50 Newsworthy Anniversaries in October 2016 for you to write about (and make money from)

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in October 2016 for you to write about (and make money from). The anniversaries are listed 6 months in advance to give you enough time to find markets, and research and write your articles.

We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research. Please let us know of any errors you find.


The Date-A-Base Book 2016The listing below is a small sample of the entries for October from The Date-A-Base Book 2016
There are 285 anniversaries for October in the book (five times as many as are listed here). The book covers the whole of 2016 from January to December and features more than 3,450 anniversaries in total.

Just one published article should cover the cost of your copy many times over – and the book also explains how to get your articles published.

If you need to work further ahead, The Date-A-Base Book 2017 is also available.

—–

800 years ago (19 Oct 1216)
Death of King John of England (1199-1216). Succeeded by his 9-year-old son Henry III.

150 years ago (12 Oct 1866)
Birth of Ramsay MacDonald, British Prime Minister (1924, 1929-35). Britain’s first Labour Prime Minister.

150 years ago (26 Oct 1866)
Death of John Kinder Labatt, Irish-born Canadian brewer. Founder of the Labatt Brewing Company.

125 years ago (1 Oct 1891)
Stanford University in California, USA opened.

125 years ago (28 Oct 1891)
Mino-Owari earthquake, Japan. The largest recorded inland earthquake in Japan’s history. More than 7,000 people were killed and over 17,000 injured.

100 years ago (3 Oct 1916)
Birth of James Herriot, British veterinary surgeon and writer who wrote semi-autobiographical stories about his experiences. Best known for the book (and TV series) All Creatures Great and Small.

100 years ago (16 Oct 1916)
Margaret Sanger and her colleagues opened the first birth control clinic in the USA, in New York City. (They were immediately arrested and jailed for distributing ‘obscene material’ – convictions later overturned.) This led to the formation of the Planned Parenthood organisation.

100 years ago (26 Oct 1916)
Birth of François Mitterrand, President of France (1981-1995).

100 years ago (28 Oct 1916)
Death of Cleveland Abbe, American meteorologist who founded the U.S. Weather Bureau (now the National Weather Service).

90 years ago (14 Oct 1926)
The children’s book Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne was published.

80 years ago (1 Oct 1936)
General Francisco Franco was proclaimed head of state in Spain.

80 years ago (5 – 31 Oct 1936)
The Jarrow March (also known as the Jarrow Crusade). 200 men set off from Jarrow in north-east England to Westminster in London to draw attention to the severe unemployment and poverty in their area following the closure of a shipyard.

80 years ago (9 Oct 1936)
The Boulder Dam (now the Hoover Dam) on the Colorado River in the USA went fully online and began generating electricity.

80 years ago (25 Oct 1936)
Germany and Italy signed a friendship treaty that would later become the Rome–Berlin Axis.

75 years ago (2 Oct 1941 – 7 Jan 1942)
World War II – the Battle of Moscow (also known as Operation Typhoon). Nazi Germany launched a massive (but ultimately unsuccessful) offensive against the Soviet capital. One of the largest and most important battles of the war. Soviet victory.

75 years ago (17 Oct 1941)
World War II: the American destroyer USS Kearny was torpedoed by a German submarine near Iceland, killing 11 sailors and injuring 22 others. On 31st October the American destroyer USS Reuben James was also torpedoed and sunk – the first U.S. Navy ship lost to enemy action in WWII. 115 sailors were killed. (The USA had not yet entered the war.)

75 years ago (23 Oct 1941)
World War II: the U.S. Senate passed a $5.98 billion supplement to the Lend–Lease bill. This allowed the USA to give material aid to Europe without directly entering the war and violating its position of neutrality. (However, the USA did enter the war in December.) On 30th October U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved $1 billion in Lend–Lease loans to the Soviet Union. (The Soviets had already received aid in the form of weapons, but now required financial aid.)

75 years ago (23 – 28 Oct 1941)
Holocaust: Thousands of Jews were executed by Romanian troops in Odessa, Ukraine. Many of them were burned alive. On 29th October more than 9,000 Jews from the Kaunas ghetto in Lithuania were shot dead and buried in huge pits (the Kaunas Massacre).

75 years ago (23 Oct 1941)
The Walt Disney animated film Dumbo premièred in the USA. (UK: 8th February 1942.)

75 years ago (30 Oct 1941 – 4 Jul 1942)
World War II – the Siege of Sevastopol (Crimean Peninsula). Axis victory.

75 years ago (31 Oct 1941)
Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, USA was completed after 14 years.

60 years ago (7 Oct 1956)
Death of Clarence Birdseye, American businessman and inventor who founded the modern frozen food industry.

60 years ago (17 Oct 1956)
Britain’s first nuclear power station, Calder Hall in Cumbria, was officially opened. (It closed in March 2003 after operating for nearly 47 years.)

