Today is World Giraffe Day

Today is World Giraffe Day

World Giraffe Day is an annual celebration of the longest-necked animal on the longest day or night (depending on which hemisphere you live) of the year – June 21 – every year!

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Welcome, Summer! Today is the First Day of Summer !

Welcome, Summer! Today is the First Day of Summer !

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Today in History: The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York in 1885

Today in History: The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York in 1885

130 years ago today, the dismantled Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor after being shipped across the Atlantic Ocean from France in 350 individual pieces packed in more than 200 cases. The statue was a gift of friendship to the United States from the people of France. The copper and iron statue was designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi who named it “Liberty Enlightening the World.” It was dedicated by U.S. President Grover Cleveland on October 28, 1886. At 305 feet from its pedestal to the top of its torch, the Statue was taller than any New York City structure at the time. Today, the Statue of Liberty is one of America’s most famous landmarks and known around the world as a symbol of freedom and democracy.

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Today is Nature Photography Day

Today is Nature Photography Day

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Today is National Red Rose

Today is National Red Rose

National Red Rose Day honors the flower that is a symbol of love and romance. Red roses were used in many early cultures as decorations in wedding ceremonies and wedding attire. It was through this practice that, over the years, the red rose became known as a symbol of love and romance. The tradition of giving red roses as the strongest message of love is still practiced today.

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Today in History: London’s Big Ben starts taking time

Today in History: London’s Big Ben starts taking time

Big Ben is the nickname commonly used to describe the famous Elizabeth Tower (Clock Tower prior to 2012), the Great Clock and the Great Bell of Westminster Palace in London. But the name originally applied only to the bell. The history of the clock dates back to 1843 when construction of the Clock Tower began. A competition was held but due to concerns about the clock’s accuracy it took seven years for the designs to be finalized. The clock was finished in 1854 and two years later, the first Big Ben bell was cast. During testing in October of 1857, however, the bell cracked. In April of 1858, a new bell was completed. With all bells in place, the Great Clock was installed in the spring of 1859. The Clock started taking time on 31 May. On July 11, Big Ben’s Great Bell’s strikes could be heard for the first time. Its quarter bells first chimed on September 7.

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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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