Monday, December 28, 2015

2016: The Year Ahead: Events and Anniversaries


400th Anniversary of the Death of William Shakespeare

The celebrated English playwright and poet, William Shakespeare, died on April 23, 1616 at Stratford-upon-Avon, England.  He was 52 years old at the time of his passing.  The exact cause of Shakespeare's death remains a mystery, although there have been several theories, including that of a cerebral hemorrhage.

350th Anniversary of the Great Fire of London (1666)

Painting of The Great Fire of London (thought to be from 17th century)

The Great Fire of London swept through the centre of London, England from September 2 to September 5, 1666.  The conflagration destroyed thousands of houses and many churches, including St. Paul's Cathedral.  It gutted the medieval City of London within the ancient Roman wall.  Although there was much destruction of property, deaths are considered to have been few.  The fire is believed to have stared at a bakery on Pudding Lane.  Only six fatalities were officially recorded, but there were undoubtedly more.

The fire occurred under the reign of King Charles II and is considered one of the most famous incidents in Stuart England.  It was the second tragedy to befall England's largest city within a period of a year.  When the disaster struck, London was just recovering from the Great Plague of 1665 in which an estimated 15 per cent of its populated died from a major outbreak of the bubonic plague.

100th Anniversary of the Chicago Cubs' first game at Weeghman Park (Wrigley Field)

Weeghman Park in 1916

Built in 1914 as Weeghman Park, Wrigley Field was originally the home of of the Chicago Whales of the Federal League (a short-lived "third major league").  The Chicago Cubs played their first game there on April 20, 1916 and defeated the Cincinnati Reds by a score of 7-6 in eleven innings.  By 1921 chewing gum tycoon William Wrigley, Jr. had gained possession of the team. From 1920 until 1926, the stadium, located on Chicago's North Side, was known as Cubs Park.  In 1927, its name was officially changed to Wrigley Field.

100th Anniversary of the Easter Rebellion in Ireland

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rebellion against British rule in Ireland.  The Rebellion began in Dublin on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916 and lasted for six days. It was an armed uprising by Irish republicans to establish an independent Irish republic at a time when the United Kingdom was deeply engaged in World War I.  However, the British army quickly suppressed the insurrection.

Below is the Proclamation of the Republic, 1916, a document issued by the Irish republicans.  In the document, the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood refers to itself as "the provisional government of the Irish Republic" and proclaims Irish independence from Great Britain.

The Provisional Government of the Irish Republic to the people of Ireland


100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme

British soldiers waiting to attack during Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme was a battle of the First World War.  It took place between July 1 and November 18, 1916 on both sides of the River Somme in France and was one of the bloodiest confrontations in human history.  All together more than 1,000,000 combatants were wounded and killed.  The British alone suffered more than 57,000 casualties.

60th Anniversary of the Wedding of Grace Kelly to Price Rainier of Monaco

American movie star Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III of Monaco.  At the time, it was dubbed "The Wedding of the Century."  As necessitated by the Napoleonic Code of France and the laws of the Room Catholic Church, there were two ceremonies.  The civil ceremony took place in the Palace Throne Room of Monaco on April 18, 1956, while the religious ceremony was held the next day (August 19th) at Monaco's Saint Nicholas Cathedral.  Grace's wedding dress was designed by MGM's Academy Award-winning Helen Rose.

50th Anniversary of Muhammad Ali versus George Chuvalo

On March 29, 1966 Muhammad Ali faced Canadian Heavyweight Champion George Chuvalo at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.  The bout took place in Canada due to Ali's opposition to the Vietnam War. On February 17, 1966, the outspoken pugilist, originally known as Cassius Clay, had stated that he had "no quarrel with them Vietcong."  As a result, he was banned from fighting in Chicago and in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.  It soon became apparent that he would have to engage in matches outside the United States.

On that chilly spring evening in Toronto, the gritty Chuvalo went the distance with Ali in his prime, the first to do since Ali had won the championship title.  After 15 hard fought rounds, Ali was awarded the decision, but Chuvalo won a great deal of respect for his performance in the ring that night.