60 years ago (23 Oct – 10 Nov 1956)
Hungarian Revolution (also known as the Hungarian Uprising). A spontaneous nationwide revolt against Communist/Soviet rule was crushed when Soviet forces intervened with tanks. At least 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Soviet troops were killed.

60 years ago (29 Oct – 7 Nov 1956)
Suez Crisis. Israel invaded Egypt in an attempt to regain Western control of the Suez Canal and remove President Gamal Abdel Nasser from power. Britain and France joined the invasion but were forced to withdraw by the United Nations, USA and USSR, leaving Sinai under Israeli occupation until March 1957. British Prime Minister Anthony Eden resigned (in January 1957) – many commentators consider the crisis the end of Britain’s role as a major world power.

60 years ago (31 Oct 1956)
American naval officer George J. Dufek become the first person to land a plane at the South Pole. He and his crew of 6 were also the first Americans to set foot on the South Pole. (A Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsun first reached the South Pole in December 1911.)

50 years ago (4 Oct 1966)
Lesotho (formerly Basutoland) gained its independence from the UK.

50 years ago (5 Oct 1966)
Fermi 1, a prototype fast breeder reactor at the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station in Michigan, USA, suffered a partial meltdown. No radioactive material was released.

50 years ago (6 Oct 1966)
The psychedelic drug LSD was banned in California, USA. It was banned throughout the entire USA in 1967.

50 years ago (10 Oct 1966)
The album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme by Simon and Garfunkel was released.

50 years ago (14 Oct 1966)
The Montreal Metro system in Quebec, Canada began operating.

50 years ago (15 Oct 1966)
The Black Panther Party, a black nationalist and socialist organisation, was founded in the USA. (Dissolved 1982.)

50 years ago (18 Oct 1966)
Death of Elizabeth Arden, Canadian-born American businesswoman who founded the Elizabeth Arden cosmetics and fragrance empire. She was one of the wealthiest women in the world and a prominent racehorse owner.

50 years ago (18 Oct 1966)
Death of S. S. Kresge, American merchant who founded a chain of discount stores which later became Kmart.

50 years ago (21 Oct 1966)
Aberfan disaster, South Wales. A colliery spoil tip (also known as a slag heap) collapsed and fell onto the village. Worst hit was Pantglas Junior School. 116 children and 28 adults were killed.

50 years ago (26 Oct 1966)
Death of Alma Cogan, British pop singer. One of the biggest stars of the 1950s and early 60s.

40 years ago (4 Oct 1976)
The InterCity 125 High Speed Train service began operating in Britain.

40 years ago (6 Oct 1976)
China’s ‘Gang of Four’ were arrested. On 21st October a massive media campaign was launched against them, accusing them of crimes against the state, and there were public celebrations of their arrest. (The Gang of Four included Mao Zedong’s last wife Jiang Qing and her close associates. They were tried and convicted in 1981, all 4 receiving long prison sentences.)

40 years ago (25 Oct 1976)
The National Theatre in London was officially opened.

30 years ago (9 Oct 1986)
Fox Broadcasting Company launched in the USA.

30 years ago (9 Oct 1986)
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Phantom of the Opera premièred in London.

30 years ago (10 Oct 1986)
San Salvador earthquake, El Salvador. Approximately 1,500 people were killed.

30 years ago (27 Oct 1986)
Big Bang Day – the British financial market was deregulated and the London Stock Exchange switched to a computerised trading system.

30 years ago (28 Oct 1986)
British serial killer Jeremy Bamber was jailed for life for killing five members of his family.

30 years ago (29 Oct 1986)
The M25 orbital motorway around Greater London was officially opened.

25 years ago (5 Oct 1991)
The first official version of the Linux operating system was released. (It is used on virtually all of the world’s fastest supercomputers. It also runs on personal computers, web servers, routers, games consoles, smart TVs and many industrial/embedded systems, and it is the basis of the Android operating system widely used on mobile devices.)

25 years ago (8 Oct 1991)
Croatia officially severed all constitutional relations with Yugoslavia and became fully independent.

25 years ago (18 Oct 1991)
Azerbaijan declared independence from the Soviet Union. (Ratified 8th December.) On 27th October Turkmenistan also declared its independence.

25 years ago (24 Oct 1991)
Death of Gene Roddenberry, American screenwriter and producer. Creator of Star Trek.

25 years ago (29 Oct 1991)
The American space probe Galileo became the first spacecraft to visit an asteroid (Gaspra).


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What If? 30 Creative Writing Prompts for April

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Here’s this month’s selection of What Ifs to stimulate your brain – what can you do with these? Some of them are deliberately vague or ambiguous so you can interpret them in different ways!

There’s one for each day of the month. If you need more please take a look at our book The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. love was a liquid?

2. life was a liquid?

3. you thought (perhaps rightly) that you were a time traveller from another era and you had been stranded here?

4. you discovered that your boss had died 5 years ago … so who the heck were you actually working for?

5. the greatest song ever recorded was cruelly ignored?

