June 25.

Happy 111th Birthday to one of Great Britain’s literary legends, Eric Arthur Blair.

The quick-witted amongst you may already have already clocked that Eric Blair was the the birth name of ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’ author, George Orwell – who, despite being born in India, is still celebrated as one of the UK’s true greats.

His works collectively coined a few terms, which sit under the umbrella of ‘Orwellian’, including totalitarian and authoritarian social practices such as ‘Big Brother’, ‘Room 101’ and ‘thought police’.

Little needs to be said of George’s literary works as his inspiration has spread far beyond a few books in dusty libraries. In fact, sales of ‘1984’ – a futuristic, (well, 1984 was in the future then) dystopian look at modern governance – rocketed after the activities of PRISM and NSA were disclosed to the public.

We like to think that would make the deceased Orwell smile.

Orwell was laid to rest in Oxfordshire following his death on 21st January, 1950 following a long-term battle with Tuberculosis. His tombstone has his birth-name etched onto it, with no mention of ‘George Orwell’ anywhere.

Other famous events to happen On This Day include:

  • The Queen opens the new British Library at St Pancras, London. (1998)
  • It rains in Britain for the first time in 100 days. (1921)
  • The Korean war begins. (1950)
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