50 Years Since the Speck Murders in Chicago

On July 14, 2014, Richard Speck brutally murdered eight student nurses in Chicago, Illinois.  After 25 years of incarceration,at the Stateville Correctional Center, a maximum security prison in Crest Hill, Illinois, Speck died of a heart attack on December 5, 1991.  He was 49 years old.

50th Anniversary of the Beatles' Final Public Concert

In August of 1966, the Beatles went on tour in the United States and Canada.  They performed 19 shows, with 17 concerts in American locales and two in Toronto, Canada.  It was to be the group's last commercial tour.  On August 29th, 1966, they staged their final public concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California, which was then the home of baseball's San Francisco Giants. The Park seated over 40,000 people, but only about 25,000 were sold.  Ticket prices ranged from $4.50 to $6.50.

On January 30, 1969, the Beatles made a surprise live appearance on the rooftop of the Apple building in London.   Although the rooftop concert was the band's final public performance, the Candlestick Park concert was really their last "commercial" concert.



NEW YEAR'S DAY (Gregorian Calendar): Friday, January 1, 2016

FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY:  Wednesday, January 6, 2016

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY (United States):  Monday, January 18, 2016



2016 is The Year of the Monkey.  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, February 8, 2016, the first day of the lunar calendar.

MARDI GRAS (SHROVE TUESDAY):  Tuesday, February 9, 2016

ASH WEDNESDAY:  Lent begins February 10, 2016

VALENTINE'S DAY:  Sunday, February 14, 2016

PRESIDENTS' DAY (United States): Monday, February 15, 2016

LEAP YEAR DAY:  Monday, February 29, 2016


INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY: Tuesday, March 8, 2016

ST. PATRICK'S DAY:  Thursday, March 17, 2016

GOOD FRIDAY:  Friday, March 25, 2016

EASTER SUNDAY:  Sunday, March 27, 2016


PASSOVER:  Begins the evening of Friday, April 22, 2016 and ends the evening of Saturday, April 30 , 2016

EARTH DAY:  Friday, April 22, 2016


MOTHER'S DAY:  Monday, May 8, 2016

VICTORIA DAY (Canada):  Monday, May 23, 2016

MEMORIAL DAY (United States): Monday, May 30, 2016


RAMADAN:  Dates vary with country - Begins Tuesday, June 7, 2016 in Canada 

FATHER'S DAY:  Sunday, June 19, 2016


CANADA DAY (Canada):  Friday, July 1, 2016

INDEPENDENCE DAY (United States):  Monday, July 4, 2016

EID-AL-FITR (End of Ramadan):  Thursday, July 7, 2016



LABOUR DAY (Canada), LABOR DAY (United States):  Monday, September 5, 2016


ROSH HASHANA (Jewish New Year):  Begins the evening of Sunday, October 2, 2016 and ends the evening of Tuesday, October 4, 2016

THANKSGIVING DAY (Canada):  Monday, October 10, 2016

YOM KIPPUR (Jewish Day of Atonement):  Begins the evening of Tuesday, October 11, 2016 and ends Wednesday, October 12, 2016.

DIWALI (Hindu Festival of Lights, beginning of Hindu New Year): Begins on Sunday October 30, 2016 and ends Thursday, November 3, 2016

HALLOWEEN:  Monday, October 31, 2016


ALL SAINTS DAY:  Tuesday, November 1, 2016

REMEMBRANCE DAY (Canada), VETERAN'S DAY (United States):  Friday, November 11, 2016

THANKSGIVING DAY (United States):  Thursday, November 25, 2016


HANUKKAH:  Begins the evening of Saturday, December 24, 2016 and ends the evening of Sunday, January 1, 2017

CHRISTMAS DAY:  Sunday, December 25, 2016

BOXING DAY (Canada): Monday, December 26, 2016



Census 2016

2016 is a census year Down Under and the census is really going digital.  The 2016 Census will be Australia's first census in which two thirds of the country's population (more than 15 million people) are expected to complete the Census online.  Census day is scheduled for Tuesday, August 9, 2016. Leading up to that date, households will receive a letter from the Australian Bureau of Statistics containing a login and instructions on how to complete the Census online. Paper forms are available by request if needed.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics expects to count close to 10 million dwellings and a population of about 24 million.


