Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017: The Year Ahead - Events and Anniversaries


500th Anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 Theses

Martin Luther

Martin Luther was a German professor of theology and Augustinian friar. On October 31, 1517, Luther sent his 95 Theses to Cardinal Albert of  Brandenburg.  He may also have posted the Theses on the door of  All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Germany, most likely in mid-November. Luther's Theses sparked the Protestant Reformation.  They expressed his opposition to the Roman Catholic Church's practice of selling plenary indulgences (certificates which would reduce temporal punishment in purgatory for sins committed by the purchaser or his family and friends).

150th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation

Fathers of Confederation at the Quebec Conference of 1864

On July 1, 1867, after a series of conferences and deliberations, a new country was born. The British North American colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada united federally into the Dominion of Canada.  At Confederation, Canada was divided into four provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.  The Canadian Encyclopedia describes that union as "the first step in a slow but steady nation-building exercise that would come to encompass other territories, and eventually fulfill the dream of a country a mari usque ad mare (from sea to sea)."

150th Anniversary of the Alaska purchase

On March 30, 1867, United States Secretary of State William Seward agreed to a proposal from the Russian Minister in Washington, Edouard de Stoeckl, to purchase Alaska for $7.2 million.  Russia sold the territory because it feared it might be seized if war broke out with the United Kingdom.

With the purchase of Alaska, the United States added 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 kilometres) of land.  However, the deal was mocked by some who believed the land was worthless.  They dubbed it  "Seward's Folly." or "Seward;s Icebox."  The American acquisition of Alaska also gave rise to Canadian Confederation, just three months later, as the British considered it a threat to their Pacific coast colony.

100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge 


The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a World War One battle that took place in northern France from April 9 to April 12, 1917.  It began on Easter Monday and the four divisions of the Canadian Corps attacked the ridge and captured it from the German forces. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, more than 10,500 Canadians   were killed or wounded in the assault.

100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution


In the midst of World War One, two revolutions actually took place in Russia in 1917.  The first revolution, in February (March, New Style), overthrew the imperial government of Czar Nicholas II. Following the February Revolution, Czar Nicholas abdicated.  The second revolution, in October (November, New Style), put the Bolsheviks in power and began the Soviet Regime.  Communist revolutionary and Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin eventually took power.  He served as head of government of the Russian Republic from 1917 to 1918, the Russian Federative Socialist Republic from 1918 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924.  On the night of July 16-17, 1918, the Czar and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks.

100th Anniversary of "Our Lady of Fatima"

Lúcia with cousins Francisco and Jacinta

Three Portuguese shepherd children, Lúcia dos Santos (1907–2005) and her cousins Francisco Marto (June 11, 1908 – April 4, 1919) and his sister Jacinta Marto (March 11, 1910 – February 20, 1920), reported that they had witnessed apparitions of the Virgin Mary between May and October of 1917, the first appearance occurring on May 13.  According to the children, the luminous visions had taken place in the Cova da Iria ("Irene's Cove") fields outside the hamlet of Aljustrel on the outskirts of Fatima, Portugal.

Francisco and Jacinta were victims of the 1918 influenza epidemic.  Lúcia became a nun and died at the age of 97 at a Carmelite convent in Combra, Portugal.

 100th Anniversary of the birth of John Fitzgerald Kennedy

John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States was born in Brooklne, Massachusetts on May 29, 1917.  He served as president from January 20, 1961 until his assassination in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.  Kennedy was the first Roman Catholic President of the United States and the first American president born in the 20th century.

80th Anniversary of the Nanking Massacre

Corpses of massacre victims on the shores of the Qinhuai with Japanese soldier nearby

On December 13, 1937, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the forces of Imperial Japan captured the city of Nanking (now Nanjing), then the capital of the Republic of China.  Beginning on that day, Japanese troops committed mass murder, rape and looting  Japanese soldiers murder Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants.  These atrocities, known as the Nanking Massacre or the "Rape of Nanking," occurred over a period of six weeks.  Based on the evaluation of the Nanking War Crimes Tribunal in 1947, China has estimated that over 300,000 died in the massacre.