6. you couldn’t stop asking “why”?

7. you thought a celebrity might be your real parent?

8. you thought a celebrity would offer your children a better life than you could, so you tried to get them adopted by that person?

9. you only loved someone for their money?

10. you heard about an unsolved crime from years ago and decided to solve it?

11. one (or more) of the keys on your keyboard didn’t work?

12. you changed colour depending on what food you’d been eating?

13. you changed colour depending on the mood you were in?

14. your mind warped?

15. you got what you wanted?

16. you didn’t get what you wanted?

17. the document didn’t save properly?

18. the password didn’t work?

19. you got dressed in the dark and didn’t know exactly what you were wearing?

20. you had a lucky break?

21. you sent the wrong file?

22. you knew the truth?

23. you didn’t know the truth?

24. lots of people kept wishing you a happy birthday – but you didn’t know them (optional extra: and it wasn’t your birthday)?

25. you celebrated a stranger’s birthday?

26. you went to a stranger’s funeral?

27. you accepted an offer – even though the people making it didn’t really mean it and were just being polite?

28. you made an offer that you were sure would be refused, but it wasn’t?

29. you began to wish you’d never started it?

30. it all came about because of a mistake?

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(Other currencies also accepted)

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Date-A-Base Book survey – help us to help you!

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Hello!

We rarely receive any feedback about our Date-A-Base Book series of newsworthy anniversary listings, so we’re taking this opportunity to ask for it.

If you’ve ever bought or downloaded one of our Date-A-Base Books please would you take a couple of minutes to complete our short survey (9 questions), so we can find out what sort of things you use it for and how we can make it even more useful.

Here’s the link to the survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/6SDLCBL

Thank you!

Dave & Kate

[Update: 57 responses so far – let’s see if we can get to 100!]

300+ Newsworthy Anniversaries in September 2016 for you to write about (and make money from)

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Instead of our usual monthly listing of just 50 anniversaries, this time we’re giving you over 300!

Please download Dave’s book Ditch Your Day Job! The easiest way to make a living as a writer. The complete Date-A-Base listing for September 2016 is contained within it. Ditch Your Day Job

There’s also a detailed example of one of the entries which shows you how you could write multiple articles about it – and how to find lots of suitable (and well-paid) publications to send them to.

If you’re looking for newsworthy and notable anniversaries in 2017 you’ll love The Date-A-Base Book 2017 – on sale now!

 

What If? 31 Creative Writing Prompts for March

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Here’s this month’s selection of What Ifs to stimulate your brain – what can you do with these? Some of them are deliberately vague or ambiguous so you can interpret them in different ways!

There’s one for each day of the month. If you need more please take a look at our book The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. you decided to live the millionaire lifestyle, even though you weren’t one (yet)?

2. the police asked you to help them set a trap for one of your colleagues?

3. there was no definitive way of spelling words?

4. you were in love with an alien that had come to destroy us?

5. you were seriously injured in the line of duty, but your employer refused to support you?

6. your call for volunteers produced unexpected results?

7. you wrote a book that contained information people weren’t supposed to know?

8. you finally felt that you were making progress?

9. you always made the most of every situation?

10. you finally stopped being disappointed (in yourself or someone else) and became impressed with the change or progress?

11. you couldn’t help but smile?

12. you decided to save a language that was about to become extinct, even though you didn’t speak it yourself?

13. you could hire someone else to exercise for you?

14. everyone worked for free?

15. you were admired for your arrogance?

16. you accepted a job offer but were never given a starting date?

17. you didn’t listen?

18. all your money was missing?

19. no one would/could give you a straight answer?

20. no one was to blame?

21. wood couldn’t be used for anything ?

22. you came up with an unusual way of getting people to leave you alone?

23. your boss didn’t believe you were really sick?

24. you faked your death and went to your funeral in disguise?

25. everyone was identical?

26. people criticised your sordid past – yet it wasn’t sordid at all?

27. you weren’t allowed out on your own?

28. your last will and testament contained a series of practical jokes?

29. your reward came sooner than you expected?

30. everyone gasped when you walked into the room?

31. you lived in a place that had no name?

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Book updates

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Hello! A couple of book updates to tell you about:

kindle cover 2017 smallThe Date-A-Base Book 2017 is now available on Kindle

Get yours here: UK : USA
(Other countries please search for it in the Kindle Store)

If you send us your Amazon receipt after buying it we’ll also send you the PDF version, which is designed for bigger screens and is also printable.

Printed copies should be available from our website in about 2 weeks – we just sent it off to the printers today.

To buy the PDF version please visit www.ideas4writers.co.uk/2017

Ditch Your Day JobWe’ve also updated Ditch Your Day Job! The easiest way to make a living as a writer. It’s now been updated for 2016, and although the main text is little changed from the original 2015 edition, it now includes the complete Date-A-Base listing for September 2016 (around 300 entries). There’s also a detailed example of one of the entries from that month that shows you how you could write multiple articles about it and find suitable (paying) publications to send them to. The most profitable use of your time is to get the articles accepted before you even write them, guaranteeing that you get paid for everything you write. See the book for more details – it shows you exactly how to do this.

