Saturday, May 17, 2008

Syttende Mai

Today is 17 May or Constitution Day in Norway. It commenrates the day in 1814 that Norway obtained its own constitution, although it still belonged to Sweden for a few more years.
It is a day for children and there are children's parades up and down Norway, as well as those organised elsewhere by the Sons and Daughters of Norway. I suspect that my sister and her family will be involved in one of the parades or will be doing something. She is like that.
So hooray for Norwegian Independance. (Norway achieved full independance in 1905)

I have been reading the Chambers Book of Days and also discovered that 14 May 1796 was the date that Jenner first gave cow pox to a boy. Hence the name -- vaccine. Before that, the type of innoculation used was from live small pox. This procedure was introduced to England in the early 18th by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Her story is absolutely fascinating. She campaigned because she had survived the small pox with much disfigurement but her brother had died. Earlier she had eloped after being dissatisfied with the man her parents wanted her to marry. She was also an early feminist.
Eventually, the live small pox innoculation was outlawed. People reacted in different ways and of course some caught the disease and died.
I always find small pox vaccinations interesting as I caught cow pox from my vaccine when I was a little girl.

Anyway, today I start editing my latest Viking and so my head is being filled with useless knowledge.

1 comment:

Kate Hardy said...

Fab post, Michelle - but please could you not post things that set off lightbulbs when I have revisions AND a book due in AND I've been away all weekend??? *g*

(Note to self. HOLD THE RESEARCH.)