March 13, 2012 - Happy Birthday, Donald Duck!

Sometimes it's hard to figure out the birthday of someone who lived long ago. For example, nobody knows for sure the birthday of famous author and playwright William Shakespeare! We have a record of the date that he was baptized (April 26, 1564), and since babies were commonly baptized two or three days after they were born, in England back then, we commonly celebrate Shakespeare's birth on April 23, 1564. (Coincidentally, Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616. If our educated guess about his birthday is correct, he died on his 52nd birthday.)

So, if it is tough to figure out the birthday of someone who lived decades or centuries ago, how hard is it to figure out the birthday of someone who never lived at all?

Someone has gone to a fair amount of work to figure out Donald Duck's birthday. The anonymous writer explains:

Donald Duck's birthday is commonly stated as being 1934 June 9, the day he debuted in the Silly Symphony cartoon 'The Wise Little Hen.' But this definition of his 'birthday' is a little unsettling. Because if someone has to have appeared in a Hollywood film in order to have been 'born,' then I myself must still be in my mother's womb awaiting my Silver Screen debut!”

The writer goes on to investigate what day Donald Duck was actually hatched, and I at least enjoyed reading how he came to the conclusion that he was born (hatched, really) on this date in 1914.

Celebrate Donald Duck!

  • Do an online jigsaw puzzle of Donald Duck. (Note that you can change the cut of the puzzle to make it easier or harder. Click “Change Cut” at the far left side of the screen.) 

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