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Name Change: Part I

Ever hear the name "Michael Herbert Dengler"? A former social studiers teacher (ND And MN) in the 1970s, Dengler tried to legally change his name to 1069, pronounced "One Zero Six Nine." His friends called him "One Zero."

Why these numbers? Dengler's petition stated:

[1] The first character, 1, stands for my concept of nature which manifests itself as one individual among the various forms of life. I stand as a single entity amongst millions of other entities, animate and inanimate. But yet even though I am an entity unto myself, I am part of the whole of life which is one. I am one; life is one; and together we are one.

[0] The second character, 0, shows my relationship with time in movement through life; I feel that I recognize a past, experience a present, and am aware of a future with equal regard. I am therefore zero with respect to my march on the road of life.

[6] The third character, 6, is equal to the relationship I have with the universe in my understanding of space of my spatial occupancy through this life.

[9] The fourth and final character, 9, stands for the relationship I have to essence in the difference in the meaning when actualizing the spatially ever present nature of life. This final digit is like a string which surrounds the entirety of the previous three digits and explains the first three digits' concepts as they interact among each other to produce my philosophy.

Whew! the North Dakota Supreme Court rejected his claim...so he moved to Minnesota and made the same legal petition. There, Judge Donald Barbeau of Minnesota rejected Dengler's petition on the grounds it was "an offense to basic human dignity and inherently totalitarian." Though the Minnesota Supreme Court did back the Judge's decision, they did say that Dengler could change his name to "Ten Sixty-Nine." Big Difference!

A final thought. I once taught a student who had had Mr. 1069 as his substitute teacher in Minnesota. Small world!