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Today But Then. 23rd June.

What have the following got in common?

Christopher Latham Sholes.

King Edward the Eighth.

Zinadine Zidanne.



Frederick Douglas.

You guessed it... the 23rd June.

Let's start with something close to my heart...

Happy Birthday to you.

Happy Birthday to you.

Happy Birthday, dear QWERTY...

Happy Birthday to you.

1868. The QWERTY typewriter was patented. Well, to be fair it wasn't quite the QWERTY layout at that point, but the typewriter as we know it was granted its patent today. The QWERTY layout evolved over the next few years, being finalised in 1874 when Remington had bought into the product to start mass production. If you look closely at the picture above, you'll see the keyboard hasn't yet evolved to the full QWERTY look. Sholes sold his share in the patent for $12,000, which today would be worth about $250,000. His partner, James Densmore, originally bought a quarter share of the patent for $600 and held on to it making about $1.5million in royalty payments (worth about $30m today), clever bloke.

King Edward the Eighth was born today in1894. He famously abdicated the British throne in 1936 to marry the American divorcee Wallace Simpson. He was christened Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, and the last four names represented the patron saints of England Scotland Ireland and Wales. His abdication paved the way for his younger brother Albert to become King George the Sixth, and in 1952 his daughter, Elizabeth, became Queen Elizabeth the Second.

Happy birthday to Zinadine Zidane who celebrates his 46th birthday today. Born in Marsailles in 1972, he is considered one of the best football players of all time. He made 506 senior club appearances during his career, and turned out a further 108 times for the French national team. You'd think winning the World Cup and the Champions League would be enough to earn hm a place in history, but he'll probably be best remembered for winning the UEFA Champion's League with Real Madrid three years in a row as manager, the first time this has ever been achieved.

We can't let the 23rd June pass without mentioning Brexit, so here it is. On June 23rd 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union and on March 29th 2019 the event will happen. I'm sure we'll write a few notes about this closer to the time.

I wanted to leave a little chunk of my 500 words free though today to give a nod to Frederick Douglass.

Douglass was born into slavery in 1818 in Maryland US, and managed to escape at the age of 20. Over a busy and varied life, he became a respected author, diplomat, abolitionist, suffragist and campaigner for a more tolerant society. He is believed to be the most influential African American of the nineteenth century and was famed for his oratory. He was the United States Minister in Haiti for two years between 1889 and 1891, serving under Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the USA.

All good stuff, but he'll always be remembered as the first African American considered for the presidency. On this day in1888, he was on a shortlist of 18 men being considered for the Republican nomination. He received one vote in the forth round, but when you consider that the country had to wait another 121 years to elect Barack Obama as the first African American president in 2009, even to be in the running is incredible. If you'd like to read more about Douglass, you can buy an excellent book from Amazon here.

Anyway, thanks for reading & enjoy the footie!