Dam Busters

The Dam Busters raid took place On 17th May 1943 during World War II When 617 Squadren “The Dambusters began Operation Chastise against German dams during World War II. 617 Squadren was formed at RAF Scrampton specially during World War II to carry out the single special and dangerous task of attacking three major dams on the Ruhr in Germany: the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe. The plan was given the codename Operation Chastise and was carried out on 17 May 1943. The squadron also had to develop the tactics to deploy Barnes Wallis’s “Bouncing bomb” and the squadren included Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel.

The mission grew out of a concept for a bomb designed by Barnes Wallis and developed by his team at Vickers. Wallis was Assistant Chief Designer at Vickers and had worked on both the Vickers Wellesley and Vickers Wellington bombers. While working on the Vickers Windsor he had also begun work, with support of the Admiralty, on a bomb designed initially for attacking ships, though dam-destruction was soon considered, and Prior to World War II, the British Air Ministry had identified Germany’s heavily industrialised Ruhr Valley, and especially its dams, as important strategic targets: in addition to providing hydro-electric power for industry and pure water for steel-making, they also supplied drinking water and water for the canal transport system.

Led by 24 year-old Wing Commander Guy Gibson, a veteran of over 170 bombing and night-fighter missions, 21 bomber crews were selected from existing squadrons in 5 Group. These crews included RAF personnel of several different nationalities, as well as members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), who were frequently attached to RAF squadrons under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The squadron was based at RAF Scampton, about 5 Miles (8 km) north of Lincoln

The targets selected were the two key dams upstream from the Ruhr industrial area, the Möhne Dam and the Sorpe Dam, with the Eder Dam on the Eder River, which feeds into the Weser, as a secondary target. While the loss of hydroelectric power was important, the loss of water supply to industry, cities, and canals would have greater effect. Also, there was the potential for devastating flooding if the dams broke. The aircraft used for the raid were modified Avro Lancaster Mk IIIs, known as B Mark III Special (Type 464 Provisioning). To reduce weight, much of the internal armour was removed, as was the mid-upper machine gun turret. The size of the bomb with its unusual shape meant that the bomb-bay doors had to be removed, and the bomb itself hung, in part, below the fuselage of the aircraft. It was mounted on two crutches, and before dropping it was spun up to speed by an auxiliary motor.

The men of 617 Squadren have since become legends in the annals of military history and the exploits of the squadron and Chastise in particular, have also been described in many books and the classic 1954 film starring Kenneth More, though the accuracy and completeness of these accounts were compromised by many of the documents relating to the war years, still being secured by the Official Secrets legislation. In 2006, it was also announced that New Zealand film director Peter Jackson and David Frost would co-produce a re-make of the film. It has been scripted by Stephen Fry and will be directed by Christian Rivers. The last living Dam Buster pilot, New Zealander Les Munro, also offered his services as a technical adviser for the film.

Jim Henson (The Muppets)

Best known as the creator of The Muppets, The late great Jim Henson sadly passed away 16 May 1990. He was born on 24th September 1936 in Greenville, Mississippi. Raised in Maryland he was educated atUniversity of Maryland, College Park, where he created Sam and Friends. He spent his early childhood in Leland, Mississipi moving with his family to Hyattsville, Maryland, near Washington, D.C., in the late 1940s. He later remembered the arrival of the family’s first television as “the biggest event of his adolescence,”having been heavily influenced by radio ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and the early television puppets of Burr Tillstrom and Bil and Cora Baird. In 1954 while attending Northwestern High School, he began working for WTOP-TV, creating puppets for a Saturday morning children’s show called The Junior Morning Show.

After graduating from high school, Henson enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park, as a studio arts major. A puppetry class offered in the applied arts department introduced him to the craft and textiles courses in the College of Home Economics, and he graduated in 1960 with a B.S. in home economics. As a freshman, he was asked to create Sam and Friends, a 5-minute puppet show for WRC-TV. The characters on Sam and Friends were forerunners of the Muppets, and the show included a prototype of Henson’s most famous character: Kermit the Frog. Henson remained at WRC for seven years from 1954 to 1961. He began experimenting with techniques which improved puppetry, such as using the frame defined by the camera shot to allow the puppeteer to work from off-screen.

To give his puppets “life and sensitivity,” Henson began making characters from flexible, fabric-covered foam rubber, making them more expressive. Henson also used rods instead of string to move his Muppets’ arms, allowing greater control of expression and to enable his muppet characters to “speak” more creatively than was possible for previous puppets, Henson used precise mouth movements to match the dialogue. Henson asked fellow University of Maryland sophomore Jane Nebel (whom he later married) to assist him on Sam and Friends Which became a financial success, After Graduating from college Henson visited Europe where he was inspired by European puppeteers who look on their work as an art form. Henson also contributed to Saturday Night Live, but eventually found success when In 1969, Joan Ganz Cooney and the team at the Children’s Television Workshop asked him to work on Sesame Street, Which featured a series of funny, colourful puppet characters living on the titular street, including Grover, Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster and Big Bird. Henson performed the characters of Ernie, game-show host Guy Smile, and Kermit the Frog, the roving television news reporter.At first, Henson’s Muppets appeared separately from the realistic segments on the Street, but the two were gradually integrated and The success of Sesame Street allowed Henson to stop producing commercials.

In addition to creating and performing Muppet characters, Henson was involved in producing various shows and animation inserts using a variety of methods including (“Dollhouse”, “Number Three Ball Film”), stop-motion (“King of Eight”, “Queen of Six”), cut-out animation (“Eleven Cheer”), computer animation (“Nobody Counts To 10″) and the original C is For Cookie. Henson also directed Tales from Muppetland, a short series of TV movie specials—in the form of comedic tellings of classic fairy tales—aimed at a young audience and hosted by Kermit the Frog. The series included Hey, Cinderella!, The Frog Prince, and The Muppet Musicians of Bremen. Henson, Frank Oz, and his team also created a series of adult orientated sketches on the first season of the comedy series Saturday Night Live(SNL). Eleven “Dregs and Vestiges” sketches, set mostly in the Land of Gorch, Around the time of Henson’s characters’ final appearances on SNL, he began developing two projects featuring the Muppets: a Broadway show and a weekly television series, which was rejected by American Networks.

however Henson convinced British impresario Lew Grade to finance the Muppet show which featured Kermit the Frog as host, and a variety of other memorable characters, notably Miss Piggy, Gonzo the Great, Scooter, Animal, the Swedish Chef, Bunsen Honeydew and Fozzie Bear. The creative team moved to England and began working on the Muppets. Jim Henson was himself the performer for several well known characters, including Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, the Swedish Chef,Waldorf, Link Hogthrob, and Guy Smiley. In 1977, Henson produced a one-hour television adaptation of the Russell Hoban story Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas and Three years after the start of The Muppet Show, the Muppets appeared in their first theatrical feature film The Muppet Movie, which was a critical and financial success; and A song from the movie, “The Rainbow Connection”, sung by Henson as Kermit, hit number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for an Academy Award. A sequel, The Great Muppet Caper, followed in 1981 and Henson decided to end the still-popular Muppet Show to concentrate on making films, however the Muppet characters occasionally appeared in made-for-TV-movies and television specials. Recently The Muppets appeared in a Walt Disney Movie in 2012 alongside Amy Adams and remain popular.

