Friday, January 1, 2016



IT'S JANUARY 1, 2016.

Hello, and welcome to the beginning of a brand new year!

The Commonwealth of Australia was formed on this day in 1901.
The Chinese government will now allow parents in their country to have up to 2 children, instead of one.
Meanwhile, Brunei (since 1984) and Samoa (1962) both celebrate their Independence today.

Besides the Summer Olympics and feeling melancholy about David Ortiz and Kobe Bryant ending their professional athletic careers, the 366 days of this Leap Year also includes...

The citizens of New Zealand will be going to the polls in March 2016 to decide between keeping the country's current flag or adopting an alternative.
2016 is a Presidential Election year in the United States, with a slew of potential candidates still vying for the Republican nomination, while it looks like the Democrats have narrowed their preference down to either (alphabetically) Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

MEANWHILE, other anniversaries include the 140th ANNIVERSARY (in 1876) of Alexander Graham Bell creating the first working telephone (March 10)

125th ANNIVERSARY (1895)
Carnegie Hall opened (May 5)

85th ANNIVERSARY (1931)
Star Spangled Banner officially became United States' national anthem (March 3)

80th ANNIVERSARY (1936)
Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell first published (June 30)

The USO was founded (February 4)
Citizen Kane debuted (May 1)

70th ANNIVERSARY (1946)
Walt Disney's Song of the South premiered (November 12)

65th ANNIVERSARY (1951)
Disney version of Alice In Wonderland was first released (July 27)

My Fair Lady debuted on Broadway (March 15)
The US Supreme Court ended segregation on public buses (November 13)

Yuri Gagarin first man in space, making one orbit of Earth before returning
The Dick Van Dyke Show debuted (October 3)

Batman with Adam West and Burt Ward (January 12)
Dark Shadows (June 27)
Batman: The Movie, with West and Ward debuted (July 30)
American television officially went to full time color broadcasting (September 1)
Any other television program that debuted that fall, including Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, and The Monkees celebrate their major milestone
It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown first aired (October 27)
Animated version of Doctor Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas premiered (December 23)

First Lunar Rover used (April 30)
Any television program that debuted that year

35th ANNIVERSARY (1981)
The Greatest American Hero (March 18)

ALF (September 22) and any other television program that debuted that year

And of course, The Free Choice E-zine will achieve both our 1600 and 1700 post milestones this year, just based on the strength of our regular features: The Puzzle Corner and The Week In Review (news) on Saturdays, followed by comedy the next day with The Sunday Funnies.

So, here's hoping that 2016 is more peaceful, and less stressful and less violent than last year.

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