NIELS JØRGEN THØGERSEN
NOVEMBER And all its 30 days Niels Jørgen Thøgersen
The name November comes from the word novem. This is the Latin name for the figure nine. The reason is that this month was the 9th month in the old Roman calendar, which originally was made by king Numa Pompilius around 500 BC. In this calendar March was the first month in the year. This calendar was many centuries later replaced by the Gregorian calendar, where January is the first month of each year and where November consequently is month no. 11. This calendar was introduced from around 1580. It Denmark it happened in the year 1700. In the old days this month was in Denmark ( and the other Nordic countries, I believe ) called SLAGTEMÅNED ( SLAUGHTER MONTH ). Why ? Because the weather was now so cold that there were no risk in slaughtering the animals and salt the meat for the winter. If you look at the weather as it actually has been over the years you have a number of interesting weather records when Denmark is concerned:
1919: Coldest November: + 0,7degrees in average ( from +10,1 to – 16,1 degrees ) 2006: Warmest November: +8,6 degrees in average ( from +16,6 to – 6,7 degrees ) 1993: The lowest number of hours of sunshine in November: 19 hours 1989: The highest number of hours of sunshine in October: 99 hours
See more about the names of the 12 months: http://www.pantheon.org/miscellaneous/origin_months.html
TODAY’s NAME: This day’s name is ALL SAINTS DAY. It was introduced sometime in the Medieval Ages in order to celebrate those martyrs and other holy persons, who had not been given a name day of their own. In the Danish church this day is celebrated on the first Sunday in November. November 1 is also often called the “Change Day”. It was ( and is ? ) on this day that employees in the Danish countryside often changed job from one farm to another or from one household to another. Old Danish weather warnings for today: * It will be a long and cold winter, if it is cold and snowing today * If the leaves have not left the trees on All Saints Day it will be a very cold winter
TODAY’s EVENT: 1993: The Maastricht Treaty of the EU starts working.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Madeira - what is special about this Atlantic island? As most people know this is a Portuguese island in the Atlantic Ocean, about 900 km west southwest of Lisbon. Its size is 801 sq.km. About 267.000 people live there. And lots of tourists also enjoy its pleasures! Madeira is a volcanic island with lots of mountains and lots of forests. The word madeira actually means forest in the local language. And it is pronounced madajra, if you want to say it the way the locals do. The Romans discovered the island, but abandoned it again. The Portuguese arrived accidentally there in 1418 because of a storm, where a ship got somewhat lost in the ocean. They have been there ever since. And from 1976 the island has a sort of home rule with its own local government. It is raining quite a lot on Madeira. That is why it is so green. On February 20, 2010 is was disastrous. About 53 liters of water per square meter fell per hour. Lots of damages, accidents and quite a number of people killed. We were there ten days later. And already by then many things were reasonably back in order. There is also the special Madeira wine. They say that you can keep it for a hundred years. Unless you drink it :-)
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW:
Flying Dutchman - what is that? And what is the story behind it?
TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: History is the best school teacher with the most inattentive students! This was said by the Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi. 2. Today’s quote: You can say that we are the small piccolo flute in the big international orchestra. Who among today's persons has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1778: King Gustav 4. Adolf ( died 1837 ) 1798: Benjamin Lee Guinness ( died 1868 ) 1880: Alfred Wegener ( died 1930 ) 1941: Uffe Ellemann-Jensen
4. Famous people died on this day: 1894: Alexander III ( 49 years ) 2006: William Styron ( 81 years ) NOVEMBER 2 TODAY’s NAME: Today is called ALL SOULS’ DAY. In the Catholic church people put flowers on the graves of their dead relatives on this day. Prayers are also said for the dead people in purgatory.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1917: The British foreign minister Lord Balfour declares that the United Kingdom is positive towards the creation of a Jewish national state in Palestine ( which until then was part of the Ottoman Empire ).
TODAY’s QUESTION: Flying Dutchman - what is that? And what is the story behind it? The origin of this expression is a legend from the 16th century. It tells about a Dutch merchant ship, which constantly sails over the oceans and never goes into any port. It is in particular seen in the seas around Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Seeing this ship gives other ships a warning that an accident is coming up. The legend also tells that the ship is there as God’s punishment of the Dutch captain Vanderdecken for blasphemy. The topic has often been treated in literature and other forms of art, including in Richard Wagner’s opera The Flying Dutchman. Today we would rather talk about a so-called ghost ship. This is a ship which is sailing without any crew. Such ships exist. It is, though, not dangerous just to see them. It only becomes a real problem, if you run into them. And fortunately this happens very rarely.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Movements in space – what is actually happening when speed is concerned? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: You can say that we are the small piccolo flute in the big international orchestra. This was said by Denmark’s former foreign minister, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen. 2. Today’s quote: Everybody with a toothache believes that all people with healthy teeth are happy people. A poor person makes the same mistake in his view on rich people. Who among today’s persons said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1755: Marie Antoinette ( died 1793 ) 1865: Warren Harding ( died 1923 ) 1913: Burt Lancaster ( died 1994 ) 1936: Christian Rovsing
4. Famous people died on this day: 1887: Jenny Lind ( 67 years ) 1950: George Bernard Shaw ( 94 years ) 1996: Eva Cassidy ( 33 years ) 2004: Theo van Gogh ( 47 years ) NOVEMBER 3 TODAY’s NAME: This day is called HUBERTUS’ DAY. He was biship in Liège and died in 727 AD. He was a very active hunter. But when he one day according to the legend saw a deer with a shining cross between its antlers of a stag he decided to stop hunting. Hubertus is the patron of the hunters. And he has given name to the so-called Hubertus hunt, which each year takes place on November 3 – or on a Sunday nearby.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1992: Bill Clinton wins a landslide victory over George Bush in the American presidential elections.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Movements in space – what is actually happening when speed is concerned? Most people know that our Earth is turning around its own axis. Do you know with what speed? 465 meters per second. But this is not our only move every second. Our Earth is circling around the Sun with an average speed of 29,8 km per second. And furthermore, our solar system, called the Milky Way, is also constantly turning around its axis. And it does it with a speed of 250 km per second. So if you feel that everything is on the move, you are right! We are all moving – day and night – 280,3 km every second. So think twice before you next time say: Stop the world, I want to get off!
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW:
General strike – what is that? And what is the history behind it? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: Everybody with a toothache believes that all people with healthy teeth are happy people. A poor person makes the same mistake in his view on rich people. This was once said by the Irish poet and dramatist George Bernard Shaw . 2. Today’s quote: Those who want to read the future have to look through the past. Who has said that?
3. Famous people born on this day: 1804: Constantin Hansen ( died 1880 ) 1901: André Malraux ( died 1976 ) 1921: Charles Bronson ( died 2003 ) 1926: Valdas Adamkus 1964: Paprika Steen
4. Famous people died on this day: 1954: Henri Matisse ( 85 years ) 1998: Bob Kane ( 83 years ) NOVEMBER 4 TODAY’s NAME: This day is called OTTO’s DAY. It has its name from bishop Otto of Bamberg in Bavaria. He was born in 1062 AD. In Schwaben and was in the service of emperor Heinrich IV. While he was bishop in Bamberg he also made travels to Pomerania, where he converted lots of people to Christianity and built many monasteries and churches. That is why he is also called the apostle of Pomerania. He died in 1138.
1814: Norway enters a union with Sweden, which promises to respect the new Norwegian democratic constitution, the Eidsvoll Constitution. Formally Norway – which for 400 years had been under Denmark – was given to the Swedish king, not to Sweden.
TODAY’s QUESTION: General strike – what is that? And what is the history behind it? One could think that this is a strike by generals. But no. On the contrary. The generals are among the few persons, who do not strike during a general strike. Why? Because the leaders – the bosses – do not strike. You can say that the strike often is directed towards the bosses. As you know strikes are not very much used in the military. It is considered to be treason or mutiny. And for that you risk being shot. That is what happened to 5.000 French soldiers, who were executed during World War I – by the French themselves. No, the explanation is that the word general also means that it is valid for all. Independent of work, age, place or sex. And the purpose of such a general strike is to hit so hard that a solution is found very quickly. The English word strike means to hit – this is the origin of the word general strike. This is the idea. The theory, you may say. In reality it is often so that it is not everybody who feels for or has the courage to strike. They are then by the others considered to be a strikebreaker. They are seen as taken the side of the leadership. In our country, Belgium, is it very rare that a called general strike includes everybody. Then the effect might be small or even non- existant. This often happens when several trade union fight each other.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Nicotine – what is that? Why is it special? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: Those who want to read the future have to look through the past. This was said by the French author and politician André Malraux. 2. Today’s quote: I am worried about all the rubbish being presented on TV every day. Most of it is scandal journalism picked up from the tabloid press. Who among today’s personalities has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day:
1869: Scott Joplin ( died 1917 ) 1879: Will Rogers ( died 1935 ) 1916: Walter Cronkite ( died 2009 ) 1946: Laura Bush 1972: Luis Figo
4. Famous people died on this day: 1847: Felix Mendelsohn ( 38 years ) 1995: Yitzhak Rabin ( 73 years )
NOVEMBER 5 TODAY’s NAME: Today is called MALAKIA’s DAY. He was one of the less important prophets in the Old Testament and lived around 400 BC.