In 1979, he was asked by the producers of the Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back to aid make-up artist Stuart Freeborn in the creation and articulation of enigmatic Jedi Master Yoda. Henson suggested to George Lucas that he use Frank Oz as the puppeteer and voice of Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back and each of the four subsequent Star Wars films. Lucas even lobbied unsuccessfully to have Oz nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. In 1982, Henson founded the Jim Henson Foundation to promote and develop the art of puppetry in the United States. He also began creating darker and more realistic fantasy films that did not feature the Muppets such as 1982’s The Dark Crystal, which he co-directed with Frank Oz from conceptual artwork created by Brian Froud. In 1983 The Muppets Take Manhattan (directed by Frank Oz) was released, then In 1986 the film Labyrinth, was released, a Dark Crystal-like fantasy featuring Jennifer Connolly and David Bowie as The Goblin King.

During production of his later projects, Henson began to experience flu like symptoms. On May 4, 1990, Henson made one of his last television appearances on The Arsenio Hall Show, Feeling tired and having a sore throat, Henson traveled to Ahoskie, North Carolina, for a family visit And consulted a physician in North Carolina before returning to to New York. At 2 am on May 15, Henson started having trouble breathing and began coughing up blood. But delayed visiting the hospital for two hours until he finally agreed to go to New York Hospital, By which time he could not breathe on his own anymore due to abscesses in his lungs and was placed on a mechanical ventilator to help him breathe, but his condition deteriorated rapidly into septic shock, until sadly On the morning of May 16, 1990, Henson died at the age of 53 at New York Hospital. Henson’s death was covered as a significant news story, occurring on the same day as the death of Sammy Davis Jr.

The official cause of death was first reported as a Bacterial Infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Henson’s actual cause of death, however, was organ failure resulting from Streptococcus pyogenes, a severe Group A streptococcal infection. A public memorial service was conducted in New York City On May 21, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Another one was conducted on July 2 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. As per Henson’s wishes, no one in attendance wore black, and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band finished the service by performing “When the Saints Go Marching In”. Harry Belafonte also sang “Turn the World Around,” a song he had debuted on The Muppet Show, Big Bird, performed by Caroll Spinney, also sang Kermit the Frog’s signature song, “Bein’ Green”. six of the core Muppet performers—Dave Goelz, Frank Oz, Kevin Clash, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson and Richard Hunt—also sang, in their characters’ voices, a medley of Jim Henson’s favorite songs, eventually ending with a growing number of performers singing “Just One Person” which was recreated for the 1990 television special The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson and inspired screenwriter Richard Curtis, who attended the London service, to write the growing-orchestra wedding scene in the 2003 film Love Actually.

Henson was cremated at Ferncliff Cemetery and his ashes were scattered at his ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Henson’s companies, which are now run by his children, continue to produce films and television shows. The Jim Henson Company and the Jim Henson Foundation continued after his death, producing new series and specials. Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, founded by Henson, also continues to build creatures for a large number of other films and series, such as Farscape, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and the movie MirrorMask). Henson remains one of the most advanced and well respected creators of film creatures and In 2004, The Muppets were sold to The Walt Disney Company. One of Henson’s last projects is a show attraction in Walt Disney World and Disneyland featuring the Muppets, called Muppet*Vision 3D, which opened in 1991, shortly after his death. To date The Jim Henson Company retains the Creature Shop, as well as the rest of its film and television library including Fraggle Rock, Farscape, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth.

Friday 13th

Friday 13th is considered unlucky because It is believed that if the thirteenth day of a month falls on a Friday, it will be a day of bad luck. In the Gregorian calendar, this day occurs at least once, but at most three times a year and any month’s thirteenth day will fall on a Friday if the month starts on a Sunday. The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia (Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen), or paraskevidekatriaphobia. The latter word was derived in 1911 and first appeared in a mainstream source in 1953.Several theories have been proposed about the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition. One theory states that it is a modern amalgamation of two older superstitions: that thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day. In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, the 12 Descendants of Muhammad Imams, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.

Friday has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century’s The Canterbury Tales, and many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects. Black Friday has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s. It has also been suggested that Friday has been considered an unlucky day because, according to Christian scripture and tradition, Jesus was crucified on a Friday. One author, noting that references are all but nonexistent before 1907 but frequently seen thereafter, has argued that its popularity derives from the publication that year of Thomas W. Lawson’s popular novel Friday, the Thirteenth, in which an unscrupulous broker takes advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th. Records of the superstition are rarely found before the 20th century, when it became extremely common. The connection between the Friday the 13th superstition and the Knights Templar was popularized in the 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code. However, experts agree that this is a relatively recent correlation, and most likely a modern-day invention. Although according to many Freemasons, this date corresponds with the slaughtering of the Knights Templar by the Church.

Breaking a mirror

One of the longer sentences dished out by Lady Luck, the superstition says that breaking a mirror will leave you doomed for seven years. The generally accepted explanation is that the reflection in a mirror represents a soul, so damaging a mirror corrupts the soul of the one that broke it. Some believe that the reason for the seven years is that the Romans (who were the first glass mirror-makers) believe that life renewed itself after every seven years, so the soul wouldn’t be fully restored until the next seven-year cycle had passed. However if you are one of the more superstitious amongst us, fear not as there are steps you can take in order to save the best part of your next decade (just don’t walk under them)

Throw salt over your shoulder
Grind the broken pieces into dust
Bury the pieces under a tree during a full moon
Place the broken pieces in a river running south
Touch the broken piece against a gravestone

Black cat

The beliefs surrounding the luck of black cats varies across the world, with some cultures believing them to be lucky and others a bad omen. The most widespread belief is that if a black cat crosses your intended path, bad luck will befall you. Black cats have often been associated with being the familiars of witches and during the Middle Ages, these superstitions led people to kill black cats. This was said to increase the population of rats and hence the spread of the Black Death (Bubonic Plague). However, according to Daniel Defoe – who was alive during the spread of the disease but wrote a fictional account of the Plague – in 1665 the Lord Mayor ordered thousands of cats and many dogs to be killed as they were believed to be spreading the disease, despite it now being understood as the fleas on the rats that were responsible.

