November 27 is Pins and Needles Day! When you hear “pins and needles,” you probably think of the common phrase used to describe waiting in anxious anticipation of something or that feeling you get when one of your limbs “falls asleep.” Pins and Needles Day was actually created to commemorate the opening of the pro-labor union musical Pins and Needles on November 27, 1937.
In the late 1930s, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union was holding their meetings in New York’s Princess Theater. The union soon decided to sponsor an inexpensive revue starring union workers. Pins and Needles spoofed current events in a critical yet lighthearted way from a pro-union stance. The show evolved and skits were adjusted to stay topical with what was going on in current events at the time. It became so popular that the workers were able to quit their jobs to perform on a full-time schedule. In 1938, the cast performed the revue at the White House for President Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor. The show closed on June 22, 1940 and ran for 1,108 performances. Now that’s something to celebrate!
Unfamiliar with the musical? Think of Pins and Needles Day as a day of anxious suspense or nervous anticipation… for the approaching holidays perhaps. Or you can celebrate paresthesia, the tingly, prickly sensation you get when a limb “falls asleep” and recovers from numbness, as this feeling is often referred to as feeling like “pins and needles.”‘
…Or if you like to sew and, thus, frequently use pins and needles, celebrate that: sew something!
Whichever option you choose to celebrate, Happy Pins and Needles Day!