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International Day to commemorate the left-handed population

Additionally, the day raises awareness of issues affecting left-handers, such as the significance of accommodating left-handed children’s special needs and the propensity for schizophrenia in left-handers.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

International Left Handers Day is observed on August 13, every year, to celebrate the distinctive ability of left-handed people. Dean R. Campbell, founder of Left Handers International, first observed this day in 1976.

In an environment where most people are right-handed, International Left Handers Day was declared to celebrate sinistrality and spread awareness of the benefits and drawbacks of being left-handed. It honours the distinctiveness and differences of a major proportion of humankind that makes up to seven to ten percent of the global population.

Additionally, the day raises awareness of issues affecting left-handers, such as the significance of accommodating left-handed children’s special needs and the propensity for schizophrenia in left-handers.

Here are some well-known public figures, who are Left-Handed:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

According to the Indian Left-Handers’ Club, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of the largest democracy in the world, is left-handed.

Amitabh Bachchan

Fans of the renowned Bollywood actor, who is also referred to as “Star of the Millennium,” are aware of his left-handedness because it is evident in almost all of his movies. 

Barack Obama

Over the last century, the presidency of the United States has shifted increasingly to the left, not in terms of policy, but in handedness. Barack Obama is the most recent in a long line of left-handed presidents of the twentieth century including James Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.

Bill Gates

For America’s southpaw society, it is a source of great pride to claim the country’s richest man is among their number. In fact, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner are just a few of the surprising number of American business titans who are left-handed. The Microsoft titan and philanthropist is also left-handed. Interestingly, research indicates that left-handed men tend to earn more than their right-handed counterparts.

Oprah Winfrey

With an estimated $2.9 billion fortune and the ability to sell books just by looking at them, the talk-show queen doesn’t need much more to stand out from the crowd. However  she also belongs to the left-handed club. Oprah is doubly impressive because men are more likely to be left-handed than women. She is around wise people: Others in the entertainment industry who identify as southpaws include Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, and Whoopi Goldberg (live-in boyfriend Brad Pitt is also a lefty).

Napoleon Bonaparte

According to legends, Napoleon disapproved of the traditional military custom of marching on the left side of the road while holding a weapon in the right hand because it lent lefties like him a tactical disadvantage. The French emperor allegedly ordered his armies to switch sides once in power. The same was required of the populace in the nations he conquered. Thus, it is said, the laws of physics gave rise to modern traffic regulations, which also explains why the British (who, along with the Prussians, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo), continue to drive on the left.

Leonardo Da Vinci

One of the greatest minds in history, Leonardo da Vinci, practised extreme sinistrism by writing from right to left. There are many imaginative theories from historians to explain this so-called “mirror writing.”

Leonardo  found it too messy to write in ink from left to right. According to some historians, Da Vinci’s left handedness may have contributed to his genius because it compelled him to think and see the world in a unique way. If so, he wasn’t the only left-handed Renaissance master; Michelangelo and Raphael, two rivals, are also left-handed.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie, an expert in the field of atomic science, was not only left-handed but also the matriarch of a large scientific family. Curie, who earned two Nobel Prizes and discovered the fundamentals of radioactivity,

Left-leaning scientists are not uncommon. Along with the Curie family, other left-handed individuals include Einstein, Newton, and Alan Turing, the father of modern computer science.

Aristotle

Left-handed writing was used to pen some of the earliest works of western philosophy and science. The scientific method, early physics, astrology, meteorology, and ethics were all developed by Aristotle, who also wrote a vast array of works that served as the basis for a large portion of modern science. Another left-handed thinker who lived much later was influenced by his philosophical musings: Frederick Nietzsche, a German philosopher.