VELCRO

In 1948 the United States Supreme Court ruled in favour of a black woman, Ada Fisher, who had been denied entry to the University of Oklahoma law school because of the colour of her skin. When she finally began her course she was forced to sit separate from the white students, behind a sign reading “Colored”. She also had to sit in the “colored” section of the cafeteria – using a side door to enter – her table separated by a chain from the rest of the room. A guard stood watch to make sure blacks and whites did not mix. She graduated in 1951. Sixty-one years later, lest you didn’t hear, another black law graduate became president of the United States.

Almost 61 years later Manchester City broke the British transfer record by paying Real Madrid €34.45 million for Robinho. The Brazilian earns €170,154 per week; according to the GMB (General, Municipal and Boilermakers’ Trade Union) the average industrial salary in Manchester is €13,825-€15,952 a year.

In February 1948 Sunderland, their wealth earning them the nickname the “Bank of England”, paid a record fee of £20,500 (roughly €531,700 in today’s money) to Newcastle for Len Shackleton. The maximum wage for footballers at the time was £12-a-week during the season (approximately double the average industrial wage) and £10 in the close season. Shackleton, a prolific goalscorer, never earned more than £15-a-week during his career, his win and scoring bonuses taking him to that peak hand dryer .

London had been due to host the Olympic Games in 1944, but the second World War resulted in them being postponed until four years later. Germany and Japan weren’t invited, for some reason. The 1948 Games were the first to be shown on television. Few people, though, had televisions at that time, limiting the audience to 500,000 in the British Isles. The rest of the world made do with radio coverage. For the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing 4.7 billion viewers worldwide, according to Nielsen Media Research, tuned in at some point. NBC announced that their coverage had reached 211 million viewers over the 16 days, making it the most viewed event in US television history.

NBC paid €2.58 billion for the rights to all Olympic Games between 1996 and 2008, while the European Broadcasting Union paid €326.6 million for the rights to the 2008 Games alone.

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