50 Newsworthy Anniversaries in January 2017 for you to write about (and make money from)

Monday, 18 July 2016

Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in January 2017 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.

For more details about how to do this, grab a free copy of our ebook: Ditch Your Day Job – the easiest way to make a living as a writer.

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 January from The Date-A-Base Book 2017
There are 340 anniversaries for January in the book (nearly seven times more than are listed here). The book covers the whole of 2017 from January to December and features more than 4,000 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.

150 years ago (17 Jan 1867)
Birth of Carl Laemmle, pioneering German-born American film producer and distributor. Co-founder of Universal Pictures.

125 years ago (1 Jan 1892)
Ellis Island immigrant inspection station was officially opened in Upper New York Bay, USA. (It remained in operation until November 1954, by which time it had processed 12 million immigrants. It is now a museum and a part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.)

125 years ago (3 Jan 1892)
Birth of J. R. R. Tolkien, British novelist, poet, scholar and educator. Best known for his fantasy novels The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.

125 years ago (18 Jan 1892)
Birth of Oliver Hardy, American comic actor (Laurel & Hardy).

100 years ago (5 Jan 1917)
Birth of Jane Wyman, Academy Award-winning American film and television actress, singer and dancer (Johnny Belinda [film], Falcon Crest [TV]). First wife of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

100 years ago (10 Jan 1917)
Birth of Jerry Wexler, American record producer and music journalist. Co-owner of Atlantic records. Vice-president of Warner Brothers Records. He coined the term ‘rhythm and blues’ and signed and/or produced many of the biggest acts from the 1950s to the 1980s.

100 years ago (10 Jan 1917)
Death of William F. Cody, (‘Buffalo Bill’), colourful American frontiersman and showman. Known for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, which made him a global star.

100 years ago (16 Jan 1917)
Death of George Dewey, American Admiral of the Navy (the highest ranked naval officer in U.S. history). Best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.

100 years ago (19 Jan 1917)
Silvertown explosion, London Borough of Newham, UK. 50 tons of TNT exploded when a fire broke out at a munitions factory that was making explosives for WWI. 73 people were killed and over 400 injured. The blast was heard 100 miles away and substantial damage was caused to the local area, with up to 70,000 properties damaged and 900 destroyed.

100 years ago (24 Jan 1917)
Birth of Ernest Borgnine, Academy Award-winning American stage, film and television actor (From Here to Eternity, Bad Day at Black Rock, Marty, The Dirty Dozen, Ice Station Zebra, The Wild Bunch, The Poseidon Adventure, Airwolf [TV series]).

80 years ago (1 Jan 1937)
Speedometers, and safety glass in windscreens became compulsory in all vehicles in Britain.

75 years ago (1 Jan 1942)
World War II: 26 countries signed the Declaration of the United Nations in Washington, D.C., USA, pledging to employ their full resources against Hitler and the Axis powers.

75 years ago (2 Jan 1942)
World War II: Japanese forces captured Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

75 years ago (3 Jan 1942)
Birth of John Thaw, British actor (The Sweeney, Inspector Morse, Kavanagh QC, and many others). (Died 2002.)

75 years ago (6 Jan 1942)
Pan American Airways’ Pacific Clipper flying boat completed the first round-the-world trip by a commercial plane.

75 years ago (11 Jan 1942)
World War II: Japan invaded the Dutch East Indies and captured Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

75 years ago (16 Jan 1942)
Death of Carole Lombard, American actress. Noted for her comedy roles in a string of successful 1930s Hollywood movies. (Killed in a plane crash while promoting war bonds).

75 years ago (16 Jan 1942)
World War II: Japan began its invasion of Burma (now Myanmar).

75 years ago (20 Jan 1942)
Holocaust: the infamous Wannsee Conference was held in Germany. Nazi officials met to plan the ‘final solution to the Jewish question’.

75 years ago (21 Jan 1942)
Birth of Edwin Starr, American soul singer. Best known for the song War. (Died 2003.)

75 years ago (26 Jan 1942)
World War II: the first U.S. troops arrived in Europe. 4,508 soldiers from the 34th Infantry Regiment docked in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

75 years ago (29 Jan 1942)
The first episode of Desert Island Discs was broadcast on BBC radio in the UK. It is Britain’s longest-running radio show.

