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1908 Summer Olympics

The 1908 Summer Olympics the Games of the IV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event, held in 1908 in London, United Kingdom from 27 April to 31 October 1908. These games were scheduled to be held in Rome, but relocation on financial grounds followed a disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1906, they were the fourth chronological modern Summer Olympics in keeping with the now-accepted four-year cycle as opposed to the alternate four-year cycle of the proposed Intercalated Games. The IOC president for these Games was Baron Pierre de Coubertin. Lasting a total of 187 days, or 6 months and 4 days, these games were the longest in modern Olympics history. There were four bids for the 1908 Summer Olympics. Rome was selected ahead of London and Milan; the selection was made at the 6th IOC Session in London in 1904. Italian authorities were preparing to stage the games when Mount Vesuvius erupted on 7 April 1906, devastating the city of Naples. Funds were diverted to the reconstruction of Naples, so a new host country was required.

London was selected for the first time to hold the Games which were held at White City alongside the Franco-British Exhibition, at the time the more noteworthy event. The White City Stadium, built in short time for the games, held 68,000 however only 65,000 people turned up to watch the games; the stadium track was three laps to the mile, not the current standard of 400 metres, with a pool for swimming and diving and platforms for wrestling and gymnastics in the middle. The distance from the start of the Marathon to the finish at the stadium was established at these games; the original distance of 25 miles was changed to 26 miles so the marathon could start at Windsor Castle and changed again at the request of Princess Mary so the start would be beneath the windows of the Royal Nursery. To ensure that the race would finish in front of the King, the finish line was moved by British officials who “felt compelled to restore the importance of the monarchy.” As a result of these changes, the marathon covered a distance of 26 miles 385 yards, which became the standard length starting with the 1924 Summer Olympics.

There were controversies at the games. On the opening day, following the practice introduced at the Intercalated Games of 1906, teams paraded behind national flags. However, the arrangement caused complications: Since Finland was part of the Russian Empire, members of the Finnish team were expected to march under the Russian rather than Finnish flag, so many chose to march without a flag at all; the Swedish flag had not been displayed above the stadium, so the members of the Swedish team decided not to take part in the ceremony. The United States' flag bearer, Ralph Rose, refused to dip the flag to King-Emperor Edward VII in the royal box, his fellow athlete Martin Sheridan declared that "this flag dips to no earthly King." The quote is held as an example of Irish and American defiance of the British monarchy, though it is historicity disputed. The 1908 Olympics prompted establishment of standard rules for sports, selection of judges from different countries rather than just the host. One reason was the 400 metre race, in which a US runner, John Carpenter, was accused by the British officials of interfering with a British runner.

Part of the problem was the different definition of interference under British and international rules. The officials ordered a second final race without him. British Halswelle was to face the other two finalists; these athletes, William Robbins and John Taylor, were both Americans and decided not to participate in the repeat of the final to protest against the judges' decision. Halswelle was thus the only medallist in the 400 metres; the most famous incident of the games came at the end of the marathon. Dorando Pietri, began his race at a rather slow pace, but in the second half of the course began a powerful surge moving him into second position by the 32 km mark, 4 minutes behind South African Charles Hefferon; when he knew that Hefferon was in crisis, Pietri further increased his pace, overtaking him at the 39 km mark. The effort took its toll and with only two kilometres to go, Pietri began to feel the effects of extreme fatigue and dehydration; when he entered the stadium, he took the wrong path and when umpires redirected him, he fell down for the first time.

He got up in front of 75,000 spectators. He fell four more times, each time the umpires helped him up. In the end, though exhausted, he managed to finish the race in first place. Of his total time of 2h 54min 46s, ten minutes were needed for that last 340 metres. Second was American Johnny Hayes; the American team lodged a complaint against the help Pietri received from the umpires. The complaint was accepted and Pietri was disqualified and removed from the final standings of the race. Since he had not been responsible for his disqualification, Queen Alexandra awarded him a gilded silver cup the next day; these Games were the first to include winter events, as had been proposed for the Games. There were four figure skating events, although held on 28 and 29 October, months after most of the other events. Oscar Swahn from Sweden, who won the gold medal for running deer shooting, became the oldest Olympic champion of all time, set another age record by being 72 years and 279 days old during his triumph at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium.