TODAY’s EVENTS: 1605: Guy Fawkes ( 1570-1606 ) is caught trying to blow up the British parliament. 1922: Howard Carter discovers the entrance to the tomb of Tut Ankh Amon in Egypt.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Nicotine – what is that? Why is it special? It is no news today that nicotine is a stimulating substance in tobacco. But what is its origin? And why is it called nicotine? Nicotine comes from a plant in the nightshade family. It is created in the root and accumulates in the leaves. It is addictive. It has its name from the French ambassador to Portugal, Jean Nicot de Villemain. He had received it in 1560 from the Portuguese colonist in Sao Paulo, Luis De Gois. The ambassador sent immediately the plant and its seeds to the French king in Paris. And from there it was quickly spread all over Europe. People believed that by smoking it you could prevent a number of illnesses, in particular plague. Nicotine was also from the 17th century used as insecticide.
So it is ambassador Nicot, who has given nicotine its name and also was instrumental in spreading it in Europe. There were many consequences of the discovery of America!
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Achilles’ heel - what is the history behind that expression ? And the meaning?
TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: I am worried about all the rubbish being presented on TV every day. Most of it is scandal journalism picked up from the tabloid press. This was said by the famous American TV anchorman Walter Cronkite.
2. Today’s quote: A woman does not wear clothes. She allows clothes to be worn by her. Who among today’s personalities has said that?
3. Famous people born on this day: 1913: Vivien Leigh ( died 1967 ) 1923: Rudolf Augstein ( died 2002 ) 1940: Elke Sommer 1941: Art Garfunkel 1986: Kasper Schmeichel
4. Famous people died on this day: 1758: Hans Egede ( 72 years ) 1956: Art Tatum ( 47 years ) 1982: Jacques Tati ( 74 years ) 1988: Claus Toksvig ( 59 years ) 2006: Bülent Ecevic ( 81 years )
NOVEMBER 6 TODAY’s NAME: This day is called LEONHARDUS’ DAY. It has its name from the French hermit Leonard. He was baptized in 496 AD and moved into the monastery Micy near Orléans. He later became a bishop here. Later on he decided to become a hermit in the forests near Noblac, not far from Limoges. The legend tells that he organized that many prisoners were released. Today is also one of the 32 so-called Tycho Brahe Days. It was days, which the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe in the 17th century according to his observations considered to be particularly unfortunate. What old nonsense
TODAY’s EVENT: 1906: Nordisk Film Company was started by Ole Olsen. It is today the world’s oldest film company, which still makes films.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Achilles’ heel - what is the history behind that expression ? And the meaning? This expression comes from the Greek mythology. The ancient Greek hero Achilles, who was the main person in the Iliad of Homer, was by his mother Thetis dipped in the river Styx. In this way be became invulnerable. When the mother dipped him she held him by his heels – meaning that they did not become wet. Therefore, they continued to be vulnerable. When Achilles later was fighting near Troy he was hit by the arrows of Paris – and died. When the tendon linking the peroneus with the top of the heel bone is called the Achilles tendon it has its origin in the Iliad. Today you use the expression Achilles heel you refer to somebody’s weak point, where he can be hit – in the figurative sense. So where is your Achilles heel??
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: All are equal – what is the history behind that? And the meaning? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: A woman does not wear clothes. She allows clothes to be worn by her. This was once said by the British actress Vivien Leigh. 2. Today’s quote:
It does not serve any purpose to try to drown your worries in alcohol. Because worries are great swimmers ! Who has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1814: Adolphe Sax ( died 1894 ) 1833: Jonas Lie ( died 1908 ) 1880: Robert Musil ( died 1942 ) 1946: Sally Field
4. Famous people died on this day: 1632: Gustav 2. Adolf ( 38 years ) 1796: Catherine 2. ( 67 years ) 1893: Pjotr Tjajkovskij ( 53 years ) 1960: Erich Raeder ( 84 years ) 2006: Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber ( 82 years )
NOVEMBER 7 TODAY’s NAME: Today is called ENGELBRECHT’s DAY. He was a monk and later became a bishop in Cologne. But at the end he was killed by the deserted count Frederick of Isenburg. It happened in the year 1225 AD.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1917: Lenin and his revolutionary followers conquered the Winter Palace in Petrograd. This was the beginning of the October Revolution. This day was according to the old Russian calendar still October.
TODAY’s QUESTION: All are equal – what is the history behind that? And the meaning? When the Danish Viking Rollo and his men around 910 AC arrived in France the Franks sent some knights to negotiate with them. In the name of the king the Franks demanded that the
Vikings in addition to their own names also told them who their masters were. The Vikings replied: Nobody, because we are all equal! The Franks continued: will you work for our king Charles and be paid by him? The answer was prompt: We will never work for anybody or take salary from anyone. The salary we like the most is won by our swords and actions. That’s what happened. Rollo conquered all of northern France, including Paris. They settled in what is today called Normandy (the land of the Normans). The fact that the Vikings within a couple of generations were fully integrated and assimilated, also linguistically, is another matter. It happened much faster than with their fellow Vikings in England. If it is the principle of we are all equal which survived in France for about 900 years until the French revolution with its principles of liberty, equality and brotherhood is perhaps to give history too much. Today the expression We are all equals is still very much used, especially in political declarations. In practice it is a bit more difficult to ensure.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Balkanisation - what is that ? And where does the word come from ?
TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: It does not serve any purpose to try to drown your worries in alcohol. Because worries are great swimmers ! It was said by the Austrian philosopher Robert Musil.
2. Today’s quote: Antisemitism is a state of pathology. A strange form of sexual perversion. Among all the disgusting phenomina this one is the most nasty and disgusting. Who has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1867: Marie Curie ( died 1934 ) 1879: Lev Trotskij ( died 1940 ) 1913: Albert Camus ( died 1960 ) 1918: Billy Graham
1926: Joan Sutherland ( died 2011 )
4. Famous people died on this day: 1910: Lev Tolstoy ( 82 years ) 1962: Eleanor Roosevelt ( 78 years ) 1980: Steve McQueen ( 50 years ) 1992: Alexander Dubcek ( 71 years ) 2000: Queen Ingrid ( 90 years ) November 8 TODAY’s NAME: This day is called CLAUDIUS’ DAY. It has not been named after the Roman emperor Claudius – he is for obvious reasons not a Christian saint But his name comes from another Roman, the sculptor Claudius, who lived during the reign of emperor Diocletian ( 244-311 AD ). He lived in the Roman province Ponnonia in the western part of present day Hungary. He was killed because of his Christian faith.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1895: Wilhelm Röntgen discovers the special radiation, which later carries his name. They are also called X-rays. TODAY’s QUESTION: Balkanisation - what is that ? And where does the word come from ? This is originally a geo-political term referring to the fragmentation of an area in smaller entities. In historical terms it was used about the split-up of the Balkan peninsula – earlier almost totally rules by the Ottoman empire – between 1817 and 1912, when a lot of smaller states were created in the area. And after World War I the term also referred to the creation of many new countries after the Austro-Hungarian empire’s collapse. The term has a very negative connotation. More recently it has often been used by British politicians, who warn against a balkanization of the United Kingdom – meaning making Scotland and Wales independent countries.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: What is the Law of Jante ?
________________________________________________________________________________ __ TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: Antisemitism is a state of pathology. A strange form of sexual perversion. Among all the disgusting phenomena this one is the most nasty and disgusting. This was said by the Russian author Lev Tolstoy. 2. Today’s quote: None of today’s persons has left remarkable quotes. 3. Famous people born on this day: 1656: Edmond Halley ( died 1742 ) 1847: Bram Stoker ( died 1912 ) 1906: H.C. Hansen ( died 1960 ) 1912: June Havoc ( died 2010 ) 1927: Jørgen Reenberg 1935: Alain Delon 1939: Henning Christophersen
4. Famous people died on this day: 1890: César Franck ( 68 years ) 1908: Heinrich Hirschsprung ( 72 years ) 1986: Vjatseslav Molotov ( 96 years ) NOVEMBER 9 TODAY’s NAME: It is called THEODOR’s DAY. He was a Christian Roman soldier, who put fire to a pagan temple for the God Kybeles. That is why he was killed by being tortured and afterwards burned in a red-hot oven. It happened in 290 AD.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1989: The Berlin Wall falls – after 28 years.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What is the Law of Jante ? This “law” is part of a novel by the Danish-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose from 1933. It is called: A refugee crosses his footpath. The “law” has 10 commandments. They express a traditional Nordic-Danish prudence, modesty and moderation. Here they are: 1. You're not to think you are anything special. 2. You're not to think you are as good as we are. 3. You're not to think you are smarter than we are. 4. You're not to convince yourself that you are better than we are. 5. You're not to think you know more than we do. 6. You're not to think you are more important than we are. 7. You're not to think you are good at anything. 8. You're not to laugh at us. 9. You're not to think anyone cares about you. 10. You're not to think you can teach us anything.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: What is the modern version of the Law of Jante? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 5. Yesterday’s quote: None of yesterday’s persons has left remarkable quotes.
