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5 Great Highs in High Five History

For National High Five Day (April 17), we celebrate the world’s bro-iest hand gesture. Up top!


Photo: Jack Gruber / USA Today Sports

1977 - After an HR, L.A. Dodger Dus­ty Baker raises a hand to Glenn Burke, who consummates history’s first high five—but misses a great chance to armpit-tickle a baseball legend.

1980 - High five is added to the Oxford Dictionary, defined as “a gesture of celebration in which two people slap each other’s open palm.” It doesn’t sound so fun when you put it like that, Oxford Killjoy-nary.

2002 - National High Five Day (NH5D) is created when a group of students at the University of Virginia set up a stand giving out lemonade and hand slaps. Today NH5D uses the high five to raise money for various charities. May we suggest a slogan for women’s health? Slap Here for Pap Smear!

2013 - The Timber­wolves sell $75 tickets for their match-up with the Heat, which includes a high-five with LeBron James. As they say, if you can’t stand the Heat…extort some money from all their fans.

2013 - USA Today dubs golfer Adam Scott’s post-putt hand-lock with caddie Steve Williams “the greatest high-five in sports history.” Later their palms smoked cigarettes and basked in the afterglow.


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