Happy John Frum Day Everyone!
February 15, 2002 7:50 AM   Subscribe

Happy John Frum Day Everyone! If there’s one date you circle on your calendar this February, forget Fat Tuesday and skip Valentine’s Day, too. The visive holiday to celebrate and remember is John Frum Day. Recognized annually on the island of Tanna, John Frum Day celebrates American culture and all its riches. Here's hoping that John Frum flies over your house today, delivering loads of good Tok-Tok.
posted by Neologian (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
amazing link.
posted by jeb at 8:22 AM on February 15, 2002

Think we can find a way to hook this up with Festivus?
posted by UncleFes at 8:42 AM on February 15, 2002

Thanks for the link, I didn't know good old J.F. had a day. I read a book many years ago called John Frum He Come, which got me interested in the cargo cults. Apparently they got a big lift during WW II when islanders saw the U.S. fly huge amounts of supplies into the area. They figured if they had their own air fields, they'd be rich, so they laid out makeshift runways, and built control towers out of sticks, but the planes never came back.

In my files (sorry my files aren't on the Internet) I have a National Geographic article on John Frum from May 1974 and another from Time (July 19, 1971). NG has amazing photos of the natives marching around with large pieces of bamboo supposed to be rifles, and U.S.A. painted in red on their chests and backs. Time mentions that "A group on nearby New Hanover Island once raised $2,000 to buy Lyndon Johnson; they reasoned that if L.B.J. were to come, American cargo would surely follow."

NG says "Believing that their savior lives in the United States, they generally refuse cooperation with New Hebridean authorities for fear of compromising their fidelity to Frum." I can't believe they're still waiting, another 30 years later, for this Second Coming of a man who doesn't exist.
posted by LeLiLo at 8:47 AM on February 15, 2002

...see, this is the kind of thing that makes me want to rent an old cargo plane & drop stuff myself.
posted by aramaic at 8:50 AM on February 15, 2002

interesting john frum link
posted by jeb at 11:10 AM on February 15, 2002

I was concerned for a moment this had something to do with David Frum, especially the "celebrates {North} American culture and all its riches" part ...
posted by dhartung at 5:01 PM on February 15, 2002

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