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Musings on a February morning

It’s February 2, 2020.

Write it out numerically, and it’s a palindrome — it can be read just as well forwards or backwards.


That’s cool. But The Legal Genealogist notes that it’s not all that rare. We’ve already seen a bunch of them in the last few years — October 2, 2001 (10022001), January 2, 2010 (01022010), November 2, 2011 (11022011).1

So why is everybody touting this one?

Because it’s a truly international palindrome. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are. It doesn’t matter whether your dating system is American — month day year — or non-American — day month year.

It’s a palindrome either way.

That’s what makes it, as some web sites are saying, the first such palindrome in more than 900 years (“The last time such a palindrome occurred was 909 years ago on 11/11/1111”) and “the only time the special sequence will occur this century.”2


Oh, and another thing…

Today is also Groundhog Day. Both Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania and Staten Island Chuck in New York failed to see their shadows, so we’re all looking forward to an early spring, right?

Sure… except for the fact that the predictions of Phil and his predecessors have been tracked since 1887, and Phil’s been right only 39% of that time, according to the Stormfax Almanac. He gets only slightly higher marks — 40% accuracy — from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which took a look at this for the years 2008-2018.3

Oh, and another thing…

It’s Superbowl Sunday today, too. The championship game of the National Football League kicks off at 6:30 p.m. EST.

None of which has the slightest thing to do with genealogy, right?


There is another thing…

There’s that one Superbowl ad that might make a genealogist — or anybody with a heart — cry.

Take a gander at the Google ad, “Loretta,” that will air during Superbowl 2020.

Oh, and another thing…

Happy February.

With or without more winter before we get to spring.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “And another thing…,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 2 Feb 2020).


  1. See “Palindrome Dates in the 21st Century,” LiveScience, posted 2 Nov 2011 ( : accessed 2 Feb 2020).

    And we’ll see a bunch more in the coming years, including one just next year — December 2, 2021 (12022021).[2. Ibid.

  2. See e.g. Marisa Dellatto, “Tomorrow is the only palindrome date of this century,” The New York Post, posted 1 Feb 2020 ( : accessed 2 Feb 2020).
  3. See “How accurate is Punxsutawney Phil?,” EarthSky, posted 1 Feb 2020 ( : accessed 2 Feb 2020).
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