World Travel Festivals, Anniversaries and Events in May 2014

by Jules on May 1, 2014

May 2014 hosts some of the biggest and boldest travel festivals, events and anniversaries all around the world – these are just a few…

Get Walking Week: 3 – 10 May 2014
If you’re in the UK this week then get involved with Get Walking Week as part of the British Ramblers Charity. Discover both the wonder of walking (just as the weather is warming up nicely) and the picturesque beauty of the great outdoors.

150th Anniversary of the birth of Nellie Bly: 5 May 2014
A century and a half ago on 5 May 1864, the pioneering journalist Nellie Bly was born in Pennsylvania, USA. She became known for bringing Jules Verne’s fictional tale of Around the World in Eighty Days to life, by traversing the globe in 72 days. In 1889 she covered 24,899 miles and even met up with Jules Verne in Amiens, France. She became known as “the best reporter in America” following her exposé of the treatment of the mentally ill, after having herself committed for the purpose of reporting.

Anniversary of Paris’ World’s Fair: 6 May 2014
This year marks the 125th anniversary of the Universal Exposition, aka World’s Fair, which introduced the world to the stunning landmark of the Eiffel Tower. The fair ran from 6 May to 31 October 1889 and the world was divided over the Tour Eiffel, which was actually intended to only stand for 20 years!

Anniversary of the Four Minute Mile: 6 May 2014
Sixty years ago the British athlete Roger Bannister made history by becoming the first person to ever run a mile in under four minutes. On 6 May 1954 Roger Bannister completed the feat in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds to be precise, in the city of Oxford in the UK.

20th Anniversary of the Channel Tunnel: 6 May 2014
People of a certain age will recall watching the building and unveiling of the Chanel Tunnel 20 years ago, finally reconnecting the UK with France. And on 6 May 1994, the Channel Tunnel was officially opened, making forays into Europe easier than ever.

World Red Cross Day: 8 May 2014
Each year on 8th of May, the world recognises World Red Cross Day. The date coincides with the birth of Henry Dunant who both founded the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) and who went on to achieve the very first Noble Peace Prize. Dunant was born on 8 May 1828 and the Red Cross is dedicated to protecting life as a result of natural disasters, with human dignity in the forefront.

30th Anniversary of the Thames Flood Barrier: 8 May 2014
On this day thirty years ago, the curious metal structures of the newly built Thames Floor Barrier, were officially unveiled by the Queen. Since 1982 the barriers have protected London from tidal surges from the North Sea. The iconic landmarks have also been used within popular culture, making an appearance in Doctor Who, Spooks and in Take That’s music video for ‘The Flood’.

20th Anniversary of Nelson Mandela becoming President: 10 May 2014
The world watched history unfold twenty years ago, as in a momentous occasion Nelson Mandela became the very first black President of South Africa. On 10 May 1994 Nelson Mandela was inaugurated following more than three hundred years of white rule. Following his death at the end of last year, 2014 is the perfect time to journey to South Africa and experience the key sights for yourself.

Christian Aid Week: 11 – 17 May 2014
Look out for the red envelope dropping through your letterbox as part of the annual Christian Aid fundraising drive. Held annually in Britain since 1957, the worldwide charity helps people affected by climate change, health issues and war. This year’s challenge is to ‘Live Below the Line’ where volunteers are tasked with surviving on just £1 a day.

International Day of Families: 15 May 2014
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family, where families travel across the globe to meet up and catch up.

International Museum Day: 18 May 2014
Hands up – when was last time you visited your local museum? I know I’m guilty of neglecting my own local museum which is just a few miles down the road, yet have visited many museums right across the world. And it’s this issue that International Museum Day aims to highlight each year on the 18th of May, with this year’s theme based on ‘Museum collections make connections’.

Mods v Rockers in Brighton: 18 – 19 May 2014
It’s been fifty years since the infamous riots in Brighton, England where thousands of Mods and Rockers clashed on 18-19 May in 1964. The riots spread to neighbouring seaside towns of Margate and Broadstairs. Many of the members of the subcultures were imprisoned. Incidentally the 1979 Brit-flick Quadrophenia is well worth a watch as it covers this subject.