Walking under a ladder

This superstition is said to arise from early Christian teachings that an object with three points represents the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit. A ladder leaning up against a building was seen as a triangle, and to pass through this triangle by walking under the ladder was seen as breaking the Trinity, putting you in league with Satan. Of course it could simply be bad luck for you and the person at the top of the ladder if you accidentally knock it.

Opening an Umbrella indoors

The most common origination of the myth stems from the days when umbrellas were used mainly as protection against the sun in Ancient Egypt. It was designed to capture the goddess of the sky’s (Nut) essence and so were suitable for use only by the highest nobility, and those seen to be holding one were seen to be bringer of bad luck. To open one indoors would also be to insult the sun god (Ra) and invite his wrath on everyone in the household. One legend surrounding the superstition is that it was invented specifically to cut down on the number of accidents that sprang from the umbrella when they had pointy and dangerous metal spokes in Victorian England.

Seeing a Magpie

To see a single Magpie is considered unlucky, so you may hear people greeting the bird with ‘Hello Mr Magpie. How/Where is your wife?’ to allay the bad luck. Magpies are often seen as sneaky due to their penchant for shiny objects, such as jewellery and coins, their lack of a pretty singing voice, and their habit of eating the eggs found in bird nests. An old English folk tale states that when Jesus was crucified on the cross, all of the birds sang to comfort him with the exception of the magpie. In Scotland they’re considered a sign of impending death, but in China spotting one is regarded as good luck. Generally they’re not all bad though, only when alone: The old rhyme goes: ‘One for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for a girl, Four for a boy, Five for silver, Six for gold, Seven for a secret never to be told.’

Spilling salt

For many years, salt was an extremely rare commodity and so the most basic reason for considering it unlucky to spill it was to do with its cost. A valuable preservative, it was also linked with health and longevity so some cultures believed that it might be bad luck to spill salt since it could reduce your longevity or happiness. One prevalent explanation of the superstition is that Judas spilled the salt, which is depicted in Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. It is also a religious symbol as it is used to make Holy water, and meals at the witches’ sabbath were thought to be salt-free, as it was also believed to ward off evil spirits. A German proverb held that ‘whoever spills salt arouses enmity’. The most common anecdote is tossing a pinch of the spilt salt over your left shoulder, into the face of the Devil who lurks there.

Full moon

Full Moons are traditionally linked with temporary insomnia and insanity due to the folklore that madness can occur in cycles with the moon, hence the term lunatic or lunacy. It is also associated with lycanthropy as the mythological werewolf is said to appear when full moons are out. It was also thought that sleeping in direct moonlight caused madness or blindness and in Italy, France and Germany, it was said that a man could turn into a werewolf if he, on a certain Wednesday or Friday, slept outside on a summer night with the full moon shining directly on him. Various facts have also been claimed around Full Moons appearing such as Police in Toledo, Ohio claimed that crime rises by five percent during nights with a full moon and the study of the Bradford Royal Infirmary found that dog bites were twice as common during a full moon.

Treading on cracks in pavement

The fear of stepping on cracks in the pavement is said to originate from an ancient fear of letting the soul out of the Square, the four corners are an ancient symbol of balance and perfection which is said to be disrupted by stepping on the gap between paving slabs.

Never say ‘Macbeth’

According to the theatrical superstition called the Scottish curse, speaking the name Macbeth inside a theatre will cause tragedy and so the lead character is most often referred to as the Scottish King or Scottish Lord. Those who believe in the curse claim that real spells are cast in the three witches scene. Productions of Macbeth are said to have been plagued with accidents, many ending in death. The legend of the curse dates back to the premiere of the play when an actor died because a real dagger was mistakenly used instead of the prop.

BAFTA TELEVISION AWARDS 2022

The Virgin Media BAFTA TV Awards took place on Sunday 8 May on BBC One and was hosted by Richard Ayoade

Best Entertainment programme

An Audience With Adele (ITV) 
Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV) WINNER
Life & Rhymes (Sky Arts)
Strictly Come Dancing (BBC One)

Supporting actress

Cathy Tyson – Help (Channel 4) WINNER
Céline Buckens – Showtrial (BBC One)
Emily Mortimer – The Pursuit of Love (BBC One)
Jessica Plummer – The Girl Before (BBC One)
Leah Harvey – Foundation (Apple TV+)
Tahirah Sharif – The Tower (ITV)

Features

Big Zuu’s Big Eats (Dave) WINNER
Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing (BBC Two)
Sort Your Life Out (BBC One)
The Great British Sewing Bee (BBC One)

Scripted comedy

Alma’s Not Normal (BBC Two)
Motherland (BBC Two) WINNER
Stath Lets Flats (Channel 4)
We Are Lady Parts (Channel 4)

Supporting actor

Callum Scott Howells – It’s a Sin (Channel 4) 
David Carlyle – It’s a Sin (Channel 4)
Matthew Macfadyen – Succession (HBO/Sky Atlantic) WINNER
Nonso Anozie – Sweet Tooth (Netflix)
Omari Douglas – It’s a Sin (Channel 4) 
Stephen Graham – Time (BBC One)

Reality and constructed factual

Gogglebox (Channel 4) WINNER
Married at First Sight UK (E4) 
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK (BBC Three)
The Dog House (Channel 4)

Best Female performance in a comedy program

Aimee Lou Wood – Sex Education (Netflix) 
Aisling Bea – This Way Up (Channel 4) 
Anjana Vasan – We Are Lady Parts (Channel 4)
Natasia Demetriou – Stath Lets Flats (Channel 4)
Rose Matafeo – Starstruck (BBC Three)
Sophie Willan – Alma’s Not Normal (BBC Two) WINNER

Mini-series

It’s a Sin (Channel 4)
Landscapers (Sky Atlantic/HBO)
Stephen (ITV)
Time (BBC One) WINNER

