Today is a day that comes only once every 100 years -- 12/12/12. Here are some intriguing dates that have been the source of fascination and speculation.
9/29/29 – Math lovers share an affinity for palindromic calendar dates, which can be read symmetrically backward and forward in their numerical date format. But Sept. 29, 1929 must have been a banner day for number crunchers as it's one of the few dates that have more than one palindromic form: 9/29, 9/29/29 and 9/29/1929.
1961 – Few can say they've lived in a perfect year, but for those around in 1961, congratulations. Those alive in 1961 did something no one else did in the last century, and that no one else will do for 400 years: read your year upside down or right side up. While there's no particular date that stands out as odd that year, the fact that this calendar anomaly won't occur again until the year 6009 may lend credence to the notion that the 60s were a time of new perspectives.
12/31/99 – The Prince song "1999" enjoyed new life as the world amped up massive celebrations in preparation for the new millennium. There was widespread fear that the world’s data storage systems would fail, since many computers were programmed to handle only two-digit year dates. People thought the "Y2K bug" would shut down the world's computers and data storage systems. It didn't.
04/05/06 – Fans of odd calendar dates and other geeks were tickled by this date and time: 1:02:03 on 04/05/06.
06/06/06 – The Bible's Book of Revelation calls 666 the number of the beast, so more than a few eyebrows were raised as June 6, 2006 approached. In the days prior, the evangelical Raptureready.com website said the day had a "rapture index" of 156, suggesting that it was "fasten your seatbelts" time, the Associated Press reported. Others cashed in -- moviemakers released the remake of the horror film "The Omen" on the date.
07/07/07 – Couples flooded Las Vegas and overwhelmed wedding chapels on what Time magazine predicted might be the most popular wedding day ever.
08/08/08 – Opening ceremonies for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China were held on Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. The number eight is considered auspicious in Chinese culture and traditions because its pronunciation sounds similar to the words for prosper, wealth and fortune in various regional dialects.
09/02/10 – A celebrity-studded gala event was held in Beverly Hills for what fans of the hit 1990s show "Beverly Hills, 90210" called International 90210 Day. Fans formed a Facebook page to lobby TBS for a show marathon and President Barack Obama for an officially recognized day. Both bids failed.
10/10/10 – "Binary 42 Day," or "Decimal Day," as some have dubbed it, doesn't have the negative connotations attached to it that other mathematically distinctive days seem to have. However, some have embraced the uniqueness of this numerically divisible day to foster change in their environment through political action. A Global Work Party has been scheduled on this date by groups seeking climate solutions.
12/21/12 – This date marks the end of a 5,126-year era in the Maya Long Count Calendar, but there are varying opinions on what the culmination of this date really means to humanity -- and to the ancient Mayans. While there have been a wave of books and movies depicting a coming apocalypse, some scholars say the Mayans foretold no such doomsday. However, astronomers have predicted that for the first time in about 26,000 years, the sun will be aligned with the center of the Milky Way on this date.
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