Public Domain Day

Public Domain describes when the Copyright protection of various works expires and this work enters into the Public Domain. This legal transition usually happens annually on 1 January which has since been declared Public Domain Day. The observance of a “Public Domain Day” was initially informal; the earliest known mention was in 2004 by Wallace McLean (a Canadian public domain activist), with support for the idea echoed by Lawrence Lessig. As of 1 January 2010 a Public Domain Day website lists the authors whose works are entering the public domain. There are activities in countries around the world by various organizations all under the banner Public Domain Day.

Public Domain concerns the expiry ofCopyright protection terms which are typically described as the life of the author plus a certain number of years after his or her death (or pma: post mortem auctoris). In many jurisdictions, this usually means that 70 years have passed since the day of author’s death. After that period, the works of those authors become fully available so that everyone – without any need for prior authorization – can access and use them for any purpose whatsoever. Legally, this happens on New Year’s Day (January 1). That means that in those countries, the works of authors who died, anywhere in the world, in 1936, passed into public domain on 1 January 2007.

Since public domain rights vary based on jurisdiction, the passage of a work into the public domain is not worldwide. The most noticeable exception is the United States, where no additional published works will enter the public domain automatically until 2019. Australia’s copyright scheme is even more restrictive, with no Public Domain Day possible until 2026. In Europe various works will pass into the public domain, as will Canada and New Zealand. Many more works would be entering the public domain if not for the copyright extension that has occurred several times in the past several decades.

Public Domain Day in 2010 celebrated the entry to the public domain in many countries of the works of authors such as Sigmund Freud, William Butler Yeats, Ford Madox Ford and Arthur Rackham. In 2011 it celebrated the public domain status of Isaac Babel, Walter Benjamin, John Buchan, Mikhail Bulgakov, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Emma Goldman, Paul Klee, Selma Lagerlof, Leon Trotsky, Vito Volterra, Nathanael West, and others.

Big four railway Companies (GWR, LMS, LNER, SW) Nationalised

On 1 January 1923, almost all the railway companies were grouped into the Big Four: the Great Western Railway, the London and North Eastern Railway, the London, Midland and Scottish Railway and the Southern Railway companies. A number of other lines, already operating as joint railways, remained separate from the Big Four; these included the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway and the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway. The “Big Four” were joint-stock public companies and they continued to run the railway system until 31 December 1947. The LNER Class A4 streamlined express trains of the 1930s offered a high-speed alternative to road transport.

The competition from road transport during the 1920s and 1930s greatly reduced the revenue available to the railways, even though the needs for maintenance on the network had never been higher, as investment had been deferred over the past decade. Rail companies accused the government of favouring road haulage through the construction of roads subsidised by the ratepayer, while restricting its ability to use flexible pricing because it was held to nationally-agreed rate cards. The government response was to commission several inconclusive reports; the Salter Report of 1933 finally recommended that road transport should be taxed directly to fund the roads and increased Vehicle Excise Duty and fuel duties were introduced. It also noted that many small lines would never be likely to compete with road haulage. Although these road pricing changes helped their survival, the railways entered a period of slow decline, owing to a lack of investment and changes in transport policy and lifestyles. During the Second World War, the companies’ managements joined together, effectively operating as one company. Assisting the country’s ‘war effort’ put a severe strain on the railways’ resources and a substantial maintenance backlog developed. After 1945, for both practical and ideological reasons, the then Labour government decided to bring the rail service into the public sector.

So On 1 January 1948, the railways were nationalised to form British Railways (latterly “British Rail”) under the control of the British Transport Commission.Though there were few initial changes to the service, usage increased and the network became profitable. Regeneration of track and stations was completed by 1954. In the same year, changes to the British Transport Commission, including the privatisation of road haulage, ended the coordination of transport in the UK. Rail revenue fell and, in 1955, the network again ceased to be profitable. The mid-1950s saw the hasty introduction of diesel and electric rolling stock to replace steam in a modernisation plan costing many millions of pounds but the expected transfer back from road to rail did not occur and losses began to mountThis failure to make the railways more profitable through investment led governments of all political persuasions to restrict rail investment to a drip feed and seek economies through cutbacks.