Best factual series

The Detectives: Fighting Organised Crime (BBC Two) 
9/11: One Day in America (National Geographic) 
Undercover Police: Hunting Paedophiles (Channel 4)
Uprising (BBC One) WINNER

Male performance in a comedy programme

Jamie Demetriou – Stath Lets Flats (Channel 4) WINNER 
Joseph Gilgun – Brassic (Sky Max) 
Ncuti Gatwa – Sex Education (Netflix) 
Samson Kayo – Bloods (Sky One)
Steve Coogan – This Time With Alan Partridge (BBC One) 
Tim Renkow – Jerk (BBC Three)

Entertainment performance

Alison Hammond – I Can See Your Voice (BBC One) 
Big Zuu – Big Zuu’s Big Eats (Dave) WINNER
Graham Norton – The Graham Norton Show (BBC One) 
Joe Lycett – Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back (Channel 4) 
Michael McIntyre – Michael McIntyre’s the Wheel (BBC One) 
Sean Lock – 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (Channel 4)

Entertainment programme

An Audience With Adele – Adele is surprised by the teacher who changed her life (ITV) 
I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! – Ant and Dec dig at Downing Street’s lockdown parties (ITV) 
It’s a Sin – Colin’s devastating Aids diagnosis (Channel 4) 
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK – Bimini’s verse ‘UK Hun?’ (BBC Three) 
Squid Game – red light, green light game (Netflix) 
Strictly Come Dancing – Rose and Giovanni’s silent dance to Symphony (BBC One) WINNER

Comedy entertainment programme

The Graham Norton Show (BBC One)
The Lateish Show With Mo Gilligan (Channel 4) WINNER
Race Around Britain (Munz Made It/YouTube)
The Ranganation (BBC Two)

Best Drama series

In My Skin (BBC Three) WINNER
Manhunt: The Night Stalker (ITV)
Unforgotten (ITV)
Vigil (BBC One)

Leading actor

David Thewlis – Landscapers (Sky Atlantic/HBO)
Hugh Quarshie – Stephen (ITV)
Olly Alexander – It’s a Sin (Channel 4)
Samuel Adewunmi – You Don’t Know Me (BBC One)
Sean Bean – Time (BBC One) WINNER
Stephen Graham – Help (Channel 4)

Best Leading Actress

Denise Gough – Too Close (ITV)
Emily Watson – Too Close (ITV)
Jodie Comer – Help (Channel 4) WINNER
Kate Winslet – Mare of Easttown (Sky Atlantic/HBO)
Lydia West – It’s a Sin (Channel 4)
Niamh Algar – Deceit (Channel 4)

Specialist factual

Black Power: A British Story of Resistance (BBC Two) 
Freddie Mercury: The Final Act (BBC Two)
The Missing Children (ITV) WINNER
Silenced: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain (BBC Two)

Live event

The Brit Awards 2021 (ITV)
The Earthshot Prize 2021 (BBC One) WINNER
The Royal Legion Festival of Remembrance (BBC One)

Short form programme

Hollyoaks Saved My Life (YouTube)
Our Land (Together TV) WINNER
People You May Know (Financial Times)
Please Help (Tiger Aspect Pro)

Current affairs

Fearless: The Women Fighting Putin (ITV) WINNER
Four Hours at the Capitol (BBC Two)
The Men Who Sell Football (Al Jazeera English)
Trump Takes on the World (BBC Two)

Single documentary

9/11: Inside the President’s War Room (BBC One) 
Grenfell: The Untold Story (Channel 4)
My Childhood, My Country – 20 Years in Afghanistan (ITV) WINNER
Nail Bomber: Manhunt (Netflix)

Best Single Drama

Death of England: Face to Face (Sky Arts) 
Help (Channel 4) 
I Am Victoria (Channel 4)
Together (BBC Two) WINNER

Soap and continuing drama

Casualty (BBC One)
Coronation Street (ITV) WINNER
Emmerdale (ITV)
Holby City (BBC One)

News coverage

Channel 4 News: Black to Front (Channel 4) 
Good Morning Britain: Shamima Begum (ITV) 
ITV News at Ten: Storming of the Capitol (ITV) WINNER
Sky News: Afghanistan: Endgame (Sky News)

Daytime

The Chase WINNER
Moneybags
Richard Osman’s House of Games
Steph’s Packed Lunch

Sport

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Sky Sports F1) WINNER
ITV Racing: The Grand National (ITV)
Tokyo 2020 Olympics (BBC One)
Uefa Euro 2020 Semi-final: England v Denmark (ITV)

Best International program

Call My Agent! (Netflix) 
Lupin (Netflix)
Mare of Easttown (Sky Atlantic/HBO)
Squid Game (Netflix)
Succession (Sky Atlantic/HBO)
The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime) WINNER

Mr Punch👺🤡🐊🎪

The figure who later became Mr. Punch made his first recorded appearance in England On 9th May 1662. Punch and Judy is a traditional, popular puppet show featuring the characters of Mr. Punch and his wife, Judy. The performance consists of a sequence of short scenes, each depicting an interaction between two characters, most typically the anarchic Punch and one other character. It is often associated with traditional English seaside culture.   The show is performed by a single puppeteer inside the booth, known since Victorian times as a “Professor” or “Punchman,” and assisted sometimes by a “Bottler”, who corrals the audience outside the booth, introduces the performance and collects the money (“the bottle”). 

The Bottler might also play accompanying music or sound effects on a drum or guitar and engage in back chat with the puppets, sometimes repeating lines that may have been difficult for the audience to understand. In Victorian times the drum and pan pipes were the instruments of choice. Today, the audience is also encouraged to participate, calling out to the characters on the stage to warn them of danger, or clue them into what is going on behind their backs. Also nowadays most Professors work solo since the need for a bottler became less important when busking with the show gave way to paid engagements at private parties or public events.

The Punch and Judy show has roots in the 16th-century Italian commedia dell’arte. The figure of Punch derives from the Neapolitan stock character of Pulcinella, which was anglicised to Punchinello. He is a manifestation of the Lord of Misrule and Trickster figures of deep-rooted mythologies. Punch’s wife was originally called “Joan.”In the British Punch and Judy show, Punch wears a brightly colored jester’s motley and sugarloaf hat with a tassel. He is a hunchback whose hooked nose almost meets his curved, jutting chin. He carries a stick (called a slapstick) as large as himself, which he freely uses upon most of the other characters in the show. He speaks in a distinctive squawking voice, produced by a contrivance known as a swazzle or swatchel which the professor holds in his mouth, transmitting his gleeful cackle. This gives Punch a vocal quality as though he were speaking through a kazoo. So important is Punch’s signature sound that it is a matter of some controversy within Punch and Judy circles as to whether a “non-swazzled” show can be considered a true Punch and Judy Show. Other characters do not use the swazzle, so the Punchman had to switch back and forth while still holding the device in his mouth.

