Notable birthdays for December 23:
Akihito ( 1933 - ), 125th emperor of Japan: "Being an emperor can be a lonely state. But with my marriage, I gained a partner who shares my appreciation for the things that I value. It has given me comfort and joy to have by my side the Empress, who has always respected my position and stood by me, and I feel most fortunate that I have been able to endeavor to carry out my role as Emperor with the Empress by my side...I am marrying her because I love her...The Japanese keenly learned from Western civilisation in a bid to modernize and preserve the nation."
Madam C. J. Walker ( 1867 - 1919 ), the first female self-made millionaire in America according to the Guinness Book of World Records: "I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations...Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them...I am not satisfied with making money for myself. I endeavor to provide employment for hundreds of the women of my race...I have made it possible for many colored women to abandon the washtub for a more pleasant and profitable occupation...If I have accomplished anything in life, it is because I have been willing to work hard...I am not ashamed of my past; I am not ashamed of my humble beginnings...I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it!...Perseverance is my motto!"
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