March 14th is a special day for nerds across the world!
It's the one day of the year when they can openly celebrate their love for all things math without judgment.
This special occasion - known as Pi Day was founded by none other than San Francisco physicist, Larry Shaw in 1988. But who was Larry Shaw (8/12/1939 - 8/19/2017) and why did he create such an eclectic holiday? Let's take a look!
A Man, A Plan…A Pi?
Larry Shaw (the "Prince of Pi") was an unlikely candidate for founding such an eccentric holiday - after all, he was a physicist. As the story goes, he noticed that the date 3/14 (or March 14th) coincided with the first three digits of pi - the mathematical constant pi (π) 3.14. And 3.14 is also the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter - of any circle, regardless of its size - even a circular dish that holds a delicious pie!
Thus, Pi Day was born and was celebrated by the eating of pies (fruit and pizza) and singing happy birthday to Albert Einstein.
Being a physicist at heart though, Shaw wanted something more than just good food to celebrate Pi Day with. So, he invited staff members of the Exploratorium to march in a circular parade and then celebrated by eating fruit pies.
And from there, this quirky event really took off!
Nowadays you can find pi-themed events happening everywhere from libraries to schools to pizzerias on March 14th every year - all thanks to Mr. Larry Shaw’s brilliant idea!
The Einstein Connection
It turns out that Pi Day may have been even more serendipitous than anyone could have imagined! You see, it turns out that March 14th isn’t just an ordinary day; it’s also Albert Einstein’s birthday! That means that if you combine pi with Einstein’s birthday then you get something truly magical - 3/14/1879 or 3.141879 - which is almost exactly equal to pi itself! How cool is that?!
Well, almost - but not quite.
Pi = 3.1415926535...and so on...and even more...no, not yet...and ♾️
It looks like Mr. Larry Shaw was destined for greatness after all! His simple yet genius idea has now become one of America's most beloved holidays—and still going strong 30+ years later!
So, there you have it folks; a brief history of where Pi Day got its start and why we should all be thankful for this wonderful nerdy tradition every year on March 14th!
We have Mr. Larry Shaw and Albert Einstein to thank for it - two minds whose influence will continue on through time - just like pi itself!
So happy Pi Day everybody; may your pies be delicious, and your celebrations be grandiose!!
Pi Day was recognized as a national holiday in 2009 and is internationally celebrated. 2015 was proclaimed by Shaw to be a special year, as it was written 3/14/15, and he called it the "Pi Day of the Century".