The term “pleased as Punch” is derived from Punch and Judy; specifically, Mr. Punch’s characteristic sense of gleeful self-satisfaction and although The story changes, some phrases have remained the same for decades or even centuries: for example, after dispatching his foes each in turn, Punch still squeaks his famous catchphrase: “That’s the way to do it!” Recently though Punch and Judy has fallen out of favour due to people taking Punches disgraceful treatment towards Judy seriously, and various unsavory accusations being levelled at the show, such as glorifying violence towards women rather than being harmless entertainment, and that this behaviour is no longer politically correct or acceptable (not that it ever should have been)

Sir David Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE FRS FZS FSA

English wildlife enthusaist Sir David Attenborugh OM, CH, CVO, CBE, FRS, FZS, FSA was born 8th May in 1926. He is a younger brother of the late director, producer and actor Richard Attenborough and His career as the face and voice of natural history programmes has endured for more than 50 years. He is best known for writing and presenting the Life series, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, which collectively form a comprehensive survey of all life on the planet. Attenborough grew up in College House on the campus of the University College, Leicester, where he spent his childhood collecting fossils, stones and other natural specimens. He received encouragement in this pursuit at age seven, and one of his adoptive sisters also gave him a piece of amber filled with prehistoric insects. He was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester and then won a scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge in 1945, where he studied geology and zoology and obtained a degree in natural sciences.

In 1950, he applied for a job as a radio talks producer with the BBC and attracted the interest of the head of the Factual broadcasting department of the BBC and joined the BBC full-time. Attenborough’s association with natural history programmes began when he produced and presented the three-part series The Pattern of Animals, which discussed the use of camouflage, aposematism and courtship displays among animals. Through this programme.Attenborough met the curator of the zoo’s reptile house, and they decided to make a series about an animal-collecting expedition. The result was Zoo Quest, first broadcast in 1954, which Attenborough presented. In 1957, the BBC Natural History Unit was established and Attenborough formed the Travel and Exploration Unit, allowing him to continue to front Zoo Quest as well as produce other documentaries, notably the Travellers’ Tales. Attenborough also began studying for a post-graduate degree in social anthropology at the London School of Economics, however he returned to the BBC as controller of BBC Two before he could finish the degree and became the controller of BBC Two in March 1965 but was allowed to continue sudying as well as making programmes on an occasional basis. Later the same year, he filmed elephants in Tanzania, and in 1969, he made a series on the cultural history of the Indonesian island of Bali. For the 1971 film A Blank on the Map, he joined the first Western expedition to a remote highland valley in New Guinea to seek out a lost tribe.

As controller of BBC2 Attenborough established a portfolio of diverse and different programmes which defined the channel’s identity including music, arts, entertainment, archaeology, experimental comedy, travel, drama, sport, business, science and natural history programmes such as Man Alive, Call My Bluff, Chronicle, Life, One Pair of Eyes, The Old Grey Whistle Test, Monty Python’s Flying Circus and The Money Programme. He also ordered a 13-part series on the history of Western art, which was Broadcast in 1969 and set the blueprint for landmark documentaries. Others followed, including The Ascent of Man and Alistair Cooke’s America. Attenborough thought that the story of evolution would be a natural subject for such a series. He shared his idea with a producer at the Natural History Unit, who came up with the title Life on Earth and returned to Bristol to start planning the series.Early the following year, he returned to full-time programme-making, leaving him free to write and present the planned natural history epic. Attenborough became a freelance broadcaster and immediately started work on his next project, which resulted in the 1973 series Eastwards with Attenborough, which was similar to Zoo Quests . On his return, he began to work on Life on Earth. Due to the scale of his ambition, the BBC decided to partner with an American network meanwhile he worked on a number of other television projects including a series on tribal art (The Tribal Eye) and another on the voyages of discovery (The Explorers).

Life on Earth began production in 1976 And Attenborough set about creating a body of work which set the benchmark for wildlife film-making and influence a generation of documentary film-makers. By treating his subject seriously and researching the latest discoveries, Attenborough and his production team gained the trust of the scientific community, who responded by allowing him to feature their subjects in his programmes. In Rwanda, Attenborough and his crew were granted privileged access to film Dian Fossey’s research group of mountain gorillas. new film-making techniques were devised to get hitherto unfilmable events and animals. Attenborough also managed to visit several locations around the globe in each episode, sometimes even changing continents mid-sentence. Although appearing as the on-screen presenter, he consciously restricted his pieces to camera to give his subjects top billing. The success of Life on Earth prompted the BBC to consider a follow-up, and five years later, The Living Planet was screened dealing with the theme of ecology, how living things adapt to their environment. It was another critical and commercial success, generating huge international sales for the BBC.In 1990, The Trials of Life completed the original Life trilogy, looking at animal behaviour through the different stages of life.



In 1993, he continued with Life in the Freezer, which surveyed the natural history of Antarctica, and then embarked on a number of more specialised surveys of the natural world, beginning with plants. The result, The Private Life of Plants , showed plants as dynamic organisms by using time-lapse photography to speed up their growth. Attenborough then made The Life of Birds dealing with Avian matters. Technological developments in camera technology played a big part in subsequent program’s and for the next series Life of Mammals, low-light and infrared cameras were deployed to reveal the behaviour of nocturnal mammals. Advances in macro photography also made it possible to capture natural behaviour of very small creatures for the first time, and in 2005, Life in the Undergrowth dealt with the hitherto hidden world of invertebrates.The Next series Attenborough made was Life in Cold Blood which dealt with Reptiles and Amphibians.