This desire for profitability led to a major reduction in the network during the mid-1960s. Dr. Richard Beeching was given the task by the government of re-organising the railways (“the Beeching Axe”). This policy resulted in many branch lines and secondary routes being closed because they were deemed uneconomic. The closure of stations serving rural communities removed much feeder traffic from main line passenger services. The closure of many freight depots that had been used by larger industries such as coal andiron led to much freight transferring to road haulage. The closures were extremely unpopular with the general public at that time and remain so today.Passenger levels decreased steadily from the late fifties to late seventies. Passenger services then experienced a renaissance with the introduction of the high-speed Intercity 125 trains in the late 1970s and early 1980s.The 1980s saw severe cuts in government funding and above-inflation increases in fares, but the service became more cost-effective.

Between 1994 and 1997, British Rail was privatised Ownership of the track and infrastructure passed to Railtrack, passenger operations were franchised to individual private sector operators (originally there were 25 franchises) and the freight services sold outright (six companies were set up, but five of these were sold to the same buyer). The Conservative government under John Major said that privatisation would see an improvement in passenger services.

E.M. Forster OM CH

rwav-emfEnglish novelist E. M. Forster OM, CH was Born 1st January 1879. He was also a short story writer, essayist and librettist. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. Forster had a humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy. His 1908 novel, A Room with a View, is his most optimistic work, while A Passage to India (1924) brought him his greatest success.Howards End tells a story of social and familial relations in turn-of-the-century England. Howards End is generally considered to be Forster’s masterpiece. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Howards End 38th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

A Room with a View is about a young woman in the repressed culture of Edwardian era England. Set in Italy and England, the story is both a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century. Merchant-Ivory produced an award-winning film adaptation in 1985. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked A Room with a View 79th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.The first part of the novel is set in Florence, Italy, It features a young woman named Lucy Honeychurch who is touring Italy with her overbearing older cousin and chaperone, Charlotte Bartlett. At their hotel, “The Pension Bertolini.”they meet Mr. Emerson and his son, George Emerson, and also meet an Anglican clergyman named Mr. Beebe. The next day, Lucy embarks on a tour of Florence with another guest, Miss Eleanor Lavish, a novelist who shows Lucy the back streets of Florence and subsequently loses her in Santa Croce, where Lucy meets the Emersons again and while in Santa Croce Lucy sees the seedy underbelly of Florence and faints but George Emerson catches her, As a result Lucy takes a bit of a shine to George. Lucy decides to avoid George, partly because she is confused by her feelings and partly to keep her cousin happy. Later at, a party made up of Beebe, Eager, the Emersons, Miss Lavish, Miss Bartlett and Lucy Honeychurch make their way to Fiesole In the fields, Lucy asks her driver where Mr. Beebe is. Misunderstanding, he leads her to a field where George stands. George is overcome by Lucy’s beauty among a field of violets and kisses her, but they are interrupted by Lucy’s outraged cousin. The two women leave for Rome the next day before Lucy is able to say goodbye to George.

The second part starts off in Rome, where Lucy spends time with Cecil Vyse, who proposes to Lucy but is rejected. When Lucy returns to Surrey, England to her family home, Windy Corner. Cecil proposes again , and she accepts. Despite Cecil being a sophisticated and “superior” Londoner who is desirable in terms of rank and class; he is slightly comical figure. The vicar, Mr. Beebe, announces that new tenants have leased a local cottage; the new arrivals turn out to be the Emersons. Lucy’s brother, Freddy, meets George and invites him to go skinny dipping in a nearby pond with himself and Mr Beebe. They are interrupted by Lucy, her mother, and Cecil. Freddy later invites George to play tennis at Windy Corner. Although Lucy is initially mortified, she resolves to be gracious. George catches Lucy alone in the garden and kisses her again. Lucy subsequently breaks off her engagement to Cecil and decides to flee and encounters Mr. Emerson senior who finds out Lucy has been in love with his son George all along.

