On This Day 17 August

By TheBoldAge. Published 2020-08-17
1813 Flinders outlined why New Holland should be called Australia; 1836 compulsory registration of births, deaths and marriages in UK; 1947 Radcliffe Line border between India and Pakistan revealed. In 1945 George Orwell's Animal Farm was first published.

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others

In 1945 George Orwell's novel Animal Farm was published in London. It tells the story of a group of farm animals rebelling against the farmer and who hope to create a society where they (the animals) can be equal, free and happy. The rebellion fails. They end up under the dictatorship of a pig called Napoleon.


George Orwell wrote Animal Farm between 1943 and 1944 at a time when the UK was in an alliance with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany. Stalin at the time was well regarded in some circles in the UK, something which irked Orwell. Animal Farm reflected the events that led to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and subsequently the Soviet Union under Stalin. Originally his book was rejected, however as relations with the Soviet Union decayed it was eventually published.

From 1952 to 1957 the CIA ran Operation Aedinosaur which sent millions of balloons carrying copies of the novel into Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

Everything in the book has political significance, down to the details of the Horn and Hoof flag which is based on the Communist hammer and sickle.


Time magazine has the book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005) and made number 46 on the BBC's The Big Read poll.

Other events on this day

  • 1813: Matthew Flinders outlines in a letter why New Holland should be called Australia
  • 1836: compulsory registration of births, deaths and marriages introduced in the UK
  • 1945: George Orwell's Animal Farm was published
  • 1947: The Radcliffe Line was revealed - the border between Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan
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