Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe Inc. is a chain of theme restaurants founded in 1971 by Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton in London. In 1979, the cafe began covering its walls with rock and roll memorabilia, a tradition which expanded to others in the chain. In 2007, Hard Rock Cafe International, Inc. was sold to the Seminole Tribe of Florida and was headquartered in Orlando, Florida until April 2018 when the corporate offices were relocated to Davie, Florida. As of July 2018, Hard Rock International has venues in 74 countries, including 185 cafes, 25 hotels, 12 casinos; the first Hard Rock Cafe opened on 14 June 1971 at Old Park Lane, London, under the ownership of young Americans Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton. Hard Rock had an eclectic decor, but it started to display memorabilia; the chain began to expand worldwide in 1982 with locations in Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Berlin. Hard Rock Cafe locations in the United States vary from smaller, more tourist driven markets to large metropolises.
Hard Rock Cafe does not franchise cafe locations in the United States. All US cafes are corporate owned and operated, except for cafes in Tampa and Four Winds New Buffalo casino. However, in the transition of the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel property owned and later sold to Rank by founder Peter Morton, Morton retained hotel naming rights west of the Mississippi; when Morton sold his Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel to the Morgans Hotel Group, he sold those naming rights, which gave rise to two US franchised hotels in Albuquerque and Tulsa. The Albuquerque hotel no longer pays for the Hard Rock rights and reverted to its former name in June 2013. More hotels franchised from Morgan's are planned for Sioux Vancouver. In 1990, The Rank Group, a London-based leisure company, acquired Mecca Leisure Group and continued expansion of the concept in its geographic territory. Rank went on to purchase Hard Rock America from Peter Morton as well as Hard Rock Canada from Nick Bitove. After the completion of these acquisitions, Rank gained worldwide control of the brand.
In March 2007, the Seminole Tribe of Florida acquired Hard Rock Cafe International, Inc. and other related entities from Rank for US$965 million. In 2008, anonymous members of the wait staff criticized the business because of its practice of paying them less than half the official minimum wage in the UK, with the business allocating tips to staff to bring their salaries within the law. Most customers, it was argued, do not realize that they are subsidizing a low wage when they give the tip. HRC is known for its collection of rock-and-roll memorabilia; the cafes solicit donations of music memorabilia but purchase a number of items at auctions around the world, including autographed guitars, costumes from world tours and rare photographs. The collection began in 1979 with an un-signed Red Fender Lead II guitar from Eric Clapton, a regular at the first restaurant in London. Clapton wanted management to hang the guitar over his regular seat in order to lay claim to that spot, they obliged; this prompted Pete Townshend of The Who to give one of his guitars un-signed with the note "Mine's as good as his!
Love, Pete." Hard Rock's archive includes over 80,000 items, is the largest private collection of Rock and Roll memorabilia in the world. Marquee pieces from the collection were displayed in a Hard Rock museum named "The Vault" in Orlando, Florida from January 2003 until September 2004. After the closure, items were disbursed to various restaurant locations; the London Vault remains open and free to visitors, located in the retail Rock Shop of the original cafe. The Hard Rock Café is in possession of a Bedford VAL 6 axle coach used in the 1967 film The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour; the vehicle was refurbished after filming. It is displayed in the US, but makes regular appearances in events in the UK at the original Hard Rock Cafe in London. In 2001, a competition was run to win the actual bus, but it was never given away and remained with the cafe. In 1995, Peter Morton spent $80 million to open the Hard Rock Hotel near the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. A subsequent $100 million expansion in 1999 nearly doubled the hotel's capacity.
