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Facts about Mother Teresa

MotherTeresa_“Don’t look for big things, just do small things with great love….The smaller the thing, the greater must be our love.”
Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (2007)

  •  Mother Teresa (1910–1997) was a Roman Catholic nun who devoted her life to serving the poor and destitute around the world.
  • She was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu on 26 August 1910.
  • In Albanian Gonxhe means “rosebud” or “little flower”.
  • She considered 27 August to be her real birthday as it was the day she was baptized.
Memorial_house_of_Mother_Teresa

Memorial house of Mother Teresa in Macedonia.

  • She was born in the town Uskup (now Skopje). Her family were Kosovan-Albanians. In 1910 Skopje was part of the Ottoman Empire. It is now in the Republic of Macedonia.
  • Her mother was known for her charity to the poor, often inviting the poor to share food with the family. As she counselled her daughter. “My child, never eat a single mouthful unless you are sharing it with others,’
  • 330px-Mother_Teresa_1In 1928, At the age of 18 Teresa, left home with the aim of becoming a Catholic missionary. She went first to the Loretto sisters in Ireland. She never saw her family again.
  • In 1929, she travelled to India, where she learnt Bengali. She arrived with the equivalent of 5 Rupees.
  • Mother Teresa learned and spoke five languages fluently. She spoke English, Albanian, Serbo-Croat, Bengali, and Hindi
  • In 1931 she made the decision to be a nun. She chose the name Teresa to honour St Therese of Lisieux and St Teresa of Avila.
  • She taught History and Geography at St Mary’s High School in Kolkata for 15 years and became its headmistress. Many of first to join her in her missionary work were former students.
  • Distressed by the sight of poverty and suffering, in 1946, she felt an inner call to serve the poor.

“I heard the call to give up all and follow Christ into the slums to serve Him among the poorest of the poor.” – Mother Teresa.

  • Mother Teresa gave up her traditional nun habit and adopted an Indian Sari – white with a blue edge.
  • The symbolism of her sari was that it was practical and in harmony with Indian culture. The colour blue is associated with the Mother Mary. White is associated with truth and purity. The three blue bands represent the three main vows of the order.
  • In Calcutta, Mother Teresa began an open-air school and established a home for the destitute. She persuaded the local city government to donate a dilapidated building she could use.
  • Over the next two decades, she established a leper colony, an orphanage, a nursing home, a family clinic and a string of mobile health clinics
  • In 1971, she opened her first house of charity in the west – in New York, US.
  • Mother Teresa often commented that the spiritual poverty of the west was harder to remove than the material poverty of the east.

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” – Mother Teresa (1989)

  • She eventually suffered a heart attack and had a pacemaker surgically fitted to her chest. Even after this devastating blow to her health, she continued her work for another eight years.
  • In 1958, the trademark white and blue saris were specially made in Titagarh by the Gandhiji Prem Niwas for leprosy patients.
  • In 1950 Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity. A religious order within the Roman Catholic church. It has over 4,000 nuns who take vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and service to the poor.  Its mission statement was to serve.

“The hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.”

  • The life and work of Mother Teresa were brought to the wider attention of the world through a film (1969) and a book (1972), Something Beautiful for God, by Malcolm Muggeridge.
  • Teresa did not seek to convert those she encountered to Catholicism. She wished to bring people closer to God, however they understood God.

“‘Yes, I convert. I convert you to be a better Hindu, or a better Muslim, or a better Protestant, or a better Catholic, or a better Parsee, or a better Sikh, or a better Buddhist. And after you have found God, it is for you to do what God wants you to do.”

  • Teresa saw herself as a spokesperson for the Vatican; she upheld the conservative teachings of the Catholic church on contraception, abortion and opposition to the death penalty.
  • Despite her apparent faith in dedicating her life to the poor, she also experienced periods of spiritual dryness.

“Where is my Faith—even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness & darkness—My God—how painful is this unknown pain.” Mother Teresa ‘Come be my Light

Prizes and honours

  • In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • She turned down the Nobel honour banquet and requested the $192,000  prize money to be used to help the poor in India.
  • After receiving the prize, she was asked: “What can we do to promote world peace?” Mother Teresa answered, “Go home and love your family.”
  • In 1985, President Ronald Reagan awarded her the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • In 1972 she was awarded the Indian ‘Nehru Prize’ –“for the promotion of international peace and understanding”.

Mother Teresa holding Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run. October 1st 1994. Church of San Gregorio in Rome, Italy

  • Mother Teresa, died of heart failure on September 5, 1997 age 87 – just five days after Princess Diana. Whom she had recently met.
  • In 2016, Mother Teresa was declared a saint by Pope Francis.

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Facts about Mother Teresa”, Oxford, UK. www.biographyonline.net, 18th Jan 2019.

Mother Teresa Biography

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No Greater Love – Mother Teresa

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Was the First World War justified?

August 2014 is the Centenary of the First World War – a dreadful war which cost the lives of millions of soldiers and civilians. An estimated nine million soldiers were killed and countless more civilians.

canadian-troops-over-top1-first-world-war

First World War

The first thing is to feel grateful that we didn’t live through such an appalling catastrophe and a waste of human life. War is undoubtedly man’s greatest tragedy and the emotional suffering of this ‘Great War’ is incomparable. I’m glad I didn’t have to make the choice that many young men of the 1914-18 period did.

However, if we could go back in time, would you fight for your country of birth or would you be a conscientious objector?

Was there any justification for the First World War?

Would I fight for Britain?

I am British and have often thought about this question.

Firstly, I believe the British Empire was wrong. Britain had no right to be ruling in India, African countries, parts of Asia and parts of the Middle East. I would not fight to save the British Empire because I would support the independence movements in Ireland and India.

If I joined the British army and found myself in India or Ireland, I would feel compromised because I wouldn’t want to be party to supporting an Empire which denied the democratic rights of the inhabitants.

However, the First World War wasn’t primarily about promoting the British Empire. Most soldiers were sent to the Western Front to fight the German army.

Defence of Belgium and France

Sometimes, the First World War is portrayed as a senseless war where we fought for no reason. However, in 1914, there seemed to be a certain moral necessity for Britain to be involved.

