Tag Archives: History

On This Day…22 September

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Hello and a warm welcome to Wednesday, the day that’s neither here nor there. The mid-point between weekends. Keep your head down and your nose clean, for Friday is only two days away.

Quite a bit happened on this day in history, so without messing around let’s get started with…

1499 – Treaty of Basel: Switzerland becomes an independent state. Cuckoo clock makers everywhere finally have a base for their operations.

1789 – The office of United States Postmaster General is established.

1869 – Richard Wagner’s opera Das Rheingold premieres in Munich.

1885 – Lord Randolph Churchill makes a speech in Ulster in opposition to Home Rule e.g. “Ulster will fight and Ulster will be right”.

Image: coverbrowser.com

1888 – The first issue of National Geographic Magazine is published.

1896 – Queen Victoria surpasses her grandfather King George III as the longest reigning monarch in British history.

1927 – Jack Dempsey loses the “Long Count” boxing match to Gene Tunney.

1955 – In the United Kingdom, the television channel ITV goes live for the first time.

1980 – Iraq invades Iran.

2003 – David Hempleman-Adams becomes the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean in an open-air, wicker-basket hot air balloon.

Birthdays today include:

Novelist Fay Weldon (telegraph.co.uk)

British feminist and author Fay Weldon is 79.

Joan Jett, she of the Blackhearts, is a rocking 52.

Billie Piper, Rose Tyler from Doctor Who, is 28.

For classical music lovers, the brilliant Andrea Bocelli is 52.

Time to say goodbye, Andrea.

I couldn’t let this day pass without paying tribute to one of my favourite actors, the great George C. Scott, who passed away on this day in 1999. Here is his iconic and Oscar-winning performance as Patton.

On This Day…21 September

Tuesday, 22 September 2010

The sun has come out again, so it’s out with the shades and shorts and make good use of it while it’s here. It may be gone tomorrow.

Happy Tuesday, people. Have a good one.

Let’s have a look at what happened on this day down through the years. We start with…

1780 – American Revolutionary War: Benedict Arnold gives the British the plans to West Point. That was decent of him. Didn’t make him popular, though.

1827 – Joseph Smith, Jr. is reportedly visited by the angel Moroni, who gave him a record of gold plates, one-third of which Smith has translated into The Book of Mormon.

image c/o mormonbible.org

1937 – J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is published.

1942 – In Poland, at the end of Yom Kippur, Germans order Jews to permanently evacuate Konstantynów and move to the Ghetto in Biała Podlaska, established to assemble Jews from seven nearby towns, including Janów Podlaski, Rossosz and Terespol.

1993 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin suspends parliament and scraps the then-functioning constitution, thus triggering the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993.

2008 – Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the two last remaining independent investment banks on Wall Street, become bank holding companies as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis.

Happy birthday to:

Leonard Cohen, the legend himself, is 76.

Birthday boy Bill Murray

Actor Bill Murray is 60.

Ricki Lake, US daytime TV presenter, is 42.

Liam Gallagher, singer with the band Oasis (now no longer with us) is a snarling 38.

Richard Dunne, Aston Villa and Republic of Ireland defender, is 31

That doyenne of reality TV and daughter of Lionel, Nicole Richie is 29.

The world of cinema lost a legend on this day in 1974 with the passing of Walter Brennan.

On This Day…15 September

15 September 2010

Whatever Wednesday brings you, may it be filled with blessings, love and buckets-load of hard cash.

Cash is king in my book.

So what happened on this day down through the years? Lots, let me tell you, lots. Let’s start with…

1776 – American Revolutionary War: British forces land at Kip’s Bay during the New York Campaign.

1830 – The Liverpool to Manchester railway line opens.

1831 – The locomotive John Bull operates for the first time in New Jersey on the Camden and Amboy Railroad.

1940 – World War II: The climax of the Battle of Britain, when the Royal Air Force shoots down large numbers of Luftwaffe aircraft.

1959 – Nikita Khrushchev becomes the first Soviet leader to visit the United States.

1981 – The John Bull becomes the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operates it under its own power outside Washington, D.C, 150 years after it’s initial run.

Image: haildubyus.com

2008 – Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.

Birthdays today include:

American actor Tommy Lee Jones, 64.

The same age as ex-controversial film director, Oliver Stone. I wonder what Wall Street II will be like.

The English comedian Jimmy Carr is 38.

Roald Dahl’s granddaughter Sophie, model and author, is 33.

Two years ago today, Richard Wright, founding member of Pink Floyd lost his battle with cancer. Today’s On This Day is dedicated to him. Rest in peace, Richard.

