GULFPORT -- Henry Wilson was one of three babies born Feb. 29, 1956, at Biloxi Hospital. He said he came across a yellowed newspaper clipping that had a photograph of the three newborns.
"I found this in some of my mother's stuff," Wilson said. "It has been in a cedar chest for more than 50 years."
On Monday, Wilson will celebrate his 15th true birthday, but he will actually be turning 60. He said his only wish for his birthday was to be reunited with the babies in the photo so he could meet them again for the first time.
"I have never met them," he said. "All I want for my birthday is to meet the two other people in the photograph."
Wilson's wish was granted Thursday when he was reunited with Vanessa Ton
crey Nell and Elizabeth Mitchell Ludwig. The three Biloxi leap-year babies of 1956 were together once more.
Five miles apart
Although the leap-year babies have not been together since 1956, their lives have overlapped at times. Wilson worked with Nell's brother for years and Nell and Ludwig have several friends in common.
They have lived within a 5-mile radius of one another for years but were separated by time.
"We've lived not so far from each other for many years, but we went to different high schools," Nell said.
Ludwig said she came across a copy of the photo of the leap-year babies about two weeks ago.
"I was cleaning out my mom's house, and I found it," Ludwig said. "It's great to see everyone 60 years later. It's amazing we know so many of the same people, and we've never met."
Wilson said he has enjoyed being a leap-year baby, but having a legal birthday only once every four years is occasionally challenging.
"In 2000, everything was on computers by then, and I couldn't get a fishing license because I had two different birthdays," he said. "I celebrate my birthday March 1. I had to get all of my licenses changed, and they changed my birthday to Feb. 28 because they said I was born in February."
Ludwig said she also had some difficulties when her license expired.
"I was at a casino, and I was updating my player's club card. And, I told them my driver's license expired on Feb. 29 in an odd year but they kept telling me that date does not exist."
When to celebrate?
Wilson said he celebrates his birthday March 1, because it's the next day after Feb. 28 in non-leap years.
Both Nell and Ludwig celebrate their birthdays Feb. 28.
"I've just always celebrated my birthday on Feb. 28 when it's not a leap year," Nell said.
Ludwig said her grandfather was born Feb. 28 so her family adopted it as her birthday.
"But the government only realizes we are a year older on March 1."