I’m launching a new database of historic anniversaries

When pondering things to write on this blog, it’s useful to know if there are any particularly interesting historic anniversaries coming up in the future.

It’s fairly easy, if tedious to wade through “this day in history” databases to see what happened, and if any of the dates are interesting.

After all, while finding out that something happened 648 years ago is interesting, but as a historic anniversary, the 650th is going to be more noteworthy than the 648th.

What is needed is a database that lists just the key anniversaries that are coming up.

So I have created one.

Currently based largely on “this day in history” records, it will be added to over time, but I think enough is now there to release the first version.

So, you can now learn that this month marks the 25th anniversary of the completion of the M25, or as I wrote recently, the 40th anniversary of the rededication of London Bridge in Arizona.

Or you can look to next month and learn that it is the 70th anniversary of the sinking of HMS Ark Royal, or 400 years since William Shakespeare’s The Tempest was first performed.

It might give fellow scribes hints about interesting things to write about – and I have been using it for the past couple of months while I was working on the database.

You can have a look at the system in the new Anniversaries section on the website – which is now also a menu option at the top of the website.

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8 Comments

  1. What a great idea! This is something I’ve often wanted to see – I got tired of looking through Wikipedia’s ‘On This Day’ pages to see what had happened.

    A couple of questions though:

    1. Would you consider putting up an API for this, or releasing the database in some other way? I think it’d be a great tool for other websites to build off.

    2. How did you get the data into the database? Presumably you automatically scraped it from other sites, entering it manually would have taken you years!

    Anyway, great work – thanks

    Robin

    • IanVisits

      1) Open minded at the moment – but I will probably build a “add missing events” type function if I do.

      2) It was all entered manually – sadly, there isn’t a database of UK only key dates so it had to be edited by hand. Which is why it has taken a few months to build.

  2. Thanks Ian – this is something I will definitely use.

  3. Thanks for this. I’ll certainly use it for inspiration and pub quiz facts.

    Wasn’t HMS Belfast celebrating 40 years of being in London this week? I think that’s what the 40-gun salute was all about on Friday.

  4. Dude, this is brilliant. Great idea!

  5. Thank you, what a brilliant piece of work!

  6. Ian, you truly are a hero of the internet age. Well done.

  7. Mo

    Like the new format of your site.

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