Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Although not an official federal holiday, International Talk Like a Pirate Day is perhaps the best known of the many “internet holidays” established and made famous on the web. The day was invented by Mark Summers and John Baur.
Pirates have been with us for a long time, depending on the definition of “piracy“. At its most basic definition: “Robbery on the High Seas”, pirates can be considered to hearken back to the days of the early Aegean pirates, Japanese Wokou, or even the Vikings. But the more contemporary image of the pirate is that of a 17th – 18th Century brigand or Privateer.
Some famous pirates of this period include:
— Edward Teach, known infamously as Blackbeard,
— New Orleans Pirate Jean Lafitte,
— Captain William Kidd,
— Captain Henry Morgan (yes, the rum guy) and the ill-fated
— Calico Jack Rackham who was probably better known for his association with women pirates Anne Bonney and Mary Read.
A more romanticized concept of pirates entered the popular culture with the Gilbert and Sullivan opera: The Pirates of Penzance. Pirates became popular among children with the publication of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel: Treasure Island, and later with J.M. Barrie’s play and novel Peter Pan.
Pirates have had something of a revival recently with the release of movies starring Johnny Depp based on Walt Disney World’s Pirates of the Caribbean theme ride. Although much of those movies are obviously fantasy, there are a surprising number of historical accuracies in the films.
Feel free to talk like a pirate in the library today, just be sure to do it quietly. 🙂
Other weird holidays throughout the year can be found at this site. We here at the library are also quite excited about the upcoming Mad Hatter Day (Oct. 6) and Gingerbread House Day (Nov. 10).
(Many thanks to the librarians at Kean University, whose links and information we blatantly plundered for this post. Yarrrr…)