On This day…14 September

14 September 2010

Another Tuesday, another chance to do the Funky Chicken and get jiggy with it.

I’ll be all right once the pills kick in.

Seriously I will. Now where did those polar bears come from?

History tell us that on this day in…

1607 – Flight of the Earls from Lough Swilly, Donegal, Ireland.

1901 – President of the United States William McKinley dies after a successful assassination attempt on September 6, and is succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt.

Image: amscoextra.blogspot.com

1948 – Groundbreaking for the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

1975 – The first American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, is canonized by Pope Paul VI.

1994 – The Major League Baseball season is canceled because of a strike.

Happy birthday to:

Give it up for Sam!

New Zealand (but Northern Ireland born) actor Sam Neill is 63.

Dmitry Medvedev, President of Russia is 45.

Ashlyn Gere, American pornographic actress, is 43. (Nope, never seen her movies, either…*whistles innocently*)

Ashley Roberts, American singer with the Pussycat Dolls, dancer & actress is a foot-stomping 29.

And last, but by no means least, everyone’s favourite car-crash Amy Winehouse is 27. They said she had to go to rehab and she said no, no, no! Poor thing!

On This Day…5 September

Today is an important day the Irish sporting calender. It’s the first Sunday in September, which means it’s All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final day in Croke Park. The mighty black and amber of Kilkenny are aiming to win an unprecedented five titles in a row. Their opponents today are the same as last year: Tipperary, the Rebel County. So, good luck Tipp! Ye have your work cut out for you.

On this day in…

Sam Houston

1666 – Great Fire of London ends: 10,000 buildings including St. Paul’s Cathedral are destroyed, but only 16 people are known to have died.

1836 – Sam Houston is elected as the first president of the Republic of Texas. Good man, Sam!

1945 – Cold War: Igor Gouzenko, a Soviet Union embassy clerk, defects to Canada, exposing Soviet espionage in North America, signalling the beginning of the Cold War. Thriller writers everywhere rubbed their hands in glee. (It’s always handy to have a tub of glee around the house.)

2007 – Three terrorists suspected to be a part of Al-Qaeda are arrested in Germany after allegedly planning attacks on both the Frankfurt International airport and US military installations.

Notable birthdays today are:

He wasn't THAT bad, was he?

Australian actor and former James Bond George Lazenby is 71. Give him another chance, I say. I loved On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Raquel Welch is 70, God bless her.

Batman and Beetlejuice star Michael Keaton is 59. Say his name three times, please.

But on this day in 1945, Scottish singer/songwriter Al Stewart was born. I shall leave you today with the song that most of you would know him by.

Mash-up: The Last Word

I've added this to my Amazon.com cart

I posted a status update on Facebook earlier today, stating that I’d been to the library and picked up some stories by M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft. Not spectacular about that, true enough. As statuses go, it’s better than “I’m feeding my cat toenails LOL xxx.”

A friend commented, wondering if I was planning on combining the two; but as it turned out, he misread my status. He saw P.D. James, the crime writer, instead of M.R. James, the celebrated ghost story writer.

This got me thinking of literary mash-ups. Most of us are aware of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. So what could I come up with if I combined P.D. James with H.P. Lovecraft.

How about Shroud for a Reanimator: A Dunwich Mystery, featuring Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his trusty sidekick, Sergeant Cthulhu?

Would you buy it?

Could you suggest a better mash-up?

On This Day…3 September

It’s Friday again. The start of the weekend; the day all dreams are made of. If you have the same kind of dreams I do, you just know the weekend is going to be something special.

So without further ado (or adon’t), here’s what happened on this day in…

301 – San Marino, one of the smallest nations in the world and the world’s oldest republic still in existence, is founded by Saint Marinus. Do you know where San Marino is? It’s a principality situated on the eastern side of the Apennine Mountains, completely surrounded by Italy. There now! Don’t say you haven’t learned something today.

This painting by Benjamin West depicts American delegates John Jay, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Henry Laurens and William Temple Franklin. The painting is unfinished because the British delegation refused to pose.

1783 – American Revolutionary War: The war ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris by the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain.

1939 – World War II: France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia declare war on Germany after the invasion of Poland, forming the Allies.

2004 – Beslan school hostage crisis: Day 3: The Beslan hostage crisis ends with the deaths of over 300 people, more than half of which are children. A tragic event, surely.

Blowing out candles today are:

Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine star Pauline Collins, 70. (Educating Rita was set in Liverpool but was filmed at Trinity College, Dublin.)

