Wikipedia talk:Selected anniversaries

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To make sure articles are not selected (bolded item) more than once, search for the article's name at Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/All.

Note about use of 'this day in history'-type data sources:

Do be careful when adding entries to the selected anniversary page and their corresponding day, year and subject articles. Many of the events listed on the day pages come from data obtained from other similar lists on the Internet. I have found that most of those lists contain many inaccurate and flat-out wrong data. Last year I was able to expand and fix about half of all the day pages and found that my major data source ( was at least subtly wrong or had spurious events that could not be confirmed 1/5–1/3 of the time. I therefore spent a few hours on every day page I worked on checking facts and then updating the corresponding year and subject articles.

  • My guess is that most, if not the great majority, of these 'day in history'-type website lists swap data back and forth via rewrites that are not checked for accuracy. In time errors must creep in—just like a huge game of telephone.
  • Some entries on these websites seem to totally confuse Julian and Gregorian dates (even converting Julian dates to Gregorian for dates that happened before the Gregorian Calendar was adopted!).
  • Other websites seem to have added events to specific days when the exact day the event actually happened on is not known at all (most of these guesses are placed on the 1st and the 15th of months on these websites).

In short, please check any fact obtained from these type of websites and also check any fact on our own day pages before updating its corresponding year or subject article. --mav (talk)

The Day We Fight Back[edit]

Please lend your ideas, expertise, and general awesomeness to this project (especially your section), which is designed to bring together all the main page task forces to create a themed main page as part of the User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 155#The Day We Fight Back campaign (sites like Reddit are participating too). See The Day We Fight Back for more information. :)--Coin945 (talk) 16:36, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Invitation to help craft a proposal[edit]

Surveillance awareness day is a proposal for the English Wikipedia to take special steps to promote awareness of global surveillance on February 11, 2014. That date is chosen to coincide with similar actions being taken by organizations such as Mozilla, Reddit, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Feedback from members of this Wikiproject would be greatly appreciated. Please come join us as we brainstorm, polish, and present this proposal to the Wikipedia Community. --HectorMoffet (talk) 19:11, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Bimillennial - how to mark?[edit]

I've just edited the death of the first Roman emperor, Augustus, into the entry for August 19, because the year he died was AD14, so this year (2014) is the 2000th (Bimillennial) anniversary - and because it's a good article (FA-grade, high importance).

Do we have some special way of marking 'big number' anniversaries? Do we say "2000 years ago" or something?

--Balaenoptera musculus (talk) 13:02, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

I've moved it to the correct location. Thanks. howcheng {chat} 15:43, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
@User:Howcheng - many thanks! Balaenoptera musculus (talk) 19:39, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

OTD/TFA duplicate[edit]

Two-cent piece is schedule for both tomorrow's TFA and tomorrow's OTD. See WP:ERRORS. If no one replaces it or says not to do so by 23:00 tomorrow, I will simply remove it from OTD. --ThaddeusB (talk)

RMS Empress of Ireland[edit]

The RMS Empress of Ireland sank on 29 May 1914.
Wavelength (talk) 01:42, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Franz Ferdinand[edit]

This may not be the correct place to post this, but I assume OTD for June 28 will include the momentous assassination of Franz & Sophie that led, alas, to WWI (which led directly to WWII) —

  • '1914Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and his wife Sophie are assassinated in Sarajevo by Bosnia Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip, the casus belli of World War I.
Sca (talk) 00:56, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Seeing as how it's the 100th anniversary, it will definitely be there (assuming no article maintenance issues, or that a related item is not FA/POTD). howcheng {chat} 19:48, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
And yet "Seeing as how it's the 100th anniversary, it will definitely be there" did not apply to the invasion of Belgium and the start of WW1. A more robust system than "Let's hope someone thinks to suggest it." Kevin McE (talk) 17:21, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Location for birth/death anniversaries[edit]

It seems rather strange to me to put the centenaries of a birth/death in the Holidays/Observances section, as was done for Bhaktivinoda Thakur on Wikipedia:Selected_anniversaries/June_23, 2014. It's not like it's the 100th anniversary of his death every year, and it doesn't sound like the day of his death is celebrated as a holiday in any locality, so to call it a Holiday/Observance seems off. I would have instead expected to find it listed in the Events section, like how Cinosaur did it [1] in a previous version. There doesn't sound like there's any policy about the matter, though. Should there be? -- (talk) 23:13, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