In some books, an appendix to the book is given entitled “A View without a Room,” written by Forster in 1958 as to what occurred between Lucy and George after the events of the novel. It is Forster’s afterthought of the novel, and he quite clearly states that “I cannot think where George and Lucy live.” They were quite comfortable up until the end of the war, with Charlotte Bartlett leaving them all her money in her will, but World War I ruined their happiness according to Forster. George became a conscientous objector, lost his government job but was given non-combatant duties to avoid prison, leaving Mrs Honeychurch deeply upset with her son-in-law. Mr Emerson died during the course of the war, shortly after having an argument with the police about Lucy continuing to play Beethoven during the war. Eventually they had three children, two girls and a boy, and moved to Carshalton. Despite them wanting to move into Windy Corner after the death of Mrs Honeychurch, Freddy sells the house becoming an unsuccessful but prolific doctor.”After the outbreak of World War II, George immediately enlisted as he saw the need to stop Hitler and the Nazi regime but he unfortunately was not faithful to Lucy during his time at war. Lucy was left homeless after her flat in Watford was bombed and the same happened to her married daughter in Nuneaton. George rose to the rank of corporal but was taken prisoner by the Italians in Africa. Once Italy fell George returned to Florence finding it “in a mess” but he was unable to find the Pension Bertolini, stating “the View was still there and that the room must be there, too, but could not be found.”

Howard’s End concerns three families in England at the beginning of the 20th century: the Wilcoxes, rich capitalists with a fortune made in the Colonies; the half-German Schlegel siblings (Margaret, Tibby, and Helen), who have much in common with the real-life Bloomsbury Group; and the Basts, a struggling couple in the lower-middle class. The Schlegel sisters try to help the poor Basts and try to make the Wilcoxes less prejudiced. The Schlegels frequently encounter the Wilcoxes. The youngest, Helen, is attracted to the younger Wilcox brother, Paul. The eldest, Margaret, becomes friends with Paul’s mother, Ruth Wilcox. Ruth’s most prized personal possession is her family house at Howards End. She wishes that Margaret could live there, as her own husband and children do not value the house and its rich history, So Ruth, who is terminally ill, bequeaths the cottage to Margaret causing great consternation among the Wilcoxes. So Mrs Wilcox’s widowed husband, Henry, and his children decide not to tell Margaret about her inheritance.Not knowing about the inheritance, free-spirited Margaret becomes friends with Henry Wilcox and eventually marries him.

However Henry’s elder son Charles and his wife try to keep Margaret from taking possession of Howards End. Helen tells Leonard Bast to quit his respectable job as a clerk at an insurance company. Bast then loses his tenuous hold on financial solvency. and Helen tries to help young Leonard Bast. Sadly it all goes terribly wrong when it is revealed that Bast’s wife had an affair with Henry in Cyprus ten years previously and abandoned her. Margaret confronts Henry about his ill-treatment. In a moment of pity for the poor, doomed Leonard Bast, Helen has an affair with him and leaves England to travel through Germany, but eventually returns to England when she receives news of her Aunt Juley’s illness but refuses to meet with Margaret but is tricked into a meeting at Howards End Henry and Margaret plan an intervention with a doctor, thinking Helen’s evasive behavior is a sign of mental illness. When they come upon Helen at Howards End, they also discover the pregnancy. Margaret tries in vain to convince Henry to forgive Helen. Unaware of Helen’s presence Mr. Bast arrives at Howards End wishing to speak with Margaret, whereupon Henry’s son, Charles, attacks him, and accidentally kills him, Charles is charged with manslaughter and sent to jail for three years. The ensuing scandal and shock cause Henry to reevaluate his life…