Although the causes of the First World War are complex and multifarious – in August 1914, Germany was invading Belgium and France. This violated Belgian neutrality and also French borders. Britain had signed a guarantee of Belgian independence, and should Belgium request support from an invading army, Britain had a treaty obligation to support.

This makes it very difficult not to join the British war effort. It is true, Britain was fighting for self-interest. We didn’t want Germany to dominate Europe, we wanted to protect our trade interests and also the rule of international law. But, it wasn’t entirely selfish. It was wrong for the Germans to invade Belgium and France. In that sense, the First World War could be seen as a defensive war against an invading army.

If Britain had stayed neutral, it is very likely that ultimately Germany would have defeated the French and occupied both Belgium and France. Germany was not a democracy but ruled by an autocratic military state and powerful Tsar. A military victory would arguably have strengthened the militaristic tendencies within Germany and the occupation of France and Belgium would have violated the rights of the Belgians and French.

German atrocities

German atrocities were definitely exaggerated by the Allied powers. Yet, they did occur. Belgian civilians were shot. The Germans did sink neutral shipping with civilians on board. It is inevitable that an invading and occupying army commit atrocities; another reason why the invasion of German forces needed to be opposed.

The Allies were definitely not blameless; for example, there are reports of shooting German prisoners of war soon after capture. But, when an invading army occupies a neutral country and kills innocent civilians – it becomes hard to refuse to fight.

The senseless nature of the conflict

In August 1914, there seemed to be a clear case for war. If the Allies had prevailed by Christmas – defeated the German army, reigned in imperialistic ambitions and restored the continent to peace – we may look back and think ‘What a wonderful war.’

But, the First World War didn’t end quickly and decisively. For the soldiers in the trenches, it seemed a senseless slaughter with lives needlessly sacrificed for inevitable failures. Sitting in a London coffee shop, it is easy to say the war was justified. But, when you are drowning in the mud of Ypres with death and destruction all around you – many soldiers (on both sides) started to ask – is it really worth it? Why are we fighting? They just wanted to go home.

“the old lie:
dulce et decorum est
pro patria mori”

Wilfred Owen

The long and bloody conflict meant the initial idealist aims seemed lost in the mud and death of the trenches. Both sides became increasingly desperate in their quest to win. The media was used to whip up hatred of the other side. People of German descent were abused in the street and there was a growing intolerance of any dissent from the official line.

Even if you see a moral justification for fighting for Britain, it is impossible not to sympathise with the horrors of the soldiers and their desire to just see the war end.

The difficulty is how could Britain have ended the war in 1916, 1917? It would have essentially meant giving into German demands and allowing the German army to occupy France. The death would have stopped, but it leaves a militaristic regime controlling most of Europe.

It is like a terrible Hobson’s choice – both continuing to fight and stopping fighting had terrible consequences.

Conclusion

I admire the courage of conscientious objectors. But, at the same time, I am not a pacifist. I do believe war can be justified to protect your country from an invasion.

I dislike the patriotic vitriol that was created in Britain and (all participant countries). Yet, despite that, there were still reasons to fight for Britain.

I don’t support the British Empire and many actions of Britain in the First World War (such as promising the Arabs a homeland in return for fighting against the Ottoman Empire – show how Britain could be deceitful and ignore democratic ideals when it felt like it.)

Yet, however, the many failings Britain had – the alternative of a militaristic Germany dominating Europe was much worse.

Would I fight for Germany?

If I was born in Germany, I would like to think I would be a conscientious objector. I believe following orders and fighting for your Fatherland is no excuse for supporting an illegal invasion. There are greater ideals than nationalism. Your country isn’t right, just because you were born in it.

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Was the First World War justified?”, Oxford, UK. www.biographyonline.net, 18th June 2014

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Famous Composers

A list of famous and influential composers throughout history, including the greatest composers Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Franz Schubert.

Composers of the Medieval period

hildegard-von-bingenHildegard von Bingen (1097 – 1179) German writer, mystic, composer and polymath. Hildegard wrote many liturgical songs, which pushed the boundaries of traditional Gregorian Chant. Her greatest work was Ordo Virtutum (Play of the Virtues) – a morality play.

Composers of the Renaissance period

 

john-dunstableJohn Dunstable (1390 – 1453) English composer of polyphonic music. Dunstable had a big influence on the development of music through his creation of chords with triads, which became known as the Burgundian School: la countenance angloise or “the English countenance” e.g Quam pulchra es.

Giovanni-da_PalestrinaGiovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525 – 1594) Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music. Palestrina was a prolific composer of masses, motets, madrigals and offertories. An influential work was Missa Papae Marcelli (Pope Marcellus Mass)

William_ByrdWilliam Byrd (1543 – 1623) English composer of the Renaissance. He wrote in many of the forms current in England at the time, including various types of sacred and secular polyphony. He helped the development of Anglican church music, and also secular vocal music with his use of Tudor consort and keyboard fantasia.

Composers of the Baroque Period

 

Henry_PurcellHenry Purcell (1659-1695) English composer of the Baroque period. Purcell wrote some early baroque classics such as Te Deum and Jubilate Deo. He also wrote for theatre and England’s first opera.

j.s.bachBach (1685 – 1750) German composer of the Baroque period. One of the most prolific composers of all time. Bach brought Baroque music to its pinnacle of musical maturity. Famous works of Bach include: Brandenburg Concertos, the Mass in B minor, St Matthew’s Passion, St John’s Passion; Bach also wrote organ pieces and over 300 sacred cantatas.

George_Frideric_HandelGeorge Frederick Handel (1685 – 1759) German-born composer who spent a lot of time in England. He wrote operas and oratorios. Famous works include Messiah “Hallelujah Chorus”, Music For The Royal Fireworks, Jephtha, Chaconne Variations in G  Coronation Anthems, Zadok the Priest.

Composers of the Classical Period

 

Joseph_HaydnJoseph Haydn (1732 – 1809) Prolific Austrian composer of the classical period. He helped develop chamber music such as the piano trio and string quartet. Also wrote amongst first extensive symphonies and contributed to the development of sonata. Haydn’s famous works include Cello Concerto No.1 in C major and Symphony No.94 in G major.

mozartMozart (1756 – 1791) Austrian classical composer. Composing from the age of 6, Mozart’s repertoire varied from light waltzes and dances to the spiritual elevating choral music of Missa Brevis and Mass in C minor. He composed over 600 pieces, including symphonies, operas (e.g. Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), concertos (e.g. Piano Concerto no. 21) and chamber music.