6. Today’s quote: Do you say that this person is indispensable? My good man: The cemeteries are full of indispensable people! Who among today’s persons has said that? 7. Famous people born on this day:
1773: Thomasine Gyllembourg ( died 1856 ) 1818: Ivan Turgenjev ( died 1883 ) 1888: Jean Monnet ( died 1979 ) 1918: Spiro Agnew ( died 1996 ) 1948: Bille August 1974: Alessandro Del Piero
8. Famous people died on this day: 1937: Ramsay MacDonald ( 71 years ) 1940: Neville Chamberlain ( 71 years ) 1970: Charles de Gaulle ( 80 years ) 1991: Yves Montand ( 70 years ) 2006: Markus Wolf ( 83 years )
NOVEMBER 10 TODAY’s NAME: This day is called LUTHER’s DAY. It has its name after Martin Luther, who was born on this day in 1483 in Eisleben in Germany. He was a catholic monk, but - as is now well-known – took the initiative to the Reformation. It started, when he in 1517 put his famous 95 theses on the door to the cathedral in Wittenberg. He died 63 years old in 1546. When you at least in Denmark call tonight Mortens Aften ( Martin’s evening ) it has nothing to do with Martin Luther. It refers to the holy Martin of Tours in France. He lived in the years 317-97 AD. As he by all means wanted to avoid becoming a bishop he was hiding in a room with geese. But when the geese, of course, cackled loudly his hiding place was discovered, and he was nominated a bishop. And as a punishment to the cackling geese people have been eating roast goose ever since this evening. __________________________________________________________________________ TODAY’s EVENT: 1871: Henry Stanley finds David Livingstone at the Lake of Tanganyika. Dr. Livingstone, I presume, were his famous phrase at their encounter.
What is the modern version of the Law of Jante? Law of Jante – modern edition Today’s LAW OF JANTE Or The Law-on-who-do-you-think-you-are The Danish poet Aksel Sandemose wrote in 1933 the so-called Law of Jante. These are ten rules on how Danes and other Scandinavians think about others. They are all sort of negative rules, which many would recognize in their daily life. You can read more about them on Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Jante In the meantime 80 years have passed. Many things have changed – or have they? And not necessarily changed for the better, on the contrary.
To make a point and to attract attention you often have to exaggerate a bit. I have tried to do that with this new version of the Law of Jante – of today: 1. You have to be scared. People are getting at you all the time. It is dangerous for you. Life, society, food, hospitals, traffic, people from other countries – all is dangerous 2. You have to be envious. Others have a better life than you. And probably they haven’t deserved it. It is likely they have been cheating 3. You have to be convinced that other people are odd. Especially those from other countries than your own 4. You must know that the Danes are the best in all repects. World champions in everything. And if anybody is in the slightest doubt about it you have the right to be very insulted 5. You always must buy things with a huge discount. And when you realize that you haven’t bought the best you are outraged – and make a complaint 6. You have to be stubborn and have a “I know better” attitude. Nobody is going to teach you anything 7. You should never say Thank You, when somebody opens the door for you or lets you pass by in a queue.
8. You should never say Good Morning or Hello to anybody you don’t know personally. And if somebody says it to you, of course, you have the right to look very astonished saying: Don’t disturb me. I haven’t done anything wrong! 9. You must expect that everybody agrees about everything. Consensus is the law in this country. And if anybody does not agree he or she is just no longer of the good company 10. You should never be interested in other people and what they are doing. And especially not if they come from other places than you or are doing different things than you do. ( author: Niels Jørgen Thøgersen )
Law of Jante - for cyber-people My good friend, Torben Riise in Arizona in the US, like me Goodwill Ambassador for Copenhagen, has made this very new LAW OF JANTE - for today's cyber people: 1. Do not believe that your smartphone is better than mine 2. Do not believe that you have as many friends on Facebook as I have 3. Do not believe that you send more text messages than I do 4. Do not fool yourself to believe that you have more broadband than I have 5. Do not believe that you have more apps than I have 6. Do not think that your blogs are interesting 7. Do not think that your web camera has more pixels than mine 8. Do not believe that we think your web pics are good 9. Do not believe that anybody wants to "Like" you on Facebook 10. Do not believe that you can teach me anything about Netiquette.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Carte blanche - what is that? And what does it mean? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE :
9. Yesterday’s quote: Do you say that this person is indispensable? My good man: The cemeteries are full of indispensable people! This was once said by general, later president Charles de Gaulle. 10. Today’s quote: Nature has given the woman broad hips and a big behind to make it easy for her to sit quietly and look after her home. Who among today’s persons has said that? 11. Famous people born on this day: 1483: Martin Luther ( died 1546 ) 1668: Francois Couperin (died 1733 ) 1759: Friedrich Schiller ( died 1805 ) 1925: Richard Burton ( died 1984 )
12. Famous people died on this day: 1891: Arthur Rimbaud ( 37 years ) 1938: Kemal Atatürk ( 57 years ) 1982: Leonid Brezhnev ( 76 years ) 2001: Ken Kesey ( 66 years ) 2015: Helmut Schmidt ( 97 years )
NOVEMBER 11 TODAY’s NAME: This day is called MARTIN’s DAY. It has its name after Martin of Tours in France. He was born in Pannonia ( in present day Hungary ) around 316 AD and died in Candes on November 8, 397 AD. First he lived and worked in Pavia in Italy, then he travelled through Gallia ( France ) on missionary work. In Tours he became so popular that people wanted him as their bishop. He did not want that, so he was hiding in a room with geese. When they were cackeling he was discovered – and he was elected. The day of his funeral – today, November 11, is therefore the day for slaughtering geese. Martin is the patron for domestic animals and for beggars.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1843: Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Ugly Duckling was published for the first time. __________________________________________________________________________ TODAY’s QUESTION: Carte blanche - what is that? And what does it mean? This term comes from French and means white card or white paper. In was used in the old days in connection with negotiations – political, economic or military negotiations. The person who was given the mandate to negotiate and to make the final agreement received a piece of white paper ( a carte blanche) only with the signature of the top boss (the king, the prime minister, the general). Then he or she could fill out the rest with the agreement made – and it was all done. Today the expression carte blanche is still used meaning full power of attorney. In the EU Commission the president receives a carte blanche letter from each member of the Commission only with their signature on. Then he alone can decide when they have to step down.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Hamburger – what is that ? And where does the word come from?
TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: Nature has given the woman broad hips and a big behind to make it easy for her to sit quietly and look after her home. This was once said by Martin Luther. 2. Today’s quote: To make the truth more likely you always have to mix it with some lies. Who among today’s personalities has said that?
3. Famous people born on this day: 1821: Fjodor Dostojevski ( died 1881 ) 1869: Viktor Emmanuel 3. ( died 1947 ) 1885: George Patton ( died 1945 )
1920: Roy Jenkins ( died 2003 ) 1929: Hans Magnus Enzensberger 1945: Daniel Ortega
4. Famous people died on this day: 1855: Søren Kierkegaard ( 58 years ) 1945: Jerome Kern ( 60 years ) 2004: Yassir Arafat ( 75 years ) 2010: Baby Marie Osborn ( 99 years )
NOVEMBER 12 TODAY’s NAME: This day is called TORKIL's DAY. It has been like that since 1725. But nobody knows any longer, what the reason is. There are no saints with that name.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1859: Charles Darwin publishes the book "The Origin of Species”.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Hamburger – what is that ? And where does the word come from? Of course, the word is the name of the inhabitants in the city of Hamburg in Germany. But it is more than that. It is the name of a special burger, a sort of sandwich, you can say. A piece of minced beef between two pieces of bread. It can take many forms, and it is normally hot, when it is served. There are many different types of hamburgers, of course. It depends on who makes them – and in what part of the world you are. But the question here is: Where does the name come from? The best known explanation is that it comes from New York at the end of the 19th century. Lots of Jewish immigrants arrived from Hamburg to the city. Many of them could not find any work. As Jews are often full of initiative some of them started the production of “fast food” – some beef between two pieces of bread. That dish was soon sold all over New York and
became a huge success. And as the producers came from Hamburg it wasn’t surprising that this new lunch food soon was called a hamburger. There are other explanations such as the story that it comes from the small town of Hamburg in upstate New York. A town called Hamburg (56.000 inh.) near the border to Canada. I do not believe in that explanation. I believe more in a third explanation: that the hamburger is invented by a Dane, Louis Lassen. He was originally a mechanic, had immigrated to the US in the 1880ies and lived in the small town of New Haven in Connecticut north of New York. After a few years he bought a railway car and started a small kiosk with food. And when a client one day came into the kiosk and asked for something to eat in a rush as he had to leave quickly Louis grapped a piece of meat and wrapped it between two pieces of bread. The hamburger was invented. Louis claimed for the rest of his life that he in this way invented the hamburger. And his restaurant Louis’ Lunch still exists in New Haven and claims that it is the only restaurant in the world, which invented the hamburger and continues to serve it! Why is it then called a hamburger? Perhaps because Louis came from the small village Hamborg in the west of Denmark? This still has to be found out! But enjoy your next hamburger with all this knowledge. If it is good and tasty! By the way: a small not too serious thought linked to hamburger: We all remember, when president Kennedy during a visit to Berlin in 1963 ended his speech with the famous words: Ich bin ein Berliner! So why did Reagan never visit Hamburg? How should he have ended his speech ?!
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Roskilde Peace Treaty of 1658 - what is that?
TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: To make the truth more likely you always have to mix it with some lies. This was once said by the Russian author Fjodor Dostojevski. 2. Today’s quote: In today's society it is almost only the artists, who do their work with joy. Who has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1684: Edward Vernon ( ”Old Grog” ) ( died 1757 ) 1833: Alexander Borodin ( died 1887 )
1840: Auguste Rodin ( died 1917 ) 1866: Sun Yat-sen ( died 1925 ) 1929: Grace Kelly ( died 1982 ) 1961: Nadia Comaneci
4. Famous people died on this day: 1035: Cnut the Great ( 40 years ) 1667: Hans Nansen ( 69 years ) 1720: Peter Wessel Tordenskjold ( 30 years ) 1948: Umberto Giordano ( 81 years ) 1987: Cornelis Vreeswijk ( 50 years ) NOVEMBER 13 TODAY’s NAME: This day is called ARCADIUS' DAY. He was according to the legend a Christian, who was killed by the vandals because of his belief. It happened in 437 AD. We do not know more about him.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1989: Czechoslovakia opens formally its borders after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Already on November 3 was it de facto possible for DDR citizens to travel toWest Germany via Czechoslovakia.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Roskilde Peace Treaty of 1658 - what is that? The peace treaty between Denmark and Sweden was the biggest loss of territory for Denmark ever - and the biggest gain for Sweden. In 1657 the Danish king Frederik III had declared war on Sweden. He wanted to win the areas back, which Denmark had lost at the peace in Brømsebro in 1645 (Halland, Øsel (now part of Estonia), Gotland and the central part of Norway). The Swedish king Karl 10. Gustav was in Poland with his army. He reacted immediately by taking his 7.000 men army up through Jutland, walk over the ice (it was winter time) to Funen and from here further east also over the frozen sounds reaching Zealand. King Frederik panicked and asked for peace negotiations right away. The Swedes started with demands for a
lot of land, incl. most Danish islands. But after some days they reduced their claims. A peace treaty was finally signed in the cathedral of Roskilde in February 1658. Denmark had to hand over big parts of the country ( Skaane, Halland and Blekinge - which today are the southern parts of Sweden). The treaty has the name: The Roskilde Peace Treaty. When the Danish chief negotiator was about to sign he said: I wish that my hand couldn't write! King Frederik was so sadden by the loss of big parts of his country that he asked all windows towards the east in his castle in Copenhagen to be walled up, so that he no longer could see his old lands. And a couple of years later he introduced an absolute monarchy, depriving the noble men of the power they so far possessed. The royal dictatorship lasted for 188 years until democracy finally also reached Denmark in 1849.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Cimbrians – who were they? __________________________________________________________________________ TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: In today's society it is almost only the artists, who do their work with joy. This was said by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) 2. Today’s quote: Books are ok in their way. But they are an anaemic replacement for life! Who has said that?
3. Famous people born on this day: 354:
Augustin ( died 430 )
1485: Skipper Clement ( died 1536 ) 1768: Bertel Thorvaldsen ( died 1844 ) 1850: Robert Louis Stevenson ( died 1894 ) 1944: Jesper Klein ( died 2011 ) 1969: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
4. Famous people died on this day: 1319: Erik Menved ( 45 years )
1460: Henry the Navigator ( 66 years ) 1868: Gioachino Rossini ( 76 years ) NOVEMBER 14 TODAY’s NAME: This day is called FREDERICK’s DAY. The reason is that it was on this day in 1665, that the Danish king FREDERICK III signed a new law called the King’s Law. Through this law the King decided everything in the country. You can call it the start of a royal dictatorship. It lasted until 1849. The main author of this law was Peder Griffenfeldt. Today is also the World Diabetes’ Day.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1812: Napoleon is with his army moving into a burning Moscow.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Cimbrians – who were they? “Kimbrer” is what I am. Or “Cimbrian” in English.What is that? Where did they come from? And where are they/we now? Listen: A “Cymbrian” belongs to a very brave and energetic tribe in the north of Denmark. From the part of Jutland called Himmerland – or rather “Kimbrerland”.Our first appearance are traced back to several centuries before year 0. While the Romans grew stronger in the south of Europe we Cimbriansgrew bigger and stronger up north. Our symbol was – and is – a BULL. A strong one! One sunny day – about 105 B.C. – our chief Cimbrian declared: “Let’s conquer Rome!!” Off we went – thousands of us. Heading south. With men, warriors, women, children, animals, equipment – and a strong will. A colourful crowd, which got bigger and stronger and more determined as we approached the Romans. One Roman Legion after the other was beaten up and destroyed. In the Gallic area (now France), in the south of Germany and Austria. The Roman Empire was in panic! Also when they saw our Cimbrian warriors use their shields as huge sledges down the Alps! When the Cymbrian approached Rome from the north the last Roman legion under the command of Marius did nothing. It let the thousands and thousands of Cimbrians pass. And the Romans were especially uneasy, when the Cimbrian worriors shouted at the passive Roman soldiers: “We will say hello to your wives in Rome, when we get there”!
But victories without defeats: all of a sudden the mean Romans attack from the back – where all the women and the children were. Thousands were tortured and killed. The Cimbrians were in total panic, and on that day – 101 B.C. – the Cimbrians were totally defeated. Rome was saved. Only a few thousand Cimbrians managed to escape. Up north into the Dolomites! And they are still there – or rather their descendants! About 70.000 of them – with fair hair, blue eyes and a language which certainly has direct links back to the language of the Cimbrians at the time. The place – about 50 km north of Verona – is called Ljetzan (or Giazza in Italian).I visited Ljetzan in April 2004. A beautiful place in a beautiful nature. And with a very nice CimbriMuseum – telling this story. Have a look at this site:www.rcvr.org/cittaepr/cimbri/welcome Living history. Visit Himmerland (see:www.europe-today.com/denmark/himmerl.html ) – and Ljetzan! PS: A thousand years later many of the strongest VIKINGS sailed from Himmerland to conquer England and Normady.The descendants of the Cimbrians!
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Storm in a tea cup - where does that expression come from? And what does it mean?
TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: Books are ok in their way. But they are an anaemic replacement for life! This was said by the Scottish poet Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) 2.
Today’s quote: You cannot beat anything into children. But you can applaud them and get a lot out of them that way. Who has said that among today’s personalities?
3. Famous people born on this day: 1719: Leopold Mozart ( died 1787 ) 1765: Robert Fulton ( died 1815 ) 1779: Adam Oehlenschläger ( died 1850 )
1840: Claude Monet ( died 1927 ) 1889: Jawaharlal Nehru ( died 1964 ) 1907: Astrid Lindgren ( died 2002 ) 1935: King Hussein ( died 1999 ) 1948: Prince Charles 1954: Condoleezza Rice
4. Famous people died on this day: 1263: Alexander Nevskij ( 43 years ) 1831: Georg Friedrich Hegel ( 61 years ) NOVEMBER 15 TODAY’s NAME: This day is called LEOPOLD’s DAY. He was an Austrian count, who was responsible for a border region. He grew up with a bishop at the monastery in Melk. Later he married Agnes, a daughter of emperor Heinrich V, and had 18 children with her. He died in 1136, and the legend tells, that many wonders happened at his grave. He was made a saint a couple of hundred years later.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1956: ”Love me Tender” – the first Elvis Presley film – is shown for the first time.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Storm in a tea cup - where does that expression come from? And what does it mean? It is a very old Roman proverb. Cicero (106-43 BC) quoted it in this way: He started a storm in a small spoon! Later the French political philosopher Montesquieu (1689-1755) used the expression Une tempête dans un verre d’eau. Directly translated: A storm in a glass of water. He used it to describe political instability in the mini state San Marino. The expression was in English, of course, made to: a storm in a tea cup.
The meaning of this expression was then and also today that something which perhaps gives the impression of being important is in reality of no real importance. QUESTION FOR TOMORROW:
Magna Carta – what is that? And what is its importance?
TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: You cannot beat anything into children. But you can applaud them and get a lot out of them that way. This was said by the Swedish author of childrens’ books, Astrid Lindgren. 2. Today’s quote: The press is like air: a priviledged libertine. Who has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1708: William Pitt ( died 1778 ) 1891: Erwin Rommel ( died 1944 ) 1905: Annunzio Mantovani ( died 1980 ) 1932: Petula Clark 1936: Wolf Biermann 1942: Daniel Barenboim 1954: Aleksander Kwasniewski
4. Famous people died on this day: 1630: Johannes Kepler ( 59 years ) 1863: King Frederick VII ( 55 years ) 1976: Jean Gabin ( 72 years )
NOVEMBER 16 TODAY’s NAME: It is called OTHENIUS’ DAY. It has its name after Saint Othmarus from the monastery in Skt. Gallen in Switzenland. He died in 759 AD.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1869: The construction of the Suez Canal is finished. It had cost the lives of 120.000 workers. TODAY’s QUESTION: Magna Carta – what is that? And what is its importance? This old British Charter – also called the Great Charter of the Liberties – was signed on June 15, 1215 by king John and a group of rebellious English barons. The text was drafted by the archbishop of Canterbury. Its purpose was to get peace between the unpopular king and the barons. The main articles gave protection of church rights, protection of barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations to feudal payments to the crown. It other words: it was a charter, which concerned the king and the nobility. Not the population as such. It was renewed almost ever since, when new kings or queens took over. Magna Carta is by many considered to be the start of parliamentary democracy – though it has very little to do with today. It inspired many initiatives much later such as the American declaration of independence and its liberties, the French revolution and later democratic constitutions. Now 800 years later there are still 4 copies of the original Magna Carta in existence. One of them is in the cathedral in Salisbury – very close to where it was originally written. And in good British tradition big festivities are organized now and then to celebrate the Carta, its contents and its importance.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Flying Dutchman - what is that? And what is the story behind it?
TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: The press is like air: a priviledged libertine. This was said by the British prime minister William Pitt in the 18th century. 2. Today’s quote: Decorations you give to idiots! Who among today’s persons said that? 3. Famous people born on this day:
Tiberius ( died 37 AD )
1758: P.A.Heiberg ( died 1841 ) 1847: Princess Dagmar ( died 1928 ) 1895: Paul Hindemith ( died 1963 ) 1911: Edward Kofler ( died 2007 )
4. Famous people died on this day: 1831: Carl von Clausewitz ( 51 years ) 1960: Clark Gable ( 59 years ) 1965: Johannes Brøndsted ( 75 years ) 2006: Milton Friedman ( 94 years ) NOVEMBER 17 TODAY’s NAME: Today is called ANIANUS’ DAY. He was a bishop in Orléans in France. He came from a noble family and lived quietly and devoted to his religion all his life. He died in the year 453. And the legend tells that many miracles happened at his grave later on.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1903: Russia’s social-democratic party is splitting into two parties, the bolcheviks and the mencheviks.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Flying Dutchman - what is that? And what is the story behind it? The origin of this expression is a legend from the 16th century. It tells about a Dutch merchant ship, which constantly sails over the oceans and never goes into any port. It is in particular seen in the seas around Cape of the Good Hope in South Africa. Seeing this ship gives other ships a warning that an accident is coming up. The legend also tells that the ship is there as God’s punishment of the Dutch captain Vanderdecken for blasphemy. The topic has often been treated in literature and other forms of art, including in Richard Wagner’s opera The Flying Dutchman. Today we would rather talk about a so-called ghost ship. This is a ship which is sailing without any crew. Such ships exist. It is, though, not dangerous just to see them. It only becomes a real problem, if you run into them. And fortunately this happens very rarely.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Marianne - she is a symbol for which country? Why? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: Decorations you give to idiots! This was said by the Danish poet P.A.Heiberg.
2. Today’s quote: Normally you have a good relationship to women before the wedding - and after the divorce. It's the time in between, which is difficult. Who among today's persons has said that?
3. Famous people born on this day: 9:
Vespasian ( died 79 )
1759: Louis XVIII ( died 1824 ) 1887: Bernard Montgomery ( died 1976 ) 1925: Rock Hudson ( died 1985 )
4. Famous people died on this day: 1796: Empress Catherine II ( 67 years ) 1917: Auguste Rodin ( 77 years ) 2006: Ferenc Puskas ( 83 years ) NOVEMBER 18 TODAY’s NAME: Today is called HESYCHIUS DAY. He was a soldier, who did not accept to make sacrifices to idols. He was tied to a big stone and thrown into the sea. This happened around 300 AC. This day is also one of the 32 so-called Tycho Brahe Days. They are days, which the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe in the 17th century based on his calculations appointed as particularly unfortunate. What old nonsense
TODAY’s EVENT: 1626: Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome is inaugurated. TODAY’s QUESTION: Marianne - she is a symbol for which country? Why? This name is used about France. It was started by the revolutionaries during the French revolution. It is mentioned for the first time in 1792. It symbolizes the republic – in contrast to the then very male dominated French monarchy. And it stands for liberty and reason. The name is made from the two most common female names in France at that time: Marie (Mary) and Anne. The name Marianne is today still used by all French authorities. It has its own special logo:
It is also the Marianne figure and its meaning, which inspired France’s gift to the United States in 1886: The Statue of Liberty in New York harbor.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Anglo-saxons - who were and are they ? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: Normally you have a good relationship to women before the wedding - and after the divorce. It's the time in between, which is difficult. This was said by the American actor Rock Hudson - though he was known as being gay. 2. Today’s quote: War is like spiders, who destroy their own cobweb. Who has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day:
1786: Carl Maria von Weber ( died 1826 ) 1901: George Horace Gallup ( died 1984 ) 1944: Suzanne Brøgger 1963: Peter Schmeichel 1968: Owen Wilson
4. Famous people died on this day: 1922: Marcel Proust ( 51 years ) 1962: Niels Bohr ( 77 years ) 1991: Gustav Husak ( 78 years ) 2002: James Coburn ( 74 years )
NOVEMBER 19 TODAY’s NAME: Today’s name is ELISABETH’s DAY. She was a young Hungarian princess, who was married to count Ludwig IV of Thüringen when she was only 14. When her husband died early in their marriage ( in 1227 ) she was sent away. And she lived the rest of her short life helping poor people, and she lived herself also in poor conditions. He died already in 1231. Four years later she was made a saint.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1977: Egypt’s president Anwar Sadat is the first Arab leader to visit Israel officially.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Anglo-saxons - who were and are they ? The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes, which in the 5th century A.C. conquered England. The famous English historian Bede wrote in the 8th century, that they came from a country in between the lands of the Jutlanders and the Saxons. More precisely from the peninsula Angel ( Latin: Angelus; Germanic: Angul; German: Angeln; Danish: Angel ) between the fiords of Flensburg and Schleswig ( the Schlei ). This was by the way Danish territory until 1864. The Angles settled in particular in Northumberland, in Mercia and in East Anglia.
Another Germanic tribe, which invaded Britannia in that period, was the Saxons. They came from the present day North German areas. And they settled down in the areas, which today carry the name ending –sex ( Essex, Middlesex, Sussex and Wessex ). The ending –sex comes from Saxon. And the last invading tribe was according to the historians the Jutlanders. They did not come from Jutland, but from the Frisian areas at the Germanic coast of the North Sea. Why? Because the Jutlanders already in the 4th century had left Jutland and settled in these Frisian territories. In this way most villages and farms in the Jutland area disappeared. These were about a hundred years later taken over by the Danes – another tribe which came from the present areas in East Denmark and before that from Sweden. The Jutlanders settled in particular in Kent, on the island of Wight and along the coast of Hampshire. All this happened during the period of great migrations in Europe ( around the 4th and 5th centuries ).
What sort of country was it that the Anglo-Saxons conquered at the time ? It was the Roman province of Britannia. Before the Romans this area was in the hands of the Brits – a Celtic tribe, which was related to the Galls in present France. Culturally they were somewhat different from the Galls. And in war they tattooed themselves and painted themselves with a blue colour. The Brits spoke Celtic. By the way, most of Europe’s population did so before the Roman times. Celtic tribes and people inhabited a very large part of present Europe – except Scandinavia and most of Eastern Europe. But the Romans pushed them all back step by step everywhere. Especially Caesar’s war against the Galls turned into a real bloodbath. About one third of the Galls was killed. The Romans were in particular against the religion of many Celtic tribes, where their priests, the druids, sacrificed human beings according to their beliefs. Caesar came with his army from Gaul to Britannia in the years 55 and 54 BC. He arranged that trade relations were established between Britannia and Rome. Only during the reign of emperor Claudius the Romans in year 43 AC started to conquer the country and make it a Roman province. The Roman general Agricola conquered the area all the way up to Forth and Clyde in present Scotland in the years 78-85 AC. Later emperor Hadrian abandoned the Scottish area and built a 120 km wall between Tyne and Solway. This wall called Hadrian’s Wall is partly still there. The culture of Rome soon dominated Britannia. Many towns and cities were created, especially London ( Londonium ) and York ( Eboracum ). All cities and towns, which today carry the ending –coln owe their name to the Roman word “colonia”. And the ending – chester comes from the Roman “castrum”, which means camp. Lots of roads were also built, and the Romans did a lot to improve the local mining industry and trade in general. When the people to the north of Britannia ( especially the Picts and the Scotes ) started to attack the province life became more and more difficult for the Romans. There were also many attacks from the sea by Germanic tribes. In 410 AC the Romans decided to pull all their troops out of Britannia, and the country was now wide open to conquerers from outside.
