KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — April 14 is national “Look Up at the Sky Day,” however, there is more to the holiday than a simple glace to the sky.
Since 2020, the holiday has served as a reminder to take a long look at the sky regardless of what is happening in the world. After all, everyone is connected by the same sky, regardless of where they are or what they do.
One report quotes the holiday’s namesake as saying “When you realize that everyone is in the sky instead of under it, as many people perceive themselves, you get a stronger sense of connectedness.”
To fully understand this holiday, we must look back to around the mid 1900s.
An obituary for Jacob “Jack” Borden says he was born in 1928. According to the obituary, Borden grew up in Hartford, Connecticut, and after studying at the University of Connecticut for one year, he served in the 25th Infantry Division as a radio operator stationed in Osaka, Japan. After returning to the university, he graduated with a degree in Journalism.
Most reports about “Look Up at the Sky Day” mention Borden’s journalism career when discussing how the day began. Nearly all the reports state that Borden went on an outing, where he looked up and, for the first time, actually saw the sky. His obituary skillfully paints the picture of that moment.
“Jack and Jan [Jack Borden’s wife] both had a passion for the outdoors, taking long country walks at the Great Meadows in Concord, or at the Quabbin Reservoir. On one of these outings in 1978, Jack had a life changing experience. After snoozing for a few minutes in a wooded clearing at the Wachusett Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary, he opened his eyes, and looking straight up, “saw more of the sky in a millisecond than I had in my entire forty-nine years up to that point.” It was as if he was seeing the sky for the first time. From that day he became committed to promoting the beauty of the sky as a visual feast that anyone, anywhere, and at any time could partake,” the obituary reads.
Reports say that after this, he eventually left his fulltime reporting job and founded For Spacious Skies, a non-profit urging people to pay attention to the sky. One NPR report from 1997 says Borden said the sky is the ultimate art gallery above.
According to multiple sources, Borden the fight to get people to notice the sky continued for more than four decades until he died in 2020. April 14, 2020 was nationally recognized as “Look Up at the Sky Day” in honor of Borden’s 92nd birthday.
His memory still lives on in those who celebrate “Look Up at the Sky” day as well as online. The Facebook page “For Spacious Skies” continues to share Borden’s legacy with people exchanging photos of the sky. On January 21, 2021, an administrator posted on the page introducing herself and letting the followers know of Borden’s passing.