Dearest Shirleen,
Elder Sister of Mine,
Eldest of ALL the Siblings,
Eldest Grandchild of the Matriarchal side of the Family,
Eldest Grandchild of the Patriarchal side of the Family,

I want you to have the Most SPECIAL Fortieth Birthday of ALL. What a rite of passage! I cannot wait until I take this momentous step myself. Oh – wait – yes I can.

Instead of the standard Birthday Blather, as you are a scholar of history and science and anything else that strikes your fancy, here are some most interesting facts about your natal day:
128,767 People

Cool, huh? But there’s more! Here’s a plethora of fun birthday facts from “The Death Report – Morbid Facts About Your Birthday:”

People who died on December 17, 1967 (the exact day you were born)

  • Harold Holt, Australian Prime Minister
  • Jack Perrin, American actor

Unusual Deaths in 1967

  • …a flash fire began in the pure oxygen environment during a training exercise inside the unlaunched Apollo 1 Spacecraft, killing command pilot Gus Grissom, senior pilot Ed White, and pilot Roger B. Chaffee. The door to the capsule was unable to be opened during the fire because of its particular design. Had the soviet union revealed the earlier death of Valentin Bondarenko, this incident could likely have been avoided.
  • Vladimir Komarov became the first person to die during a space mission after the parachute of his capsule failed to deploy following re-entry.

Natural disasters in 1967

  • Belvidere – Oak Lawn Tornado Outbreak
  • Caracas earthquake
  • St. Louis tornado outbreak

People who died on December 17 (various years)

  • 2006 – Larry Sherry, American baseball player
  • 2005 – Marc Favreau, French Canadian humourist (Sol)
  • 2005 – Jack Anderson, American journalist
  • 2003 – Otto Graham, American football player
  • 2003 – Ed Devereaux, Australian actor
  • 2002 – James Hazeldine, British actor
  • 1999 – Rex Allen, American actor, singer and songwriter
  • 1999 – Grover Washington, Jr., American saxophonist
  • 1998 – Claudia Benton, Peruvian, Pediatric Neurologist and researcher
  • 1992 – Dana Andrews, American actor
  • 1987 – Linda Wong, pornographic actress
  • 1987 – Marguerite Yourcenar, Belgian novelist
  • 1982 – Homer S. Ferguson, American politician
  • 1978 – Don Ellis, American jazz band leader
  • 1964 – Victor Franz Hess, Austrian-born physicist, Nobel laureate
  • 1962 – Thomas Mitchell, American actor
  • 1957 – Dorothy L. Sayers, British writer
  • 1940 – Alicia Boole Stott, Irish mathematician
  • 1933 – Thubten Gyatso, 13th Dalai Lama
  • 1917 – Frank Gotch, wrestler
  • 1917 – Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, British physician
  • 1909 – Léopold II of Belgium
  • 1907 – William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, Irish-born physicist
  • 1897 – Alphonse Daudet, French writer
  • 1833 – Kaspar Hauser, German foundling
  • 1830 – Simón Bolívar, Venezuelan-born libertator, six nations
  • 1721 – Richard Lumley, 1st Earl of Scarbrough, English statesman
  • 1663 – Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba
  • 1273 – Rumi (b.1207)
  • 1195 – Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut
  • 1187 – Pope Gregory VIII
  • 942 – William Longsword

What auspicious company! Men and women of science, the screen, the pen – a Nobel laureat, a Dalai Lama, a Pope, royalty, revolutionaries, PORN STARS – what more can I say? Oh – I can tell you that we are directly related to William Longsword (843 – December 17, 942), also known as Guillaume Longue-Épée and Viljâlmr Langaspjôt, who was one of the six famous Dukes of Normandy (all ancestors of ours); he was, more specifically, our somethingth great-grandfather.

But seriously (she says after a long report of death facts – HAH), you are an inspiration to me, my bionic, Bluetooth® enabled big sis. And though I haven’t figured it out yet (let’s see, dinner is at about 6:00 – I still have a few hours), I really want to do something special for you – I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. If I fail miserably, know that the thought counts. Right?