Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20 - Eliza Doolittle Day

Today's event is short, but sweet! For fans of the musical "My Fair Lady", it should be an enjoyable one!

In the 1964 film "My Fair Lady", Eliza Doolittle is a Cockney flower girl, fantasizing about meeting the king. She sings, "One evening the king will say, 'Oh Liza, old thing - I want all of England your praises to sing. Next week on the twentieth of May, I proclaim Liza Doolittle Day."

Join the celebration as we remember this wonderful piece of cinematic history.

Today is also Weights & Measures Day!

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

- Elias Neau formed a school for slaves in New York in 1704.
- Simon Fraser, an explorer best known for his daring exploration of the Fraser River, was born in Mapletown, Hoosick Township, New York in 1776.
- D. Hyde patented the fountain pen in 1830.

- William Jackman, sealing captain remembered for the dramatic sea rescue at Spotted Island, Labrador, was born in Renews, Newfoundland in 1837.
- Eliza Ritchie, educator, feminist, and the first Canadian woman to secure a doctorate, born in Halifax in 1856.
- The first public display of Thomas Edison's prototype kinetoscope occurred in 1891.

- George Sampson patented the clothes dryer in 1892.
- The six ton chandelier of the Palais Garnier fell on the crowd below in 1896, resulting in the death of one and the injury of many others.
- Policemen raided the Cubs' bleachers in 1920, arresting 24 fans for gambling.
- Amelia Earhart left Newfoundland in 1932, becoming the 1st woman fly solo across Atlantic.

- Unemployed members of the Relief Project Worker's Union in Vancouver occupied the Hotel Georgia, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the central post office and began a sit-down strike in 1938.
May 20, 1939 - Canada's oldest ballet company, the Winnipeg Ballet (designated "Royal" in 1953), was founded by Gweneth Lloyd and Betty Hall Farrally in 1939.

- FLQ member Francis Simard was sentenced to life in prison in 1971 for his role in Pierre Laporte’s murder during the October Crisis.
- Inter-provincial Pipelines Ltd. received approval to extend its pipeline from Sarnia to Montréal in 1975.
- Elton John became the 1st western pop star to tour the USSR in 1979.
- In 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the definition of the term "spouse" in Ontario law under which homosexuals were denied the right to sue for spousal support. At that time, the Supreme Court of Canada also ruled unanimously to open aboriginal band elections to off-reserve natives, stating that excluding them violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- Also in 1999, a study published in the journal Nature reported that pollen from genetically altered corn crops was lethal to monarch butterflies.

- Mad-cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) was discovered in a northern Alberta farm in 2003, threatening the $7.6 billion beef industry.

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

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