In May 2006, Morton sold the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas to Morgans Hotel Group for $770 million, including the rights to the Hard Rock Hotel brand west of the Mississippi, including Texas, California and Vancouver, British Columbia. The hotel began another expansion in 2007 at a cost of $750 million; the project added 875 rooms in expanded meeting space. In March 2011, Morgans surrendered control of the property to partner Brookfield Asset Management, citing the high debt on the property in the face of the economic downturn. In April 2018, the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas was sold to Richard Branson with plans to renovate the property under the Virgin Hotels brand. Today, the Seminole Tribe of Florida owns and operates all units except the Las Vegas, Sioux City and Vancouver properties. In 2004, Hard Rock International and Sol Melia Hotels and Resorts launched Lifestar Hoteles España SL, a joint venture that intended to manage Europe's first Hard Rock Hotel in Madrid, but it was never opened as a Hard Rock property upon the dissolution of the joint venture in 2007.
The other joint venture hotels are in Chicago, New York, San Diego. Hard Rock operates hotels and resorts in Orlando, Florida.
Winifred Jacqueline Fraser Bisset is an English actress. She began her film career in 1965, first coming to prominence in 1968 with roles in The Detective and The Sweet Ride, for which she received a most promising newcomer Golden Globe nomination. In the 1970s, she starred in Airport, Day for Night which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Murder on the Orient Express, The Deep, Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress in a Comedy. Her other film and TV credits include Rich and Famous, her Golden Globe-nominated role in Under the Volcano, her Cesar-nominated role in La Cérémonie, her Emmy-nominated role in the miniseries Joan of Arc and the BBC miniseries Dancing on the Edge, for which she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, she received France's highest honour, the Légion d'honneur, in 2010. She speaks English and Italian. Bisset was born Winifred Jacqueline Fraser Bisset in Weybridge, England, the daughter of Max Fraser Bisset, a general practitioner, Arlette Alexander, a lawyer-turned-housewife.
Her mother was of French and English descent and her father was of Scottish descent. Bisset grew up in Tilehurst, near Reading in Berkshire, in a 17th-century country cottage, where she now lives part of the year She has a brother, Max, her mother taught her to speak French fluently, she was educated at the Lycée Français in London. She had taken ballet lessons as a child, began taking acting lessons while working as a fashion model to pay for them; when Bisset was a teenager, her mother was diagnosed with disseminating sclerosis. Bisset's parents divorced after 28 years of marriage, her father died of a brain tumour in 1982, aged 71. Her mother died in 1999. Bisset first appeared uncredited as a prospective model in the 1965 film The Knack...and How to Get It, directed by Richard Lester. She made her official debut the following year in Roman Polanski's Cul-de-sac, credited as "Jackie Bisset", she had a tiny part as a dancer in Drop Dead Darling. In 1967, Bisset had her first noticeable part in the Albert Finney/Audrey Hepburn vehicle Two for the Road, as a woman in whom Finney's character is romantically interested.
It was made by 20th Century Fox. Bisset had a more sizeable role in Casino Royale, as Miss Goodthighs. Fox cast Bisset in her first lead part in The Cape Town Affair, opposite James Brolin, filmed in South Africa, she gained mainstream recognition in 1968 when she replaced Mia Farrow for the role of Norma MacIver in The Detective, opposite Frank Sinatra. The film was made at Fox, whose executives had been impressed by Bisset's performance in Two for the Road. In the same year, she co-starred with Michael Sarrazin in Fox's The Sweet Ride, which brought her a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer, she capped her year as Steve McQueen's girlfriend in the police drama Bullitt, among the top five highest-grossing films of the year. In 1969, Bisset had the star role in the sex comedy The First Time. In the same year she appeared in Secret World, she was one of the many stars in the 1970 disaster film Airport. It was a huge hit, she had another starring part in The Grasshopper, little seen, was in The Mephisto Waltz with Alan Alda.
Bisset had the lead in a comedy Be Counted. More popular was The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, where she played the daughter of Paul Newman's title character, she played the female lead in The Thief Who Came to Dinner with Ryan O'Neal, stepping in for a pregnant Charlotte Rampling. Bisset went to France to appear in François Truffaut's Day for Night, where she earned the respect of European critics and moviegoers as a serious actress, she stayed in that country to make Le Magnifique with Jean-Paul Belmondo, a hit in France but little seen in English-speaking countries. Bisset was one of many stars in the British whodunnit Murder on the Orient Express, an enormous success. In Britain she starred in the remake of The Spiral Staircase. Bisset went to Germany for End of the Game directed by Maximillian Schell. In Italy, she co-starred with Marcello Mastroianni in Luigi Comencini's The Sunday Woman in 1975. Bisset returned to Hollywood to support Charles Bronson in St. Ives. In 1977, Bisset gained wide publicity in America with her movie The Deep.
