Remembering Jane Austen

Posted by Speakeasy News > Tuesday 18 July 2017 > Celebrate

Two hundred years after her death, Jane Austen remains one of Britain’s best-loved authors. Yet in her short lifetime, she was unknown. Austen was born in 1775 in Hampshire, the seventh of eight children of a vicar. She had a happy childhood and youth in a family that read books aloud to each other and … Continue reading “Remembering Jane Austen”

Honouring Jane Austen

Posted by Speakeasy News > > Celebrate

On 18 July, the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, the Bank of England revealed a new £10 bearing the image of one of Britain’s most enduring authors. Austen joins Winston Churchill, who has been honoured on the £5 note since September 2016, and the artist JMW Turner, whose portrait will adorn the £20 note … Continue reading “Honouring Jane Austen”

Robin Hood Festival

Posted by Speakeasy News > > Celebrate

Since the Middle Ages, Nottingham’s Sherwood Forest has been associated with Robin Hood, the outlaw who stole from the rich to feed the poor. The city celebrates its most famous son with a Robin Hood Festival in August and a Pageant in October. No one knows whether Robin Hood really existed. If he did, who … Continue reading “Robin Hood Festival”

Time for Tennis at Wimbledon

Posted by Speakeasy News > Monday 03 July 2017 > Celebrate

For two weeks every summer, London is the world capital of tennis. Wimbledon is more than just a tennis tournament. It’s a national institution with some typically British eccentricities. This year’s tournament begins on 3 July. British tennis players have not dominated world tennis historically. But Andy Murray is making inroads as World Number One … Continue reading “Time for Tennis at Wimbledon”

Happy July Fourth!

Posted by Speakeasy News > Tuesday 04 July 2017 > Celebrate

On July 4th, the U.S.A. celebrates its independence. And where better to do that than in Philadelphia, home of the Liberty Bell, and where the Declaration of Independence was written? The Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, renamed Independence Hall, truly deserves the title “birthplace of the nation”. It was here on July 4, 1776 that … Continue reading “Happy July Fourth!”

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!

Posted by Speakeasy News > Tuesday 20 June 2017 > Celebrate

As every Harry Potter fan knows, Harry’s birthday is 31 July, like his creator JK Rowling. But 26 June, 1997, was also an important date in the Potter canon: it saw the publication of the first volume of the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The 20th anniversary of a cultural phenomenon is being … Continue reading “Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!”

Celebrating Canada

Posted by Speakeasy News > Saturday 03 June 2017 > Celebrate

Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2017. July 1 marks the 150 years since Confederation, when the British colonies in modern day Canada joined to form the self-governing British Dominion of Canada. June and July are already months when Canadians take time to appreciate their country. This year, they will push the appreciation to another level. Canada … Continue reading “Celebrating Canada”

World Refugee Day

Posted by Speakeasy News > Tuesday 20 June 2017 > Celebrate

20 June each year is United Nations World Refugee Day. In the UK, it is included in Refugee Week, 19-25 June. The UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, just released new figures showing that 2016 was yet another record year for refugees. The UNHCR’s Global Trends Report announces that 65.6 million people were displaced in 2016, … Continue reading “World Refugee Day”

Juneteenth

Posted by Speakeasy News > Thursday 15 June 2017 > Celebrate

June 19 is marked in Texas and 41 other states as the commemoration of the end of slavery. Another “independence day” that grew spontaneously out of an accidental date, and flourished thanks to former slaves.  On June 19, 1865, news of the end of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation finally reached Texas, … Continue reading “Juneteenth”