafer
South Dakota—William J. Janklow
Wouldn’t give us a proclamation
Arizona—Jane Dee Hull
Illinois—George H. Ryan
Maine—Angus S. King, Jr
New Mexico—Gary E. Johnson
South Carolina—Jim Hodges
Virginia—James S. Gilmore III
Sent a proclamation for National Admit You’re Happy Day and took it back in September
No Official Position
New York—George E. Pataki
Utah—Michael O. Leavitt