75 years ago (31 Jan 1942)
Birth of Derek Jarman, British avant-garde filmmaker (Jubilee, The Tempest, Caravaggio, War Requiem, Edward II and more). (Died 1994.)

60 years ago (1 Jan 1957)
Border Campaign (also known as Operation Harvest) – the IRA carried out a well-known raid on Brookeborough RUC barracks in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Two IRA volunteers, Seán South and Fergal O’Hanlon, were shot dead. (Their lives are now commemorated in Irish Republican songs.)

60 years ago (16 – 18 Jan 1957)
Operation Power Flite: the first non-stop around-the-world flight by a jet aircraft. Three Boeing B-52 Stratofortresses completed the flight in 45 hours and 19 minutes. (They required mid-air refuelling during the journey.)

60 years ago (16 Jan 1957)
The Cavern Club opened in Liverpool, UK. Initially a jazz venue, it became an important rock venue when the Beatles played there during their early years.

50 years ago (3 Jan 1967)
Death of Jack Ruby, American nightclub owner who shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald two days after the latter was arrested for the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

50 years ago (4 Jan 1967)
Death of Donald Campbell, British car and motorboat driver who broke 8 world speed records on land and water, emulating his father, Sir Malcolm Campbell. (Killed on Coniston Water while attempting to break the world water speed record.)

50 years ago (12 Jan 1967)
American psychology professor James Bedford became the first person to have his body cryonically preserved (frozen) following his death, with the intention of future resuscitation.

50 years ago (14 Jan 1967)
The Human Be-In took place in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, USA. The gathering of 20,000 (or 30,000) counter-culture tribes, gurus and rock musicians was a prelude to the Summer of Love.

50 years ago (15 Jan 1967)
The first Super Bowl was played. The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-–10 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in California.

50 years ago (16 Jan 1967)
Death of Robert J. Van de Graaff, prize-winning American physicist and educator. Best known for inventing the Van de Graaff generator, which generates a high-voltage electrostatic charge.

50 years ago (18 Jan 1967)
The ‘Boston Strangler’ (Albert DeSalvo) was sentenced to life in prison for murdering 13 women in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

50 years ago (27 Jan 1967)
Apollo 1 tragedy: three U.S. astronauts (Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger B. Chaffee) were killed when their command module caught fire during a pre-launch test at Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Cause: electric arcs from exposed/worn wiring, combined with a pure oxygen atmosphere.)

50 years ago (27 Jan 1967)
The Outer Space Treaty was signed by the USA, UK and the Soviet Union. Countries which sign the treaty are barred from using space for anything other than peaceful purposes. The placement or testing of nuclear weapons in space is also banned. (The treaty came into effect on 10th October 1967 and has now been signed by more than 100 countries.)

50 years ago (29 Jan 1967)
The Mantra-Rock Dance, San Francisco, California, USA. Known as the ‘ultimate high’ and the ‘major spiritual event of the San Francisco hippie era’. Organised by followers of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, the counterculture rock concert promoted and raised funds for the first Hare Krishna centre on the U.S. West Coast.

40 years ago (3 Jan 1977)
Apple Computer, Inc. was incorporated. (It was renamed Apple Inc. in 2007.)

40 years ago (6 Jan 1977)
British punk rock band the Sex Pistols were fired by their record company, EMI, after just 3 months because of their notorious behaviour. (They signed with A&M Records in March but were quickly fired again, and finally signed with Virgin Records in May.)

40 years ago (15 Jan 1977)
Kälvesta air disaster, Stockholm, Sweden. Linjeflyg Flight 618 crashed on its approach to Stockholm Bromma Airport, killing all 22 people on board. (Cause: ice build-up on the tailplane.) It was the worst air crash in Swedish history.

40 years ago (18 Jan 1977)
Granville rail disaster, Sydney, Australia. A crowded commuter train derailed and crashed into a bridge which collapsed onto two of the train’s carriages. 83 people were killed and 210 injured. It was the worst rail disaster in Australia’s history.

40 years ago (18 Jan 1977)
The previously unknown Legionella bacterium (which causes Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever) was identified for the first time. It was found in the air conditioning system of the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, where the first recorded outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease killed 34 people in July 1976.

