Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Originating in the 1860′s with Mexican-American communities in the American West, Southwest and Northwest, the American Cinco de Mayo began as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War. Today, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is observed annually on May 5 as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. According to José Alamillo, professor of ethnic studies at Washington State University in Pullman, a 2006 study found there are more than 150 official Cinco de Mayo events across the country. Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the United States have taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. They include displaying of banners and events highlighting Mexican culture, music and regional dancing, as well as school districts holding special events to educate students about its historical significance.  In the U.S., commercial interests have capitalized on the celebration advertising Mexican products and services with an emphasis on beverages, food and music. (Source: http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com)

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Today in History: Walter Schnackenberg born in 1880

Today in History: Walter Schnackenberg born in 1880
The German painter and illustrator would have turned 138 today.

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Today in History: 1939 New York World’s Fair 

Today in History: 1939 New York World’s Fair 

On April 30, 1939, the New York World’s Fair opened its doors to the public. Using the motto “Building a World for Tomorrow,” the opening ceremony featured a speech by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was broadcast live on television, an event that would have significant consequences. While only few people owned a television at the time, it instantly became clear that the TV would become the biggest new mass medium. The Expo Fairground in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens showed two new imposing landmarks: the Trylon and the Perisphere. With 63 participating nations, the fair and its architecture were modern and futuristic. New technologies and consumer goods such as the FM radio, fluorescent lighting, and nylon stockings were among the Fair’s success stories.

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Today in History: Earthquake destroys San Francisco in 1906

Today in History: Earthquake destroys San Francisco in 1906
About 3000 people died in the 1906 disaster. Over 80 percent of the city was destroyed by the quake and resulting fires.

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Today in History: Kodak launches Kodachrome in 1935

Today in History: Kodak launches Kodachrome in 1935

83 years ago today, the Eastman Kodak Company launched Kodachrome. The photographic film was one of the most popular media used by professional and hobby photographers around the world. It was discontinued in 2009 with the widespread transition to digital photography.

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Today in History: Peter Behrens born in 1868

Today in History: Peter Behrens born in 1868

150 years ago today, Peter Behrens was born in Hamburg, Germany. Noted for his influential role in the development of modern architecture, Behrens was also a pioneer in the field of industrial design. He is perhaps best known as a co-founder of the Deutsche Werkbund in 1907, an association of artists, architects, designers, and industrialists that furthered the development of modern architecture and industrial design and became influential in the later creation of the Bauhaus School of Design.

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Today in History: Lincoln is shot in 1865

Today in History: Lincoln is shot in 1865

153 years ago today, 1865 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is shot. The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, wanted to revive the Confederate cause, mere days after their surrender to the Union Army, bringing the American Civil War to an end. Lincoln died the next day.

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