Linus Pauling Day

Linus Pauling Day is a holiday observed annually on February 28th to commemorate the life of Linus Pauling—founder of the Linus Pauling Institute and two-time Nobel Prize winner.

For his scientific work, he received the 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and for his activism, he received the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize. He also published more than 1,200 papers and books, with about 850 dealing with various scientific topics. He is considered to be the founding father of the fields of molecular biology and quantum chemistry as well.

This holiday is celebrated all over the world by the scientific community but is extremely popular in Oregon, where Pauling was not only born but also attended Oregon State University.

The History of Linus Pauling Day

Linus Carl Pauling was born on February 28, 1901, in Portland, Oregon, and was an American chemist, chemical engineer, biochemist, author, educator, and peace activist. He received his BS from Oregon State University and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology.

Over the course of his career, he won several prestigious awards, including the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry in 1931, the Davy Medal in 1947, and the Roebling Medal in 1967. He is also known for winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962. After his death on August 19, 1994, at the age of 93 years, Linus Pauling Day was created to commemorate his remarkable life.

Observing Linus Pauling Day

Linus Pauling Day is not a public holiday, so schools, businesses, and government offices will remain open—unless, of course, the day falls on the weekend. It is not a day celebrated by the general public either, as most people who celebrate this holiday are either in the sciences or belong to an organization that Linus Pauling was a part of—such as the Linus Pauling Institute or Oregon State University.

People who want to celebrate this holiday can do so by learning more about Mr. Pauling and the contributions he made to the world, both scientifically and through his activism.

Where is it celebrated?
United States (Local observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
February 28 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
February 28 Friday
Last year (2023)
February 28 Tuesday