Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Today in History

Have you ever wondered where newspapers and other news media find those bits about what happened today in history or whose birthday it is or whether it's National Yo-Yo day or whatever? One source for all that information is a tried and true reference book from pre-internet days called Chase's Calendar of Events which is published annually (Ref 394 CHA 2006 in BHPL.)
Amazon gives the following book description:
"For almost 50 years, Chase's Calendar of Events has been the most trusted and comprehensive reference to what's going on today. Be it an important historical anniversary, the phases of the moon, a sports event, the birthday of a favorite celebrity, a festival, or much, much more, Chase's has all the answers. Whether it's Valentine's Day (February 14), American Heart Month (February), or International Accordion Awareness Month (June), Chase's covers observances of all kinds: holidays, anniversaries, sporting events, astronomical phenomena, and more."
It also has a CD-ROM included which I haven't tried yet. More on that later.
Today, Arpil 25, is ANZAC Day, Battle of Gallipoli Anniversary, Sinai Day, the Anniversary of the First Automobile License Plate (1901), Ella Fitzgerald's birthday (1917), the start of the Tribeca Film Festival and my personal favorite: Hall of Fame Basketball player, George "Meadowlark" Lemon III's birthday (1932)
There are lots of history timelines and chronologies on the internet too. On the History Channel's website, you can find Today in History and that is subdivided by categories like "Literary," from which we learn in one click that it is the anniversary of the publication (1719) of The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. You can get a first edition of that from Buddenbrooks for only $15,000.00. Or you can search in Abebooks and find over 12,000 used copies, most a lot cheaper. You can also download if for free from Project Gutenberg.

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