It's standard practice to put the birth/death anniversary there. Examples: Melchora Aquino, Glenn T. Seaborg. howcheng {chat} 19:57, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

World War I Centenary[edit]

This year marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Unfortunately most of the critical events, with the exception of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand noted above, that lead up to the outbreak of the war have been missed. Today is the anniversary of the invasion of neutral Belgium and Britain's subsequent declaration of war on Germany. If there is a more consequential military event between the Battle of Waterloo and today, I am unaware of it. Is there some way we can perhaps make a special effort to keep an eye out for Word War I related events so that at least the more significant ones get some mention? This is not intended as a shot across anyone's bow. But I do think it is a bit regrettable that Wikipedia pretty much missed the anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War. I will try to keep an eye on the calendar for 1914 and get word out when I see things. Help would be appreciated. -Ad Orientem (talk) 13:42, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Alhaji Grunshi would be a good one for 7 August. (talk) 09:52, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

An issue with process has been raised[edit]

Dear colleagues,

I've noticed (and briefly contributed to) a related thread on the talkpage of one of our most experienced and respected gnomes, Colonies Chris. The discussion apparently concerns possible lack of scrutiny of redirects before the just-in-time posting of OTDs by rotation from a library. Colonies Chris clearly doesn't want this permanent responsibility, and seems to be hinting that shared, possibly rotating, responsibility among the administrators here would be proper.

Your opinions would be welcome. Thanks. Tony (talk) 08:01, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

As I suggested to Chris, I've checked all the listed OTDs from now until about mid-October and fixed the kinds of things Chris sends to ERRORS. Took me, ooh, half an hour. In mid-October I'll happily donate another half an hour to get us through to Christmas. The Rambling Man (talk) 07:54, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
TRM, sounds great! Tony (talk) 09:08, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Image size flexibility?[edit]

The better img at 100x100?
The better img at 65x100?

The guideline says images are to be 100x100px maximum, and I just went to some trouble to produce a special crop optimized for those dimensions, but then I saw that in a previous year a larger image was used (apparently 150 tall and about 100 wide). Are occasional exceptions allowed? Or, if that's an aberration, would it make sense to change the guideline from

The image should be no more than 100px wide and 100px high

to something like

The image should be no more than 10,000 pixels in area—​​typically 100x100px but possibly, for example, 150x65px. (Neither dimension should be greater than 200px.)

-- since, after all, it's really only area that counts, within reason. For example, if the 100x100 specification is rigid, I'd use one image, but if I could use 65x150 I'd use another -- see right. (If you don't know who this is and what he's holding, see Phineas Gage.)

Thoughts? EEng (talk) 21:17, 15 September 2014 (UTC) P.S. Those who want to quibble about "pixels" vs. "square pixels" and so on, please just edit the above the way you want -- I don't want to hear about it.

Anyone? Anyone at all? EEng (talk) 02:46, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

David Jewett Waller, Sr.[edit]

The article for David Jewett Waller, Sr. is currently listed in the eligible hooks list for January 26. Can whoever is in charge please make sure that it runs on the upcoming January 26, 2015, since the article won't be eligible again until 2093 due to the current rules on biographies and centennials. Thanks, --Jakob (talk) 22:24, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure if this guy is notable enough for inclusion as a birth/death anniversary. howcheng {chat} 17:52, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
@Howcheng: From the article: By the time of his death, he was one of the most well-known people in northeastern Pennsylvania. And how many centennials can there be per day? --Jakob (talk) 18:50, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but he's too provincial. If he were one of the most well-known people in the US, I'd have no problem with including him. howcheng {chat} 09:33, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

How to make suggestions[edit]

From the Project page it's unclear how editors can suggest articles to the selection panel for inclusion on OTD, or are such suggestions unnecessary as long as the suggested article appears in WP:DAYS? Thanks. --Deeday-UK (talk) 10:30, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

I'll add something to the project page, but the gist of it is:
  1. Be bold and add it directly to the day in question.
  2. Add it to the talk page of the day.
howcheng {chat} 17:45, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Interesting proposal[edit]

Hello all, I thought this proposal from Inspire might interest everyone who follows this page. Cheers, Sadads (talk) 18:38, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Tokyo subway sarin attack[edit]

I'm surprised we aren't covering this 20 year anniversary. All the best: Rich Farmbrough

The article has an orange-level maintenance tag and is generally lacking sources, which is likely why it was left off the list. Nikkimaria (talk) 01:49, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

April 30, May 7[edit]

Yes, I know this isn't the approved way to make suggestions, but I haven't fared well in previous attempts to follow the directions.

