Bayeux Tapestry 1067: Battle of Hastings, 14 October 1066. The death of Harold II, last Anglo-Saxon king of England. Left, figure pulling arrow from eye and then being cut down by Norman knight. Armour Chain Mail Sword Axe Textile

10 Historical Anniversaries worth Commemorating in 2016

Anniversaries are how we mark the passage time of time, celebrate our triumphs, and honour our losses – as well as inspiring creative ideas and cultural events. 

The Bridgeman archive holds a wealth of images and clips of, and relating to, many of 2016’s major anniversaries. See highlights of the biggest commemorative dates below and visit Bridgeman’s archival calendar for many more.

 

Bicentenary  anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth
April 1816

Portrait of the Bronte Sisters, c.1834 (oil on canvas) by Patrick Branwell Bronte National Portrait Gallery, London
Portrait of the Bronte Sisters, c.1834 (oil on canvas) by Patrick Branwell Bronte National Portrait Gallery, London

 

 

Charlotte Brontë (21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels have become classics of English literature. She first published her works (including her best known novel, Jane Eyre) under the pen name Currer Bell. Visitors to the village of Haworth, West Yorkshire where the sisters grew up, can discover more about the authors at the Bronte Parsonage Museum.

The bicentenaries of the births of the Brontë siblings are to be marked with a five-year programme of events including a new exhibition about Charlotte by author Tracy Chevalier due to open in February. Charlotte will be celebrated in 2016, the brother Branwell in 2017, Emily in 2018 and Anne in 2020.

 

400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death
April 1616

 

The signature of William Shakespeare (1564-1616) (pen and ink)/ Private Collection / Ken Welsh / Bridgeman Images
The signature of William Shakespeare (1564-1616) (pen and ink)/ Private Collection / Ken Welsh / Bridgeman Images

 

William Shakespeare – the “Bard of Avon” – died of unknown causes on the 23rd April 1616. England’s most renowned playwright will be commemorated in his home county in 2016, to mark 400 years since his death and to honour his timeless legacy. His family home in Stratford upon Avon, New Place, will be transformed and reimagined for a 21st century audience, telling the missing story of Shakespeare’s mature years as a successful writer and citizen of his home town. The RSC will also open a major new exhibition, which is set to immerse visitors in its history.

The British Library’s Shakespeare in Ten Acts (April 15 – September 6 ) casts new light on how he became the cultural icon he is today through ten key performances. Expect diary entries, playbills, costumes, the only surviving play-script in Shakespeare’s hand and one of only six authentic Shakespeare signatures, among the many treasures.

Explore the world of William Shakespeare with the art collection of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

 

Centenary of Easter Rising 
April 1916

 

Dublin : rebellion which started on April 24, 1916 against English occupant and which caused suppression. Here ruins near Liffey river
Dublin : rebellion which started on April 24, 1916 against English occupant and which caused suppression. Here ruins near Liffey river

 

The Easter Rising was one of the defining moments of the struggle for Irish independence in Easter Week on 24 April 1916 mounted by Irish republicans who wanted to end British rule. The British army quickly suppressed the rebellion, leading to an unconditional surrender on Saturday April 29.

After days of fighting on Dublin city streets, there were approximately 300 civilians casualities and the executions of sixteen rebel leaders.

A year-long Easter Rising commemorative programme with the emphasis on remembrance and reconciliation has been unveiled by the Government.

 

The Queen’s 90th birthday
May

 

The Queen and her racing manager Lord Porchester watch the finish of the 1978 Epsom Derby, 8th June 1978 © Mirrorpix;
The Queen and her racing manager Lord Porchester watch the finish of the 1978 Epsom Derby, 8th June 1978 © Mirrorpix;

 

To mark the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, a magnificent celebration will take place at Windsor Castle, showcasing her life, her love of horses, her dedication to the Commonwealth and her deep involvement with the Navy, Army and Air Force.

Explore a timeline of Queen Elizabeth in pictures.

 

Centenary of the Battle of the Somme
July 1916

 

The Battle of the Somme, Woodville, Richard Caton II (1856-1927) (after) / Private Collection / Photo © Mark Fiennes
The Battle of the Somme, Woodville, Richard Caton II (1856-1927) (after) / Private Collection / Photo © Mark Fiennes

 

The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was a WWI battle fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German Empire. It took place between 1st July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of the River Somme in France. The inconclusive battle was one of the largest of World War I, in which more than 1,000,000 men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history.

On 1 July 2016 it will have been 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme. To commemorate the event, Britain, France and Germany will be holding ceremonies to remember and honour those who lost their lives in one of the worst military battles in history.

