Today is National Running Day

Today is National Running Day

Each year on the first Wednesday in June, people across the United States participate in National Running Day. This day was designated as a day for runners to reaffirm their passion for running.

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First Indoor Swimming Pool opens in London in 1742

First Indoor Swimming Pool opens in London in 1742

275 years ago today, the world’s first indoor pool – the Bagnio – opened its doors in London. London in the 18th century had a stench all its own, the Thames and Fleet open sewers, the streets still clogged with filth. The poor still used the open waterways of the capital for the pleasure of swimming, though the degree of pleasure to be had from a dip in the Thames at that time is perhaps debatable. Thus it was that the Bagnio, opened on May 28 1742 in Lemon Street, Goodman’s Fields, was a business idea whose time had come. For the subscription of a guinea gentlemen (and only gentlemen, ladies were not to be countenanced) could use the 43 foot long pool, advertised as being warmed and kept fresh every day. As this was indoors the prying eyes of lesser mortals would be kept from the wealthy users – at the price of a guinea the lower rungs of society were unlikely to be interested in the pool. The facilities of the Bagnio included a cold pool as well as the warmed one, and what were described as waiters were available to teach the art of swimming to those who had not yet mastered it.

Two observations should be made about the Bagnio as an innovation. The first is that the Romans in the first century AD are believed to have had such facilities in Britain – they had already installed a heated pool in Rome in the first half of the century. The second is that Bagno or Bagnio was also a synonym for brothel, so we may speculate on other services available beyond swimming coaching in the Lemon Street establishment. (source: http://www.information-britain.co.uk)

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Happy Birthday, Otl Aicher born in 1922

Happy Birthday, Otl Aicher born in 1922

The German graphic designer and typographer would have turned 95 today. Aicher was best known for his visual designs for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. His pictograms for the different sports continue to be used worldwide.

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Today in History: Mercedes-Benz

Today in History: Mercedes-Benz 

Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merged their two companies 93 years ago on this day and created one of the greatest automobile companies in the world. It started with two different ideas for two different cars by two different men: both Daimler and Benz manufactured their own cars for some 30 years until the merger that was largely created out of economic sense. Benz & Co. formed in 1883 and its first motor car rode through the streets of Mannheim in July 1886. Daimler who had been working on his own motor carriage founded the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in 1890 and marketed the first Mercedes in 1901. Both companies did well until shortly after World War I when the global economic climate of the early 1920s forced the two companies to form an alliance. In 1924, Daimler and Benz began marketing their products jointly while still working under separate trademarks. In June 1926, the two oldest motor manufacturers merged to form Daimler-Benz AG.

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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; The first modern Olympics open in Athens in 1896

Today in History; The first modern Olympics open in Athens in 1896

121 years ago today, 241 athletes from 14 countries took part in the first modern Olympiad in Athens, Greece. The event took place over 1500 years after the last ancient Olympic Games, which originated in Olympia in south-western Greece.

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Today in History: The Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889

Today in History: The Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889

Happy Birthday, La Tour Eiffel, the global icon of Paris. 128 years ago today, the construction of the 324 m (1024 feet) Eiffel Tower was completed.

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