Ludwig_van_BeethovenBeethoven (1770 – 1827) German composer and pianist of the classical and romantic period. Another prodigious genius. Beethoven’s compositions invoked both tremendous power, and soulfulness; he had a lasting influence on western classical music. His greatest works include his Symphonies No.6 and his choral work Missa Solemnis.

Gioachino-RossiniGioachino Rossini (1792 – 1868) Italian composer. Rossini wrote 38 great operas, transforming the opera into its modern form. Great Italian works include The Barber of Seville (1816) and La Cenerentola. He also moved to Paris and wrote for the French theatre, including the operas Count Ory (1828) and William Tell (1829)

Franz_SchubertFranz Schubert (1797 – 1828) Austrian composer who bridged the classical and romantic periods. One of the few composers to evoke the spirit of Mozart, especially in his work – Symphony number 5. Schubert composed seven symphonies sacred music, operas and piano music. He was also a great composer of secular vocal songs. Famous works include his immortal version of Ave Maria D.839Piano Sonata in A major, D 959, Symphony in C major (Great C major, D 944), and Symphony No.5 in Bb major D.485.

Composers of the Romantic Period

 

Hector_BerliozHector Berlioz (1803 – 1869) French composer of the Romantic period. Berlioz composed a Requiem for 210 voices Grande Messe des morts (Requiem) and Symphonie fantastique. He made significant contributions to the romantic period and the development of the modern orchestra.

Felix-MendelssohnFelix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847) German composer of the romantic period. Mendelssohn wrote symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano music and chamber music. His famous works include Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave) (1830), Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 (1844) and his piano compositions – ‘Songs without words’

frederic-chopinFrederick Chopin (1810 – 1849) Polish-born classical composer. Important compositions include piano collections, Études, Opp. 10 and 25, and the 24 Preludes, Op. 28. Chopin also wrote numerous polonaises, sonatas, waltzes, impromptus and nocturnes. Chopin is the most influential composer for the piano, becoming a staple for all piano students.

Franz_LisztFranz Liszt (1811 – 1886) Hungarian composer and virtuoso pianist. Liszt was a prominent member of the “New German School” of musicians. Significant compositions include Piano Sonata in B minor (1853), “Liebesträume No. 3”. He also transcribed for the piano great works by other composers, such as Schubert. Also developed new musical ideas, such as the symphonic poem.

Giuseppe-verdiGiuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901) Italian opera composer of the romantic period. Verdi is considered one of the greatest opera composer of all time. Famous works include “Va, Pensiero” (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves), the “Coro di zingari” (Anvil Chorus) from Il Trovatore and the “Grand March” from Aida. He also composed other works outside opera, such as Messa da Requiem (1874).

Richard-WagnerRichard Wagner (1813 – 1883) German composer who wrote epic operas such as the  Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). Beginning in the romantic tradition, Wagner developed his own complex and unique style of ‘total art.’

Johann_Strauss_IIJohann Strauss Jr. (1825 – 1899) Austrian composer of popular light music. He wrote over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles. Famous works include Blue Danube Waltz, Egyptian March, Persian March and Roses from the South Waltz.

Johannes-BrahmsJohannes Brahms (1833 – 1897) German composer who spent most of his life in Austria. Although of the romantic period, Brahms used many of the principles of baroque and classical music in his compositions. Famous works include Violin Concerto in D major, Op 77, “Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90: Allegro con brio”  and Sinfonia n. 2 em ré major op. 73

TchaikovskyPyotr Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893) Russian composer. Tchaikovsky was the greatest composer of the Romantic period. Compositions include the 1812 Overture, Romeo and Juliet Overture, Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor and ballet compositions – Swan Lake and Nutcracker.

Saint-SaensCamille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 1921) French composer, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. Famous works include  Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah (1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880) and The Carnival of the Animals (1887).

Rimsky-KorsakovNikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 – 1908) Russian composer who infused a Russian tradition of folk music into a classical genre. He wrote five operas, symphonies and orchestral works. Famous works include Scheherazade, Capriccio Espagnol  (including The Flight of the Bumble Bee).

Gabriel-FaureGabriel Faure (1845 – 1924) French composer of the late Romantic period. Faure composed intimate Chamber music and many compositions for the piano. Famous works include choral masterpieces – Pavane and Requiem, and his Nocturnes for piano, such as Après un rêve” and “Clair de lune”.

Edvard_GriegEdvard Greig (1843 – 1907) Norwegian composer. Greig was one of the most notable composers of the Romantic period. Famous works include – Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 16, Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46, IV. (In the Hall of the Mountain King) and Peer Gynt Suite No.1

Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Century – neo-classical / Impressionist

Edward_ElgarEdward Elgar (1857 – 1934) English composer who created many great orchestral works of the late classical repertoire. Famous works include Enigma Variations (1899) and Symphony No. 2 in E-flat, Op. 63 (1909–1911). Many works are important for British / English musical identity, e.g. Pomp and Circumstance, (including Land of Hope and Glory)

Gustav_MahlerGustav Mahler (1860 – 1911) (Austrian Empire / now the Czech Republic) Mahler was a composer of the late Romantic period. His symphonies (No. 5, No. 2 and No.1) have become some of the best known in the classical repertoire.

Claude_DebussyClaude Debussy (1862 – 1918) French composer of Impressionist music. Debussy used non-traditional scales and chromaticism to develop new strands of classical music. Famous works include Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque), Reverie (1890) and Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune.

Sergei_RachmaninoffSergei Rachmaninoff (1873 –1943) Russian composer. Rachmaninoff wrote five works for piano and orchestra. His most popular works included Concerto No. 2 in C minor, and Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 (1909). Rachmaninoff was one of most daring composers, noted for his difficult pieces and extensive chords.

Gustav_HolstGustav Holst (1874 – 1934) English composer best known for his orchestral works The Planets. Holst was influenced by Wagner, but later developed his own style inspired by both English folk music and Indian mythology / Vedas.

stravinsky-igorIgor Stravinsky (1882-1971) Russian born composer, who lived in both France and America. He was an influential composer for his development of neo-classical styles. He wrote ballets, such as The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911) and The Rite of Spring (1913)

George_GershwinGeorge Gershwin (1898 – 1938) American composer who combined both classical and popular music. Famous for his modern jazz classic Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and the opera “Porgy and Bess.”