Swimming underwater wearing only a T-shirt for a top helped make the film a box office success, leading producer Peter Guber to quip, "That T-shirt made me a rich man!" and led many to credit her with popularising the wet T-shirt contest. At the time, Newsweek declared her "the most beautiful film actress of all time". In 1978, a UK production titled Secrets that Bisset had made in 1971 was released in the United States; the movie featured the only extensive nude scenes of Bisset's career and the producers cashed in on her fame. By 1978, she was a household name. In that year she earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her performance in Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?, starred opposite Anthony Quinn in The Greek Tycoon, playing a role based on Jackie Onassis. After making Together? in Italy, she appeared in some all-star films, When Time Ran Out, with Paul Newman, among others, Inchon with Laurence Olivier. Both were big flops. More popular was George Cukor's Rich and Famous with Candice Bergen
Laurence Harvey was a Lithuanian-born British Jewish actor. In a career that spanned a quarter of a century, Harvey appeared in stage and television productions in the United Kingdom and the United States, his performance in Room at the Top resulted in an Academy Award nomination. That success was followed by the role of William Barret Travis in The Alamo, as the brainwashed Raymond Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate. Harvey's civil birth name was Laruschka Mischa Skikne, his Hebrew name was Zvi Mosheh. He was born in Joniškis, the youngest of three sons of Ella and Ber Skikne, Lithuanian Jewish parents; when he was five years old, his family travelled with the family of Riva Segal and her two sons and Charles Segal on the ship, the SS Adolph Woermann to South Africa, where he was known as Harry Skikne. Harvey grew up in Johannesburg, was in his teens when he served with the entertainment unit of the South African Army during the Second World War; as the Mystery Guest on USA TV show What's My Line screened May 1, 1960, he states he arrived in South Africa in 1934 and moved to the UK in 1946.
After moving to London, he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, but left RADA after three months, began to perform on stage and film. Harvey made his cinema debut in the British film House of Darkness, but its distributor British Lion thought someone named Larry Skikne was not commercially viable. Accounts vary as to. One version has it that it was the idea of talent agent Gordon Harbord who decided Laurence would be an appropriate first name. In choosing a British-sounding last name, Harbord thought of two British retail institutions, Harvey Nichols and Harrods. Another is that Skikne was travelling on a London bus with Sid James who exclaimed during their journey: "It's either Laurence Nichols or Laurence Harvey." Harvey's own account differed over time. Associated British Picture Corporation offered him a two-year contract, which Harvey accepted, he appeared in supporting roles in several of their lower-budget films such as Man on the Run and The Dancing Years. For International Motion Pictures he was in The Man from Yesterday.
He had a small role in the Hollywood financed The Black Rose, starring Tyrone Power and Orson Welles Associated British gave him his first lead, appearing alongside Eric Portman in the Egypt-set police film, Cairo Road. Harvey starred in leading roles for two movies with Lewis Gilbert, Scarlet Thread and There Is Another Sun. For Ealing he made I Believe in You he starred in a low budget thriller, A Killer Walks. Harvey's career gained a boost. James Woolf in particular was a big admirer of Harvey, he had an uncredited role in the comedy Innocents in Paris, in a Hollywood film, Knights of the Round Table. Romulus have him a good part in a thriller directed by The Good Die Young, he was given the romantic male lead in another Hollywood spectacular, King Richard and the Crusaders, supporting Rex Harrison and George Sanders. It was a box office disappointment; that year he played Romeo in Renato Castellani's adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, narrated by John Gielgud. He was now established as an emerging British star.
