#ThrowbackThursday – 14 October
Pop culture shapes us, and we in turn shape pop culture. It moulds our identity and holds different meanings for each of us, forming the way (or ways) in which we view the world around us.
Take a look at these five culturally significant moments which went down in history on 14 October:
1892 – “Sherlock Holmes” Hits the Bookstands
Five years after making his magazine debut, Sherlock Holmes – possibly the best known literary detective to ever “live” – finally made his first appearance in book-form.
Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation initially appeared in “A Study in Scarlet’”, a story published in the “Beeton’s Christmas Annual” in 1887. Four years later, the English sleuth and his sidekick, Dr John Watson, continued their adventures in serialised format in “The Strand Magazine”.
In 1892, the first collection of twelve Holmes stories, “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”, was published by George Newnes, making the detective more renowned to the wider public. To this day, he has become one of the most iconic characters in literary history … and the same can be said for the next character on this list.
1926 – “Winnie-the-Pooh” Debuts
Thirty-four years after Holmes’ debut, a yellow bear with a love for honey made his first appearance on the scene.
Written by A.A. Milne, “Winnie-the-Pooh” is a collection of stories that details the adventures of the eponymous character and his friends Christopher Robin, Piglet and Tigger among others. From disguising himself as a cloud to take honey from a beehive, to rescuing Piglet from a flood, no one can say that Pooh’s life in the Hundred Acre Wood is dull!
Milne’s silly yet charming verses, coupled with E.H. Shepherd’s delightful illustrations, endeared readers, and it wasn’t long before Pooh became a sensation among children and adults alike.
1973 – Gone Too Soon
Today would have marked the 47th birthday of George Floyd, who after his murder in May 2020 became the face of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Floyd, a restaurant worker, died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after he was pinned to the ground by three police officers, while a fourth officer named Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for over nine minutes, despite Floyd repeatedly shouting “I can’t breathe.”
The media attention from Floyd’s death helped sparked global protests against police brutality and racism, with Chauvin ultimately found guilty of second and third-degree murder, as well as manslaughter. Floyd was buried next to his mother’s grave at Houston Memorial Gardens cemetery.
1979 – March on Washington: LGBTQIA+ Edition
For the first time ever, an estimated 200 000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. to march for lesbian and gay rights.
Inspired by Martin Luther King’s March on Washington in 1963, this particular march aimed to ban discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation. Marchers converged on the city as means to urge President Jimmy Carter to sign a bill that would stop discrimination against members of the LGBTQIA+ community who were in the military and/or worked for the federal government.
Additionally, they demanded Congress to include sexual orientation in the Civil Rights Act of 1954, to repeal anti-gay legislation, and add family protections laws so that gay/lesbian parents would get fair custody trials.
Although LGBTQIA+ persons now serve openly in the military and the government, proper protocols for fairness and protection against anti-gay discrmination are still very slow to be realised. Nevertheless, the 1979 march certainly set a precedent for future advocacy and activism, enabling LGBTQIA+ persons and their allies to unify as a powerful voice.
2007 – Meet the Kardashians
Fourteen years ago, the face of reality television changed forever.
The first episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” premiered on this day, whereby viewers were introduced to Kim Kardashian – who at the time was best known for being in that raunchy video with singer Ray J – and her clan.
Titled “I’m Watching You”, the episode saw mother Kris Jenner celebrating her anniversary with then-husband Bruce, sister Kourtney dealing with relationship drama, and Kim herself appearing on “The Tyra Banks Show”. Oh, and a stripper pole was seen in and among everything.
The show was the vehicle that launched the Kardashians into universal stardom, with Kim going from socialite to glamourous online darling to successful businesswoman in a short space of time. Naturally, her family rules alongside her over this empire, commanding a vast presence in all things fashion, cosmetics and social media.
And although the show may be over, there’s no doubt that the Kardashians’ iconic influence will live on for years to come.
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