Sunday’s date is a rare palindrome that hasn’t happened in over 900 years

02/02/2020: Backward and forward, this date is lining up as a rarity

palindrome is a word, number, phrase, or other sequence of characters which reads the same backward as forward, such as madamracecar, or the number 10801. Sentence-length palindromes may be written when allowances are made for adjustments to capital letters, punctuation, and word dividers, such as “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!”, “Was it a car or a cat I saw?” or “No ‘x’ in Nixon”.

Composing literature in palindromes is an example of constrained writing.

The word palindrome was first published by Henry Peacham in his book, The Truth of Our Times (1638). It is derived from the Greek roots palin (πάλιν; “again”) and dromos (δρóμος; “way, direction”); however, the Greek language uses a different word, i.e. καρκινικός, to refer to letter-by-letter reversible writing.

The date 02/02/2020 is a palindrome: A rare confluence of month, date and year that reads the same backward as forward. The last palindrome date was Oct. 2, 2001. But before that, more than six centuries passed since the numerals last aligned on Aug. 31, 1380.

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