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Elvis, Yvette, the Mona Lisa and Me

Elvis and I share a birthday, this past Tuesday.  My brothers have always been good about reminding me of this auspicious connection. 

But that's not all. This week as I turned 64, I learned the whole humbling history of the day.  Facebook Friend Robert McDowell connected me with Wikipedia’s account of my birthday from the year 307 when the Chinese emperor of the Jin dynasty was poisoned and succeeded by his son.

Somehow it put my finite life in perspective, the way looking at the stars is supposed to do.  (I’ve never found that to work, but instead am overwhelmed by bookstores.)

Not only was the 8th of January a tough day for the emperor, but the last execution for blasphemy in Britain took place then.  An Edinburgh student, for goodness sakes, had said the wrong thing, something I often worry about doing.

Other signal moments:

 George Washington delivered the first State of the Union address.

The United States national debt was zero for the only time.

Mona Lisa visited the United States for the first time.

The Watergate break-in trial began.

A French farmer reported a  UFO sighting  claimed to be "perhaps the most completely and carefully documented sighting of all time."

AT&T broke up.

Yvette Mimieux and Stephen Hawking were born.

Queen Elizabeth christened the Queen Mary 2.

Most spookily, January 8 is the feast day of Saint Pega, a religious solitary of the 7th century, a time when a woman retreating to her own hermitage was rare.  Don’t think my parents knew this when they named me Peggy.

On the one hand, all this information – David Bowie was also born on this day – can make me feel like less than a footnote to the eighth day of January.  On the other, it’s just a lot to live up to.

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  • January 11, 2013 at 10:58 am Reply

    Indeed!! Stephen Hawking?  You are in very good company.

    • January 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm Reply

      Indeed, I was very pleased, Kenju.

  • aiki
    January 12, 2013 at 9:09 pm Reply

    If you get 12[?], some small #, people in a room, probability's high two'll have the same birthday– day & month, not year.  Chance/ the part of fortune is a mighty impressive thing. Aiki

    • January 13, 2013 at 8:54 pm Reply

      I’m sure I was meant to be born on St. Pega’s Feast Day, Aiki.

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