Friday, May 17, 2013

May 17 - World Telecommunications and Information Society Day

To help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies can bring to societies and economies, as well as bridging the digital divide, we celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

World Telecommunication day has been celebrated annually on May 17th since 1969, marking the found of the International Telecommunication Union, and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865. It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973.

After prompting from the World Summit on the Information Society in November of 2005, the UN General Assembly declared in March of 2006 that World Information Society Day would be celebrated on the 17th of May every year.
In November of 2006, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey combined the events to create World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

Today we look back at how far we've come in so short a time. How many of us remember life before computers? How many of us still struggle to use them? In the age of technology, knowledge is power. And knowledge should be shared.

Celebrate with the world today!

Today is also NASCAR Day, National Bike to Work Day, Endangered Species Day, National Pizza Party Day, and World Neurofibromatosis Day.

Here are some interesting things that happened on this day in history:

- The 7th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet occurred in 218.
- Anne of Denmark was crowned Queen of Scotland in 1590.
- The 1st merry-go-round was reportedly seen at a fair in Philippapolis, Turkey in 1620.
- Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance founded Ville-Marie, present-day Montreal, in 1642.
- Anna Jameson, who chronicled her 8-month stay in Canada in Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada (1838), was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1794.

- John Hawkins & Richard French patented the Reaping Machine in 1803.
- Lewis & Clark began their exploration of the Louisiana Purchase in 1804.
- Pierre Guillaume Sayer and 3 other Métis in the Red River Colony were brought to trial in 1849 on charges of violating the Hudson's Bay Company's charter by illegally trafficking in furs.
- The New Brunswick government passed the Common Schools Act in 1871  to strengthen and reform the school system. At the same time, it abandoned an informal system of separate schools that had grown up since the 1850s.
- In 1902, Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovered the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.

- Construction on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway began at Prince Rupert in 1906, with the construction of a tool shed and the erection of tents as accommodation.
- King George VI and Queen Elizabeth arrived in Canada for a state visit in 1939, the first reigning monarchs to visit Canada or any Commonwealth country. On May 19, George VI gave royal assent to several Canadian Bills in the Senate Chamber.

- Billy Diamond, Cree politician, prime mover and signatory of the James Bay Agreement, was born in Rupert House, Québec in 1949.
- NBC paid $5M for the rights to show "Gone with the Wind" one time in 1975.
- The Montréal Symphony Orchestra made its US debut at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1976, under the direction of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.
- Kumar Anandan balanced on one foot for 33 hours in 1980 (because he could, I guess).
- The W.H.O. took homosexuality out of its list of mental illnesses in 1990.
- In 1999, the Saskatchewan government awarded David Milgaard $10 million in compensation for his wrongful conviction for murder and 23 years of imprisonment. Milgaard was cleared by DNA evidence in 1997.
- Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004.

Stay tuned for our next, "On This Day in History"!

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