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 organise 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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Today in History: Lufthansa was (re)formed in 1954 

Today in History: Lufthansa was (re)formed in 1954 

Lufthansa originally formed back in 1926 as Deutsche Luft Hansa A.G. (the name Deutsche Lufthansa was used as of 1933). But with the defeat of Germany in World War II, the country lost sovereignty over its airspace and Lufthansa had to cease all operations. A new national airline was founded under the name of Luftag in 1953. Luftag acquired the name and logo of Deutsche Lufthansa on August 6, 1954 and was granted approval to launch domestic flights in April of 1955. International operations began in May of 1955 and thus the tradition of the German flag carrier continued.

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Today in History: Los Angeles discovered in 1769

Today in History: Los Angeles discovered in 1769

Spanish Army Captain Gaspar de Portola and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespi discovered the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769. Portola named the area “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula” (in English, town of our lady the Queen of Angels of the little Portion). The city was officialy founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. In 1821, it came part of Mexico following the Mexican War of Independence before it was purchased by the United States in 1848.

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Today In History: Opening of the Berlin Zoo in 1844

Today In History: Opening of the Berlin Zoo in 1844

The Berlin Zoo is the oldest and perhaps best known zoo in Germany. It opened in 1844 and is located in Berlin’s Tiergarten. With a space of 35 hectares (86.5 acres), some 1,380 different species and over 20,000 animals, the Berlin Zoo presents one of the most comprehensive collection of species in the world. The zoo and its aquarium had more than 3.5 million visitors in 2017. It is the most visited zoo in Europe and one of the most popular worldwide.

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Happy Birthday, Switzerland

Happy Birthday, Switzerland

Founded in 1291, the Swiss are celebrating their country’s 727th anniversary today.

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Today in History: Abram Games born in 1914

Today in History: Abram Games born in 1914

104 years ago today, the British designer and poster artist, Abram Games, was born. Games became a freelancing graphic artist at age 22. During World War II, he designed around 100 propaganda posters as an official poster artist to the British War Office. Some of his images were controversial: his ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) poster was labeled the “blonde bombshell” by the press, depicting a beautiful ATS girl with deep red lipstick. The poster was banned by the military. After the war, Games was a sought after commercial artist and worked for such companies as British Airways, The Financial Times, Guinness, London Transport and Shell.

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Today in History: Disneyland opening in 1955

Today in History: Disneyland opening in 1955

63 years ago today, the “happiest place on earth” opened its doors to the public. On opening day, some 60,000 people visited the park. Admission on July 17, 1955 was $1. After several years of careful planning, construction of the huge amusement park began in 1954. The theme park was built on 160 acres of former farming land near Los Angeles, California and cost $17 million to build. As a result of Disneyland’s huge success, an even bigger theme park was built in Florida, opening in 1971. Other parks in Tokyo (1983), Paris (1992) and Hong Kong (2005) followed. In 2013, the original Disneyland greeted more than 16 million visitors who spend close to $3 billion! Interestingly enough, Tokyo’s Disneyland exceeded that number with 17.2 million visitors during 2013.

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