Good morning and happy Friday to you. How’s your week been? Good I hope, or at least, very little to complain about.
My week has been busy and wrapped up in tiredness. I’m not doing anything which burns the candle at both ends, but cooo… I seem to suddenly find a drop in energy levels between 3pm and 4pm, and I’ll either fall asleep in my chair and catch 40 winks, – or on one day I actually made my way wearily to my bed and slept soundly until 7pm. I’m beginning to think I should be living somewhere in Spain or Mexico, where they have an afternoon siesta!
Anyhooooo…. This ‘On this day in History’ of lesson is going to be the last ‘On this day in History’ lesson for a while. All schools have holidays and breaks to allow pupils some freedom and fun, and this Friday Lesson is doing just that. But for today, you’ve come dressed in your school uniforms and ready for some edumacation, so let’s crack on with it, shall we?
23rd March 2018
On this Day in History
1540 – Waltham Abbey is surrendered to King Henry VIII of England; the last religious community to be closed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
1775 – American Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry delivers his speech – “Give me liberty, or give me death!” – at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia.
1839 – The first recorded use of “OK” (okay). Okay, frequently spelled OK and occasionally okeh is a colloquial English word denoting approval, assent, or acknowledgment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OK
1840 – John W. Draper takes first successful photo of the Moon. John William Draper (May 5, 1811, – January 4, 1882) was an (English-born) American scientist, philosopher, physician, chemist, historian, and photographer. He was the first person to take an astrophotograph; he took the first photo of the Moon which showed any lunar features in 1840.
1857 – Elisha Otis’s first elevator is installed at 488 Broadway New York City. Elisha Graves Otis (August 3, 1811 – April 8, 1861) invented a safety device that prevented elevators from falling if the hoisting cable broke. He worked on this device while living in Yonkers, New York in 1852, and had a finished product in 1854.
1889 – The free Woolwich Ferry officially opens in east London. The Woolwich Free Ferry is a boat service across the River Thames, London, UK, which is licensed and financed by London River Services, the maritime arm of Transport for London. The service is operated by Serco Group under licence from TfL and carries both foot passengers and vehicles.
The ferry carries more than one million vehicles and 2.5 million passengers each year. Occupants of vehicles (including drivers) are counted as passengers. In depth website about the Woolwich Ferry
1888 – In England, The Football League, the world’s oldest professional association football league, meets for the first time.
1901 – Australian opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba, reveals the secret of her now famous toast. Melba toast is a very dry, crisp, thinly sliced toast often served with soups and salads or topped with either melted cheese or pâté.
The toast was created for her by chef (and fan) Auguste Escoffier, who also created the Peach Melba dessert. Melba toast is said to be derived from the crisp toast that was part of Dame Melba’s diet during the year 1897, a year in which she was very ill.
For the cooks among us: Melba toast is usually made by lightly toasting bread in the normal way. Once the outside of the bread is slightly firm, it is removed from the toaster and then each slice is cut in half “longitudinally” with a bread knife to make two slices, each half the thickness. These two thin slices are then toasted again to make Melba Toast.
1903 – The Wright Brothers apply for a patent on their invention of one of the first successful air planes.
1909 – Theodore Roosevelt leaves New York for a post-presidency safari in Africa. The trip is sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society.
1919 – In Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini re-formed his Fascist political movement. Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism.
1933 – The Reichstag passes the Enabling act of 1933, making Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.
1956 – Pakistan becomes the first Islamic republic in the world. (Republic Day in Pakistan)
1965 – NASA launches Gemini 3, the United States’ first two-man space flight (crew: Gus Grissom and John Young).
1977 – The first of The Nixon Interviews (12 recorded over four weeks) are videotaped with British journalist David Frost interviewing former United States President Richard Nixon about the Watergate scandal and the Nixon tapes.
1983 – Strategic Defense Initiative: President Ronald Reagan makes his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles.
1994 – Aeroflot Flight 593 crashed into the Kuznetsk Alatau mountain, Kemerovo Oblast, Russia, killing 75, when the pilot’s fifteen-year old son accidentally disengages the autopilot.
1994 – A United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft collides with a USAF C-130 at Pope Air Force Base and then crashes, killing 24 United States Army soldiers on the ground. This later became known as the Green Ramp disaster.
2001 – The Russian Mir space station is disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean near Fiji.
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Born on this Day
1904 – Joan Crawford, American actress (d. 1977). NB: The year of Miss Crawford’s birth has been variously identified as 1904, 1906, 1908 and 1909, the last being her own favourite.
1921 – Donald Campbell, British car and motorboat racer (d. 1967)
1925 – David Watkin, English cinematographer (d. 2008) – In Chariots of Fire, he helped create one of the most memorable images of 1980s cinema: the opening sequence in which a huddle of young male athletes pounds along the water’s edge on a beach” to the film’s theme music by Vangelis.
1929 – Sir Roger Bannister, English runner
1935 – Barry Cryer, OBE. an English comedian, actor and screenwriter.
1946 – Alan Bleasdale, English screenwriter and producer
1953 – Chaka Khan, American singer
1957 – Amanda Plummer, American actress – daughter of actors Tammy Grimes and Christopher Plummer.
