So what else went on today? On this day in…
1189 – Third Crusade: the Crusaders begin the Siege of Acre under Guy of Lusignan.
1619 – Ferdinand II is elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. (Rio Ferdinand signs for Manchester United for a record fee. Okay, this didn’t happen in 1619 – it only feels like it.)
1913 – Queen Wilhelmina opens the Peace Palace in The Hague. The free bar lasts all month, but someone nicked all the sandwiches.
1961 – Motown releases what would be its first #1 hit, “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes.
1981 – The National Centers for Disease Control announce a high incidence of pneumocystis and Kaposi’s sarcoma in gay men. These will soon be recognized as symptoms of an immune disorder, which will be called AIDS.
Born on this day were:
The American actor Jack Black is a cozy 41.
US medal-winning swimmer Janet Evans is 39. Janet is of special interest to Ireland; it was she who made the initial complaint when the Irish swimmer Michelle Smith swam to glory at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. While Smith was eventually discredited for doping offences later on, her gold medals were never revoked. Silly woman, Michelle.
Another luminary of Irish interest died today in 1987: the great director, John Huston. Huston settled in Ireland in the years before his death. His last movie was an adaptation of James Joyce’s The Dead.