The PDF version is a free download from our website (www.ideas4writers.co.uk), or there’s a small charge (99p) if you want the Kindle version (UK : USA).

As it’s such a short book (only 15 pages for the main text + another 36 pages for the list of anniversaries) there’s no printed version. But the PDF version is printable.

Brassica Park update

Dave has completed Act 1 (15 chapters) of his new novel Brassica Park. But he’s having to take some time out to write a business plan for the swimming pool campaign charity he chairs – it has to be presented to the Town Council during the third week of March. Hopefully he’ll back up to full novel-writing speed straight after that, and will be able to crack on with Act 2.

50 Newsworthy Anniversaries in August 2016 for you to write about (and make money from)

Monday, 15 February 2016

Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in August 2016 for you to write about (and make money from). The anniversaries are listed 6 months in advance to give you enough time to find markets, and research and write your articles.

We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research. Please let us know of any errors you find.


The Date-A-Base Book 2016The listing below is a small sample of the entries for August from The Date-A-Base Book 2016
There are 256 anniversaries for August in the book (five times as many as are listed here). The book covers the whole of 2016 from January to December and features more than 3,450 anniversaries in total.

Just one published article should cover the cost of your copy many times over – and the book also explains how to get your articles published.

If you need to work further ahead, The Date-A-Base Book 2017 is also available.

—–

200 years ago (14 Aug 1816)
Britain annexed the Tristan da Cunha archipelago in the south Atlantic.

200 years ago (24 Aug 1816)
The Treaty of St. Louis was signed in Missouri by representatives from the USA and the united tribes of Ottawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi. The tribes relinquished their rights to land ceded to the USA in 1804, and in exchange received $1,000 worth of merchandise, paid over 12 years. (The treaty came into effect on 30th December.)

150 years ago (1 Aug 1866)
Death of John Ross, Native American Indian. Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation (1828–66). Although he devoted much of his life to resisting the USA’s attempts to seize Cherokee lands, he eventually capitulated and helped remove his people to the Oklahoma Territory.

150 years ago (8 Aug 1866)
Birth of Matthew Henson, the first African American Arctic explorer. He accompanied Robert E. Peary on most of his expeditions, including the 1909 expedition when they became the first men to reach the North Pole.

150 years ago (13 Aug 1866)
Birth of Giovanni Agnelli, Italian industrialist who founded the Fiat car company.

150 years ago (23 Aug 1866)
The Austro–Prussian War ended with the signing of the Peace of Prague. Prussian victory.

100 years ago (3 Aug 1916)
Death of Roger Casement, Irish nationalist. (Executed for treason for his role in the Easter Rising.)

100 years ago (25 Aug 1916)
The National Park Service was established in the USA.

100 years ago (29 Aug 1916)
The U.S. Congress passed the Philippine Autonomy Act (also known as the Jones Law). It created the first fully elected Philippine legislature.

80 years ago (1 – 16 Aug 1936)
The 11th Olympic Games were held in Berlin, Germany. It was the last Olympics for 12 years due to World War II.

80 years ago (1 Aug 1936)
Birth of Yves Saint-Laurent, Algerian-born French fashion designer. (Died 2008.)

80 years ago (2 Aug 1936)
Death of Louis Blériot, French aviation pioneer, engineer and inventor. The first person to fly across the English Channel.

80 years ago (14 Aug 1936)
The last public execution in the USA. Rainey Bethea was hanged for rape in Owensboro, Kentucky.

80 years ago (26 Aug 1936)
The Anglo–Egyptian Alliance Treaty was signed in Cairo, Egypt, ending Britain’s occupation of Egypt.

75 years ago (1 Aug 1941)
The first mass-produced Jeep rolled off the production line, for service in WWII. (Before this, all Jeeps had been prototypes and test models.)

75 years ago (2 Aug 1941)
Birth of Doris Coley, American pop singer (The Shirelles). (Died 2000.)

75 years ago (14 Aug 1941)
World War II: Britain and the USA issued the Atlantic Charter, a joint declaration that laid out the aims and goals of the Allied powers during and after the war.

75 years ago (14 Aug 1941)
Death of Saint Maximilian (also spelled Maksymilian) Kolbe, Polish Franciscan friar and martyr who sheltered 2,000 Jewish refugees from the Nazis and took the place of a condemned man at Auschwitz concentration camp. (Executed.)

75 years ago (15 Aug 1941)
German spy Josef Jakobs became the last person to be executed at the Tower of London. (He parachuted into Britain during WWII and was executed by a military firing squad.)

