The Unhappy Mr. Happy Newyear

Happy Newyear was a carpenter who lived in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. Technically his first name was 'Emil', but everyone, including his parents, had been calling him Happy since he was a child .

The media found out about his unusual name sometime in the early 1940s, and from that point on Newyear would be hounded by reporters every New Year.

Minneapolis Star - Dec 31, 1943

Brantford Expositor - Jan 4, 1947

At first he reluctantly played along with it all. In 1947, he and his wife even participated in a New Year's show in Toronto. But as the years went by, it's evident he had had enough. By the 1960s, when reporters were still seeking him out each year, he would simply close the door in their face.

Sioux City Journal - Jan 2, 1960

I think 'Happy' or 'Hap' must be a fairly common nickname among people whose last name is Newyear. A quick search of cemetery records found two Newyears with the nickname 'Hap': Francis "Hap" Newyear and Harold "Hap" Newyear.
     Posted By: Alex - Sun Dec 31, 2023
     Category: Odd Names | New Year

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