Dmitri-shostakovichDmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975) Russian composer who fused neo-classical and post-romantic styles. Famous works include Waltz, no.2, Symphony No. 15 and Piano Concerto No.2.

Leonard_BernsteinLeonard Bernstein. (1918 – 1990) American composer. The conductor of the New York Philharmonic orchestra. Bridged classical music and popular music. Wrote musicals: “On The Town,” “Wonderful Town,” and “West Side Story.”

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Famous Composers”, Oxford, UK. www.biographyonline.net Published 4 March. 2015. Last updated 8 February 2018.

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Famous Austrians

maria_theresiaMaria Theresa (1740–1780) The only female ruler of the Habsburg Empire. Maria Theresa succeeded to the throne after the death of her father Charles VI. With great strength of will, Maria held together the disparate empire and instituted military, financial and education reforms which strengthened the international position of the Habsburg Empire.

Marie Antoinette (1755 – 1793) Born in Vienna Austria, she had an arranged marriage to the King of France (King Louis XVI) to help secure peace between the two countries. The marriage was not a great success, with Marie Antoinette often held up as a symbol of Royal decadence and profligacy, which was a factor in the French revolution. The negative portrayal was heightened by her Austrian origins. Whether fair or not, she was executed in 1793 for treason and holding principles in opposition to the French revolution.

mozartMozart (1756 – 1791) (Austria)  Born in Salzburg, and spending much of his life in Vienna, Mozart was one of the greatest classical composers of all time. A child prodigy, Mozart began composing at the age of six, and by the time he died, aged just 35, he had completed a remarkable array of symphonies, opera, chamber music and more.

Franz_SchubertFranz Schubert (1797 – 1828) Born in Vienna, Schubert was one of the great composers of the late classical and romantic period. He composed symphonies, sacred choral work, operas and a large body of piano music.

johann_straussJohann Strauss, Sr., composer (1804 –  1849) Austrian composer. He was famous for his waltzes and marches. His most famous work was the Radetsky March. The work became an unofficial anthem of Austria and was used to celebrate Austrian military victories.

Franz_LisztFranz Liszt (1811 – 1886) Hungarian born composer and virtuoso pianist. Liszt was a prominent member of the “New German School” of musicians. Significant compositions include: Piano Sonata in B minor (1853), “Liebesträume No. 3”. He also transcribed for the piano great works by other composers, such as Schubert. Also developed new musical ideas, such as the symphonic poem. Read On…

Famous Olympic track and field stars

Carl Lewis (1961 – ) USA, Athletics. Nine-time Olympic gold medallist, Carl Lewis won gold over three Olympics and was the great star of 1980s track and field. Lewis won gold in the 100m, 100m relay and long jump.

Jesse Owens (1913-1980) USA, Athletics. Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He was the star of the Berlin Olympics, much to the chagrin of Hitler. Despite suffering racial discrimination in his own country, he remained a great ambassador for the sport.

Usain Bolt (1986 –) Jamaica, Athletics. Usain Bolt won triple Olympic gold at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Bolt won gold in the events 100m, 200m and 100m relay gold. He set an amazing world record time of 9.58 for the 100m, and 19.19 for the 200m. By 2016, he had also won 11 world championship golds.

Al_oerterAl Oerter (1936 – 2007)  USA, Athletics. Four time Olympic champion in the discus throw. Winning Olympic gold from 1956 to 1968. Oerter was the first to break 200 feet for the discus.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1962-) USA, Athletics. One of the most successful female track and field athletes. Kersee won Olympic medals in four Olympics between 1984 and 1996. Her best year was 1988, where she won Olympic gold in Heptathlon and Long Jump. In 1992, she returned to win gold in the heptathlon. In 1996, she managed bronze in the long jump.

edwin-mosesEdwin Moses (1955 – ) USA, Athletics. Moses was a champion 400m hurdler. He won Olympic gold in 1976 and 1984. He set the world record four times in his chosen event. Moses was also instrumental in changing rules on allowing Olympic athletes funding and also promoting drug testing.

Sergei_bubkaSergei Bubka (1963 –) Soviet Union/Ukraine, Athletics. Bubka broke the world record for the pole vault on 35 occasions. His outdoor record was increased from 5.85m in 1984 to 6.14m in 1994. Olympic gold medallist 1988.

Jim_ThorpeJim Thorpe (1888 – 1953) USA, Athletics, American Football, Baseball and Basketball. One of the greatest all-round sportsmen, Thorpe won Olympic gold in the decathlon and pentathlon (1912). He also had a successful career in the NFL.

Babe_Didrikson_ZahariasBabe Didrikson Zaharias (1911-1956) USA, Athletics, Golf. Ground-breaking female athlete who achieved success in basketball, track and field, and golf. At the 1932 Olympics, she won gold in the 80m hurdles, javelin and achieved silver in the high jump.

Bob_BeamonBob Beamon (1946 –) USA, Athletics. Olympic gold in Long jump set in 1968, Mexico. Famous for his record breaking jump of 1968 – 8.90m – which broke the existing record by 55cm and stood for 22 years.

Shelly-Ann_Fraser-PryceShelley Ann Fraser Pryce (1986 – ) Jamaica, Athletics. Won Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012 in  100m. Also 7 times world champion with golds in 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

Jessica_EnnisJessica Ennis (1986 – ) Great Britain, Heptathlon. Olympic gold in heptathlon 2012. Ennis missed the 2008 Olympics due to injury. For the 2012 Olympics, she was featured as the ‘face’ of the games. Despite the pressure of the home games, she was a convincing Olympic champion in the Heptathlon event.

Fanny_Blankers-KoenFanny Blankers-Koen (1918-2004) Netherlands, Athletics. In the 1948 London Olympics, she won four gold medals at 100m, 200m, 80m hurdles and 4x100m relay. Her performances earned her the nickname ‘The flying housewife’ and helped to change perceptions of female athletics. She won five European Championship gold medals.

