This week in years gone by:
February 17th in 1827 was the day the world lost Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, a Swiss educationalist that devoted his life to poor, neglected and orphaned children. Inspired by Rousseau’s work he set up a residential farm school with the aim of teaching underprivileged children basic practical skills. This project failed and he turned his mind to other ways of helping the children – writing. Here he found his forte and developed his ideas and philosophies on social and political reform and his theories on education. The end result became known as the Pestalozzian method. One beneficiary of the method was Albert Einstein!
February 18th 1678 saw the publishing of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress while 1930 saw the day that Clyde Tombaugh ‘found’ Pluto – the dwarf planet of our solar system, not the cartoon character!
February 19th Love it or loathe it – today, at 7 p.m., the very first episode of East Enders hit our television screens.
February 20th 1896 saw cinema ‘arrive’ in Britain when a programme of films was shown to a paying audience
February 21st In 1819 Thomas Moore wrote in his diary – ‘Breakfasted in bed for the purpose of hastening the remainder of my Cribb work. It is singular the difference that bed makes, not only in the facility but the fancy of what I write. Whether it be the horizontal position or, more probably, the removal of all those external objects that divert the attention, it is certain that the effect is always the same. If I did not find that it relaxed me exceedingly, I should pass half my days in bed for the purpose of composition.
February 22nd 1857 saw the birth of another great influencer of children – Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell. Often known as simply B-P this Lieutenant-General in the British Army was the founder of the scouting movement that had beneficial ramification around the world for boys – and later girls. Were you a Scout or Guide?
February 23rd 1632 Samuel Pepys was born. In 1920 it was the day that the Cato Street Conspiracy to murder Cabinet ministers was discovered.