According to a contemporary interview, he turned down an offer to appear in Helen of Troy to act at Stratford-upon-Avon. Romulus came to the rescue again when Harvey was cast as the writer Christopher Isherwood in I Am A Camera, with Julie Harris as Sally Bowles, he appeared on American television and on Broadway, making his Broadway debut in 1955 in the play Island of Goats, a flop that closed after one week, though his performance won him a 1956 Theatre World Award. Harvey appeared twice more on Broadway, in 1957 with Julie Harris, Pamela Brown and Colleen Dewhurst in William Wycherley's The Country Wife, as Shakespeare's Henry V in 1959, as part of the Old Vic company, which featured a young Judi Dench as Katherine, the daughter of the King of France. Zoltan Korda used him as one of the soldiers in Storm Over the Nile, a remake of The Four Feathers, playing the part taken by Ralph Richardson in the 1939 version, it was popular in Britain. After the Ball was a biopic of Vesta Tilley, in which Harvey played Walter de Frece.
The Truth About Women was a comedy. Harvey's breakthrough to international stardom came after he was cast by director Jack Clayton as the social climber Joe Lampton in Room at the Top, produced by British film producer brothers John and James Woolf of Romulus Films. For his performance, Harvey received a BAFTA Award nomination and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Simone Signoret and Heather Sears co-starred as Lampton's married lover and eventual wife respectively, it was the third most popular movie at the British box office in 1959 and a hit in the USA. Harvey followed it with a musical, Expresso Bongo, a film best remembered for introducing Cliff Richard. Room at the Top led to Hollywood offers starting with John Wayne's epic The Alamo. Harvey was John Wayne's personal choice to play Alamo commandant William Barret Travis, he had been impressed by Harvey's talent and ability to project the aristocratic demeanor Wayne believed Travis possessed. Harvey and Wayne would express their mutual admiration and satisfaction at having worked together.
The Alamo was
Guildford is a large town in Surrey, England, 27 miles southwest of London on the A3 trunk road midway between the capital and Portsmouth. The town has a population of about 80,000 and is the seat of the wider Borough of Guildford which had an estimated 146,100 inhabitants in 2015. Guildford has Saxon roots and historians attribute its location to the existence of a gap in the North Downs where the River Wey was forded by the Harrow Way. By AD 978 it was home to an early English Royal Mint. With the building of the Wey Navigation and the Basingstoke Canal, Guildford was connected to a network of waterways that aided its prosperity. In the 20th century, the University of Surrey and Guildford Cathedral, an Anglican cathedral, were added. Due to recent development running north from Guildford, linking to the Woking area, Guildford now forms the southwestern tip of the Greater London Built-up Area, as defined by the Office for National Statistics; the root of the first part may be the word'gold' rather than Guild, a society or meeting of tradesmen: the only known 10th-century record uses Guldeford and in the 11th century Geldeford.
Local historians with an interest in toponyms cite the lack of gold in the region's sedimentary rocks and have suggested that the mention of'gold' may refer to golden flowers found by the ford itself, or the golden sand. Rural Celtic Bronze Age pieces have been found in the town; some of the tiles built into Guildford Castle may be Roman, a Roman villa has been found on Broad Street Common at the end of Roman Farm Road just west of Guildford's Park Barn neighbourhood. It is proven by archaeology and contemporary accounts that Guildford was established as a small town by Saxon settlers shortly after Roman authority had been removed from Britain; the settlement was most expanded because of the Harrow Way crosses the River Wey by a ford at this point. Alfred the Great referred to the town in his will. Guildford was the location of the Royal Mint from 978 until part-way through the reign of William the Conqueror. Guildford Castle is of Norman design, its situation overlooks the pass through the hills taken by the Pilgrims' Way, once overlooked the ancient ford across the Wey, thus giving a key point of military control of this long distance way across the country..
