I find it bizarre that we ‘celebrate’ the birthdays of assassinated or otherwise deceased notable figures of recent history, rather than the assassination/death date.
Yesterday (May 19) was Malcolm X Day. Great. That’s the day he was born. But he was killed on February 21, torn open by 21 lumps of lead. Why isn’t the observance day February 21?
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is another one – celebrated around MLK’s birthday (January 15). Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to ‘celebrate’ the life of MLK on April 4, the day he was murdered?
Hasn’t their life had more of an impact on society as a whole because they were killed?
Interesting to note, as comparison, that many ‘Saints Days’ are celebrated or observed on the day that particular individual, real or imagined, was martyred (burned alive, impaled, boiled in oil, whatever).
Jesus H. Christ has the ‘most holy day of the year’ as the day he was allegedly speared on the crucifix, and the supposed resurrection day is a poor cousin a couple of days later.
Maybe I’m missing something…
Side note: Australia doesn’t celebrate people by way of observance days, apart from Queen Elizabeth Saxe-Coburg and Gotha’s birthday (not celebrated on or near her actual birthday), so I could only refer to foreign (US) observance days. We don’t even have Harold Holt Day, for fuck’s sake. But, then again, Australia didn’t even bother to have an inquiry into his disappearance – too much effort, and there was beer to be drunk… and then someone thought it would be a real hoot to name a swimming pool after him…
Yours in perplexed confusion,