Hicham_El_GuerroujHicham El Guerrouj (1972 – ) Morocco, Athletics. Double Olympic gold medallist in 2004 in 1500m and 5000m. Set World Record for mile at 3.43.13 and 1500m of 3.26.00.

David_RudishaDavid Rudisha (1988 -) Kenya, middle distance running. Rudisha provided one of the greatest performances in the 2012 London Olympics, winning the 800m in a new world record – 1.40.91.  He is also double world champion at the 800m, his favourite
event.

kinenisa-BekeleKenenisa Bekele (1982 – ) Ethiopia, Athletics. Triple Olympic gold medallist at 5000m and 1000m. Set new World Record for 5000 metres: 12:37.35. 10,000 metres: 26:17.53.

Paavo_NurmiPaavo Nurmi (1897 – 1973) Finland, Athletics. Dominated middle distance running in 1920s, winning nine Olympic gold medals and setting 22 new world records from 1500m to 20km.

Haile_GebrselassieHaile Gebreselassie (1973 – ) Ethiopia, Athletics. Two-time  winner of the Olympic gold in 10000m. Held world record for the marathon for 3 years with 2.03.59.

Cathy_FreemanCathy Freeman (1973 – ) Australia, Athletics. Freeman was the first Aboriginal athlete to win Commonwealth Games. She won Olympic gold in 2000 when Sydney hosted the games.

 

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. Famous Olympic Track and Field, Oxford, www.biographyonline.net, 28th July 2016.

 

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The socialism of George Orwell

A look at the socialist beliefs of George Orwell. Also, a look at his writings on Soviet Communism.

George-OrwellGeorge Orwell was a fascinating figure and brilliant writer. He was an idealist, who is best known for his work in warning of the dangers of totalitarianism (whatever its political form) This can be seen in the two classics 1984, and Animal Farm. Orwell was also a committed socialist who sought to promote a more egalitarian and fairer society.

“Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.”

George Orwell, “Why I write” p. 394

Firstly, George Orwell was definitely a democratic socialist. He stated this consistently throughout his life – from the mid-1920s to his death in 1950. It is true that he wrote a compelling account warning of the dangers of a totalitarian state. But, Orwell always maintained that just because you severely criticised Soviet-style Communism didn’t make you any less a socialist. In fact, socialism as Orwell understood it, stood for all the values – democracy, liberty, equality – that Soviet Communism rejected. Orwell believed that only a truly democratic Socialist regime would support liberty.

“And the only regime which, in the long run, will dare to permit freedom of speech is a socialist regime. If Fascism triumphs I am finished as a writer — that is to say, finished in my only effective capacity. That of itself would be a sufficient reason for joining a socialist party.”

– George Orwell, “Why I Joined the Independent Labour Party

Homage to Catalonia

Orwell detested Soviet-style Communism – a belief strengthened when he ended up fighting Soviet-backed Communists during the Spanish civil war – Orwell went to Spain to fight against Fascism and for the Republican movement. As a member of the ILP, he joined a fraternal Spanish party – POUM – a small Marxist / Anarchist / Socialist grouping who had strong utopian Socialist ideals. Orwell loved their utopian Socialism.

“Socialism means a classless society, or it means nothing at all. And it was here that those few months in the militia were valuable to me. For the Spanish militias, while they lasted, were a sort of microcosm of a classless society. In that community where no one was on the make, where there was a shortage of everything but no privilege and no bootlicking, one got, perhaps, a crude forecast of what the opening stages of socialism might be like. And, after all, instead of disillusioning me it deeply attracted me. The effect was to make my desire to see socialism established much more actual than it had been before.”

George Orwell, ‘Homage to Catalonia’

But, Stalin wanted to crush all left-wing parties who were not the Communist party; this led to a civil war amongst the Republican movement in Spain. Orwell got caught up in this and it made him really disgusted with Stalin and the Communist party.

“the Communists stood not upon the extreme Left, but upon the extreme right. In reality this should come as no surprise, because the tactics of the Communist parties elsewhere.

George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia

This experience of fighting alongside socialist idealists and against Stalinist backed Communist party, only strengthened his belief in democratic socialism.

Down and out in Paris and London

Orwell had a privileged upbringing – he studied at Eton College, along with many future members of the British establishment. After school, he got a job in the Burmese civil service. But he came to reject his class privileges and also grew to detest the British Empire. In Down and out in Paris and London and Road to Wigan Pier, Orwell wanted to experience the difficult life that working class people experienced. These experiences in Paris, London and Wigan made Orwell very sympathetic to the cause of the working class, and Orwell believed it was socialism that was the fairest way to help create a more equal society.

“For perhaps ten years past I have had some grasp of the real nature of capitalist society. I have seen British imperialism at work in Burma, and I have seen something of the effects of poverty and unemployment in Britain…. One has got to be actively a Socialist, not merely sympathetic to Socialism, or one plays into the hands of our always active enemies.”

– George Orwell, “Why I Joined the Independent Labour Party

Animal Farm

Animal Farm is an allegory on revolutions which fail their ideals. It is clearly an indictment of the Russian Revolution. Orwell made no secret of the fact that he detested what Stalin was doing in Russia. Orwell was scathing of left-wing intellectuals (like George Bernard Shaw) who thought Soviet Russia was a Socialist paradise. Orwell lamented that Communists in Britain were too liable to excuse Stalin’s crimes and paint a picture of Russia which was not reality.

To Orwell, Soviet Russia was a failing of democratic Socialist ideals. Stalin had merely replaced one dictatorship (old Tsars) with another more murderous dictatorship.

Independent Labour Party

George Orwell was a member of the Independent Labour Party (ILP). The ILP was one of the founding forces of the British Socialist and Labour movement. Their roots were strongly influenced by Christian Socialism and the Fabian movement. Key figures in the party included John Keir Hardie, Ramsay MacDonald and James Maxton.

To give a flavour of the ILP 1928, the ILP developed a “Socialism in Our Time” platform, embodied in the programme:

  1. The Living Wage, incompletely applied.
  2. A substantial increase of the Unemployment Allowance
  3. The nationalisation of banking, incompletely applied
  4. The bulk purchase of raw materials
  5. The bulk purchase of foodstuffs
  6. The nationalisation of power
  7. The nationalisation of transport
  8. The nationalisation of land

Conclusion

Unfortunately, many in America equate Socialism with Soviet Communism. They are unaware that Socialist ideals have nothing to do with Stalin’s policies. Orwell saw Stalin and Hitler as pursuing essentially the same aim of creating a totalitarian state. Orwell wrote against totalitarianism and passionately for a democratic and fair Socialist society in Britain.

