Birthdays in the 19th century

Amy ... you awake?

It's your birthday and I want to be the first person to wish you a happy one.

It's your special day. I mean, not so special that I'm bringing you back to the 21st century or anything, but still ... special.

Do you know if there's going to be a birthday celebration with the family you live with in the 19th century?

Yes? That's wonderful.

And tomorrow you and Charlotte the maid are meeting with George, the gentleman who likes Charlotte not knowing that she's, you know, a maid?

But, of course he will be told the absolute truth tomorrow. Isn't that right, Amy?




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Ancient Romans were the first to celebrate birthdays, but only for men.
In the 1100s, churches recorded birth dates of children and women, and families celebrated these milestones.
In the mid-1800s when you currently exist, home parties to celebrate birthdays are commonplace. Singing around the piano is a regular activity for invited guests. Games and toys for children and bouquets of flowers for young ladies are popular gifts. 

The song, "Happy Birthday to You" will be created in 1893, becoming the most recognized song in the English language over time, and its lyrics will be translated into many languages. Attributed to American sisters Patty and Mildred Hill in 1893, the claim that the sisters composed the tune is often challenged. 
The lyrics and tune of "Happy Birthday to You" will first appear in print in 1912. Copyright status debates will draw much attention.
It will be in 1962 when Marilyn Monroe will sing "Happy Birthday to You" to President John F. Kennedy and this rendition will become legendary.