Memorable days and events - September
2 September - First ATM opens for business
On this day in 1969, America's first automatic teller machine (ATM) makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. ATMs went on to revolutionize the banking industry, eliminating the need to visit a bank to conduct basic financial transactions.
Several inventors worked on early versions of a cash-dispensing machine, but Don Wetzel, an executive at Docutel, a Dallas company is generally credited as coming up with the idea for the modern ATM.
Wetzel reportedly conceived of the concept while waiting on line at a bank. The ATM that debuted in New York in 1969 was only able to give out cash.
11 th September - Patriot Day
On 11th September, 2001, four planes were hijacked in the United States. The hijackers deliberately flew three of the planes into two important buildings, the Pentagon in Washington DC and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. The fourth crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly 3000 people died in the attacks and the economic impact was immense. The attacks have greatly increased attention to security issues worldwide.
Patriot Day is an annual observance on September 11 to remember those who were injured or died during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Many Americans refer Patriot Day as 9/11 or September 11.
On this day the flag of the United States of America is displayed on the homes of Americans, the White House and all United States government buildings in the whole world. The flag should be flown at half-mast as a mark of respect to those who died on September 11, 2001. Many people observe a moment of silence at 8:46 AM . This marks the time that the first plane flew into the World Trade Center. Some communities hold special church services or prayer meetings. People who personally experienced the events in 2001 or lost loved ones in them, may lay flowers or visit memorials.
Other events and curiosities of the month
On 10th September, 1894
George Smith, a London cab driver, became the first person to be convicted of drink driving in England. He was fined 20 shillings (appr. 6 pounds today).
On 14th September, 1891
The first ever penalty kick was taken in the English Football League for Wolverhampton Wanderers against Accrington Stanley.
On 30th of September, 1928
Alexander Fleming announced his discovery of penicillin.
Memorable days and events - June
D-Day – 6 June, 1944
On this day the Allied powers crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, beginning the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control during World War II.
Eisenhower selected June 5, 1944, as the date for the invasion; however, bad weather on the days leading up to the operation caused it to be delayed for 24 hours. On the morning of June 5, after his meteorologist predicted improved conditions for the following day, Eisenhower gave the go-ahead for Operation Overlord.
On his orders, 6,000 landing craft, ships and other vessels carrying 176,000 troops began to leave England for the trip to France. That night, 822 aircraft filled with parachutists headed for drop zones in Normandy. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion.
By dawn on June 6, thousands of paratroopers and glider troops were already on the ground behind enemy lines, securing bridges and exit roads. The amphibious invasions began at 6:30 a.m. By day's end, 155,000 allied troops--Americans, British and Canadians--had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches.
Though it did not go off exactly as planned, for example, the Allies were able to land only fractions of the supplies and vehicles they had intended in France, D-Day was a decided success. By the end of June, the Allies had 850,000 men and 150,000 vehicles in Normandy and were poised to continue their march across Europe.
The heroism and bravery displayed by troops from the Allied countries on D-Day has served as inspiration for several films, most famously The Longest Day (1962) and Saving Private Ryan (1998).
14th June - Congress adopts the Stars and Stripes
During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that "the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white" and that "the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation." The national flag, which became known as the "Stars and Stripes," was based on the "Grand Union" flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes.
With the entrance of new states into the United States after independence, new stripes and stars were added to represent new additions to the Union. (Now the flag has 50 stars symbolising the 50 states.)
The 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain and became the first states in the Union.
Common nicknames for the American flag include the "Stars and Stripes", "Old Glory", and "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Memorable Days and Events – May
The Empire State Building
On May 1, 1931, President Herbert Hoover officially dedicates New York City's Empire State Building, pressing a button from the White House that turns on the building's lights.
Ever since it was built, the Empire State Building has captured the attention of young and old alike: every year, millions of tourists flock to the Empire State Building to get a glimpse from its 86th and 102nd floor observatories. This building not only became an icon of New York City, it became a symbol of twentieth century man's attempts to achieve the impossible.
At the time of its completion, the Empire State Building, at 102 stories and 1,250 feet high (1,454 feet to the top of the lightning rod), was the world's tallest skyscraper.
