Hello and Happy Second of February to you. Did you say ‘White Rabbits’ yesterday? If not, please say it right now. This very moment. Although it’s a little late, it might still work and give you the chance of a happy February. Just play along – even if you don’t believe. What harm can it do, eh?
But anyhoo … you’ve come for your Friday Edumacation Lessons, so please find your seats and settle down. We shall begin. . . .
On this Day in History
1653 – New Amsterdam (later renamed The City of New York) is incorporated. New Amsterdam (Dutch: Nieuw Amsterdam) was a 17th century Dutch colonial settlement that later became New York City.
The town developed outside of Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island in the New Netherland territory (1614–1674) which was situated between 38 and 42 degrees latitude as a provincial extension of the Dutch Republic as of 1624. Provincial possession of the territory was accomplished with the first settlement which was established on Governors Island in 1624. A year later, in 1625, construction of a citadel comprising Fort Amsterdam was commenced on the southern tip of Manhattan and the first settlers were moved there from Governors Island.
Earlier, the harbour and the river had been discovered, explored and charted by an expedition of the Dutch East India Company captained by Henry Hudson in 1609. From 1611 through 1614, the territory was surveyed and charted by various private commercial companies on behalf of the States General of the Dutch Republic and operated for the interests of private commercial entities prior to official possession as a North American extension of the Dutch Republic as a provincial entity in 1624.
The town was founded in 1625 by New Netherland’s second director, Willem Verhulst who, together with his council, selected Manhattan Island as the optimal place for permanent settlement by the Dutch West India Company. That year, military engineer and surveyor Krijn Frederiksz laid out a citadel with Fort Amsterdam as centrepiece. To secure the settlers’ property and its surroundings according to Dutch law, Peter Minuit created a deed with the Manhattan Indians in 1626 which signified legal possession of Manhattan. He was appointed New Netherland’s third director by the local council after Willem Verhulst was recalled to patria and sailed away in November 1626.
The city, situated on the strategic, fortifiable southern tip of the island of Manhattan was to maintain New Netherland’s provincial integrity by defending river access to the company’s fur trade operations in the North River, later named Hudson River. Furthermore, it was entrusted to safeguard the West India Company’s exclusive access to New Netherland’s other two estuaries; the Delaware River and the Connecticut River. Fort Amsterdam was designated the capital of the province in 1625 and developed into the largest Dutch colonial settlement of the New Netherland province, now the New York Tri-State Region, and remained a Dutch possession until September 1664, when it fell provisionally and temporarily into the hands of the English.
The Dutch Republic regained it in August 1673 with a fleet of 21 ships, renaming the city New Orange. New Netherland was ceded permanently to the English in November 1674 by treaty.
The 1625 date of the founding of New Amsterdam is now commemorated in the official Seal of New York City (formerly, the year on the seal was 1664, the year of the provisional Articles of Transfer, ensuring New Netherlanders that they “shall keep and enjoy the liberty of their consciences in religion”, negotiated with the English by Petrus Stuyvesant and his council).
1709 – Alexander Selkirk is rescued from shipwreck on a desert island, inspiring the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.
1812 – Russia establishes a fur trading colony at Fort Ross, California.
1887 – In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day is observed.
1901 – Queen Victoria’s funeral takes place. Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was from 20 June 1837 the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and from 1 May 1876 the first Empress of India of the British Raj until her death. Her reign as the Queen lasted 63 years and seven months, was longer than that of any of her predecessors. The period centred on her reign is known as the Victorian era, a time of industrial, political, and military progress within the United Kingdom.
Though Victoria ascended the throne at a time when the United Kingdom was already an established constitutional monarchy in which the king or queen held few political powers and exercised its influence by the prime minister’s advice, she still served as a very important symbolic figure of her time. The Victorian era represented the height of the Industrial Revolution, a period of significant social, economic, and technological progress in the United Kingdom. Victoria’s reign was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire; during this period it reached its zenith, becoming the foremost global power of the time.
1922 – Ulysses by James Joyce is published. Ulysses is a novel by James Joyce, first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach on February 2, 1922, in Paris. It is considered one of the most important works of Modernist literature.
Ulysses chronicles the passage through Dublin by its main character, Leopold Bloom, during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904. The title alludes to the hero of Homer’s Odyssey (Latinised into Ulysses), and there are many parallels, both implicit and explicit, between the two works (e.g., the correspondences between Leopold Bloom and Odysseus, Molly Bloom and Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus and Telemachus). June 16 is now celebrated by Joyce’s fans worldwide as Bloomsday.