Some rumours say that some of the Brits invited Germanic tribes to come to help them. At any rate, the Germanic people came in their thousands. And took over the country. The Brits had during the Roman period accepted Christianity. The Germanic tribes had not, so they attacked the church ferosiously. The Brits escaped in large numbers westwards ( to Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Ireland ). Other went north to present day Scotland. And many crossed the Channel and settled down in present day Brittany ( Bretagne ). Until then this peninsula was called Armorica ( “the land at the sea” ). Now it got the name of Brittany, which means “Little Britannia”. The stories about “King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table” come from the battles between the Brits ( which King Arthur etc. belonged to ) and the invading Anglo-Saxons. There is great disagreement between historians on whether these stories are real or just legends. The language of the Brits survived in all the areas, where they settled down. A couple of hundred years ago it practically disappeared in Cornwall and later on the Isle of Man. Back to the new conquerors in the 6th century: The Anglo-Saxons ( and the Jutlanders ) The Brits called them all “Saxons”. The Danes and other Northerners called them “Engle” – from the word “Angles”. That’s where the name ENGLAND comes from ( the land of the Angles – from the peninsula Angel ). The “English language” also has its origins from this period. Many of the invading AngloSaxons spoke a simplified form of the “Old Frisean language”, and they carried that with them to their new country. This language was so easy to learn that it was quickly taken over also by the part of the local population, which had not moved away. This was the start of English. The Anglo-Saxon England did not enjoy peace for a long period. From the 8th century the Vikings – or Normans, as they were also called, because they were the men from the North ) – started to invade the English coasts. They came from Denmark in their impressive longboats. They created their own “kingdom” in the north and the middle of the country. It was called DANELAGEN ( the country where Danish law was implemented ). Today about 1.500 names of places in this area are of direct Danish origin. And DNA tests of the population today have recently shown that in many places about half of the people carries “Viking blood”. The Danish period in England was at its height, when Canute the Great was king in Denmark as well as in England. When he died in 1035, decline started for the Danes almost right away. A new era for England and its already very mixed population started in 1066, when the Normans from France attacked and conquered the country. They were direct descendants of the Danish Vikings, who from the beginning of the 10th century had seized this area, which consequently got the name Normandie ( or Normandy ). The conquest took place under the leadership of the Danish Viking chief Rollo ( died around 930 ). These Vikings were very quickly – over 2-3 generations – assimilated with the local French population, took over their language and forgot their original Danish language. And they created a very strong “kingdom” at that time. They were the people, who in 1066 under the leadership of William
the Conqueror ( originally called “William the Hybrid” ) took over England. After that they were the ruling class – a French-speaking upper-class in England. The arrival of the Normans also meant that many French words and expressions from now on were adopted into the English language. Some centuries later England conquered Normandy. That’s how things often move forth and back in history. Reflection: It is interesting to reflect on the fact, that it was with DANES ( Jutlanders ) in front, when the Anglo-Saxons conquered Roman Britannia. It was DANISH Vikings, who later seized the country from them. And it was Vikings of DANISH origin ( the Normans ), who later again took over from the Vikings. If you see it all from a GERMAN angle this history is also very interesting: Most of the Anglo-Saxon conquerors in the 6th century were “Germans”. The Germanic tribe, the Franks, who lived along the Rhine, took the area of Gall from the Romans in the 5th century. They started the Frankian Empire ( Charlemagne, etc.) and later France ( named from the Franks ). Therefore, the Germans can with strong historic backing claim that they are the origins of England as well as of France. Also one of history’s very interesting lessons.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: The name IRENE - where does it come from? And what does it mean? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: War is like brain-damaged spiders, who destroy their own cobweb. This was said by the Danish author Suzanne Brøgger. 2. Today’s quote: The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from outside. It has to come from inside. Who of today's persons has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1770: Bertel Thorvaldsen ( died 1844 ) 1805: Ferdinand de Lesseps ( died 1894 ) 1917: Indira Gandhi ( died 1984 )
1933: Larry King 1938: Ted Turner
4. Famous people died on this day: 1828: Franz Schubert ( 31 years ) 1975: Francisco Franco ( 83 years )
NOVEMBER 20 TODAY’s NAME: This day is called VOLKAMARUS DAY. The origin of this name is not known. It is probably an unknown saint.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1945: The trial against the leading Nazi war criminals starts in Nürnberg. TODAY’s QUESTION: The name IRENE - where does it come from? And what does it mean? This name comes from the pious Irene, who lived in Saloniki (in present day Greece) in the beginning of the 4th century. She was a Christian. Therefore, she was like other Christians persecuted by the Roman emperor Diocletian. And when the Roman soldiers discovered that she had Christian books and did not want to give up her faith she was together with her two sisters Agape and Chionia and all the books put on the fire in Saloniki in 304. Before that they were taken naked to a local brothel. But nobody touched them. The name Irene comes from Greek and means Peace.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Murphy's law - what is that? And where does the expression come from? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from outside. It has to come from inside.
This was once said by the Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi. 2. Today’s quote: Peace is the same for the country as health is for the body. Who among today's persons has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1858: Selma Lagerlöf ( died 1940 ) 1889: Edwin Hubble ( died 1953 ) 1912: Otto von Habsburg ( died 2011 ) 1923: Nadine Gordimer (died 2014) 1925: Robert F. Kennedy ( died 1968 ) 1948: Barbara Hendricks
4. Famous people died on this day: 1894: Anton Rubinstein ( 65 years ) 1909: P.S. Krøyer ( 58 years ) 1910: Lev Tolstoj ( 82 years ) NOVEMBER 21 TODAY’s NAME: Today is called MARY’s SACRIFICE DAY. This was the day, when Mary as a child was presented in the Temple in Jerusalem.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1995: In Dayton, Ohio, the so-called Dayton agreement was signed. It made peace in BosniaHerzegovina. TODAY’s QUESTION: Murphy's law - what is that? And where does the expression come from? It comes from England. We don’t know exactly, who this Murphy was. But it is certain that it refers to an Irishman (Murphy is a typical Irish name). This Irishman was electrician. And
the English had no confidence in his technical skills. Things always went wrong, when he tried to do something. In this way the expression Murphy’s Law came to mean, that if anything can go wrong it will go wrong. This is not nice or just to the Irish. But history and traditions are not always nice and just
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Marco Polo - who was he? And which history is linked to him? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: Peace is the same for the country as health is for the body. This was once said by the Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf. 2. Today’s quote: Prejudices is the reason of the fools. Who of today's personalities has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1694: Voltaire (full name: Francois-Marie Arouet) ( died 1778 ) 1787: Samuel Cunard ( died 1865 ) 1898: René Magritte ( died 1967 ) 1939: Etta Cameron ( died 2010 ) 1965: Björk (Gudmundsdottir) 4. Famous people died on this day: 1695: Henry Purcell ( 36 years ) 1916: Franz Joseph I ( 86 years ) 2006: Pierre Amine Gemayel ( 34 years )
TODAY’s NAME: This day’s name is CECILIA’s DAY. She lived in the 2nd century AD, was born in Rome under the name Caecilia. She is known for having convinced her husband to become a Christian in their wedding bed. They were both killed in Sicily by the soldiers of the Roman emperor because of that. Cecilia is the patron for musicians, for poets and for blind people. Many interesting events took place over the years on this day. The Danish king Erik Klipping was murdered in a barn in Jutland in the night ( 37 years old ). Denmark won a football match over France in 1908 by 17-1. The British researcher Howard Carter opened the tomb of Tut Ankh Amon in this day in 1922. TODAY’s EVENT: 1963: President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas. TODAY’s QUESTION: Marco Polo - who was he? And which history is linked to him? He was the city state Venezia’s great discoverer and important merchant, Marco Polo. He lived in the years 1254-1324. In his younger years he went with his father on an expedition to Central Asia and China. They were away for 24 years. The story tells that Marco Polo at a certain moment was mayor of Peking. When they came back home Venezia was at war with the city state of Genova. And Marco Polo was put into prison in Genova. In was here he dictated his travel descriptions to another prisoner. You can say that Marco Polo was inspiring Christopher Columbus, when he travel westwards a couple of hundred years later. He was, by the way, born in Genova. The airport of Venezia is today named after Marco Polo.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Coptic - what is it, and what is the history behind it? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: Prejudices is the reason of the fools. This was said by Voltaire. 2. Today’s quote: Who can govern a country with 400 different cheeses? Who among today’s persons has said that?
3. Famous people born on this day: 1819: George Eliot ( real name: Mary Ann Evans ) ( died 1880 ) 1890: Charles de Gaulle ( died 1970 ) 1913: Benjamin Britten ( died 1976 ) 1934: Östen Warnerbring ( died 2006 ) 1965: Mads Mikkelsen 1967: Boris Becker
4. Famous people died on this day: 1916: Jack London ( 40 years ) 1963: John F. Kennedy ( 46 years ) 1963: Aldous Huxley ( 64 years ) 1963: C.S. Lewis ( 64 years ) 1980: Mae West ( 87 years ) NOVEMBER 23 TODAY’s NAME: This day is called CLEMENS’ DAY. It has its name from pope Clemens, who was the third pope after Peter. He was punished because of his faith and was sent to the island of Crimea for hard word. As this did not change his mind he was tied to a heavy anchor and thrown into the sea. He died in the year 107. Clemens is the patron of the stone and marble workers. And together with Nicolai he is also the protector of all seamen. Weather warning: Mild weather on this day means that the winter will be mild. Earlier many people saw this day as the first day of winter.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1890: The Grand-duchy of Luxembourg was made independent from the king of the Netherlands. The country got its independence already in 1815. But it had the Dutch king as its monarch. He did not treat Luxembourg well. He even at a certain moment try to sell it to France. But Germany and England was against it, so it did not happen. So from 1890 the country had as its monarch its own Grand Duc.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Coptic - what is it, and what is the history behind it? This is the name of the ancient Egyptian language, which written down with the Greek alphabet was preserved as the liturgical language in the Coptic church. It died out as a spoken language around year 1600. The name comes from the Greek word for Egyptian. The Coptic church has about 2 million Christian descendants from the Antique’s Egyptians in Egypt, Sudan and Palestine. Its patriarch lives in Cairo.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Cobbler – stick to your last. Where does that expression come from? And what does it mean? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: Who can govern a country with 400 different cheeses? This is a famous quote from the French president Charles de Gaulle. 2. Today’s quote: I was a father in the same way as I played the harp: I played by ear! Who among this day’s persons has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1859: Billy the Kid ( died 1881 ) 1860: Hjalmar Branting ( died 1925 ) 1888: Harpo Marx ( died 1964 )
4. Famous people died on this day: 1763: Abbé Prevost ( 68 years ) 1976: André Malraux ( 75 years ) 1991: Klaus Kinski ( 66 years ) NOVEMBER 24
TODAY’s NAME: Today’s name is CHRYSOGONUS’ DAY. He was a Christian, who was killed because of his faith during the persecutions during the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian. The legend tells that he was thrown into the sea, but that a fish brought him back to land. It happened around year 300 AC in the city of Aquileia in north-east Italy.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1642: The Dutch discoverer Abel Tasman arrives at Van Diemens Land. This island is later renamed as Tasmania.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Cobbler – stick to your last. This expression goes all the way back to Alexander the Great (356-323 BC). His painter at the court was called Apelles. He was known to exhibit his works in such a way that he – without anybody noticing him – could study peoples’ reactions. One day he changed a detail on a shoe on a painting to see the reaction from visitors. A shoemaker noticed the mistake. But when he continued his criticism of the way the legs were painted Apelles could not stand listening to him anymore. He said: A shoemaken should never judge anything but shoes. Later the expression has developed into today’s saying: Coppler – stick to your last. Today this expression means that you should never talk about things you don’t know anything about. How the world would change, if everybody followed that rule
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Belgium – what do you know about that country? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: I was a father in the same way as I played the harp: I played by ear! This was once said by the American entertainer Harpo Marx.
