Main Menu

Questions from 1961

I had a note in my mailbox this morning about Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate asking why it had for the father’s birth place “Kenya, East Africa” instead of “British East Africa” which the writer expected. When I get questions like this, I try not only to answer them, but to give something in the way  of a reference so that the writer can both check what I say, and have the evidence at hand to prove it to someone else. In answering this question, I came across a publication that answers this and one other question of interest.

The Kenya Gazette is described as: “Published under the Authority of His Excellency the Governor of the Colony and Protectorate of Kenya.” It was an official publication of the Government containing official announcements and legislation. I turned to the January 24, 1961 edition.

In answer to the instant question, the official notices and court documents refer to the political entity as the “Kenya Protectorate.” While “British East Africa” (or the “East Africa Protectorate”) seems to have lasted only until 1920, the East Africa designation remained in such entitles as the East African Commission. So, Kenya, East Africa is quite reasonable.

The second question answered by this publication is the official government format for dates, which is dd-mm-yy. This is shown in the same publication by tables beginning on page 95.

Switching to the United States, there is a question on YouTube where someone suggested that the name of President Obama’s birth hospital was misspelled, “Kapiolani” instead of “Kapi’olani.” The person said that whoever faked the Obama birth certificate didn’t know much about Hawaiian names. My reply is that the writer didn’t know much about Hawaiian birth certificates, since other examples from the period say “Kapiolani” too, for example, the Nordyke twins’ certificates.

, , , ,

7 Responses to Questions from 1961

  1. avatar
    Sean June 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    Hawaii is commonly misspelled with no apostrophes.

  2. avatar
    Nathanael June 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    Sean:
    Hawaii is commonly misspelled with no apostrophes.

    In the early 19th century, when Protestant missionaries developed the first orthography for Hawaiian, then was some debate over whether the glottal stop was an actual consonant, and thus deserving of its own orthograph. The original missionaries did when necessary indicate the stop with an apostrophe, but did not create an orthograph for it. Subsequent linguistic analysis clarified that the glottal stop (called an ‘uina’ in modern Hawaiian) is a full-fledged consonant, and teachers, linguists and Hawaiian dictionaries frequently employ it. However, from what I understand, most Hawaiians (those who speak the language) don’t really bother.

    –Nathanael

  3. avatar
    Keith June 19, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    Nathanael: In the early 19th century…

    Interesting.

    I just assumed it was an Colonial Anglicization to drop the gutteral stop apostrophe (or rather just ignore it altogether) that was restored in response to an Hawai’ian native pride movement. This would account for it not being in general use in 1961 but restored in current usage.

    Both stories explain the difference, but yours is actually more ‘satisfying’ somehow.

  4. avatar
    Nathanael June 19, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Keith: Both stories explain the difference, but yours is actually more satisfying’ somehow.

    Plus I’ve got a fake BC to prove it.

  5. avatar
    The Magic M June 20, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    > since other examples from the period say “Kapiolani” too, for example, the Nordyke twins’ certificates

    It’s nothing short of amazing what happened to the Nordyke twins’ BC’s in the birther community.

    Back when they said “This is what an original long form BC must look like”, you could get the impression every birther had seen the Nordyke documents.

    Once Obama published his LFBC, however, it seems they collectively and instantly forgot the Nordyke BC’s ever existed.

    Claims like “the hospital wasn’t called that way in 1961”, “the mother’s race would be ‘white’, not ‘Caucasian'”, “it still doesn’t say ‘birth certificate’ but ‘certificate of live birth'” and others all wouldn’t have been made if birthers had cared to look again at the Nordyke documents.
    And whenever one of them still makes such a statement and I reply “So are the Nordyke BC’s forged, too?”, I only get crickets for an answer.

    Actually, my expectation was that one day the birthers would include the Nordyke BC’s in their conspiracy theory as well (something along the lines of “they are forgeries planted by Obots to prepare people for the released of the forged Obama LFBC”).
    I didn’t expect they would just become “those-of-which-we-don’t-speak”, similar to “it was never about the birth certificate”.

    Somehow scary, but also very interesting.

  6. avatar
    G June 20, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    The Magic M: It’s nothing short of amazing what happened to the Nordyke twins’ BC’s in the birther community.
    Back when they said “This is what an original long form BC must look like”, you could get the impression every birther had seen the Nordyke documents.
    Once Obama published his LFBC, however, it seems they collectively and instantly forgot the Nordyke BC’s ever existed.
    …Somehow scary, but also very interesting.

    That is because we’re dealing with people that don’t actually look at or read the links that they even provide or quote.

    They simply mindlessly repeat and parrot whatever drivel they are told by the “sources” they wish to listen to.

    Very similar to all these folks that wail on about the Constitution all the time and seem to carry a copy of it in their back pocket with them everywhere, yet who seem to not have ever read the ACTUAL document at all and get it wrong all the time….

    …Same with many “holier than thou” Bible thumpers, who only seem to know a select few passages that they’ve been fed and seem to get most everything else wrong about the Book and its lessons…

    This is the mindset at play here.

  7. avatar
    Joey June 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    There are still birthers who say that Obama’s long form is a forgery primarily because it d.
    iffers in physical appearance from the Nordykes’. That’s birther rationalization #8365.
    Every 3 and 4 year old birther rumor gets recycled. Just today there are threads on birther sites about Obama’s Occidental College records show him as a foreign student going to school on a Fullbright fellowship.
    My personal favorite birther rumor is that Hawaiian Law from 1860 until 1967 required all children born in wedlock in Hawaii to have a Christian first name. Since Barack is not a Christian first name, either Obama was born in violation of the law, his parents weren’t really married or Barack is not his real first name.