John’s Believe It Or Not… February 15th

Fioravanti stands in front of the classroom blackboard with his hands on his hips. Picture was taken in August, 2006.

It’s Wonderful Wednesday! Did you know…

* Maple Leaf Flag Inaugurated in Parliament Hill Ceremony in 1965. (In December 1964, Parliament voted to adopt a new design. Canada’s national flag was to be red and white, the official colours of Canada as decided by King George V of Britain in 1921, with a stylised 11-point red maple leaf in its centre. Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed February 15, 1965, as the day on which the new flag would be raised over Parliament Hill and adopted by all Canadians.)

flag-military-red-ensignflag_of_canada-svg

* Philosopher Socrates is sentenced to death by the city of Athens for corrupting the minds of the youth of the city and for impiety in 399 BC.

* The USS Maine explodes in 1898. (A massive explosion of unknown origin sinks the battleship USS Maine in Cuba’s Havana harbour, killing 260 of the fewer than 400 American crew members aboard. Subsequent diplomatic failures to resolve the Maine matter, coupled with United States indignation over Spain’s brutal suppression of the Cuban rebellion and continued losses to American investment, led to the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in April 1898.)

* The supertanker Sea Empress runs aground off the coast of Wales in 1996. (The Sea Empress slammed into some underwater rocks and ran aground. The hull was pierced, causing oil to leak from the ship. The 28-member Russian crew worked feverishly to re-float the tanker while attempting to move the oil to undamaged holding areas. Despite the quick response, the foul weather reduced the effectiveness of these measures. The Sea Empress was pushed aground a second time when tow lines from a towboat snapped.)

* Walt Disney’s Cinderella opens in 1950. (On this day in 1950, Walt Disney’s animated feature Cinderella opens in theatres across the United States. Cinderella, based on another Brothers Grimm fairy tale, was chosen for its similarity to the Snow White story. The film’s immediate source was Charles Perrault’s French version of the fairy tale, which tells the story of a young girl whose father dies, leaving her at the mercy of her oppressive stepmother and two unsympathetic stepsisters. As in Snow White, Cinderella gets the help of a few friends–in this case singing mice and birds as well as a Fairy Godmother–to escape the prison of her servitude and win the heart of Prince Charming. Along the way to its happy ending–a Disney trademark–the film featured lively animation sequences and enduring songs like “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and the Oscar-nominated “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.”)

 

Look who was born on this date!

* Galileo in 1564. (Called the Father of Modern Science by Einstein, Galileo was born into a musical family in Pisa. After studying mathematics and natural philosophy he was appointed to the Chair of Mathematics in 1589 before moving to the University of Padua where he made major discoveries in Fundamental and Applied Science. These included a military compass and an improved version of the telescope. With the later he was the first to identify the moons of Jupiter and describe the topography of our Moon.)

* Susan B. Anthony in 1820. (She was a social reformer who played a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement – from Massachusetts.)

* Cesar Romero in 1907. (He was born in New York City and was an actor who was active in film, radio, and television for almost sixty years; his wide range of screen roles included Latin lovers, historical figures in costume dramas, and characters in light domestic comedies. To many he is best remembered as the Joker in the 1960s Batman television series.)

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Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December, 2013, and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (http://fiorabooks.com), to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

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