Ulysses totals about 265,000 words from a vocabulary of 30,030 words and is divided into 18 “episodes”. The book has been the subject of much controversy and scrutiny since its publication, ranging from early obscenity trials to protracted textual “Joyce Wars.” Ulysses’ stream-of-consciousness technique, careful structuring, and experimental prose—full of puns, parodies, and allusions—as well as its rich characterisations and broad humour, have made the book perhaps the most highly regarded novel in the Modernist pantheon. In 1999, the Modern Library ranked Ulysses first on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.
1935 – Leonarde Keeler tests the first polygraph machine. Leonarde Keeler (1903–1949) was the co-inventor of the polygraph.
On February 2, 1935, Detective Keeler conducted the first use of his invention, the Keeler Polygraph—otherwise known as the lie detector. Keeler used the lie detector on two criminals in Portage, Wisconsin, who were later convicted of assault when the lie detector results were introduced in court.
1940 – Frank Sinatra debuts with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra.
1959 – Nine experienced ski hikers in the northern Ural Mountains in the Soviet Union die under mysterious circumstances.
1971 – Idi Amin replaces President Milton Obote as leader of Uganda. Idi Amin Dada (c.1925 – 16 August 2003), commonly known as Idi Amin, was a Ugandan military dictator and the president of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King’s African Rifles, in 1946, and advanced to the rank of Major General and Commander of the Ugandan Army. He took power in a military coup in January 1971, deposing Milton Obote. His rule was characterized by human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings and the expulsion of Asians from Uganda. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is unknown; estimates from human rights groups range from 100,000 to 500,000.
From 1977 to 1979, Amin titled himself as “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular.” In 1975–1976, despite opposition, Amin became the Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity, a pan-Africanist group designed to promote solidarity of the African states. During the 1977–1979 period, Uganda was appointed to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
Dissent within Uganda, and Amin’s attempt to annex the Kagera province of Tanzania in 1978, led to the Uganda-Tanzania War and the fall of his regime in 1979. Amin fled to Libya, before relocating to Saudi Arabia in 1981, where he died in 2003.
1972 – The British embassy in Dublin is destroyed in protest over Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday (Irish: Domhnach na Fola) is the term used to describe an incident in Derry, Northern Ireland, on 30 January 1972 in which 27 civil rights protesters were shot by members of the 1st Battalion of the British Parachute Regiment during a Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association march in the Bogside area of the city. External Link: BBC Coverage
1980 – Reports surface that FBI were targeting Congressmen in the Abscam operation. Abscam (sometimes ABSCAM) was a United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sting operation run from the FBI’s Hauppauge, Long Island, office in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The operation initially targeted trafficking in stolen property but was converted to a public corruption investigation.
1982 – Hama Massacre: Syria attacks the town of Hama.
1989 – Soviet war in Afghanistan: The last Soviet Union armoured column leaves Kabul.
1989 – Satellite television service Sky Television plc launched.
1990 – Apartheid: F.W. de Klerk allows the African National Congress to legally function and promises to release Nelson Mandela.
Apartheid (meaning separateness in Afrikaans cognate to English apart and hood) was a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government of South Africa between 1948 and 1994. Apartheid had its roots in the history of colonisation and settlement of southern Africa, with the development of practices and policies of separation along racial lines and domination by European settlers and their descendants. Following the general election of 1948, the National Party set in place its programme of Apartheid, with the formalisation and expansion of existing policies and practices into a system of institutionalised racism and white domination.