When the Eiffel Tower (984 feet) was built in 1889 in Paris it, in a way, provoked American architects to build something taller. By the early twentieth century, a skyscraper race was on. By 1909 the Metropolitan Life Tower rose 700 feet (50 stories), quickly followed by the Woolworth Building in 1913 at 792 feet (57 stories), and soon surpassed by the Bank of Manhattan Building in 1929 at 927 feet (71 stories).
The idea for the Empire State Building is said to have been born of a competition between Walter Chrysler of the Chrysler Corporation and John Jakob Raskob of General Motors, to see who could erect the taller building. (J.K.Raskob and his partners won the race.)
The construction took place in the Depression-era in IS history, the building employed as many as 3,400 workers on any single day, most of whom received an excellent pay rate.
In 1972, the Empire State Building lost its title as world's tallest building to New York's World Trade Center, which itself was the tallest skyscraper for but a year. Today the honor belongs to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa tower, which soars 2,717 feet into the sky.
Some interestig facts
- Construction was completed in one year and 45 days
- 1,250 feet to the 102nd floor Observatory
- 1,453 feet, 8 9/16 inches to the tip of the broadcast tower
- 103 floors, 1,872 steps to the 103rd floor
- An estimated ten million bricks were used in construction
- 57,000 tons of steel were used in construction
- Contains 473 miles of electrical wiring and 70 miles of pipe
- 6,514 windows
- 210 columns at the base support the entire weight of the building
- Seven million man-hours went into constructing the Empire State Building
1976: The 50 millionth visitor came to the Empire State Building
1994: The first Valentine's Day wedding events took place at the Empire State Building.
2007: The Empire State Building was named "America's Favorite Architecture" in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects.
Big Ben – first struck on May 31, 1959
The famous tower clock known as Big Ben, located at the top of the 320-foot-high St. Stephen's Tower, rang out over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, for the first time on this day in 1859.
The name 'Big Ben' is often associated with the Elizabeth Tower and the Great Clock as well as the Great Bell. Originally the name was given to the Great Bell.
On 16th October 1834, the Palace of Westminster was destroyed by a huge fire.
When the flames were put out, there wasn’t much left. Only Westminster Hall. Parliament had nowhere to meet and they had to cancel their session.
In November 1835, 13 months later, a committee was set up to re-build it and to hold a competition for designs. More than 400 designs were submitted by more than 90 architects.
In the end, the committee chose the design of Charles Barry, but there's a little secret in it: His original design did NOT include a clock tower! They asked him to revise it and to add a clock tower, of course with a clock inside! (The final version of tower was designed by Augustus Pugin.)
The clock is famous for its reliability. Another funny episode of the story: The clock’s mechanism was designed by Edmund Beckett Denison, who wasn't even a clockmaker! He was a lawyer! Clockmaking was his HOBBY.
It took five years to complete the tower, the clock and the bell. The bell weighed more than 13 tons, it was dragged to the tower through the streets of London by a team of 16 horses, to the cheers of onlookers. The clock was installed in the Clock Tower in April 1859. At first, it wouldn't work as the cast-iron minute hands were too heavy. Once they were replaced by lighter copper hands, it successfully began keeping time.
Big Ben struck its first chimes on May 31, 1859. Just two months later, however, the heavy striker cracked the bell. Three more years passed before a lighter hammer was added and the clock went into service again. The bell was rotated so that the hammer would strike another surface, but the crack was never repaired.
Two main stories exist about how Big Ben got its name. Most people claim it was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, the London commissioner of works at the time it was built. Another famous story argues that the bell was named for the popular heavyweight boxer Benjamin Caunt, because it was the largest of its kind.
Memorable Days and Events – April
April’s Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time (A selection)
1962: In 1962 there was only one tv channel in Sweden, and it broadcast in black and white. The station's technical expert, Kjell Stensson, appeared on the news to announce that, thanks to a new technology, viewers could convert their existing sets to display colour reception. All they had to do was to pull a nylon stocking over their tv screen. Stensson proceeded to demonstrate the process. Thousands of people were taken in. Regular colour broadcasts only commenced in Sweden on April 1, 1970.
The Left-Handed Whopper
1998: Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a "Left-Handed Whopper" specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued a follow-up release revealing that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press release, "many others requested their own 'right handed' version."
