Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries

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Recent changes to Selected anniversariesSelected anniversaries editing guidelines

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This set of pages serves as a queue of selected anniversaries which populate the "On this day" section of the Main Page each day. These pages are also used to help facilitate and coordinate updates to this queue. The selected anniversaries are taken from events in history on each day of the year and holidays/observances from current lunar-based calendars including Jewish, Islamic, and others.

How to contribute to the project

Editors can contribute to the Selected anniversaries project in three main ways:

  1. Identify entries on the project pages that are currently 'ineligible' in the 'staging area' (see next section) and make improvements so that they become eligible. The reason for the entries being ineligible may be, for example, due to criteria 4-6 listed below. Make improvements to the selected article (the emboldened link in the entry) to resolve the issue(s), then post a message on the project talk page for that day noting the improvements made and that the entry is ready to be considered to move to the 'eligible' section. An administrator or regular editor working on the project will come along to review the improvements and move it to the 'eligible' section in due course.[nb 1]
  2. Make suggestions for new entries to be included in the project pages (see 'Steps for suggesting new listings' below).
  3. Anticipate upcoming anniversaries that are significant or notable (e.g., due to a centenary) and may be particularly worthwhile including in the "On this day" section of the Main Page on that date. Post a message on the project talk page with the suggestions to inform other editors working on the project and complete steps 1 or 2 above to ensure an entry is available for an administrator to use for the "On this day" section on that date.

Purpose of the staging area

A list of events and images can be viewed by expanding the 'staging area' on the project page for each day, for example Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/January 1 (the staging area is not visible when transcluded onto another page, including the Main Page, due to <noinclude></noinclude> tags). Some of these items (the 'eligible' section) are rotated in and out from year to year to form the group that is chosen for the "On this day" section on the Main Page for that day of the year. Other items are listed as 'ineligible' because the event and/or its selected article (bolded link) do not pass the selected anniversaries criteria (see below). Making improvements (as described above) so that these entries become eligible is one of the valuable ways editors can contribute to the project.

Reporting errors

To report an error you noticed on the current main page or tomorrow's main page, please add it to the appropriate section on Wikipedia:Main Page/Errors. For other dates, please start a new discussion at Wikipedia Talk:Selected anniversaries.

Admins: If the need arises to remove visible items from a page while it is on the Main Page, please move the items into the 'staging area' if possible, instead of outright deleting them, so they can prospectively be used again in the future.

Steps for suggesting new listings

Be bold while improving this queue but please make sure you follow the selected anniversaries criteria below. Important: although anniversary listings on individual date articles are written in the present tense, these selected anniversary listings should be written in the past tense to help distinguish them from current events when displayed on the Main Page. A single sentence for each entry is preferable and the link to the selected article should be emboldened.

  1. If you want to add an item to yesterday's, today's, or tomorrow's listings, you need to be an administrator because those pages are protected. If you're not an administrator, add them to the talk page, such as Wikipedia talk:Selected anniversaries/September 20.
  2. For unprotected days, go ahead and add them directly to the project page, such as Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/September 22, either in the visible section or in the staging area. If you replace a visible entry, be sure you return the one you removed to the staging area collapsible box.
  3. If you are not sure what to do or how to best phrase the blurb, make your suggestion on that day's talk page.

Selected anniversaries criteria

The criteria for inclusion in the selected anniversaries project pages are subjective due to the fact that any given day of the year can have a great many historical events worthy of listing. So relative article quality along with the mix of topics already listed are considered. Criteria for eligibility are at least:

  1. The event needs to be of moderate to great historical significance (relative to the other historical events that occurred on the same day of the year). It must be important enough to be included in the selected article (bolded item) and should also be the most, or one of the most, important events associated with that article. Furthermore, the event should have occurred on the day in question (according to the Gregorian calendar) in local time, or UTC if local time is not applicable (e.g., not on Earth).
  2. If it is a holiday or observance that occurs on the same day each Gregorian year, the article needs to be listed in the Holidays and observances section on the corresponding day-of-the-year article, for example January 1 § Holidays and observances. Non Gregorian-based holidays, whose date of observance varies from year-to-year, do not have to be listed on the day-of-the-year articles, but should still comply with the rest of WP:DOY § Holidays and observances.
  3. Otherwise, the event and the selected article (bolded item) need to be listed in the Events section of its corresponding day-of-the-year article (e.g., January 1 § Events), and therefore should also comply with the criteria for inclusion listed on Wikipedia:Days of the year.
  4. The selected article (bolded item) needs to be updated to clearly state the event or day of the celebration/observance or birth/death, as well as the exact day it occurred/occurs. Non-Gregorian-based holidays and observances need not state the exact day since this will differ each year. The date must be a cited to a reliable source with an inline citation, since inline citations are used to support specific statements in an article.
  5. The selected article (bolded item) must not be a stub and must be a relatively complete and well-formatted article, free from 'yellow'-level or more severe article issue tags (alternatively, many {{citation needed}} tags relative to the article's length may disqualify it in lieu of a banner-sized maintenance tag). In other words, it should be a good example of Wikipedia content (but it does not need to be a good article or a featured article).
  6. As of February 2017, we now feature at least one birth and death of a notable person, listed underneath the regular blurbs. This number may be increased if space permits. The criteria for inclusion are:
    1. The article needs to be listed in the Births or Deaths section of its corresponding day-of-the-year article (e.g., January 1 § Births), and therefore comply with the criteria for inclusion listed on WP:DOY § Births and deaths.
    2. The article is subject to the same quality requirements as those featured in the blurbs.
    3. People who are listed on their dates of birth may not also be listed on their death dates, and vice versa. Furthermore, if the person is featured (bold item) as a regular blurb on any day, they may not be chosen for birth/death listings (with exceptions, as per below).
  7. As much as possible, the array of topics should include a variety of years (e.g., not just limited to the 20th/21st centuries), geographical areas (e.g., more than just the English-speaking world), and subjects (e.g., not too many articles on war or technology).

Ideally, any particular selected article should only be included as an emboldened item once in the project pages. To help make sure articles are not selected (emboldened item) more than once, check the links to that article and examine all the pages listed that begin with Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/. There is no limit to the number of times an article can be incidentally linked in the project pages (this includes all the non-bolded links). Exceptions can be made when any given day is short for eligible articles and the only suitable article already is featured on a different day. In those cases, those articles still should not be selected more than once in the year (i.e., if an article is eligible for inclusion on multiple days, then it should only make one OTD appearance per year). This rule does not apply to holidays/observances, because the same holiday may be celebrated on different dates in different countries, and country articles, because they may be the emboldened item for holidays such as an Independence Day if the nation's observance doesn't have its own article.

Please note, entries are written in the past tense, preferably in a single sentence.

Criteria for images

Images associated with the events can be listed on the project pages for each day. The following criteria apply to images:

  1. The image should be no more than 150px wide (100px for portrait-oriented images). Because the image is so small, the subject should be easily distinguished at that size. Judicious cropping may also be employed to highlight a specific aspect of the image (see {{m-cropped}}).
  2. For design purposes, if there is choice between an image of a person facing left and a person facing right, pick the face-left one because it draws the reader's attention toward the associated text, rather than away from it.
  3. Only free images (PD, GFDL, CC etc.) can appear on the Main Page. Non-free images are not permitted.

Image code: {{main page image|File:Example.svg|This is an example}} (see Template:Main page image for complete documentation).