75 years ago (25 Aug – 17 Sep 1941)
World War II – Operation Countenance: the Anglo–Soviet invasion of Iran. The invasion was in response to Iran’s declaration of neutrality, its refusal to allow its territory to be used for the war effort against Germany, and its refusal to expel German nationals. Allied victory. The Shah of Iran was forced to abdicate on 16th September.

60 years ago (3 Aug 1956)
Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor was renamed Liberty Island. (It is the site of the Statue of Liberty.)

60 years ago (11 Aug 1956)
Death of Jackson Pollock, influential American abstract expressionist artist. Best known for his drip paintings. (Car crash, aged 44.)

60 years ago (14 Aug 1956)
Death of Bertolt Brecht, German poet, playwright and theatrical director/reformer who developed the epic theatre style and promoted leftist/Marxist causes.

60 years ago (16 Aug 1956)
Death of Bela Lugosi, Hungarian-born American stage and film actor. Best known for his horror roles, most notably as Count Dracula.

60 years ago (27 Aug 1956)
Britain’s first nuclear power station, Calder Hall in Cumbria, began operating. (It was officially opened by the Queen on 17th October. It was the first nuclear power station in the world to generate power on an industrial scale. The world’s first nuclear power station began operating in the Soviet Union in 1954, on an experimental basis, but its output was significantly lower than Calder Hall’s.)

50 years ago (1 Aug 1966)
The Cultural Revolution (also known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution) began in China. It was intended to preserve China’s Maoist/Communist ideology by banishing capitalist and traditional elements from society. Millions of people were persecuted or displaced and there were violent struggles throughout the country. (The Revolution ended after Mao Zedong’s death in 1976.)

50 years ago (1 Aug 1966)
University of Texas at Austin spree shooting, USA. American engineering student Charles Whitman shot and killed 15 people and wounded 31 others before being shot dead by police. (In the early hours of the same morning he had also killed his wife and mother. It was the deadliest college campus shooting until 2007.)

50 years ago (3 Aug 1966)
Death of Lenny Bruce, American stand-up comedian, satirist and free speech activist. Noted for his black humour and controversial routines punctuated by obscenity.

50 years ago (4 & 5 Aug 1966)
U.S. newspapers and radio stations republished an extract from a British newspaper article dated March 1966 in which John Lennon of the Beatles said his band was ‘more popular than Jesus’. It provoked widespread protests, with radio stations in many states refusing to play their records. (He apologised on 12th August during a press conference in Chicago to promote the start of their final tour.)

50 years ago (5 Aug 1966)
The album Revolver by the Beatles was released in the UK. (USA: 8th August.)

50 years ago (10 Aug 1966)
NASA launched its Lunar Orbiter I spacecraft to the Moon to map its surface and photograph potential landing sites for the Apollo missions. It also took the first photo of the Earth from the Moon’s orbit.

50 years ago (24 Aug 1966)
The sci-fi film Fantastic Voyage was released in the USA. (UK: 14th October.)

50 years ago (26 Aug 1966 – 21 Mar 1990)
Namibian War of Independence. SWAPO victory. South-West Africa gained its independence from South Africa and became the Republic of Namibia.

50 years ago (29 Aug 1966)
The Beatles performed their final concert, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California, USA.

40 years ago (1 Aug 1976)
Trinidad and Tobago severed its links with the British monarchy and became an independent republic.

40 years ago (1 Aug 1976)
Austrian racing driver Niki Lauda suffered life-threatening burns and was left with permanent disfigurement when he crashed in the German Grand Prix. (As a result of this accident, the Nürburgring circuit was declared too dangerous to race on. It was rebuilt and shortened.)

30 years ago (9 Aug 1986)
British rock band Queen performed their final live concert before the death of singer Freddie Mercury, at Knebworth Park, Stevenage, UK.

30 years ago (17 Aug 1986)
Pixar released its first film, Luxo Jr. The 2-minute film stars a computer-animated desk lamp. It was the first CGI film to be nominated for an Academy Award.

25 years ago (5 Aug 1991)
Death of Paul Brown, American football coach who introduced numerous innovations both on and off the field, including filmed reviews of games, classroom study and written tests for players, and new blocking tactics.

25 years ago (5 Aug 1991)
Death of Soichiro Honda, Japanese industrialist and engineer who founded the Honda Motor Company.

25 years ago (6 Aug 1991)
The first ever website (info.cern.ch) went live. The web’s inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, also posted a description of the World Wide Web project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup and provided a link to download the first web browser, though it could only run on NeXT workstations. (The World Wide Web was opened up to new users on 23rd August.)

25 years ago (8 Aug 1991)
British journalist John McCarthy was released by Islamic Jihad in Lebanon after being held hostage for over 5 years.

25 years ago (19 – 21 Aug 1991)
Attempted coup in the Soviet Union. Hard-line members of the Communist Party tried to seize control from President Mikhail Gorbachev. The coup failed after just 3 days and eventually led to the collapse of communism and the disintegration of the USSR. On 24th August Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. On 29th August the Soviet Parliament voted to suspend all activities of the Communist Party.

