Tom Thumb Day

January 4th is celebrated every year as Tom Thumb Day. This day commemorates the legacy of Charles Sherwood Stratton, an American actor who achieved fame as a performer in P.T. Barnum’s circus.

He was known as General Tom Thumb and was P.T. Barnum’s first attraction, drawing interest because of his small stature. Stratton quickly shot to fame, and his show was even attended by Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales.

He also was received at the White House by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. And those are only a handful of the things that he achieved during his lifetime. It’s for this reason that this holiday should be observed when it rolls around every year.

The History Of Tom Thumb Day

On January 4th, 1838, Charles Sherwood Stratton was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Although his stature was normal at birth, he soon stopped showing signs of physical development.

This was mainly due to a deficiency in growth hormone, and he would remain only 25 inches tall until he was 9 years old. This is when he began to slowly start growing again, with his height stopping at 3 feet 4 inches tall.

P.T. Barnum, a distant relative of Mr. Stratton, decided to mentor him. Barnum taught him how to dance, sing, mime, and do impersonations. He then gave Stratton the stage name of Tom Thumb—a character based on English folklore.

When Stratton was just 5 years old, he was billed as an 11-year-old dwarf from England as he impersonated characters such as Napoleon. He would end up spending four decades in the entertainment industry before succumbing to a stroke at the age of 45.

Sometime after his death, Tom Thumb Day was created to remember this man’s legacy of entertainment and how his presence rehabilitated what people thought about carnivals’ “human curiosities.”

Some Quick Facts About Tom Thumb

Below are a few quick facts about Tom Thumb that we would like to share with everyone reading this article today. Let’s take a peek at them before we move on with this article.

  • Tom Thumb’s final resting place is Mountain Grove Cemetery in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
  • Tom Thumb died on July 15th, 1883.
  • Charles Stratton’s wife was Lavinia Warren.
  • More than 10,000 people attended Charles Stratton’s funeral.

Observing Tom Thumb Day

Anyone and everyone wishing to observe Tom Thumb Day can do so by learning more about this performer and what he did for the world of entertainment. It’s also a good day to mentor individuals who are less fortunate than you and help them achieve the things that they want to achieve. And finally, we encourage everyone to spread the word about this holiday online by using the hashtag #TomThumbDay.

When is it?
This year (2024)
January 4 Thursday
Next year (2025)
January 4 Saturday
Last year (2023)
January 4 Wednesday
Art & Entertainment, Culture & History