10 January-Tube (London Metro System)

The London Underground, known as ‘The Tube’, is a railway system serving the city of London. The first underground section began operating in 1863, making it the oldest underground metro system in the world. Today there are 157 metro systems in cities around the world with the Beijing Subway being the busiest.

The first underground railway in London was constructed between Paddington to Farringdon Street. It was completed in 1863 and was served by steam driven trains. The line is now part of the Circle Line. The first electric traction underground trains began operating in London in 1890. Today London is served by eleven lines which carry over 1.3 billion passengers annually.

The first section of the world’s oldest underground railway, the London Underground between Paddington and Farringdon, was officially opened by Prime Minister Gladstone in the year 1863 On This Day.

Paddington station

 

 

 

26 November-Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day marks the start of what is often referred to as the holiday season in the United States. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving Day is also celebrated, on different dates, in Canada and on some Caribbean Islands.

The first celebration of Thanksgiving Day can be traced back to 1621. In the autumn of that year the Plymouth Colonists in the modern state of Massachusetts shared a harvest feast with the local Wampanoag Indians. The feast was held to celebrate a successful growing season.

During the following 200 years thanksgiving celebrations were held, at first by individual colonies and later by states. The date of celebration varied widely until a National Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed by President Lincoln in 1863. He designated the last Thursday in November as a national holiday. In 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

The first National Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in the United States in the year 1863 On This Day.

Happy Thanksgiving by Jaykhuang on 2016-11-24 07:19:30

Happy Turkey Day! by JD Hancock on 2011-11-24 09:26:13

17 October-Ulysses S Grant

Ulysses S Grant served as President of the United States from 1869 to 1877. During a visit to Ireland in 1879 he stayed at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. Grant, who arrived in Dublin on January 3rd 1879, was the first US President to visit Ireland.

Hiram Ulysses Grant was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio on April 27th 1822. His great grandfather had emigrated to America from Ballygawley, Co Tyrone in 1738. Grant was erroneously called Ulysses Simpson Grant when he entered West Point Military Academy. In 1863 President Lincoln appointed Grant overall Union Commander of the West. Grant led the Union army to victory in the American Civil War and served two terms as President of the USA.

President Grant was greeted by large crowds on arrival in Dublin. He visited The Mansion House, the Royal Irish Academy, Bank of Ireland on College Green, the Stock Exchange and Trinity College. Grant then visited City Hall where he was granted the freedom of Dublin. In a speech to a crowd that had assembled outside City Hall he said: “I am by birth a citizen of a country where there are more Irishmen, either native born or the descendants of Irishmen, than there are in all of Ireland.”

Following his arrival and welcome, Grant then spent the following two days taking in the sights in and around Dublin. During his five day visit to Ireland Grant also visited Derry and Belfast where he was also greeted by large crowds. His trip to Ireland was part of a wold tour which lasted two years and seven months.

Ulysses S Grant was appointed overall Union Commander of the West during the American Civil War in the year 1863 On This Day.

Ulysses S. Grant by The U.S. National Archives on 1863-01-01 00:00:00

Ulysses S. Grant statue by ArtBrom on 2008-04-02 14:58:15

 

30 July-Henry Ford

Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company. His father William Ford emigrated from Ballinscarthy near Clonakilty County Cork, Ireland to America in 1846. Henry Ford became one of America’s foremost industrialists. He revolutionized assembly-line modes of production which led to the automobile becoming available to a person on an average income.

Henry Ford was born on a farm in Greenfield Township near Detroit, Michigan in 1863. He left home at the age of 16 and began working in machine shops in Detroit. By 1893 he was working as chief engineer with the Detroit Edison Company which was supplying electricity to the city. During his time with the Edison Company he began to build a gasoline powered vehicle. When it was completed in 1896 he called it the ‘Quadricycle’. He established the Ford Motor Company in 1903 and in 1908 the first Model T was produced.

The Model T made possible relatively cheap travel and brought about a revolution in transportation. Demand for the car led Ford to begin the mass production of the ‘Model T’. The assembly line as a method of production in the motor industry had been first introduced in 1901 by Ransome E Olds. He used the method to build the first mass produced car which was known as the Oldsmobile Dash. Henry Ford introduced a similar method to mass produce the Model T. He succeeded in developing and improving the method to the stage where it took only 93 minutes to fully assemble a car. Production of the Model T continued for nineteen years and by 1917 it accounted for over half of all the cars in the world. By 1925 over 2 million units of the Model T were being sold annually.

Henry Ford and his son Edsel paid a visit to his father’s home place in Ballinscarthy in 1912. He returned to Ireland again in 1917 and established a plant in Cork City producing Fordson Tractors. It was the first manufacturing plant built by Ford outside the USA. The plant in Cork later produced Ford cars such as, the Prefect, the Cortina and the Sierra. Members of the Ford family continue to visit Cork.

Henry Ford became one of the wealthiest and best known people in the world. As owner of the Ford Motor Company he expanded the business throughout North America and to several parts of the world. He consistently sought ways to reduce costs and increase production. When he retired his son Edsel became president of Ford. When Edsel died in 1943, Henry returned for a time as president of the company. However he was suffering from ill-health and died at the age of 83 on April 7th 1947.

Henry Ford was born in the year 1863 On This Day.

Henry Ford on innovation by Cea. on 2011-03-31 21:28:12

1927 Ford Model T by dok1 on 2007-09-16 13:10:09