W, you are correct that HTML will automatically remove excess white space (what geeks call more than 1 space) when rendering a page, that does not actually remove the spaces from the stored page content. The software that interprets the date from what you submit on a form is *NOT* HTML. It looks at precisely what you entered - every character of it, whether the character prints or not. The result is that there is nothing "funny" about it's inability to recognize an entry with an extra space as a date.
Based on the error message, however, it appears that you did not enter 2 spaces, but you entered "xxx born " before the date "August 4, 1824". You can enter ONLY a valid date in that field and it must be in one of several formats that the software is capable of recognizing as a valid date.