D.B. Cooper Day

Anyone and everyone who loves a good mystery might want to celebrate D.B. Cooper Day. This holiday is observed annually on November 24th and shines a light on a bona fide mystery that has never been solved. D.B. Cooper was, and still is, a media epithet for an unidentified man who hijacked an airplane and got away by parachuting into the night.

It sounds like a crazy plot point for an action movie, but this is something that actually happened in 1971. As more and more people learn about this true-life event, more are beginning to observe this holiday. Are you going to be one of them? Only you can answer that question.

The History of D.B. Cooper Day

Before we can talk about how this holiday began, we first have to discuss the case of the mysterious D.B. Cooper. On November 24, 1971, an unidentified man hijacked Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305. During the flight, this man told the flight attendant that he had a bomb. He then demanded $200,000 in ransom and four parachutes upon landing in Seattle.

When the plane landed in Seattle, he released the passengers and then instructed the flight crew to refuel the plane and begin a second flight to Mexico City. Approximately half an hour after taking off from Seattle, the hijacker opened the aircraft’s aft door and parachuted out over southwestern Washington. The hijacker was never identified, found, or apprehended.

Even though the FBI has maintained an open investigation into this case, it still remains the only unsolved case of air piracy in commercial aviation history. The hijacker had identified himself as Dan Cooper, but because of a mistake by a reporter, he became known as D.B. Cooper.

In 1980, a small amount of the ransom money was found along the Columbia River, which only managed to increase interest in the case. Shortly after that event, D.B. Cooper Day was created in Ariel, Washington — the place where Mr. Cooper is believed to have disappeared. This festival continues to be observed to this day and has even spawned this holiday.

Observing D.B. Cooper Day

People can observe this holiday by attending the event and celebrating it in Ariel, Washington. For those who can’t make the trip, however, there is another way to observe it. People can get together with friends and family and try to solve the case themselves.

They can also involve other people in the mystery by using the hashtag #DBCooperDay on social media. Let’s all try to solve this mystery!

When is it?
This year (2024)
November 24 Sunday
Next year (2025)
November 24 Monday
Last year (2023)
November 24 Friday
Culture & History