Guildford appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Geldeford and Gildeford, a holding of William the Conqueror. The King held the 75 hagae in which lived 175 homagers and the town rendered £32. Stoke, a suburb within today's Guildford, appears in the Book as Stoch and was held by William, its Domesday assets were: 1 church, 2 mills worth 5s, 16 ploughlands with two Lord's plough teams and 20 mens plough teams, 16 acres of meadow, woodland worth 40 hogs. Stoke was listed as being in the King's park, with a rendering of £15. William the Conqueror had the castle built in the classic Norman style. A major purpose of Norman castle building was to overawe the conquered population, it had £26 spent on it in 1173 under the regency of the young Henry II. As the threat of invasion and insurrection declined, the castle's status was demoted to that of a royal hunting lodge: Guildford was, at that time, at the edge of Windsor Great Park, it was visited on several occasions by King John, Eleanor of Aquitaine and King Henry III.
In 1611 the castle was granted to Francis Carter whose grandson's initials EC and the year 1699 were above the entrance way. The surviving parts of the castle were restored in Victorian times and again in 2004. In 1995, a chamber was discovered in the High Street, considered to be the remains of the 12th-century Guildford Synagogue. While this remains a matter of contention, it is to be the oldest remaining synagogue in Western Europe. Guildford elected two members of the Unreformed House of Commons. From the 14th century to the 18th century the borough corporation prospered with the wool trade. In the 14th century the Guildhall was constructed and still stands today as a noticeable landmark of Guildford; the north end was extended in 1589 and the Council Chamber was added in 1683. In 1683 a projecting clock was made for the front of the building: it can be seen throughout the High Street; the town's Royal Grammar School was built in 1509 and became Royal gaining the patronage of Edward VI in 1552.
In the years around 1550, a pupil at the school was John Derrick who in life became a Queen's Coroner for the county of Surrey. In 1597, Derrick made a legal deposition that contains the earliest definite reference to cricket being played anywhere in the world. In 1619 George Abbot founded the Hospital of the Holy Trinity, now known as Abbot's Hospital, one of the finest sets of almshouses in the country, it is sited at the top end of the High Street, opposite Holy Trinity church. The brick-built, three-storey entrance tower faces the church. On each corner of the tower there is an octagonal turret rising an extra floor, with lead ogee domes. One of the greatest boosts to Guildford's prosperity came in 1653 with the completion, after many wrangles, of the Wey Navigation; this allowed Guildford businesses to access the Thames at Weybridge by boat, predated the major canal building program in Britain by more than a century. In 1764 the navigation was extended as far as Godal
Joan Perry, born Elizabeth Rosiland Miller, was an American film actress and singer. She was known as Betty Miller. Perry was born in Pensacola, the daughter of Fred A. and Laura Ophelia Miller. She attended Plant High School in Florida. Perry gained early acting experience by participating in class plays in Florida. In the early 1930s, Perry worked as a model in New York City. In 1935, she went to Hollywood, was signed under contract to Columbia Pictures and during her time there co-starred opposite such actors as Ronald Reagan, Ralph Bellamy, Lew Ayres, Melvyn Douglas. Following her leave from Columbia in the early 1940s, she went to Warner Bros. where she starred in an array of films. Perry was married three times. On September 30, 1941, she wed Harry Cohn in New York City, they remained married until his death in 1958. She married first Harry Karl and Laurence Harvey, she had a home in California. Joan Perry died from emphysema in September 1996 at age 85 in California, she is buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, under her married name of Joan Cohn.
Heir to Trouble Case of the Missing Man Gallant Defender Dangerous Intrigue The Mysterious Avenger Shakedown Meet Nero Wolfe Blackmailer Counterfeit Lady The Devil Is Driving Start Cheering Blind Alley Good Girls Go to Paris The Lone Wolf Strikes Maisie Was a Lady Strange Alibi Bullets for O'Hara International Squadron Nine Lives Are Not Enough Joan Perry on IMDb
A chain store or retail chain is a retail outlet in which several locations share a brand, central management, standardized business practices. They have come to dominate the retail and dining markets, many service categories, in many parts of the world. A franchise retail establishment is one form of chain store. In 2004, the world's largest retail chain, became the world's largest corporation based on gross sales. In 1792, Henry Walton Smith and his wife Anna established W. H. Smith as a news vending business in London that would become a national concern in the mid-19th century under the management of their grandson William Henry Smith; the firm took advantage of the railway boom by opening news-stands at railway stations beginning in 1848. The firm, now called WHSmith, had more than 1,400 locations as of 2017. In the U. S. chain stores began with the founding of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company in 1859. The small chain sold tea and coffee in stores located in New York City and operated a national mail order business.
