D.C. Weakness for Special Weeks

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They hover somewhere in the back of your good citizen mind, usually accompanied by the memory of a library display: the weeks dedicated to Boy Scouts, fire prevention or Alzheimer's awareness.

Yet a fair number of national weeks, which are designated by Congress and merit presidential proclamations, wouldn't be recognized easily and range from the amusing to the borderline absurd.

Joining old standards like National School Lunch and National Forest Products Weeks are seven-day celebrations of the jukebox ("a symbol of good, clean fun"), the school yearbook ("a lasting record... of classmates, teachers, and school staff"), and the weather satellite, all of which were one-time affairs. Similarly, 1963's National Harmony Week, which marked the 25th anniversary of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing, and 1971's National Clown Week, which saluted America's "good men in putty noses and baggy trousers," were not destined for repeat runs.

But if clowns and weather satellites couldn't pull it off, dairy goats could. National Dairy Goat Awareness Week debuted in 1987, and made it back to the national stage in 1988. And as with every national week proclamation, the president called upon citizens to "observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities." Unfortunately, dairy goats parading through Washington wasn't one of them.