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “The socialism of George Orwell”, Oxford, UK. www.biographyonline.net. | 14th July 2014.

 

Animal Farm and 1984

Book Cover

 

Animal Farm and 1984  by George Orwell at Amazon

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Famous socialists – From Karl Marx the founder of Marxism to leading Communists, such as Lenin and Leon Trotsky. Also democratic socialists of US and UK.

Famous Firsts

A list of famous firsts throughout human history. Including famous firsts in exploration, science, transport, politics, sport, culture and the arts.

First in Exploration

1492Christopher Colombus becomes the first European from a major power to land in the Americas (now the Bahamas). Columbus was probably preceded by others, such as the Viking Leif Erikson in the 10th Century.

1773 – Captain James Cook – becomes the first person to cross the Antarctic Circle.

1911 – 14 December – Roald Amundsen (Norway) first person to reach the South Pole.

Amundsen

Amundsen at the South Pole

 

1926 – Roald Amundsen (Norway) recognised as being the first person to reach the North Pole.

1932 – Amelia Earhart – 1st transatlantic solo flight by a woman. Flying from Newfoundland to Ireland in 15 hours.

1947 – Chuck Yeager becomes the 1st person to fly faster than the speed of sound. (670 mph in the Bell X-1 rocket.)

everest

Mount Everest

1953 – Sir Edmund Hillary, with Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay, become the first men to climb Mt. Everest.

Flight

1783 – Nov. 21. – Marquis d’Arlandes and Pilatre de Rozier become the first humans to fly in a hot-air balloon for 20 minutes, in Paris.

First_flight2

1903 – 17 Dec. Wright Brothers make the first powered flight in North Caroline in a flight lasting 12 seconds.

Firsts in Politics

508 BC – First attempts to introduce concepts of democracy on a significant scale in ancient Greece, e.g.  democratic reforms of Cleisthenes. (see: People who shaped democracy)

Magna_Carta

Magna Carta

1215 – 15 June. Magna Carta. The 1st charter which sought to limit the power of kings by law. Magna Carta established principle of habeas corpus (see: Key events in history of democracy)

1542 – Spain enacted the first European law Leyes Nuevas‘ abolishing colonial slavery.

1777 – Thomas Jefferson drafted Virginia’s  Act of Establishing Religious Freedom. First bill to explicitly allowing religious freedom in
1789 1st Amendment to US constitution allowing freedom of thought and religious belief was adopted.

1789 – John Jay becomes 1st US Supreme Court chief justice.

1870  – Jefferson Long becomes the 1st African American elected to U.S. House of Representatives (for Georgia)

1946 – Trygve Lie (Norway) becomes the 1st Secretary General of United Nations.

1967 – Thurgood Marshall the 1st African American to become a Supreme Court justice.

1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor – 1st female US Supreme Court justice.

Invention / Science

1668 – First reflecting telescope invented by Sir Isaac Newton.

1790 – Samuel Hopkins became the holder of US Patent #1. He patented a process for making potash and pearl ashes.

Mariecurie1911  – Marie Curie becomes the 1st person ever to win two Nobel Prizes. Curie received Nobel Prizes in Physics (1903) and the second in Chemistry (1911) She was also the first women to receive Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry.

Firsts in Sport

490 BC – 1st Marathon. Greek legend says that Pheidippides, a Greek messenger ran from the battle of Marathon to Athens to declare Greece had won. (and collapsed and died after delivering the message.)

1896 – Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin (French) – Organises the 1st Modern Olympic games.

1896 – 10 April 1st Olympic marathon was won by Spyridon Louis, in 2:58:50

1872 – 16 March 1872 Wanderers beat Royal Engineers in the first F.A. Cup final, at the Kennington Oval. The first major football competition to be played.

1875 – Matthew Webb  (GB) becomes the first person to swim across the English Channel.

1903 – Maurice Garin (France) 1st Tour de France winner.

1930  – 30 July. Uruguay becomes the first country to win the first World Cup, held in Uruguay.

1954 – 6 May – Roger Bannister (GB) becomes the 1st person to run a mile race in under four minutes (3 minutes 59.4 seconds). He broke the four-minute barrier at Iffley Road, Oxford on the. His time was

1968 – Jim Hines (US) – First person to run 100m under 10 seconds (9.95)

1969 – 19 November  Pelé scored his 1000th goal in all competitions. Becoming the first and only player to reach that milestone.

1984 – Joan Benoit (US) wins first women’s Olympic Marathon in a time of 2 hours 24 minutes and 52 seconds.

usain-bolt2012 – Usain Bolt (Jamaica) becomes the first athlete in history to retain the Olympic 100m and 200m titles after winning previous 2008 games. He went on to win another three gold medals at the 2016 Olympics

Firsts in Culture

105 – Cai Lun (China) credited with the first papermaking process

1440 – Johannes Gutenberg (Germany) invents the world’s first printing press which enables the mass production of books.

gutenberg-press

1455 – The Gutenberg Bible was the first major book printed in Europe with movable metal type by Johannes Gutenberg.

1597 – Jacopo Peri (Italy) writes the world’s first opera in Florence in Italy. It was called Dafne.

1623 – William Shakespeare’s First Folio publishes 36 of Shakespeare’s plays.

1917 – Original Dixieland Jazz band make first ‘jazz’ recording “Livery Stable Blues”

1920 – Babe Ruth becomes the first player to hit 50 home runs in a season – changing the game of baseball into a big hitting game

1927 – Al Jolson is the main star of the first talking movie – “The Jazz Singer.”

1939 – Franklin D. Roosevelt – 1st US president to speak on television.

1955  – Nat King Cole – 1st African American US Television host on  “The Nat King Cole Show”

2000 – Amazon and Microsoft collaborate to make available one of the first ebook readers. Also, free software Glassbook ebook reader for PC is launched.

First in Transport

1817 – Karl von Drais (Germany) builds the first ‘wooden horse’ a prototype for the modern bicycle (though there were no pedals on this wooden horse)

1830 – George Stephenson builds the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. The world’s first major inter-city railway.

