Every year on June 6 we recognize the fun holiday, National Yo-Yo Day. This day celebrates this historic toy. It is the perfect day to get out your yo-yo’s and try your hand at The Sleeper, Walk the Dog, Shooting the Moon, Around the World or Hop the Fence.
The yo-yo is an object that consists of an axle connected to two disks and a length of string looped around the axle. It is played by holding the free end of the string, allowing gravity or the force of a throw to spin the yo-yo and unwind the string, then allowing the yo-yo to wind itself back again. This is called “yo-yoing.”
It is believed that the yo-yo was first invented in ancient Greece. There is a Greek vase painting, from 500 BC, that shows a boy playing with a yo-yo.
Pedro Flores immigrated to the United States as a young boy. He built a business from a toy he played with in the Philippines called a bandalore. He called it the Flores Yo-yo and between 1928 and 1932 the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company operated in Santa Barbara, California. He later sold his companies to Donald F. Duncan.
The yo-yo was made popular in America when Donald F. Duncan, Sr. manufactured the Duncan Yo-Yo in the early 1900s. The name “Yo-Yo” was first registered as a trademark in 1932.
- In 1999, the Duncan Yo-Yo was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York.
- The National Yo-Yo Museum is located in Chico, California.
- Yo-yoing is a term often used to describe a person fluctuating between two difficult decisions.
- Rare, vintage and retro yo-yos can entice collectors to spend hundreds of dollars.
HOW TO OBSERVE
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Founded in 1990 in Arcade, NY by Daniel Volk, National Yo-Yo Day celebrates the yo-yo on June 6, the date of Donald F. Duncan’s birth in 1892. Volk once worked for Duncan Toy Company as a talented yo-yo demonstrator from 1976-1978, touring the western part of the United States. As a result, Volk had the opportunity to impart some of his yo-yoing wisdom to two talented comedians. The Smothers Brothers later produced The Yo-Yo Man Instructional Video. Mr. Volk demonstrates right along with the comedians in the video. In conjunction with National Yo-Yo Day, the Hummingbird Toy Company produced the first of several Smothers Brothers brand yo-yos.