40 years ago (20 Jan 1977)
Jimmy Carter was inaugurated as the 39th President of the United States.

30 years ago (20 Jan 1987)
Terry Waite, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s special envoy in the Middle East, was kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon while on a peace mission to negotiate the release of hostages. (Released November 1991.)

25 years ago (8 Jan 1992)
U.S. President George H. W. Bush vomited and collapsed at a state dinner at the Japanese Prime Minister’s residence in Tokyo. (Gastric ‘flu).

25 years ago (9 Jan 1992)
The discovery of the first two confirmed exoplanets was announced by astronomers Aleksander Wolszczan and Dale Frail. The planets orbit the pulsar PSR B1257+12. (A third planet was confirmed there in 1994. Nearly 2,000 exoplanets have been discovered, orbiting over 1,200 stars.)

25 years ago (16 Jan 1992)
The Chapultepec Peace Accords were signed in Mexico, ending the 12-year civil war in El Salvador.

20 years ago (15 Jan 1997)
Princess Diana walked through a minefield in Angola, visited victims, and called for an international ban on landmines.

20 years ago (23 Jan 1997)
Madeleine Albright became the first female U.S. Secretary of State.

10 years ago (4 Jan 2007)
Nancy Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

10 years ago (11 Jan 2007)
China destroyed its Fengyun FY-1C weather satellite in a ballistic missile test. It created more than 2,800 items of high-velocity space debris, and was widely condemned.


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The Date-A-Base Book 2018 (preview edition)

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Date-A-Base Book 2018 (preview edition) is now available to download from our members’ home page. Over 190 pages of anniversaries in 2018 for you to write about and make money from. (And get a good head start on everyone else!)

The preview contains 99% of the newsworthy birth and death anniversaries in 2018, plus some notable events that we copied across from previous editions.

Note: This edition is for ideas4writers lifetime members only.

If you aren’t a member yet, join here (for a very reasonable one-time-only fee): www.ideas4writers.co.uk/join.htm and get all 40 of our e-books!

The full version will go on sale in October.

What If? 31 Creative Writing Prompts for July

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Hello! Here’s this month’s selection of What Ifs to stimulate your writing brain. See what can you do with these! Some 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, take a look at our book The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. you misled someone in order to get their permission?

2. she was there again this morning?

3. she didn’t turn up for the meeting?

4. you hated everyone?

5. you could no longer work with your colleagues?

6. no one had ever heard of you?

7. you could choose to have an extra birthday each year?

8. you could choose to have an extra birthday at certain periods in your life?

9. you could skip a year?

10. you could fast-forward through the boring bits of your life?

11. you could rewind/replay part of your life?

12. someone committed a crime against you while you were on a reality TV show being filmed by multiple cameras?

13. you won a Nobel Prize?

14. you were nominated (possibly by yourself) for every prize you could find?

15. no one could be that lucky?

16. no one could be that unlucky?

17. no one was scared of it?

18. everyone was afraid of it?

19. everything took care of itself?

20. you couldn’t see the point?

21. you shrank by an inch per year once you reached 30 years of age?

22. you agreed to play a small role in a student’s film – but the film became an absolute blockbuster?

23. everything electronic burst into flames if you went near it?

24. you clicked on an innocent-looking link on a reputable website and it got you arrested?

25. you were asked to identify a body?

26. you were asked to take part in a police line-up?

27. you appeared in court as an expert witness?

28. the thing you’d been dreading turned out to be far worse than you’d expected?

29. the thing you’d been looking forward to turned out worse than you could ever have imagined?

30. you had no imagination?

31. you could only remember things if you sang them?

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Here’s next year’s news … today!

Monday, 27 June 2016

advert480

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re testing this ad. What do you think? It should be appearing in writing magazines, Facebook ads … and just about everywhere else we can think of/afford in a few weeks’ time.

Does anything need tweaking? Does it stand out? Do you understand the message? Does it make you want to visit the website and find out more? We hope you’ll tell us before we spend a huge amount of money blasting it out to the world!

We tried a version with prices on, but as the currency exchange rate is fluctuating so much at the moment it didn’t really work. Would knowing the price make you more inclined to find out more about the book?

(The ebook is £9.99 which, as I write this, is US$13.21 or €11.99 – that’s around 10% lower than a week ago.)

