Wright Brothers and Kitty Hawk, NC

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The Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were American inventors and aviation pioneers who are generally credited with inventing, building and flying the world’s first successful airplane. They made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than–air aircraft on this date in 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In 1904-05, the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.  (from Wikipedia and www.cute-calendar.com)

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Boston Tea Party

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Source: W.D. Cooper. “Boston Tea Party.”, The History of North America. London: E. Newberry, 1789. Engraving. Plate opposite p. 58. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (40)

The Boston Tea Party was a political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston in 1773. The demonstrators, some disguised as Native  Americans, in defiance of the Tea Act of May 10, 1773, destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company. They boarded the ships and threw the chests of tea into Boston Harbor. The British government responded harshly and the episode escalated into the American Revolution. The Tea Party became an iconic event of American history, and other political protests such as the Tea Party movement after 2010 explicitly refer to it.

The Tea Party was the culmination of a resistance movement throughout British America against the Tea Act, which the Colonists believed violated their rights as Englishmen to “No taxation without representation.”  That is, be taxed only by their own elected representatives and not by a British parliament in which they were not represented.

The Boston Tea Party was a significant event in the growth of the American Revolution. Parliament responded in 1774 with the Coercive Acts, or Intolerable Acts, which, among other provisions, ended local self-government in Massachusetts and closed Boston’s commerce. Colonists up and down the Thirteen Colonies, in turn, responded to the Coercive Acts with additional acts of protest, and by convening the First Continental Congress, which petitioned the British monarch for repeal of the acts and coordinated colonial resistance to them. The crisis escalated, and the American Revolutionary War began near Boston in 1775.  (from Wikipedia and www.cute-calendar.com)

“Gone With the Wind”

 

Gone with the Wind (the movie) premiered in Atlanta, Georgia this date in 1939. Production was difficult from the start. Filming was delayed for two years due to Selznick’s determination to secure Clark Gable for the role of Rhett Butler, and the “search for Scarlett” led to 1,400 women being interviewed for the part, which was won by Vivien Leigh. Also featured were Olivia de Havilland as Melanie and Leslie Howard. At the 12th Academy Awards, the film received ten awards from thirteen nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress (Leigh) and Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel, becoming the first African-American to win an Academy Award). The film retained the record of the highest-earning movie for over a quarter of a century; when adjusted for monetary inflation, it is still the most successful film in box office history.

The film was based on the book, Gone with the Wind, written by Margaret Mitchell. Published in 1936, it was a bestseller that year and the next.  Mitchell received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for the book in 1937. A poll found it to be the second favorite book of American readers, and more than 30 million copies have been printed worldwide

 The story is set in Georgia during the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era. It depicts the struggles of young Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of poverty following the destructive Sherman’s March to the Sea. This historical novel features a coming-of-age story, with the title taken from a poem written by Ernest Dowson.  (photo on left below shows Union soldiers tearing up railroad tracks in Georgia) 

Margaret Mitchell began writing Gone with the Wind in 1926 to pass the time while recovering from a slow-healing auto-accident injury. In April 1935, Harold Latham of Macmillan, an editor looking for new fiction, read her manuscript and saw that it could be a best-seller. After Latham had agreed to publish the book, Mitchell worked for another six months checking the historical references and rewriting the opening chapter several times. Mitchell and her husband John Marsh, a copy editor by trade, edited the final version of the novel. Mitchell wrote the book’s final moments first and then wrote the events that led up to it.  (from Wikipedia and www.cute-calendar.com)

Wyoming first state to allow women the vote

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Wyoming, a territory of the U.S., allowed women to vote and hold office this date in 1869. The Territorial Governor extended the right to vote to women, making Wyoming the first territory and then United States state to grant suffrage to women. In addition, Wyoming was also a pioneer in welcoming women into politics. Women first served on juries in Wyoming, had the first female court bailiff  and the first female justice of the peace in the country—all in 1870. Congress admitted Wyoming into the Union as the 44th state in 1890. Due to its civil rights history, Wyoming’s state nickname is “The Equality State” and the official state motto is “Equal Rights.” (from Wikipedia and cute-calendar.com)

John Lennon assassinated

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John Lennon was an English singer and songwriter who co-founded the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. When the group disbanded in 1970, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced numerous number one hits, including Imagine. He was assassinated in 1980.

By 2012, Lennon’s solo album sales in the U.S. exceeded 14 million and, as writer, co-writer or performer, he is responsible for 25 number one singles. In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him the fifth-greatest singer of all time. He was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, as a member of the Beatles in 1988 and as a solo artist in 1994.

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Imagine is the best-selling single of Lennon’s solo career. Its lyrics encourage the listener to imagine a world at peace without the barriers of borders or the divisions of religion and nationality, and to consider the possibility that the focus of humanity should be living a life unattached to material possessions. Imagine is one of the 100 most-performed songs of the 20th Century, ranking number 30 on the Recording Industry Association of America’s list of the “365 Songs of the Century bearing the most historical significance.”  It earned a Grammy, Hall of Fame Award and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.”

Pearl Harbor

 

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Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The U.S. government first obtained exclusive use of the inlet and the right to maintain a repair and coaling station for ships here in 1887. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on this day in 1941 was the immediate cause of the United States’ entry into World War II. (from Wikipedia)

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)