Wednesdays are wicked. So are witches, but not in the same way. Witches fly around on broomsticks; Wednesdays linger like a bad smell. Witches may have a bad smell, too, but not like Wednesdays. Without further ado, allow me to regale you with tales of this day from years gone by. On this day in…
1609 – Galileo Galilei demonstrates his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers. Said lawmakers draw up contracts, collect fat fees, and render the astronomer destitute. Centuries later, nothing much has changed.
1944 – World War II: Paris is liberated by the Allies. Much Chateaubriand is eaten, much Chateauneuf-du-Pape is drunk. Is this what Rick Blaine meant when he said to Ilsa that they’d always have Paris? We’ll never know for sure.
1950 – President Harry Truman orders the US Army to seize control of the nation’s railroads to avert a strike. We tried that over here with our own rail workers But our own army went on strike for better conditions and unlimited access to Twitter.
1989 – Voyager 2 spacecraft makes its closest approach to Neptune, the outermost planet in the Solar System. It would have got closer but its sat-nav went on the blink.
Happy birthday to:
The Day of the Jackal author, Frederick Forsyth, who celebrates his 72nd birthday today.
Israeli-born musician – and sometime actor – KISS frontman Gene Simmons is 61. Although with all that make-up, how can we be sure?
And the other Elvis, Elvis Costello (Declan McManus to his Irish friends) is 56.
We’ll finish today’s instalment of On This Day with Elvis Costello and The Attractions, singing my favourite of theirs. Thank you for reading.