This year sees a number of significant historical anniversaries. Here’s your round-up of some of the key events:
End of WW1
In November we will mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
A number of events are planned throughout the year, including exhibitions, a concert and a series of events to mark Armistice Day itself, including an extended march-past after the traditional service at the Cenotaph in London.
The full programme of events is set to be announced later this month.
The outbreak of Spanish influenza in March 1918 was the start of one of the worst pandemics the world has ever seen and is a significant event in the history of medicine. It’s estimated that at least 50 – 100 million people were killed by the disease, which equates to around 3-5% of the world’s population at that time. It was even deadlier than the First World War, which was still raging at the time of the outbreak.
British Women Win the Vote
In February, we will commemorate the 100th anniversary of British women gaining the right to vote (Representation of the People Act 1918). Well, some British women – suffrage extended only to women over 30, who owned property and were graduates of British universities. It would be another 10 years before all women over the age of 21 were able to vote (Equal Franchise Act 1928). The centenary will be commemorated with a major public exhibition at Westminster hall from June to September 2018.
The Good Friday Agreement
On 10th April 1998, the Good Friday Agreement was signed in Belfast, bringing a political end to ‘the Troubles’, a 30 year sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland. The British Council will host a conference (Peace and Beyond) to mark the anniversary, designed to encourage a new generation to focus on building peace and stability around the world.
The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
In April 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray while stood on a balcony of a motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The building now houses the National Civil Rights Museum, which is currently holding a year-long exhibition commemorating the death of the civil rights leader. Events will culminate on 4th April 2018, the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination, with a commemoration at the museum, convening key leaders of the human rights and social justice movement.
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