The next Austrian presidential election is scheduled for April 2016.  The incumbent president, Heniz Fischer. has already served two terms and is not eligible to serve a third term in succession.


The Quebec Winter Carnival (Carnaval de Québec) will be held in held in Quebec City, Quebec from January 29, 2016 to February 14, 2016.  Below is a drawing of Bonhomme Carnaval, the festival's mascot.

Census 2016

This is a census year in Canada.  The next Census of Population and Census of Agriculture will occur in May.  Starting on May 2, 2016, Statistics Canada will send census letters and packages to all Canadian households. The questionnaire can be completed online or on paper (It first appeared online in 2006).  Statistics Canada has identified Tuesday, May 10, 2016 as the official census day.  The long-form census will be mandatory again.  In 2011, respondents could choose to complete a short form version instead.

The Calgary Stampede with take place in Calgary, Alberta from July 8, 2016 to July 17, 2016.

The 138th Canadian National Exhibition (also known as the CNE or The Ex) will be held from August 19, 2016 to September 5, 2016 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 8, 2016 to Sunday, September 18, 2016.


The 69th Cannes Film Festival {Festival de Cannes) will be held in Cannes, France from May 11, 2016 until May 22, 2016.


Is this flag still the people's choice or is it on its way out?

flag of New Zealand

Will this become the flag of New Zealand?

New Zealand will hold a referendum from March 3 to March 24, 2016.  Voters will be asked to choose between its current flag and the preferred alternative design selected in a previous referendum.  The proposed flag for New Zealand was designed by Kyle Lockwood.  It is  a black, white and blue silver fern flag with four red stars in the shape of the Southern Cross constellation.

The result of the referendum will be binding and the flag with the most votes will be the official flag of New Zealand.


Parliamentary elections will take place in Slovakia on March 5, 2016.  150 members will be elected to the National Council by proportional representation.


Queen Elizabeth II will turn 90 years old on April 21, 2016.  There will be huge celebrations, featuring 900 horses and 1,500 performers, on the grounds of Windsor Castle from May 12, 2016 to May 15, 2016.  On June 12, 2016, there will be a mega street party on The Mall in St. James Park, London, England.


The Republican National Convention will be held at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio from July 18, 2016 to July 21, 2016.  The delegates will select the Republican nominees for President and Vice President of the United States.

The Democratic National Convention will be held from July 25, 2016 to July 28, 2016 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with some events at the Philadelphia Convention Center. The delegates will choose the Democratic Party's nominees for President and Vice President of the United States.

The United States will hold a presidential election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.  It will be the 58th quadrennial presidential election in U.S. history.




TENNIS:  The Australian Open will take place from January 18, 2016  to January 31, 2016 at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia.


SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES:  The 2016 Summer Olympics (the 31st Summer Olympic Games) will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 5, 2016 to August 21, 2016.


BASKETBALL:  The 65th edition of the NBA All-Star Game will take place at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario (home of the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association) on February 14, 2016.  This will mark the first occasion that the All-Star game will be played outside of the United States.

HORSE RACING:  The 157th running of the Queen's Plate, the first jewel of Canada's Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Horse Racing, will take place on Sunday, July 3, 2016 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario.  The Queen's Plate 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 be take place from July 18 to July 24, 2016.

INTERNATIONAL ICE HOCKEY:  The World Cup of Hockey will take place at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario from September 17, 2016 to October 1, 2016.

CANADIAN FOOTBALL:  The 104th Grey Cup will be held on Sunday, November 27, 2016 at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario.


