Walter Tull was the first ever Black officer in the British Army, and the first black officer to lead white men into battle. He was also only the second black player to compete in the top division of football, playing for the Tottenham Hotspur and Northhampton Town. An unassuming pioneer, his life has inspired a play, a documentary and a petition. As part of a series of coins on the centenary of the Great War, The Royal Mint has begun a programme of commemoration that will continue over the next five years, telling the emotive story of the journey from outbreak to armistice through a series of United Kingdom £5 coins, arranged in six-coin sets. Passed over for the Military Cross, allegedly due to the Army's institutional racism that banned "negros and other persons of colour" advancement to officer ranks, Walter Tull has his own coin at last.
The 100th Berliner Sechstagerennen (Six Day Race) ran from Jan 27 to Feb 1 2011, continuing the local tradition started in 1909.
Dr Richard Bing has been around for awhile. Dr Richard Bing celebrated his 100th birthday October 2009. [more inside]
One hundred years ago today (12/16/08), Maria de los Remedios Varo Uranga, (aka Remedios Varo) was born the Catalan region of north-east Spain. She attended the Academia de San Fernando in Madrid, where she was a classmate of Dali, Buñuel, and Lorca. She joined the Surrealist movement in France, but WWII forced her into exile in Mexico where she fully developed her artistic style. [more inside]
Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care sees the return of the literary James Bond to the 1960s. Published on May 28th in celebration of creator Ian Fleming's Centenary, the 007 brand name will also be back on the big screen in November - with Daniel Craig's second outing as the British Secret Service Agent in Quantum of Solace. [more inside]
Today is the centenary of W.H. Auden, one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. Why not commemorate it by attending one of the many events honoring the man and marking the day? Auden wrote about anything and everything; his poems addressed such topics as the advent of World War II ("September 1, 1939", which gained new resonance after 9/11), grief ("Funeral Blues", used to great effect in Four Weddings and a Funeral), physics ("After Reading a Child's Guide to Modern Physics"), commencement addresses ("Under Which Lyre: A Reactionary Tract for the Times") unrequited love ("The More Loving One"), and the way life goes on ("Musée des Beaux Arts"). [more inside]