Oldest Living ‘Leap Year Baby’ Celebrates 25th Birthday At 100-Years-Old
Born in 1916, Daisy Belle Ward is celebrating her 25th birthday – and no, that isn’t a typo.
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Ward is America’s oldest-living “leap baby.” She was born on Feb. 29, 1916, which means she has only had 25 calendar birthdays, but has lived 100 years.
But don’t let the fact that she’s being wheeled around in a wheelchair fool you. This 100-year-old can still cut a rug on the dance floor, is very alert and loves to smile and laugh at great jokes.
Ward, who usually celebrates her birthday with a dinner amongst family and friends, went all out this year for the quarter-century/centennial bash, reports CBS News. The birthday girl came dressed in her Sunday best for the celebration, which included an 80-piece marching band, family, friends, and the press.
Why do we even have leap years anyway? Why not just get the whole 365 days and be done with it? Well, that’s just it, we were taught in school that the earth takes 365 days to make full revolution around the sun, but it’s actually 365 day, 5 hours and a number of minutes and seconds to be exact.
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So, way back in 46 B.C., Julius Caesar realized the calendar they were following wasn’t working. So he consulted with an astronomer. Together they realized what the Egyptians had already discovered — that we needed that extra day every four years to stay on track. So he instituted the Julian calendar.
The solar year is actually only .242 days longer than the calendar year, and not an even .25. So when we add a full day every four years, we’re actually left with a surplus of roughly 11 minutes every year. And that can start to add up.
Then finally in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII fixed the extra minutes and instituted the Gregorian calendar which we still follow today.
But all that doesn’t matter to Daisy. As long as she celebrates with her family friends with good music and good food, it’s all good with her.
Ms. Ward celebrates her three-digit birthday with a growing number of centenarians — people who live to be beyond a full century. In an effort to try to live long like her and others we did some digging and found three common traits that all centenarians have. Take a look below:
1. Female gender. It is overwhelmingly women who live to age 100. In 2010, 82.8 percent of centenarians were female. For every 100 females age 100 or older, there are only 20.7 males the same age. Females also make up 61.9 percent of those in their 80s and 72.2 percent of people in their 90s.
2. City living. A large majority of the oldest U.S. citizens live in urban areas. As age increases, the percentage living in…