TENNIS:  The French Open (also known as the Roland Garros) will take place at Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France from May 22, 2016 to June 5, 2016.

FOOTBALL (SOCCER):  France will play host to the UEFA 2016 European Championship (commonly known as Euro 2016), the men's football (soccer) championship of Europe.The tournament will take place from June 10, 2016 to July 10, 2016.


TENNIS:  The prestigious Wimbledon tournament will run from Monday, June 27, 2016 until Sunday, July 10, 2016.  It will take place at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbleton, London, England.

GOLF:  The 145th British Open Championship will be held at Royal Troon Golf Club in Ayrhire, Scotland from July 14, 2016 to July 17, 2016.


NFL FOOTBALL:  Super Bowl 50 (the 50th edition of the Super Bowl) will take place on Sunday, February 7, 2016 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.  Levi's Stadium is the home of the San Francisco 49's of the National Football League (NFL).

AUTO RACING:  The 100th Indianapolis 500 will take place on Sunday, May, 29, 2016 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.

GOLF:  The 80th edition of the Masters Tournament will be held from April 7, 2016 to April 10, 2016 at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

HORSE RACING:  The 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby, known as "The Run for the Roses," will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2016 (the first Saturday in May) at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

GOLF:  The 116th United States Open Championship (U.S. Open) will be played from June 16, 2016 to June 19, 2016  at the Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania.

BASEBALL:  The 87th edition of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be hosted by the San Diego Padres at Petco Park in San Diego, California.  The game between the stars of the American League and the National League will take place on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.

TENNIS:  The U.S. Open will be held from Monday, August 29, 2016 through Sunday, September 11, 2016. at the USTA Billie Jean King Center in New York, New York.


The 73rd Golden Globe Awards ceremonies, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, will be held on Sunday, January 10, 2016. at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. These awards recognize excellence in film and television, both American and foreign.

The 58th annual Grammy Awards, honouring the best of the music industry, will be held on Monday, February 15, 2016 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

The 88th Academy Awards ceremonies will take place on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

The city of Calgary, Alberta will host the 45th Juno Awards, honouring the best in Canadian music. The ceremony will be broadcast from the Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday, April 3, 2016.

The 70th  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 12, 2016.

WHO TURNS 50 IN 2016?

J.J. Abrams, American director, actor, producer, born June 27, 1966 in New York City, New York. United States

Justine Bateman, American writer, producer, actress, born February 19, 1966 in Rye, New York, United States

Halle Berry, American actress, born August 14, 1966 in Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Helena Bonham Carter, English actress, born May 26, 1966 in Islington, London, England, United Kingdom

David Cameron, current British prime minister, born October 9, 1966 in London, England, United Kingdom

Cindy Crawford, American model, born February 20, 1966 in DeKalb, Illinois, United States

John Cusack, American actor, born June 28, 1966 in Evanston, Illinois, United States

Patrick Dempsey, American actor, born January 13, 1966 in Lewiston, Maine, United States

Salma, Hayek, Mexican-American actress, born September 2, 1966 in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico

Janet Jackson, American singer, born May 16, 1966 in Gary, Indiana, United States

Nancy McKeon, American actress, born April 4, 1966 in Westbury, New York, United States

Sinead O'Connor, Irish singer-songwriter, born December 8, 1966 in Dublin, Ireland.

Enrique Peña Nieto, current President of Mexico, born July 20, 1966 in Atlacomulco, Mexico

Gordon Ramsay, British chef, restaurateur and television personality, born November 8, 1966 in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Adam Sandler, American actor, comedian, musician, born September 9, 1966 in Brooklyn, New York, United States

Curt Schilling, retired American baseball pitcher, born November, 14, 1966, Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Mike Tyson, retired American boxer, born June 30, 1966 in Brooklyn, New York, United States

Jimmy Wales, American Internet entrepreneur and founder of Wikipedia, born August 7, 1966 in Huntsville, Alabama, United States

Robin Wright: American actress, born April 8, 1966 in Dallas, Texas, United States

 - Joanne