National Whatever Day: February 20th

February 20th is the host of two "National Whatever Day" Holidays: National Handcuff Day and World Day of Social Justice.

National Handcuff Day is celebrated on February 20th of each year because it is the birthday of the modern handcuff. On this day in 1912, the US Patent office issued patent 1,017,955 to George A. Carney for a “swinging bow ratchet – type” adjustable handcuff. Before Carney's model, handcuffs were heavy and bulky and there was no standard style. Carney found a way to design a lighter weight cuff.

Since that patent, most modern handcuffs around the world have been made with the same swing through design, with minor modifications. The Carney Patent was bought by The Peerless Handcuff Company of Springfield, Mass., and the first models were manufactured for them by Smith & Wesson. The primary use for handcuffs is restraining suspects for police protection and control while making an arrest. For more information about the history of handcuffs, click here.

World Day of Social Justice is a day recognizing the need to promote efforts to tackle issues like poverty, exclusion and unemployment. The United Nations General Assembly has decided to observe February 20th annually, approved on November 26, 2007 and starting in 2009, as the World Day of Social Justice.

As recognized by the World Summit, "social development aims at social justice, solidarity, harmony and equality within and among countries and social justice, equality and equity constitute the fundamental values of all societies. To achieve “a society for all” governments made a commitment to the creation of a framework for action to promote social justice at national, regional and international levels. They also pledged to promote the equitable distribution of income and greater access to resources through equity and equality and opportunity for all. The governments recognized as well that economic growth should promote equity and social justice and that “a society for all” must be based on social justice and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms."

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