Today is National Liqueur Day

Today is National Liqueur Day

A liqueur is a strong alcoholic beverage that has been sweetened with herbs, fruits, nuts, cream, or spices. Liqueurs are traditionally served as after-dinner drinks or mixed with coffee. The word “liqueur” comes from the Latin word “liquifacere,” which means “to dissolve or melt.” As early as 400 BC, the Egyptians and Greeks distilled wine to produce fortified spirits. They sweetened this concoction with cinnamon and honey—a combination that we still use today to create mead. In the thirteenth century, European monks and alchemists perfected the distillation process used to create liqueur. The liquid was primarily used for medicinal purposes.


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Today in History: Olympic Games in Mexico open in 1968

Today in History: Olympic Games in Mexico open in 1968

49 years ago today, the first Olympic Games in Latin America were opened In Mexico City. The Games were overshadowed by political events such as the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and civil unrest in the host country. More than 5,000 athletes from over 100 nations participated. It marked the first time that West- and East Germany would send separate teams to the Olympics (the team from the GDR was forced to depart early as the IOC forbade it from competing under the name DDR). During the medal ceremony for the 200-meter dash, American medal winners Tommie Smith and John Carlos demonstrated their sympathy for the “Black Panther” movement by raising a black-gloved fist during the American national anthem. American Bob Beamon created a sensation with his world record long jump of 8.90 meters (29 ft. 2 1/2 in.), beating the existing record by 55 cm (21 3/4 in.).

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Today in History: First Olympic Games in Asia in 1964

Today in History: First Olympic Games in Asia in 1964

53 Years ago today, the 18th modern Olympic Games opened in Tokyo. It was the first time that the Games were hosted by an Asian country. Tokyo was originally scheduled to hold the Games in 1940 but after Japan’s invasion on China, the honor was passed on to Helsinki and the event was ultimately canceled because of World War II. The 1964 Games were the first to be telecast live internationally. The “Summer Games” were scheduled for mid-October to avoid both the typhoon season (September) as well as Tokyo’s mid-summer heat and humidity. 93 nations participated, 16 of which made their first Olympic appearance.

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Mona Lisa shown at Castle Clos Lucé in 1517

Mona Lisa shown at Castle Clos Lucé in 1517

500 years ago today, Leonardo da Vinci allegedly presented his Mona Lisa to King Francis I of France. Da Vinci was invited to work at King’s castle in 1516 and it is believed that he took the Mona Lisa (and several other works) with him where he continued to make refinements to his masterpiece before presenting it to the King. The Mona Lisa was acquired by King Francis at the time and is now property of the French Republic. It is likely the most visited, most written and talked about, and possibly even the most valuable painting in the world. It has been on permanent display at the Louvre in Paris since 1797.

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Today in History: John Lennon born in 1940

Today in History: John Lennon born in 1940
77 years ago today, the musician, songwriter and front man of the Beatles was born in Liverpool, England. John Lennon met Paul McCartney in 1957 when he invited him to join his music group. They eventually formed the most successful songwriting partnership in musical history. Lennon left the Beatles in 1969 and later produced albums with his wife, Yoko Ono, among others. After a 5 year break from music, Lennon returned to the recording studio in 1980. Tragically, only a few weeks after the release of his new album Double Fantasy, Lennon was shot and killed on December 8, 1980, by a deranged fan in front of his apartment complex in New York City.

Today is Columbus Day

Today is Columbus Day

In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail on a voyage to find a shorter trade route to Asia. He traveled west and accidentally landed in the Americas, spawning the era of European exploration in the New World. The first celebration of his discovery did not take place until October 12, 1792—exactly 300 years after his landing. In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday, observed each year on the second Monday of October. Happy Columbus Day!

Today in History: Air France formed in 1933

Today in History: Air France formed in 1933

The French airline was formed 84 years ago today and this is always a great reason to show another example of Air France’s wonderful poster art, incl. this very first official Air France poster by Jules Isnard Drasny from 1933.
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