Today in History: German Green Party formed in 1980

Today in History: German Green Party formed in 1980

In the 1970s, environmentalists and peace activists politically organized amongst thousands of action groups. The political party The Greens (German: Die Grünen) was founded on January 12/13, 1980 in Karlsruhe to give this movement political and parliamentary representation. Opposition to pollution, use of nuclear power, NATO military action, and certain aspects of industrialized society were principal campaign issues.

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Today in History: Henri Matisse born in 1869

Today in History: Henri Matisse born in 1869

150 years ago today, French painter and sculptor Henri-Emile-Benoit Matisse was born.

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Today in History: Ireland established (renamed) in 1937

Today in History: Ireland established (renamed) in 1937

A new constitution, established by a national referendum, changed the name of the Irish Free state to Ireland. The Irish Free State was a part of the British Commonwealth and was established in 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty signed in 1921. The new constitution completed a process of gradual separation from the British Empire that governments had pursued since independence. However, it was not until 1949 that the state was declared, officially, to be the Republic of Ireland.

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Today in History: FC Barcelona formed in 1899

Today in History: FC Barcelona formed in 1899

120 years ago today, the popular football (soccer) club FC Barcelona was founded by footballer Hans Gamper. Informally known as Barça, the club is thought to be one of the top 5 richest football clubs in the world. The club has won 4 European Cups and is a 5-time Champions League winner.

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Today in History: Bay Bridge opens in 1936

Today in History: Bay Bridge opens in 1936

The San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, known locally as the Bay Bridge, is a complex of bridges spanning San Francisco Bay in California. As part of Interstate 80 and the direct road between San Francisco and Oakland, it carries about 260,000 vehicles a day on its two decks and has one of the longest spans in the United States. The toll bridge was conceived as early as the gold rush days, but construction did not begin until 1933. Designed by Charles H. Purcell, and built by American Bridge Company, it opened on November 12, 1936, six months before the Golden Gate Bridge. It originally carried automobile traffic on its upper deck, and trucks and interurban streetcars on the lower, but after the Key System abandoned rail service, the lower deck was converted to all-road traffic as well. Source: wikipedia.org

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Today in History: Theophile Steinlen born in 1859

Today in History: Theophile Steinlen born in 1859

Theophile Alexandre Steinlen (November 10, 1859 – December 13, 1923) was a Swiss-born French Art Nouveau painter and printmaker. Steinlen studied at the University of Lausanne before taking a job as a designer trainee at a textile mill in Mulhouse in eastern France. In his early twenties, he moved to the artistic community in Paris where he was befriended by the painter Adolphe Willette. The latter introduced him to the artistic crowd at Le Chat Noir that led to his commissions to do poster art for the cabaret owner/entertainer, Aristide Bruant and other commercial enterprises. Steinlen had hist “poster breakthrough” with his work for the cabaret artists Mothu et Doria (1893); one of his best-known images was “Lait pur Sterilise” (1894). Steinlen became a regular contributor to Le Rire and Gil Blas magazines plus numerous other publications including L’Assiette au Beurre and Les Humouristes. Between 1883 and 1920, he produced hundreds of illustrations, a number of which were done under a pseudonym so as to avoid political problems because of their harsh criticisms of societal ills. Steinlen died in 1923 in Paris and was buried in the Cimetière Saint-Vincent in Montmartre.

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Today in History: Mona Lisa shown at Castle Clos Lucé in 1517

Today in History: Mona Lisa shown at Castle Clos Lucé in 1517

502 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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