April 17, 2014

What a difference a day makes...

Did you see Google's doodle?  It looks like this:

You can click on it if you're feeling lucky.or if you visit the real deal you can hover your mouse over it where you'll be told that today is the 63rd Anniversary of the Peak District National Park.

Well I thought the 63rd Anniversary of a park, national or otherwise was a little bit arbitrary or random a choice so I wondered what else may have happened on this day that might have been considered a priority to our doodlers.

It turns out there's a website called simply On-This-Day.com and they set out, through the years, all the events that happened, er, on this day.

There's some really random stuff and, sure, why wouldn't there be? For example, snooker was invented on 17th April 1875. In 1964 Jerrie Mock became the first woman to fly an airplane solo around the world. Apparently, Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers "performed a bunt [sic] for his first major league hit".  That was in 1947.  I'll assume "bunt" wasn't a typo but I don't know what one is.

On political turf now, the first on the list, and one which could be said to have truly changed the world was in 1492, Christopher Columbus signed a contract with Spain to find a passage to Asia and the Indies. I'm guessing there are more significant days involving Columbus for the doodlers to get busy about.  I suppose the excommunication, on this day, in 1521 of Martin Luther from the Roman Catholic Church was fairly significant in terms of the Protestant/Catholic (old firm) thing.  But it has to pale up against the journey of Christopher Columbus.

A bit closer to the stuff of this blog is the fact that on this day in 1946 the last French troops left Syria.  A mere two years later Syria would try and fail to prevent the ethnic cleansing of the Palestnians.

Back in the USA, in 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court barred Muhammad Ali's request to be blocked from induction into the U.S. Army, a move which led to Ali receiving a 5 year jail sentence though he ended up serving no time.  But the risk he took was recognised by many black and white alike and opposition to the Vietnam war draft led in no small part to America losing that war.  Before that whole business sapped America's imperial confidence for a generation there was an event that with hindsight could have been the writing on the wall: the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961.

Also in the 60s in the Eastern bloc, Alexander Dubcek was ousted in 1969 marking the end of the Prague Spring and of "socialism with a human face".  Coincidentally on the same day in 1983, police in the Polish capital, Warsaw, "routed 1,000 Solidarity supporters".

So there you go, for no special reason I've just given you a smattering of events which took place on this day over the years between 1492 and now.  Well not now.  The last entry they have is 2002 and guess what.  They don't have an entry for the founding of the Peak District National Park but I think it's an American site.

Still it's interesting and sometimes fun to see what happened on a given day no matter what made you think of that given day and On-This-Day.com has separate pages for Birthdays and Music industry events so lots of food for doodling thought.

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