1962 – Sir Steven Redgrave CBE DL, retired British rower who won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000. He has also won three Commonwealth Games gold medals and nine World Rowing Championships golds. He is the most successful male rower in Olympic history, and the only man to have won gold medals at five Olympic Games in an endurance sport.
1965 – Marti Pellow, Scottish singer (Wet Wet Wet)
1968 – Damon Albarn, English musician (Blur, Gorillaz and The Good, the Bad & the Queen)
1971 – Gail Porter, Scottish television presenter
1980 – Russell Howard, English comedian
1983 – Mo Farah, Somali-English runner
1989 – Ayesha Curry, Canadian-American chef, author and television personality
1990 – Princess Eugenie of York. Younger daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and of Sarah, Duchess of York. She is eighth in line of succession to the British throne, and has worked for the Hauser & Wirth art gallery in London as an associate director since 2015.
Died on this Day and remembered here
1965 – Mae Murray, American actress, dancer, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1889)
2001 – Rowland Evans, American journalist (b. 1921)
2002 – Eileen Farrell, American soprano (b. 1920)
2011 – Elizabeth Taylor DBE, American-British actress, socialite and humanitarian (b. 1932)
2012 – Jim Duffy, American animator, director, and producer (b. 1937)
2015 – Lil’ Chris, English singer-songwriter, actor, and television personality (b. 1990)
External Links for more news on this day
Time for a coffee and a slice of contemplation . . .
Thought for the Day
A book was published in 1913 written by a lady called Eleanor H. Porter, which many of you will have heard about, read or even watched the film which was made based upon this book. The book was called Pollyanna.
I can see some of you smiling already, – but for those of you who don’t know this book/film let me explain a little more….
The writer, Eleanor H. Porter originally trained as a singer, but in her later years she turned to writing. She wrote books for adult readers, but she wrote mainly children’s literature books. But Pollyanna was my favourite – both as a child and as an adult.
Ms. Porter also wrote a sequel: ‘Pollyanna Grows Up‘, because the book had become so popular. There are other books, other ‘sequels’, but none of them are written by Eleanor, for Eleanor passed away just seven years after the first Pollyanna book was published.
However, she has left behind her a legacy of monumental proportions. Not just in me, but in all children of the world who have read this book or had it read to them.
To be honest, if it were up to me I’d make it compulsory in the first schools, second schools and high schools, purely because of the ‘Glad Game‘ which Pollyanna’s father taught her, and which the reader learns about by reading the book.
Pollyanna was an orphan. Both of her parents had passed away (not at the same time). Pollyanna was sent to live with her spinster aunt – a rather stiff, stern, crotchety woman who lived alone – except for a small ‘staff’ – a maid, gardener and a driver. We do, at a later point in the book, learn that Aunt Polly was like she was because of a lost love.
Pollyanna and her bright, sunny, cheerful, joyous and loving personality, was to transform not only her Aunts life, but the lives of all the people who lived in the small town where she lived. And she did it simply by teaching everyone she came into contact with: ‘The Game’.
The Game is ‘The Glad Game‘. It’s a game which Pollyanna’s father taught to her one Christmas time.
Pollyanna was hoping to find a doll in the missionary barrel which held all manner of things…. however, Pollyanna only found a pair of crutches, which she had no need of. Naturally Pollyanna was a little disappointed. Her father, seeing his child’s sad face, made up the game on the spot, and taught Pollyanna how she could look at every situation and find the good side in there somewhere. And … in this case of the crutches, she could be glad about them, because, he told her, “we don’t need ’em!”.
Armed with this Glad Game, her life was transformed, and also, the lives of all people around her.
When she moved into her Aunts house following the death of her father, Polly was late coming to the dinner table one evening and her Aunt said that she would be punished by not having the delights that had been prepared for dinner in the dining room, but instead, her punishment would be to have only bread and milk, and she would have to eat it in the kitchen with the servant, Nancy.
Pollyanna was absolutely thrilled to bits and couldn’t thank her Aunt enough! She explained that she loves bread and milk, and she loves Nancy too, so to be able to eat bread and milk in the kitchen with Nancy was a real treat!
Pollyanna teaches this very same outlook to other people around the little town. She teaches the invalid, Mrs. Snow, the Glad Game (which takes some considerable time as Mrs. Snow is a real grouch!) … and eventually Mrs. Snow is playing along and enjoying life again.
And it’s this ‘Glad Game’ which is my thought for the day.
Something which happened recently made me put the Glad Game to work… and that’s why I’m thinking about it today.
Some of you may have read Pollyanna … but if you haven’t, or haven’t read it for a while, I urge you to go and borrow a copy from your library, or even buy the book, so that you can learn for yourself about the ‘Glad Game‘, and see if you can put it into practise in your life.
Every situation you come to, every problem you find yourself with, has something in it to be glad about. It’s that elusive ‘silver lining‘ that people talk about; sing about; make movies about! Find the good in a situation and SNAP!, suddenly the situation doesn’t seem quite as daunting as it did before!
And, once you get used to playing the Glad Game, – teach others how to play it too.
I promise you, that although it’s a simple philosophy, it really does work.
Transform your life … and then go and transform other people lives for them by teaching them ‘The Glad Game’!.
You, have a great ‘Glad Game‘ day.
Sending you much love, from me in my corner, to you in yours.