The Life program’s were assembled In a DVD encyclopaedia called Life on Land. Then in 2010 Attenborough made First Life — dealing with evolutionary history before Life on Earth. He has continued to work on other documentaries, and his voice is synonymous with many other wildlife documentaries including The First Eden, Lost Worlds Vanished Lives, Wildlife on One, BBC Wildlife Specials, The Blue Planet, Nature’s Great Events, Life, Frozen Planet, Wildlife on One and the Natural World. n 1997, he narrated the BBC Wildlife Specials, each focussing on a charismatic species, and screened to mark the Natural History Unit’s 40th anniversary, and continued to collaborate with the BBC Natural History Unit in the new millennium. Attenborough then narrated The Blue Planet (2001), which dealt with marine life, And Planet Earth (2006), the biggest nature documentary ever made for television. In 2011, he narrated Frozen Planet featuring the Natural History of the Polar Regions.In 2009, he co-wrote and narrated Life, a ten-part series focussing on extraordinary animal behaviour, and narrated Nature’s Great Events, which showed how seasonal changes trigger major natural spectacles. Since then Attenborough has made The Green Planet which follows on where The Private Life of Plants left off and uses technology which had not yet been developed in 1993 to gain further insight into how plants adapt and survive in different environments from inhospitable dry land scapes, temperate forests, lush rainforests and underwater

Recently Attenborough’s documentaries have became more overtly environmentalist. In State of the Planet, he assesses the impact man’s activities have had on the natural world by using scientific evidence and interviews with leading scientists and conservationists. He has also addressed global warming (The Truth about Climate Change) and human population growth (How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth?) and Highlighted the plight of endangered species in BBC’s Saving Planet Earth project in 2007, the 50th anniversary of the Natural History Unit. Attenborough is also working on documentaries for Sky’s new 3D network, Sky 3D. Their first collaboration was Flying Monsters 3D, a film about pterosaurs a second film, The Bachelor King, followed a year later, and further collaborations are planned including a series on the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands. and a second series of First Life, which explored the origins of life on Earth.

In 2012 Attenborough celebrated 50 years in broadcasting and during this long and distinguished career he has been given many honorary degrees by British universities. In 1980, he was honoured by the Open University. He also has honorary Doctor of Science awards from the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and the University of Bath. In 2006, he received the title of Distinguished Honorary Fellows of the University of Leicester, “in recognition of a record of continuing distinguished service to the University.” David Attenborough was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by the university in 1970, and was made an honorary Freeman of the City of Leicester in 1990. He has also received the title Honorary Fellow from Clare College, Cambridge, the Zoological Society of London, the Linnean Society, the Institute of Biology and the Society of Antiquaries, snd was named as the most trusted celebrity in Britain in a 2006 Reader’s Digest poll. The following year he won The Culture Show’s Living Icon Award and was also named among the 100 Greatest Britons in a 2002 BBC poll and is one of the top ten “Heroes of Our Time” according to New Statesman magazine.

He also has the distinction of having a number of newly-discovered species and fossils being named in his honour. In 1993, a fossilised Mesozoic armoured fish discovered in Western Australia was given the name Materpiscis attenboroughi, which is also believed to be the earliest organism capable of internal fertilisation. He has also lent his name to a species of Ecuadorian flowering tree, Blakea attenboroughi, one of the world’s largest-pitchered carnivorous plants, Nepenthes attenboroughii, and one of only four species of long-beaked echidna, the critically endangered Zaglossus attenboroughi, discovered by explorer and zoologist Tim Flannery in the Cyclops Mountains of New Guinea in 1998, and In September 2009, London’s Natural History Museum opened the Attenborough Studio, part of its Darwin Centre development. An arctic research vessel has also recently been named Sir David Attenborough. Attenborough’s contribution to broadcasting and wildlife film-making has brought him international recognition. He has been called “the great communicator, the peerless educator” and “the greatest broadcaster of our time”. His programmes are often cited as an example of what public service broadcasting should be, and have influenced a generation of wildlife film-makers.

Bill Kreutzman (Grateful dead)

Bill Kreutzman drummer with American rock band the Grateful Dead was born 7 May 1946. The Grateful Dead were formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band were known for their unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, and space rock, and for live performances of long musical improvisation. “The founding members of the Grateful Dead were Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (guitar, vocals), Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (keyboards, harmonica, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals), and Bill Kreutzmann (drums). Lesh was the last member to join the Warlocks before they became the Grateful Dead; he replaced Dana Morgan Jr., who had played bass for a few gigs.

With the exception of McKernan, who died in 1973, the core of the band stayed together for its entire 30-year history. Phil Lesh and Jerry Garcia were brought together by Gert Chiarito in 1964 to perform on The Midnight Special. The Grateful Dead began their career as the Warlocks, a group formed in early 1965 from the remnants of a jug band called Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, although The band changed its name after finding out that another band of the same name had signed a recording contract. The name “Grateful Dead” was chosen from a dictionary, The definition being that there was “the soul of a dead person, or his angel, showing gratitude to someone who, as an act of charity, arranged their burial.”One of the group’s earliest major performances in 1967 was at the Avalon Ballroom by the San Francisco Hare Krishna temple. The Grateful Dead performed at the event along with the Hare Krishna founder Bhaktivedanta Swami, poet Allen Ginsberg, bands Moby Grape and Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, donating proceeds to the Krishna temple. The band’s first LP, The Grateful Dead, was released in 1967. 1970 included tour dates in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the band performed at The Warehouse for two nights.

Mickey Hart quit the Grateful Dead in February 1971, leaving Kreutzmann once again as the sole percussionist. Hart rejoined the Grateful Dead for good in October 1974. Tom “TC” Constanten was added as a second keyboardist from 1968 to 1970, while Pigpen also played various percussion instruments and sang. Following the Grateful Dead’s “Europe ’72″ tour, Pigpen’s health had deteriorated to the point that he could no longer tour with the band. His final concert appearance was June 17, 1972 at the Hollywood Bowl, in Los Angeles and he died in March, 1973 of complications from alcohol abuse. The Grateful Dead formed their own record group, Grateful Dead Records & Later that year, they released their next studio album, the jazz influenced Wake of the Flood. It became their biggest commercial success thus far.During the late 1970s the band went back to the studio, and the next year released another album, Grateful Dead from the Mars Hotel. Not long after that album’s release however, the Grateful Dead decided to take a hiatus from live touring so that its members could focus on their solo careers. This hiatus was short lived, though, as they resumed touring in 1976, and released another album Terrapin Station in 1977.

During the 1980s the bands sound transformed. Sadly though Garcia’s health began to decline. His drug habits caused him to lose his liveliness on stage. After kicking his drug habit in 1985, he slipped into a diabetic coma for several days in July 1986. After he recovered, the band released In the Dark in 1987, which resulted as their best selling studio album release, and also produced their only top-10 chart single, Touch of Grey. Inspired by Garcia’s improved health and a successful album, the band’s energy and chemistry peaked in the late 1980s and 1990. Performances were vigorous and as a result, every show exceeded its maximum audience capacity. Unfortunately Mydland died after the summer tour in 1990. So Vince Welnick, joined on keyboards and vocals and Bruce Hornsby joined the band as the pianist and vocals on September 15, 1990.

