Historical plaque.

Birthplace of "Happy Birthday to You" (In Transition)

Field review by the editors.

Louisville, Kentucky

On the same street as the world's two largest bats, under an entrance ramp to I-64, is a strange monument. A plaque on a small concrete pedestal commemorates the writers of the song "Happy Birthday to You," Mildred Jane Hill and Patty Smith Hill.

In 1893 the two sisters published a book titled, "Song Stories for the Kindergarten." Local history tells that during a Louisville birthday party, Patty suggested that the words of the first song in their book, "Good Morning to All," be changed to, "Happy Birthday to You." The plaque claims "the song has since become one of the three most popular songs in the English language."

As inescapable as this song is, it was protected by copyright. If you heard the tune belted out in chain restaurants or in a movie party scene, someone had to cough up a royalty payment. That finally ended in 2015, when a judge ruled that the copyright claim was, in effect, absurd. Now everyone can sing Happy Birthday for free.

Birthplace of "Happy Birthday to You"

W. Main St., Louisville, KY
South side of W. Main St. (US Hwy 31W), just west of N. 9th St., under the I-64 entrance ramp.
In Transition
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Geronimo's Bow and Custer's PistolGeronimo's Bow and Custer's Pistol, Louisville, KY - < 1 mi.
World's Largest BatWorld's Largest Bat, Louisville, KY - < 1 mi.
World's Largest Bat - The Vampire KindWorld's Largest Bat - The Vampire Kind, Louisville, KY - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Muhammad Ali's Grave, Louisville, KY - 3 mi.

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September 24, 2020

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