Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Superb Saturday

You know, we really are the world. As we begin a new year, let’s look back at the first decade of the 21st Century with analytical eyes. Let’s see what we did right and what we did wrong. Let’s commit them both to memory, placing them in their proper categories, and take the lessons learned to help guide us into the new decade like shining lights.

I find it hard to believe that twenty-five years have passed since We Are The World was first recorded. Following the annual American Music Awards, all these talented and super successful singers made their way into the studio where they set down one of the 20th Century’s most popular songs on tape. The company called itself USA for Africa and they raised a gazillion dollars for the starving children they were singing for. You see what can happen when people join forces and work for a common cause.

I appeal to each and every member of the human race. Let us not continue with the vain and purposeless pursuits that so many of us have been chasing for the last decade. Let us move into the future with bold courage and hearts set on making the world a better place for all of us to live. We have it in us to give our children and our grandchildren a planet to shepherd into the next century. It’s up to us. We are the world. Don’t forget that simple message. We are the world.

This Day in History: January 1

0404 - The last gladiator competition was held in Rome.

1622 - The Papal Chancery adopted January 1st as the beginning of the New Year (instead of March 25th).

1772 - The first traveler's checks were issued in London.

1785 - London's oldest daily paper "The Daily Universal Register" (later renamed "The Times" in 1788) was first published.

1797 - Albany became the capital of New York state, replacing New York City.

1801 - The Act of Union of England and Ireland came into force.

1801 - Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi became the first person to discover an asteroid. He named it Ceres.

1804 - Haiti gained its independence.

1808 - The U.S. prohibited import of slaves from Africa.

1840 - The first recorded bowling match was recorded in the U.S.

1863 - U.S. President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all slaves in the rebel states were free.

1887 - Queen Victoria was proclaimed empress of India in Delhi.

1892 - Ellis Island Immigrant Station formally opened in New York.

1892 - Brooklyn and New York merged to form the single city of New York.

1894 - The Manchester Ship Canal was officially opened to traffic.

1898 - Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island were consolidated into New York City.

1900 - Hawaii asked for a delegate to the Republican national convention.

1900 - Nigeria became a British protectorate with Frederick Lagard as the high commissioner.

1901 - The Commonwealth of Australia was founded. Lord Hopetoun officially assumed the duties as the first Governor-General.

1902 - The first Tournament of Roses (later the Rose Bowl) collegiate football game was played in Pasadena, CA.

1909 - The first payments of old-age pensions were made in Britain. People over 70 received five shillings a week.

1913 - The post office began parcel post deliveries.

1924 - Frank B. Cooney received a patent for ink paste.

1926 - The Rose Bowl was carried coast to coast on network radio for the first time.

1930 - "The Cuckoo Hour" was heard for the first time on the NBC-Blue Network, which later became ABC Radio.

1934 - Alcatraz Island officially became a Federal Prison.

1934 - The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) began operation.

1936 - The "New York Herald Tribune" began microfilming its current issues.

1937 - The First Cotton Bowl football game was played in Dallas, TX. Texas Christian University (T.C.U.) beat Marquette, 16-6.

1939 - The Hewlett-Packard partnership was formed.

1942 - U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued a declaration called the "United Nations." It was signed by 26 countries that vowed to create an international postwar World War II peacekeeping organization.

1945 - France was admitted to the United Nations.

1956 - Sudan gained its independence.

1958 - The European Economic Community (EEC) started operations.

1959 - Fidel Castro overthrew the government of Fulgencio Batista, and seized power in Cuba.

1968 - Evel Knievel, stunt performing daredevil, lost control of his motorcycle midway through a jump of 141 feet over the ornamental fountains in front of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

1971 - Tobacco ads representing $20 million dollars in advertising were banned from TV and radio broadcast.

1973 - Britain, Ireland, Denmark and Norway joined the EEC.

1975 - The magazine "Popular Electronics" announced the invention of a person computer called Altair. MITS, using an Intel microprocessor, developed the computer.

1979 - The United States and China held celebrations in Washington, DC, and Beijing to mark the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

1981 - Greece joined the European Community.

1984 - AT&T was broken up into 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement with the U.S. Federal government.

1986 - Spain and Portugal joined the European Community (EC).

1987 - A pro-democracy rally took place in Beijing's Tiananmen Square (China).

1990 - David Dinkins was sworn in as New York City's first black mayor.

1992 - The ESPN Radio Network was officially launched.

1993 - Czechoslovakia split into two separate states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The peaceful division had been engineered in 1992.

1994 - Bill Gates, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft and Melinda French were married.

1994 - The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect.

1995 - Frederick West, an alleged killer of 12 women and girls, was found hanged in his jail cell in Winston Green prison, in Birmingham. West had been under almost continuous watch since his arrest in 1994, but security had reportedly been relaxed in the months preceding the apparent suicide.

1995 - The World Trade Organization came into existence. The group of 125 nations monitors global trade.

1998 - A new anti-smoking law went into effect in California. The law prohibiting people from lighting up in bars.

1999 - The euro became currency for 11 Member States of the European Union. Coins and notes were not available until January 1, 2002.

1999 - In California, a law went into effect that defined "invasion of privacy as trespassing with the intent to capture audio or video images of a celebrity or crime victim engaging in a personal of family activity."

2001 - The "Texas 7," rented space in an RV park in Woodland Park, CO.

Saturday's Flashback

Dan Fogelberg was one of those rare people who just had the music inside him. He recorded so many hits in the seventies and eighties that it’s impossible to not hear him on any given day you might be listening to the radio. This was a guy who knew how to convey what was in his heart. His music crossed boundaries to reach a global audience.

Same Auld Lang Syne is one of his best known songs. The story of a man running into his first love one New Year’s Eve, Dan hit a nerve that still resonates with listeners all these years later. It’s a song that is both bittersweet and poignant without becoming maudlin in the process. It is one of his masterpieces; makes you wonder what he was feeling when he recorded this one.

A fitting way to ring in 2011, the late Dan Fogelberg reminds us all that our lives are what we make of them. Remember where you came from, cherish what you have, and don’t be afraid to look back fondly sometimes. It’s alright…

Thought for Today

“As we head into a new year with new challenges, remember that your current safe boundaries were once scary unknowns.” – Ben Patrick Johnson