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Thomas Crapper Dies

Sanitary pioneer Thomas Crapper died at the age of 73 on January 27, 1910.

It is a common misconception that Crapper developed the flushable toilet; it was actually invented by John Harrington in 1596. Crapper did, however, popularize the toilet, promote sanitary plumbing, and invent the ballcock, which is used to fill water tanks.

Thomas Crapper & Co. bathroom fixtures were considered the most luxurious of his time, so he was asked to outfit the palace of King Edward VII. This gained Thomas Crapper & Co. mass popularity and they went on to provide bathroom fittings to homes and buildings of all kinds.

Sources: Wikipedia, ThomasCrapper.com

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Frank Sinatra’s Birthday

“Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.”

Frank Sinatra

December 12 is Frank Sinatra’s Birthday!

Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra, aka Ol’ Blue Eyes, was born on December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey to Sicilian immigrants. Upon seeing Bing Crosby perform, Sinatra dropped out of high school and decided to become a singer. He had jobs singing in local nightclubs until he caught the attention of bandleader Harry James. The two began working together with much success, and with the help of James, Sinatra recorded his first album, “From the Bottom of My Heart.”

In 1939, Sinatra joined forces with bandleader Tommy Dorsey, whose group was one of the hottest at the time. This union further exposed Sinatra to the American public, and more specifically, to teenaged bobby soxers. By the time Frank was out as a solo artist in the early 1940s, Sinatramania had already begun.

Frank Sinatra’s career and personal life had many ups and downs, but he will always be remembered as one of the greatest voices of all time. Throughout his career, Sinatra had a whopping 209 hits on the Billboards pop singles chart, 55 top 20 albums, and earned multiple film awards for his roles in various feature films.

Fun Fact: Every year on December 12, the Empire State Building lights up blue in honor of “Ol’ Blue Eyes”, Frank Sinatra.

Sources: Biography.com, The Biography Channel, Wikipedia

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Brett Favre’s Birthday

Legendary NFL quarterback Brett Favre was born on October 10, 1969 in Gulfport, Mississippi. Favre displayed great athletic ability at a young age in both football and baseball and was encouraged by his football coach father to play high school football. After high school, Brett Favre attended the University of Southern Mississippi on scholarship playing quarterback for the school’s football team.

Brett Favre was chosen as the 33rd selection in the 1991 NFL Draft Pick by the Atlanta Falcons, whom he stayed with for one season. He was traded to the Green Bay Packers the following year and went on to make 297 consecutive starts as quarterback for the Packers from September 20, 1992 to January 20, 2008. After spending 16 seasons with the Packers and mediocre seasons as QB for the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings, Favre retired from football for good in 2011.

Throughout his impressive career, Brett Favre led teams to 8 division championships, 5 NFC Championships, and 2 Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XXXI with the Green Bay Packers. Favre also garnered the coveted league-wide MVP award three years running and holds records for passing (71,838 yards) and 508 career touchdowns. Favre is currently the Offensive Coordinator at Oak Grove High School in Mississippi.

Happy Birthday Brett Favre!

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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Fire Prevention Day

October 9 is Fire Prevention Day!

Fire Prevention Day was established in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. As the story goes, a cow kicked over a lantern in a barn owned by Patrick and Catherine O’Leary, starting a fire that lasted from October 8 to October 10, 1871. The Great Chicago Fire killed hundreds of people and burned down over 3 miles of land in Illinois.

The first Fire Prevention Day was held 40 years after the incident with the aim of educating people on fire safety and steps to take in the unfortunate event of a fire. In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson announced Fire Prevention Week with the same goal.

Sources: Yahoo! Voices, Holiday Insights

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John Hancock Dies

John Hancock, statesman and outspoken patriot, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts on January 23, 1737. Hancock was one of the richest men in the colonies and used his wealth to support the colonial cause during a time of much political unrest against British rule.

