Happy Birthday, Where’s Wally?!

Puzzle book series Where’s Wally?, created by English illustrator Martin Handford, made its debut on the 21st of September, 1987, which makes Wally thirty-two years old today.

As the series was released around the world, several countries changed Wally’s name (e.g. “Where’s Waldo” that so often appears in popular culture in the United States).

puzzle book series where's wally, illustrated by english illustrator martin handford, made its debut on the 21st of september, 1987, which makes wally thirty-two years old toda

On this day: Renovations in Cambridge

Kings_College_Chapel_1987_-_geograph_org_uk_-_882971Kings College Chapel 1987 Kings College Chapel Cambridge with scaffolding renovations 18th July 1987. England Vintage Retro

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King’s College Chapel, Cambridge in England is seen here covered in scaffolding on the 18th of July, 1987.

The chapel, built during the Wars of the Roses, is home to the world’s biggest fan vault, and famous for its stained glass windows.

On this day: The King’s Cross fire in 1987

On the 18th of November, 1987 at approximately 19:30 a fire broke out at London’s King’s Cross St. Pancras tube station. Thirty-one people died and another one hundred were injured.

Many Londoners defied the Underground’s smoking ban, with many lighting up before leaving the station. It was eventually concluded the fire was sparked by one of the many matches thrown down the wooden escalators leading out of the station.

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The King's Cross fire broke out on 18 November 1987 at approximately 1930 at King's Cross St. Pancras tube station, a major interchange on the London Underground.

On this day: Where’s Wally?

Where's wally Original Book Cover 1987

On the 21st of September 1987 Where’s Wally was published for the first time. A British creation, for some reason unknown to me they decided to rename Wally “Waldo” in America and Canada when the books were released there.

I didn’t know about the renaming until very recently, as Wally was always Wally here in Australia too! There have been some other regional variations, but he keeps his original name in Spanish, Catalan, Dutch, Italian, Polish and Portuguese.

Other versions include Holger (Danish), Hetti (Hindi), Fodhouli (فضولي) (Arabic) and Uoli (Уоли) (Bulgarian).

I know fads are strange, but I remember being just as obsessed with Wally as anyone else at the time. I have an excuse though: I was five in 1987!