Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Birthdays

It is pretty much common knowledge now that we know that Christmas is not the birthday of the baby Jesus although we celebrate his birth on that day. There has been a lot of controversy over the selection of this date. What was the actual reason for it I can't say. One reason given was to replace the birthday of a pagan god in the minds of people. If so, I would say that it has succeeded.

Controversy extends even to the year he was born. Some say that his birth year was actually a couple of years earlier. That would mean that Jesus was born in the year 2 or 3 B.C.? Would this mean that Jesus was born before the Christ? :)

We do have some people who we know that were born on Christmas day. Some, it could be argued, who is just as well known as Jesus even though they may not be as celebrated.

One would be Sir Isaac Newton. He is the one that is credited for determining the Laws of Motion and the Law of Gravitation. He is a weird phenomenon when it comes to his birth though. He was born on December 25, 1642. That is a fact. What makes this weird is the fact that while some sources recognize Christmas as the day of his birth others will insist that he was born on January 4, 1643. This is one instance where both advocates would be right and neither wrong.

The next one that we find born on Christmas day should bring a small chuckle to anyone. It was the president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat. He was birthed on December 25, 1918. His claim to fame is a peace treaty with Israel, an act that ended up getting Egypt kicked out of the Arab League. His assassination was authorized by a fatwah of a cleric that was later convicted of his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

The next person we’ll find as having his birthday on Christmas is Robert Ripley. He was born on December 25, 1890. He is better known as starting “Ripley’s believe it or not.” He is shown here with the famous Fiji mermaid. It is reported that there are six more of these.

Another one is Humphrey Bogart, born December 25, 1899. Married to Lauren Bacall who happened to be 26 years younger than he was. Won an Oscar for his role in the movie African Queen playing the opposite of Katherine Hepburn and directed by John Huston. He appeared in 75 movies in his career. He was also an excellent chess player, almost achieving the rank of master. There was some controversy of his birth date also. Some claimed he was actually born on January 23, 1899. This was cleared up though in favor of the Christmas date.

Oh, just to clear up the Newton controversy of birth. At the time of his actual birth we were going by the Julian calendar and by that reckoning he was born on Christmas day. Others use the Gregorian calendar to determine the date of birth which would account for his having two birth dates.


BB-Idaho said...

Sir Isaac Newton: Clever fellow..
one of my old favorite Disney cartoons showed him sitting beneath an apple tree. An apple falls and bounces off his old white head. He brightens up and states, "Any particle of matter is attracted to any other particle of matter by a force which is directly proportional to the product of their masses, and inversly proportional to the square of the distance between them!" He ponders a bit, then
simplifies, "...or whatever goes up, must come down." :)

The Griper said...

Walt Disney and Sir Isaac Newton: That, in itself, is quite a pairing. Each are seen as geniuses in their respective fields of endeavor. Geniuses, both of them, yet still merely men no less, no more than you or I.

Yet, though they be but merely men, they and every other man of their mold had one thing in common, the ability to use the imagination as only few people can.

there can be no doubt that both men gave so as to be nothing but beneficial to the world and to each of us personally.

i would also say that my own philosophy of life was greatly influenced by the fact men such as these have lived and are now living and will live.

tweetey30 said...

Ok I know a handful of these people but if you put this into perspective. Dont we all have two separate b-days then depending on what calander you are looking at???

Gayle said...

You read my Christmas post, Griper, so you know I have two seperate birthdays, the one when I was born physically and the one when I was reborn mentally. :)

Interesting post. I love your line asking if it meant Jesus was born before Christ. LOL! That made me laugh out loud.

Merry Christmas my friend, and wishes for a Happy New Year as well.

Indigo Red said...

I've a friend born Dec 25. He celebrates on June 25, his half-birthday. His mother would bake 2 half birthday cakes. At first he didn't like the arrangement, then he figured out that he got gifts twice a year and that was ok.

dcat said...

It’s a matter of life! Hey you were born! Isn’t that enough!

Merry Christmas Griper! :D

BB-Idaho said...

There are any number of dating systems. If the Julian/Gregorian
confusion were not enough, we learn at this interesting
place that Newton was born on the 13th of Tevet, 5403. To day, Christmas, 2008 in the Hebrew calendar is 28 Kislev, 5729.
Merry Kislev!

The Griper said...

he laughs. was waiting for a comment like that from you in regards to the calendars, BB. though i need to correct myself in regards to why he has two birthday dates.


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