Monday, the 4th of January, 2016 is the 4th day in 2016 and in the 1st calendar week.

General Events:

World Braille Day
January 4, 2016 in the World

World Braille Day celebrates the birth of Louis Braille, inventor of the reading and writing system used by millions of blind and partially sighted people all over the globe. Though not a public holiday in any country, World Braille Day provides an opportunity for teachers, charities and non-government organizations to raise awareness about issues facing the blind and the importance of continuing to produce works in Braille, providing the blind with access to the same reading and learning opportunities as the sighted.

Louis Braille, the inventor of braille, was born in France on January 4th, 1809. Blinded in both eyes in an accident as a child, Braille nevertheless managed to master his disability while still a child. Despite not being able to see at all, he excelled in his education and received scholarship to France’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth. During his studies, inspired by the military cryptography of Charles Barbier of the French Army, he developed a system of tactile code that could allow the blind to read and write quickly and efficiently. Braille presented the results of his hard work to his peers for the first time in 1824 when he was just fifteen years f age. In 1829, he published his first book about the system he had created, called “Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Songs by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged for Them”. The braille system works by representing the alphabet letters (and numbers) in a series of 6 dots paired up in 3 rows. The simplicity of his idea allowed books to start being produced on a large scale in a format that thousands of blind people can read by running their fingertips over the dots. Thanks to this, blind students have the opportunity to be educated alongside their peers as well as read for pleasure just as easily as any seeing person can.

As incredible as braille is, and as much as it offers blind and partially sighted people, braille books must stay within the country where they are produced because ofrestrictive international copyright laws. Because braille books cannot be shared across borders, the blind cannot read any books that are not produced within their own country. Unfortunately, at present only 5% of all published materials get produced in accessible formats, which means that under 10% of all blind children in developing countries go to school due to the shortage or lack of teaching materials.

The Marrakesh Treaty is the name of an international agreement finalized in June 2013 that would allow copyright exceptions for published works to be made widely available in accessible formats. The implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty will allow blindness organizations to share their resources with other organizations in developing countries that may not have the resources to produce books for their blind citizens. Then, schools for the blind in wealthier countries would be able to send books to schools in poorer countries so blind children who cannot afford to buy braille books will still have access to the textbooks needed for them to finish school. For example, Spain’s ONCE (Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles, or The Spanish Foundation for the Blind) could make their braille library available to blindness organizations in all of the Spanish-speaking countries in South America, thus saving the costs of reproducing the exact same books for each separate country. However, these resources can be shared only if this treaty becomes law in all of the countries around the world.

Where is World Braille Day?
Worldwide

Independence Day of Burma
January 4, 2016 in Burma

Independence Day of Burma is celebrated on January 04, 2016. The Independence Day of Burma is a national holiday observed in Burma every year. The date celebrates Burma’s Declaration of Independence from Britain on January 4, 1948. Independence Day of Burma is marked by sport activities and fairs in most Burmese cities.

Where is Independence Day of Burma?
Nationwide Burma

Handsel Monday
January 4, 2016 in Scotland

Handsel Monday is observed on January 04, 2016. Handsel Monday is the first Monday of the year, particularly as used to be celebrated in Scotland and northern England. Among the rural population of Scotland, Auld Hansel Monday, is traditionally celebrated on the first Monday after January 12. This custom reflects a reluctance to switch from the Old (Julian) style calendar to the New (Gregorian) calendar. January 1 is the earliest day on which Handsel Monday can fall.

Where is Handsel Monday?
Nationwide Scotland

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National Trivia Day
January 4, 2016 in the USA

National Trivia Day is observed across the United States each year on January 4.

The word “trivia” is plural for the word “trivium”. In ancient times, the term “trivia” was appropriated to mean something very new.

Nostalgic college students in the 1960s along with others, began to informally trade questions and answers about the popular culture of their youth.  After writing  “trivia” columns, Columbia University students Ed Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky created the earliest inter-collegiate quiz bowls that tested culturally (and emotionally) significant, yet essentially unimportant facts, which they dubbed “trivia contests”.  Trivia (Dell, 1966) was the first book treating  “trivia” in the radical new sense, authored by Ed Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky.  This book achieved a ranking on the New York Times best seller list.

Where is the event?
Nationwide USA
Historical Events on 4th January:

1698 – Most of the Palace of Whitehall in London, the main residence of the English monarchs, is destroyed by fire

1781 – Andre Méchain discovers M80 (globular cluster in Scorpio)

1832 – Insurrection of Trinidad negroes

1884 – Last sighting of an eastern cougar (Ontario)

1902 – The French Panama Canal Company offers to sell its right to build a canal to the US for 40 million; this will tip the balance away from those favoring a canal through Nicaraugua

1903 – Topsy, an elephant, electrocuted by Thomas Edison during the War of Currents campaign

1912 – The Scout Association is incorporated throughout the British Commonwealth by Royal Charter

1947 – Emilio G. Segrè and Carlo Perrier announce technetium, a previously unknown element and the first artificially synthesized chemical element

1948 – Burma declares independence from UK

1958 – Sir Edmund Hillary reaches the South Pole

1968 – Leo Fender sells Fender Guitars for $13 million

1975 – Ice thickness measured at 4776 m, Wilkes Land, Antarctica

1998 – A massive ice storm hits eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, continuing through January 10 and causing widespread destruction

2000 – After 2 months, Catherine Hartley and Fiona Thornewill, reach the South Poll, the same day as Sir Edmund Hillary 48 years before

 

 

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