Actor and philanthropist Paul Newman was born on this day in 1925. Newman was arguably one of the greatest American actors of all time. He was both a movie star and a well respected actor. Paul Newman appeared in both box office smashes as well as critically acclaimed films, and he portrayed many iconic characters, including Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy, and Reggie Dunlop in “Slap Shot.” As impressive as his acting resume is, he made an even greater impact on the world with his many philanthropic pursuits. Just one of these endeavours, his food company, “Newman’s Own,” donated all earnings to charity, in excess of 500 million dollars. Newman died in 2008.
The beloved Scottish poet Robert Burns, or “Rabbie Burns,” was born on this day in 1759. From Scotland to all parts of the world where you will find people with Scottish roots, Burns Night is not just a celebration of the man, and his poetry, but also of Scottish heritage.
Also called a Burns Supper, Burns Night is: “a celebration of the life and works of the poet Robert Burns; Scottish by birth and held in fond regard by Scots all over the world, his life and poetry speak to the struggles common to all people. It is an evening of food, drink, entertainment, and friendship. It is an event that transcends time, geographical borders, political, and religious beliefs to bring people together in celebration of the everyman.” (From burnsnight.net)
For more information on Robbie Burns and “Burns Night”:
Surrey Teens Read has something for everyone. Here is Kyrie McCauley’s We Can Be Heroes.
Come down to your school library to have a look at all ten of this year’s Surrey Teen Read selections.
Lincoln Alexander was born on this day in 1922 in Toronto. He would go on to become Lt. Governor of Ontario.
Mr. Alexander was the son of immigrants from Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He would grow up in Toronto, serve in the RCAF during World War Two, earn degrees from McMaster University and York University, and eventually go on to practice law. In the 1960’s he entered politics, and in 1968 was elected to the House of Commons, the first Black Canadian to become a Member of Parliament. He would later become the first Black Canadian to become a Cabinet Minister, serving in the brief Joe Clark government of 1979. In 1985 Lincoln Alexander became the Lt. Governor of Ontario, a post he held until 1991, again the first Black Canadian to hold a vice-regal position. Mr. Alexander died in 2012. In 2015 the government of Canada established January 21 as Lincoln Alexander Day.
Find out more:
The Lunar New Year in 2023 is observed on January 22. However, multiday, and even multiweek festivals will take place around the world on the days and weeks surrounding the 22nd. Canadians join with many millions of people in Asia, and millions more of Asian Heritage around the world, to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit.
The celebrations around this event include many different local practices and are known by many names around the world, including the Spring Festival; the Lantern Festival, Tsagaan Sar (Mongolia); Tet (Vietnam); Seolial (Korea); Koshogatsu or “Little New Year” (Japan).
In North America it is often called Chinese New Year, although the Chinese themselves are more likely to refer to it as the Spring Festival. Moreover, the term “Lunar New Year” is more reflective of the multi-ethnic and multicultural nature of the celebrations. In Canada this is especially important, as many Canadians trace their roots to many different parts of the world, including China, but also to many other places in East Asia such as Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan.
Today and over the coming days and even weeks people in Canada will join with people around the world to celebrate the new year and look forward to the Year of the Rabbit .
The lunar calendar, based on the cycles of the moon, does not match up with the solar calendar, based on the orbit of the earth around the sun. Therefore holidays based on the lunar calendar will change dates from year to year on the Gregorian Calendar, the solar calendar most commonly used by Canadians and people around the world for most scheduling related to business, politics and science, if not cultural and religious observances.
Find out more about Lunar New Year:
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is coming up on January 27. In Canada we observed Raoul Wallenberg Day on January 17. Join with us this month as we learn more about the Holocaust. Come down to the School Library to see the many books and other resources we have that deal with this horrific atrocity.
Since 2001, January 15 is Raoul Wallenberg Day in Canada. Mr. Wallenberg was a hero who courageously used his position to save tens of thousands of Jews in Hungary during the Nazi Holocaust. Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat working in Budapest during the Second World War. He and his colleagues, using Swedish passports, letters of protection and other diplomatic tools were able to help thousands of Jews to escape from Hungary and tens of thousands to survive through to the end of the war.
Tragically, Raoul Wallenberg disappeared after the Soviet conquest of Hungary from the Germans in 1945. Some reports suggest he died in a Soviet prison in 1947, but his fate is officially uncertain.
Raoul Wallenberg is considered one of the “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem in Israel, and was made an Honorary Citizen of Canada in 1985.
Find out more:
- International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation
- Statement from the Prime Minister of Canada
- Yad Veshem
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
In January we both recognize Raoul Wallenberg Day in Canada, as well as International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27. Come down to the School Library this month, in person, and continue to visit us online, for more information on the horrific and tragic history of the Holocaust.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the 3rd Monday of January as a Federal Holiday in the United States. The day is observed in celebration of Dr. King’s birthday, January 15, 1929. In 2023 the date of MLK Day is January 16.
Martin Luther King Jr. was the leading figure of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s in the USA. In life Dr. King was at the forefront of the fight against segregation, discrimination and other forms of racism, especially as entrenched in state and federal law. Tragically assassinated in 1967, the legacy of King has continued to inspire those who fight against racism and other forms of social injustice.
Martin Luther King Jr. was committed to the principles of non-violence. King was convinced that the only way to fight against the hate and violence and injustice of racsim was to counter it with peaceful resistance and non-violent protest. Perhaps more than anything else, this is why Dr. King is a hero to millions of people in the US, in Canada, and around the world.
On this day Sikhs in Canada, India and around the world celebrate Maghi. This is a holy day for Sikhs in honour of the Chali Mukte, the “Forty Liberated Ones,” who died in defence of the 10th Guru of the Sikh Faith, Guru Gobind Singh. In 2023 Maghi is celebrated on Sunday, January 14.
For more information on Sikhism, check out some of the following links:
How many Surrey Teens Read books have you read yet? You need to have a look at Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao.
Come down to your School Library to check out Iron Widow, one of this year’s ten nominated titles from Surrey Teens Read.
Come by your School Library to check out some recently added non-fiction titles.
Do you know that you can have FREE school library books delivered to you FOR FREE in your classroom, all at no cost, in other words, FREE?!?
Here’s how you do it:
1. Search for Tweedsmuir Library or use this URL : tweedsmuirlibrary.wordpress.com
2. Click on Catalog
3. Sign in with your School District username and password
4. Use the Catalog (Destiny Classic or Destiny Discover) to search for books
5. When you find a book, click on the title or on the “Details” button
6. Click the “Hold It” button
7. Expect an email to your Surrey Schools email address when the book is ready.
8. IF you don’t use your Surrey Schools email, you will need to use your regular email to contact email@example.com
9. When the book is ready, you can pick it up at the School Library OR you can have it delivered to your morning class.