25 years ago (20 Aug 1991)
The following former Soviet states gained their independence this month: Estonia (20th), Latvia (21st), Ukraine (24th), Belarus (25th), Moldova (27th), Azerbaijan (30th), Kyrgyzstan (31st), Uzbekistan (31st).

25 years ago (25 Aug 1991)
German racing driver Michael Schumacher made his Formula 1 debut in the Belgian Grand Prix.

20 years ago (6 Aug 1996)
NASA reported that a meteorite (ALH 84001) found in Antarctica and believed to have come from Mars showed possible signs of primitive life, including hydrocarbons, minerals and microfossils consistent with bacterial activity.

20 years ago (13 Aug 1996)
Microsoft released its Internet Explorer 3 web browser. It was the first widely used version and led to a browser war with Netscape Navigator.

20 years ago (16 Aug 1996)
A female gorilla, Binti Jua, rescued a three-year-old boy who had fallen into the primate enclosure at Brookfield Zoo near Chicago, USA.

20 years ago (28 Aug 1996)
Britain’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana were divorced. Princess Diana could no longer be addressed as Her Royal Highness but would be known as Diana, Princess of Wales.

10 years ago (23 Aug 2006)
Austrian kidnapping victim Natascha Kampusch escaped from captivity after 8 years. (She had been kidnapped by Wolfgang Priklopil at the age of 10 and held in a secret cellar beneath his garage in Strasshof an der Nordbahn.)

10 years ago (24 Aug 2006)
Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet when the International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefined the term ‘planet’.


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Price if purchased individually: £214.56
Save: £164.61

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What If? 29 Creative Writing Prompts for February

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Here’s this month’s selection of What Ifs to stimulate your brain – what can you do with these? Some of them are deliberately vague or ambiguous so you can interpret them in different ways!

There’s one for each day of the month. If you need more please take a look at our book The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. the FTSE or Dow Jones share index fell to 0?

2. green was no longer a colour?

3. you thought you were a robot?

4. someone cast a spell on you – with or without your knowledge?

5. you suffered a crisis of conscience?

6. you were in a Catch-22 situation?

7. you learned that someone, who was not your partner, was in love with you?

8. someone was injuring all the children in a particular class, in alphabetical order?

9. every time you drove along a particular road you came across the same person standing/sitting/lying there and had to drive around them?

10. one of the major countries of the world was at war with every other country?

11. you tried to learn something as an adult that just about everyone else had learned as children?

12. every year you set yourself a new challenge?

13. you retreated into your mind to escape your real-life situation?

14. everyone you met today seemed to come from a place you had never heard of?

15. someone walked into a police station and announced that he/she had killed God?

16. the residents of a small island nation that you had never visited elected you as their monarch?

17. you were the child of a monarch and expected to inherit the role – but the populace hated you?

18. you were one of a small number of survivors and were given an essential role within the group that you had little or no prior experience of?

19. you were rehired to do a job you had left years ago?

20. you were given the task of listing 101 great things about the place you lived in, but you could only think of 5?

21. you experienced the downsides of celebrity?

22. you quickly learned a new skill and became highly renowned after discovering you had a talent for it, but you incurred the wrath of those who had been struggling with it for years?

23. the greatest hurricane the world had ever known made it all the way across the Atlantic without losing any of its strength?

24. it was declared that one of the world’s most notorious serial killers, who had been in prison for decades, was in fact entirely innocent?

25. whenever you held a book-signing session someone in the queue was killed?

26. you were asked to help the police track down someone you had once worked with?

27. you were left a business in a will, and were required to turn it from the third-biggest in town to the biggest within five years or you would forfeit both the business and the millions you would inherit if you succeeded?

28. you made the most of the freedom that comes with electronic/self-publishing and invented an entirely new genre (or hybrid genre)?

29. during your wedding ceremony your spouse-to-be said, loudly and clearly, someone else’s name rather than yours?

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The Date-A-Base Book 2016 corrections

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Hello. We need to tell you about a correction we’ve made to the 2016 edition of The Date-A-Base Book.

Correction

The first football (soccer) penalty kick was on 6th June 1891, not 6th January.

More details here:

www.scottishsporthistory.com/sports-history-news-and-blog/born-in-scotland-the-story-of-the-penalty-kick

Many thanks to Jonathan and Mike for alerting us.

***

If you need (or want) to know what will be making the news in the months to come, try The Date-A-Base Book series. It’s the easy way to see into the future!

Current editions:

2016: www.ideas4writers.co.uk/2016

2017: www.ideas4writers.co.uk/2017

2018: due for release late spring

 

50 Newsworthy Anniversaries in July 2016 for you to write about (and make money from)

Monday, 18 January 2016

Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in July 2016 for you to write about (and make money from). The anniversaries are listed 6 months in advance to give you enough time to find markets, and research and write your articles.

We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research. Please let us know of any errors you find.