apti-emfA Passage to India (1924) is set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. It was selected as one of the 100 great works of English literature by the Modern Library and won the 1924 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. Time magazine included the novel in its “100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005″. The novel is based on Forster’s experiences in India. E.M.Forster borrowed the book’s title from Walt Whitman’s poem Leaves of Grass.The story revolves around Dr. Aziz, his British friend Mr. Cyril Fielding, Mrs. Moore, A young British schoolmistress, Adela Quested, and her elderly friend, Mrs. Moore,who visit the fictional city of Chandrapore, British India. Adela is to marry Mrs. Moore’s son, Ronny Heaslop, the city magistrate. Meanwhile, Dr. Aziz, a young Indian Muslim physician meets Mrs Moore at his favourite mosque. Mrs. Moore tells Ronny Heaslop about Dr Aziz. Adela, Meanwhile attends a party held by Mr. Turton, the city tax collector, where she meets Cyril Fielding, headmaster of Chandrapore’s government-run college for Indians. Fielding then invites Adela and Mrs. Moore to a tea party with himself, a Hindu-Brahmin professor named Narayan Godbole and Dr. Aziz. At Fielding’s tea party, Fielding and Aziz become great friends

Aziz Takes Mrs. Moore and Adela to see the Marabar Caves, a distant cave complex. In the first cave, however, Mrs. Moore is overcome with claustrophobia. Afterwards Fielding, Mrs. Moore, and Aziz return to Chandrapore on the train. When the train arrives At the train station, Dr. Aziz is arrested and charged with sexually assaulting Adela in a cave. She reports the alleged incident to the British authorities.The run-up to Aziz’s trial for attempted sexual assault releases the racial tensions between the British and the Indians. The only actual evidence the British have is the field glasses in the possession of Dr. Aziz. Despite the British colonists assertion that Aziz is guilty Fielding believes Aziz is innocent as do the Indians, who consider the assault allegation a fraud aimed at ruining their community’s reputation. Mrs. Moore also  suspects Aziz is innocent. Ronny, alarmed by his mother’s assertion that Aziz is innocent, arranges for her to return by ship to England however she dies during the voyage.

Global Family Day

gfdGlobal Family Day, (One Day of Peace and Sharing) is celebrated every January 1 in the United States and around the world as a global day of peace and sharing. It is a day where individuals and families share food with friends (especially the needy), make personal pledges of nonviolence, and spread a message of peace and sharing by ringing bells or beating a drum in hopes of making society and the world a safer place to live. Global Family Day grew out of the United Nations Millennium celebration, “One Day In Peace.”

Originally supported in the United States by Linda Grover, the original idea itself is difficult to pin down because many grassroots efforts around the world had independently sprung up to target this date as a day for peace and had worked separately to prevail on local governments and the U.N. to establish such a day. These efforts included a 1996 children’s book “One Day In Peace, January 1, 2000″ by Steve Diamond and Robert Alan Silverstein, which was translated into 22 languages. As a result, nearly 140 nations were poised to respond to the November 1997 declaration of the U.N. General Assembly that the first year of the new millennium should launch an “International Decade for the Culture of Peace & Nonviolence for the Children of the World” which would be ushered in by “One Day of Peace.”

Finally, in November 1999, the U.N. issued a formal invitation for world participation. As the independent grassroots organizations around the world joined the effort, one notable outcome was a special ceremony initiated by Gerry Eitner between Israeli and Palestinian families, at a refugee camp in Nablus. Later that year, the United States Congress followed the U.N. initiative and unanimously voted to establish the first day of every year as a special time of peace and sharing. In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly established this Observance as a recurring annual event, also recommending that all Member states recognize the new holiday To date, more than 20 heads of state and many ambassadors have endorsed what has now become known as Global Family Day. Global Family Day has twice received the unanimous support of the U.S. Congres, the UN General Assembly (Resolutions, and more than 30 sitting heads of state and ambassadors representing more than two-thirds of the world’s population.