2008: The BBC announced that camera crews filming near the Antarctic for its natural history series Miracles of Evolution had captured footage of Adélie penguins taking to the air. It even offered a video clip of these flying penguins, which became one of the most viewed videos on the internet. Presenter Terry Jones explained that, instead of huddling together to endure the Antarctic winter, these penguins took to the air and flew thousands of miles to the rainforests of South America where they "spend the winter basking in the tropical sun." A follow-up video explained how the BBC created the special effects of the flying penguins.
Many more funny stories : http://hoaxes.org/aprilfool
Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the full Moon that occurs on or just after the spring equinox.
1 When is Easter celebrated in 2019?
A/ in March B/ in April C/ in May
2 Where does the name of Easter come from?
A/ an Anglo-Saxon goddess called eastre B/ A saint from the 6th century
C/ an old word for East Star
3 On Palm Sunday, Christians celebrate the day that
A/ Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was greeted by cheering crowd
B/ Jesus sheltered under a palm tree during a thunderstorm
C/ Jesus fed 5,000 people
4 What event does Maundy Thursday commemorate?
A/ the Last Supper B/ the birth of Jesus C/Jesus’ return to Jerusalem D/ the death of Jesus
5 The crusifixion of Jesus took place
A/ On Easter Saturday B/ on Easter Sunday C/ on Good Friday
6 What Christian event took place on Easter Sunday?
A/ Jesus ate the Last Supper B/ Jesus was born in a manger C/ Jesus rose from the dead
7 Jesus was crusified on a hill called as Golgotha. What does the name mean?
A /the place of skulls B/ the high mountain C/ the place of the olive trees D/ the holy hill
8 The night before his death, Jesus finished the Passover meal with his disciples by sharing
A/ bread and water B/ bread and wine C/ water and olives d/ toast and jam
9 Who was the first person to speak to Jesus after he had risen from the dead?
A/ Judas B/ Mary Magdalene C/ Mary D/ Peter
10 Why do we have eggs at Easter?
A/ Jesus liked eggs. B/ Eggs taste nice C/ They are a symbol of rebirth and fertility.
D/ They are a symbol of sadness as they look like a tear drop.
11 What is decorated for Easter?
A/ apples b/ eggs C/ pumpkins D/ trees
12 What animal usually delivers Easter gooddies?
A/ elephant B/ bunny C/ duck D/ cat
13 The two other animals associated with Easter are
A/ chicks and lambs B/ bats and cats C/ lions and tigers
14 What flower is mostly given on Easter Sunday?
A/ sunflower B/ lily c/ daisy D/ rose
15 What is traditionally eaten on Easter Friday?
A/ plum pudding B/ roast turkey C/ roast lamb D/ Hot Cross Buns
1B 2A 3A 4A 5C 6C 7A 8B 9B 10C 11B 12B 13A 14B 15D
Memorable Days and Events – March
Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Day
Shrove Tuesday is a moveable feast. Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date varies from year to year and falls between February 3 and March 9.
In 2019 it is on 5th March.
Shrove Tuesday has its roots in Christian tradition as it is the day before Lent, the period of fasting and prayer that preceeds Easter.
The word Shrove comes from the Old English word, Shrive - to confess one’s sins.
It is also known as Mardi Gras ( "fat Tuesday" in French), Carnival ("farewell to the flesh" in Latin).
In England the day is also called Pancake Tuesday.
The tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday began as a way to use up butter, milk and eggs because they were not allowed to be eaten and would go bad during the period of Lent.
For many people Shrove Tuesday is not a religious tradition any more, but they use it as an
excellent opportunity to make and eat pancakes for breakfast, lunch or dinner or try out some new recipes. Originally, the pancakes were a little thicker than the modern pancake.
It wasn’t the case until the eighteenth century when pancakes became thinner due to the influence of French cooking.
On this day pancake races are also held where people must successfully toss and flip their pancakes into the air before crossing the finish line. Points are awarded for time, for number and height of flips, and number of times the pancake turns over.
The earliest records of pancake tossing appeared in the fifteenth century. One of the oldest races is the Olney's famous race which dates back to 1445.
The Olney residents (women) compete in traditional apron, cap holding a fying pan with a real pancake. They must toss their pancake once at the start (ouside The Bull Inn) and once at the finish by the church.
The town of Liberal in the USA runs a similar race over the same distance on the same day, and the best of Liberal compete with the best of Olney for the fastest time.
