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What is a palindrome date? Significance behind rare Inauguration Day date explained

Not familiar with palindrome dates? Well, you're going to see a lot of them in 2021.
calendar 2021
The first palindrome date of the year already occurred on Jan. 2 (1-2-21).TODAY Illustration / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

The country may be moving forward with President-elect Joe Biden taking office Wednesday, but Americans will also be excused for looking backward on Inauguration Day.

Jan. 20, 2021 — or 1-20-21 — marks the first of 10 consecutive palindrome dates, which are dates that read the same forward as they do backward.

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According to the Farmers' Almanac, Wednesday also marks the first time a palindrome date has fallen on Inauguration Day and an occasion none of us will be around to witness again since the next time it's slated to happen is in 1,000 years — on Jan. 20, 3021.

The first palindrome date of the year already occurred on Jan. 2 (1-2-21).

After January, another palindrome day won't pop up for the better part of the remaining year until December with nine straight days beginning Dec. 1 (12-1-21).

Dec. 11, 2021 (12-11-21) and Dec. 22, 2021 (12-22-21) are also palindrome dates, and the only six-digit ones for the year, which means 2021 will feature a total of 22 such dates.

That’s a pretty rare feat.

“The only two years in a century that contain 22 palindrome dates are the ones ending with 11 and 21,” Dr. Aziz Inan, an electrical engineering professor at the University of Portland, said, according to the Farmers' Almanac.

“The year 2011 had 22, and in the next century, they will be found in 2111 and 2121.”