70th Anniversary of India's independence

On June 3, 1947, Viscount Louis Mountbatten, the last British Governor-General of India, proclaimed that British India would be partitioned into India and Pakistan.  On August 14, 1947, the British Parliament quickly passed the India Independence Act, ending British rule over India,  The following day, August 15th, 1947, Pakistan was declared a sovereign nation.

50th Anniversary of Expo 67

The Canadian Pavilion at Expo 67.

In honour of Canada's 100th birthday, Montreal played host to one of the largest world's fairs in history.  From April 27, 1967 until October 29, 1967. more than 50 million people visited Expo 67.  It was the crowning glory of Canada's centennial celebrations and it brought together 62 nations and numerous organizations under the theme "Man and His World."

The grand fair took place on a 253-hectare site, created by extending Île Sainte-Hélène and building Île Notre-Dame

50th Anniversary of the Six-Day War

Israeli forces in the Sinai during Six-Day War.  Photo Attribution: ROSENMAN424)

The Six-Day War between Israel and neighbouring Egypt, Jordan and Syria took place between June 5 and June 10, 1967.  Prior to the June conflict, tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbours had intensified.  In reaction to Egyptian forces along the Sinai, Israel launched a surprise attack that destroyed much of Egypt's air force on the tarmac.  Within three days, the Israeli's were able to capture the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula as far as the east bank of the Suez Canal.  On June 7, they drove the Jordanian forces out of East Jerusalem. The United Nations Security Council called for a ceasefire that was instantly accepted by Israel and Jordan.  Egypt accepted the next day, but Syria refused and continued to attack northern Israel villages.  On June 9, 1967, Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syrian forces and Syria agreed to the ceasefire on June 10.

20th Anniversary of the death of Princess Diana

On August 31, 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales was fatally injured in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris, France, while being pursued by the paparazzi.  Her companion, Dodi Fayed, and the driver, Henri Paul, were also killed in the crash.  Diana, the ex-wife of Britain's Prince Charles, was 36 years old at the time of her death.




NEW YEAR'S DAY (Gregorian Calendar): Sunday, January 1, 2017

FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY:  Friday, January 6, 2017

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY (United States):  Monday, January 16, 2017


2017 is The Year of the Rooster.  The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, in determined according to the Chinese lunar calendar.  This year the festival begins on Monday, January 28, 2017, the first day of the lunar calendar.


VALENTINE'S DAY:  Tuesday, February 14, 2017

PRESIDENTS' DAY (United States):  Monday, February 20, 2017

MARDI GRAS (SHROVE TUESDAY):  Tuesday, February 28, 2017


ASH WEDNESDAY:  Lent begins March 1, 2017

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY: Wednesday, March 8, 2017

ST. PATRICK'S DAY:  Friday, March 17, 2017


GOOD FRIDAY:  Friday, April 14, 2017

EASTER SUNDAY:  Sunday, April 16, 2017

PASSOVER:  Begins the evening of, April 10, 2017 and ends the evening of Saturday, April 18, 2017

EARTH DAY:  Saturday, April 22, 2017


MOTHER'S DAY:  Sunday, May 14, 2017

VICTORIA DAY (Canada):  Monday, May 22, 2017

MEMORIAL DAY (United States): Monday, May 29, 2017

RAMADAM:  Begins at sunset on Friday, May 26, 2017 and ends on Sunday, June 25, 2017


EID-AL-FITR (End of Ramadan):  Sunday, June 25, 2017

FATHER'S DAY:  Sunday, June 18, 2017 (the third Sunday in June)


CANADA DAY (Canada):  Saturday, July 1, 2017

INDEPENDENCE DAY (United States):  Tuesday, July 4, 2017



LABOUR DAY (Canada), LABOR DAY (United States):  Monday, September 4, 2017

YOM KIPPUR (Jewish Day of Atonement):  Begins the evening of Friday, September 29, 2017 and ends the evening of Saturday, September 30, 2017.