One of the more unusual shooting events in 1908 was Olympic dueling. The discipline, an associate event, was performed by facing opponents wearing prot

Gerard Stembridge

Gerard "Gerry" Stembridge is an Irish writer and actor. He was educated at CBS Sexton Street in Limerick and at Castleknock College. While attending University College Dublin, he was auditor of the Historical Society, he taught drama at Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Clontarf. He reached significant prominence in Ireland when he co-created the satirical comedy radio programme Scrap Saturday with Dermot Morgan, it became one of the most popular programmes on RTÉ Radio. Stembridge wrote the screenplay for Ordinary Decent Criminal, he co-wrote Nora, a film about James Joyce and Nora Barnacle which starred Ewan McGregor and Susan Lynch. He has directed such films as Guiltrip, Black Day at Black Rock and About Adam. A selection of his plays include 1992 Betrayals Ceaucescu's Ear Daniel's Hands Denis and Rose The Gay Detective Love Child Melting Penguins That Was Then; the Leaving Stembridge's latest novel The Effect of Her was published in 2013. He is the author of three earlier novels: Unspoken, Counting Down and According to Luke.

Auditors of the Literary and Historical Society Works by or about Gerard Stembridge in libraries Gerard Stembridge on IMDb

Jim Rex

Jim Rex was the 16th South Carolina Superintendent of Education. He ran for the position in 2006 against Karen Floyd, a Republican. Rex defeated Floyd by only 455 votes, the closest margin of victory in a statewide election in South Carolina's history, he was sworn in as superintendent on January 2007, replacing fellow Democrat Inez Tenenbaum. In 2014, Rex co-founded a new political party – the American Party of South Carolina, he is chair of the party, which nominated four candidates for election in November 2014. The three statewide candidates and a candidate for the SC House collectively received more than 153,000 votes in the party's inaugural election; the American Party is a centrist party that requires term limits of its candidates and ethical behavior. It emphasizes the need for the US to acquire and maintain national global competitiveness as a means to strengthening the middle class, maintain a strong military, provide world class education and health care, eliminate the national debt and deficit.

It avoids "hot button" social issues and nominates candidates who focus on problem solving, finding common ground, reforms related to issues such as comprehensive tax reform, improved infrastructure, transformational education and training. Rex championed reforms in accountability and pushed for advances in public school choice and innovation. In addition to replacing the unpopular Palmetto Achievement Test with the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards, he worked with the General Assembly to reform the state's system of annual school report cards, eliminate burdensome paperwork for teachers, change South Carolina's student performance targets to bring them into alignment with other states, create a mandate to review the state's accountability system every five years. Shortly after taking office, Rex created the Office of Public School Choice and Innovation within the South Carolina Department of Education, combining innovative approaches to education with technological advancement, both inside and outside the classroom, to help students learn.

New and improved options include single-gender education, Montessori programs, charter schools and virtual learning. His bill for a comprehensive public school choice plan was passed by the General Assembly, but failed to become law after Governor Mark Sanford - under pressure from supporters of vouchers and tax credits - vetoed the legislation. Despite this setback, South Carolina has become a national leader in public school choice options during Rex's tenure; when Governor Sanford attempted to reject $511 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds allotted for education in 2009, Rex led the fight to force the Governor to accept the money, working with leaders in Washington, DC and Columbia to find a way around his objection. In the end, the General Assembly supported Rex's position on the issue and included the money in the budget, forcing a lawsuit; the issue was resolved when the South Carolina Supreme Court ordered the governor to accept the funds. Prior to becoming superintendent, Rex was an English teacher and football coach in Ohio, the dean of education at Winthrop University, the dean of education at Coastal Carolina University, president of Columbia College, vice president for development and alumni relations and vice president of university advancement at the University of South Carolina.

Rex received a bachelor's degree in English, a master's degree in education administration, a doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Toledo. He and his wife Sue have four children — Adam, Jeff and Siri, he lives on Lake Wateree in Fairfield County. On August 6, 2009, Rex announced he was exploring the possibility of either seeking reelection as State Superintendent of Education or running for Governor of South Carolina in 2010. On September 15, he announced his candidacy for governor. On the campaign trail, Rex advocated for Revenue and Funding Reform in order to relieve some of the extreme cuts caused by the budget crisis that began in 2008. One of his ideas – the Tax Realignment Commission – was in progress before the campaign began, but he expressed concern that the General Assembly might try to water down the reform in an effort to appeal to special interest groups. Another key component of Rex's platform was his plan to raise the cigarette tax. South Carolina's tax, $0.07 per pack at the time Rex began to advocate an increase, was far from the national average of $1.34 per pack.

The General Assembly compromised on the issue and raised the tax to $0.37 per pack, still $0.97 below the national average. Rex stated that an increase to $1.34, indexed to increase with the national average in the future, would have prevented teacher furloughs and decreased teen smoking. Rex finished second in the Democratic primary to State Senator Vincent Sheheen, whom he endorsed for governor in September. Jim Rex for Governor official campaign website South Carolina Department of Education Profile at Vote Smart