You know who was left-handed? U.S. Presidents Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. You know who else? Jimi Hendrix and Oprah Winfrey? Not to mention Julia Roberts and Lady Gaga. And then of course, there were the actual “southpaws” — baseball legends such as Babe Ruth and Sandy Koufax. Legend has it that Alexander the Great was a lefty, but that one’s up for debate.
Long story short: There have been a lot of super-cool lefties. So it’s super-cool that there’s a special day set aside just for them. That would be International Lefthanders Day on August 13!
International Lefthanders Day - History
January 20, 2009
Latest left-handed president begins work
According to CNN, newly inaugurated President Barack Obama signed three documents, quipping "I'm a lefty. Get used to it."
August 13, 1992
Left-Handers Club gets going
Another group decides it's high time to be recognized as proud left-handers. The Left-Handers Club got underway to "increase public awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed."
August 13, 1976
Left-handed people invent a day to celebrate
Left-handers International designated this day — a Friday the 13th — as International Left-Handers Day.
International Lefthanders Day Activities
1. Be more social
Use the hashtag #lefthandersday to spread the word about this special lefty day. Or connect with any of the many left-handers social groups on Facebook and Instagram.
2. Educate a right-hander
If you're left-handed, walk a right-handed person through a typical activity to make them aware of some of the difficulties faced by left-handed people.
3. Throw a party!
Invite all your left-handed friends over and share some stories about what it was like for them to grow up in a world made for righties.
5 Little Known Left-handed Facts
1. They're the best hitters in baseball
As listed on the Baseball Reference website, 14 of the top 20 highest career batting averages in Major League Baseball belong to left-handed hitters.
2. Lefties and schizophrenia
A study published by Yale researchers in 2013 claimed that people with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia are more likely to be left-handed than those with depression.
3. The notion of left-handedness as wrong is embedded in our language
For example, the adjective "sinister" comes from the Latin "sinestra" or "left hand."
4. They're restless sleepers
Left-handed people may experience so-called periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), meaning they may kick their arms and legs while asleep.
5. We all use the same hemispheres.
According to neuroscientists, about 98 percent of right-handers are left-brained — but so are about 70 percent of left-handers!
Why We Love International Lefthanders Day
A. It wasn't always cool to be left-handed
Educators and physicians used to advocate "retraining" left-handed children to use their right hands. Some of the methods they used in these "retraining" methods were often cruel, such as tying children's left hands down so they couldn't move them.
B. Being a lefty can be inconvenient
Those of us who are right-handed may not think much about the difficulties faced by left-handed people. But think about it: Most things are designed with right-handed people in mind, everything from school desks to a pair of scissors.
C. There are fewer lefties than righties in the world
Estimates vary, but it's generally accepted that between 7 percent and 10 percent of people are naturally left-handed. That's about 760 million people – enough for one heck of a party!