December 31 - Ottawa Becomes the Capital of Canada

December 31, 1857 will always be one of the most important dates in Canadian history. On this day, Queen Victoria chose Ottawa, Ontario as the capital city of Canada. While Ottawa is now a major city in Canada, at the time it was primarily a logging town in the hinterland and far away from the colony's major cities. One of the primary reasons the Queen chose the city of Ottawa was that it was the only city that was located on the border of then Canada East and Canada West (Quebec and Ontario today) that was of significant size. This was important as it was seen as a compromise between the English and French speaking colonies.

Secondly, the Queen wanted to chose a city that was well protected from potential attack. At the time, Ottawa was surrounded by dense forests which made it very tough to attack (oppose to other cities which were located very close to the American border).

Today, Ottawa is a major metropolitan city. The Capital is the fourth largest city in Canada and has a population of over 800,000. The city is regarded as "most educated city in Canada" as it has the highest concentration of engineers, scientists, and residents with a PhD.

Ottawa is home to the NHL's Ottawa Senators.




December 21 - Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" has its world premiere

On this day 76 years ago, one of the most iconic movies in Disney's history had its world premiere. December 21, 1937 marked the day the world first got to see Disney's animated film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". Many celebrities attended the premiere including Charlie Chaplin, Shirley Temple, Mary Pickford, and Ed Sullivan. The premiere got a standing ovation upon its completion and six days later, the movie found itself on the cover of Time Magazine.

The movie has been a huge success since the premiere, as it has grossed nearly $185 million dollars worldwide. Snow White is one of a handful of animated characters to have her own Hollywood Walk of Fame Star and she's appeared in several other Disney movies and video games.

The success of the movie lead Disney to continue producing feature-film productions. Much of the profits from the film went to purchasing a new studio in Burbank, which is where the Walt Disney Studios is located today.




November 16 - The Spice Girls make their mark

November 16 will always hold special significance for The Spice Girls. On this day in 1996, the Spice Girls hit the top of the UK charts with their debut album "Spice". To make this day even more special, the English Pop Group followed up their debut album by hitting the top of the charts again on November 16, 1997 with their second album "Spiceworld". Was this planned or was it just a weird coincidence? Whatever it is, November 16 will always be a special day for the girls from London.

The Spice Girls' debut album "Spice", featured their iconic hit "Wannabe". This single helped push the album to the top of the charts in 15 different countries. The followup album "Spiceworld", featured the hit singles "Stop" and "Spice up your life". This album was just as successful, hitting the peak position in 14 different countries. The albums have combined to sell 43 million copies across the globe.




November 1 - Elvis hits #1 again with "Suspicious Minds"

On this day, 44 years ago, The King hit the top of the U.S. charts for the 18th time with his iconic single "Suspicious Minds". This was the last Elvis single to reach #1 in the United States. The song is about "being stuck in a mistrusting and dysfunctional relationship".

The song has been covered by several modern day artists including Pete Yorn, Bowling for Soup, and Clay Aiken. Needless to say, none of these versions came remotely close to having the impact or quality that Elvis' version had.

Rolling Stone ranked "Suspicious Minds" at #91 on its list of top 500 rock songs of all time.




Sept 28 - Kings of Leon Hit the Top of the Charts

On this day 5 years ago, rock group Kings of Leon hit the top of the album charts with their 4th studio album, Only by the Night. The album was a huge success worldwide as hit singles "Sex on Fire" and "Use Somebody" both became number 1 hits in North America and Europe. Both songs won Grammy Awards for "Best Rock Performance", with Use Somebody winning "Best Rock Song" and "Record of the Year" as well.

The band's latest album, "Come Around Sundown", just hit the stores with its lead single "Radioactive" already working its way up the U.S. Billboard Charts.






Sept 15 - Happy Engineer's Day!

Celebrating the engineering marvels that have propelled humanity forward and toward a brighter future. This year marks the 153rd anniversary of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya, a world renowned engineer that worked on Krishna Raja Sagara when it was was constructed on the Kaveri River, over 100 years ago. The dam is still in operation today.

So if you know an engineer, give him/her a high five and a slap on the bum. Happy Engineer's Day!




August 27—The Dog Whisperer turns 44!

Cesar Millan has been a fixture on television for over nine years, as his TV show “The Dog Whisperer” is seen worldwide on National Geographic TV in over 80 different countries. Millan’s specialty on the show is working with over aggressive dogs as he puts them through “dog rehabilitation”. While he has many fans all over the world, it is rather interesting to note that both Millan and his TV show have drawn the ire of several critics from around the world.

Many criticize Millan for physically confronting aggressive dogs and using choke chains for fearful dogs. This criticism was published by the American Humane Association, which asked National Geographic to stop airing the Dog Whisperer program.

So perhaps for Millan’s 44th birthday he should be thankful that his show is still on the air, and hope that critics stop barking up the wrong tree.




July 9 - National Collector Car Appreciation Day



1948 – Pakistan issues its first set of Postage stamps, bearing images of the Constituent Assembly, the Jinnah International Airport, and the Shahi Fort.





1986 – The New Zealand Parliament passes the Homosexual Law Reform Act legalising homosexuality in New Zealand.



2010 - The United States Senate declared this day as National Collector Car Appreciation Day as a means to raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society.




June 18 - Amelia Earhart Flies the Atlantic

On June 18th, 1928 the now famous aviator Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly as a passenger in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean. Wilmer Stutz was the pilot and Lou Gordon was the mechanic.









Just can’t get enough Potter? On this day (June 18, 2010) the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is set in Orlando, Florida. This marks the end of a $250 million dollar investment.




January 20 - The first official basketball game is played

On this day in 1892, both sports and Canadian history were made. Dr. James Naismith, also known as the Canadian who invented the game of basketball, put his soon to be revolutionizing idea in the practice as the first ever basketball game was played at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. The game was played with nine players and ended 1-0. The first ever basket was knocked down from 25 ft on court that was about half the size of today's current NBA standards. Needless to say, the game has evolved quite a bit in its 100+ year history!

Today, basketball is one of the biggest sports in North America. Athletes such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, and Lebron James, just to a name a few, have used basketball to become not only superstar athletes, but worldwide celebrities as well.

There have been several variations of basketball of the last 100 years including street ball, handball, wheelchair basketball, and the high flying and short lived "Slamball".




January 17 - Happy Birthday Al Capone!

On this day in 1899, the most notorious and feared gangster during the 1920's prohibition era was born. The legendary Al Capone turns 114 years old today, and now 80 years after his hey day, his name still resonates throughout North America. The Chicago gangster ran a prohibition era crime syndicate which included smuggling and bootlegging liquor as well as a slew of other illegal activities.

In his early twenties, Capone moved from Brooklyn to Chicago to take advantage of the opportunity to make bundles of money by smuggling illegal liquor during prohibition. Despite of his illegal occupation, Capone was seen as a modern day Robin Hood due to the amount of money he donated to charities from his illegal activities. Capone also has ties to the North of the 49th Parallel, as he smuggled liquor from Canada to the United States on many occasions.

Capone has been entrenched in popular culture over the last 70 years. He has been the topic of numerous books, articles, and films including being portrayed by Robert De Niro in the 1987 movie "The Untouchables". Most recently, Capone has been featured in the 2009 sequel to "A Night at the Museum" and the 2010 HBO hit "Boardwalk Empire".

In 1931, Capone's reign came to an end after he was charged and imprisoned for tax evasion. Capone spent the majority of his time in the Alcatraz Prison and in 1945 he passed away from cardiac arrest after suffering a stroke.




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