1841 Giselle ballet premiers
Ukraine Constitution Day (see 22 January)
Vietnam Family Day
Paul Bunyan Day: Tell stories of his legend around a campfire while toasting marshmallows. There’s also a Disney cartoon.
1948 Terry Pratchett born – so read Johnny and the Bomb
Sardinia National Day: Sardinia is full of very cool giants’ tombs from the Bronze Age.
There are also about 7,000 nuraghi from 1500 B.C. onwards, defensive forts.
Phoenicians began to invade, and with Carthaginian help they took the south. When the Carthaginians were defeated by Rome, Rome took Sardinia and Corsica. Romans pushed the Nuragic people into the mountains, which they then called Barbaria. They ruled Sardinia for 694 years, during which Sardinia grew loads of grain for the empire and Latin was the main language.
The Vandals came in 456 AD but Rome soon took it back. From 533 it was part of the Byzantine Empire. Gradually it became independent, and no one’s sure exactly how, until the native ‘judges’ became the rulers. It then continued without much outside influence, like a little imperial Rome.
Then Pisa invaded a bit, and the Pope offered a made-up crown of Corsica and Sardinia to James II of Aragon to settle the War of the Vespers.
Then from 1465 some ‘judges’ (or giudici) managed to bring together most of Sardinia, with only Cagliari and Alghero still belonging to Aragon (Spain). But then the Kingdom of Aragon took the whole thing back, and introduced the feudal system at a time the rest of Europe was starting to realise it was awful.
Sardinia was inherited by Charles I of Spain, who fortified Sardinia against African Berber pirates. Sardinia suffered a lot of famines during Spanish rule.
In 1708 Spain handed Sardinia over to Austria after the Spanish War of Succession deciding who should reign after Charles II of Spain (he’d chosen Philip of Anjou, but everyone panicked about France and Spain uniting their empires under one king and had a big ol’ fight about it. They decided on Philip V of Spain instead, and meanwhile redistributed some of Spain’s empire).
In 1793 Napoleon tried to invade a couple of times but was repelled. The Dukes of Savoy fled to Sardinia to hide from Napoleon, and bizarrely Sardinia then united with the Italian states of Turin and Piedmont and the French states of Nice and Savoy, and they all had one parliament in Turin. Sardinia then became the Kingdom of Italy. Not kidding.
Then they went a bit Fascist, and imprisoned anyone who didn’t want to be a fascist, and if anyone spoke Sardinian they went to prison too.
In 1946 Italy became a republic and Sardinia a state of autonomy. They eradicated malaria, got a boost in tourism, went fully industrial in the ’60s, suffered an oil crisis in the ’70s, accepted some NATO military bases during the Cold War, and now it’s phasing into Europe.
Other events that might inspire your play today:
Chinese New Year’s Day (2017) – Year of the Rooster
Make these Chinese lanterns,
or an eggbox dragon. Find out why the Chinese name their years after animals, and make Playdo animals for each family member using this chart. Try Chinese New Year yoga! This page also has good resources.
This year is the year of the monkey. We love this book by Anthony Browne.
Losar (2017 Tibet New Year, also Nepal and Bhutan). This year is the Female Fire Rooster. Yep, yep. This page has lots of ideas on how to join in with their celebrations.
1958 Lego patented
Obviously you can build anything! So ask your kid what they want to build. But here are some other ideas:
Consider a trip to Legoland!
1912 Jackson Pollock born – this blog had a LOT of fun with it.
The Lumiere brothers show the first cinema film in 1895 – make your own film with dolls for actors or try making these optical illusions.
Australia Proclamation Day – on this day in 1836 Southern Australia was declared a British province. For more see 26th January.
The fourth day of Christmas
Iowa founded (1846)
1811 Beethoven’s Op.73 premiers
1909 Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 premiers
1757 William Blake born
Albanian Independence (from Turkey, 1912) – see 11th January
Burundi Republic Day – see 1st July
Chad Proclamation of the Republic – see 11th August
Mauritania Independence Day (from France, 1960)
Panama Independence Day (from Spain, 1821)
1990 Nintendo Gameboy released
Czech Statehood Day
The first recorded ‘kingdom’ of Slavs was the Samo Empire in the seventh century, which lasted only 30 years. Czechs then became part of the Moravian Empire.
In 1198 the kingdom of Bohemia was formed in the Holy Roman Empire. This is where we get the idea of ‘bohemian’ from – it was a French insult that meant ‘gypsy’, who they thought came from central Europe. Bohemia then became part of the Austrian Empire.
In 1867 the Austrian and Hungarian kingdoms joined to become the Austro-Hungarian Empire (with two kings). Hungaria owned Slovakia.
At the end of WWI the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed and the Bohemian Kingdom and Slovakia became Czechoslovakia.
In 1938 Hitler demanded control of the Sudetenland, part of Czechoslovakia. For some reason he asked Britain and France for this, rather than Czechoslovakia, and for some reason we said “Yeah sure.” A year later Hitler took the rest of Czechoslovakia. Czechs were considered Untermenschen (inferior) and were to be deported or turned into Germans. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were also killed.
Soviet troops freed Czechoslovakia, but they did take Subcarpathian Ruthenia (Czech land has the best names) for themselves on the way out. Over 2 million ethnic Germans were kicked out.
Czechoslovakia became a Communist country. In 1968 there was the Prague Spring, where they tried to be a bit liberal, but it was soon quashed because Russia invaded them.
In 1989 the Velvet (i.e., peaceful) Revolution restored democracy, and in 1992 Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The Czech Republic is famous for beautiful Prague:
Jan Svankmajer, Sigmund Freud, Franz Kafka. It has the highest density of castles in the world, and is the most eastern part of the western world.
Manit Day (Marshall Islands cultural day).
1866 Beatrix Potter born
1887 Marcel Duchamp born – do your kids think this is art?
Commemoration of the Great Upheaval (1755-64 Brits kicked out Acadians, French settlers, from Canada)
Ólavsøka Eve (Faroe Islands Parliament opens tomorrow on St Olaf’s Day, when there will be a boat race, Faroese chain dancing, etc.)
Anniversary of the Fall of Fascism: (San Marino, after WWII)
St Marinus founded San Marino when he built a church and monastery on Mount Titano, a secluded Alpine peak, in 301 A.D.
When Italy was being unified, San Marino protected those that were pro-unification, and this meant that Garibaldi let San Marino off the hook when it came to being part of Italy. San Marino made Abraham Lincoln one of its honorary citizens for trying to build a similar republic.
During WWI it remained neutral, which annoyed Italy so it cut its telephone lines. WWII it was neutral again.
In 1923-45 it was ruled by a fascist party; in 1945-57 it had the world’s first democratically elected Communist party.
It has no national debt, and makes a lot of income selling its own coins, its own Euros, and its own stamps to collectors. Their most famous dessert is the Torta de Tre Monti.
Independence Day (Peru from Spain):
Peru was home to the Norte Chico civilisation 3,000 years ago, the oldest civilisation in the Americas and one of only six known ancient civilisations in the world.
In the 15th century the Incas flourished, but in 1532 king Atahualpa was captured by Spanish conquistadors. Its silver resources and native slave labour made it valuable.
After it gained independence in 1821, it managed to find income through exporting guano (bird or bat poo).
Peru was defeated by Chile in the 1879-83 War of the Pacific (also involving Bolivia, over resources and land). Now it has problems with debt, drug-trafficking, inflation, human rights issues, corruption and all that.