Another spectacular event is the Parliamentary Pancake Day Race in London where teams of MPs, Lords and members of the press compete against each other. It is a charity event to help people with disabilities, brain and spinal injuries and older people to rebuild independent lives. Paricipants must obey strict rules, e.g. frying pans must not be used as weapons, or no surplus eggs, flour or batter must be thrown in the direction of other participants.
To enjoy a good pancake, just follow the step-by-step guide to making pancakes:
Saint Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick's Day celebrates a Christian Saint named Patrick. Patrick was a missionary who helped to bring Christianity to Ireland. He is the patron saint of Ireland.
Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17th, but sometimes the day is moved by the Catholic Church to avoid the Easter holidays.
It is mostly celebrated in Ireland and by Irish people around the world. Many non-Irish join in the celebrations in many places, especially in the United States. It is a public holiday in Ireland.
The day is celebrated as a religious holiday by the Catholic Church.
There are also lots of festivals and parades on this day to celebrate Irish culture. Most major cities have some sort of St. Patrick's Day parade.
In the US the city of Chicago has a fun custom where they dye the Chicago River green each year.
Probably the main way to celebrate St. Patrick's is to wear green. Green is the main colour and symbol of the day. People not only wear green, but they dye their food green. People eat all sorts of green food such as green hot dogs, green cookies, green bread, and green drinks.
Other fun traditions of the holiday include the shamrock (three leafed clover plant), Irish music played with bagpipes, eating corned beef and cabbage, and leprechauns.
History of Saint Patrick's Day
St. Patrick was a missionary to Ireland in the 5th century. There are many legends and tales about how he brought Christianity to the island including how he used the shamrock to explain the Christian trinity. It is believed he died on March 17, 461.
Hundreds of years later, around the 9th century, people in Ireland began celebrating the Feast of St. Patrick on March 17th each year. This holiday continued as a serious religious holiday in Ireland for hundreds of years.
Fun Facts About Saint Patrick's Day
It was named the "Friendliest Day of the Year" by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Legend has it that St. Patrick stood on a hill in Ireland and banished all the snakes from the island.
The fountain in front of the White House is sometimes dyed green in honour of the day.
Around 150,000 people participate in the New York City parade.
Nineteen presidents of the United States claim to have some Irish heritage.
Memorable Days and Events – February
Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2nd.
Groundhog Day is the day when people look to the groundhog to predict the weather for the next six weeks.
Folklore says that if the sun is shining when the ground hog comes out of his burrow, then the groundhog will go back into its burrow and we will have winter for six more weeks. However, if it is cloudy, then spring will come early that year.
How accurate the predictions of the groundhogs are is up for debate. People who organize the day say that they are very accurate. However, others say it's just luck.
This is a tradition in the United States. It is not a federal holiday and is mostly just for fun and something that weather forecasters like to talk about for entertainment.
There are a number of celebrations throughout the United States. The largest celebration takes place in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania where the famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil has predicted the weather each year since 1886. Large crowds of (well over 10,000 people) gather here to see Phil come out of his burrow at around 7:30am.
The origins of Groundhog Day can be traced to German and Dutch settlers in Pennsylvania. These settlers celebrated February 2nd as Candlemas Day. On this day if the sun came out then there would be six more weeks of wintry weather.
At some point people began to look to the groundhog to make this prediction. The earliest reference to the groundhog is in an 1841 journal entry. In 1886 the Punxsutawney newspaper declared February 2nd as Groundhog Day and named the local groundhog as Punxsutawney Phil. Since then the day and tradition has spread throughout the United States.
In Alaska February 2 is observed as Marmot Day rather than Groundhog Day because few groundhogs exist in the state.
In Germany, June 27 is "Siebenschläfertag" (Seven Sleepers’ Day). If it rains that day, the rest of summer is supposedly going to be rainy.
In the United Kingdom, July 15 is known as St. Swithun's day. It was traditionally believed if it rained on that day, it would rain for the next 40 days and nights.
*groundhog day = mormota nap
Valentine’s Day – 14th February
The history of Valentine's Day is obscure. The origins of Valentine's Day trace back to the ancient Roman celebration of Lupercalia. The Roman festivities were held on February 15 and included the pairing of young women and men. Men would draw women's names from a box, and each couple would be paired until next year's celebration.
The holiday wasn't called "Valentine's Day" until a priest named Valentine came along.
