It’s International Left-Handers’ Day! Here are 5 facts you should know about lefties

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A person draws loops in the Salle du Pont du Buy in Brive-la Gaillarde, where writing and cooking workshops were organised and objets for the left-handed were sold, at the occasion of the French National Lefties’ Day on August 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DIARMID COURREGES (Photo credit should read DIARMID COURREGES/AFP via Getty Images)

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — If you’re a lefty, give yourself a round of applause — Aug. 13 is International Left-handers’ Day.

According to the Left-Handers Day website, the day is meant to “increase public awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed.”

The unofficial holiday was launched on this day in 1992 by the Left-Handers Club in the United Kingdom, and it’s the one day out of the year set aside to celebrate left-handers.

According to the National Institutes of Health, hand preference develops before birth and becomes apparent in early childhood. While little is known about the biological basis of handedness, it is believed to arise out of the developmental process differentiating the right and left sides of the body. The right hemisphere of the brain controls the left part of the body, and the left hemisphere controls the right part of the body.

Recent studies suggest that up to 40 genes contribute to handedness.

“Each of these genes likely has a weak effect by itself, but together they play a significant role in establishing hand preference,” according to the NIH.

Here are six facts about lefties, according to lefthandersday.com:

  1. Left-handers adjust more readily to seeing under water.
  2. Most left-handers draw figures facing to the right.
  3. Four out of the original five designers of the Macintosh computer were left-handed.
  4. Left-handers excel in tennis, baseball, swimming and fencing
  5. One in four Apollo astronauts were left-handed, which is 250 percent higher than normal levels of left-handedness.

There are many left-handed celebrities. Here are just a few: Albert Einstein, Cary Grant, Tom Cruise, Yogi Berra, President Barack Obama, President George H.W. Bush, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Bill Gates, Whoopi Goldberg and Jim Carey.

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