One in 10 people reading this is left-handed. There are nearly 34 million of us living in the United States, and about 500 million in the world. Throughout history, though, lefties have been looked down upon.
Centuries ago, the Catholic Church declared that left-handed people were servants of the devil. The word "left" comes from the Old English word meaning "weak" and "worthless." In the 1600s in Europe, lefties were burned at the stake for alleged witchcraft and sorcery.
Just a generation ago, American parents tried to change their children's left-handedness, even going to the extreme of tying their child's left hand behind his back to keep him from using it. Teachers also forced their students to use…show more content…
Famous leftie artists include Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Pablo Picasso and Lewis Caroll.
And, although they have trouble with a "backward" guitar, many musicians are also among us: Beethoven, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon, Kurt Cobain and Billy Corgan.
Southpaw athletes, mainly baseball stars, include Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Reggie Jackson, Ken Griffey Jr. and Larry Bird. (Sportswriter Charles Seymour invented the term "southpaw" when he noticed that lefty pitchers throw from the south side of the mound.)
Furthermore, geniuses and icons like Albert Einstein, Aristotle, Isaac Newton, Joan of Arc, Ben Franklin, Mark Twain, Julius Caesar, Napoleon and Henry Ford were lefties. Of 42 American presidents, seven have been lefties.
But, some of the superstitions may be true, since lefties also include Billy the Kid, the Boston Strangler and Jack the Ripper.
Studies have shown that a child with two right-handed parents has only a 2 percent chance of being left-handed. A child with one right-handed parent and one lefty has a 17 percent chance, and with two lefties for parents, the child has a 42 percent chance of being a lefty. Also, men are three times as likely to be lefties as women. One more fun fact: left-handedness is twice as common among twins as single births.
As only 10 percent of the population,