July 17 in history:
During the First World War, when England was fighting against Germany, English King George V officially changed his family name from the German-sounding “Saxe Coburg and Gotha” to the more British-sounding “Windsor” on July 17th, 1917.
One year later, on July 17th of 1918, George’s relatives in the Russian royal family, the Romanovs, were executed by Bolshevik revolutionaries. King George was a first cousin to both Czar Nicholas and Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm.
By 1945, Stalin was leader of Russia and the entire Soviet Union. On July 17th of that year, he was meeting with U.S. President Harry Truman and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the Potsdam Conference, to decide the future of Nazi Germany after World War II. During the three-week conference, Churchill was voted out of the Prime Minister’s office. His successor, Clement Attlee, completed the Potsdam talks.
Germany would be led by chancellors after the two world wars. The first female Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, was born on this date in 1954.
June 3rd in history:
A former king of England walked down the aisle with the former Mrs. Wallis Simpson on June 3rd, 1937. Upon their marriage, they were known as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The wedding took place on the birthday of the Duke’s late father, King George V (1865).
Ed White became the first American astronaut to walk in space on June 3rd, 1965, during the mission of Gemini 4.
Mighty Casey didn’t get a walk, or a run, in the famous poem “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Thayer. The poem was first published on June 3rd, 1888, in the San Francisco Examiner.
And a dance number featuring a chorus line of “old ladies” using walkers is a highlight of the stage musical “The Producers,” based on the 1968 Mel Brooks movie. On this date in 2001, the original Broadway version of “The Producers” won a record-setting 12 Tony Awards.