Oklahoma Woman To Celebrate Turning 100 On “25th Birthday”

Oklahoma Woman To Celebrate Turning 100 On “25th Birthday” | Classic Country Music | Legendary Stories and Songs Videos

Centenarians of Oklahoma/Facebook

February 29th is a special day for roughly 5 million people worldwide who only get to celebrate their actual birthday every four years.

Leap Day 2024 is especially remarkable for Mary Lea Forsythe, an Oklahoma woman who has been alive for 100 years, but has only celebrated 25 birthdays.

Born on February 29, 1924, Forsythe said her family always made sure to acknowledge her birthday, even when the actual date wasn’t on the calendar. This year her community pulled out all the stops to make sure her “25th birthday” and 100th year of life were given the attention she deserves.

Two weeks ago, Forsythe went to her local library where she expected to speak to a group of National Society Daughters of the Revolution members. But when she walked in she realized that a surprise had been planned on her behalf.

“When I walked in, there were flashers going off and they were taking my picture as I came into the room,” she said. “There were dignitaries from the city and there was a proclamation read. My goodness, it was shocking. The room was full of people. … I never had been that surprised in my life.”

Her hometown newspaper, The Sand Springs Leader, shared that Forsythe has lived an incredibly blessed and happy life.

Mary Lea was married to her husband, Bill, for 68 years until his death in 2011. The two met in high school and bonded over a shared love of music. She told the outlet that she knew as soon as she heard him laugh that he was the one.

The couple shared two children, born 22 months apart. Some of her fondest memories are of the days she and Bill traveled and performed together.

“My husband played the harmonica,” she said. “He was a wonderful singer. I played the mandolin and we would sing.”

Kerry Nau via Mary Lea Forsythe

In addition to music, Bill and Mary Lea also shared a common faith, the one thing she credits for her happy life.

“So I went to the front and I knelt at the altar,” Mary Lea recalled of the day she became a Christian. “I asked Jesus to come into my heart … then I went back to my seat and sat down. I’ve never been sorry, I’ll tell you. It has been a wonderful life.”


Leap Day Facts

Babies born on Leap Day instantly join a rare club for “leaplings.” Less than 0.1 percent of the world’s population is born on February 29, also known as leap day, making leaplings a unique bunch!

What exactly is Leap Day? The day only comes around once every four years as a way to ensure that the calendar “stays in line with the Earth’s movement around the Sun,” according to History.com. “While the modern calendar contains 365 days, the actual time it takes for Earth to orbit its star is slightly longer—roughly 365.2421 days.”

Some folks born on Leap Day may feel slighted by the fact that they only get to celebrate the actual day of their birth every four years. But, for the most part, leaplings revel in their uniqueness.

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