On this day, October 22nd, in 1979, Mickey Mouse welcomed the 100-millionth visitor, 8-year-old Kurt Miller from Kingsville, MD, to Walt Disney World in Florida. Miller received a lifetime pass from Mickey and the Walt Disney World Vice President, Bob Allen.
The Walt Disney World Resort is the world’s most visited entertainment resort located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The resort includes four theme parks, two water parks, and 23 on-site themed resort hotels, a campground, two spas/physical fitness centers, five golf courses, and other recreational venues and entertainment. The resort, then containing only the Magic Kingdom theme park, opened on October 1, 1971 and has only grown since then. Some of these additions include Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Canadian born Mario Lemieux played 17 seasons for the Pittsburgh Penguins and in doing so, established himself as one of the NHL’s all-time greats. Lemieux was known for his impressive 6 ft 4 in frame and surprising ability to fake out defenders. In his career, Lemieux won three Hart Trophies, which are given to the MHL’s MVP.
On this day, December 31st, in 1988, Mario Lemieux became the first and only player to score 5 NHL goals in 5 different ways. In the game against the New Jersey Devils, Lemieux amassed a total of 8 points. Scoring from all five scoring situations was an unthinkable feat and fans watched in amazement as Lemiex scored in an even-strength, power-play, shorthanded, penalty shot, and empty net scenario.
Lemieux retired in 1997 and was named to the Hall of Fame that year. He would return to play for the Penguins from 2000-2006. Lemieux is currently the partial owner and chairman of the board for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Queen Victoria is one of the longest reigning monarchs in history. At 17 she became queen, and at 18 she was officially coronated. In 1876 she also gave herself the title of Empress of India, as the United Kingdom came to control much of India. At 21 she married her cousin Prince Albert, and they had 9 children. From there, 34 grandchildren were born, 26 survived, and they married throughout Europe’s nobility which made Queen Victoria “the grandmother of Europe.”
On this day December 31st, in 1857, Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa as the new capital of Canada. Ottawa is in the state of Ontario. Ontario’s largest city is Toronto, a place famous for its nightlife, towers, and a generally relaxed demeanor.
Ottawa is the second largest city. 2011 census stated that Ottawa’s population was 880,000, while its metropolitan area boasts over 1.3 million people. This city has been deemed one of the cleanest cities in the world. It has many canals, and part of the city is built around Ottawa sits on top of a dormant fault line which has been known to cause numerous earthquakes.
Bill Watterson is an American cartoonist and the author of the popular comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. He is known for his views on licensing, comic syndication, and reclusive nature. Watterson has said that he works for personal fulfillment and in his art, he incorporated various elements of his life, interests, beliefs and values. He spent most of his career trying to change the environment of newspaper comics.
On this day, December 31, in 1995, the last strip of Calvin and Hobbes was published after ten years because Watterson felt that he had achieved all he could in the medium. Throughout the years, Watterson combated pressures from publishers to merchandise his work. However, he always refused—stating that it would cheapen his comic and devalue the characters and their personalities. Watterson himself will not sign autographs and there have been many unsuccessful attempts to find him in his home.
Watterson left a legacy of changing the format of the Sunday comic strip. Before him, the strips were all a series of symmetrical rectangles for the artists to fill, but Bill Watterson gained an exception to these constraints and drew the panels of his comics exactly as he desired.
New Years Eve is full of celebration, dancing, and, of course, the Ball Drop. However, the 1999 Ball Drop in particular held much anticipation and fear for many New Years Eve celebrators around the globe.
On this day, December 31st, in 1999, businesses across the world prepared for the Y2K disaster, where computer systems around the world were rumored to stop working at midnight.
Computer systems usually abbreviated year dates to only two digits. At the turn of the century, many people worried that the computer systems wouldn’t know how to adjust. An estimated $300 billion was spent preparing for the Y2K crisis in the United States. An additional $13 billion was spent in 2000 and 2001 in order to fix problems with the computer systems. Worldwide, an estimated $308 billlion was invested in Y2K bug fixes.
The old adage “once in a blue moon” gives a sense of how rare an event a blue moon actually is. The name “blue” goes back to folklore, from the old English word belewe – “betrayer” – perhaps because of its unexpected showing. A blue moon is the second full moon in a month (typically only one full moon occurs monthly), so the appearance of a second one can throw off lunar calendar keeping; perhaps this was the trickiness belewe referred to. The event itself is not so rare – it happens once every two and a half years on average – but when combined with other rare astronomical phenomenon, particularly on the last day of the last year of the decade it is thought to be a good omen.
On this day, December 31, in 2009, a Blue moon occurred at the same time as a lunar eclipse.
Somehow, instead of considering the convergence of two such rare events to be another sign of the world’s impending doom, many astrologers went on record saying they considered the event a release of cosmic energy that will move metaphorical obstacles out of people’s lives. Had they lived a century before, in 1883, they might have gotten to see an actual blue colored moon: the volcano Krakatoa erupted, spewing plumes of ash into the atmosphere and filtering out the red color wavelengths. The ash stayed in the air for years, maybe even during the rise of a Betrayer Moon.