Inauguration Day a palindrome, and that won't happen again for 1,000 years

Get ready, number lovers -- 2021 has a total of 22 reversible dates.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read

Inauguration Day 2021 will go down in the history books for many reasons, including the swearing in of Kamala Harris, the first female vice president. But the numbers that make up the day's date on the calendar are special as well. Jan. 20, 2021, when delivered in American numerical format (month-day-year), is a palindrome, meaning it can be read the same forward and backward -- 1-20-21. 

According to The Farmers' Almanac, this will be the first palindrome-number Inauguration Day in American history. Maybe your descendants from the far-off future living in Martian colonies will see the next one, which won't be until 1-20-3021, assuming man is still alive, and woman can survive. 

And Wednesday is just the start of the trend.

"1-20-21 begins the first of 10 consecutive palindrome dates (numbers that read the same forward and backward) in the five-digit format," The Farmers' Almanac tweeted. "There will be a TOTAL of 22 palindrome dates in 2021."

Wednesday kicks off 10 palindrome dates in a row. The dates of 1-20-21, 1-21-21, 1-22-21, 1-23-21, 1-24-21, 1-25-21, 1-26-21, 1-27-21, 1-28-21 and 1-29-21 all read the same forward and backward. While these dates are all five-digit palindromes, the month has already seen a four-digit palindrome -- back on Jan. 2, when the date could be written as 1-2-21. You can also write Jan. 20, 2021, as a seven digit palindrome if you write out the entire year, 1-20-2021.

Come December, there will be nine consecutive five-digit palindromes, The Farmers' Almanac notes, beginning with the first day of the month, and including the dates 12-1-21, 12-2-21, 12-3-21, 12-4-21, 12-5-21, 12-6-21, 12-7-21, 12-8-21 and 12-9-21. And Dec. 2, 2021 can double as an eight-digit palindrome, 12-02-2021.

The 2020 Super Bowl also fell on a palindrome date -- 02-02-2020.

Inauguration Day of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in pictures

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