On this day: Victoria Day in 1934

Fête de la Reine (Victoria Day) is a national holiday for Canada, celebrated on the final Monday before Queen Victoria’s birthday in late May.

This image is of children in Quebec celebrating with maypole dancing on the 24th of May, 1934.

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On this day: the death of Winnipeg the bear

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Winnie in 1914 X

Winnipeg (or Winnie), a female black bear from Canada and the inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh, died in London Zoo on the 12th of May, 1934. She was twenty at the time.

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Winnie and Harry Colebourn X

Winnie was purchased as an orphaned cub at a train stop in Ontario in 1914. She was bought for $20 by Harry Colebourn, a twenty-seven year old veterinarian who had volunteered for World War One and was on his way to report for duty. He named her after his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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Winnie plays with Canadian soldiers during WW1.

Winnie, who became a military mascot, was kept in London for the years Colebourn served in the war, and he eventually donated her to the zoo.

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Winnie-the-Pooh makes a debut on Christmas Eve, 1925. X

The inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh came after creator A. A. Milne’s son Christopher Robin visited the bear at the zoo and changed the name of his toy bear from “Edward Bear” to “Winnie the Pooh”.

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 Butler Act is enacted

On the 21st of March, 1925, the Butler Act, a Tennessee law banning the teaching of evolution, and forcing public school teachers to acknowledge the Biblical account of the origin of humankind, came into effect.

The Butler Act 1925 Tennessee law prohibiting public school teachers denying Biblical account of man's origin. Signed into law by Tennessee governor Austin Peay. The law also prevented t

Austin Peay

Signed into law by Austin Peay, the Governor of Tennessee, it was infamously challenged in court a few weeks afterwards.

Tennessee verses John T. Scopes Trial, "Dayton, Tennessee", July 1925,  William Silverman Photographs, accession #10-042, View of trial proceedings outdoors (man taking down "Read Your Bible" sign)

The Scopes Trial.

The law stayed in effect until 1967.

 

On this day: the plane crash that killed an entire sporting team

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Found in the wreckage X

On the 15th of February, 1961 the plane transporting the entire US figure skating team to the World Championships crashed in Belgium, killing everyone on board.

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Two days earlier, national ladies’ champion Laurence Owen, aged sixteen, had been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. There is a common myth that appearing on the cover of the magazine curses athletes, as she is not the only person to have something terrible happen soon afterwards.

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The Owen family. X

Owen’s sister Maribel, also a member of the team, and her mother, a coach and former champion herself, were also on the flight.

In addition to the seventy-two people on the plane, a farmer was also killed by flying debris.

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The team boards the plane the day before the crash. X

Once news of the crash got out, the Championships, scheduled to be held in Prague, were cancelled to honour the victims.