November 4 popular day for birthdays

By Helena Rodriguez: Local columnist

What do Walter Cronkite, Will Rogers, Laura Bush, Matthew McConaughey, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Doris Roberts, Ralph Macchio and yours truly have in common?
We were all born on Nov. 4.

Granted we weren’t all born in the same year, we were born on the same day, and during the same century, so that says something, although I’m not sure what, perhaps just that we share the same birthday. So here we have a world famous TV journalist, famous actors and actresses, a first lady, a hip-hop singer, a karate kid and then me, a soon-to-be 39-year-old small town, newspaper columnist who has survived a midlife crisis and am now on the dangerous edge of turning 40 a year from tomorrow.

Yes, tomorrow is my big B-Day, the last I will celebrate as a 30-something. As the countdown to 40 begins and I prepare to embark on my fourth decade of life, I started thinking about what significant events in history have occurred on Nov. 4.

When I went to and looked under the “Search the Today in History Archives” for Nov. 4, 1967, and guess what? There was not a single entry under this date. I’m seriously considering contacting the Web master of this site to insert the following passage: “On this day in 1967, on a snowy, Nov. 4, a baby girl was born at Roosevelt General Hospital in Portales, N.M., to Julio and Katie Rodriguez, arriving bridge style, or as they would bluntly say, coming into the world butt first.” Had this event not occurred, my editor would had to have found another column to fill this otherwise boring space.

Upon conducting more extensive Internet searches, I found that Nov. 4 is the feast day of St. Charles Borromeo of Italy. Borromeo, who died on Nov. 4, 1584, is the patron saint of ulcers. I may be calling on him more when I reach my 40-somethings.

I also found some more interesting events in history that have coincidentally occurred on the fourth day of November. They include:

— Nov. 4, 1873 — A dentist named John Beers of San Francisco patents the gold crown. How would you like to have a dentist with the last name “Beers?”

— Nov. 4, 1880 — The first cash register is patented by James and John Ritty of Dayton, Ohio. Maybe that’s why I always hear the sound of a cash register ringing in my head?

— Nov. 4, 1948 — American poet T.S. Eliot wins the Nobel Prize in literature.

— Nov. 4, 1960 — “Misfits” premieres, the final movie for Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe.

— Nov. 4, 1963 — John Lennon utters his infamous “Rattle your jewelry” line. Hey, my jewelry rattles sometimes. Coincidence? I think not!

— Nov. 4, 1979 — Iranian militants seize the U.S. embassy in Teheran and hold hostages, thus beginning the Iran Hostage Crisis.

— Nov. 4, 1980 — The actor from Death Valley Days, Ronald Reagan, beats the peanut chomping governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, in a landslide election. I miss Jimmy!

These are just some of the notable events in history — besides my birthday, of course — which have occurred on the fourth day of November. Just for fun, do your own Internet search. Type in your birthdate and see what historical events, names and feast days of saints come up. And let me know if you come across a patron saint of sarcastic newspaper columnists.

Helena Rodriguez is a columnist for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. She can be reached at: