Archive for November, 2011

Did you know that on this day in 1700, a Swedish army of 8,500 men under Charles XII, known in Sweden as The Warrior King, defeats a much larger Russian army at Narva? 18 years later, in 1718, Charles XII dies during a siege of the fortress Fredriksten in Norway. And did you know that on this day in 1786  Peter Leopold Joseph of HabsburgLorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, promulgates a penal reform making his country the first state to abolish the death penalty? Consequently, November 30 is commemorated by 300 cities around the world as Cities for Life Day.

It was also on this day in 1872 the first-ever international football match takes place at Hamilton CrescentGlasgow, between Scotland and England, in 1886 the Folies Bergère stages its first revue, in 1936, in Londonthe Crystal Palace is destroyed by fire and in 1947 the  1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine begins on this day, leading up to the creation of the state of Israel.

On this day in 1954, in Sylacauga, AlabamaUnited States, the Hodges Meteorite crashes through a roof and hits a woman taking an afternoon nap in the only documented case of a human being hit by a rock from space, in 1982 Michael Jackson‘s Thriller, the best-selling album of all time, is released and in 2004 longtime Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings of Salt Lake City, Utah finally loses, leaving him with US$2,520,700, television’s biggest game show winnings.

Some birthdays you may want to remember on this day are Jonathan Swift, Irish writer and satirist (1667-1745), Mark Twain, American writer (1835-1910),Sir Winston ChurchillPrime Minister of the United KingdomNobel laureate (1874-1965), Ridley Scott, British film director (1937), Billy Idol (born William Michael Albert Broad), British musician (1955), Gary Lineker, English footballer (1960),  Ben Stiller, American actor (1965) and Clay Aiken, American singer (1978).

Need a reason to raise a glass of bubbly on this day? Why not join in the celebration of Cities for Life Day (International), St. Andrew’s Day (Scotland) or Regina Mundi Day (South Africa)?

For more information about historic events on this day, please go here.


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Did you know that on this day in 1890 the Meiji Constitution goes into effect in Japan and the first Diet convenes? Or that it was on this day in 1910 the first US patent for inventing the traffic lights system is issued to Ernest E. Sirrine?

And on this day in 1922 Howard Carter opens the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun to the public, in 1929 U.S. Admiral Richard Byrd becomes the first person to fly over the South Pole, in 1944 the first surgery (on a human) to correct blue baby syndrome is performed by Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas and in 1947 as a result of the so called Partition Plan the United Nations General Assembly votes to partition Israel.

On this day in 1961 as a part of Project Mercury and the Mercury-Atlas 5 Mission, Enos, a chimpanzee, is launched into space. The spacecraft orbited the Earth twice and splashed-down off the coast of Puerto Rico (Enos survived the space adventure, but died of dysentery caused by shigellosis in 1962), in 1972  Nolan Bushnell (co-founder of Atari) releases Pong, the first commercially successful video game, in Andy Capp’s Tavern in Sunnyvale, California and in 1990 during the Gulf War, the United Nations Security Council passes two resolutions to restore international peace and security if Iraq did not withdraw its forces from Kuwait and free all foreign hostages by January 15, 1991.

Some birthdays to remember on this day are  Christian Doppler, Austrian physicist (1803-1853), C. S. Lewis, Irish writer (1898-1963), Howie Mandel, Canadian comedian (1955) and Howard K. Stern, American attorney and reality TV personality (1968).

If you need a reason to raise a glass of bubbly on this day, you could perhaps join in the celebration of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (International) or William Tubman’s Birthday (Liberia)? Personally I will be celebrating that this blog has just had its’ 20,000th view!

For more information about historic events on this day, please go here.

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Did you know that on this day in 1520, after navigating through a strait at the southern end of South America, three ships under the command of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan reach the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first Europeans to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific? Or that on this day in 1582, in Stratford-upon-AvonWilliam Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway pay a £40 bond for their marriage license?

And on this day in 1814  The Times in London is for the first time printed by automatic, steam powered presses built by the German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer, signaling the beginning of the availability of newspapers to a mass audience, in 1893 women vote in a national election for the first time, in the New Zealand general election, in 1907, in Haverhill, Massachusetts, scrap-metal dealer Louis B. Mayer opens his first movie theater and in 1925 the Grand Ole Opry begins broadcasting in Nashville, Tennessee as WSM Barn Dance.

It was also on this day in 1972 the last executions in Paris, of the Clairvaux Mutineers, Roger Bontems and Claude Buffet, takes place as they are guillotined at La Sante Prison. (Bontems had been found innocent of murder by the court, but as Buffet’s accomplice is condemned to death anyway.) The chief executioner is Andre Obrecht and in 1989, at the end of the  Cold War, and as a result of the Velvet Revolution: In the face of protests, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announces it will give up its monopoly on political power.

Some birthdays to remember on this day are William Blake, British poet (1757-1827), Carl Jonas Love Almqvist, Swedish romantic poet (1793-1866), Friedrich Engels, German philosopher (1820-1895), Ed Harris, American actor (1950), Judd Nelson, American actor (1959), John Galliano, British fashion designer (1960) and  Anna Nicole Smith, American television personality (1967-2007).

