It’s technically the seventh where I am, so I can go ahead and declare today my birthday. The age on my NaNoWriMo profile will still be technically accurate until this afternoon, so I can put off changing that for now.
I’ve complained many times in the past that nothing has ever happened on my birthday. No exciting births, no exciting observances. But then I started looking around and found more than I ever imagined.
First, the most obvious: Christmas is celebrated on my birthday in the Eastern Orthodox church. This amuses me because I was supposed to be born on 25 December. Obviously I was not, but I still turned out be a Christmas baby anyway, just of another kind.
In 1610 Galileo wrote the letter mentioning three of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter: Io, Callisto, and Europa. Ganymede wasn’t discovered until the 13th.
The Italian flag as we know it today was first used in 1797.
In 1894 W.K. Dickson received a patent for motion picture film. I didn’t know the name of the person behind this, and I’d be willing to be that most people don’t.
The predecessor to SOS, CQD, was formed in 1904. I see why SOS was formed. CQD isn’t quite as catchy.
The announcement that the US had developed the first hydrogen bomb came on my birthday in 1952.
The Senate trial for the impeachment of Bill Clinton began on my birthday in 1999. I remember this and the occasional discussion in my sixth grade social studies class. The main thing I got out of it is that for some reason the general public cares about the personal lives of public figures.
The 13th US President, Millard Fillmore, was born on my birthday in 1800. I knew this at some point, but it had fallen out of my memory over the years.
Here’s one that only meant something to me over the last few years and for some reason didn’t show up in the list of mathematicians my sixth grade math teacher had. Émile Borel, half of the Heine-Borel Theorem I loved so much in real analysis, was born on my birthday in 1871.
Some other cool people who share my birthday include Katie Couric, the bassist of The Go-Go’s, and Nicolas Cage. Now why did I ever think I had a boring birthday? Honestly, my birthday feels like it’ll never be the same now that I share it with Borel.