Good morning, good day, good evening, and welcome to Saturday’s installment of On This Day. I hope you’re well and that you enjoy your weekend. To set you off on the right path, here’s your daily trip down memory lane. Way down memory lane. So way down in fact, we’re starting with what happened on this day in…
303 – On a voyage preaching the gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona is beheaded in Amiens, France. A bit of a wasted journey if you ask me. The French are not for turning.
1066 – The Battle of Stamford Bridge marks the end of the Viking invasions of England. Chelsea FC play their home games there now. I thought John Terry looked like a Norse, all right.
1690 – Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, is published for the first and only time. No one bought obviously.
1789 – The U.S. Congress passes twelve amendments to the United States Constitution: the Congressional Apportionment Amendment (which was never ratified), the Congressional Compensation Amendment, and the ten that are known as the Bill of Rights.
1906 – In the presence of the king and before a great crowd, Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrates the invention of the Telekino in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered the birth of the remote control.
1944 – World War II: Surviving elements of the British 1st Airborne Division withdraw from Arnhem in the Netherlands, thus ending the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden. It was A Bridge Too Far.
1983 – Maze Prison escape: 38 republican prisoners, armed with 6 handguns, hijack a prison meals lorry and smash their way out of the Maze prison. It is the largest prison escape since WWII and in British history.
1996 – The last of the Magdalene Asylums closes in Ireland; just one of the many scandals Ireland has endured under the institution of the Catholic Church.
Celebrity birthdays today include:
Catherine Zeta Jones and her husband, Michael Douglas, share their birthdays today. She is 41, he is 66. We wish Michael well as he recovers from throat cancer.
Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, is 59 and still strong with the Force.
Maria Doyle Kennedy, Irish singer, actress and star of The Commitments, is 46.
Hollywood actor Will Smith is 42.