Tagged: Queen Elizabeth

SOME ARE BORN GREAT, SOME ACHIEVE GREATNESS

September 7 in history:

 

A girl named Elizabeth started life as a princess when she was born in England on September 7th, 1533.  Her father was King Henry VIII. Her mother was Anne Boleyn.  Elizabeth Tudor became queen of England when she was 25, and reigned for nearly 50 years.

Citizens of Egypt got to elect their own president for the first time on this date in 2005.  Before that, the Egyptian parliament chose the president.  The winner of the election was Hosni Mubarak, who had already been president for 24 years.  Mubarak’s opponents claimed the voting was rigged.

Nikita Khrushchev didn’t wait to be elected “First Secretary” of the Soviet Communist Party.  He took power on September 7th, 1953, and remained in control for 11 years.

And a two-day contest called the Atlantic City Pageant began in New Jersey on this date in 1921.  Margaret Gorman, representing Washington, D.C., won that first pageant.  It was a tourism gimmick, designed to bring visitors to the city after Labor Day, and was later renamed the Miss America Pageant.

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WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE

May 6th in history:

Before 1994, if the average traveler wanted to cross the English Channel, that person would have to swim, take a boat or fly across. But on May 6th of 1994, the underground railroad “Chunnel” opened between the two countries. First, Queen Elizabeth rode from England to France, and then French President Francois Mitterrand rode with the queen back to England.

On May 6th, 1954, Roger Bannister became the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes, at a meet in Oxford, England. Bannister beat the four-minute mark by six-tenths of a second.

Two men who became famous as explorers of different frontiers both were born on May 6th of 1856: Robert Peary, credited with discovering the North Pole, and pioneering psychiatrist Sigmund Freud.

AS YOU LIKE IT

April 23rd in history:

April 23rd is believed to be William Shakespeare’s birthday, in 1564. It is also the date when Shakespeare died in 1616 – and the date when his play “The Merry Wives of Windsor” opened in 1597, with Queen Elizabeth in the audience.

Both Shakespeare and Elizabeth are key characters in “Shakespeare in Love,” the movie which won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1998. The Best Picture of 2008, “Slumdog Millionaire,” stars actor Dev Patel, born April 23rd, 1990, as a game-show contestant.

A favorite beverage at movie theaters and elsewhere went through a radical change on April 23rd, 1985. The Coca-Cola Company announced it was changing the formula of Coke, replacing it with “New Coke.” After massive protests, the original formula was re-introduced less than three months later.

NANCY PELOSI AND THE SUPREMES

March 26th in history:

The first driving test in Great Britain was given on March 26th, 1934. Presumably, no points were taken off for driving on the left side of the road.

Another first in England occurred on March 26th, 1976, when Queen Elizabeth sent the first royal e-mail. (We assume it did not begin “Greetings, I am the Queen of England, and I have a large sum of money to deposit in your bank account …”)

Other distinguished women are celebrating birthdays on this day: the first female speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (1940); the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor (1930); and Supremes lead singer Diana Ross (1944).

March 26th is also the birthday of the President of the United States and the Chief of Control…from the 2008 movie version of Get Smart.  James Caan (born 1940) played the president, and Alan Arkin (1934) was the Chief.  Caan and Arkin worked together more famously as Freebie and the Bean in 1974.

A THREE-YEAR TOUR

September 26 in history:

Explorer Francis Drake ended a three-year voyage around the world when he arrived back at his starting point of Plymouth, England, on this date in 1580.  Drake was knighted by Queen Elizabeth less than a year later.

The cruise ship Queen Mary was launched on September 26th, 1934.  It made regular cruises between Europe and the U.S. before it was retired in 1967, and docked in Long Beach, California.

“A three-hour tour” for the S.S. Minnow led to a three-year run on CBS for the sitcom “Gilligan’s Island,” which premiered on September 26th, 1964.  “Gilligan” producer Sherwood Schwartz launched another iconic sitcom on this day exactly five years later in 1969, when “The Brady Bunch” made its debut on ABC.

“The Beverly Hillbillies” also had its premiere on September 26th, in 1962…the birthday of Donna Douglas (1933), who played Elly May Clampett on the show.  Immediately after “Hillbillies” that night on CBS, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” began its second season with a new opening sequence, in which Van Dyke, as TV writer Rob Petrie, walks into his house and either trips over an ottoman, or sidesteps it.  Three versions were shot, so viewers could guess every week whether Rob would trip or not.

A THREE-YEAR TOUR

September 26 in history:

Explorer Francis Drake ended a three-year voyage around the world when he arrived back at his starting point of Plymouth, England, on this date in 1580.  Drake was knighted by Queen Elizabeth less than a year later.

The cruise ship Queen Mary was launched on September 26th, 1934.  It made regular cruises between Europe and the U.S. before it was retired in 1967, and docked in Long Beach, California.

“A three-hour tour” for the S.S. Minnow led to a three-year run on CBS for the sitcom “Gilligan’s Island,” which premiered on September 26th, 1964.  “Gilligan” producer Sherwood Schwartz launched another iconic sitcom on this day exactly five years later in 1969, when “The Brady Bunch” made its debut on ABC.

And “The Beverly Hillbillies” also had its premiere on September 26th, in 1962…the birthday of Donna Douglas (1933), who played Elly May Clampett.