"I often wonder," Columbia's founder James Rouse mused to a Sun reporter in 1982, "how many cities in the world there are that celebrate their birthday every year."
Perhaps not many. But from its first birthday in June 1968, Columbia, like a typical American child, has celebrated with a birthday cake.
At first Rouse, Columbia's developer and omnipresent father figure, cut the cake in Symphony Woods, handing out slices to the children of his new little town of around 1,200; a Sun story in 1984 said nearly the entire population of the town was there.
"He was the first one to put the apron on and take a knife and stand there and distribute...