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28 October 2014

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One Day In History

Heritage organisations behind the 'History Matters–pass it on campaign' are urging people to take part in a mass blog recording how we lived on one single day – Tuesday 17th October 2006. Find out more.

Future generations will know exactly what their ancestors got up to in mid October 2006. This is the day that has been chosen for a nationwide 'blog' exercise.

A rose by Joe Trevail
You may spend the day in the garden

The aim is to create a massive electronic snapshot in words of everyday life at the beginning of the 21st century – to be stored in perpetuity as a social history archive.

The various heritage organisations involved in the project are hoping people of all ages will log on to to record what happened during the chosen day Tuesday 17 October 2006.

This day in the past has seen some significant events:

1980 - In Rome, the first ever meeting between a British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II and the Pope during a State Visit to the Vatican.

1962 - Emerging 'pop' group 'The Beatles' make their first appearance on British TV.

1934 - Berlin says Adolf Hitler is to keep his titles of Fuhrer and Reich Chancellor for life.

Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry will be taking part

1651 - Charles II is defeated and flees to France after famously escaping from Oliver Cromwell's forces by hiding in an oak tree.

For most people, 17 October 2006 will be an ordinary day, filled with familiar tasks, surrounded by common sights and objects, and interspersed with encounters with familiar faces.

Orgainsers are hoping that people will include in their diary-blogs how history impacted on them that day – whether it be simply travelling past an historic landmark, discussing family history at home, watching another repeat of Only Fools and Horses, or listening to Dad's '60s music, again. It could be anything.


The aim is to make a permanent record of the ordinary lives of the nation from students to celebrities like Stephen Fry, Bettany Hughes and Derek Jacobi.

Bedruthan Steps by Andy Curtis
Maybe you will escape to the beach

Tony Benn, Bill Bryson and Tony Robinson are also supporting the project.  Every school in the country – 29,000 of them - has been invited to take part in this mass participation event. 

By logging on to and taking part in this mass blog everyone will be contributing something valuable to the historic record – a fascinating resource for future generations to explore. 

"The wonderful thing about these records is we don’t yet know what it is about them that will be interesting in the future," says David Cannadine, Institute for Historical Research,

Traffic jam
Will there be rush hours in the future?

"It may be that historians in the future will be amazed that on 17 October 2006 we were still eating meat or driving privately owned cars!"

The blogs will then be stored by the British Library and at other locations as a permanent record of national life.
Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust, said: "It would be fantastic if hundreds of thousands of people take up this opportunity for mass online participation on 17 October, and make it the biggest blog ever.  We want this day to have its own place in history and be a snapshot of everyday life at the beginning of the 21st century.”

Taking Part is easy

First, record a diary of your day on 17 October. This can be anything from 100 to 1,000 words long.

Log on to and follow the instructions on how to upload your (blog) diary.

Diaries can be uploaded from 17th to 31st October 2006.          

Watch the website for details of how the archive can be accessed in the future.

last updated: 13/10/06
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