By the way, thanks to the Brexit thing, this is a fantastic time to buy any of our books if you’re outside the UK. Or become a member and get all of our ebooks (current and future) for one stupidly low price. Grab a bargain while our country’s in a mess!

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

Monday, 20 June 2016

Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in December 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.

For more details about how to do this, grab a free copy of our ebook: Ditch Your Day Job – the easiest way to make a living as a writer.

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 December from The Date-A-Base Book 2016
There are 277 anniversaries for December in the book (five times more than 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.

250 years ago (5 Dec 1766)
British auctioneer James Christie held his first sale, in London. He went on to found Christie’s, the world’s oldest auction house.

250 years ago (29 Dec 1766)
Birth of Charles Macintosh, Scottish chemist. Known for his invention of a method for waterproofing fabric. The mackintosh waterproof coat is named after him.

200 years ago (2 Dec 1816)
The Philadelphia Savings Fund Society was founded. It was the first savings bank in the USA.

200 years ago (4 Dec 1816)
James Monroe was elected as the 5th President of the United States. (Inaugurated 4th March 1817.)

200 years ago (8 Dec 1816 – or 1813?)
Birth of August Belmont, German-born American banker, diplomat and horse breeder/trainer who helped establish thoroughbred horse racing in the USA. The annual Belmont Stakes horse race is named after him.

200 years ago (11 Dec 1816)
Indiana became the 19th state of the USA.

150 years ago (1 Dec 1866)
Death of Sir George Everest, Welsh surveyor and geographer after whom Mount Everest is named. Noted for his important role in the trigonometric survey of India.

125 years ago (15 Dec 1891)
The sport of basketball was invented by James Naismith, a physical education instructor, in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. The first game was played on 21st December.

125 years ago (26 Dec 1891)
Birth of Henry Miller, controversial American writer. Known for his semi-autobiographical novels that were frequently banned because of their explicit content. Best known for Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Black Spring and The Rosy Crucifixion trilogy.

100 years ago (7 Dec 1916)
David Lloyd George became British Prime Minister.

100 years ago (17 Dec 1916)
Birth of Penelope Fitzgerald, Booker Prize-winning British novelist, poet, essayist and biographer. Her novels include The Bookshop, Offshore and The Blue Flower.

100 years ago (18 Dec 1916)
Birth of Betty Grable, American film actress and dancer. Best known for her 1940s musicals. The favourite pin-up of U.S. servicemen during WWII – her image was painted on the sides of numerous bomber planes.

100 years ago (20 Dec 1916)
World War I – the Battle of Verdun (France) ended. French victory.

100 years ago (25 Dec 1916)
Death of Saint Albert Chmielowski, Polish saint. Founder of the Albertine Brothers and Sisters. Pope John Paul II wrote a play about him in 1949 called Our God’s Brother (long before he became pope) and he canonised him in 1989.

100 years ago (30 Dec 1916)
Death of Grigori (also spelled Grigory) Rasputin, Russian mystic and healer. A favourite of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra after healing their son, a haemophiliac, who was bleeding from an injury and expected to die. He became a powerful influence on the Russian court. (Murdered by a group of noblemen.)

90 years ago (7 Dec 1926)
The Italian Government passed the bachelors tax (effective from 1st January 1927) in an effort to combat the falling marriage rate. The funds were used to establish a national maternity and child welfare assistance plan. (The marriage rate did not increase and the tax was doubled in November 1928 and increased again in 1934 and 1936.)

80 years ago (2 Dec 1936)
Death of John Ringling, American circus founder (Ringling Brothers).

80 years ago (11 Dec 1936)
King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom abdicated to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson, a divorcee. His younger brother, the Duke of York, became King George VI.

80 years ago (18 Dec 1936)
The first live giant panda to be taken out of China arrived in San Francisco, California, USA. Named Su Lin, it had been captured as a 9-week-old cub by American socialite Ruth Harkness. She sold it to Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. (It died of pneumonia in 1938, by which time she had already brought over a second panda.)

80 years ago (24 Dec 1936)
American physicist and physician John H. Lawrence administered the first radioisotope for medical treatment at the University of California, Berkeley. He used radioactive phosphorus-32 to treat a woman suffering from leukaemia. He became renowned for his pioneering treatment and is now known as the father of nuclear medicine.