John Hancock is most remembered as the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, especially because his signature was so large and extravagant on the document. For this reason, “John Hancock” has become a name synonymous with the word signature, specifically in the United States.

Hancock acted as president of the 2nd Continental Congress and served as the governor of Massachusetts for two non-consecutive terms. He died on October 8, 1793 at the age of 56.

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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Moulin Rouge Opens

Famed Parisian cabaret revue Moulin Rouge opened for the first time on October 6, 1889 in the Montmartre section of Paris. It was co-founded by Charles Zidler and Joseph Oller (who owned the Paris Olympia) and had the aim of providing entertainment for the rich as well as the working class in the fashionable arts district.

Moulin Rouge was an extravagant cabaret with plush furnishing lining the interior and champagne themed evenings. The dancers doubled as courtesans and would perform a variety of dances, the most popular of which was the scandalous “can-can”, where they would kick their legs high.

Meaning “Red Mill”, the Moulin Rouge building had a red mill on its roof and still does to this day. The Moulin Rouge cabaret was frequented by artists, perhaps the most famous of which was post-modernist painter Toulouse-Lautrec who painted posters advertising the nightclub.

Sources: Yahoo! Voices, Wikipedia

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Steve Jobs Dies

American inventor and entrepreneur Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011 at the age of 56. He is best known as the co-founder of Apple Inc. and having spearheaded development for much of the company’s innovative technology, such as the iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Steve Jobs co-founded Pixar Animation Studios and was also a member of the board of directors for The Walt Disney Company. He founded NeXT, a computer platform development company, during his absence from Apple in 1985. Widely seen as a pioneer in the technology and electronic industries, Steve Jobs is recognized as the man behind the personal computer revolution.

In 2003, Steve Jobs was diagnosed with a pancreatic tumor and in 2009 underwent a liver transplant. With his health declining in 2011, Jobs resigned from Apple Inc. to focus on his health and died of respiratory arrest due to his tumor on October 5, 2011.

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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Ten-Four Day

October 4 is Ten-Four Day!

Ten-Four Day is a celebration of ham radio operators who signal an affirmative reply with “ten-four”. This signal can also mean “message received”, “understood”, “okay”, and “roger that”.

The code “ten-four” was created for CB radio and police radio systems to make radio exchanges come across clearer. See the full list of police codes here.

Sources: The Holiday Whiz, Every Day is Special

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Gwen Stefani’s Birthday

Singer, songwriter, and clothing designer Gwen Stefani was born on October 3, 1969 in Anaheim, California. She is a founding member of ska/pop band No Doubt, which formed in 1986 and signed to Interscope Records in 1991.

No Doubt released their first album in 1992, but didn’t achieve success until their third album, 1995’s Tragic Kingdom. The album included popular tracks such as “Don’t Speak”, “Just a Girl”, “Spiderwebs”, and “Sunday Morning”.

Gwen Stefani moved on to a successful solo career in 2001, collaborating with top artists such as Moby and Eve. She also designed her own fashion line, L.A.M.B (Love Angel Music Baby) and a solo album of the same name. In 2012, Stefani teamed back up with No Doubt to launch a new album and embark on a worldwide tour.

Stefani is married to Bush front man Gavin Rossdale, and the couple have two children, Kingston James McGregor Rossdale and Zuma Nesta Rock, with whom they reside in Los Angeles, California.

Happy Birthday Gwen Stefani!

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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World Day for Farm Animals

October 2 is World Day for Farm Animals!

Founded in 1983, this holiday sets out to expose the cruelty that many animals raised on farms for slaughter endure. October 2 was chosen as World Day for Farm Animals because it aligns with Mahatma Ghandi’s birthday, who advocated for the improved treatment of animals.

Each year, 65 Billion animals are killed for food, many of which suffer confinement and mutilation on factory farms. You can help end the suffering by staying informed and educating others on the ill-treatment of farm animals worldwide.

Sources: Day for Animals, PETA

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