The first part of this blog took a look at various anniversaries that will occur this year, from January to June. Part II carries on from there and takes us through to the end of the year. Although I’ve tried to concentrate on a few of the more technology-related anniversaries, there are one or two other important events that are worth commemorating/thinking about, such as….
In July we see the fourth anniversary of the day on which Caroline, our efficient Finance Manager, joined the business as the first employee (after Gareth obviously as he set it up!). It is also both the 65th anniversary of the death of Eva Peron (which became the inspiration for a musical and hit single involving tears and Argentina) and the 55th anniversary of the first passenger journeys on a great British invention, the hovercraft. However, I will be surprised if anyone knows which were the first two places connected by hovercraft in this way*.
August was memorable for the deaths of a number of famous people: Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana and Rudolph Hess amongst others. In 2017, August will also see (or not, depending on the clouds) a total solar eclipse in the USA – the first since 1979. More importantly, it’s the fourth anniversary of Stuart Alexander joining Be-IT!
September in contrast can be remembered as the 45th anniversary of the Cod War between Iceland and the UK. If you weren’t around then, it involved cod and the Royal Navy and a lot of irate Icelandic fishermen and was eventually resolved by the politicians (the cod didn’t get a say). And it’s also another fourth anniversary for two more Be-IT people, namely Alma Kettles and Freddie Kydd.
Moving into October, if you are Russian (and even if you are not), you can celebrate the fact it is 60 years since Sputnik was launched into space; the first of many bits of technology sent into orbit around our twinkly blue-green planet. While primitive by modern standards, it was a significant breakthrough, and like Evita Peron it spawned a hit single (Telstar, by the Tornadoes).
November saw a major blow for equality when, 25 years ago, the Church of England voted to allow the ordination of women for the first time. November is also the 150th anniversary of the birth of Marie Curie, whose researches into radioactivity have had such a profound effect on the subsequent history of the world. Another great scientist who has an 150th anniversary in November is Alfred Nobel, the begetter of the Nobel Prizes of course, but also, and more dangerously, the man who (in this month) patented dynamite.
When it comes to December, there was one thing that happened 50 years ago that staggered everyone who saw it (and it was broadcast live in the UK, albeit with a very shoogly black and white picture). This was the first (successful) human heart transplant, carried out in South Africa. We do think we’re marvellously inventive today, but there were so many other fantastic inventions, developments and innovations in years gone by and we shouldn’t forget them.
And finally, just to make you feel old, here are a few other anniversaries, of things that you probably thought happened just yesterday…
In 2017: it will be 20 years since the first Harry Potter book was published. It will also be 20 years since the Spice Girls were formed. And it will be even longer – 23 years – since Super Nintendo was launched, and the same length of time since Friends first hit our TV screens!
Michael Phair, Be-IT Resourcing
* it was between Rhyl in North Wales and Wallasey in Merseyside.