History of National Brother's Day
The word brother stems from the Latin root frater and the Proto-Germanic word brother, which itself comes from the Proto-IndoEuropean root bhrater. Regardless of origin, both in words and in blood, our bothers have our backs over and over again. They’re our closest friend, and sometimes, the most annoying people we know. But we love them anyway. Even some of the most famous people in history had brothers to lean on and be annoyed by.
1. Henry and William James
Henry James was one of America’s most acclaimed novelists in the late 1800s and early 1900s, penning books such as “The Portrait of a Lady” and “The Turn of the Screw.” His older brother, William James, was a renowned American philosopher and considered by many to be the father of psychology.
2. The Bee Gees
Famous pop group, the Bee Gees, was made up of brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. They have sold more than 120 million records worldwide making them one of the world’s best selling artists of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and were presented the award by Brian Wilson, the frontman of another famous family act, The Beach Boys.
3. The Sullivan Brothers
Following the loss of their friend in Pearl Harbor, George, Francis, Joseph, Madison, and Albert Sullivan enlisted in the US Navy. All five were serving on the USS Juneau during World War II when it sunk in a 1942 naval battle. When three uniformed men called upon their parent’s house, their father — bracing for the bad news — asked “Which one,” to which the lieutenant commander replied “I’m sorry. All five.” Because of them, the US War Department established the Sole Survivor Policy to protect those who lost family members in military service from combat duty.
National Brother's Day timeline
A band of brothers
The Jackson 5, composed of brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael Jackson, formed in Gary, Indiana.
The Marx Brothers debut "Duck Soup," their most famous Hollywood film
- December 17, 1903
Brothers in Flight
The Wright Brothers make the first successful flight
The Brothers Grimm publish Grimm's Fairy Tales
National Brothers Day Stats
National Brother's Day FAQs
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National Brother's Day Activities
Indulge in your favorite bonding ritual
Beer? Ballgames? Barbecue? Brunch? Whatever you guys like to do, today’s the day to do it together. Even if it just means grabbing a bite to eat, take time out to bond with your brother.
Tell him what he means to you
This doesn’t have to be as touchy-feely as all that, but it ought to be a bit more meaningful than slurring “I love you, man!” after a couple of Jameson shots. Just let him know that you appreciate all he’s done for you, or that you really dig hanging out with him.
Buy him a little something
Unlike Mother’s Day, when it’s basically de-rigeur to spring for flowers, perfume, or a brunch buffet, there are no guidelines when it comes to buying your brother a treat. How about a funny t-shirt you saw online, a book he’d enjoy, or movie tickets? If he’s a whiskey aficionado, get him that special bottle he wouldn’t buy for himself. Who knows, maybe he’ll share.
Why We Love National Brother's Day
Brothers understand you like no one else
There aren’t many people who can communicate volumes with one raised eyebrow or a kick under the dinner table, but brothers can. Over the years, you forged a bond built on long, boring car trips, Mom’s lame puns, and fighting over the last serving of Dad’s famous 4th of July potato salad.
Brothers have your back
Forget scorned women — hell hath no fury like a protective brother. From schoolyard spats to a family fracas to a barroom brawl, your brother will be there for you. Unless, of course, you’re the one fighting with him. Stay on his good side, though, and you two can take on the world.
Brothers are in it for a lifetime
Robert Frost famously said, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in,” and that extends to wherever your brother’s home is. You’ve fought over girls and you’ve gone without speaking and you’ve maybe said some choice words about one another, but at the end of the proverbial day, he ain’t heavy. He’s your brother.
National Brother's Day dates