Their Greteful Dead touched on ground that most other groups don’t even know exists.” These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead “the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world.” They were ranked 57th in the issue The Greatest Artists of all Time by Rolling Stone magazine. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and their Barton Hall Concert at Cornell University was added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry. Bill Kreutzmann also released a memoir February 2020. The fans of the Grateful Dead, some of whom followed the band from concert to concert for years, are known as “Deadheads” and are known for their dedication to the band’s music. From 2003 to 2009 former members of the Grateful Dead, along with other musicians, toured as The Dead and The Other Ones. There are many contemporary incarnations of the Dead, with the most prominent touring acts being Furthur and Phil Lesh & Friends.

Jeffrey Deaver

Prolific American Mystery/crime thriller author Jeffrey Deaver was born May 6, 1950 in Glen Ellyn, Chicago, Illinois. He grew up in a creative family. His mother was an artist, and his father an advertising writer. His sister Julie Reece Deaver is an author of young adult novels.The book that inspired him to write was From Russia With Love, a James Bond novel by Ian Fleming. He Earned a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University and originally started working as a journalist. He later practiced law before embarking on a successful career as a best-selling novelist.

Deaver’s most popular series features his regular character Lincoln Rhyme, a quadriplegic detective, and NYPD Detective Amelia Sachs. Deaver stated in a 2006 Early Show interview that he would rotate between his new series and Lincoln Rhyme each year. Virtually all of his works feature a trick ending or multiple trick endings. Deaver’s 2001 book The Blue Nowhere features criminal hackers (one using social engineering to commit murder), as well as a law enforcement computer crime unit. In this book, Deaver gives credit to Lee de Forest, the inventor of the Audion (also known as the triode tube), who is thus considered to have opened the world to electronic development.)

He has been awarded the Steel Dagger and Short Story Dagger from the British Crime Writers’ Association and the Nero Wolfe Award, and he is a three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Reader’s Award for Best Short Story of the Year and a winner of the British Thumping Good Read Award. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including The New York Times, The Times, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Los Angeles Times. Deaver also edited The Best American Mystery Stories 2009. Three of Deaver’s novels have also been produced into films: Maiden’s Grave made for TV as film Dead Silence 1997, The Bone Collector released 1999, The Devil’s Teardrop made for TV and in 2010 Deaver also created the characters and—in a collaboration with 14 other noted writers—wrote the 17-part serial thriller The Chopin Manuscript. 

Deaver has also written an official new James Bond novel: Carte Blanche, which was published 2011. Other novels written by Deaver include Mistress of Justice (1992), The Lesson of Her Death (1993), Praying for Sleep (1994), A Maiden’s Grave (1995), The Devil’s Teardrop (1999), Speaking in Tongues (2000), The Blue Nowhere (2001), Garden of Beasts (2004), The Chopin Manuscript (2008), The Bodies Left Behind (2008), Edge (2010), The October List (2013), Manhattan which Is My Beat (1988), Death of a Blue Movie Star (1990), Hard News (1991), Shallow Graves (1992), Bloody River Blues (1993), Hell’s Kitchen (2001), The Bone Collector (1997), The Coffin Dancer (1998), The Empty Chair (2000), The Stone Monkey (2002), The Vanished Man, The Twelfth Card, The Cold Moon, The Broken Window, The Burning Wire, The Kill Room, The Skin Collector, The Steel Kiss, The Sleeping Doll, Roadside Crosses, XO, Solitude Creek, Carte Blanche, A Confederacy of Crime, Twisted, More Twisted andTrouble in Mind. Among His latest novels is“The Cutting edge”.

Orson Welles

American actor, director, writer and producer George Orson Welles was born May 6, 1915 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He worked extensively in theatre, radio and film and is best remembered for his innovative work in all three media, most notably Caesar (1937), a groundbreaking Broadway adaption of Julius Caesar and the debut of the Mercury Theatre; The War of the Worlds (1938), the most famous broadcast in the history of radio; and Citizen Kane (1941), which many critics and scholars name as the best film of all time. Welles directed a number of high-profile theatrical productions in his early twenties, including an innovative adaptation of Macbeth and The Cradle Will Rock, but found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds performed for the radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was reported to have caused widespread panic when listeners thought that an actual invasion by extraterrestrial beings was occurring, and this rocketed Welles to instant notoriety. His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which he wrote, produced, directed, and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. It is often considered the greatest film ever made. Welles went on to directed thirteen critically acclaimed films in his career, including The Magnificent Ambersons, Journey into Fear, It’s All True, The Stranger, The Lady From Shanghai, Macbeth, The Third Man, Othello, Mr Arkadin, The Trial and Touch of Evil.

He was reknowned for His distinctive directorial style, which featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, innovative uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as a major creative force and as “the ultimate auteur.” Welles became Well known for his baritone voice, And was also a well regarded actor who won many wards. These other Welles films were nominated for their list: The Magnificent Ambersons (1942, director/producer/screenwriter); The Third Man (1949, actor); Touch of Evil (1958, actor/director/ screenwriter); and A Man for All Seasons (1966, actor). Citizen Kane was also nominated for numerous prizes at the 1941 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor in a Leading Role. The only Oscar won, however, was Best Original Screenplay, which Welles shared with Herman J. Mankiewicz.The Magnificent Ambersons was nominated for four 1942 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The Stranger was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1947. Othello won the Palme d’Or at the 1952 Cannes Film Festival.

In 1968 Welles was nominated for Best Foreign Actor in a Leading Role at the 21st British Academy Film Awards for his performance in Chimes at Midnight. Welles was given the first Career Golden Lion award in the Venice Film Festival in 1970, during the same year Welles was given an Academy Honorary Award for “superlative and distinguished service in the making of motion pictures.He was also awarded the French Légion d’honneur, the highest civilian decoration in France. He also recieved the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award in 1975, and In 1978, Welles was presented with the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Career Achievement Award. In 1979, Welles was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. In 1982, Welles was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture at the Golden Globe Awards for his role in Butterfly, and won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Recording for his role on Donovan’s Brain.

