A twofer: Prohibition ends and the U.N. celebrates Volunteer Day

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On this day in 1933, the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition. I’ll drink to that! (from http://www.cute-calendar.com)

 

 

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As an appreciation for voluntary engagement, the United Nations (UN) has proclaimed December  5th as International Volunteer Day. Since 1986 the International Volunteer Day compliments people who do work without payment and supports this habit. Organizations use this day to solicit their work and inform the public about their efforts, goals and work.

The International Volunteer Day supports a unique topic each year but the aim is always to win more people for voluntary work. These people’s work is valuable for every society because people grow together as a community and skills shortage can be balanced. Community services especially depend on volunteers, and such services are a valuable experience also for the volunteers as they learn about things they maybe don’t get in touch with during their actual career.  (from www.cute-calendar.com)

Sherlock Holmes introduced…

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Sherlock Holmes appeared for the first time in print in A Study in Scarlet this date in 1887. Holmes is a fictional private detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Homes is known for a proficiency with observation, forensic science and logical reasoning, which he employs when investigating cases for a wide variety of clients. The character’s popularity became widespread with the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine in 1891. All but one are set in the Victorian or Edwardian periods. Most are narrated by the character of Holmes’s friend and biographer Dr. Watson, who usually accompanies Holmes during his investigations and often shares quarters with him at the address of 221B Baker Street, London, where many of the stories begin.

Though not the first fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes is arguably the most well-known, listed by Guinness World Records as the “most portrayed movie character” in history. Holmes’ popularity and fame are such that many have believed him not to be a fictional character, but a real individual. The stories and character have had a profound and lasting effect on mystery and popular culture. (from Wikipedia)

Steamboat Willie premieres ….

Steamboat Willie, an animated short film directed by Walt Disney, debuted this day tomorrow in 1928. The cartoon is considered to be the debut of Mickey Mouse and his girlfriend Minnie and was the first fully synchronized sound cartoon.

In 1994, members of the animated field voted Steamboat Willie 13th in the book The 50 Greatest Cartoons that listed the greatest cartoons of all time. In 1998 the film was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry for being deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” (from Wikipedia)

Charles Darwin

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Charles Darwin, an English naturalist and geologist, is best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors and, in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted in a process he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.

Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence this date, in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts. Darwin’s work established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. In 1871, Darwin examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex.

Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history and was honored by burial in Westminster Abbey.

John F. Kennedy Assassination

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John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated this day in 1963 in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas. Fatally shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy was traveling with his wife, Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally and Connolly’s wife in a presidential motorcade. A ten-month investigation by the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone in shooting Kennedy, and that Jack Ruby also acted alone when he killed Oswald before he could stand trial.

Conspiracy theories continue to be put forth, but the Justice Department has concluded “that no persuasive evidence can be identified to support the theory of a conspiracy…” Despite this, a poll in 2013 concluded that 60% of Americans believe that a group of conspirators was responsible for the assassination.

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Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address is a speech by President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best known in American history. It was delivered by Lincoln during the Civil War on the afternoon of this day in 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Abraham Lincoln’s carefully crafted address, secondary to other presentations that day, was one of the greatest and most influential statements of national purpose. In just over two minutes, Lincoln reiterated the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and proclaimed the Civil War as a struggle for the preservation of the Union sundered by the secession crisis, with “a new birth of freedom,” that would bring true equality to all of its citizens. Lincoln also redefined the Civil War as a struggle not just for the Union, but also for the principle of human equality.

Beginning with the now-iconic phrase “Four score and seven years ago”—referring to the Declaration of Independence in 1776—Lincoln examined the founding principles of the United States as stated in the Declaration of Independence. In the context of the Civil War, Lincoln also memorialized the sacrifices of those who gave their lives at Gettysburg and extolled virtues for the listeners (and the nation) to ensure the survival of America’s representative democracy: that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” (from Wikipedia)

Leonid Meteor Showers ……

(Painting of a Leonid shower in the year 1833. Copyright: E. Weiß (ca. 1888)

The Leonids are a meteor shower associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle, this year from November 6th through November 30th, with the best time between the hours of midnight to dawn tomorrow: Monday, November 18th. The Leonids get their name from the location of their radiant in the constellation Leo: the meteors appear to radiate from that point in the sky.

Earth moves through the meteoroid stream of particles ejected by the comet as its frozen gasses evaporate under the heat of the Sun when it is close enough. The Leonids in particular are well known for having bright meteors or fireballs that may be 9 mm across, have 86 grams of mass, and punch into the atmosphere with the kinetic energy of a car hitting at 60 mph. An annual Leonid shower may deposit 12 or 13 tons of particles across the entire planet.  (from www.cute-calendar.com)