Arts and Culture

After the story of his life became the basis for a blockbuster musical, Alexander Hamilton became a household name — even outside early American history circles.

And later this month, the founding father has a birthday coming up.

While historians are pretty certain Hamilton was born on Jan. 11, the year of his birth is still uncertain. Hamilton said during his life that he was born in 1757 (and the dates on his tombstone match this statement), but during a probate hearing after his mother died, a relative testified that he was born in 1755. A transcript of that hearing is stored in the national archives.

Historians have offered a variety of reasons for Hamilton’s possible deception — for example, he may have wanted to pass as younger to secure an internship after being orphaned — but regardless, that’s just one of the interesting threads woven through his life.

And if you don’t want to throw away your shot to celebrate the rest of his life, you can attend a Hamilton birthday celebration on Jan. 11 at the Main Library.

The Louisville Free Public Library’s Hamilton-inspired activities include a sing along with your favorite “Hamilton” tunes and birthday cake. The library is also inviting attendees to come dressed as their favorite founding father — or Broadway musical character.

“The New Year, New You, New Books” series will also host a book discussion of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton: A Revolution.”

Festivities begin at 6 p.m at the Main Library.

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.