Over the weekend, Gertrude Baines turned 114, which makes her the third oldest living person. Many researchers have shown interest in people like Gertrude who have lived past the age of 110. These supercentenarians, as they have been labeled by aging experts, may hold a genetic key to extreme longevity. As for Gertrude, she has all of her faculties about her and her main complaint aside from some arthritis in her knees is about the food at the convalescent hospital where she lives. Just for some reference points: Gertrude was 3 years old at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. The population of the United States was not yet at 76 million by the time she was 6. Gertrude was already 14 when Henry Ford began to sell the Model T, and she was 35 years of age when the Great Depression hit the U.S. By the time man set foot on the moon, Gertrude had reached the tender age of 75. Gertrude was in both good health and spirits at the time of her birthday. She exercises daily and is showing no signs of slowing down. Congratulations Gertrude! It really makes you wonder what the world will be like if we get to that age. Maybe we will have people on Mars, but I'd settle for a solution to our health care crisis first.
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