80 years ago (30 Dec 1936)
The United Automobile Workers (UAW) staged the first sit-down strike in the USA. This led to the unionisation of the U.S. car industry.

75 years ago (1 Dec 1941)
The Civil Air Patrol was founded in the USA as a civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.

75 years ago (5 Dec 1941)
World War II – the Battle of Moscow – the Soviet counter-attack. Soviet forces commanded by Georgy Zhukov launched a massive counter-offensive which drove the Germans out of Moscow, ending Operation Barbarossa (the German invasion of the Soviet Union.)

75 years ago (6 Dec 1941)
World War II: the Allies and Axis nations all began to declare war on each other. For a detailed timeline see: http://worldatwar.net/timeline/other/diplomacy39-45.html

75 years ago (7 Dec 1941)
World War II – the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Japan launched a surprise bomb attack on Pearl Harbor and other U.S. bases in the Pacific, and declared war on the USA and UK. Canada declared war on Japan. (The USA, UK, Netherlands and New Zealand declared war on Japan the following day. The War in Europe had now became a World War.)

75 years ago (12 Dec 1941)
Holocaust: German leader Adolf Hitler announced his plan to the exterminate the Jews at a meeting with senior Nazi Party officials at the Reich Chancellery in Berlin.

75 years ago (20 Dec 1941)
World War II: the Flying Tigers (officially the 1st American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force) took part in their first combat mission in Kunming, China. (They were later involved in the Burma Campaign. They had the highest kill ratio of all the Allied air forces in the Pacific Theatre. They were disbanded on 4th July 1942.)

75 years ago (26 Dec 1941)
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill that confirmed the date of Thanksgiving Day in the USA as the fourth Thursday in November.

70 years ago (11 Dec 1946)
UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, was established in New York City, USA.

70 years ago (19 Dec 1946 – 1 Aug 1954)
First Indochina War (also called the French Indochina War) The Vietnamese fought the French, who opposed Vietnamese independence. Viet Minh victory.

70 years ago (20 Dec 1946)
Frank Capra’s film It’s A Wonderful Life premièred in New York City, USA. (Released: 7th January 1947.)

60 years ago (2 Dec 1956)
Cuban Revolution: 82 members of the 26th of July Movement landed in Cuba after sailing from Mexico with the aim of overthrowing Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship. Their members included Fidel and Raúl Castro and Che Guevara. (They ousted Batista on 1st January 1959 and established a revolutionary socialist state. In October 1965 the 26th of July Movement became the Communist Party of Cuba, which continues to govern Cuba.)

60 years ago (12 Dec 1956)
The IRA began its Border Campaign in Northern Ireland. The campaign of guerrilla warfare aimed to overthrow British rule and establish a united Ireland. (The Campaign was officially called off on 26th February 1962, though it had long since petered out.)

60 years ago (17 Dec 1956)
Suez Crisis: petrol rationing was introduced in Britain. Motorists were limited to 200 miles per month; businesses to 300; and farmers, religious ministers and essential local authority workers to 600. Doctors, surgeons, midwives and disabled drivers were exempt from rationing. (Rationing ended on 14th May 1957.)

50 years ago (15 Dec 1966)
Death of Walt Disney, pioneering American film and television producer. Co-founder (with his brother Roy) of the Walt Disney Company. Creator of popular characters including Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Creator of Disneyland.

50 years ago (16 Dec 1966)
The UN declared apartheid a crime against humanity.

40 years ago (1 Dec 1976)
The Sex Pistols made their infamous appearance on Thames Television’s Today show, in which the host, Bill Grundy (who later claimed he was drunk), encouraged their foul language. The show was only broadcast in London, but made national headlines and the band became household names. Grundy was suspended and the incident effectively ended his career. (The Sex Pistols’ first national tour was due to begin on 3rd December but only about 7 of the scheduled 20 concerts took place as organisers and local authorities banned them from appearing and cancelled the gigs.)

40 years ago (2 Dec 1976)
Fidel Castro became President of Cuba.

30 years ago (1 Dec 1986)
The Guinness share-trading scandal began in Britain when the Government ordered an enquiry into the company’s affairs and raided its headquarters. It became one of the biggest trials of the 20th century.

