Archive for March 12th, 2012


On My Day

March 12, 2012

I was born fifty years ago today.  While my mom might see this as one of the more important days for that reason, the rest of the world may need a bit more to truly appreciate March 12th as a special day.  Of course, many may point out their own birthday with its special events too, but that is for them to do.  Besides, it’s my birthday after all so just go with it.

Today, March 12, 2012, is the 72nd day of the year.  Normally, it is the 71st but with leap year and all, it moved down one space.  Even so, regardless of leap year, there are 294 days until the end of the year.  You know, thinking about leap year, one has to wonder why we did not just expand the length of a second a bit to make up the difference so there would be no need for leap year.  Oh well, we are sort of in it now and it would be more trouble than it’s worth to change.  Today, the moon is waning gibbous, which means it is less than full and more than half-lighted, but getting smaller as it moves to a New Moon.  While the exact duration changes depending upon your location, in North America, today has between 11 and 12 hours of sunlight.

The weather on March 12th is somewhat unpredictable as these days in March precede the season changing from winter to spring.  For instance, on St. Simons Island, GA (where I grew up) the record low temperature is 33°F from 1969 and a record high of 90°F just two years earlier.  So some years you can work on your tan while other years you feel more like character from Nanook of the North.

OK, so as interesting as all that may be, it does not make March 12th all that special.  Here are a few more interesting points about it:

  • In 1912 in Savannah, Georgia, Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Guides, later known as Girl Scouts.  FYI – that’s 100 years ago today!  Just think of all those wonderful cookies!  That in itself makes today special.
  • In 1911 Capitan Albert Berry performed the first documented parachute jump from an airplane.  His account says he fell over 500 feet before shoot opened.  That must have been a heart-stopper.  It is scary to jump out of a plane today, imagine being the first to do it.
  • The House and Senate vote to accept Hawaii as the 50th state.  It was not officially admitted until August 21st, after residents voted on statehood but the day House and Senate agree on something must be special.
  •  In 1789, the US Post Office was founded, special thanks to Ben Franklin.  Who does not like getting a letter?  They are much better than email.  Why not celebrate today and write a friend a letter?  I bet it makes you feel as special as it does them to receive it.
  •  In 1970, the voting age is lowered from 21 to 18.  Again, it is the House and Senate thing but this time we throw in ¾ of the states too!
  • In a strange coincidence, two figures from two of the greatest rock and roll bands got married two years apart.  Paul McCartney (The Beatles) married Linda Eastman in 1969 and Mick Jagger (The Rolling Stones) married Bianca Morena in 1971.
  • In 1945, Britain celebrates the first Empire Day.  Not sure what to make of this one but sharing my birthday with Empire Day does sound special.
  • In 1933, FDR gives his first “fireside chat.”  Just think how nice it would be today if one of our leaders would simply explain what is going on without all the rhetoric.  How special would that be?
  • In 1903, the New York Highlanders become members of the American League.  You may know them better as the New York Yankees.  Lou Gehrig is one of my childhood heroes.  It is nice for me to share a point in common with his team.

The list of famous people born on March 12th is pretty impressive too:

  • 1962, Darryl Strawberry, born in Los Angeles, California.  He played right field for the Mets, Dodgers, and Yankees.
  • 1960, Courtney B. Vance, born in Detroit, Michigan, actor, Hamburger Hill, Law and Order CI
  • 1956, Dale Murphy, born in Portland, Oregon, slugger, Atlanta Braves, 2 time NL MVP
  • 1948, James Taylor, born in Boston, Massachusetts, vocalist and guitarist, Up on the Roof
  • 1947, Mitt Romney, American Politician
  • 1946, Liza Minnelli, born in Hollywood, California, singer and actress, Sterile Cuckoo, Cabaret
  • 1940, Al Jarreau, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, jazz singer, Moonlighting
  • 1939. Barbara Feldon, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, actress, Agent 99-Get Smart
  • 1932, Andrew Young, U.S. ambassador to United Nations, 1977 – 1979, Mayor-D-Atlanta
  • 1931, William “Buckwheat” Thomas, actor, Little Rascals
  • 1922, Jack Kerouac, Beat writer, On the Road, Mexico Blues
  • 1921, Giovanni Agnelli, CEO, Fiat Automakers.  This has to be special, Fiat owns Ferrari!  Without question, my favorite car.
  • 1831, Clement Studebaker, automobile pioneer.  We do not hear much about Studebaker today.  The stopped making cars in the 60s, still there is one small slice of the old company left – AM General.  If you do not recognize the name, you sure will the product they make, the Humvee.  Another notable vehicle from them is the Jeep of WWII.   Another point, go Google “Studebaker trees,” it will show you something really neat.

Of course, this is just a small sample of the many, many famous people and events that are tied to March 12.  If I had to pick one that reflects me most it is being born on the same day of the year as Jack Kerouac.  That explains a lot actually.

So, there is it – my special day; my gift to you.  Go out and enjoy it and embrace the wonderful world out there.  I only ask that you take a moment and look around to see it.  Better still, perhaps this will inspire you to find out about your special day and its wonderful ties to you.

%d bloggers like this: