Today in History: Opening of the Hannover Fair in 1947

Today in History: Opening of the Hannover Fair in 1947

71 years ago today, the first Hannover (Trade) Fair opened in an undamaged factory building in the south of Hannover. British military authorities organized the fair to support post-war Germany’s economic success. Some 1,300 exhibitors showed a cross section of German export production, including dental prostheses, collapsible strollers and German’s future export sensation, the VW Beetle. The fair was a starting signal for the German economic miracle, counting more than 700,000 visitors from 52 nations in only 21 days. Hannover succeeded the then East German city of Leipzig as the major new trade fair city for West Germany and the fair developed into one of the most important industrial fairs in the world.

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Today in History: Madonna born in 1958

Today in History: Madonna born in 1958

Happy Birthday, Madonna. The “Queen of Pop” is turning 60 today.

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Today in History: International Electricity Exhibition of 1881

Today in History: International Electricity Exhibition of 1881

137 years ago today, the first International Exposition of Electricity opened in Paris. More than 1700 exhibitors from 15 countries presented their latest and greatest developments in electrical technology in the 3-month event. The fair provided an important impulse in the electrification of Europe. The public was able to admire inventions such as the dynamo by Zenobe Gramm, the Theatrophone by Clement Ader, the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell or an electric car by Gustave Trouvé. Highlight of the exhibition was Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb: at the opening, some 1000 “Edison lights” turned night into day.

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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 honours. 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

49 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: Berlin divided by Wall in 1961

Today in History: Berlin divided by Wall in 1961

57 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 metres) 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 watch towers. 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 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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