Thursday, March 8, 2012


This year is a big year for commemorating historic anniversaries. While every year has its share of special anniversary dates, 2012 has several historically significant ones. The Coronado Public Library has many resources for you to view images or films and read interesting books about these special anniversaries. We had already mentioned in our last blog the 50 year anniversary of the Navy Seals and the Coronado Library's special collection of books on special operations.  Here are some of the anniversaries:

The War of 1812 - 200 Years Ago:

The War of 1812, a war between the United States and England, occurred 200 years ago. The war saw many see-saw battles and events, including the burning of the White House, but it was famous for the sea battles involving the U.S.S Constitution, nicknamed "Old Ironsides." The ship was involved in several successful battles with British ships during the blockade. It was victorious in the battle with HMS Guerriere depicted above. The Battle of New Orleans was another famous U.S. victory. The war lasted two and a half years.

Map of the War of 1812.

The Birth of Charles Dickens - 200 Years Ago:

Charles Dickens was born February 7, 1812, at Landport in Portsea, England. He was the second of eight children born to John and Elizabeth Dickens. Charles had a happy childhood until he was 12, which changed when his father was sent to Debtor's Prison, soon followed by the rest of the family except Charles. He became a journalist as an adult and soon began writing stories and novels. Hi books are classics of English literature and are still read avidly today. Among the best known are: The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, Sketches by Boz, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol, Bleak House, Little Dorrit, A Tale of Two Cities, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

1912 - 100 Years Ago:
Two significant events occurred in 1912, one tragic one wonderful. The Girl Scouts USA was founded in March 12, 1912 in Savannah, Georgia. The other event was the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912.

Tutankhamen's Tomb - 90 Years Ago:
Englishman Howard Carter found Tutankhamen's tomb in Egypt on November 5, 1922. This was by far the best preserved and most intact Pharaoh's tomb ever found in the Valley of the Kings. Carter and his group found Tutankhamen's nearly intact tomb. News was spread around the world, which subsequently sparked a classical Egyptian influence in jewelry, fashion, art and decorative objects. Exhibitions of artifacts from his tomb have toured the world including the U.S.

Tutankhamen's burial mask at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

The Battle of Midway - 70 Years Ago:
This naval battle is considered the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II.  It had been only six months since Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.  Between June 4 -7,1942, one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the United States Navy  defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy and their attack against the Midway Atoll. Military historian John Keegan called it "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare."

Navy Douglas SBD Dauntless airplanes at the battle of Midway.

The Battle of Midway was also the first naval battle in which opposing ships were beyond sight of each other. The airplanes from the opposing aircraft carriers carried the battle, fighting each other and with the enemy ships.

Chart of the Battle of Midway
Space Flight of the Mercury Friendship 7 - 50 Years Ago:
John Glenn made America's first orbital flight on February 20,1962, piloting the Mercury-Atlas 6 Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first manned orbital mission of the United States. He circled the Earth three times.

Astronaut John Glenn exits the Mercury spacecraft.

Cuban Missile Crisis - 50 Years Ago:
In August 1962, Cuban and Soviet governments began building bases in Cuba for a number of medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic nuclear missiles capable of striking the United States. President Kennedy and the U.S Armed Forces responded by deploying U.S. Naval forces to form a blockade of Cuba in October 1962. U.S destroyers and frigates intercepted not only merchant shipping en route to Cuba, but also Soviet submarines, while Navy aerial photographic and patrol aircraft monitored and enforced the blockade. These actions led to
a negotiated agreement with the U.S.S.R. and thus averted a possible nuclear war. 

On a more cheerful note, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released 75 years ago.

Walt Disney's Snow White was the first animated feature film, which premiered in Hollywood on December 21, 1937. Before its release it was often considered "Walt Disney's Folly." The rest is history.

Find out more about these events at the Coronado Public Library.