People of the United States have been urged to observe Global Family Day and One Day of Peace and Sharing by the President who issues an annual proclamation, calling upon the people of the United States to observe Global Family Day, One Day of Peace and Sharing, and for other purposes.In 2005, Dr. Milton A. Reid and Cassandra West, Chairman and President respectively of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Life Institute, were invited to the United Nations for the support of Global Family Day for the International Day of Families. On September 26, 2006, President George W. Bush issued a Presidential Proclamation for Family Day, as special request, of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Life Institute, to the White House, Faith Based Initiatives office. The organization’s mission is to unite, inform, motivate, and connect people, institutions, and governments of the world through the celebration of this day of peace and sharing every January 1 and related year-around programs.

New Year’s Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome. With most countries using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar, New Year’s Day is the closest thing to being the world’s only truly global public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts. January 1 on the Julian calendar currently corresponds to January 14 on the Gregorian calendar, and it is on that date that followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the New Year. New Year’s Day is a postal holiday in the United States.

The Romans dedicated New Year’s Day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings for whom the first month of the year (January) is also named. After Julius Caesar reformed the calendar in 46 BC and was subsequently murdered, the Roman Senate voted to deify him on the 1st January 42 BC in honor of his life and his institution of the new rationalized calendar. The month originally owes its name to the deity Janus, who had two faces, one looking forward and the other looking backward. This suggests that New Year’s celebrations are founded on pagan traditions. Some have suggested this occurred in 153 BC, when it was stipulated that the two annual consuls (after whose names the years were identified) entered into office on that day, though no consensus exists on the matter. Dates in March, coinciding with the spring equinox, or commemorating the Annunciation of Jesus, along with a variety of Christian feast dates were used throughout the Middle Ages, though calendars often continued to display the months in columns running from January to December.

Among the 7th century pagans of Flanders and the Netherlands, it was the custom to exchange gifts at the New Year. This was a pagan custom deplored by Saint Eligius (died 659 or 660), who warned the Flemings and Dutchmen not to. Most countries in Western Europe officially adopted January 1 as New Year’s Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. In England, the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25, was the first day of the new year until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752. The March 25 date was known as Annunciation Style; the January 1 date was known as Circumcision Style, because this was the date of the Feast of the Circumcision, considered to be the eighth day of Christ’s life, counting from December 25 when his birth is celebrated. This day was christened as the beginning of the New Year by Pope Gregory as he designed the Liturgical Calendar.

During the Middle Ages under the influence of the Catholic Church, many countries in western Europe moved the start of the year to one of several important Christian festivals – December 25 (the Nativity of Jesus), March 1, March 25 (the Annunciation), or even Easter. Eastern European countries (most of them with populations showing allegiance to the Orthodox Church) began their numbered year on September 1 from about 988. In England, January 1 was celebrated as the New Year festival, but from the 12th century to 1752 the year in England began on March 25 (Lady Day). So, for example, the Parliamentary record notes the execution of Charles I as occurring on January 30, 1648, (as the year did not end until March 24), although modern histories adjust the start of the year to January 1 and record the execution as occurring in 1649.

Most western European countries changed the start of the year to January 1 before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. For example, Scotland changed the start of the Scottish New Year to January 1 in 1600. England, Ireland and the British colonies changed the start of the year to January 1 in 1752. Later that year in September, the Gregorian calendar was introduced throughout Britain and the British colonies. These two reforms were implemented by the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750.

Celebrations held world-wide on January 1 as part of New Year’s Day commonly include the following:

copious amounts of alcohol
Parades
American football: In the United States, January 1 is the traditional date for many post-season college football bowl games, which are usually accompanied by parades and other activities to celebrate the events
Football: In Europe, Association Football, where a Full Fixture programme[clarification needed] is usually played throughout the Premier League and the rest of the League/Non League system in England
Ice hockey, most famously the Winter Classic in North America, a National Hockey League game that is played outdoors
Concerts
Entertainment, usually enjoyed from the comfort of home
Family time
Traditional meals
Church services
An annual dip in ice-cold water by hearty individuals, most famously by members of the Polar Bear Club