Queen’s Birthday

Today is our holiday for the Queen’s “official” birthday (though not her actual birthday). The tradition of celebrating the British monarch’s birthday around summer began with King George II in 1748, largely to ensure fine weather for the occasion.

The Queen in 1959

Queen_Elizabeth_II_1959 Queen Elizabeth II Vladimir Tiara, Queen Victoria Jubilee Necklace, the blue Garter Riband, Badge and Garter Star and the Royal Family Orders of King George V and

On this day…

Dancers from the London Festival Ballet on the 31st of May, 1952. They are photographed on London’s Southbank.

The company was renamed the English National Ballet in 1989, and is today home to some of the world’s most famous ballet stars, many of them from overseas.

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southbank-centre-7-1444132505-view-0 Cast members of the Festival Ballet, captured mid-leap on London's Southbank, 31 May 1952.

On this day: Magdeburg in Ruins

This image of the German city of Magdeburg was taken on the 29th of May, 1952, seven years after the end of the Second World War.

Trapped behind the Iron Curtain, as the city was occupied by the Soviets at the end of the war (and the region turned into East Germany), very few of the city’s pre-war buildings were ever restored. Many were left in their bombed state or simply abandoned for years before being pulled down.

Source

Magdeburg, Blick auf die zerstörte Altstadt

On this day: Russia’s mass deportations of the Baltic peoples began.

Estonian children who had been forcibly deported to Siberia by Russian authorities. 1952.

Estonian children in Siberia in 1952

Operation Priboi (“Coastal Surf”) was the code name for the Soviet mass deportation from the Baltic states on 25–28 March 1949. The action is also known as the March deportation by Baltic historians. More than 90,000 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, labeled as enemies of the people, were deported to forced settlements in inhospitable areas of the Soviet Union.

Over 70% of the deportees were women and children under the age of 16.

On this day: the death of Martina von Trapp

image-of-martina-von-trapp-martina-von-trapp-the-inspiration-for-the-character-of-gretl-in-the-sound-of-music-died-giving-birth-to-her-first-child-on-the-25th-of-february-1951

Martina von Trapp, the inspiration for the character of Gretl in The Sound of Music, died giving birth to her first child on the 25th of February, 1951. She was thirty at the time.

Martina was not particularly similar to her movie version, as she had dark hair and eyes, and was in her late teens when she left Austria, not five, as she is in the movie.

She was buried in Vermont, holding her stillborn daughter.