Thursday, 7 August 2008

7 August - Historical Events and Celebrations

Gemstone of the Month


Flower of the Month: Gladiolus

Nomanda’s Happy Special Day blog is a celebration of events and anniversaries that have touched our lives. If today is your special day join us in looking at a few other events that have occurred on your day. Enjoy!

Have you ever tried to step in to a revolving door and either got caught up in the thing or jumped back at the last minute, or tried to get out of one and not quite made it? Or, even worse before they became automatically powered got in one and then couldn’t push the cursed thing around! Well Nomanda has done all of the above and would like to share with you the inventor of these dreadful contraptions, Theophilus Van Kannel, who patented the revolving door on this day in 1888. Nomanda has done a bit of translation work in the past and frequently came across other translators who used the word “revolting door”! Maybe they got it right! Revolving doors are just one degree better than the “automatic” opening doors that open when you break the beam. Except that in some cases they don’t and you end up with your nose up against the glass wondering when it will do its stuff!

The recruiting poster to encourage men to join up and fight in WWI featuring Lord Kitchener was launched on this day in 1914 and spread across the whole of the UK. He had recently been appointed Secretary of State for War by the Prime Minister H H Asquith and the recruitment effort succeeded in attracting hundreds of thousands of young men to join the Army. Most of the recruits would soon lose their lives in that disastrous conflict. His performance as Secretary of State for War was dreadful demonstrated by his questioning by MP’s on 4th June 1916 when he admitted that of the 2 million rifles he had ordered from various American arms manufacturers only 480 had been delivered at that time with correspondingly similar small quantities of ammunition! The WWI “Black Adder” series humorously depicts the complete incompetence of the officers involved in the whole affair.

Sometimes in life it’s better to shut up and say nothing! Ably demonstrating this principal it was on this day in 1961 that the Soviet premier, Khrushchev, predicted that the economy of the USSR would surpass that of the USA. The USSR is no longer, and it didn’t anyway!

Balancing a different set of books it was on this day in 1974 that the Frenchman Philippe Petit walked a tightrope strung across the twin towers of the World Trade Centre. Apparently he didn’t get permission to do the stunt but just went out and did it! Well done, Philippe!

First up for birthday honours is Georg Stiernhielm (1598 – 1672). He would not have normally attracted Nomanda’s attention except for the fact that he is attributed as being “the father of Swedish poetry” and anyone who can achieve that distinction deserves a mention. I know a tiny bit of the language which I can only describe as “hurdy gurdy” and anyone who can make it rhyme deserves a medal!

The luckless dancer, courtesan, and perhaps spy, Mata Hari (1876 – 1917) was born on this day. If she was a spy the evidence suggests that she was employed by both the French as well as the Germans. She was executed by the French in 1917.

The comedian Alexei Sayle (1952) will be stretching his already too small suit at his birthday bash today. Not everybody’s cup of tea but he can be funny sometimes. What do you think?

Finally we’ll ask Jacquie O’Sullivan (1960) to get together with her Bananarama mates to give us a birthday song!

Happy Special Day to one and all!!

If you know someone who is celebrating their birthday, anniversary or a special day today or sometime soon why not send them a nice e-card so they get it as soon as they log on! Even better, why not send this page to your friend!
Don’t know what to get for a present? Think about what your special person enjoys doing and the things they like.

For Girls, I know that flowers and chocolates are a bit cliché but nevertheless they always seem to work! Of course, if your budget stretches that far, jewellery, watches, perfume and fashion items are always appreciated!

For Boys, all boys like toys! It’s just as they get older the toys get more expensive. So gadgets and gimmicky things work. Again, if you have the budget then car accessories, sporting equipment and clothes, and man type jewellery like watches and gold chains will go down very well!

And, if all else fails, you could always send them a gift voucher and they can choose whatever they want!

If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event today I hope you got lots of cards and presents and that there is someone special in your life who will make this day a very happy and special day for you.

Happy celebrations to you from the Happy Special Day Blog!!

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