The firm grew to 70 stores by 1878 when George Huntington Hartford turned A&P into the country's first grocery chain. In 1900, it operated 200 stores. Isidore and Modeste Dewachter originated the idea of the chain department store in Belgium in 1868, ten years before A&P began offering more than coffee and tea, they started with four locations for Maisons Dewachter: La Louvière, Mons and the tiny crossroads village of Leuze. They incorporated as Dewachter frères on January 1, 1875; the brothers offered ready-to-wear clothing for men and children and specialty clothing such as riding apparel and beachwear. Isidore owned 51% of the company, while his brothers split the remaining 49%. Under Isidore's leadership, Maisons Dewachter would become one of the most recognized names in Belgium and France with stores in 20 cities and towns; some cities had multiple stores, such as France. Louis Dewachter became an internationally known landscape artist, painting under the pseudonym Louis Dewis. By the early 1920s, the U.
S. boasted three national chains: A&P, Woolworth's, United Cigar Stores. By the 1930s, chain stores had come of age, stopped increasing their total market share. Court decisions against the chains' price-cutting appeared as early as 1906, laws against chain stores began in the 1920s, along with legal countermeasures by chain-store groups. A chain store is characterised by the ownership or franchise relationship between the local business or outlet and a controlling business. While chains are "formula retail", a chain refers to ownership or franchise, whereas "formula retail" refers to the characteristics of the business. There is considerable overlap because key characteristic of a formula retail business is that it is controlled as a part of a business relationship, is part of a chain. Most codified municipal regulation relies on definitions of formula retail, in part because a restriction directed to "chains" may be deemed an impermissible restriction on interstate commerce, or as exceeding municipal zoning authority.
Non-codified restrictions will sometimes target "chains". Brick-and-mortar chain stores have been in decline as retail has shifted to online shopping, leading to high retail vacancy rates; the hundred-year-old Radio Shack chain went from 7,400 stores in 2001 to 400 stores in 2018. FYE is the last remaining music chain store in the United States and has shrunk from over 1000 at its height to 270 locations in 2018. In 2019, Payless ShoeSource stated that it would be closing all remaining 2,100 stores in the US. A restaurant chain is a set of related restaurants in many different locations that are either under shared corporate ownership or franchising agreements; the restaurants within a chain are built to a standard format through architectural prototype development and offer a standard menu and/or services. Fast food restaurants are the most common, but sit-down restaurant chains exist. Restaurant chains are found near highways, shopping malls and tourist areas; the displacement of independent businesses by chains has sparked increased collaboration among independent businesses and communities to prevent chain proliferation.
These efforts include community-based organizing through Independent Business Alliances and "buy local" campaigns. In the U. S. trade organizations such as the American Booksellers Association and American Specialty Toy Retailers do national promotion and advocacy. NGOs like the New Rules Project and New Economics Foundation provide research and tools for pro-independent business education and policy while the American Independent Business Alliance provides direct assistance for community-level organizing. A variety of towns and cities in the United States whose residents wish to retain their distinctive character—such as San Francisco, they don't exclude the chain itself, only the standardized formula the chain uses, described as "formula businesses". For example, there could be a restaurant owned by McDonald's that sells hamburgers, but not the formula franchise operation with the golden arches and standardized menu and procedures; the reason these towns regulate chain stores is aesthetics and tourism.
Proponents of formula restaurants and formula retail allege th
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion