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Happy Birthday to you…happy, happy birthday to you… happy birthday dear viewer.. happy birthday to you… And ya know, I can legally sing that song because for 80 years, it was NOT free to sing. It’s true! Even restaurants whose employees would sing the happy song for their patrons had to pay royalties. Birthdays are great! Except when you’re old like me… you just get older. Uggghhh… But anyway, Happy Birthday to you, so let’s all celebrate our birthdays today – no matter when they are – and find out about some very unusual birthdays. Quick, blow all the candles out!
1. Rachel Beckwith, at the young age of 5, made the decision to have all of her hair cut off in the “Locks of Love” movement, donations of which helped to make wigs to those who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy. Four years later, for her 9th birthday in 2011, she asked that each of her birthday party guest not bring her any gifts, but a $9 donation so she could donate $300 to help 15 people living in third-world countries get clean drinking water. She could only raise $220, however, and told her mom that she would try harder the next year. Sadly, that next year would never come, because 5 weeks after her birthday Rachael was in a serious car wreck, suffering a head injury and spinal cord trauma. As word of her injuries spread and doctors fought to save her, donations started pouring in in Rachael’s name for the clean water project. In a short time, $42,000 was raised in donations. Rachael died of her injuries on July 23, 2011. As word further spread on her push to get clean water to poor countries, more and more donations started going toward that cause. By October of 2011, more than $1.2 million had been raised. Donations can still be made in Rachael’s name. Happy Birthday, Rachael. June 12.
2. In 2011, a $3,000 cake was stolen from the birthday celebrations of Paris Hilton, who, coincidentally, shares the same birthday as yours truly. Can’t think of a better role model to share it with. Anyway, the thief snuck around and grabbed the masterful cake and made off with it, minutes after Paris blew out the candles. He later posted on Facebook, identifying himself as Paz, that “I woke up this morning with a birthday cake in my living room. It’s big. It’s red. It says ‘Paris’. And it’s f***ing delicious.” A short time later, Paz wrote that he took the pricey cake to LA’s famous skidrow and served up 125 pieces to the homeless. Outstanding move, Paz. I’m sure Paris and her Barbie doll friends would have worried too much about the calories. And Happy Birthday, Paris. Feb. 17.
3. How inspired are you when you hear that theme from Rocky? I know I am… But the movie Rocky didn’t just fall out of the sky and land in the movie theaters. Actually, Sylvester Stallone, who, of course, played Rocky in all the movies, was pretty much down on his luck on his 29th birthday and had only $106 to his name. He felt he had to write about something, but he had so many ideas in his head, he just couldn’t focus on anything. While dealing with this frustrating dilemma, he decided to spend most all of his money to go see the Muhammad Ali / Chuck Wepner fight. Wepner was not expected to do well at all against Ali. But during that 1975 fight, , Stallone witnessed an incredible amount of heart and courage from Wepner, who fought Ali as hard as he could and ultimately being knocked out in the 15th and final round. It was the triumph of the human spirt. And after that night, that night of Stallone’s 29th birthday, Rocky Balboa was born. Happy Birthday, Sylvester, July 6.
4. At 111 years old, Sogen Kato was believed to be the oldest man in Tokyo. Well, that’s what everyone believed. But when Japanese officials finally gained entry to Kato’s home, which they had not been able to do in previous attempts, they found a mummified man lying in Kato’s bed. Before discovering Kato’s body, family members had repeatedly chased away officials, and they later discovered why. It seems those family members had been drawing on the widower’s pension checks that Kato was getting before he died….some 30 years earlier. Happy Birthday, mummified man whose family committed fraud for 30 years. Date unknown.
5. William “Billy” Windsor is a cashmere goat that served as a lance corporal in the 1st Battalion of the Royal Welsh, an infantry unit of the British Army. And yes, I said, a goat. He was actually a ranking member of the unit, officials have confirmed.He marched at the head of all ceremonies and was in every parade the regiment participated. During a parade celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s 80th birthday, Billy refused to take orders, failed to keep in step and attempted to headbutt a drummer. He was charged with unacceptable behavior and demoted to fusilier. Happy Birthday, Queen Elizabeth, April 21. And Happy Birthday, Billy, wherever you are.
6. Famous novelist Robert Louis Stevenson was on friend terms with many of the colonial leaders and their families. One of the daughters of Land Commissioner Henry Clay Ide was depressed because she was born on Christmas Day and had to share the day with all the other celebrations, which made her birthday seem less significant. So, as a gift, Stevenson formally and officially offered his birthdate to the young girl so she could have a day to call her own. Happy Birthday, Robert,and the young girl. November 13.
7. In 2006, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il was so enamored with the immense size of a German man’s rabbits, that he wanted to fly the man to his country to breed these large dog-sized rabbits to yield the meat from them – about 15 pounds each — and stop the starvation problem of his people. The German man, Karl Szmolinski, told the leader that was a crazy idea because it took far too much food to take care of the large rabbits, making the hunger situation even worse. So instead, Kim Jong-Il ordered 12 of the giant rabbits to breed later. It is believed the North Korean leader decided to eat all the huge rabbits on his birthday. Hmmmm… that’s 15 pounds of meat times 12 rabbits… equaling 180 pounds….. ok… it’s possible. Happy Birthday, you crazy little man, you. February 16.
8. Drew Barrymore was born of a very impressive pedigree, with many of her family and ancestors involved in the American stage and cinema. But she became a brat early in life, smoking at 9, drinking at 11, pot at 12 and coke at 13. She was a bad, bad girl. Then, at 19, she posed for Playboy, and on her 20th birthday, Godfather Steven Spielberg presented her with a quilt and a card that read “Cover yourself up.” Later, on the David Letterman Show, Drew climbed onto his desk and bared her breasts to him during his birthday celebration. Ahhh… to host your own show. Happy Birthday Drew, February 22, and Dave, April 12.
9. Hunter Thompson gave Jack Nicholson a birthday to remember. He brought over to Nicholson’s house a massive amplifier, a tape recording of a pig being eaten alive by bears, a 1,000,000-watt spotlight, and a 9-mm Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol and a box of high-powered ammunition.” Oh, I forgot. There was also a frozen elk’s heart left on the actor’s doorstep. Then Thompson got in his Jeep and fired up the tape while shooting off a few rounds. All went off without a hitch and Nicholson probably got a kick out of it, but considering he’d just been targeted by a stalker and his two young daughters were in his home at the time, it was kind of stretch in tactful birthday presents. But anyway, Happy Birthday, Jack. April 22.
10. In 1909, George Spencer Millet was celebrating his 15th birthday in the Metropolitan Life Building in New York, where he worked as an office boy. After several young women learned it was his birthday, they rushed at him to give him kisses. In an attempt to evade all those puckered lips coming at him, George tripped and fell onto a knife-like device, which punctured his heart. He died soon afterward. Happy Birthday, George. Feb. 15. Your 15th was a real bummer.
That’s all for today. Hey… when’s your birthday? Let us know in the comments section below. Don’t forget to like us and be sure to subscribe for more stories like this. Get addicted to the good stuff.