Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Hello and welcome to the first day of the New Year!
Lativa officially adopted the Euro as its currency today, while the Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obama Care) is now available to any American in need of medical insurance.
Let's look ahead to what else 2014 holds in store for us.

Leno, Fallon, image via google
Jay Leno's last day as host of The Tonight Show will be the Thursday before NBC begins their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics February 7-23. Jimmy Fallon will take over as the show's host the day after the closing ceremonies as the program begins broadcasting from New York City, something that hasn't been done since the beginning of Johnny Carson's 30 year tenure as host.

Looking even farther away, amongst events occurring in outer space this year will include the annular solar eclipse April 29th. NASA's New Horizon's spacecraft will be passing Neptune on its way to examine Pluto, and the space agency is scheduled to perform an unmanned test of the new Orion spaceship before planning missions to the moon, asteroids, and hopefully Mars someday.

Politics is always in the news, and 2014 will be no exception. Scotland will be holding a referendum on the issue of independence September 18, with Catalonia asking its citizens the same question November 9. But of course the biggest news in American politics is the November 4th mid-term elections. With one-third of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives on the ballots, pundits wonder how the Republican party will fare this fall, considering their attitude and (in)actions of the past few years.

2014 will end December 31st with the United States and the United Kingdom scheduled to withdraw their remaining troops from Afghanistan; and The Free Choice E-zine will have made both its 1200th AND 1300th posts just on the strength of our weekly features: The Puzzle Corner and The Week In Review on Saturdays, with the Sunday Funnies the next day.

And amongst the anniversaries that will be held this year...

225th anniversary
A growing country
21 November: North Carolina became the 12th member of the United States of America

195th anniversary
14 December: Alabama became 22nd member of the United States

150th anniversary
31 October: Nevada became the 36th member of the United States

125th anniversary
01 January: The first Tournament of Roses Parade was held
31 March: Alexandre Gustave Eiffel dedicated his Paris tower open
02 November: North and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th (respectively) members of the United States of America
08 November: Montana became the 41st member of the United States
11 November: Washington became the 42nd member of the United States

85th anniversary
05 January: The debut of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
17 January: Popeye the Sailor debuted in the Thimble Theater comic strip

75th anniversary
14 April: John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath was first published
24 August: Andy Panda debuted in "Life Begins For Andy Panda"

65th anniversary
28 February: Beany and Cecil, the sea-sick Sea Serpent debuted on Time for Beany!

55th anniversary
02 January: Although aimed for the moon, the USSR's Luna 1 became the first satellite to orbit the sun
03 January: Alaska became the 49th member of the United States of America
21 August: Hawaii became the 50th member of the United States
12 September: Bonanza debuted on TV

50th anniversary
06 December: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first debuted on TV

Neil Armstrong
45th anniversary
20 July: Apollo 11 landed on the moon and astronaut Neil Armstrong took that historic first step
20 November: University of Southern California (USA) scientists created the first/experimental Internet set up

40th anniversary
13 April: Dungeons and Dragons game debuted
07 September: Debut of original Land of the Lost TV series

15th anniversary
20 March: Bertrand Piccard of Switzerland and Brian Jones of Great Britain completed the first successful around the world hot air balloon trip

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