Times Have Changed

Times-Have-ChangedQuestion: The current queen, Elizabeth II, has reigned for how many days?

Answer: 23,451 so far – that’s 64 years and 75 days, the longest reign of any British monarch.

Today is the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.  She was born on the 21st April 1926 and the world has changed rather a lot since then! Let’s take a look at some of the events of 1926.  Who knows, it might help your child to get an idea of just how much how times have changed.

In January the Scottish inventor, John Logie Baird, gave the first public demonstration of television.  Imagine that – for children used to on-demand video, a world without TV must seem like an alien one!

In February Francisco Franco became the youngest Spanish general.  Better known as General Franco, he was the leader of Spain from 1936 – 1975.  Your children probably think of Spain as a nice holiday destination but did they know that just over 40 years ago it was a dictatorship?

In March the first liquid-propelled rocket was launched. This technology led to space exploration, something which is taken for granted by today’s children.  Can they imagine a world where space is something beyond our reach?

April saw the Chancellor, Winston Churchill, present the budget which projected a deficit of £8 million.  This may give children some idea of how the value of money decreases with inflation.  £8 million may sound like a lot of money but it is peanuts to modern governments. The deficit for last year’s budget was £69 billion!

In May martial law was declared in Britain due to the general strike. Thankfully we have not had such terrible events for a long time, the last state of emergency being declared by Edward Heath’s government in 1974. Even I’m too young to remember that!

In June the aviation pioneer, Sir Alan Cobham, set off from Britain on his flight to Australia.  The journey took almost two months.  The same trip can be done today in 21 and a half hours.

In July Fox Film purchased the Movietone system for recording sound onto film. Before then all movies had been silent.  Can your child imagine watching a film that has no sound?

In August Gertrude Ederle became the first woman, and only the sixth person, to swim the English Channel.  Since then over 100 people have done the same, including an 11 year old boy!

In September slavery was outlawed by the League of Nations. Just imagine that – when the Queen was born there were still people being held as slaves.

October saw the publication of AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. This character is loved by millions of children but do they know just how old he is?

In November the Balfour Declaration granted Commonwealth dominions equal and independent status.  Are your children aware that, not so long ago, Britain was the centre of the largest empire the world has ever seen?

In December Adolf Hitler published the second part of Mein Kampf. He went on to become the leader of Nazi Germany and was responsible for World War II.  That may seem like ancient history to today’s children but it wasn’t so long ago.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this little snap-shot of history. Why not show it to your children to give them a glimpse of what life was like for their great-grandparents? If they enjoy this they may find some of our history quizzes interesting too. We have them for KS1, KS2, KS3 and GCSE so there’s sure to be something to excite them!

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