GLEN ELLYN – Not everyone can get the members of the fire company to come to their birthday party. But not everyone has 105 candles on their birthday cake.
Brookdale Glen Ellyn resident Hattie Dix celebrated her 105th birthday Friday, when the flames from the candles on her cake set off the fire alarm at the facility.
Aimee Tyler, resident programs director at Brookdale, said it's the first time the fire company has been called for a birthday party there.
Dix was speechless at the reception she received in honor of her birthday.
"I'm just overwhelmed," Dix said. "I don't know what to think, but it's wonderful."
In addition to a visit from first responders, Dix received several gifts from the staff at Brookdale. Tyler said in honor of 105 years, each department gave her 105 of a particular item.
Gifts included flowers, pennies, sea shells, M&M's, Hershey's Kisses and balloons. Residents also gave Dix a homemade blanket.
Hattie Dix was born Aug. 1, 1909, in Iowa. She moved to Chicago as a teenager and has lived in the area her entire life.
Dix lived on her own until she turned 100, at which point she moved to Brookdale.
She no longer walks, but Dix had been doing her own therapy and rehabbing for a long time. She reads and memorizes Bible verses to keep her mind fresh.
Wheaton resident Chris Pinne, who is Dix's granddaughter, said the family takes her out to dinner for her birthday every year, but the birthday party was planned by the Brookdale staff. Pinne said she was thrilled with the way the party turned out – even with a brief appearance by local fire crews.
"This was really fun," she said. "You can see everyone's really excited."
Dix said she doesn't have a secret to her longevity, but that she has always worked really hard.
"I've been really healthy all my life and I was able to take care of myself," she said.
What happened in 1909, the year Hattie Dix was born?
• The Chicago Cubs were the defending World Series champions, the last time they could make that claim.
• Over the course of the year, the world record for fastest marathon was broken four different times by three people.
• On Jan. 2, U.S. politician Barry Goldwater was born.
• On Feb. 16, the first subway car with side doors went into operation.
• On March 4, President William Howard Taft took office as the 27th president.
• On March 30, the Queensboro Bridge opened in New York.
• On April 6, the first U.S. credit union opened.
• On June 9, 22-year-old Alice Huyler Ramsey became the first woman to drive across the U.S. She drove 3,800 miles from Manhattan to San Francisco over 59 days.
• On July 12, the 16th amendment was approved, giving the government the power to tax incomes.
• On Aug. 7, the first Lincoln penny was issued.
• On Aug. 19, the Indianapolis 500 race track opened.
• On Dec. 21, the first junior high school was established in Berkeley, Calif.