ROSH HASHANA (Jewish New Year):  Begins the evening of Sunday, October 2, 2017 and ends the evening of Tuesday, October 4, 2017

THANKSGIVING DAY (Canada):  Monday, October 9, 2017 (the second Monday in October)

DIWALI (Hindu Festival of Lights, beginning of Hindu New Year): Begins on Thursday, October 19, 2017 and ends Monday, October 23, 2017

HALLOWEEN:  Tuesday, October 31, 2017


ALL SAINTS DAY:  Wednesday, November 1, 2017

REMEMBRANCE DAY (Canada), VETERAN'S DAY (United States):  Saturday, November 11, 2017

THANKSGIVING DAY (United States):  Thursday, November 30, 2017 (the last Thursday in November)


HANUKKAH:  Begins the evening of Tuesday, December 12, 2017 and ends the evening of Wednesday, December 20, 2017

CHRISTMAS DAY:  Sunday, December 25, 2017

BOXING DAY (Canada):  Monday, December 26, 2017



2017 is Canada's sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary of Confederation.  Canada officially became a nation on July 1, 1867.

A general election is scheduled for Tuesday May 9, 2017 in the province of British Columbia.  There are 87 seats in the Legislative Assembly of B.C.

The Quebec Winter Carnival (Carnaval de Québec) will be held in held in Quebec City, Quebec from January 27, 2017 to February 12, 2017.  Below is a drawing of Bonhomme Carnaval, the festival's mascot.

The Calgary Stampede with take place in Calgary, Alberta from July 7, 2017 to July 16, 2017.

The 139th Canadian National Exhibition (also known as the CNE or The Ex) will be held from August 18, 2017 to September 4, 2017 at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the leading public film festival in the world, will take
place in Toronto, Ontario from Thursday, September 7, 2017 to Sunday, September 17, 2017.


In the fall of 2017, there will be a leadership transition in China. The world's most populous country. is preparing for its 19th Party Congress, where many of its leaders for the next five years will be chosen.  Five of the seven members of the Politburo's Standing Committed are scheduled to be replaced.  The remaining two members are President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keiang, who will serve out their second and final terms until 2022..


A presidential election is scheduled to be held in France in April and May of 2017.

The 70th Cannes Film Festival {Festival de Cannes) will be held in Cannes, France from May 17, 2017 until May 28, 2017.


Federal elections will be held in Germany between August 17. 2017 and October 22, 2017.


There will be presidential elections in Iran in the spring of 2017.  The Guardian Council, a 12-person 
body, screens and approves all candidates who run for election.  It makes sure that the country's politics align with Islamic law. Supreme Leader Ali Khameini is in charge, supported by the Revolutionary Guard Corps.



A general election will be held in New Zealand in 2017.  The election will occur after the 51st New Zealand Parliament is dissolved or expires. - no later than November 18, 2017.


On January 20, 2017, the 45th President of the United States will be inaugurated.



TENNIS:  The Australian Open will take place from January 16, 2017 to January 29, 2017 at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia.


HORSE RACING:  The 158th running of the Queen's Plate, the first jewel of Canada's Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Horse Racing, will take place at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario on Sunday, July 2, 2017.  The Queen's Plate, founded in 1860, is the longest, continuously run stakes race in North America.  

GOLF:  The Canadian Open will be played at the Glen Abbey Golf  Club in Oakville, Ontario.  The tournament will take place from July 24 to July 30, 2017.

CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE (CFL):  The 105th Grey Cup will be held on Sunday, November 26, 2017 at TD Place in Ottawa, Ontario.


TENNIS:  The French Open (also known as the Roland Garros) will take place at Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France from May 28 to June 11, 2017.


TENNIS:  The prestigious Wimbledon tournament will run from Monday, July 3, 2017 until Sunday, July 16, 2017.  It will take place at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbleton, London, England.

GOLF:  The 146th British Open Championship will be held at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England from July 17, 2017 to July 23, 2017.


NFL FOOTBALL:  Super Bowl L1 (the 51st edition of the Super Bowl) will take place on Sunday, February 5, 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.  NRG Stadium is the home of the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL).