30th Anniversary of the death of John Betjeman: 19 May 2014
John Betjeman, the well-regarded British poet laureate will be remembered this year as part of the thirtieth anniversary of his death. He was a popular character on TV and an active campaigner on the subject of saving Victorian architecture in Britain. His humorous poems remain popular to this day; check out both ‘Collected Poems’ and ‘Summoned by Bells’.

Anniversary of the first Transatlantic Airmail Service: 20 May 2014
On this day 75 years ago, the very first transatlantic airmail service was launched in the USA. The Yankee Clipper Pan Am flying boat departed from Port Washington in New York, bound for Lisbon in Portugal in a pioneering new service.

150th Anniversary of the death of John Clare: 20 May 2014
2014 is certainly the year to learn about poets, playwrights and writers of years gone by!  Another big anniversary to grace this month is the death of British poet John Clare whose works lauded the English countryside. Clare was very vocal of the issues local farmers and the countryside faced, with his works now recognised as soon of the finest poetry of the 19th century. Find out more at the John Clare Museum located in his former cottage at 12 Woodgate, Helpston in Peterborough.

100th Anniversary of the Greyhound Bus Company: 21 May 2014
It’s impossible to count the numbers of times the iconic Greyhounds buses have been mentioned in popular culture since their founding on 21 May 2014 – one hundred years ago! Today the instantly recognisable coaches can be seen right across the USA, after humble beginnings in Minnesota.

80th Anniversary of the death of Gustav Holst: 25 May 2014
The British composer Gustav Holst is best known for his works ‘The Planets’ which was penned in 1916. Born in Cheltenham in 1874, Gustav Holst composed hundreds of pieces before his death on 25 May 1934.

National Camping and Caravanning Week: 26 May – 1 June 2014
The UK embraces both camping and caravanning this week as part of a national drive to encourage travellers to embrace all things outdoors. Glamping is very fashionable and this week is as much about reminiscing about past experiences as well as checking out the modern options, from luxury yurts to curious eco pods. The only thing we can’t guarantee is the weather!

Anniversary of the Death of Nehru: 27 May 2014
Fifty years ago the world learnt of the death of India’s first Prime Minister following Independence. Jawaharlal Nehru was educated at Cambridge in England and was appointed President on 15 August 1947. He rued until his death on 27 May 1964. He was also the father of Indira Gandhi and the grandfather of Rajiv Gandhi, who would both go on to become prime minister.

World Hunger Day: 28 May 2014
Organised by the UK charity The Hunger Project, World Hunger Day aims to raise awareness of the millions of people right across the planet that don’t have enough to eat on a daily basis. The Hunger Project works in some 15,000 villages within 12 countries different countries, from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Get involved this year – the official website has loads of great ideas, from hosting a curry night, organising a pyjama party or something more challenging, such as running up a mountain whilst in fancy dress!

100th Birthday of Tenzing Norgay: 29 May 2014
The most famous mountaineer on earth was born 100 years ago today. Tenzing Norgay was born on 29 May 1914 in Khumbu on the Nepalese side of might Mount Everest. He is best remembered for becoming the very first person to ascend Everest in 1953, along with Sir Edmund Hillary. He was awarded many honours after his Everest expedition and passed away in Darjeeling in India on 9 May 1986 aged 71.

100th Anniversary of the Maiden Voyage of RMS Aquitania: 30 May 2014
The famous RMS Aquitania served Britain for thirty six years as an express liner. Dubbed the “Ship Beautiful” the Aquitania’s maiden voyage was undertaken in 1914. Following the Titanic disaster which has just occurred, the Aquitania was one of the first ships to hold enough lifeboats for all the passengers and crew. It was one of the longest serving liners of last century and the only ships to serve through both World War I and II. Following an exemplary record, RMS Aquitania was scrapped in Scotland in 1950.

Batman to the rescue: 1 May 2014
Can you believe that comic-book hero Batman first appeared on 1 May 1939 – making 2014 the 75th anniversary?!  Fast-forward a few years and many TV programmes, movies and action figures later and Batman’s first appearance in the Detective Comics #27 is almost a distant memory. That is unless you own a copy of the comic, which has become the most valuable in history, with copies of the comic fetching more than 1 million USD at auction.

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