Today in History: Oscar Peterson born in 1925

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 honors. 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

58 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 meters) 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 watchtowers. 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 organize 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 a 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)

91 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: Cold Record in 1983

Today in History: Cold Record in 1983

On this day in 1983, Vostok Station, a Russian station on Antarctica experienced the lowest temperatures ever measured in recorded human history. The temperatures fell to −128.6 °F (−89.2 °C)

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Today is National Ice Cream Day

Today is National Ice Cream Day

National Ice Cream Day was established under President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and is observed each year on the 3rd Sunday in July as part of National Ice Cream Month. Could there be any better national day? Ice cream supposedly originated thousands of years ago in the Persian Empire when people would put snow in a bowl, pour the juices of grapes over it and eat it as a treat during the hot season. Dig in and enjoy your favorite flavor(s) !

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