AUTO RACING:  The 101st Indianapolis 500 will take place on Sunday, May, 28, 2017 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.

GOLF:  The 81st edition of the Masters Tournament will be held from April 6, 2017 to April 9, 2017 at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

HORSE RACING:  The 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby, known as "The Run for the Roses," will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2017 (the first Saturday in May) at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

GOLF:  The 117th United States Open Championship (U.S. Open) will be contested from June 15, 2017 to June 18, 2017 at Erin Hills in Erin, Wisconsin.  This will mark the first time the event has been held in the state of Wisconsin.

BASEBALL:  The 88th edition of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be hosted by the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida.  The game between the stars of the American League and the National League will take place on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.

BASKETBALL:  The 66th National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game will be held on Sunday, February 19, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Smoothie King Center, home of the New Orleans Pelicans.  

TENNIS:  The U.S. Open will be held from Monday, August 28, 2017 through Sunday, September 10, 2017. at the USTA Billie Jean King Center in New York, New York.


The 74th Golden Globe Awards ceremonies, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, will be held on Sunday, January 8, 2017. at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. These awards recognize excellence in film and television, both American and foreign.

The 59th annual Grammy Awards, honouring the best of the music industry, will be held on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

The 89th Academy Awards ceremonies will take place on Sunday, February 26, 2017 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada's capital city, will host the 46th Juno Awards, honouring the best in Canadian music. The ceremony will be broadcast from the Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday, April 2, 2017.

The 71st  Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre, better known as the Tony Awards, will be held at the Beacon Theatre  in New York City on Sunday, June 11, 2017.

WHO TURNS 50 IN 2017?

Pamela Anderson, Canadian-American actress, born July 1, 1967 in Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada

Maria Bello, American actress, born April 18, 1967 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, United States.

Carla Bruni, Italian-French singer, former model, born December 23, 1967 in Turin, Italy

Harry Connick, Jr., American singer, born September 11, 1967 in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Anderson Cooper, American television host, journalist, born June 3, 1967 in New York City, United States.

Benicio del Toro, Puerto Rican actor, born February 19, 1967 in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Vin Diesel, American actor, producer, director, born July 18, 1967 in Alaameda County, California, United States

Will Farrell, American actor, comedian, born July 16, 1967 in Irvine, California, United States

Jamie Foxx, American actor, singer, comedian, born December 13, 1967 in Terrell, Taexas, United States

Noel Gallagher, British musician, singer, born May 29, 1967 in Manchester, England, UK.

Lauren Graham, American actress, producer, novelist, born March 16, 1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

Faith Hill, American country singer, born September 21, 1967 in Ridgeland, Mississippi, United States

R. Kelly, American R&B singer, born, January 8, 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, United States

Nicole Kidman, Australian actress, born June 20, 1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Jimmy Kimmel, American television talk show host, born November 13, 1967 in Brooklyn, New York, United States

Matt LeBlanc, American actor, born July 25, 1967 in Newton, Massachusetts, United States

Tim McGraw, American country singer, born May 1, 1967 in Delhi, Louisiana, United States

Dave Mattthews, American singer, musician, born January 9, 1967 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Carrie-Anne Moss, Canadian actress, born August 21, 196 in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

Gunnar and Matthew Nelson, American musicians, singers, born September 20, 1967 in Santa Monica, California, United States

Julia Roberts, American actress, born October 28, 1967 in Smyrna, Georgia, United States

Mark Ruffalo, American actor, born November 22, 1967, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States

Deion Sanders, retired American baseball/football player, born August 9, 1967 in Fort Myers, Florida, United States

Keith Urban, Australian country singer, born October 26, 1967 in Whangarei, New Zealand

Vanilla Ice (Robert Matthew Van Winkle), American rap singer, born October 31, 1967 in Dallas, Texas

Denis Villeneuve, Canadian film director and writer, born October 3, 1967 in Gentilly Quebec, Canada

Emily Watson, British actress, born Jan 14, 1967 in Islington, England, United Kingdom

- Joanne

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