What marked this battle from the others that had come before was the stark reality journalists were able to convey to the people back home. This was achieved through the newly widespread use of film and photography, most remarkably by French photographer Jacques Moreau.

 

80 years since start of the Spanish Civil War
July 1936

 

Militian woman shooting at the Alcazar in Toledo during the Spanish civil war. 1760 nationalists have entrenched themselves in Alcazar of Toledo and resisted to republican assaults during 2 monts (july-september 1936) before being liberated by Franco / Photo © Tallandier
Militian woman shooting at the Alcazar in Toledo during the Spanish civil war. 1760 nationalists have entrenched themselves in Alcazar of Toledo and resisted to republican assaults during 2 monts (july-september 1936) before being liberated by Franco / Photo © Tallandier

 

July 2016 marks the 80th anniversary of the military revolt in Spain and the start of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The consequences of a military victory and the fall of the Spanish Republic were dire: the outbreak of World War II six months later, forty-years of repressive rule in Spain, and thousands of Spanish exiles and refugees displaced across Europe and the Americas.

 

 

350 years since the Fire of London
2 September 1666

 

 The Great Fire of London 1666 (woodcut) (later colouration), English School, (17th century) / © Museum of London, UK / Bridgeman Images
The Great Fire of London 1666 (woodcut) (later colouration), English School, (17th century) / © Museum of London, UK / Bridgeman Images

 

Starting in a small bakery on Pudding Lane, the infamous Great Fire of London swept across the City of London over three days. Out of this catastrophe grew a modern city, built of non-flammable brick and stone rather than wood, a city that would never again be visited by the plague and would soon be the heart of a globe-spanning empire.

Sir Christopher Wren’s flame-topped Monument stands in the City today, to mark this tragic event. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire and Revolution is on at the National Maritime Museum from 20 November 2015–28 March 2016.

 

950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings
October 1066

Bayeux Tapestry 1067: Battle of Hastings, 14 October 1066. After death of Harold the Normans, on horseback, mop up the remaining English, on foot in chain mail. English dead in border one, right, being stripped of clothes. Textile Linen; Universal History Archive UIG
Bayeux Tapestry 1067: Battle of Hastings, 14 October 1066. After death of Harold the Normans, on horseback, mop up the remaining English, on foot in chain mail. English dead in border one, right, being stripped of clothes. Textile Linen; Universal History Archive UIG

 

The Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, beginning the Norman conquest of England.

The towns of Hastings and Battle will be celebrating the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings with a programme of cultural events. The anniversary is also marked by the opening of a brand new Battle Museum, as well as a new exhibition featured inside the Great Gatehouse on the legacy of the battle. Following the opening there will be a bumper edition of its annual re-enactment of the battle, which takes place every October on the battlefield lying behind Battle Abbey (English Heritage).

 

60 years since the Hungarian Uprising
October 1956

 

Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Young revolutionaries in the streets of Budapest. Photo in: Jours de France, France, Nov., 10, 1956
Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Young revolutionaries in the streets of Budapest. Photo in: Jours de France, France, Nov., 10, 1956

 

The Hungarian Revolution or Hungarian Uprising of 1956 was a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the government of the Hungarian People’s Republic and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from 23 October until 10 November 1956. Despite the failure of the uprising, it was highly influential and was the first major threat to Soviet control since the USSR’s forces drove out the Nazis at the end of World War II and occupied Eastern Europe.

Poland will host a large-scale Hungarian cultural season in 2016, Minister of Human Resources Zoltán Balog has announced.

 

75 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor, USA
December  1941

 

Attack to Pearl Harbour and Manila / Bridgeman Footage
Attack to Pearl Harbour and Manila / Bridgeman Footage

 

When World War II began in 1939, the prospect of joining yet another bloody conflict was an unpopular one in the US. But on 7 December 1941, Japanese forces launched a surprise attack on the US Pacific Fleet, anchored in the Hawaiian port of Pearl Harbour, killing thousands of Americans, both military personnel and civilians.  The attack on Pearl Harbour was the catalyst for America’s entry into the War.

 

Further research

Bridgeman Images archival calendar up to 2017

Bridgeman Footage: 2016 anniversaries 

 

Licensing & Copyright

For information about researching or licensing clips and images, contact the Brigeman team at their offices in New York, Paris, Berlin and London.

Military collections represented by Bridgeman for licensing include the National Army Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the Canadian War Museum and Peter Newark Military Pictures.

 

Sources include

VisitEngland.com

The Date-A-Base Book 2016 ebook

 

 

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