Today in History: Madonna born in 1958

Today in History: Madonna born in 1958

Happy Birthday, Madonna. The “Queen of Pop” is turning 61 today.

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Today in History: Donald Brun passed away in 1999

Today in History: Donald Brun passed away in 1999

The Swiss designer was born in Basel in 1909. He celebrated his first successes as a poster artist when he won a Basel poster competition for “baths” in 1928. Between the 1930s and 1970s, Brun created hundreds of poster designs, mainly for consumer goods. Among his clients were such renowned companies as Bata, Bell, Gauloise, Persil or Swissair. His posters are marked by a subtle sense of humor and solid craftsmanship. In 1952, Brun became co-founder of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI). He passed away in Clarens in 1999.

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Today in History: Oscar Peterson born in 1925

Today in History: Oscar Peterson born in 1925

Oscar Peterson was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer who released over 200 recordings, won eight Grammy Awards, and received numerous other awards and honors. He is considered one of the greatest jazz pianists and played thousands of concerts worldwide in a career lasting more than 60 years. Peterson died in December of 2007 (wikipedia).

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Today in History: Woodstock Music Festival in 1969

Today in History: Woodstock Music Festival in 1969

50 years ago today, the Woodstock Music Festival opened in the small town of Bethal in upstate New York. Planned as a small event on a patch of farmland, the pop and rock festival went down in history: almost half a million rock fans came to Woodstock to celebrate “Three Days of Peace and Music.”

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Today in History: Major blackout in 2003

Today in History: Major blackout in 2003

16 years ago today, massive power failures caused chaos across the eastern United States and Canada, hitting major cities such as New York and Ottawa. The worst power cut in US history affected more than 50 million people. Power was up and running again after nearly 30 hours. Most of the blame for the blackouts was laid on an Ohio-based plant operator, FirstEnergy, one of whose plants had shut down unexpectedly, cutting off a major supply route into the main electrical grid.

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Today in History: Berlin divided by Wall in 1961

Today in History: Berlin divided by Wall in 1961

58 years ago today, troops in East Germany sealed the border between East and West Berlin, shutting off the escape route for thousands of refugees from the East. Barbed wire fences up to six feet (1.83 meters) high were put up during the night, and Berliners woke this morning to find themselves living in a divided city. Train services between the two sectors of the city were halted and all road traffic across the border was stopped.

Within days troops began replacing the barbed wire with concrete blocks, and the wall became a permanent structure. The concrete section eventually reached nearly 12 feet (3.6m) high and 66 miles (106km) long. There was a further 41 miles (66.5km) of wire fencing, as well as more than 300 watchtowers. Nearly 200 people died trying to cross the wall, and another 200 were injured.

As the Iron Curtain over Eastern Europe began to lift in 1989, thousands of East Germans found another escape route, via Hungary and Austria. On 7 November 1989, the Communist government of East Germany resigned, and two days later a jubilant crowd tore down the Berlin Wall piece by piece. The following year, East and West Germany were finally reunited.

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Today is World Elephant Day

Today is World Elephant Day

They might be wildlife icons, but, sadly, elephants are in crisis. World Elephant Day is a chance to show our love and support for these much-loved giants and raise awareness of the threats to their future in both Africa and Asia, ranging from ivory poachers and traffickers to loss of habitat. The occasion was founded by the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation, based in Thailand, working together with Canadian film-maker Patricia Sims. The launch of this international initiative in 2012 saw the release of the documentary film ‘Return to the Forest’, narrated by Star Trek legend William Shatner. The ideal way to mark the day is to donate to a charity helping elephants or organize an event in aid of these beautiful but threatened beasts. You could also watch a wildlife film about elephants or sign a petition to raise awareness. (source: http://www.daysoftheyear.com)

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