The Date-A-Base Book 2016The listing below is a small sample of the entries for July from The Date-A-Base Book 2016
There are 317 anniversaries for July in the book, which covers the whole of 2016 from January to December and features more than 3,450 anniversaries in total.

Just one published article should cover the cost of your copy many times over.

If you need to work further ahead, The Date-A-Base Book 2017 is also available.

—–

800 years ago (16 Jul 1216)
Death of Pope Innocent III, succeeded by Honorius III

250 years ago (8 Jul 1766)
Birth of Dominique Jean Larrey, Baron Larrey, innovative French military surgeon during the Napoleonic Wars. He introduced mobile field hospitals and an army ambulance corps, used carriages to rapidly transport wounded soldiers from the battlefield, manned the carriages with trained personnel, and introduced a triage system so that the most seriously injured were treated first.

200 years ago (7 Jul 1816)
Death of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Irish-born playwright, poet, theatrical impresario and politician. Owner of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London. Best known for his play The School for Scandal.

200 years ago (9 Jul 1816)
Argentina declared its independence from Spain.

200 years ago (14 Jul 1816)
Death of Francisco de Miranda, Venezuelan revolutionary who paved the way for the independence of the Spanish-American colonies. His own plans failed, but those who followed him &endash; most notably Simón Bolívar – were more effective.

200 years ago (21 Jul 1816)
Birth of Paul Julius Reuter, Baron von Reuter, German-born British journalist and media owner who pioneered the use of the electric telegraph in news-gathering and dissemination. Founder of Reuters news agency.

150 years ago (3 Jul 1866)
Austro-Prussian War – the Battle of Königgratz. Prussian victory. This was the decisive battle of the war.

150 years ago (20 Jul 1866)
Death of Bernhard Riemann, influential German mathematician whose contributions to analysis, number theory and differential geometry laid the mathematical foundation for Einstein’s theory of relativity.

150 years ago (24 Jul 1866)
Tennessee became the first U.S. state to rejoin the Union following the American Civil War. (It had also been the last to secede.)

150 years ago (25 Jul 1866)
Ulysses S. Grant (later U.S. President) became the first General of the Army of the United States. (This rank is now called 5-star general.)

150 years ago (27 Jul 1866)
The first successful telegraph cable was laid across the Atlantic Ocean between Valentia, Ireland and Heart’s Content, Newfoundland. (The first cable, laid in 1858, failed after only a few weeks when attempts to send higher voltages through it melted the insulation. A second attempt in 1865 failed when the cable broke and the end was lost – it was found later in 1866 and spliced to a new cable, but was never as good as the 1866 cable.)

150 years ago (28 Jul 1866)
The Metric Act of 1866 came into effect in the USA, authorising the use of the metric system. (In December 1975 the U.S. Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act, making the metric system the preferred system for weights and measures in trade and commerce – though customary units were still permitted.)

150 years ago (28 Jul 1866)
Birth of Beatrix Potter, British children’s writer and illustrator who created enduring animal characters including Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Jemima Puddle-Duck and many others.

100 years ago (1 Jul – 18 Nov 1916)
World War I – the Battle of the Somme (France). Result: inconclusive. This was the first battle to use tanks.

100 years ago (4 Jul 1916)
Birth of Tokyo Rose (Iva Toguri D’Aquino), American broadcaster of Japanese propaganda to Allied troops stationed in the South Pacific during WWII. (She was later convicted of treason and served 6 years in prison.)

100 years ago (8 Jul 1916)
Coca-Cola introduced its iconic contoured bottle.

100 years ago (9 Jul 1916)
Birth of Sir Edward Heath, British Prime Minister (1970–74).

100 years ago (15 Jul 1916)
The Boeing Company was founded in the USA (as Pacific Aero Products).

80 years ago (17 Jul 1936 – 1 Apr 1939)
The Spanish Civil War. Nationalist victory.

80 years ago (24 Jul 1936)
The speaking clock telephone service was launched in the UK. (The world’s first speaking clock service began in France in Feb 1933.)

75 years ago (1 Jul 1941)
Commercial broadcasting was legalised in the USA. NBC and CBS both launched their television services. NBC beat CBS onto the air by 1 hour, becoming the first commercial TV station in the USA. NBC was also the first to broadcast a TV commercial (for Bulova watches). The USA also formally adopted the NTSC standard on this day.

75 years ago (6 Jul – 5 Aug 1941)
World War II – Operation Barbarossa – the Battle of Smolensk. The first major battle during the German invasion of the Soviet Union. German victory, but the two-month delay it caused would prove costly later, since Hitler had assumed the operation would be over quickly and had not prepared for a winter war. (By the end of November, Germany had lost nearly a quarter of its forces, and supplies and ammunition were running low.)

75 years ago (10 Jul 1941)
Death of Jelly Roll Morton, American ragtime and jazz pianist and composer.

