6 historical anniversaries being celebrated in 2018

7th Jan 2019

100 years since Stonehenge was given to the nation

In 1918 Stonehenge was gifted to the nation by Cecil Chubb, the land owner at the time due to concerns about it collapsing. This meant the ancient monument could be enjoyed by everyone and duty of conservation fell to the state. English Heritage now conserve Stonehenge on behalf of the state and the National Trust own much of the surrounding land.
Stonehenge stands in Wiltshire and was constructed between 3000 and 2000BC. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 due to its complexity and importance. It’s the most architecturally sophisticated stone circle in the world, using interlocking joints not seen at any other prehistoric monument.
If you haven’t been, it’s definitely worth a trip to see this awe inspiring monument!

100 years since the end of the First World War

2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the armistice came into effect, ending World War I.
There will be a series of events taking place across the UK and Europe and church bells will ring out across the country throughout the day on November 11th, just as they did to mark the end of the war in 1918. Quadriga completed restoration work to the bronze World War I monument in Manchester Victoria station, a stunning tribute to those who lost their lives. A special edition £2 coin has also been released to commemorate the 100 year anniversary.
You can find out more on the British Legion website.

200 years since Frankenstein was written

Often called the first science fiction novel, Mary Shelley’s iconic work was published in January 1818. The novel has inspired film adaptations, comics and plenty of Halloween costumes! The Royal Mint is releasing a commemorative coin to mark the anniversary. Why not use this opportunity to read or reread this classic novel!

150 years since the invention of traffic lights
It’s been 150 years since the traffic light was invented by railway signalling engineer J P Knight. The first traffic light sat outside Parliament in London to control horse-drawn traffic. It was powered by gas with red and green lights illuminated by a flame to signal stop and go. Unfortunately not long after it was installed, it exploded and injured a police officer. The project was abandoned and development was set back until electric lights became available.

100 years since British women over 30 got the vote

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act. This legislation allowed women over the age of 30 to vote as well as all men who hadn’t previously been able to. This act represents the first of many milestones in the fight for democratic equality. The UK suffrage movement was born in Manchester when Emmeline Pankhurst hosted the first meeting of the Women’s Social and Political Union at her home on Nelson Street. The building now serves as a women’s community centre and museum and is definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Manchester. A special edition 50 pence coin has been released to mark the anniversary and a statue of Emmeline Pankhurst is set to be unveiled in St Peter’s Square, Manchester on 14th December this year.

90 years since Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin

It’s been 90 years since Alexander Fleming discovered the mould that first made penicillin. While studying influenza, he noticed that mould had accidentally developed on a set of culture dishes being used to grow the staphylococci germ (a bacteria that can cause skin infections amongst other nastier things). The mould had created a circle around itself completely free from bacteria and after further experiments, Fleming named the substance penicillin. Two other scientists, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain developed penicillin further so it could be used as the drug we know today. All three were awarded a shared Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1945.

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