On This Date in 1809

I’ve often stopped to wonder at Fate’s peculiar ways; it seems that all the famous men were born on holidays.

-author unknown

Tomorrow will be Friday the 13th, and the day after that is the most awkward day of the year, Valentine’s Day.  I’ve no idea what to get for Helena, but I know I’d damned well better get something.

They Changed the Human Race

They Changed the Human Race

The human race has been around long enough, there is enough history and enough different religions and cultures and traditions, that every day has some  significance.  Today, February 12th, was a very important day in history.  February 12th, 1809.

The repercussions weren’t actually felt until the middle of the century, but two men were born that day who would transform the world dramatically.  In England, Charles Darwin was born.  His family was wealthy and intellectual.  His father was a doctor.  His mother was a Wedgewood, of the famous China making family.  His grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was a well known poet.  Great things were expected of baby Charles.

Lincoln was born on a farm in Kentucky.  It’s possible that he exaggerated his poor beginnings in his campaign literature, but his family was a hell of a long way from rich.

Darwin attended prestigious schools and universities.  Lincoln had very little formal education,  but once he learned to read, he read widely.

The two men did have things in common, though.  They were both ardent abolitionists, which is the thing Lincoln is remembered for.  They were both big into science, which is the thing Darwin is remembered for.

Lincoln made great use of the newly invented telegraph in his  war effort.  And,  he built a hell of a lot of railroads.  Before Lincoln, it took months to get across the continent,   and a lot of people didn’t make it.  After Lincoln it was a a train ride, it took a few days, and it was a relatively safe venture.

It is a coincidence,of course, that they were born on the same day. But it’s a mighty coincidence, and worthy of note.


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