NATIONAL PI DAY
National Pi Day on March 14th recognizes the mathematical constant π. Also known as pi, the first three and most recognized digits are 3.14. The day is celebrated by pi enthusiasts and pie lovers alike!
Pi is the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter. While the idea of pi has been known for nearly 4000 years, accurately calculating it has been something of slightly more recent mathematical development. By 2000 BC, the Egyptians and Babylonians accurately used the constant to build. Mathematicians such as Archimedes, Fibonacci, François Viète, Adriaan van Roomen, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz all calculated pi by various methods. However, in 1706, Welsh mathematician William Jones introduced the Greek letter π to represent the ratio of a circle’s circumference; pi.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPiDay
Celebrate the day with a slice of a pie cut using the mathematical constant of pi. Try these other ideas, too!
- Host a pie-eating contest.
- Discuss the significance of the number π.
- Watch the Life of Pi.
- Look for 3.14 in unexpected places. For example, prices, street numbers, or license plates.
- Finding 3.14 deals in as many versions of π as possible. For example
- Think pizza Pi as much as dessert kind of deals on this day!
- Get punny Geeky Greek Pi inspired t-shirts deals.
- Visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for a National Pi Day lesson.
Use #NationalPiDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL PI DAY HISTORY
In 1988, Larry Shaw organized the earliest known official or large-scale celebration of Pi Day at the San Francisco Exploratorium. The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations.
On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution (HRES 224) recognizing March 14, 2009, as National Pi Day.
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March 14th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
The United States Patent Office issues patent no. 621,195 to Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin for his invention of a “Navigable Balloon” which was also known as the Zeppelin.
President Theodore Roosevelt signs an executive order creating the first national wildlife refuge at Pelican Island, Florida. During his presidency he would establish a total of 55 national wildlife refuges, preserving habitats and a network of ecosystems.
Following the passage of the 16th Amendment, President Warren G. Harding becomes the first U.S. president to pay income tax. When a bill was introduced by the house in 1921 that would exempt the vice president and president from paying income tax, the President-elect expressed disapproval of the measure.
The American Society of Civil Engineers elects Elsie Eaves as an associate member. She is the first woman elected to the society.
The FBI publishes its 10 Most Wanted Fugitives for the first time. At the top of the list was Thomas James Holden. He was arrested 18 months later. Number three on the list was William Raymond Nesbit. Police arrested him three days later in St. Paul, Minnesota. Of the ten, all but one were captured within two years. The remaining case was dismissed eight years after the list was published.
March 14th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Lucy Beaman Hobbs Taylor – 1833
The American school teacher became the first woman to earn her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. In 1866, she graduated from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery.
Albert Einstein – 1879
In 1921, the German-born physicist won the Nobel Prize for Physics. He developed the general theory of relativity and had a profound impact on 20th-century physics and scientific theory.
Sylvia Beach – 1887
The American bookseller and publisher is best-known for opening Shakespeare and Company in Paris in 1919. The bookseller attracted some of the 20th century’s most influential and respected writers including Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Janet Flanner. In her memoir using the name of her business as the title, she wrote about her experiences in Paris, including those of the authors.
Hank Ketcham – 1920
On March 12, 1950, the American cartoonist published the first syndicated Denis the Menace comic strip.
Quincy Jones – 1933
One of music’s most esteemed legends, Quincy Jones began making music at a young age. By the 1960s he earning Grammy nominations and in 1963 he won his first Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement for his jazz song “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” Only the British-Hungarian composer Georg Solti has more Grammys than Jones phenomenal 28.
Billy Crystal – 1948
The actor and comedian has been making us laugh for more than 40 years in movies like The Princess Bride, Monsters Inc., and Analyze This.
Simone Biles – 1997
In her first Olympics at Rio in 2016, Biles brought home four gold medals and one bronze. However, she was already a World Champion before she arrived in Rio. Since then, Biles has tallied up a combined total of 30 medals making her the most awarded gymnast in the United States and the third in the world.
Marguerite de Angeli – 1889
John Luther Casey Jones – 1864
Diane Arbus – 1923
Michael Caine – 1933
Frank Borman – 1928
Eugene Cernan – 1931