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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

May 5, 2000

Hey, guys!  I hope you have been enjoying the anniversary celebrations, and I promise you that I have at least twenty-nine more stories to tell you all about growing up in Canada.  But we're going to take a break for today to bring you a weekly tradition that has been going on since 2012.

Yes, it's the Tuesday Timeline entry, and I won't stop doing these until I do at least one entry for each of the 365 (366 per leap year) days of the year.  I think I'm at the 200 mark, so I still have some days to go.

So, let us not waste any more time.  We have some events and celebrity birthdays to talk about.  But in the spirit of this being the anniversary month for the blog as well as the birthday month for me, I decided that this and every Tuesday Timeline entry between now and June 9 will take place between 1981 and 2015.  Or, in other words, every year that I've ever seen.  There's quite a lot of recent history that can be talked about in pop culture, and I think that it would be fun to have a look back through time while still keeping with the theme of the month (and a half).

So, what'll be the first date we go back in time to?  Well, we'll find out shortly...after the other events of May 5 - or as the Mexicans call it - "Cinco de Mayo"!

1494 - Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Jamaica, claiming it for Spain

1762 - Russia and Prussia sign the Treaty of St. Petersburg

1862 - Ignacio Zarazoga and his troops halt a French invasion of the Battle of Puebla in Mexico

1865 - The first American train robbery takes place in North Bend, Ohio

1866 - The very first Memorial Day celebrations are held in Waterloo, New York - at some point, the holiday is moved to the last Monday in May

1891 - The Music Hall (later renamed Carnegie Hall) is opened in New York City, with Tchaikovsky as guest conductor

1904 - Cy Young pitches the first perfect game in modern day baseball

1925 - John T. Scopes is served an arrest warrant for teaching evolution - a direct violation of the Butler Act which promoted the teaching of only creationism

1926 - Actress Ann B. Davis (d. 2014) is born in Schenectady, New York

1932 - Comic book artist Stan Goldberg (d. 2014) is born in The Bronx, New York

1934 - "Woman Haters", the first short by The Three Stooges, is released to the public

1935 - Actor and soap opera scribe Douglas Marland (d. 1993) is born

1942 - Country singer Tammy Wynette (d. 1998) is born in Iuka, Mississippi

1972 - 115 passengers are killed when Alitalia Flight 112 crashes into the side of Mount Longa in Sicily

1973 - Secretariat wins the Kentucky Derby with a record time of 1:59 2/5

1976 - Actor/producer Sage Stallone (d. 2012) is born in Los Angeles

1981 - Bobby Sands dies in the Long Kesh prison hospital after a sixty-six day hunger strike

1994 - 18-year-old American teenager Michael P. Fay is caned in Singapore on charges of vandalism and theft

2010 - Mass protests erupt all across Greece in response to austerity measures imposed by the government due to the debt crisis

And for celebrity birthdays, we have the following people blowing out candles today;  Pat Carroll, Will Hutchins, Ace Cannon, Michael Murphy, Lance Henriksen, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Marc Alaimo, John Rhys-Davies, Kurt Loder, Bill Ward, Nicholas Guest, Melinda Culea, Peter Howitt, Ian McCulloch, Brian Williams, Heidi Kozak, Scott Westerfeld, Kyan Douglas, Todd Newton, Tina Yothers, Dieter Brummer, Craig David, Danielle Fishel, Henry Cavill, Ian Michael Smith, Adele, Brooke Hogan, Skye Sweetnam, Chris Brown, and Larissa Wilson.

So, what will be the date that we'll take a look at this week?

Well, it's fifteen years ago.  May 5, 2000.

Now, one of the first things that I remember about this date was that it was supposed to have been one of the many days in which the world was supposed to go bye-bye.  Seriously, what is it with all of these people who only live to want to predict when everything dies?  Obviously, the end of the world did not happen on this date, or May 21, 2011, or December 21, 2012, or any date up to this point in time.  Of course, you probably already knew that.  You know, since you're reading this and all.

But May 5, 2000 was just a few days before I turned 19, and a month and half before I graduated high school (yes, I graduated high school at nineteen - I went to school in Ontario where at that time it was normal).  And, if you look at the celebrity birthday portion of this blog, you'll see that Danielle Fishel celebrates her birthday on May 5.  In fact, she is only thirteen days older than I am.

And something else happened on Danielle Fishel's nineteenth birthday - something that really marked her transition from girl to woman, as well as the transformations of three of her closest friends.

You see, on May 5, 2000, the show that helped made Danielle Fishel a huge star signed off for good.  And Fishel, along with Ben Savage, Will Friedle, and Rider Strong all bid farewell to a show that they had been a part of for seven seasons.

How many of you remember the television series "Boy Meets World"?  I know I certainly do.  It debuted in 1993 - back when I was in the seventh grade.  And most of the characters on the show were right around my age.  It was really awesome to see the characters on "Boy Meets World" growing up and facing a lot of the same things that I was going through at the same time. 

Let's face it.  The teen years can be some of the most difficult years to navigate through.  Trust me.  As you read through this blog over the next month, my entire teen year life could represent a week's worth of episodes of Degrassi.  And to say that Cory Matthews, Topanga Lawrence, and Shawn Hunter had an interesting high school experience would be an understatement.  They had to deal with romance, friendship, peer pressure, alcohol, drugs, sex, and perhaps the scariest thing of all...eleventh grade algebra!

(Hey, it was scary to me, okay?)

Fortunately, the teens had a lot of people on their side to help steer them in the right direction.  Cory had his parents and his older brother Eric to keep him on the straight and narrow.  There were also several teachers to help them out along the way which included Mr. Feeny (William Daniels), Mr. Williams (Alex Desert), and Mr. Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn).

And although each of the main characters had their own problems to deal with on the show, they all managed to get through high school in their own way.  Cory and Topanga had to deal with their feelings towards each other, Eric had to deal with overcoming mediocrity and learning to make it on his own, and Shawn nearly joined a cult, had to deal with parents who were never really there for him, and finding out he had a half-brother that he never knew he had.

We can guess who ended up having the most problems from this summary, can we?

But you know, that was the beauty of "Boy Meets World".  The show depicted just how confusing and how crazy the world can appear to a teenage boy, and the challenges that people that age can face.  The show handled these problems beautifully, and I found myself watching the show each week, wondering just what would happen next.

And say what you will about Mr. Feeny.  He may have come across as a strict disciplinarian at school, but he only wanted what was best for his students.  He taught Cory how to be a good role model, he taught Eric to never settle for second best, he taught Topanga to always see the good things in life, and he refused to give up on Shawn no matter how bad his life had gone.  That's a great teacher.

Of course, all good things come to an end, and "Boy Meets World" aired its final episode on May 5, 2000.  It was an episode in which Cory, Topanga, Shawn, and Eric all went their separate ways and were figuring out what to do with their lives, which saw a tearful goodbye with Mr. Feeny, as well as this scene between Cory and his little brother, Josh.  Have a look at it below.

But sometimes the end can bring forth a new beginning.  And fourteen years after "Boy Meets World" wrapped up its run, a new show entitled "Girl Meets World" debuted on the Disney Channel, which had Cory and Topanga's daughter Riley (Rowan Blanchard) figuring life out along with her best friend Maya (Sabrina Carpenter).  Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel are full-time cast members, Rider Strong made a couple of appearances, and Will Friedel is set to make an appearance on season two, which is set to debut May 11.

And for what it's worth, "Girl Meets World" is pretty decent.  Just goes to show that sometimes reboots can work.

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