30 years ago (17 Dec 1986)
Davina Thompson became the world’s first recipient of a heart, lung and liver transplant, at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, UK.

30 years ago (23 Dec 1986)
The experimental American plane Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, became the first aircraft to fly around the world without stopping or refuelling.

25 years ago (4 Dec 1991)
Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) went out of business.

25 years ago (5 Dec 1991)
A month after his death, British newspaper proprietor Robert Maxwell’s business empire collapsed with massive debts and allegations of fraud and misappropriation of pension funds.

25 years ago (6 Dec 1991)
Croatian War of Independence: during the Siege of Dubrovnik, Yugoslav People’s Army forces bombarded the Old Town, causing massive damage to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and provoking international condemnation. 13 civilians were killed. (This incident led to Serbia and Montenegro’s diplomatic and political isolation, and the international recognition of Croatia’s independence.)

25 years ago (10 Dec 1991)
The Maastricht Treaty, which established the European Union, was agreed by the leaders of 12 European nations. It was signed on 7th February 1992 and came into effect on 1st November 1993.

25 years ago (26 Dec 1991)
The Soviet Union was officially dissolved. The 12 remaining Soviet republics became independent states.

20 years ago (5 Dec 1996)
The General Motors EV1 was released. It was the first modern electric car from a major manufacturer. (It was only available to lease, not to buy. It was discontinued in 1999.)

20 years ago (9 Dec 1996)
The United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme was implemented in Iraq.

20 years ago (10 Dec 1996)
South African President Nelson Mandela signed a new constitution, completing the transition from white minority rule to full democracy. (Effective from 4th February 1997.)

10 years ago (30 Dec 2006)
Death of Saddam Hussein, President/dictator of Iraq (1979-2003). (Executed for war crimes.)


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What If? 30 Creative Writing Prompts for June

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Hello! Here’s this month’s selection of What Ifs to stimulate your writing brain. See what can you do with these! Some 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, take a look at our book The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. you were always formal?

2. people gave you their opinion?

3. you had a duty?

4. someone else was responsible for your progress?

5. someone else was responsible for your problems?

6. it was payback time?

7. you didn’t want to hurt their feelings?

8. you wanted to hurt their feelings?

9. you wanted to ruin their chances?

10. the person described in the news reports sounded an awful lot like you?

11. it was all you ever did?

12. you didn’t know why?

13. you didn’t say anything that hadn’t already been said?

14. your membership was refused?

15. your application was turned down?

16. they said they were full but you knew they weren’t?

17. you decided to sort it out yourself?

18. someone kept signing you up for things?

19. everything you started writing turned into something else?

20. the machines took over?

21. it was time for action?

22. you had nothing to say?

23. you had nothing to do?

24. your hands started shaking?

25. you couldn’t let it happen?

26. you did it because you could, and for no other reason?

27. you liked to use your size to your advantage?

28. you laughed inappropriately?

29. someone bought you?

30. you decided to backpack around the world?

Become a lifetime member of ideas4writers
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Price if purchased individually: £214.56
Save: £164.61

(Other currencies also accepted)

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

Monday, 23 May 2016

Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in November 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 November from The Date-A-Base Book 2016
There are 302 anniversaries for November in the book (six times more than 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.

—–

1000 years ago (30 Nov 1016)
Death of Edmund II, (Edmund Ironside), King of England (1016).

250 years ago (10 Nov 1766)
Rutgers University was established in New Jersey, USA (as Queen’s College).

200 years ago (3 Nov 1816)
Birth of Jubal Early, Confederate general in the U.S. Civil War. His army secured important victories in the Valley Campaigns and made a daring raid on the outskirts of Washington D.C., but was defeated during the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns, leading to the final collapse of the South.

200 years ago (6 Nov 1816)
Death of Gouverneur Morris, American statesman, diplomat and financial expert. A Founding Father of the United States. He helped plan the USA’s decimal coinage system.

200 years ago (14 Nov 1816)
Birth of John Curwen, British minister and music educator who founded the tonic sol–fa system of musical notation.

200 years ago (19 Nov 1816)
Warsaw University was established in Poland.

200 years ago (29 Nov 1816)
Birth of Morrison Waite, Chief Justice of the United States (1874-88).