75 years ago (12 Jul 1941)
World War II: the Anglo-Soviet Agreement was signed by Britain and the Soviet Union, establishing a formal military alliance against Germany. They agreed to assist each other and not make separate peace deals with Germany.

75 years ago (19 or 20 Jul 1941)
World War II: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill launched his ‘V for Victory’ campaign.

75 years ago (20 Jul 1941)
Death of Lew Fields, American actor, comedian, vaudeville star and theatrical producer. Noted for his partnership with Joe Weber (Weber and Fields) – they performed slapstick routines in a fake Dutch dialect.

60 years ago (26 Jul 1956)
Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal, froze the assets of the Suez Canal Company and closed the canal to Israeli shipping, after the USA refused to finance the Aswan High Dam. (This sparked international condemnation and led to the Suez Crisis in October.)

60 years ago (30 Jul 1956)
‘In God We Trust’ was officially adopted as the U.S. national motto.

50 years ago (1 Jul 1966)
The Medicare health insurance programme began operating in the USA. It offered health insurance to those aged 65 and older.

50 years ago (2 Jul 1966)
France carried out its first nuclear test in the Pacific, at Moruroa Atoll (also spelled Mururoa), French Polynesia. (The bomb was codenamed Aldébaran.)

50 years ago (18 Jul 1966)
NASA launched its Gemini 10 manned spacecraft, with astronauts John W. Young and Michael Collins on board. It returned safely to Earth 3 days later, having made 43 orbits.

50 years ago (23 Jul 1966)
Death of Montgomery Clift, American stage and film actor. Noted for his emotional depth and sense of vulnerability in films such as Red River, A Place in the Sun, I Confess, From Here to Eternity, The Young Lions and The Misfits.

50 years ago (30 Jul 1966)
The 1966 FIFA World Cup final was played in London. England beat Germany 4–2. English player Geoff Hurst became the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final. (At the time of writing this remains England’s only World Cup win.)

40 years ago (1 Jul 1976)
The first Apple computer, the Apple I, went on sale (for $666.66). Buyers received a single circuit board and had to provide (or build) their own case, power supply, keyboard, TV (for display) and a cassette recorder (for storage – though this required an add-on interface, sold separately). About 200 were built, of which about 175 were sold.

40 years ago (2 Jul 1976)
North Vietnam and South Vietnam were reunited as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, with Hanoi as its capital. (Hanoi was formerly the capital of North Vietnam.)

40 years ago (10 Jul 1976)
Seveso disaster, northern Italy. An industrial accident at a chemical plant released a cloud of dioxins into residential areas, affecting around 120,000 people. 3,300 farm animals died and a further 80,000 were slaughtered. Some people suffered long-term health issues.

40 years ago (20 Jul 1976)
NASA’s Viking 1 lander successfully landed on Mars and sent back the first photo taken from the surface of Mars.

40 years ago (21 – 23 Jul 1976)
Legionnaire’s Disease: the American Legion held its annual convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Within a week, 25 attendees had died from the first recognised cases of Legionnaire’s Disease. In total, 221 attendees contracted the disease and 34 of them died (some sources give different figures). The new bacterium was discovered in the hotel’s air conditioning system and named Legionella after its first victims.

40 years ago (28 Jul 1976)
Tangshan earthquake, China. More than 240,000 people were killed (some sources claim at least 650,000, as the official figure only included those in the immediate area). Going by the larger estimate, it was the world’s worst earthquake of the 20th century (by death toll) and the second-worst in recorded history.

40 years ago (28 Jul 1976)
The official world airspeed record was broken by Captain Eldon W. Joersz and Major George T. Morgan in a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird at Beale Air Force Base, California, USA. The record of 2,193.2 mph (3,529.6 km/h) still stands.

30 years ago (23 Jul 1986)
Britain’s Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson in Westminster Abbey, London, and they became the Duke and Duchess of York.

30 years ago (28 Jul 1986)
British estate agent Suzy Lamplugh failed to return from an appointment in London, sparking the biggest missing person investigation since Lord Lucan. She has never been found.

25 years ago (1 Jul 1991)
Death of Michael Landon, American television actor, director and producer (Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, Highway to Heaven).

25 years ago (2 Jul 1991)
Death of Lee Remick, American film and television actress.

25 years ago (5 Jul 1991)
International regulators shut down the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) due to money-laundering and other financial crimes.

25 years ago (10 Jul 1991)
Boris Yeltsin was sworn in as the first directly elected President of Russia.

25 years ago (22 Jul 1991)
British Prime Minister John Major launched the Citizen’s Charter, which aimed to measure, improve and maintain the standard of public services.

20 years ago (5 Jul 1996)
Birth of Dolly the sheep, the world’s first cloned mammal. (Died 2003.)

20 years ago (27 Jul 1996)
A bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, during the Olympic Games. 2 people were killed and over 100 injured.

10 years ago (15 Jul 2006)
Twitter, the online micro-blogging service, was publicly launched.


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