Today is Towel Day! Salute the legacy of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' author Douglas Adams

a hand holding a towel in front of a photograph of a galaxy
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" regards the simple utilitarian item as "just about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can carry." (Image credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Today, May 25, is officially known as Towel Day.

This day is meant to honor the beloved author of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," Douglas Adams, whose writings have inspired multitudes of writers, painters, scientists, filmmakers, astronomers, artists, engineers, space station astronauts and kindred souls of all stripes. It's a special day for fans and friends to gather and celebrate Adams and the sublime insanity of "The Hitchhiker's Guide."

To commemorate Adams on Towel Day, true fans of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" will tote their towels around town and country, sharing personal photos with their honorary towels on social media using the hashtag #TowelDay, posting iconic quotes, re-reading the books, raising a pint while reciting favorite lines, attending lectures, or rewatching the BBC series or 2005 feature film.

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Fans of Douglas Adams' "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" books are a fiercely loyal and exceptionally quirky bunch of intellects that revel in any chance to pay tribute to the esoteric humor and imaginative sci-fi worlds created by Adams starting way back in 1979 with the publishing of that first seminal novel.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said a towel and a copy of the book was aboard the Tesla Roadster that was sent into orbit around the sun aboard the company's first flight test of its Falcon Heavy rocket. SpaceX also previous said it plans to name the first of its many Mars-colonizing ships after "Heart of Gold," a spaceship in "The Hitchhiker's Guide."

The Tesla Roadster sent to space by a SpaceX Falcon Heavy during a 2018 test flight carried a sign featuring a quote from Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." (Image credit: SpaceX)

Towel Day has been celebrated every year since May 25, 2001, two weeks after Adams sadly passed away of a heart attack at the age of 49 on May 11, 2001. 

Adams came into life on March 11, 1952, in Cambridge, England to eventually become a world-renowned author most commonly associated with penning "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series of humorous sci-fi books, which were adapted from his original 1978 radio plays. The prolific writer also did work for the BBC, and classic TV series like "Monty Python" and "Doctor Who."

Douglas Adams relaxes at home June 12, 2000 in Santa Barbara, CA.  (Image credit: Dan Callister/Getty Images)

The symbolic towel that acolytes of the author proudly display or carry around today goes back to the official "The Hitchhiker's Guide," which regards the simple utilitarian item as "just about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can carry."

The handy galactic encyclopedia also considers the sound logic of non-hitchhikers for their sensible conclusions that "any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with." 

Wherever and however you choose to celebrate, we wish you a Happy Towel Day!

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.