Two imminent, historically significant anniversaries that definitely should be included in OTD:

  • April 30 – 70th anniversary of Hitler's suicide in 1945 in the Berlin chancellery bunker, presaging the end of WWII in Europe.
  • May 7 – 100th anniversary of the torpedoing of the RMS Lusitania, which precipitated a crisis in U.S.-German relations and led to a suspension of unrestricted U-boat warfare.

Sca (talk) 14:08, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Hitler's suicide is covered. RMS Lusitania will likely make it in unless the article gets a maintenance tag slapped on it in the next week. howcheng {chat} 17:11, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Howcheng, thanks. One more that occurred to me as I looked at calendar:
  • April 30 – 40th anniversary of fall of Saigon to Communist forces, ending Vietnam War. (This should not displace Hitler's suicide, though.)
Sca (talk) 21:46, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I already got that one. howcheng {chat} 22:55, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Xcllnt. Sca (talk) 00:06, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

@Sca: The Sinking of the Lusitania is TFA for 2015 so Sinking of the RMS Lusitania isn't going to be included after all. howcheng {chat} 10:34, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Ah. Thanks for the thoughtful note. Sca (talk) 12:27, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Can an article be in both OTD and picture?[edit]

I went to Wikipedia talk:Selected anniversaries/June 15 to suggest the Magna Carta article as it will the 800th anniversary on 15 June 2015, however I see it has already been selected as the featured picture for that day. Can an article appear in more than one section of the main page? Some of us had been working on getting it to FA so that it could be TFA on that day - this is now unlikely to happen - but does mean that it is in pretty good shape. NB this article has been a selected anniversary in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2013 - but I don't know if having appeared previously makes it more or less likely to appear?— Rod talk 15:45, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

International Lefthanders Day[edit]

International Lefthanders Day is August 13.—Wavelength (talk) 18:51, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Possible separate entity, wikialmanac?[edit]

OK, So this probably isn't the best idea anyone here has ever heard of, but I don't see any evidence that anyone has ever proposed a separate almanac type WF entity, which might, for instance, have portal-type pages for various countries or cities or topics or academic disciplines or whatever with a "today in history" or "this week in history" or similar structure listing the various items of historical significance which have occurred in the field of that portal's topic in the time period specified. Personally, as someone who does a lot of editing on religion and/or Christianity type topics, I could see maybe how it might possibly generate maybe a bit more attention to our articles here, as well as provide a bit of a service to the relevant church groups, if we were able to set up pages displaying the daily entries of various liturgical calendars, which could be used by the relevant religious communities to more easily set up "dial-a-saint" or "dial-a-prayer" type services. It might also maybe make it a bit easier and/or more likely to develop the relevant articles on the various entries for the coming week or month, perhaps particularly bringing in some of the ministers who might use or link to the information in their own dial-a-prayer/dial-a-saint service, or their Facebook pages, or whatever. Again, personally, I think the places most likely to maybe see some development might be the smaller churches (like, for instance, not the Catholics, but the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, and, among the Catholics, the entries in either the specific calendars of countries or families of religious orders but not the main universal calendar.

For other topics, like, for instance, Montana or New York City or whatever, there are a few reference books of the "this day in history" type, and relevant entries from them in the topical portals, and, maybe, add a few entries for members of a relevant "Hall of Fame" or similar entities, where they exist, which aren't mentioned in those books.

