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: 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: 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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Today is National Vinyl Record Day

Today is National Vinyl Record Day

The vintage vinyl is almost as much of a classic as the bands themselves. Vinyl used to be the main means for commercial distribution of pop music from the 1950s through the early 1990s when the compact disk started to take over (which since has been replaced by digital downloads or streaming music). A vinyl record is also known as gramophone record, phonograph record or simply a record – an analog sound storage medium consisting of a flat disc which has an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. While vinyl left mainstream production in the early 1990s, it experienced a strong revival with collectors and audiophiles in the past decade.

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Today in History: Andy Warhol is born (1928-1987)

Today in History: Andy Warhol is born (1928-1987)

90 years ago today, one of the most influential artists of the second half of the 20th century, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Andy Warhol (born Andrew Warhola), pioneer of the Pop Art movement of the 1960s and a cultural icon. Warhol had studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh before moving to New York in 1950. His studio, commonly known as “The Factory,” was a famous meeting place for New York artists, intellectuals and celebrities. From the mid-1960s on, Warhol no longer painted much himself. He produced a number of underground films, including “Chelsea Girls” (1966) and “Trash” (1970) and even managed a punk rock band, The Velvet Underground. Warhol passed away in Manhattan on February 22, 1987.

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Today in History: 1st Pink Floyd Album released in 1967

Today in History: 1st Pink Floyd Album released in 1967

51 years ago today, Pink Floyd released its first album, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.”

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