10 April 1710

The Statute of Anne, the first law regulating copyright, comes into force in Great Britain.

The Statute of Anne, also known as the Copyright Act 1710, is a significant piece of legislation in the history of copyright law. It was enacted by the Parliament of Great Britain in 1710 and is widely considered the first modern copyright law. The statute is named after Queen Anne, who reigned from 1702 to 1714.

Here are some key aspects and provisions of the Statute of Anne:

Purpose: The primary aim of the statute was to address the issue of the monopoly power held by the Stationers’ Company, a London-based guild of printers and booksellers, over the publishing industry. The statute sought to strike a balance between the interests of authors, who wanted protection for their creative works, and the public interest in promoting access to knowledge.

Term of Protection: The Statute of Anne established the concept of limited copyright duration. It granted authors and their heirs the exclusive right to print and publish their works for a period of 14 years, with the possibility of renewal for another 14 years if the author was still alive at the end of the initial term.

Public Domain: After the expiration of the copyright term, the works entered the public domain, meaning they could be freely reproduced and distributed by anyone. This provision aimed to encourage the dissemination of knowledge and the growth of public access to literature and other creative works.

Rights of Authors: The statute recognized the rights of authors as creators of their works and granted them certain legal protections against unauthorized reproduction and publication. This marked a significant departure from the earlier system of censorship and monopolies controlled by the Stationers’ Company.

Registration Requirement: The statute required authors to register their works with the Stationers’ Company to receive copyright protection. This registration system aimed to provide a mechanism for enforcing copyright claims and resolving disputes over ownership and infringement.

Fair Use: Although the concept of fair use as it is understood today did not exist at the time, the statute did include provisions allowing for limited exceptions to copyright protection. For example, it permitted the reproduction of works for educational or research purposes.

The Statute of Anne laid the groundwork for modern copyright law by establishing fundamental principles such as limited duration, the recognition of authorship rights, and the promotion of public access to knowledge. Its influence can still be seen in copyright legislation around the world today.

10 April 837

Halley’s Comet makes its closest approach to Earth at a distance equal to 0.0342 AU (5.1 million kilometres/3.2 million miles)

Halley’s Comet is one of the most famous comets in the solar system, named after the English astronomer Edmond Halley who predicted its return based on his observations of comets in the 17th century.

The comet takes approximately 76 years to complete one orbit around the Sun, and was last visible from Earth in 1986. Its next predicted appearance is in 2061.

Halley’s Comet is a periodic comet, which means that it follows a predictable path around the Sun. It is a relatively small comet, with a nucleus estimated to be about 15 kilometers in diameter, and it is composed mainly of ice, dust, and gas.

The comet’s most notable feature is its long, bright tail, which can stretch for millions of kilometers. This tail is created when the comet’s nucleus heats up as it gets closer to the Sun, causing ice and gas to be released and blown back by the solar wind.

Halley’s Comet has been observed and documented for over 2,000 years, with records of its appearance dating back to ancient Greece and China. Its next visit in 2061 will be closely watched by astronomers and stargazers alike, as it is the first time the comet will be visible from Earth in over 70 years.

10 April 1872

The first Arbor Day is celebrated in Nebraska.

The Spanish village of Mondoñedo held the first documented arbor plantation festival in the world organized by its mayor in 1594. The place remains as Alameda de los Remedios and it is still planted with lime and horse-chestnut trees. A humble granite marker and a bronze plate recall the event. Additionally, the small Spanish village of Villanueva de la Sierra held the first modern Arbor Day, an initiative launched in 1805 by the local priest with the enthusiastic support of the entire population.

While Napoleon was ravaging Europe with his ambition in this village in the Sierra de Gata lived a priest, don Juan Abern Samtrés, which, according to the chronicles, “convinced of the importance of trees for health, hygiene, decoration, nature, environment and customs, decides to plant trees and give a festive air. The festival began on Carnival Tuesday with the ringing of two bells of the church, and the Middle and the Big. After the Mass, and even coated with church ornaments, don Juan, accompanied by clergies, teachers and a large number of neighbours, planted the first tree, a poplar, in the place known as Valley of the Ejido. Tree plantations continued by Arroyada and Fuente de la Mora. Afterwards, there was a feast, and did not miss the dance. The party and plantations lasted three days. He drafted a manifesto in defence of the trees that was sent to surrounding towns to spread the love and respect for nature, and also he advised to make tree plantations in their localities.
—Miguel Herrero Uceda, Arbor Day

The first American Arbor Day was originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska by J. Sterling Morton. On April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted in Nebraska.

Birdsey Northrop of Connecticut was responsible for globalizing the idea when he visited Japan in 1883 and delivered his Arbor Day and Village Improvement message. In that same year, the American Forestry Association made Northrop the Chairman of the committee to campaign for Arbor Day nationwide. He also brought his enthusiasm for Arbor Day to Australia, Canada, and Europe.

10 April 1970

Paul McCartney announces that he is leaving The Beatles.

The legendary rock band the Beatles spent the better part of three years breaking up in the late 1960s, and even longer than that hashing out who did what and why. And by the spring of 1970, there was little more than a tangled set of business relationships keeping the group together. Each of the Beatles was pursuing his musical interests outside of the band, and there were no plans in place to record together as a group. But as far as the public knew, this was just a temporary state of affairs. That all changed on April 10, 1970, when an ambiguous Paul McCartney “self-interview” was seized upon by the international media as an official announcement of a Beatles breakup.

The occasion for the statements Paul released to the press that day was the upcoming release of his debut solo album, McCartney.Nothing in Paul’s answers constituted a definitive statement about the Beatles’ future, but his remarks were nevertheless reported in the press under headlines like “McCartney Breaks Off With Beatles” and “The Beatles sing their swan song.” And whatever his intent at the time, Paul’s statements drove a further wedge between himself and his bandmates. In the May 14, 1970, issue of Rolling Stone, John Lennon lashed out at Paul in a way he’d never done publicly: “He can’t have his own way, so he’s causing chaos,” John said. “I put out four albums last year, and I didn’t say a word about quitting.”

By year’s end, Paul would file suit to dissolve the Beatles’ business partnership, a formal process that would eventually make official the unofficial breakup he announced on this day in 1970.

10 April 1872

The first Arbor Day is celebrated in Nebraska.

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The first Arbor Day took place on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska. It was the brainchild of Julius Sterling Morton, a Nebraska journalist and politician originally from Michigan. Throughout his long and productive career, Morton worked to improve agricultural techniques in his adopted state and throughout the United States when he served as President Grover Cleveland’s Secretary of Agriculture. But his most important legacy is Arbor Day.

Morton felt that Nebraska’s landscape and economy would benefit from the wide-scale planting of trees. He set an example himself planting orchards, shade trees and wind breaks on his own farm and he urged his neighbours to follow suit. Morton’s real opportunity, though, arrived when he became a member of Nebraska’s state board of agriculture. He proposed that a special day be set aside dedicated to tree planting and increasing awareness of the importance of trees. Nebraska’s first Arbor Day was an amazing success. More than one million trees were planted. A second Arbor Day took place in 1884 and the young state made it an annual legal holiday in 1885, using April 22nd to coincide with Morton’s birthday.

In the years following that first Arbor Day, Morton’s idea spread beyond Nebraska with Kansas, Tennessee, Minnesota and Ohio all proclaiming their own Arbor Days. Today all 50 states celebrate Arbor Day although the dates may vary in keeping with the local climate. Arbor Day is also now celebrated in other countries including Australia.