In 1983 Welles was awarded a Fellowship of the British Film Institute and In 1984, Welles was given the Directors Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Welles as the 16th Greatest Male Star of All Time. When asked to describe Welles’s influence, Jean-Luc Godard remarked: “Everyone will always owe him everything.” Welles was also voted the greatest film director of all time in two separate British Film Institute polls among directors and critics, and a wide survey of critical consensus, best-of lists, and historical retrospectives calls him the most acclaimed director of all time. He was also voted number 16 in AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Stars list of the greatest American film actors of all time. Sadly On October 10, 1985, Welles died of a heart attack at his home in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California, and was found slumped over his typewriter, working on a new film script however his influence can be seen in many films made since and he remains important to film history.

Cinco de Mayo🇲🇽

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “Fifth of May”) is an annual celebration held on May 5. It commemorate the Mexican Army’s difficult victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. Cinco de Mayo has its roots in the Second French intervention in Mexico, which took place in the aftermath of the 1846–48 Mexican–American War and the 1858–61 Reform War. The Reform War was a civil war that pitted Liberals (who believed in separation of church and state, and freedom of religion) against Conservatives (who favored a tight bond between the Catholic Church and the Mexican state). These wars nearly bankrupted the Mexican Treasury. On July 17, 1861, Mexican President Benito Juárez issued a moratorium in which all foreign debt payments would be suspended for two years. In response, Britain, France, and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew, but France, at the time ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to establish an empire in Mexico that would favor French interests, the Second Mexican Empire. The empire was part of an envisioned “Latin America” (term used to imply cultural kinship of the region with France) that would rebuild French influence in the American continent and exclude Anglophone American territories.

The Battle of Puebla started Late in 1861, after a well-armed French fleet invaded Veracruz, landing a large French force and driving President Juárez and his government into retreat. Moving on from Veracruz towards Mexico City, the French army encountered heavy resistance from the Mexicans close to Puebla, at the Mexican forts of Loreto and Guadalupe.The French army attacked the poorly equipped and much smaller Mexican army which On May 5, 1862, decisively defeated the French army The victory represented a significant morale boost to the Mexican army and the Mexican people at large and helped establish a sense of national unity and patriotism.

The Mexican victory, however, was short-lived. A year later, with 30,000 troops, the French were able to defeat the Mexican army, capture Mexico City, and install Emperor Maximilian I as ruler of Mexico. The French victory was itself short-lived, lasting only three years, from 1864 to 1867. By 1865, “with the American Civil War now over, the U.S. began to provide more political and military assistance to Mexico to expel the French”. Upon the conclusion of the American Civil War, Napoleon III, facing a persistent Mexican guerilla resistance, the threat of war with Prussia, and “the prospect of a serious scrap with the United States”, retreated from Mexico during 1866. The Mexicans recaptured Mexico City, and Maximilian I was apprehended and executed, along with his Mexican generals Miguel Miramón and Tomás Mejía Camacho in Cerro de las Campanas, Querétaro On June 5, 1867, Benito Juárez finally entered Mexico City where he installed a new government and reorganized his administration.

The Battle of Puebla was significant, both nationally and internationally, because the considerably outnumbered, Mexican Army managed to defeat a much-better-equipped French army which had not been defeated for almost 50 years. Since the Battle of Puebla, no country in the Americas has subsequently been invaded by any other European military force. The United States’ destiny would have also been very different Had Mexico not defeated the French in Puebla on May 5, 1862, because France would have gone to the aid of the Confederacy in the U.S. Civil War.

In the United States. the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades. According to a paper published by the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture about the origin of the observance of Cinco de Mayo in the United States, the modern American focus on that day first started in California in 1863 in response to the resistance to French rule in Mexico. Far up in the gold country town of Columbia (now Columbia State Park) Mexican miners were so overjoyed at the news that they spontaneously fired off rifle shots and fireworks, sang patriotic songs and made impromptu speeches.

The holiday, has been celebrated in California continuously since 1863. However Cinco de Mayo started gaining popularity in 1940s America during the rise of the Chicano Movement and crossed over from California into the rest of the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. During the 1980’s beer companies also began promoting the Day and it grew in popularity and evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, first in areas with large Mexican-American populations, like Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and San Jose. In the Journal of American Culture it was reported that there were more than 120 official US celebrations of Cinco de Mayo in 21 different states and Los Angeles’ Fiesta Broadway has been billed as the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world. On May 9, 1862, President Juárez declared that the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla would be a national holiday regarded as “Battle of Puebla Day” or “Battle of Cinco de Mayo”.

In 2005, the United States Congress issued a concurrent resolution calling on the President of the United States to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe Cinco de Mayo with appropriate ceremonies and activities, including displaying Cinco de Mayo banners, educating people about its historical significance and Highlighting Mexican culture, music and regional dancing Such as baile folklórico and mariachi demonstrations.

Although the commemoration of the battle is not observed as a national holiday in Mexico, historical reenactments, parades, and meals take place in Puebla to commemorate the battle and Parade participants dress as French and Mexican soldiers, The day is an official holiday in the State of Puebla, where the Battle took place, and the neighboring State of Veracruz. Every year the city also hosts the Festival Internacional de Puebla, and the Festival Internacional del Mole, which gathers national and international artists, traditional musicians and dance. In Mexico City, military commemoration is occasionally held at the Campo Marte. A street, Avenida Cinco de Mayo, in the Historic Center of Mexico City was named after the battle in 1862 by Benito Juárez.

Events tied to Cinco de Mayo also occur outside Mexico and the United States. As in the United States, celebrations elsewhere also emphasize Mexican cuisine, culture and music. For example, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, holds a “Cinco de Mayo Street Festival” and many Canadian pubs play Mexican music and serve Mexican food and drink. A sky-diving club near Vancouver also holds a Cinco de Mayo skydiving event. In the Cayman Islands, in the Caribbean, there is an annual Cinco de Mayo air guitar competition, and at Montego Bay, Jamaica, there is a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, holds an annual Mexican Festival to honor the day, and celebrations are also held in London, New Zealand, Cape Town, South Africa, Lagos, Nigeria and Paris. A celebration of Latin American culture also takes place in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan.

More International and National Events and Holidays happening on 6 May

  • Barbed Wire Festival – 2016
  • National Cartoonists Day
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • International Midwives Day
  • Martin Z. Mollusk Day
  • National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
  • National Chocolate Custard Day
  • National Day of Reason
  • National Hoagie Day
  • Oyster Day
  • Revenge of the Fifth
  • Totally Chipotle Day