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Benny Johnson, Margaret Shappe, and Hazel Mary Grass

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The Seattle Star, February 29, 1908

Seattle Boy and Girl Born on Feb. 29th Are Cheated Out of Anniversary Celebrations by Peculiarities of Calendar---Give Birthday Parties.

Although 16 years old, Benny Johnson, 331 E. 57th st., is celebrating his third birthday today.

Benny was born on Feb. 29, 1892. He awoke to existence on the extra day in February which marks a leap year. Having selected that odd day to make his entry into life, Benny discovered too late that he had made a mistake.

Benny did not know what a birthday was until he was 4 years old, his first birthday occurring Feb. 29, 1896. The celebration created a taste for birthdays in Benny and he waited with keen anticipation for four more years to roll around.

But in 1900, the calendar played Benny another cruel trick. Although a leap year by ordinary standards, it was discovered that the calendar had gained a day in the perpetual race with time, and the 29th of February was cut out that year.

Benny waited eight years until 1904, to celebrate his second birthday, and put in a strenuous day trying to concentrate eight birthday celebrations into one. Being 12 years old, he succeeded.

Today is Benny's third birthday. He has waited with as much patience as possible for today and has invited 25 of his friends to the residence tonight to celebrate the event. A rousing time is expected.

Margaret Shappe, of 2223 W. 57th st., Ballard, has duplicated Benny's experience in the birthday line. Margaret also selected Feb. 29, 1892, as her birth date, and celebrates her third birthday with a party tonight at the residence. On the invitations is the additional bid: "Come again in 1912."

Hazel Mary Grass, 1809 N. 52nd st., is celebrating her second birthday today. She was born Feb. 29, 1896, and also lost a birthday in 1900. She is a pupil of the Interlake school in the Fifth grade.