Barbie Doll Day
annually on September 6th
Barbie Doll Day marks the anniversary of the day that the Barbie doll first went on sale in 1959. Barbie was thought up by Ruth Handler, wife of one of Mattel's founders, Elliot Handler. Handler noticed her daughter, Barbara, gave adult roles to paper dolls when she played with them. In 1956, Handler bought three German Lilli dolls while vacationing in Switzerland, and used them as inspiration in creating the Barbie doll upon returning back to California. On March 9, 1959, Barbie made its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York City, which became Barbie's birthday, and also Barbie Day. But, Barbie did not make its debut in stores until September 6. The first Barbie wore a black and white swimsuit, had the full name of Barbara Millicent Roberts, and was available with either blonde or brunette hair. Over the years, Barbie has been seen as a positive inspiration to girls by demonstrating the many careers that young girls could pursue. But, Barbie has not been without controversy, and many have been critical of the the doll's unrealistic body shape. Over one billion Barbie dolls have been sold since they made their debut, and Barbie has become an American cultural icon.
How to Observe
Barbie Doll Day could be celebrated by taking out your old Barbie dolls. If you have children this may be a good day to show the dolls to them, or to talk to them about the dolls. You could go out and buy a new Barbie. If you are a diehard Barbie fan, you could plan a trip to Canada to visit Montreal's Barbie museum, or the Legacy Doll Museum in Montana.