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WedNov 17

Guinness World Records Day – November 17, 2021

Guinness World Records Day is celebrated in November each year, on November 17 this year. The “Guinness World Records” or G.W.R. is a book that contains records set from all over the world. It is a resource for checking facts and finding the world’s best records. The book is published in over 100 countries and 23 languages. The day was first celebrated on November 19, 2004, and the “Guinness Book of World Records” became the best-selling book of all time. Since then, the day has been celebrated annually in November to honor all the world records set so far and encourage people to continue breaking records.    

History of Guinness World Records Day

On November 10, 1951, the managing director of the Guinness Breweries, Sir Hugh Beaver, became curious about the fastest game bird in Europe at a shooting party in Ireland. He was unsure if it was the golden plover or the red grouse. After a few rounds of arguments, he discovered that there was no single book he could reference to confirm this fact. He also realized that there needed to be a book that could be used as a fact check for records achieved throughout the world during arguments like his (usually started in bars). 

This curiosity captured the interest of another employee at Guinness Breweries called Christopher Chataway, who then recommended two of his friends, Norris and Ross McWhirter, who had started a fact-finding agency in London. In August 1954, Norris and Ross McWhirter were commissioned to compile The Guinness Book of Records. The Guinness Book of Records office was established in London, and on August 27, 1955, the first edition of 198 pages was bound and became one of the best-sellers in Britain by Christmas. In 1956, the book was launched in the United States and sold over 70,000 copies. 

The G.W.R. quickly became the international authority on record-keeping all the world’s monumental achievements and unknown facts. The G.W.R. became so popular that in 1976, a Guinness Book of World Records Museum was opened in the Empire State Building in the United States to showcase the many brilliant records. 

Guinness World Records Day timeline

1951
Sir Hugh Beaver Gets an Idea

The managing director of Guinness Breweries, Beaver, becomes interested in creating a fact-checking reference book.

1954
The McWhirters Come into the Picture

Twin brothers Norris and Ross McWhirter begin compiling “The Guinness Book of Records.”

1955
The First Guinness Book Edition is Bound

They bind the first 198-page edition, which becomes a best-seller in Britain by Christmas.

1976
A G.W.R. Museum Opens

A museum showcasing various amazing records and facts opens in the Empire State Building in the U.S.

Guinness World Records Day FAQs

What is the world record for the most world records set in one day?

Ashrita Furman holds the world record for most world records in a day and has set more than 600 official Guinness World Records.

How much money do Guinness World Record holders get?

The organization does not pay Guinness World Records holders for setting records. They only receive a certificate plaque that states their achievement. 

How to set or break a world record?

You can start by reading up about the existing records and checking the G.W.R.’s database. After checking the information, you can apply to set or break a record on Guinness’ website.  

Guinness World Records Day Activities

  1. Challenge yourself

    Try finding something you’re amazing at and challenge yourself to set a new world record! All it takes is motivation and practice.

  2. Read about the various records

    Celebrate this day by going online and reading about the various records held by people. The internet has all the information you need, from the most bizarre records to the very popular ones.

  3. Buy the book

    If you think your library seems a little empty, order the Guinness Book of World Records right away. It will be a brilliant read to pass the time.

5 Facts About Guinness World Records

  1. World’s third best-selling book

    The “Guinness Book of World Records” is the third best-selling book worldwide after the Bible and the Koran.

  2. It inspired a video game

    A video game comprising 36 mini-games based on various Guinness World Records was released in 2008.

  3. The first G.W.R.-themed show

    Presented by Roy Castle and the McWhirters, the first series of the BBC show “Record Breakers” was filmed in 1972.

  4. The first G.W.R. licensed product launch

    The Guinness Game of World Records launched by Toys U.K. in 1975 became the first licensed product of G.W.R.

  5. The G.W.R. reaches 3.2 billion people

    The 1987 edition of the “Guinness Book of World Records” reached more than 3.2 billion people due to being published in over 31 languages.

Why We Love Guinness World Records Day

  1. To celebrate records

    The day is celebrated to honor the amazing feats of those who challenged themselves. These records are testimony to the ever-growing magnitude of human ability.

  2. It increases our general knowledge

    The G.W.R. deserves a place on our reading list because it helps us know about the world. The book is an essential general knowledge resource.

  3. It encourages people to break records

    This day reminds us always to keep going beyond our comfort zones and test our abilities. Who knows how much we are capable of?

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