Anyway, any responses? John Carter (talk) 19:39, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

The place you want to be asking is probably Wikipedia:WikiProject Days of the year rather than here, as that's where the people likely to be interested in taking part will be found.
Would it not make more sense just to add category dividers to the existing January 1, January 2 … December 31 pages on Wikipedia, rather than have a whole separate project? The immediate drawback I can see is that very few editors are likely to be interested in maintaining it, so it would be likely to go out of date very quickly, and to be overrun with people adding their own birthdays. ‑ iridescent 19:48, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

Main Page redesign[edit]

A redesign of the Main Page is underway to give it a modern look. Feedback is welcome. Please stop by and let us know what you think about the placement of the various features ("Today's featured article", "In the news", "Did you know", etc.) The Transhumanist 17:54, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Bach cantata[edit]

I am new to OTD, have no time to read it all, brought a Bach cantata to GAN status, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51, review in progress. It's a popular piece by a great composer and was - as far as we know - first performed on 17 September 1730. Due to health issues, I couldn't get it ready for the DYK section soon enough as I had planned. Any chance for this section, just one year for a change of topic? If yes, how? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:12, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

@Gerda Arendt: The article quality appears to be decent, but there's nothing in the text to indicate how popular the work is. Admittedly, I'm not a classical music aficionado, but it's not one that I've heard of before, and there are no audio samples so I can't even say if I recognize it. If it's a minor work, I'm reluctant to include it. howcheng {chat} 00:10, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
It's a major work, but I have no time to argue, don't like these claims such as "the most popular", as some sources say, - just forget it then, - Bach wrote it for "any time", so I leave it to the DYK process, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:41, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
I'm not doubting you... I'm just saying the article should make that clear. howcheng {chat} 18:49, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

Glorification of Crime, War, politics, serial killers,[edit]

OTD doesn't give much importance to Movie stars, Nobel Prize winners, Philanthropists.

I don't see "On this day Walt Disney"got academy award. On This day Charlie Chaplin's movie was released. On this day Hillary and Norgay climbed Everest. On this day Jenner found vaccine. On this day Mother Teresa fot Nobel Prize. On this day Elvis Presley's album was released. On this Day Florence Nightangle did this. On this day "pictured above"invented electric bulb. On this day William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was performed for first time. On this day Alexander Fleming invented penicillin. On this day chemotherapy was invented. On this day Michael Faraday died. On this day Neil Armstrong landed on moon. On this day won't feture Bruce Lee, Neils Bohr type people. Glamorize all wild west criminals, serial killers, 1940s mobsters, 1920s gangsters, mafia dons..-- (talk) 05:43, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but you are flat-out wrong. OTD has plenty of articles about science, exploration, religion, the arts, and pop culture. However, it doesn't feature every article every year. A lot of the topics you mentioned are already listed, but may not have been included this year. You may have to check the Staging Area on the day in question to find it. Other articles are ineligible due to maintenance required.
If you start at Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/January and go through the year, you'll see that we have a fairly wide variety of topics covered. howcheng {chat} 16:48, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Agree with the examples above, but I also agree with the comment above there are a disproportionate number of entries on crime, killers and conflict, sometimes with exuberant wording. One example is discussed here. I looked through Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/All. As another example, I found seven entries on The Troubles, vastly disproportionate to the importance of the topic to readers across Wikipedia:
Individually, each item on crime, killers, conflict etc may be justified. I think the broader aspect, which needs broader discussion, is how to further improve the selected anniversaries project as a whole. Whizz40 (talk) 08:20, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
I do try to not repeat the same topics within a short time span (you'll note that the Troubles did not appear both on December 4 and 6 last year). Exceptions get made for significant anniversaries, but I don't look at time spans more than say, 2 weeks. howcheng {chat} 19:59, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
Makes sense Howard, thank you for responding and apologies for adding to the list of voices bringing up small points in the scheme of an overall great and well-scheduled project for the Main Page. For my part, I succeeded in helping move two or three entries from ineligible to eligible and adding one or two new ones. Just a thought, I wonder if there is a forum for trying to get a focus of lots of editors on doing this for a short period to pick up other quick wins and widen the range of eligible entries. Whizz40 (talk) 21:28, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't know of any such forum, myself. Some of the more active WikiProjects have a "collaboration of the week" kind of thing, but I doubt there is any central location. howcheng {chat} 17:27, 7 March 2016 (UTC)

Oct 13 Paddington Blurb, from ERRORS[edit]