"On this day" guidelines

The visible section of the selected anniversaries pages automatically rotates onto the Main Page each day to populate the "On this day" section. There is maintenance needed before each page appears which is performed by an administrator along the following guidelines:

  • Generally 5 events out of those eligible can be chosen for display each day. This number may vary slightly depending on the length of the Wikipedia:Today's featured article and Wikipedia:Did you know sections so that the left and right columns appear balanced without too much empty space. Preference is given to entries celebrating a significant anniversary. For events 100 years old and up, that means multiples of 25 (e.g., 200th, 325th, 550th, etc). If the event is less than 100 years old, that means multiples of 10 or 25 (e.g., 30th, 60th, 75th).
  • Other considerations for choosing the entries to be shown can include the significance of the event; the mix of items to be listed in terms of of years (e.g., not just limited to the 20th century), geographical areas (e.g., more than just the Anglosphere), and subjects (e.g., not too many articles on war or technology); the time since an item has last been shown; other events recently or shortly to be shown; the relative completeness of the article; and appropriate "context". Preference is not given to featured articles or even good articles – all articles that meet the minimum standard should be considered with the same weight (see also Wikipedia:FAQ/Main Page#I think that the articles listed on the Main Page are awful. Isn't the Main Page biased towards certain topics? What can be done about it?).
  • Holidays/observances should be limited to a maximum of 3, but this may increase to accommodate those that do not appear on the same date each year. Holidays should be listed in this order: international observances (secular followed by religious) first (except those that are not serious in nature, e.g., International Talk Like a Pirate Day—these should appear at the end of the list), then alphabetically by country where observed. When the same day is observed in multiple countries (but not worldwide), then the countries should be listed alphabetically, and the first country used for sorting.
  • To maintain a variety of topics on the Main Page, an event should not be chosen if it is also related to the subject of the featured article or the featured picture for that particular day.
  • Only one image should be displayed for any particular day entry at any one time. The image, however, can be switched throughout the day.
  • Non-Gregorian-based holidays and observances should be moved to the correct day for the current year. When moved, they should not count towards the maximum "3 holidays/observances per day" limit since a number of them might suddenly fall on the same day during a particular year.[nb 2] These holidays and observances should also be marked with the current year in parentheses as an indicator to readers that observance on this day is specific to this year. Certain non-Gregorian holidays may appear more than once per calendar year due the differences between calendars (most notably Jewish or Islamic holidays).
  • In general, National Days, Independence Days, and other holidays celebrating the nationhood of a country should be marked by the year of the significant historic date being observed. An exception can be made when non-Gregorian-based holidays also fall within the same day, and the non-consistent use of dates might confuse new readers.[nb 3]
  • Each emboldened article should be checked to make sure it still qualifies under the selected anniversaries criteria above. For those that do not, there are two options: an alternate emboldened article can be chosen for the same event if one exists, especially if the original emboldened article was merged or split. Otherwise, it should be moved to the 'ineligible' section of the staging area with a note indicating the improvements needed.
  • Make sure to double check, copyedit, and verify each event chosen so it is consistent with the facts presented in the emboldened article because they may have changed since the previous year.[nb 4]
  • After making changes, please edit the talk page to indicate what changes were made, following the examples that are already there.



Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/today links to a page showing today's selected anniversaries.

On this day...

September 20

Great Buddha, Kamakura, Japan
Great Buddha, Kamakura, Japan

Veit Stoss (d. 1533) · Herbert Putnam (b. 1861) · Edith Rogers (b. 1894)

viewtalkedit (admins only)historyrelated changes


On this day...

September 21: International Day of Peace; Islamic New Year (2017, 1439 AH); first day of Rosh Hashanah (Judaism, 2017, AM 5778)

Virginia O'Hanlon
Virginia O'Hanlon

Barbara Longhi (b. 1552) · H. G. Wells (b. 1866) · Leonard Cohen (b. 1934)

viewtalkedit (admins only)historyrelated changes

Selected anniversaries/On this day archiveAll

Recent changes to Selected anniversariesSelected anniversaries editing guidelines

It is now 23:39 on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 (UTC) – Purge cache for this page

Resources for finding new suggestions


  1. ^ If you have carefully reviewed the entry against all of the criteria below then you can move the entry to the 'eligible' section with a clear edit summary for others to review noting the improvements made.
  2. ^ See, for example, [1] and [2].
  3. ^ As per this post on WP:ERRORS.
  4. ^ As per this example.
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