|Pope Paschal II|
Sunday, February 2, 2020
AMERICANA / A DAY LIKE NO OTHER SINCE NOV. 11, 1111
GUEST BLOG / By Joel Shannon, Reporter, USA TODAY--Sunday is shaping up to be a unique day for reasons other than the Super Bowl and Groundhog Day: It's also a rare palindrome.
While various forms of palindrome dates are fairly common, 02/02/2020 has the unique distinction of reading the same backward and forward when written out in eight digits in multiple date systems, according to University of Portland professor Aziz Inan.
“We are so lucky to have such a special palindrome date occurring in our lifetime because it’s so rare,” Inan told USA TODAY Saturday.
For starters, it's an eight-digit palindrome: 02022020. Many palindrome dates are only symmetrical if you write the date with seven digits (1-10-2011) — or in some cases even fewer (9-10-19).
But even more rare, according to Inan, is that Sunday's date is an international palindrome: It works whether you write the date as "Month/Day/Year" or "Day/Month/Year," as many countries do.
Inan calls such dates "ubiquitous palindromes," and there won't be another one for 101 years. After that, you'll have to wait until March 3, 3030.
According to Inan's calculations, the last such palindrome date to occur was 11/11/1111 – more than 900 years ago.
WHAT’S UP 1111?
When the year 1111 rolled around in Europe, Louis VI ruled France (1108-1137) and Henry I was the monarch of the Kingdom of England 1100-1135.
Ordelafo Faliero, Doge of Venice ruled from 1102 until 1117 while Henry V was Holy Roman Emperor.
Paschal II was Pope from 1099 until 1118. In Eastern Orthodoxy’s John IX Agapetus began his rule, which lasted until 1134.
By 1111, in literature, 45 years after the Norman conquest of England by William, the Conqueror in 1066, the Anglo-Saxon language is in the midst of a rapid descent as a written literary language.