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If April 11, 1954, Was So Dull, Why Do We Keep Talking About It?

Coming into work this morning we heard Morning Edition's Renee Montagne say that April 11, 1954, according to a British computer scientist, was "the most uneventful day of the 20th century" because nothing much happened on that date.

That sounded familiar. And, sure enough, we blogged about that very claim last November, when All Things Consideredtalked about it.

Which makes us wonder:

Has all this talk about what didn'thappen 57 years ago today made that day any more interesting? While we can't go back in time to change things (or can we, sci-fi fans?), is saying something isn't interesting making it interesting?

We e-mailed William Tunstall-Pedoe, the man behind the notion that April 11, 1954, was so dull. Here's how he responded to our musings:

-- "(a) Yes, the attention paid to the day has certainly now made it far more interesting that many other days.

-- "However, (b) our original conclusion based on the lack of things that actually happened that day still stands. It is the exceptional boringness that makes it interesting."

You can test out more of Tunstall-Pedoe's conclusions at TrueKnowledge.com.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.