CLOSING THE BOOKS ON THE 19TH CENTURY- NABI TAJIMA DEAD AT 117

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Nabi Tajima of Kikai, Japan has died at the age of 117 years and 260 days of age. Not only the world’s oldest verified person but the last person who can be verified as having lived in the 19th century. Tajimi who died of natural causes on Saturday was born on August 4, 1900- remember 1900 would still be considered the 19th century- as 2000 was considered the 20th technically. Her husband died over 20 years ago at age 95. Of those she leaves behind are some great- great- great grandchildren. She said the secret to her longevity was sleeping soundly and eating delicious foods.

I was thinking recently about how time passes and certain events era’s are always passing into history. Earlier in the decade the last known veteran of World War I died, the war ended one hundred years ago when Nabi Tajimi was eighteen. There are people living then who would have a memory of The Great War but the war is really now in the history books and not in our living memory. We are probably now up to The Depression era as far as a lot of people still living with memories of that but to have been around in the 1930’s and have sharp memories of that you’d be around ninety.

When I was growing up I was lucky to have four grandparents who lived until my early adulthood. Only one of my grandparents would talk a lot about those days- one of my grandmothers would talk to me about the depression and her hero- President  Franklin Roosevelt. For a person to have voted for FDR in 1932 they would have to be one hundred and seven now- around the age my grandmother would be if she were living– to have voted for him in his final re-election 1944 you would have to have been born around 1923. The Depression/ FDR/ World War II will be slipping into history before we know it.

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