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Christopher K's Blog

Happy (belated??) Birthday George!

History is one of my favorite subjects to learn about, so here's a fun historical quirk about George Washington, who's birthday we just celebrated as part of President's Day.  Hopefully you know that we traditionally celebrate our first president's birthday on February 22nd.  But he was wasn't actually born on February 22.  Huh?  Here's the story... It sounds very strange to us now in our modern 21st century world, but back in the 1700's the entire planet didn't use the same calendar!  This would be unthinkable for us today, but back then when communication (and everything else for that matter) moved very slowly, the fact that Great Britian and the American colonies were 11 days off from the rest of Europe evidently wasn't that big of a deal.  In 1750 though, British Parliament finally decided to change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, so now all of Europe would synch up and agree on what the date was.  The Brits decided to implement the change in September 1752, but here's the funny part: since on the old calendar they were 11 days behind the rest of the continent, to even things out they had to skip directly from September 2nd to September 14th that year!  Like those 11 days didn't even exist!  And if that wasn't odd enough, now to keep things correct historically, the dates of everything that happened before September 14, 1752 suddenly had to get pushed forward 11 days.  So if your birthday used to be February 11th, it suddenly was now February 22nd!  Such was the case with George Washington, who celebrated Feb. 11th as his birthday up until he was 20, and then had to get used to his new birthday of Feb. 22nd.  How strange would that be, having your birthday change in the middle of your life?  Well, I hope you enjoyed this random historical moment, now back to your current fast-paced life!


02/23/2009 3:06PM
Happy (belated??) Birthday George!
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