1 year ago

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JULY 10, 1553

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…

Lady Jane Grey ascends to the throne of England. Her predecessor (and cousin), King Edward VI named her as his successor while on his deathbed. Edward VI was 15 and heavily influenced by his royal advisers, and  there was great concern in preventing Edward’s Catholic older half-sister, Mary, from gaining power. 

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As as a result, Lady Jane Grey reigned for only nine days before she was deposed and executed, leading to the reign of Queen Mary I, popularly known as “Bloody Mary” for her ruthless persecution of Protestants.

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JULY 9, 1981

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…

The Nintendo video game Donkey Kong first appears. The simple game featuring a plumber named Mario jumping barrels thrown by a giant ape named Donkey Kong in an effort to save the damsel in distress becomes one of the most popular arcade games of its time.

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As a result, the success of the game established Nintendo as the dominant player in the emerging video game market through the 1990’s. Mario became a universally recognized character, and a symbol of the Nintendo empire, appearing in future games for every format that Nintendo would produce.

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On an irrelevant tangent, the 2005 song Honky Tonk Badonkadonk by country music star Trace Adkins referenced the popular video, describing the woman of his barroom attraction as having it "going on like Donkey Kong"

1 year ago

JULY 8, 1889

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…

The first edition of the Wall Street Journal is published in New York City. Located in the heart of New York’s financial district, the newspaper is dedicated to business and financial news, and included a Dow Jones Average, the first of several  indexes on stock and bond prices at the New York Stock Exchange.

As a result, the paper has become the largest newspaper in the US based on circulation, selling 2.4 million copies, which includes 900,000 online subscriptions. It has won 35 Pulitzer prizes for its reporting and has never missed an issue in its entire 100+ year history. This includes the day of September 11, 2011, when the paper’s offices were heavily damaged by the bombings of the World Trade Center. Staff was evacuated from the office and relocated to emergency facilities in South Brunswick, New Jersey and the paper was able to publish a limited edition the following day.

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1 year ago

JULY 7, 1981

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…

President Ronald Reagan nominates Sandra Day O’Connor to be the first female justice to serve on the United States Supreme Court. After graduation from law school, at least 40 law firms had refused to interview O’Connor for an attorney position because of her gender. She eventually found employment as a deputy county attorney in San Mateo, California after offering to work for no salary and without an office.

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As a result, O’Connor’s appointment to the Supreme Court broke a major barrier for women at a time when the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution was nearing an expiration and unlikely to be ratified by enough state legislatures to become law. Since O’Connor’s appointment, three other women have been elevated to the nation’s highest court (Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan) - currently making up 1/3 of the court’s membership.

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JULY 6, 1956

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…

John Lennon and his band, The Quarrymen, performed at St Peters Church Hall in Woolton, playing on the back of a  moving flatbed truck in a procession of floats that carried the Rose Queen, Boy Scouts, Brownies and others. Prior to their evening performance on the main stage, Lennon was introduced to a young man with musical ambitions and chatted with him for a few minutes. As they were walking home after the evening performance, Lennon and his friend discussed the afternoon encounter with the young man and Lennon suggested that they should invite him to join the band.

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As a result, a friendship began between John Lennon and the young man named Paul McCartney. The collaboration between the two would grow into The Beatles, one of the best selling rock and roll bands of all time.

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1 year ago

JULY 5, 1865

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…

The Salvation Army is founded in London, United Kingdom by Methodist minister William Booth. The organization was modeled after the military, with its own flag and its own hymns, often with words set to popular tunes sung in the pubs. Volunteers are most visible during the weeks before Christmas each year, found standing in store front and on corners ringing bells and collecting loose change from holiday shoppers.

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As a result, the Salvation Army currently has a worldwide membership of 1.5 million “soldiers” and a presence in 126 countries, running charity shops, operating shelters for the homeless and providing disaster relief and humanitarian aid to developing countries. The organization currently maintains a discriminatory policy against homosexuals, claiming that their values are not consistent with the church’s philosophy.

On an irrelevant tangent, in the fictional world of super-spy Austin Powers, one of Dr. Evil’s most trusted assassins, Frau Farbissina, founded the “militant wing” of the Salvation Army

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JULY 4, 1862

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…

Ten year old Alice Liddell and her sisters Edith (aged 8) and Lorina(aged 13) were travelling via a rowing boat on the Isis River, from Folly Bridge, Oxford to Godstow, for a picnic outing. Also in the boat was Charles Dodgson, who wrote under the pen name Lewis Carroll. Alice Liddell asked Dodgson to entertain the girls with a story, and Dodgson regaled the girls with a fantastic sotry of a girl named Alice and her incredible adventures after she fell into a rabbit-hole

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As a result, Lewis Carroll eventually wrote down his story and submitted for publication. The book was published on this same day in 1865 as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

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JULY 3, 1844

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…

the last pair of Great Auk birds are killed on Eldey, off the coast of Iceland. The pair of endangered birds were found incubating an egg. On request from a merchant who wanted specimens for a collection, Jon Brandsson and Sigurdur Isleifsson stangled the two adult birds, and a third man, Ketil Ketilsson, smashed the egg with his boot.

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As a result, the Great Auk officially became an extinct species. Although the Great Auk was one of the first endangered species to benefit from conservation laws, the efforts were not enough to save it from disappearing and as their numbers diminished, their value amongst unscrupulous collectors increased, thus creating a vicious cycle that ultimately led to their extinction.

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1 year ago

JULY 2, 1881

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY..

Charles J. Guiteau shoots US Presdient James Garfield. Although Garfield survives the shooting, he later dies in September of that same year as a result of infections from the incident. The shooting is in response to a perceived injustice by Guiteau, who had written a speech for Garfield and felt that he should have been rewarded with an ambassadorship.

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As a result, Guiteau was the among the first high profile cases in the United States to use temporary insanity as a defense strategy. In addition to attempting to represent himself despite his court-appointed lawyers, Guiteau also vehemently insisted that he had been legally insane at the time of the shooting, though he was not medically insane. The defense strategy was unsuccessful and Guiteau was executed by hanging on June 30, 1882.

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1 year ago

JULY 1, 1984

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…

The PG-13 rating is introduced by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), in response to complaints about films such as Indian Jones and The Temple of Doom, Poltergeist and Clash of The Titans. Many concerned parents felt these films had too much violence to warrant a PG rating, but not enough for a full “R”.

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As a result, the new rating was suggested by director Steven Spielberg, many of whose films were in the center of the controversy. The first film to be given the new rating was The Flamimgo Kid, starring Matt Dillon, though it was not released until December so it was the fourth PG-13 film to be released.

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