There are particular days of the year that have been ingrained into the minds of many because of their historical significance.
Human history has seen both positive and negative events take place with the anniversary of significant events often providing a cause for celebration. However there are also a number of anniversaries which arouse feelings of remorse, contemplation and sadness.
We detail 10 dates which are remembered for good and bad reasons every year.
1. February the 14th 498 AD The feast of Saint Valentine
Today this day is informally referred to as Valentine’s Day. It is a sentimental day for couples to show their love for one another through greetings cards and other celebrations.
It occurs on February the 14th each year and is typically celebrated in Western countries. Originally this day was brought about by Pope Gelasius to celebrate an early Christian Saint named Valentinus. It is thought the romantic elements of this day were introduced many centuries later by a number of poets. However it is still celebrated as a feast day by the Anglican and Lutheran churches.
2. December 1st 1988 1st World AIDS Day
World Aids Day was first established in August 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter; two public information officers who were working for the World Health Organisation on a Global AIDS programme.
The day has been celebrated on December the 1st each year since December the 1st 1988 and it brings about opportunities for health officials, government bodies, individuals and charities to raise awareness, offer speeches and provide support to sufferers with the aim of bringing about changes and improvements regarding this illness and its prevalence.
3. November 9th 1989 The fall of the Berlin Wall
The construction of the Berlin Wall began in 1961 on the instruction of the German Democratic Republic in East Germany with the purpose of separating West and East Berlin, the wall also completely separated West Berlin from East Germany (by land).
Communists in the East of Germany claimed that the wall protected its population from fascism and that it helped the people to build a socialist state. The wall certainly prevented mass immigration and defection following the Second World War. In 1989 The East German Government Citizens of the German Democratic Republic could visit West Germany and West Berlin sparking mass celebration and the beginning of the walls demolition.
4. August 6th 1945 US drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima
At 8.15 A.M on August the 6th 1945 the US Military dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. This event killed thousands in Japan but led to the official end of the Second World War.
The weapon was dropped after the Japanese authorities failed to respond to the Potsdam declaration on the 26th of July in 1945. The declaration was put together by the US the UK and the republic of China and it warned the Japanese of ‘prompt and utter destruction’. The bombing of Nagasaki followed the bombing of Hiroshima, finally bringing about the surrender of Japan to the Allies on September the 2nd 1945 when they signed the ‘Instrument of Surrender’.
5. June 18th 1815 Napoleon defeated at the battle of Waterloo
On this day in 1815 Napoleon decided to attack the armies of the seventh coalition in present day Belgium. The enemy troops consisted of Prussian forces and an Anglo-allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington. Napoleon timed his attack hoping that his men might defeat Wellington’s allied force before they could be joined by the Prussians. But Napoleon failed, he abdicated, surrendered to the British forces and was exiled to the island of Saint Helena where he died in 1821.
6. May 22nd 1960 Great Chilean Earthquake
The Great Chilean earthquake of 1960 is the largest recorded earthquake in history measuring a staggering 9.5 in magnitude by the US. The quake resulted in thousands of deaths from the resulting tsunamis, landslides and the direct effects of the earthquake. The death toll estimates range from 2,231 to 6,000. The quake lasted for 11 minutes and the tsunamis reached as far away as Hawaii and Japan. The quake encouraged the authorities all over the world in quake prone cities to improve building codes and tsunami warning systems.
7. July 20th 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing
On this date in history the first humans set foot on the Moon. The astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin travelled to the moon in the Apollo 11 space craft. They touched down on the lunar surface at 20.18 UTC and Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the natural satellite 6 hours later at 02.56 UTC.
8. July the 4th 1776 American Independence day
July the 4th 1776 is the date in history that the United States adopted the Declaration of Independence. The declaration is best described as a legal separation of the thirteen colonies in the US from Great Britain.
The declaration has been celebrated ever since in the US as a federal holiday where people mark the occasion with celebrations including fireworks, carnivals, barbecues and sporting events.
9. 14th of October 1066 The Battle of Hastings
The Battle of Hastings occurred during the Norman conquest of England and it involved the Norman French army under the command of Duke William II of Normandy and the English army under King Harold II.
The legends tell us that King Harold was killed when he was shot through the eye with an arrow during the battle. The battle of Hastings is considered as a very important event in history as it is the date that William gained control of England becoming King William I and the first Norman ruler.
10. September the 11th 2001 Terrorist attacks
On this date the cities of New York and Washington DC were the target of four separate coordinated suicide attacks. The most memorable of these attacks was the destruction of the World Trade Center as a result of two passenger planes which flew into the twin towers causing their complete collapse. The attacks resulted thousands of deaths with people still suffering to this day as a result of the toxic dust that they breathed in the aftermath of the destruction.