150 years ago (8 Nov 1866)
Birth of Herbert Austin, 1st Baron Austin, influential British automotive engineer, businessman and politician. Founder and first chairman of the Austin Motor Company.

100 years ago (4 Nov 1916)
Birth of Walter Cronkite, legendary American broadcast journalist. Anchorman of the CBS Evening News (1962-81). Known as ‘the most trusted man in America’.

100 years ago (4 Nov 1916)
Birth of Ruth Handler, American businesswoman. Co-founder of the Mattel toy company. Creator of the Barbie doll. (Died 2002.)

100 years ago (12 Nov 1916)
Death of Percival Lowell, American astronomer. Founder of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. He also initiated the search for the planet Pluto and fuelled speculation by earlier astronomers that there were canals on Mars.

100 years ago (13/14 Nov 1916)
Death of Saki (pen name of Hector Hugh Munro), Burmese-born British short story writer and playwright whose stories satirise Edwardian society and culture.

100 years ago (18 Nov 1916)
World War I – the Battle of the Somme ended. Result inconclusive.

100 years ago (19 Nov 1916)
Goldwyn Pictures was established in New Jersey, USA. In 1924 it merged with Metro Pictures and Louis B. Mayer Productions to form Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer (MGM).

100 years ago (21 Nov 1916)
Death of Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria (1848-1916), King of Hungary (1867-1916), President of the German Confederation (1850-66).

100 years ago (22 Nov 1916)
Death of Jack London, pioneering American novelist, short story writer and social activist (The Call of the Wild, White Fang, Martin Eden, The Sea Wolf, The Iron Heel and more). One of the first to write commercial magazine fiction, and to earn a fortune from his fiction writing.

80 years ago (2 Nov 1936)
The BBC Television Service was launched in the UK.

80 years ago (2 Nov 1936)
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was established and its radio network was launched.

80 years ago (23 Nov 1936)
The first issue of Life magazine was published in the USA.

80 years ago (25 Nov 1936)
Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact, an agreement to collaborate against the threat of Soviet Communism.

80 years ago (30 Nov 1936)
The Crystal Palace in London, England was destroyed by a fire.

75 years ago (21 Nov 1941)
The first episode of the blues music radio show King Biscuit Time was broadcast in the USA. It is the longest-running daily radio show in the USA.

70 years ago (4 Nov 1946)
UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) was established.

70 years ago (22 Nov 1946)
The first Biro ballpoint pens went on sale in the UK.

60 years ago (5 Nov 1956)
The first Premium Bond was sold in Britain (to the Lord Mayor of London).

60 years ago (15 Nov 1956)
Elvis Presley’s first feature film Love Me Tender was released. (He made his acting debut in this film, and it was the only time that he did not receive top billing.)

50 years ago (4 Nov 1966)
Florence flood, Italy. The Arno river burst its banks after days of intense rainfall. The city was devastated, thousands were made homeless or lost their businesses, and 35 people were killed. Millions of Renaissance books, manuscripts and artworks were damaged or destroyed – restoration work is still ongoing.

50 years ago (11 Nov 1966)
NASA launched its Gemini 12 manned spacecraft with astronauts James A. Lovell and Buzz Aldrin on board. Several science experiments and a space walk were carried out in orbit. It returned to Earth safely on 15th. It was Project Gemini’s final flight.

50 years ago (17 Nov 1966)
Birth of Jeff Buckley, American folk / rock / pop singer, songwriter and guitarist. Considered one of the greatest singers of all time. (Died 1997.)

50 years ago (20 Nov 1966)
The musical Cabaret opened on Broadway.

50 years ago (30 Nov 1966)
Barbados gained its independence from the UK.

40 years ago (26 Nov 1976)
The Sex Pistols’ first single Anarchy in the UK was released.

30 years ago (6 Nov 1986)
Sumburgh disaster, Shetland Islands, Scotland. A Chinook helicopter suffered a mechanical failure and crashed in the North Sea near Sumburgh Airport while ferrying workers from the Brent oil field. 45 people were killed.

25 years ago (2 Nov 1991)
Death of Irwin Allen, (‘the Master of Disaster’), Academy Award-winning American film, television and documentary producer and director (Lost in Space, The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno and more).