2. Today’s quote: America is the only nation in the world, which miraculously has gone from barbarism to degeneration without passing the usual step with civilization.
Who among today’s persons has said that?
3. Famous people born on this day: 1632: Baruch de Spinoza ( died 1677 ) 1864: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec ( died 1901 ) 1868: Scott Joplin ( died 1917 )
4. Famous people died on this day: 1929: Georges Clemenceau ( 88 years ) 1963: Lee Harvey Oswald ( 34 years ) 1991: Freddie Mercury ( “The Queen” ) ( 45 years ) 2004: Arthur Hailey ( 84 years ) NOVEMBER 25 TODAY’s NAME: Today is called CATHARINA’s DAY. It has its name from Catharina, who refused to marry the Roman emperor Maximilian around 300 AD. Therefore, she was put into prison. But in the jail she convinced many other prisoners to become Christians. She was further punished and put on to a wheel with knives. One of the soldiers was killed by a lightning, when he tried to pull her body apart. Her corpse was then removed by angles. She has given name to the Catharina Monastery in the Sinai desert. Weather warning: Frost or snow during the night before this day will mean that frost or snow is likely during the coming 18 weeks.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1992: The Czechoslovak parliament decides to split the country into two countries from January 1, 1993: The Czech Republic and Slovakia.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Belgium – what do you know about that country?
A fantastic country. A different country. A complicated country. They say about Belgian politics, if you think you understand it, it's because you've got it badly explained! It all began in 1830 when the country became independent. It was done by the citizens in an afternoon’s revolution against the Dutch rulers. No, it began much earlier. Namely, under Caesar before Christ's birth. He writes in his diary that "of all the Celtic tribes, I have fought against the Belgians were the bravest." He had to give up conquering much of the country. Actually he came to a line which is only 1 ½ km from our house in Rixensart. This is precisely where the border between French and Flemish speaking Belgium remains to this day. Now a bit about the country’s size and that kind of thing: Belgium today is exactly the same size as the Danish peninsula Jutland, 30,000 sq.km. And more than 11 million people live here. In Jutland live approx. 1 ½ million. Belgians are divided by 6 million Flemish and almost 5 million French-speaking. Additionally, you have a small German-speaking minority in the east. More on this later. All Belgians (almost) are Catholics. So it's not religion that divides. But they are not very active practitioners in their religion. Just like most of the Danes in their church. There are 3 official languages: French, Flemish (which is almost the same as the Dutch - but pronounced much softer) and German. The country has always been in the middle of almost all European conflicts. It is located midway between the major European powers. And as these countries sometimes have been on horribly bad terms, it was very often the Belgians who got badly hurt. Historians have counted over 1000 known wars on Belgian soil. The area has been under many different rulers: Spaniards, Austrians, French and Dutch. Yes, even the Danish Vikings were here. Hence come the many geographical names that are currently ending with -beek ( old viking language for brook). Spanish influence you see in many ways, not least in the many Belgian carnevals, often with a Spanish - Latin American “flavour”. And a modern word for a Belgian cafe-restaurant, Estaminet, also dates from Spanish times. Independence came on July 21, 1830. Of course, it is a holiday today. The French were totally dominant in the country until after World War II. One reason was that the southern parts of the country – where the French speaking population lived and still lives - was the strong industrial areas with coal, steel and other heavy industries. The French language was dominant everywhere. In the army for example only French was spoken by the officers. This provided a natural resistance from the Flemings against French speakers. This is part of the explanation for why some Flemish people went into German service during World War II. Not
so much because they were Nazis. But because they saw it as a way to fight the Frenchspeaking Walloons. After the second World War it has gone horribly wrong for many of the French-speaking areas, especially in the province of Hainaut around Mons. It is one of Europe's poorest regions. There are families where people have been unemployed through three generations. But before all that Napoleon had made a serious visit. Once again, Belgium was pinned. It was in 1815. The famous battle of Waterloo about 20 km south of Brussels, was in reality the end of Napoleon and his dominance in Europe. A total of 72,000 soldiers fell in just three days. Actually, Napoleon was very close to win over Wellington and his Anglo-Dutch army. Only when the Prussian General BlĂźcher arrived with his forces in the last minute the French lost. BlĂźcher actually came through our garden to the great surprise of Napoleon. And then it was over. Napoleon had to go to St. Helena in the south Atlantic. But he continued to be quite popular in Belgium. Major streets and squares in Brussels are today named after some of his generals - like Belliard, Froissart and Jourdan. About a hundred years later it went completely mad again. The first World War started in 1914 with very large and powerful German troops invading Belgium on their way into France. The resistance of the Belgians and their allied troops from France and England was so determined that things went quite differently than the Germans had expected. The key was that the Belgians managed to open all the locks at the North Sea coast. Thus, large parts of West Flanders - where the heavy German forces tried to get through â€“ were flooded. And all the German hardware ran hopelessly stuck in mud and sludge. Thus arose the front throughout the four-year war in the western part of Belgium. The Germans kept most of Belgium violently occupied ( shooting thousands of politicians and other civilian Belgians as a warning). But the front in the west held, and the Belgian Government was throughout the war based in the small town of Veurne in West Flanders. The fighting along the front was terrible. There was at one time also used poison gas on both sides. There are currently 175 war cemeteries in Western Flanders from the time - Belgian, British, French, German. On the German one can also find fallen Danish soldiers. They came from Southern Jutland, which after 1864 was German and the young men were therefore forced to be German soldiers. Approximately 6,000 Danes from that area fell during the war, including some here in Belgium. In the town of Ypres you can today visit a modern and very interesting museum. Everyone walks away from there with some idea of how terrible it was. Life gets another perspective when you see these atrocities. Incidentally, the town of Ypres was totally destroyed during the war. It was nicely rebuilt again after the war. I mentioned earlier that the population of a small portion of Eastern Belgium speaks German. This is due to the fact that Belgium after World War I was given this German area
compensation for the suffering and the enormous devastation. And although the Germans during the second World War, the area (called Haute Fagnes / Hohes Venn), became German again, it has been Belgian again since 1945. It is said that the German-speaking population there (about 70,000 in total) in today's political debate in Belgium are the strongest supporters of the country staying together. A few words specifically about Brussels - Brussel as it is called in Flemish. It is the nation's capital with all what belongs to a capital. At the same time it is one of the country’s three regions. The two others are Flanders and Wallonia. All three have a very large degree of autonomy. It is very few things that central government is responsible for. An odd angle to this division into regions is that Flanders also considers Bruxelles / Brussel as its capital. So their regional parliament and all its ministries are in Brussels. I think it's the only "country" in the world where its capital is located outside the the “country” itself. The reason is that the Flemish people think that Brussels is a part of Flanders. They show this attitude once a year by making a giant bike race of Flemish people all around the city. Brussels is surrounded by Flanders on all sides. Moreover, they say that Brussels is Flemish during the day and French in the evening. That's because so many Flemings comes to town every day to work and go home to Flanders in the evening, because that is where they live. Brussels has about 1 ½ million inhabitants. It’s the size of Copenhagen. It is for historical reasons, divided into 19 municipalities. The international flavor is unmistakable. About a third of all residents are not born in Belgium. The EU institutions are placed in the city. NATO is too. Lots of embassies from around the world are here, too. Many countries, including Denmark, each have three embassies: one for the EU, another for NATO, and a third for Belgium as such. And lots of American and other international companies have their European headquarters in Brussels. In addition lots of immigrants from Morocco, Turkey and the former Belgian Congo live in Brussels. All this gives an incredibly exciting atmosphere with an unprecedented quantity of cultural activities, restaurants and different people from around the world. Finally, I want to give the Belgians my very best personal recommendations. . They are easygoing and friendly - sometimes a little reserved at first, though. And very helpful, even in the traffic. It is a pleasure to live here among them. We have not once in our 24 years in this country felt anything but comfortable. In a way Belgium is also our country now. Yes, there are things they do differently. In a different way than we're used to. That's it. That makes it only more interesting and motivating to be here. We once heard a totally uninformed and populistic Danish female TV reporter say on the screen that "Belgium is as interesting as an empty banana peel!" If the rest of her journalistic work is equally uninformed and xenophobic she should definately look for a different job. Good luck with Belgium!
And I have even not told you about the more than 450 different beers in this country! One more exciting than the other. Or about their wonderful food. People say that when the French really want to eat well, they go to Belgium! Go out and do likewise!
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Noah’s Ark - what is that? And what is the legend behind it? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: America is the only nation in the world, which miraculously has gone from barbarism to degeneration without passing the usual step with civilization. This was once said by the French prime minister during World War I, Georges Clemenceau. 2. Today’s quote: It is no shame to be rich. But it is a shame to die rich. Who among today’s persons has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1562: Lope de Vega ( died 1635 ) 1835: Andrew Carnegie ( died 1919 ) 1881: Pope John XXIII ( died 1963 ) 1915: Augusto Pinochet ( died 2006 ) 1923: Mauno Koivisto
4. Famous people died on this day: 1686: Niels Steensen ( 48 years ) 1907: Ludvig Mylius-Erichsen ( 35 years ) 1950: Johannes V. Jensen ( 77 years ) 1974: U Thant ( 65 years ) 2005: George Best ( 59 years )
NOVEMBER 26 TODAY’s NAME: This day’s name is CONRADUS’ DAY. It has its name from the bishop in Konstanz in nowadays Germany. He died in 975 AD.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1942: The film CASABLANCA is shown for the first time in Hollywood. TODAY’s QUESTION: Noah’s Ark: What is the history behind that? This is from Noah in The old Testament. He was the constructor of the ARK, which he used to rescue his family, two pairs of all animals and a vine from the Flood. Historically it is likely that the Flood actually happened in pre-historic times, when the Mediterranean Sea broke though the Bosphorus into the Black Sea. The Mediterranean was until then about 8 meters higher, so it is evident that the break-through was an enormous disaster. The legend tells that Noah landed his Ark on the mountain Ararat. It lies at the eastern side of the present day Black Sea. QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Neandertal men : What is the background? And where can you “meet” them?
TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: It is no shame to be rich. But it is a shame to die rich. This was said by the Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
2. Today’s quote: Art nowadays is for most of it a box room , a museum of despair. Who among today’s persons has said that?
3. Famous people born on this day:
1847: Empress Dagmar ( died 1928 ) 1909: Eugène Ionesco ( died 1994 ) 1939: Tina Turner
4. Famous people died on this day: 1855: Adam Mickiewicz ( 57 years ) 1952: Sven Hedin ( 87 years ) 1956: Tommy Dorsey ( 51 years ) 1959: Povl Bang-Jensen ( 50 years ) NOVEMBER 27 TODAY’s NAME: Today is called FACUNDUS DAY. The name comes from the Spaniard Facundus, who was tortured and beheaded because of his faith. It happened around 300 AC.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1895: Alfred Nobel makes in Paris his will transferring most of his fortune to the Nobel Prize. TODAY’s QUESTION: Neandertal men : What is the background? And where can you “meet” them? Just 12 km to the east of Düsseldorf you can visit your very old ancestor, the Neandertal Man. He is more than 60.000 years old. The village is called Mettmann and is very close to the motorway (Autobahn) from Wuppertal to Düsseldorf). The valley is called Neandertal – created by the small river Düssel. It was named after the German writer and painter Joachim Neander (1650-80), who loved to come to this valley. It was here that some workers in 1859 found human bones, which were examined by specialists. They came from human beings who lived there about 60.000 years go. They got the name the Neandertal Men. Afterwards the place where they were found was forgotten. And it was rediscovered only about 50 years ago. Now you can visit a very interesting Neandertal Museum in the village. It illustrates in a very lively way the development of mankind over thousands, even millions, of years. And the explanations are in German as well as in English.
See more here: http://www.neanderthal.de/en/ __________________________________________________________________________ QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Fifth column - what is the background for that expression? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: Art nowadays is for most of it a box room , a museum of despair. It was said by the Romanian-French playwright Eugene Ionesco.
2. Today’s quote: A diplomat is a person, who can change the drumming of the politicians to soft harp music. Who has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1701: Anders Celsius ( died 1744 ) 1874: Chaim Weizmann ( died 1952 ) 1921: Alexander Dubcek ( died 1992 ) 1942: Jimi Hendrix ( died 1970 )
4. Famous people died on this day: 8 BC : Horace ( Quintus Horatius Flaccus ) ( 57 years ) 1895: Alexandre Dumas ( 71 years ) 1953: Eugene O’Neill ( 65 years )
NOVEMBER 28 TODAY’s NAME: Today is called SOPHIA MAGDALENE’s DAY. She was the Danish king Christian VI’s queen – born on this day. Unlike the tradition at the time Christian’s dad, king Frederik IV, allowed
his son to find his wife himself. He travelled through Europe to try to find her. He chose the German princess Sophia Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach. She lived from 1700-1770. She belonged to the well-known Hohenzollern family ( which the last German emperor Wilhelm II also belonged to ). She was very religious ( Pietism ). And at the same time she lived in a very extravagant way. The contemporary French king Louis XIV ( “the Sun King” ) and his court had made his influence. She started a still existing monastery for unmarried women from noble families. But she was not a popular queen. Still this day has its name from her.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1520: The Portuguese seaman Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Pacific Ocean through the strait, which later got his name. TODAY’s QUESTION: Fifth column - what is the background for that expression? It comes from the Spanish civil war 1936-39. General Franco was about to attack Madrid with 4 military columns – attacking from north, east, south and west. At the same time he organized that fascist supporters inside the city were ready for fight and at the right moment go into action and attack the government forces from inside. They got the name the fifth column. Later the expression was used about German spies, who under the cover of being journalists, scientists or business people were German spies in Germany’s neighbouring countries – ready to help, if and when German troops attacked the country they were in. During the Cold War the expression the fifth column was used to describe the traitors, who for ideological reasons felt more attached to another country than to their own – and therefore were willing to give confidential information to the other country. The Soviet Union was very active in using citizens of other countries in this role.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Black Friday – what is it? And what is the history behind it? TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: A diplomat is a person, who can change the drumming of the politicians to soft harp music. This was said by the American playwright Eugene O’Neill. 2. Today’s quote:
To generalise is the same as being an idiot! Who has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1647: Constantin Marselis ( died 1699 ) 1700: Sophie Magdalene ( died 1770 ) 1757: William Blake ( died 1827 ) 1820: Friedrich Engels ( died 1895 ) 1881: Stefan Zweig ( died 1942 )
4. Famous people died on this day: 1680: Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini ( 81 years ) 1954: Enrico Fermi ( 53 years ) 1968: Enid Blyton ( 71 years )
NOVEMBER 29 TODAY’s NAME: Today’s name is SATURNINUS’ DAY. He was a missionary in Toulouse in the southwest of France. And later he became a bishop there. In the year 250 AC the non-Christians decided to kill him. He was tied to the legs of a bull. And the bull was then pursued down the stairs from the local capitol. Later a church named Notre-Dame-du-Tours was built on that spot.
TODAY’s EVENT: 1814: The newspaper The Times in London starts.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Black Friday – what is it? And what is the history behind it? This expression comes originally from the US. It is the day after Thanksgiving Day – which every year is the 4th Thursday in November. This Friday is a public holiday in 24 American states. And since the 1930ies it is considered to be the start of Christmas shopping.
It is widely believed that the name was first used in Philadelphia, where it referred to the fact, that on this very day there was a lot of traffic and a lot of pedestrians on the streets of the city. Later the meaning of the word Black Friday has gradually changed to refer to the fact that the shops in general were running deficits in the period up to Thanksgiving (“red figures”), while from Black Friday and onwards they enjoyed surplus (“black figures”) due to the Christmas shopping. At some point the rumour circulated that the name referred to the tradition that the trade with slaves started on that day. This is historically false. Thanksgiving only started after the American Civil War, which – as you know – abolished slavery. Black Friday has after 2000 also arrived in many countries in Europe and in other places in the world. It has become a useful element in the marketing of Christmas shopping.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: Advent - what is that? And what is the history behind it?
TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: To generalise is the same as being an idiot! This was said by the British painter and poet William Blake. 2. Today’s quote: We will end up as a bunch of folk dancers, porters and hoars, if we do not do something about it. Who has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1803: Christian Johann Doppler ( died 1853 ) 1879: Jacob Gade ( died 1963 ) 1924: Erik Balling ( died 2006 ) 1932: Jacques Chirac
4. Famous people died on this day: 1780: Maria Theresia ( 63 years ) 1924: Giacomo Puccini ( 66 years )
1962: Erik Scavenius ( 85 years ) 1981: Nathalie Wood ( 43 years ) 1986: Cary Grant ( 82 years ) 2001: George Harrison ( 58 years )
NOVEMBER 30 TODAY’s NAME: Today’s name is ANDREW’s DAY. He was one of the apostles of Jesus and also brother to the apostle Peter. He went to Greece as a missionary. Here he was later crucified by the authorities because of his faith. His execution happened on an X – formed cross. This has later been named an Andrew’s Cross. Today has traditionally been used for old weather warnings. In the Nordic countries people said in the old days that “ if is cold on Andrew’s day it will be a mild winter, but a cold spring “
TODAY’s EVENT: 1840: The remains of Napolean Bonaparte were moved from St. Helena to Paris. They are now in the Eglise des Invalides.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Advent - what is that? And what is the history behind it? As most people know Advent in the Western Christian church is the period from the 4th Sunday before the birth of Jesus. You talk about the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd and the 4th Sunday of Advent. The word advent comes from Latin: Adventum, which means Coming. The coming of Jesus. The first Sunday in Advent is also the start of the new church year. The traditional colour of Advent is purple. It is a symbol of fast, which in a way is also part of the Advent period. This colour is also the royal colour. Perhaps originally with reference to the arrival of the king Jesus. In the Orthodox church you do not celebrate Advent in the same way. You talk instead about Nativity Fast, fast before the arrival of Jesus. It starts some days before Advent. And it is not the start of the church year.
QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: December – where does that name come from? And what is linked to that month?
TODAY’s QUOTE & FAMOUS PEOPLE : 1. Yesterday’s quote: We will end up as a bunch of folk dancers, porters and hoars, if we do not do something about it. This was once said by the Danish film maker Erik Balling. 2. Today’s quote: Books – the children of the brain. Who has said that? 3. Famous people born on this day: 1667: Jonathan Swift ( died 1745 ) 1817: Theodor Mommsen ( died 1903 ) 1835: Mark Twain ( died 1910 ) 1874: Winston Churchill ( died 1965 ) 1960: Gary Lineker
4. Famous people died on this day: 1879: Auguste Bournonville ( 74 years ) 1900: Oscar Wilde ( 46 years ) 1957: Beniamino Gigli ( 67 years )
Published on Nov 30, 2016