1837  –  Isambard Kingdom Brunel launches the ‘Great Western’, – the first steamship to engage in transatlantic service

1885 – John Kemp Starley, produced the first successful “safety bicycle” – which is close to the standard used by bicycles today.

1885/86 – Karl Benz built and tested the world’s first purpose-built car powered by an internal petrol combustion engine

1887 – John Dunlop invents the first practical pneumatic tyre, first used on bicycles and later on motor cars

1892 – Rudolf Diesel (German) patents his first diesel engine for the motor car

1961 – Yuri  Gagarin (Russian) becomes the first man to travel to outer space – completing an orbit of the earth on 12 April 1961.

1969 – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become first men to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo moon landing programme

1963 – Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova – Russian cosmonaut becomes the 1st woman in space.

Women

1553 – Queen Mary I –  1st reigning queen of England.

1608 – Juliana Morell  (Spanish nun) First woman to earn a doctorate degree – Doctor of Laws degree

1865 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836 – 1917) – Britain’s first qualified female doctor. She passed the medical exam and obtained a licence (LSA) from the Society of Apothecaries. She set up her own medical practice. In 1873 was the first women to be admitted to the British Medical Association (BMA)

1875 – Stefania Wolicka, first women to receive honours degree in the modern era – from the University of Zurich in 1875.

1762 – Ann Franklin – 1st woman to hold the title of a newspaper editor, “The Newport Mercury” in Newport, RI.

1849 – Elizabeth Blackwell – 1st woman to receive a medical degree in US. (from the Medical Institution of Geneva, N.Y.)

1869 – Arabella Mansfield (US) 1st American woman lawyer. A year later, Ada H. Kepley, of Illinois, graduates from the Union College of Law in Chicago. She is the first woman lawyer to graduate from a law school.

1893 –  Elizabeth Yates (NZ) elected Mayor of Onehunga,  the first female mayor in the British Empire. In that year, Women given the vote in New Zealand, a first for modern democracies.

1972 – Billy Jean King – named Sports Illustrated ‘sportsperson of the year’ – becoming the first women to be given honour.

1975 – Junko Tabei (Japan)  — 1st woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.

1979  Margaret Thatcher  – 1st Female Prime Minister of UK (1979-90)

1988 – Benazir Bhutto – 1st Female Prime Minister of Pakistan, and first female Prime Minister of Muslim country.

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Famous Firsts”, Oxford, UK. www.biographyonline.net 3 Feb. 2015. Last updated 25 July 2015.

 

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People of the American Civil War

A list of over 20 famous and influential figures in the American Civil War (1861 – 1865) Includes politicians, generals, soldiers, spies and social activists.

Politicians

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th President of the US from 1861-1865. Lincoln’s election caused the south to secede from the US. Lincoln led Union forces to resist the split and preserve the Union. After a long war, Union troops prevailed. The Civil War enabled Abraham Lincoln to promise the end of slavery, and in 1865 a bill to outlaw slavery was passed. Lincoln was assassinated shortly after the end of the war.

President-Jefferson-DavisJefferson Davis (1808 –  1889) Davis was a senator from Mississippi. During the Civil War, he was the President of the Southern Confederate States who wished to retain slavery and break away from the Union. Davis was considered an ineffective leader, often getting lost in detail and lacking popular appeal. Despite some military successes, the Confederate States slowly lost ground economically, politically and on the battlefield. After the war, he was arrested for treason though he was never tried.

President_Andrew_JohnsonAndrew J. Johnson (1808 – 1875) A Senator from Tennessee, Johnson rejected the southern secession and remained with the Union cause. He was a Union military governor of Tennessee, and in 1864, Lincoln chose him as Vice-President. Johnson as a Southern Unionist was an ideal candidate for Lincoln who wanted to unite the country. After Lincoln’s assassination, Johnson became President (1865 – 1869) He opposed the implementation of federal voting rights to Black Americans and enabled southern states to rejoin the Union while denying voting rights to former black slaves.

salmon-chaseSalmon P. Chase (1808 – 1873) Chase was a leading opponent of slavery and supported voting rights for black Americans. He also helped to found the modern Republican party as a new party opposed to slavery. After losing the 1860 nomination, he served as US Secretary of the Treasury during the Civil War. In his tenure, Chase set up a national banking system to help fund the war effort. After the Civil War, Chase served as Chief Justice of the US.

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Famous people of the Cold War

The Cold War was a period of military and political tensions between the Soviet Union (and Warsaw Pact members) and the US (and NATO allies). The Cold War lasted roughly from 1947-1991.

After the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, the two wartime allies – the Soviet Union and the US became increasingly split on ideological and political grounds. This led to the division of Europe into the Eastern (Communist) block and Western Europe (democracy)

Berlin wall

Throughout the ‘Cold War,’ the two main protagonists the Soviet Union and the US, avoided direct confrontation, but there was a confrontational build up in nuclear weapons and, during the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’ of 1961, the two sides came close to war. Also, throughout the period, minor conflicts, such as the Korean War and the Vietnam War, were played out in proxy between the major powers and their allies.

Key events in the Cold War include

  • Berlin Blockade (1948-49) the Soviet Union trying to gain control of the whole of Berlin
  • Korean War (1950-53) US fighting Communist North Korea.
  • Berlin Crisis (1961) – Building of Berlin Wall to stop people leaving the East
  • Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) – Closest to nuclear war as the Soviet Union moved nuclear missiles towards Cuba.
  • Vietnam War (1955-75) US involved in fighting Vietcong Communist forces
  • 1970s – Strategic Arms limitations talks leading to a period of détente.
  • 1979 – Soviet invasion of Afghanistan restoring tensions.
  • 1980 – Olympic boycott. First by the US in Moscow then by the Soviet Union in US 1984.
  • Mid-1980s – Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduces perestroika (reorganisation) and glasnost (openness).
  • 1989. Gorbachev allows Eastern European countries to break away from Warsaw Pact and overthrow the Communist one-party state.
  • 1991 – Formal dissolution of the USSR.

Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) After leading Great Britain in the Second World War, he was one of the first leaders to raise the spectre of an ‘Iron Curtain’ descending across Europe.

