Bill Lyons | You Missed a Key Name: Beethoven

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

For years I have enjoyed your list of birthdays in the Today in History column. But, I’ve always thought it was long on obscure actors and singers, but short on people of consequence. Today, Dec. 16, is a case in point. You list Theo James, an obscure actor whose recent credits include the movie “Dual,” which garnered a rousing 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet you omitted Ludwig van Beethoven, arguably the best composer ever! In the future, I would hope that The Signal stresses more people of consequence. BTW, Albert Einstein’s birthday is March 14, 1879.

Bill Lyons

Santa Clarita

Editor’s note: Thanks for reading! This may surprise you — or not — but we don’t personally compile that list of birthdays in “Today in History.” It comes to us from a news syndicate. And, we agree, Beethoven is a “person of consequence.” However, there may be a reason for his absence from the Dec. 16 list: We did a little internet sleuthing — and by “a little” we mean a 30-second Google search — and, apparently, there is some uncertainty about Beethoven’s birth date. There is a record of him having been baptized on Dec. 17, 1770. However, there is no record of his actual date of birth. People have long assumed it was the day before he was baptized, so a consensus has developed to consider Dec. 16 to be the composer’s birthday. We’re only speculating here, but it would not be surprising if that one bit of uncertainty has kept Beethoven’s birth from cracking the “Today in History” lineup.

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