It was on 29 July 1981, a Wednesday, at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, United Kingdom, when Charles, Prince of Wales , and Lady Diana Spencer were married in a celebration on a grand, fairytale level of scale; what was called the “wedding of the century.”
It was 83 years ago today on February 9th when the temperature in New York City was at 15 degrees below zero and stayed below zero for the entire day.
We often imagine that one individual citizen of the United States cannot make a difference. We give up before even trying. Believing that without large sums of money and powerful political backing it is an impossibility that one individual’s action can lead to change.
Thankfully we have the remarkable example of Rosa Parks. She reminds us of the power one person has to make a stand against social injustice. Her single act of determination to stand up, or in this case to stay sitting down, in the face of a violent, even murderous, and intimidating society of racism could and did make a change. We must remember that this was no ordinary act of protest. The society of racism in Montgomery, Alabama was a formidable foe. The threat was very real. Many were willing and ready to murder innocent people to maintain white power and privilege, where blacks are conveniently relegated, literally to the back of the bus, into a state of dehumanization.
Her arrest report can be found here.
On November 17, 1558 at the age of 25, Elizabeth I became Queen taking over the throne from her half-sister Mary I, who died after a brief reign of only five years; they share a common father in King Henry VIII of England.
Elizabeth’s sister was given the unflattering moniker of “Bloody Mary” because of the protestants executed, or at the very least persecuted and imprisoned, under her Catholic rule.
Elizabeth I, in contrast to her sister’s short rule, was Queen for over 44 years. Her start in life was tragic. Her mother Anne Boleyn (the second wife of Henry VIII and as such the Queen of England) was found guilty of high treason on May 15, 1536 and beheaded four days later when Elizabeth was only two and a half years of age.
Elizabeth’s father the King had his marriage to Anne annulled and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate stripping away her title as princess and replaced with Lady Elizabeth.
But despite her dire beginnings that would have defeated most, it did not stop Elizabeth I from becoming one of our most admired and iconic Queens. Her time of reign is known as The Elizabethan era. Upon becoming Queen she made her intentions known. Her speech (Full document reproduced by Loades, 36–37. ) below:
My lords, the law of nature moves me to sorrow for my sister; the burden that is fallen upon me makes me amazed, and yet, considering I am God’s creature, ordained to obey His appointment, I will thereto yield, desiring from the bottom of my heart that I may have assistance of His grace to be the minister of His heavenly will in this office now committed to me. And as I am but one body naturally considered, though by His permission a body politic to govern, so shall I desire you all … to be assistant to me, that I with my ruling and you with your service may make a good account to Almighty God and leave some comfort to our posterity on earth. I mean to direct all my actions by good advice and counsel.
The name John Hancock is synonymous with one’s signature. He was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence and legend has it that he purposely made his signature large and legible, so that King George III would be sure to read it clearly.
Born on January 23, 1737 in Braintree (now Quincy), Province of Massachusetts Bay he was one of the wealthiest men in the Thirteen Colonies; thanks to an inheritance from his successful mercantile uncle.
Before his death on October 8, 1793, he was the 1st and 3rd Governor of Massachusetts.
One of the signers of The Declaration of Independence and an organizer of the Boston Tea Party, it is clear that Samuel Adams was a staunch opponent of Great Britain. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts on September 27, 1722 and President John Adams was his second cousin.
He was a graduate of Harvard and went on to become a U.S. Governor, Statesman before his death on October 2, 1803.