Dwight Eisenhower (1890 – 1969) Eisenhower was supreme military commander of Allied forces in Western Europe. When President of the US 1953-61, he articulated a domino theory – arguing Communism should be stopped before allowing it to spread.  He ended the Korean War in 1953, but sent the first US troops to Vietnam and prepared to intervene in Cuba. He made some attempts to limit nuclear weapon proliferation, but this was generally unsuccessful, and nuclear stockpiles increased on both sides.

Joseph Stalin (1879 – 1953) Leader and dictator of the Soviet Union. After the end of the Second World War, Stalin was committed to taking ideological and political control of Eastern Europe. He saw this as a buffer zone against the West. This attempt to control Eastern Europe was one of the main factors in the birth of the Cold War.

John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963) US President (1961-63) As President he helped to defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis which came perilously close to escalation. He delivered a famous speech in West Berlin arguing the Berlin Wall showed the failure of Communism. In 1961, he ordered the expanse of the Space Race programme.

nikita-krushchevNikita Khrushchev (1894 – 1971) Successor to Stalin. He led the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 during the tense years of the Cold War. He cut conventional forces, but built up the number of nuclear missiles and was involved in the stand-off when in 1962 missiles were sent to Cuba – an ally of the Soviet Union.

Leonid_BreznevLeonid Brezhnev (1906-1982) Brezhnev took over from Khrushchev in 1964. He followed a policy of détente with the West – signing treaties to limit the proliferation of nuclear arms. He also ordered the invasion of Czechoslovakia in the Prague Spring of 1968. Brezhnev also ordered Soviet troops into Afghanistan in 1979, rekindling Cold War tensions.

willy-brandtWilly Brandt (1913-1992) German politician and statesman. After WWII he became the Mayor of Berlin – playing a key role during the Cold War tensions, centred around Berlin. Brandt became Chancellor of Germany in 1979. He sought rapprochement with the East and creating a stronger, united Europe.

Charles de Gaulle (1890 – 1970) Under de Gaulle’s presidency, France became a member of the EEC, and de Gaulle encouraged a European federation. However, he sought to lead France on a non-aligned course and withdrew France from NATO in 1969. He criticised the US involvement in the Vietnam War.

Yuri_AndropovYuri Andropov (1914 – 1984) As Soviet Ambassador to Hungary, he ordered the suppression of the Hungarian revolution of 1954. He was later elected to Chairman of KGB, where he suppressed dissent and encouraged the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. He was the leader of the Soviet Union for 15 months in 1982-84.

U_Thant U Thant (1909 – 1974) was a Burmese diplomat and the third United Nations Secretary-General. U Thant played a crucial role in diffusing the Cuban Missile Crisis and was widely respected for his calmness, detachment and commitment to conflict resolution in his role as UN Secretary-General 1961-1971.

Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 – ) Russian President from 1984-1991. Gorbachev initiated a policy of Glasnost and Perestroika. These policies of reform and openness led to a decline in Cold War tensions, the fall of the Berlin wall and the ending of Communist party rule in the Soviet Union. He negotiated with Reagan to reduce nuclear weapons, and unlike his predecessors, allowed Eastern European countries to leave the Warsaw Pact and become independent democracies.

Lech Walesa. (1943-) Leader of the Polish Solidarity Movement – he helped to bring about the end of one-party Communist rule. Became first non-Communist President in 1991. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983.

Pope John Paul II (1920 – 2005) Pope John Paul met with the main protagonists of the Cold War and led to improved relations between the Soviet Union and the Vatican. Considered a moral force for reducing Cold War tensions.

Neil Armstrong (1930 – 2012) US Pilot and astronaut. In 1969, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to successful land and walk on the moon, giving the memorable quote. Armstrong saw the Space Race as a helpful diversion from Cold War Tensions

Lyndon Johnson (1908 – 1973) – US President 1963-69. Johnson took over from the assassinated JFK. He expanded America’s role in Vietnam and took a hard line against Communism.

Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004) – US President (1980 – 1988) Reagan pursued an aggressive anti-Communist foreign policy. But, in his second term was involved in negotiations which led to arms reductions.

samantha-smithSamantha Smith (1972 – 1985) Samantha was an American schoolgirl. In 1982, she wrote a leader to the leader of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov, asking why relations between the US and the Soviet Union were so tense. Her letter was published in Pravda, and later Andropov replied. Smith was also invited to visit the Soviet Union, which she did – saying she found Russians to be just like Americans.

Writers

writerGeorge Orwell (1903 – 1950) – English author. Famous works include Animal Farm, and 1984. Both stark warnings about the dangers of totalitarian states. Orwell was one of the first to coin the term ‘Cold War’ back in 1945.

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Famous People of the Cold War”, Oxford, www.biographyonline.net, 4th February 2015. Updated 12 January 2018.

The Cold War: A New History

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Events that changed the world

 

Famous people of the Progressive Era

The Progressive Era was a period in American history from 1890 to the 1920s. The Progressive Era saw a mixture of political and social change, which sought to reduce inequality, corruption and introduce reforms to make society fairer.

Key Elements of the Progressive Era

  1. Anti-corruption. In the Nineteenth Century corruption was a major problem in American politics with local bosses controlling key positions of patronage and power. Progressives, such as Theodore Roosevelt, sought to take on corrupt political and voting practices.
  2. Labour market reforms. Progressives sought to reform working conditions. This included health and safety, the right to unionise and higher pay.
  3. Anti-trust. The Gilded Age saw the development of monopolies which were highly profitable. In the Progressive Era, the government tackled many monopolies through anti-trust legislation.
  4. Women’s suffrage. The Progressive Era saw the culmination of efforts to give all women the vote (Nineteenth Amendment)
  5. Modernisation. Progressives generally sought the implementation of new scientific and business methods to overturn outdated customs and improve efficiency. This included Taylorism and the assembly line.
  6. Limited civil rights. Some progressives sought to improve conditions of black Americans, but the Progressive Age failed to end decades of segregation. In fact, the 1890s to 1920s saw the implementation of many ‘Jim Crow laws’ cementing segregation between races.
  7. Prohibition. Many progressives supported the banning of alcohol ‘prohibition’. One of the motivations was that they hoped it would reduce the economic power of salon owners who often exercised great influence.

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