12/12/12: Where does it rank among the all-time coolest dates?

# Today is 12/12/12. Where Does That Rank Among the Best Dates Ever?

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Dec. 12 2012 9:19 AM

# Today is 12/12/12. Where Does That Rank Among the Best Dates Ever?

Hey, did you know that today is 12/12/12? Pretty cool, right? But not that cool. After all, if we’re honest, the full date today is 12/12/2012, which doesn’t quite have the same luster. Last year’s 11/11/11 hype—it even spawned a numerology-themed horror movie—felt similarly overblown. It happens every hundred years, people.  If the devil were so into repeating numbers, why didn’t he rise on 11/11/1111? Now that’s a date.

Will Oremus

Will Oremus is Slate’s senior technology writer. Email him at will.oremus@slate.com or follow him on Twitter.

At this point you’re probably wondering, just how cool is 12/12/12? Is it even in the top 50? If we celebrate today, does that commit us to an increasingly dreary procession of semi-cool-date celebrations in the years to come? At what point does cool-date fatigue set in?

On that last point, at least, you can rest assured: Today is the last repeating-number date of the 21st Century, even going by the cheaty two-digit-year format. Still, if we’re to avoid cool-date inflation, it’s essential that we some lay down definitive rankings. Herewith, the all-time top 10 coolest dates, according to universally agreed-upon standards of coolness such as roundness, symmetry, and coincidence with numbers of mathematical significance.

1. 1/1/1
2. 1/2/345
3. 11/11/1111
4. 1/1/1000
5. 3/14/1592
6. 6/6/666
7. 9/9/999
8. 5/4/321
9. 2/7/1828
10. 6/02/1023*

Admittedly that list is a bit of a downer, since none of us were alive for any of those dates. And even the people who were alive on 1/1/1 didn’t know it was 1/1/1, since that date was established retroactively hundreds of years later. As consolation, here’s a list of the coolest dates that have happened or will happen within the lifetimes of people alive today.

1. 1/1/2000
2. 3/14/2015
3. 9/9/1999
4. 11/11/2011
5. 1/1/2001
6. 10/10/2010
7. 1/23/2045
8. 02/02/2020
9. 11/02/2011
10. 6/6/2066

Honorable mention:  10/11/2012, 3/14/2016, 12/12/2012, 10/02/2001, 1/2/2034

*Correction: This post originally listed 6/23/1023 as the tenth-greatest date of all-time. In fact, the tenth-greatest date is 6/02/1023—the calendar equivalent of Avogadro's number.

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