The origin of Pi Day

Wife of Pi


The earliest known official or large-scale celebration of Pi Day was organized by the physicist Larry Shaw in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium.The most common ways of celebrating the day are marching in circles and eating fruit pies.  Susan and I are thinking of watching the Life of Pi.

And who said Congress never gets anything done?  On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution (HRES 224), recognizing March 14, 2009, as National Pi Day.

I lived in Princeton, New Jersey, for several years.  Since Albert Einstein was born on March 14 (and lived in Princeton), Princeton now combines the birthday and Pi Day celebrations.  An Einstein look-alike contest is the highlight of the festivities.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has often mailed its application decision letters to prospective students for delivery on Pi Day. Starting in 2012, MIT announced it will post those decisions (privately) online on Pi Day at exactly 6:28 pm, which they have called “Tau Time,” to honor the rival numbers Pi and Tau equally.

And that’s about enough on this subject for one day (unless my readers would like to post comments).

Below is a “Google Doodle” from a previous Pi Day.

Happy Pi Day, everybody!

google doodle

About Doug

I have been a writer ever since fifth grade when I won second prize in a “prose and poetry” contest. I am also a Presbyterian pastor, and for several years toward the end of my career I lived and worked in Zürich, Switzerland. I am now retired and live just north of Holland, Michigan, along the lake.


4 Responses to The origin of Pi Day

  1. Lizzy March 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Think how epic pi day will be in two years at 9:26 am….. It will be 3/14/15 9:26 (and 53 seconds? Does that go too far?)

    • Doug March 14, 2013 at 2:00 pm #


  2. Bob Sadowski March 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    will give that some thought (NOT) while on vacation.

  3. mike March 14, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    Don’t bother trying to celebrate here. The line to get in is…..endless!

    Interesting review BTW

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