Tag Archives: History

On This Day…25 September

Saturday, 25 September 2010

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.

The Bill of Rights

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:

Mr & Mrs Zeta-Jones Douglas (Image: babble.com)

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.

On This Day…24 September

Friday, 24 September 2010

And so we arrive at another Friday. A day which can only mean one thing for your friendly neighbourhood aardvark: DATE NIGHT!!

So while I’m busy getting myself scrubbed up for a night out with Her Ladyship, I’ll leave you with titbits and morsels from bygone times. Starting with events on this day in…

1180 – Manuel I Komnenos, last Emperor of the Komnenian restoration dies. The Byzantine Empire slips into terminal decline. Poor things!

1645 – Battle of Rowton Heath, Parliamentarian victory over a Royalist army commanded in person by King Charles. It’s good when a king makes a personal appearance. Could’ve got him killed, though.

1789 – The United States Congress passed a Judiciary Act that provided an attorney general and The Supreme Court.

Devil's Tower National Monument, Wyoming. (Image: destination360.com)

1869 – “Black Friday”: Gold prices plummet after Ulysses S. Grant orders the Treasury to sell large quantities of gold after Jay Gould and James Fisk plot to control the market. So, no Goldfinger, then.

1906 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims Devils Tower in Wyoming as the nation’s first National Monument.

1950 – Forest fires black out the sun over portions of Canada and New England. A Blue moon (in the astronomical sense) is seen as far away as Europe.

1990 – Periodic Great White Spot observed on Saturn. NASA sends up a ship filled with Clearasil.

Trump Tower, Chicago. (Image: news.medill.northwestern.edu)

1979 – Compu-Serve launches the first consumer internet service, which features the first public electronic mail service.

2008 – The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago is topped off at 1,389 feet (423 m), at the time becoming the world’s highest residence above ground-level.

Celebrating birthdays today are:

Hercules actor and all-round nice guy, Kevin Sorbo is 52.

John Logan, American screenwriter and Oscar-winner for Gladiator, is 49.

Nia Vardalos, the Canadian actress and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, is 48.

Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss), American children’s writer (b. 1904) and creator of The Cat in the Hat died on this day in 1991. I never “got” him myself, but I know he has legions of fans. This is for you.

On This Day…23 September

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Welcome to another action-packed, thrill-a-minute piece of history trivia. I hope you get as much fun out of reading these as I do putting them together. They take time, but it’s time well spent.

Today we start with…

1122 – Concordat of Worms: an agreement between Pope Calixtus II and Holy Roman Emperor Henry V near the city of Worms. It brought to an end the first phase of the power struggle between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Emperors. And you thought it was all about gathering live bait for fishing…

1779 – American Revolution: a squadron commanded by John Paul Jones on board the USS Bonhomme Richard wins the Battle of Flamborough Head, off the coast of England, against two British warships. 1-0 to the US.

A photogenic bunch, don't you think? (Image: 19cbaseball.com)

1845 – The Knickerbockers Baseball Club, the first baseball team to play under the modern rules, is founded in New York.

1889 – Nintendo Koppai (Later Nintendo Company, Limited) is founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce and market the playing card game Hanafuda.

1909 – The Phantom of the Opera (original title: Le Fantôme de l’Opéra), a novel by French writer Gaston Leroux, was first published as a serialization in Le Gaulois. So now we know who to blame for the musical.

1952 – Richard Nixon makes his “Checkers speech”.

1999 – NASA announces that it has lost contact with the Mars Climate Orbiter.

2002 – The first public version of the web browser Mozilla Firefox (“Phoenix 0.1”) is released.

Happy birthday to:

Mickey Rooney is a venerable 90 today.

Jason Alexander as George (Image: seinfeldscripts.com)

The Spanish singing superstar Julio Iglesias is 67.

Paolo Rossi, the Italian footballer who won the World Cup Golden Boot in 1982, is 54.

Jason Alexander, who plays George from the hit series Seinfeld, is 51.

Eric Miller, Irish rugby player, is 35.

But the birthday I really want to celebrate today is the Boss, Bruce Springsteen. He turns 61 and shows no sign of ever slowing down.

Go on ya good thing!

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!