25 years ago (2 Nov 1991)
Death of Mort Shuman, award-winning American singer, pianist and songwriter who wrote (with Doc Pomus) many rock and roll hits of the 1960s, including Viva Las Vegas, recorded by Elvis Presley.

25 years ago (5 Nov 1991)
Death of Robert Maxwell, Czech-born British newspaper publisher, media proprietor and politician. (His body was found in the sea near his boat off the coast of Tenerife.)

25 years ago (7 Nov 1991)
American basketball star Magic Johnson announced that he was HIV positive and was retiring. (He later returned to coach and play)

25 years ago (8 Nov 1991)
The first Turing Test competition (the Loebner Prize) was held at The Computer Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The annual test aims to demonstrate artificial intelligence. A judge holds a 5-minute text-based conversation with a human and a computer and has to decide which is which based on the responses. A computer passes the test if it convinces at least half the judges that it is the human. No computer has yet won the $25,000 prize.

25 years ago (14 Nov 1991)
Death of Tony Richardson, British stage and film director (A Taste of Honey, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Tom Jones, Ned Kelly and more).

25 years ago (23 Nov 1991)
Death of Klaus Kinski, eccentric German stage and film actor. Known for his roles as intense villains, especially in films directed by Werner Herzog (Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Nosferatu the Vampyre, Woyzeck, Fitzcarraldo, Cobra Verde and more). He was also noted for his violent outbursts on set. Father of the actors Pola, Nastassja and Nikolai Kinski.

25 years ago (24 Nov 1991)
Death of Freddie Mercury, Zanzibar-born British rock singer and songwriter (Queen).

25 years ago (25 – 26 Nov 1991)
The ‘Tottenham Three’ had their convictions quashed. They had been jailed for life in 1987 for killing police officer Keith Blakelock during riots in north London.

20 years ago (1 Nov 1996)
The first DVD players (manufactured by Toshiba and Matsushita/Panasonic) went on sale in Japan. (USA: 26th March 1997, Europe 1998.)

20 years ago (7 Nov 1996)
NASA launched Mars Global Surveyor.

20 years ago (12 Nov 1996)
The European Court of Justice ordered Britain to comply with the EU mandate of a maximum 48-hour working week.

20 years ago (23 Nov 1996)
The first Tamagotchi handheld virtual pets were released by Bandai in Japan. (USA and Europe: May 1997.)

10 years ago (10 Nov 2006)
Death of Diana Coupland, British stage, film and TV actress and singer. Best known for her role as Jean Abbott in the sitcom Bless This House.

10 years ago (10 Nov 2006)
Death of Jack Palance, Academy Award-winning American stage, film and television actor. Generally known for his menacing roles. Best known for the film City Slickers.

10 years ago (19 Nov 2006)
The Nintendo Wii video games console was released in the USA. (Japan: 2nd December, Europe: 8th December.)

10 years ago (27 Nov 2006)
Death of Alan (‘Fluff’) Freeman, Australian-born British disc jockey and radio personality. Particularly noted for hosting Pick of the Pops.


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What If? 31 Creative Writing Prompts for May

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Here’s this month’s selection of What Ifs to stimulate your writing 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, take a look at our book The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. you could only sleep standing up?

2. the more money you had, the poorer you were?

3. this was the afterlife and we were all dead?

4. there was a year in which not a single person died?

5. someone offered to work for you for free?

6. the concept of time no longer made any sense to you?

7. the concept of money no longer made any sense to you?

8. you found something really strange down the back of the sofa?

9. tomorrow will be yesterday, the day after that will be next Wednesday, and the day after that will be today again?

10. something that didn’t happen happened?

11. there was nothing happening?

12. there was always something happening?

13. the pressure was building to a dangerous level?

14. you exploited every resource?

15. you needed closure?

16. you had a nagging feeling?

17. you had unfinished business?

18. you never left anything unfinished?

19. you always left something unfinished?

20. you’d missed out?

21. you felt that the beginning of your life was wrong?

22. you were cornered?

23. someone was waiting for you?

24. someone was watching you?

25. someone was planning your downfall?

26. someone was planning to marry you?

27. someone was under your bed?

28. someone else was living in your house?

29. someone else was living in your body?

30. you needed to make sure no one else was around?

31. you were always informal?

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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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