Daily Post : On this day in history

This is just a brief introduction to Ackadia’s new feature, the ‘daily post’ (started in November 2013).

Seems to me that most news and events sites and periodicals pay too much attention to the gloomy side of life, wars, disasters, so forth. If it’s your birthday ‘today’, do you really want to know which monarch was beheaded ‘on this day’ or would you take have something inspiring to think about. Take today for instance – if you were born on the 18th of February you share your birthday with actor John Travolta and composer Paganini and on this day in 1930 astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered the planet Pluto.

So, for every day of the year I’ll look for notable birthdays, facts, choose an apt quote, a photo and a video clip from youtube. If there’s something interesting in the news (and I’m up to date with entries) I’ll comment on that, even if it’s only the weird weather. What is surprising me as I compile this is that historically there are quiet days and there are busy days. For famous birthdays too, some days you’ll find a dozen A-list film stars were all born on the same day, but few if any writers, musicians or artists of note – yet the very next day you might find there’s no actors but several Nobel Prize winners instead! (If you are wondering, there is one for today, yes, Toni Morrison was award the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993).

And no, I don’t just copy and paste a block from Wikipedia, though it is one of the resources I rely on. I start by going though half a dozen or more history books (of the hardback variety) then, time allowing. I go through up to 50 or 60 web sites of interest, covering music, sciences, history, literature, media, almanacs and more. Some are niche sites like All About Jazz (which, today, lists 33 people, including Randy Crawford), others are authoritative such as Nobel Prize), while others range from the Calgary Sun and the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com"New York Times though to the History Channel, National Geographic and IMDb.

Needless to say it can take several hours a day for each entry, especially when I see conflicting facts and have to cross reference, so I can’t just rush this out. That said, I will considering customising entries if folk ask in advance – when I’m researching any given day it’s no great hardship to look out for additional patterns or curios.

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