Bad boy Charlie Sheen will celebrate his 45th birthday today in rehab…hopefully.

Lá Breithe Shona Duit!

The great director Frank Capra passed away on this day in 1991. When one thinks of Capra, It’s a Wonderful Life comes to mind. For me, it’s Lost Horizon every time. R.I.P. Frank!

On This Day…30 August

It’s another Monday, and another week has to be endured before we get to the weekend. I’ll try to wean you in gently with another one of my On This Day posts. Today is 30 August 2010, and on this day in…

1574 – Guru Ram Das became the Fourth Sikh Guru/Master. Nancy Hatch will no doubt know this, wouldn’t you, Nancy?

Why in heaven's name is Canberra the capital of Australia? Answers on a postcard to please to Aardvarkian Tales.

1835 – Melbourne, Australia is founded. I’ll take this moment to say hello to my Antipodean friends. You know who you are.

1918 – Fanny Kaplan shoots and seriously injures Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin. This, along with the assassination of Bolshevik senior official Moisei Uritsky days earlier, prompts the decree for Red Terror.

1967 – Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African American Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

1984 – STS-41-D: The Space Shuttle Discovery takes off on its maiden voyage.

A very happy birthday to:

Isn't she lovely?

The very beautiful and very talented (even if Knight and Day sucked) Cameron Diaz is 38.

Former US Open winner, tennis star Andy Roddick is 28.

And Emily Bear, American child pianist and composer, is the venerable age of nine. Aww!

An actor I was quite fond of died this day in 1993, Richard Jordan. I didn’t know he was dead until many years later. I’ll leave you with this tribute. Until tomorrow, then…

On This Day…29 August

Today is the day when Counties Down and Kildare meet in the second semi-final in Croke Park. Whoever wins earns the right to play Cork in the All-Ireland Senior Football Final on 19 September. But that’s another day’s work. Here’s what went down on this day in…

1498 – Vasco da Gama decides to depart Calicut and return to Portugal. He was really sure he’d forgotten to turn the lights off before he left.

1831 – Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction. Then some bright “spark” decided it was a good idea to start charging people for it. Hence da Gama’s decision to head home 340 years earlier. (Yes, he had a time machine, didn’t you know?)

Michael Faraday: What a guy!

1898 – The Goodyear tire company is founded. (What’s the difference between a tire and 365 condoms? One’s a Goodyear, the other’s a really good year. Sorry!)

1966 – The Beatles perform their last concert before paying fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. It was the beginning of the end of an era.

2005 – Hurricane Katrina devastates much of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, killing more than 1,836 and causing over $80 billion in damage. Was it really five years ago this happened?

Born today and getting ready to blow out the candles are:

Who you looking at?

Risky Business and The Hand That Rocks The Cradle star, Rebecca de Mornay is 51

Former Republic of Ireland soccer player, Stephen Carr, is 34. Come on, Steve, you can still do a job for us.

The lovely Lea Michele, star of Glee, is 24 – much too old to be in high-school, but one heck of a singer.

On This Day…22 August

Today is the day the mighty Dublin GAA Football team take on Cork for a place in the All-Ireland Football Final in Croke Park. Today is the day I’ll be sweating blood and tears in my job. What will you be doing today, 22 August 2010? While you’re pondering this question, consider these nuggets from years gone by. On this day in…

851 – Erispoe defeats Charles the Bald near the Breton town of Jengland. Toupees are invented.

1770 – James Cook’s expedition lands on the east coast of Australia. Rolf Harris ties his kangaroo down (sport), while Russell Crowe kicks seven shades of shite out of Cook’s crew. You gotta love Russell!

The Big Fella!

1922 – Michael Collins, Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Free State Army is shot dead during an Anti-Treaty ambush at Béal na mBláth, County Cork, during the Irish Civil War. Liam Neeson played him in Neil Jordan’s Oscar-nominated film of the same name in 1996. (PS: It was DeValera who ordered the assassination…but don’t say I said so.)

1962 – An attempt to assassinate French president Charles de Gaulle fails. Frederick Forsyth has an idea for a novel.

And in 2004 – A version of The Scream and Madonna, two paintings by Edvard Munch, are stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo, Norway. Guy Ritchie says he knows nothing.

Happy birthday to:

The Nugget in action

The “Nugget” Steve Davis, six-times world snooker champion. God, he was boring then. But he’s more interesting nowadays.

Debbi Peterson, of The Bangles, is 49 today. I’ll leave you with an idea of what tomorrow is going to be like for some of us. Thank you for reading.