It seems only fitting that National Skyscraper Day be celebrated on the anniversary of the birth of the 'father of modern skyscrapers', American architect Louis H. Sullivan, who designed and built more than 100 towering buildings across the United States in the late nineteenth century.
The world's first skyscraper, built by Sullivan in 1885, was Chicago's Home Insurance Building, a 10-storey high-rise, which was an impressive height back then. These days, skyscrapers are defined as buildings that are 40 floors or more - though today's tallest edifice, Dubai's Burj Khalifa, far exceeds that at 163 floors or 828m / 2,717 feet.
The invention of these multi-story buildings has enabled mankind to live and work more closely, saved precious land from development (why go out when you can go up?) and turned cities into steel, stone and glass mountain ranges that from below, seem to touch the sky. They are incredible feats of science, engineering, art and architecture and the visionaries responsible for their design and construction should be recognised and honoured.
So today, we raise a toast to them with a High Ryeser, a high-proof whiskey, equals-parts Manhattan. Cheers.
Crowned king of England in Westminster Abbey today in 1189, Richard I spent no more than about six months in the country he ruled for a decade.
His main ambition was to go on crusade, which meant leaving his kingdom in the hands of others and, needless to say, losing his power. When he finally returned in 1194, he had to be crowned again, in Winchester. His most famous legacies are probably his defeat of the brilliant Arab leader Saladin at the Battle of Arsuf, and his statue outside London's Houses of Parliament, the sword of which was bent during World War II.
Richard was known as Richard the Lionheart because of his military prowess, so let's toast the Lionheart with a classic Red Lion Cocktail.
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