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It's the "Leaplings" Year

While the jokes about how mature we look for our age may get old, getting to have two birthdays makes it worth it.

By: Konnor Smith

If you know a leap year baby, you are probably among the few that know what a leap day is. Because a year is 365.25 days long, every four years an extra day is added onto the end of February in order to make up for the extra quarter of a day each year. There is a one in 1,461 chance of being born on a leap day. If you were born on February 29th, you can relate to the pros/cons of having this rare birthday. 2020 has a leap day so "leaplings" finally get to have our special day.

History of Leap Day

  • Julius Caesar introduced the first leap day in 45 B.C. once he figured out the calendar was out of whack without it.

  • British tradition says this is the only day a woman can propose to a man.

  • Greek superstition holds that getting married on a leap year will cause bad luck.

  • The first warrants for arrest for suspicion of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials were issued on leap day of 1692.

  • On leap day in 1940, Hattie McDaniel won an Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as Mammy in Gone With the Wind, making her the first African American to win the award.

Famous "Leaplings"

  • 1468- Pope Paul III

  • 1944-Dennis Farina (actor who has performed on New Girl, Miami Vice, and Saving Private Ryan)

  • 1948-Willie Donnell Smith (successful African-American fashion designer, founder of Williwear)

  • 1960- Tony Robbins (motivational speaker)

  • 1988- Lena Johanna Gercke (German model and host, won Germany's Next Top Model)

Leapers of Oklahoma State

I have only met one other person at OSU who shares my birthday, Sam Mulready. Sam is from Jenks, Oklahoma and is a member of Beta Theta Pi. I wanted to interview Sam to see how similar our experiences have been regarding our birthday, and he answered my questions almost exactly how I would have answered them.

When and how do you celebrate your birthday on non-leap Years?

"I used to celebrate my birthday on the 28th of February and my dad always disagreed with me because he said that March 1st is the day after the 28th so that should be when my birthday is, but I would always counter with “well the 28th is the day before March 1st.” But also I liked the 28th because it’s in February. Anyways, recently I have changed my policy since I have come to college because you know when you come to college you can become a new person. I have now decided that on non-leap years I just have 2 birthdays and I celebrate my birthday for 48 hours. Some of my friends celebrate it noon to noon or just pick the day they like better, but I consider both days my birthday now. Like most people though, I really celebrate my birthday on the weekend closest to my birthday and hang out with friends and eat cake and all that fun stuff."

What is the worst joke you have heard about your age?

"I have heard the joke about not being able to drive until I’m 64 way too many times, and also just hearing that I look really old for my age is a classic one."

Being a "Leapling" Is Not as Bad as It Seems

While the jokes about how young we are may get old, getting to have two birthdays on non-leap years is fantastic. Facebook may not notify people that it is our birthday 3 out of 4 times, but people tend to remember on their own because of how unique the day is. We always have a fun fact ready to go when needed.


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