Apartheid was dismantled in a series of negotiations from 1990 to 1993, culminating in elections in 1994, the first in South Africa with universal suffrage. The vestiges of apartheid still shape South African politics and society. External Link: Apartheid at Wikipedia
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Born on this Day
1585 – Judith Quiney. William Shakespeare’s youngest daughter (d. 1662)
1585 – Hamnet Shakespeare. William Shakespeare’s only son (d. 1596)
1650 – Nell Gwynne, English actress and royal mistress (d. 1687
1882 – James Joyce, Irish author (d. 1941)
1925 – Elaine Stritch, American actress (d. 2014)
1931 – Les Dawson, British comedian (d. 1993)
1940 – David Jason, English actor
1942 – Graham Nash, British-born American musician – born in Lancashire, England and known for his light tenor vocals and for his songwriting contributions with the British pop group The Hollies, and with the folk-rock band Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
1944 – Geoffrey Hughes, British actor. (d. 27 July 2012). Mr. Hughes provided the voice of Paul McCartney in the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine, and rose to fame for portraying much-loved binman Eddie Yeats in the British soap: Coronation Street. He also appeared in the popular British television sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, playing lovable slob Onslow – husband of Daisy, who was the sister of thewonderful social-climbing snob Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced ‘Bouquet’). Daisy was the sister without the large house, Mercedes, sauna, Jacuzzi, swimming pool and Daisy didn’t have room for a pony either. It was sister Violet who had all these things – plus she also had a musical bidet. (I include this information for those of us who are lovers of the programme – and I know there are plenty of us! lol)
1947 – Farrah Fawcett, American actress (d. 2009)
1954 – Christie Brinkley, American model
1963 – Eva Cassidy, American singer (d. 1996)
1972 – Dana International, Israeli singer.
1977 – Shakira, Colombian singer
Died on this Day and remembered here
1969 – Boris Karloff, English actor (b. 1887)
1970 – Bertrand Russell, English mathematician and philosopher, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1872)
1979 – Sid Vicious, English musician (Sex Pistols) (b. 1957)
1980 – William Howard Stein, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1911)
1987 – Alistair MacLean, Scottish novelist and screenwriter (b. 1922)
1995 – Fred Perry, British former tennis player (b. 1909)
1995 – Donald Pleasence, English actor (b. 1919)
1996 – Gene Kelly, American dancer, actor, and director (b. 1912)
2007 – Billy Henderson, American singer (The Spinners) (b. 1939)
[end of school bell sounds]
PLAYTIME! (These are the jokes folks!)
Two male friends talking to each other, and the one says: “I’m certain there are female hormones in beer. When I drink too much, I talk nonsense and I cannot control my car”.
I’ve read so many horrible things about eating chocolate and drinking wine recently that I made a new, firm New Year’s resolution: NO MORE READING!
Has anyone else noticed that the ‘&’ symbol looks like a dog dragging its bottom over the floor?
I heard the Secret Service had to change their commands. They can’t say “Get down!” anymore when the President is under attack. Now it’s “Donald! Duck!”
Two immigrants arrive in the United States and are discussing the difference between their country and the U.S.
One of them mentions he’s heard that people in the U.S. eat dogs, and if they’re going to fit in, they better eat dogs as well. So they head to the nearest hot dog stand and order two ‘dogs.’
The first guy unwraps his, looks at it, and nervously looks at his friend.
“Which part did you get?”
Four elephants go for a walk on a stormy day. They only have one umbrella between them. How come they none of them get wet?
Well did anybody say it was raining?
Thought for the Day
Did you know that in an average day it’s estimated that we have roughly 60,000 thoughts? I wonder, out of all those thoughts, how many of them are happy ones.
I know, for myself, that happy thoughts create happy perceptions. I know that when I’m happy, I seem to have this glow. People seem to notice something about me – I have no idea what it is, but this happy feeling inside seems to show and glow on the outside of me. I also seem to be able to conjure up this never-ending circle of happiness that just attracts more happiness into my life.
However, I also know that if I think negatively, or are pestering over something, worrying, or am angry or fearful about something, all the warmth goes out of my life. And that ‘glow’ that I have when I’m happy, seems to totally disappear.
If we think negatively, or are angry or fearful, then those feelings seem to take us away from our pathway in life. These negative thoughts seem to strip us of all of our power and out ability to negotiate life effectively We seem to become afraid of everything and even act defensively in some situations that normally, we wouldn’t. In return, this pushes away all the good things in life, like friends and the ability to see possibilities and then we just become even more negative which eventually leads to us being lonely and even more negative. It’s like a vicious circle.
So … I guess that the way to a happy you, is via your thoughts. Not just because you instantly begin to feel better and brighter, but you also become stronger and have a more solid and stable foundation to your whole life.
Have a happy day, think happy … and remember that you’re in control of those thoughts, not the other way round.
You won’t be bounced around by life if you’re in the driving seat!
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Well that’s me done and dusted. All that’s left for me to say is … Thank you so much for coming and having a coffee moment with me.
May your day be blessed with peace, joy and all those things which will make your face smile and your heart happy.