If you need a reason to raise a glass of bubbly on this day, why not look into the celebration of Republic Day for Burundi and Chad or a whole lot of Independence Days, celebrating the independence of Panama from Spain in 1821, of Mauritania from France in 1960 and Albania from Turkey in 1912?

For more information about historic events on this day, please go here.

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Together again at the train track’s junction
for a moment, no more, we are us.
In the black and white of hindsight’s history
for a moment, love really conquers all.
In years gone by since that magic moment,
since we held each other like no one else could.
We can live again, hearts united, holding on
in that moment in time when we were still us.

The extremely talented Kellie Elmore posts a weekly prompt (Free Write Friday) at her Magic In The Backyard. I’ve wanted to participate again for a very long time, but haven’t felt ‘right’ for a while. This photo, and her request that we tell the couples’ story caught me, though, so here we go.

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I have focused all my hopes, all my dreams and all my longings
on surviving until Christmas time.

I have scrimped, I’ve cut corners, I have really, really tried!
Everything will be so good if until Christmas I survive!

For two long weeks of sunshine with a white beach and blue sky
I have kept myself alive this year and now those weeks are nigh.


And I am worried, really worried that because of some unknown
factor I won’t get there and if I do, I’m on my own!

Two whole weeks without companions, two whole weeks all by myself.
Two whole weeks in foreign country, oh dear Lord, I need some help!

I keep going back in time, to the year I was fourteen
and on my own, for the first time, in English countryside so green.

That first morning, how I sat there, paralyzed, staring at the door!
How I felt I couldn’t leave my room, where I arrived the night before.

OK, so say I get there, to Mexico, and even venture out!
What if all my dreams go sour and nothing there feels right?

Oh, I am a fool, for all those dreams can evaporate like steam
over morning’s dew-clad grass and then, what does that leave?

I am going on a journey, to far off foreign lands,
traveling halfway around the globe to see that beach with pristine sand.

In my head I have a picture of just how that Paradise looks
and in a few weeks I might find out it’s nothing like the books!

So I take a really deep, deep breath and try to calm myself.
It may not turn out just how I want but the dream, there on that shelf

the one that’s kept me alive this year, my very own Fool’s Paradise
it is coming ever closer, with each moment and that’s nice!

There is nothing that can keep me now from trying to reach that dream
and even it’s a Fools Paradise, I suppose that fool is me.

This, slightly panicky, piece was inspired by One Single Impression prompt 196: A Fool’s Paradise and my upcoming trip of a life-time for Christmas and New Years.

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Did you know that on this day in 1895, at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in ParisAlfred Nobel signs his last will and testament, setting aside his estate to establish the Nobel Prize after he dies? Or that it was on this day in 1924, in New York City, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is held?

And on this day in 1964 during the Cold WarIndian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru appeals to the United States and the Soviet Union to end nuclear testing and to start nuclear disarmament, stating that such an action would “save humanity from the ultimate disaster”, in 1978, in San Francisco, California, city mayor George Moscone and openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk are assassinated by former supervisor Dan White, in 2001 a hydrogen atmosphere is discovered on the extrasolar planet Osiris by the Hubble Space Telescope, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet and in 2005 the first partial human face transplant is completed in AmiensFrance.

Some birthdays to remember on this day are Anders Celsius, Swedish inventor and astronomer (1701-1744), James Agee, American writer (1909-1955), John Maddox, British science writer and editor (1925-2009), Bruce Lee, American actor and martial artist (1940-1973), Jimi Hendrix, American guitarist (1943-1970) and Bill Nye (The science guy), American engineer and broadcaster (1955).

Need a reason to raise a glass of bubbly on this day? Although pickings are slim today, you could perhaps look into the celebration of Maaveerar Day (Tamil Eelam)?

For more information about historic events on this day, please go here.

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Did you know that on this day in 1789 a national Thanksgiving Day is observed in the United States as recommended by President George Washington and approved by Congress? Or that it was on this day in 1917 the National Hockey League is formed, with the Montreal CanadiensMontreal WanderersOttawa SenatorsQuebec Bulldogs, and Toronto Arenas as its first teams?

And on this day in 1922 Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon become the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3000 years, in 1949 the Indian Constituent Assembly adopts India‘s constitution presented by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, in 1970, in Basse-TerreGuadeloupe, 1.5 inches (38.1 mm) of rain fall in a minute, the heaviest rainfall ever recorded and in 2003 Concorde makes its final flight, over BristolEngland.

Some birthdays to remember on this day are Maurice McDonald, American fast food pioneer (1902-1971), Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist (1922-2000), Tina Turner, American singer and actress (1939), Claes Elfsberg, Swedish television presenter (1948), Cicciolina, Italian porno actress and politician (1951), Vreni Schneider, Swiss skier (1964), Ivan Basso, Italian bicyclist (1977) and Natasha Bedingfield, British singer (1981).

Need a reason to raise a glass of bubbly on this day? Perhaps, when celebrating the last Saturday of the month is not enough, you could look into the celebration of Independence Day, celebrating the independence of Mongolia from China on July 11, 1921?

For more information about historic events on this day, you should go here.

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