Actually, there were many Christians named Valentine, but most experts believe that the Valentine remembered on St. Valentine's Day was a Roman martyr executed on the 14th of February.
In those days, Claudius ordered soldiers to remain bachelors because he believed that married soldiers would be unable to concentrate on fighting. One legend says that Valentine disobeyed his emperor and secretly performed marriage ceremonies. As a result of this, Valentine was put to death on February 14.
According to another legend, the imprisoned Valentine fell in love with the daughter of his jailor. Before he was executed, he sent her a letter signed „from your Valentine”.
(Probably the most plausible story surrounding St. Valentine is that he was martyred for refusing to give up his Christian religion.)
By the 18th century, gift-giving and exchanging hand-made cards on Valentine's Day had become common in England.
According to some statistics, 25% of all cards sent each year are valentines.
There are many traditions and superstitions associated with Valentine's Day:
In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week.
In Great Britain on Valentine's Day Eve women used to pin four bay leaves to the corners of their pillow and eat eggs, with salt replacing the removed yokes. They believed they would then dream of their future husbands. Also, women used to write their lover's names on paper and put them on clay balls which they would drop into the water. They believed that whichever paper came up first, that man would be their future husband.
A majority of English people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a rich person.
In Japan men are spoilt with women and not the other way round like in most Western cultures. Women usually give men chocolate on this day.
The type of chocolate depends greatly on the nature of the relationship. Giri-choko is bought for bosses, colleagues and close male friends. Giri means ‘obligation' and, therefore, these chocolates do not carry any romantic association. By contrast, Honmei-choko is presented to boyfriends, lovers or husbands. These chocolates are very special, because they are hand made by the women themselves. Men who receive Honmei-choko on Valentine's Day are very lucky.
One month later on White Day (March 14), men are expected to return gifts that are at least two or three times more valuable than the gifts received on Valentine's Day.
In Finland Valentine’s Day is more a celebration of a friendship than that of romantic love.
14 February is called Ystävän Päivä which means Friend’s Day.
Memorable days and events - January
24th January - Gold Discovery and Gold Rush in California
On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold at a sawmill in Coloma that he was constructing for John Sutter, a wealthy land developer from the Sacramento Valley.
After Marshall's gold discovery, a booming little town soon developed, and the Indian name "Culluma" was changed to Coloma. It was the first place fortune-seekers headed for when they arrived in San Francisco until gold was discovered in surrounding areas.
As gold dwindled in Coloma, it became a trade center for the new camps. Ironically, the Gold Rush merchants often did better financially than the miners themselves because they sold goods and supplies at outrageously inflated prices, an extreme example of capitalizing on supply and demand.
Seventy percent of Coloma today is contained within the James Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, an excellent place to see and learn more about James Marshall's epic gold discovery.
More about the history of Gold Rush with interesting facts, figures and photos: http://www.historichwy49.com/goldfact.html
27th January – Lewis Carrol’s birthday
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll was born on 27 January 1832.
He is best-known for his classic fantasy novels ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND (1865) and its sequel THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS, AND WHAT ALICE FOUND THERE (1871).
Lewis Carroll was born at Daresbury in Chesire. At Christ Church, Oxford, he studied mathematics and worked from 1855 to 1881 as a lecturer (tutor). His career in education was troubled by a bad stammer* as he lectured and taught with difficulty.
According to anecdotes, Dodgson was very shy and he even hid his hands continually within a pair of gray-and-black gloves.
During one picnic – on July 4, 1862, on a blazing summer afternoon – Dodgson began to tell a long story to Alice Liddell (died in 1934), his ideal child friend, who was the daughter of Henry George Liddell, the head of his Oxford college. The Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was born from these tales.
Originally the book appeared under the title Alice's Adventures Under Ground. The story centers on the seven-year-old Alice, who falls asleep in a meadow, and dreams that she plunges down a rabbit hole, where she finds herself first too large and then too small.
She meets such strange characters as Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the King and Queen of Hearts, and experiences wondrous, often bizarre adventures. Finally she totally rejects the dream world and wakes up.
It is not very well-known that L. Carroll also wrote mathematical works, which established his fame as a significant mathematical theorist. Moreover, he was a rather exceptional student of Aristotelian logic, and he delighted his friends with games, puzzles and riddles.
He died on 14 January 1898.
For more information see: http://lewiscarrollsociety.org.uk/
* stammer: dadogás