A Brief History
On May 28, 1934, the famous Dionne Quints (quintuplets) were born in an unincorporated rural area of Ontario, Canada, making them instant celebrities. Other births have also captured the imagination of the public, and here we list 10 of the most famous births.
10. Prince William, 1982.
The world was in love with Princess Diana, so when the Princess of Wales gave birth to William, a healthy future King of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, many people in the vast former British Empire celebrated. For some reason, many in the United States were captivated as well.
9. John F. Kennedy, Jr., 1960.
Only 16 days after being elected president of the United States, John Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline celebrated the birth of their second child with the rest of the US and the Western World. Note: The family did not call him John-John, that was an invention of the press. Unfortunately, JFK Jr. died at age 38 when the airplane he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.
8. Virginia Dare, 1587.
The first baby born to English settlers in the New World, Virginia was born at the Roanoke colony which was found deserted with no trace of the inhabitants in 1590. Not only the answer to a trivia question, Virginia’s name has been used in all sorts of media, including song, film, television, comic books and poems. Her name has also been used for commercial purposes to sell a wide variety of products and places have been named after her in the US. Did Virginia and her fellow colonists die when the “Lost Colony” disappeared, or did she live among the Native Americans in the area. For now, those questions are unanswered.
7. Chang and Eng, 1811.
This pair of conjoined brothers are the original source of the term, Siamese Twins. Not surprisingly, they were born in what is now Thailand (formerly Siam) to a poor fishing family of Chinese ethnicity. Joined at the chest with their livers fused, the brothers were exhibited on a world tour in 1829. Later going into business for themselves, they moved to North Carolina and became US citizens. The twins married a pair of sisters and had 10 and 11 children respectively. They even bought slaves to work on their plantation. They each had a son that fought for the Confederacy and they died on the same day in 1874.
6. Birth of a Nation, 1915.
A groundbreaking silent film, this movie is known for its film techniques and influence on the movie industry rather than its content. The film is about the US Civil War and includes the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and portrays the Ku Klux Klan as heroes. The movie also portrays black men (cracked fact: played by white men in black make up) as lazy, stupid, and sexually aggressive toward white women. Most lists of influential movies rate this film near the top. It was the highest grossing film of all time (for 24 years) until surpassed by Gone With The Wind.
5. “Octomom,” 2009.
Nadya Suleman, known in the media as “Octomom,” and her babies became instant celebrities in 2009 when the octuplets were born. Suleman, an unemployed mother of 6 living on welfare conceived the babies through in vitro fertilization as she had her previous 6 children. The idiocy of providing a person clearly incapable of raising 14 children with 8 babies at once raised an uproar over the morality of fertility doctors. Suleman was 33 years old at the time of the births and was further ridiculed for having had plastic surgery in an attempt to look like Angelina Jolie. In April of 2012 Suleman filed for bankruptcy, and in July of that year starred in a porno film, Octomom Home Alone. She now works as a dancer in adult entertainment venues.
4. Louise Brown, 1978.
The answer to trivia questions today, Louise was the first “test tube baby,’ the product of in vitro fertilization. This process consists of taking a sperm cell and injecting it into an egg cell in a laboratory, then inserting the fertilized egg into a woman’s uterus. The birth of Louise gave hope to many childless couples that were otherwise doomed to remain childless.
3. Dolly the Sheep, 1996.
Called the World’s Most Famous Sheep, Dolly’s birth is famous as the first mammal successfully cloned. (She lived for over 6 years.) This birth basically proved that humans or any other mammal could also be cloned, a sobering thought indeed.
2. Dionne Quints, 1934.
Their birth was such a sensation they and the government of Ontario made a fortune putting them on display. It may be hard to imagine today what a big deal this was, but this birth easily out-hyped the other 8 on the list below it combined.
1. Jesus Christ, circa year 0.
No other birth has been so celebrated as the birth of Jesus, commemorated each year as a national holiday in most Christian countries. In the US, even non-Christians are likely to appreciate the day off from work, the office parties, the gifts under the tree, and (if you are a businessperson) the extra holiday business. The cracked thing about Christmas is that for the first few hundred years after the birth of Christ, Christmas was not a major holiday and the actual date is not known.
Question for students (and subscribers): Which births would you include in this list? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Caldwell, Aaron. The Ultimate Collection of Famous Virgin Births. 2013.