The invention of basketball


James Naismith – the inventor of Basketball and credited with introducing the first American football helmet – died on this day in 1939. He wrote the original basketball rulebook and founded the University of Kansas basketball program. Before he died he watched basketball being adopted as an Olympic demonstration sport in 1904 and as an official event at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, as well as the birth of both the National Invitation Tournament (1938) and the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship (1939).

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Elvis The Musical opens


On this day in 1977 Elvis The Musical opened for the first time at the Astoria Theatre in London. Elvis was portrayed by three actors: Tim Whitnall as Elvis in his early years; Shakin’ Stevens as Elvis in his army and movie star years; and PJ Proby as Elvis in his Las Vegas years. Live musical accompaniment was provided by the rock and roll revival group, Fumble.

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Happy Birthday Anders Celsius


Anders Celsius, inventor of the centigrade scale and thermometer, was born November 27th 1701 in Uppsala, Sweden. The Celsius (or centigrade) thermometer scale, which set the freezing point of water at 0° and the boiling point at 100°, is still widely used today.

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Britain’s first police woman


On this day in 1914 Britain’s first ever police woman  went on duty in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Mrs Edith Smith, a member of the Women Police Service, was called to service by Lincolnshire’s Chief Constable to curb the upsurge in prostitution in the area which resulted from the large numbers of army personnel being billeted there for training.




Happy Birthday Tina Turner


Tina Turner was born on November 26th 1939 in Nutbush, Tennessee. The  singer/ dancer/ actress/ author has a career spanning more than half a century, and is now a  Swiss citizen. Her most notable works include “River Deep – Mountain High” (1966), “Proud Mary” (1971) and “What’s Love Got to Do with It”

Rolling Stone ranked her number 63 on their 100 greatest artists of all time. In 1991, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Sex Pistols release Anarchy in the UK


On November 26th 1976  the Sex Pistols released their debut single, Anarchy in the UK. The song later featured on the band’s only album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistol, and is number 56 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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First Thanksgiving celebrated in US


On November 26th 1789  George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide thanksgiving celebration in America. He announced it should be “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”.

This year, Thanksgiving is celebrated on October 14th in Canada and on November 28th in the US.  Festivities include eating traditional dishes such as turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year, with modern components such as watching American football and enjoying parades now commonplace.

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