'Happy Birthday' has Louisville Roots

One of my favorite go-to gifts to give my close family and friends is a personalized calendar complete with meaningful photographs and reminders of special events. My family in particular is so large that before my calendars no one could remember each other’s birthdays. Embarrassing belated birthday calls had become the norm for my family, and it was becoming a problem. Now, every New Year, my family members look forward to receiving the newest edition of my calendar because without it they would be lost.  

These calendars are not only excellent gifts to give someone else, but make personal organization beautiful enough to hang on the wall. There are several websites that make creating calendars like mine, very simple and inexpensive. My favorite website is Shutterfly.com. All you need to know before starting your calendar are the special dates you want to include and what photos you would like to feature in your calendar. Shutterfly will walk you through step by step in creating your calendar and make it utterly fool proof. You can create all different kinds of calendars, like desk and poster calendars, starting at $9.99 per calendar. Wall calendars start at $21.99 but there are always sales and coupon codes available so make sure you take advantage of them! 

My 2013 calendar is hanging in my kitchen right now and I don’t know what I would do without it. Ten members of my family have birthdays in January and without my calendar I would never remember each of them. January has been named “Birthday Month” in my family (for obvious reasons) and we always do something special to celebrate. One year we went on a cruise, another year we took a trip to Vail, Colorado, and another year we rented out our favorite pizza place, Luigi's Pizza on Main Street in Downtown Louisville. No matter what you do to celebrate your Birthday, there is always one constant; the singing of the “Happy Birthday Song.”   

Many people don’t realize when they are reciting those happy words, that they originated right here in Louisville, Kentucky. Yes, it’s true, the same “Happy Birthday” that has been translated into numerous languages and is sung all over the World to celebrate Birthdays around the globe, was written by two Louisvillians. Mildred Jane Hill and Patty Smith Hill, who are both buried in Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery, are credited in 1893 with writing the very first version of “Happy Birthday to You.” Next time you are Downtown, drive by 920 West Main Street and check out the “Happy Birthday Lot”, a parking lot named after one of the top three most famous songs in the English language. 

Louisville is filled with inspirational people and fun historical facts. Our city has clues to these interesting facts all around us, we just have to learn to open up our eyes and look for them. Next time you attend a birthday party and sing those famous “Happy Birthday” words, maybe you will sing them with a little more pride! 

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