Paddington Bear was created by Michael Bond. As our article on the subject makes clear, the books were "illustrated by Peggy Fortnum and other artists". I think we've over-egged Fortnum's role in our blurb and suggest we remove her name. --Dweller (talk) 12:07, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Anyone? --Dweller (talk) 16:30, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Disagree. Peggy Fortnum is, far and away, the best known illustrator of Paddington Bear books. That a few of the books were occasionally illustrated by someone else doesn't remove her importance as an illustrator of the best known of them, and as the best known illustrator associated with the series. --Jayron32 16:40, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the current phrasing is unclear, as it doesn't distinguish between the author and illustrator. I suggest rephrasing as 'written by Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum'. That makes everything nice and clear and avoids either misrepresenting or omitting either contribution. Modest Genius talk 16:51, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

How about: "1958 – The first book featuring the character Paddington Bear (statue pictured), created by Michael Bond and primarily illustrated by Peggy Fortnum, was published."? It would be better (assuming it's true) to say "originally illustrated", but the article doesn't say that.

This is now off Main Page, so the discussion has moved here from ERRORS, but it's worth fixing now before it re-runs another year. --Dweller (talk) 08:15, 14 October 2015 (UTC)


How/where can one view the OTD queue? Sca (talk) 16:06, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

Well, let's say it's April: Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/April. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:43, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

William Shakespeare forgotten[edit]

In contrast to Google and even the French Wikipedia, there was nothing on the front page today on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death which is being celebrated worldwide. I don't know who is responsible for recording anniversaries and ensuring that a suitable FA is displayed but this is a serious lapse.--Ipigott (talk) 12:37, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

With the benefit of hindsight, maybe you should have been responsible ;-) Nonetheless, as noted above for #World War I Centenary, there does seem to be a better process needed to catch these types of anniversaries. Whizz40 (talk) 13:24, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
The unreferenced section issue on Treaty of London (1839) has been resolved, which would have made eligible on WP:Selected anniversaries/August 4 one of the key entries on the start of the First World War. Had this been done two years ago, it would have addressed the issue raised above, if it was selected. Nonetheless, as noted in #Franz Ferdinand and here, we do seem to need a better process for identifying upcoming significant anniversaries and coordinating work needed to include relevant entries in the Selected anniversaries. Whizz40 (talk) 06:17, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Regarding the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death noted above, what would have been the best way of including this? It is listed on April 23#Deaths "1616 – William Shakespeare, English actor, playwright, and poet (b. 1564)" and Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries says "10. Births and natural deaths of notable people can be used only on centennials. Unnatural deaths (assassinations, accidents, etc) of notable figures may be used at any time." So would the best approach have been to create an entry on Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/April 23 and include a Talk page note proposing its inclusion for the 400th anniversary? Whizz40 (talk) 06:45, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

Found an answer to this at User talk:Howcheng#On This Day. Birth/death centennials are usually listed with the holidays/observances, for example "400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare". Whizz40 (talk) 06:29, 1 May 2016 (UTC)
Making some bold updates to the project page to try to help clarify how editors can help with the project. If there is anything unclear or any questions about what text was changed please let me know. Hopefully all changes are logical, helpful and uncontroversial. Apologies in advance for any slip ups. Whizz40 (talk) 23:48, 30 April 2016 (UTC)
Updates made, please review and let me know any issues, hopefully everything has been thought through carefully and is okay. Whizz40 (talk) 00:06, 1 May 2016 (UTC)
Hopefully the changes also help with #How to make suggestions. Whizz40 (talk) 00:54, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

Daft question?[edit]

Today's selection reads:

May 5: Feast of St George (Palestinians); Liberation Day in Denmark, Ethiopia, and the Netherlands; Yom HaShoah in Israel (2016); Cinco de Mayo in Mexico and the United States; National Day of Prayer in the United States (2016)

What's the significance of "(2016)" that appears for some entries and not others? --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 13:51, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

Hi Dweller, from the Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries#"On this day" guidelines: "Non-Gregorian-based holidays and observances should be moved to the correct day for the current year.... These holidays and observances should also be marked with the current year in parentheses as an indicator to readers that observance on this day is specific to this year." Whizz40 (talk) 05:02, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
I see. That kind of makes sense. Except that the typical reader of our front page won't know that. I'm a very atypical reader and I didn't know that (or even know where to find that out) so for the regular visitor, it'll mean nothing but unnecessary confusion. --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 12:24, 6 May 2016 (UTC)