Thursday, January 1, 2015


Welcome to the first day of 2015.
Will this be the year of hover boards and self-lacing sneakers, according to Back to the Future 2?

The Free Choice E-zine will definitely be celebrating both its 1400th AND 1500th posts before year's end, just based on the strength of our regular features: The Puzzle Corner and The Week In Review (news) on Saturdays, along with comedy in The Sunday Funnies.

Today, France celebrates its 70th anniversary of joining the United Nations while Lithuania officially starts using the Euro as their national currency.

The 126th Rose Parade featured “Inspiring Stories” with Louis Zamperini; former Olympian and World War 2 prisoner/veteran, serving posthumously as Grand Marshall. Also riding in the parade will be Joan Williams, who was supposed to be Miss Crown City in the 1958 Rose Parade, but her appearance was canceled because she was “black passing as white”.
Yeah, that makes less sense today than it did then.

January 4th the Burj Khalifa in Dubai will celebrate its fifth anniversary as the world's tallest building.
Meanwhile, the Republican dominated Congress will be starting a new session later this month. Considering they have already made over 50 attempts to repeal The Affordable Health Care Act, aka Obama Care; have sued, attempted censure and impeachment proceedings against President Barack Obama, and forced a government shutdown; one wonders what the least productive Congress a sitting President has ever been stuck with won't accomplish next.

The end of the month will also celebrate the 70th anniversary of a major event in World War 2 on January 27th, while the 170th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven first being published is January 29th.

Further down the calendar, NASA's Dawn spacecraft is expected to reach Ceres sometime in April, while their New Horizons probe should reach Pluto sometime in July, the month which will also experience a blue moon/two full moons in the same month. The next time this will occur is in January 2018.

Milan, Italy will be hosting Expo 2015 from May to the end of October this year, while the much anticipated Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens, is scheduled to debut this December.

And elsewhere on the calendar...
800th Anniversary (1215)
King John signed the Magna Carte (June 15)

450th Anniversary (1565)
Spain established the first European settlement in North America at present day Saint Augustine, Florida, USA (September 8)

250th Anniversary (1765)
Boulanger's, the world's first restaurant, opened in France

115th Anniversaries (1900)
Major League Baseball created the American League (January 29)

90th Anniversaries (1920)
The 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, giving women the right to vote and run for office, became legal (August 18)

80th Anniversaries (1935)
Monopoly board game debuted (February 6)
Social Security Act became official in the United States (August 14)

75th Anniversaries (1940)
Walt Disney's Pinocchio debuts (February 7)

70th Anniversaries (1945)
Soviet forces liberated the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps (January 27)
United Nations founded (October 24)

65th Anniversaries (1950)
The Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schulz debuted (October 2)

60th Anniversaries (1955)
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring first published
Disney's Lady and the Tramp debuted (June 16)
Disneyland opened (July 17)
Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat, thus setting off the civil rights movement (December 1)

50th Anniversaries (1965)
First space walk ever, accomplished by Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov (March 18)
First airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas (December 9)

45th Anniversaries (1970)
Apollo 13 launched. (April 11) NASA would later hear those infamous words: “Houston, we have a problem.”
NASA receives report from Viking spacecraft that Mars once had a polar ice cap (September 22)

40th Anniversaries (1975)
Any television program that debuted, including Space: 1999 on September 4 and Saturday Night Live on October 11

35th Anniversaries (1980)
Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back debuted (May 21)
Pac-Man hit arcades (May 21)
First Caddyshack movie premiered (July 25)

30th Anniversaries (1985)
Thundercats debuted (January 23)
We are the World recorded (March 7)

20th Anniversaries (1995)
Star Trek: Voyager (January 16)

15th Anniversary (2000)
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant permanently closed (December 15)

10th Anniversaries (2005)
Cathy finally married Irving in her comic strip (February 5)
Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith debuted (May 19)

So it looks like 2015 will be another busy year.
Join us, won't you?

Video: "Sufferin' 'til Suffrage" from Schoolhouse Rock, courtesy of YouTube; (c) whoever is maintaining the Schoolhouse Rock franchise nowadays, but they really should consider re-releasing the classic tunes AND producing new episodes for today's children.

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