Tag Archives: On this day

On This Day…28 August

It’s the weekend, people, and today, a friend and I are taking a boat trip along the River Liffey. May your day flow along as easy.

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.)

Bring on the Empire. I'll show them what's what for stealing my shirt.

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:

Shania Twain, Canadian singer, 45. Go on, ya good thing, Shania.

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.

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On This Day…19 August

Thursday are cool. I like Thursdays. May your own Thursday be the coolest there is. Today is 19 August 2010. One more day to the weekend.

Looking through the history books, these are the nuggets I sought out and decided to share with you today. On this day in…

1561 – An 18-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, returns to Scotland after spending 13 years in France. Yes, Mary, too much Brie can be a bad thing.

1692 – Salem witch trials: in Salem, Massachusetts, Province of Massachusetts Bay five people, one woman and four men, including a clergyman, are executed after being convicted of witchcraft. It’s a shame no one caught on to Melissa Joan Hart, though. That Sabrina one deserved burning at the stake, if you ask me.

1812 – War of 1812: American frigate USS Constitution defeats the British frigate HMS Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada earning her nickname “Old Ironsides”. Raymond Burr plays the role in a later TV series.

1944 – World War II: Liberation of Paris – Paris rises against German occupation with the help of Allied troops.

1990 – Leonard Bernstein conducts his final concert, ending with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.

Notable birthdays include:

Former President Bill Clinton is a sprightly 64 today.

Jill St. John, Bond Girl in Diamonds Are Forever, is 70 (WHAT?)

No way is this girl 70-years-old!

Those that passed away on this day include:

Donald Woods, South African journalist and anti-apartheid activist (b. 1933)

Augustus, Roman Emperor (b. 63 BC)

and Groucho Marx, American comedian and actor (b. 1890)

On This Day…18 August.

All good things happen on a Wednesday. I hope good things happen to you today, 18 August 2010.

As usual, here’s a very brief summary of what happened down through the years on this day.

1868 – French astronomer Pierre Jules César Janssen discovers helium and so set in motion many a party trick, usually after much alcohol was taken.

1877 – Asaph Hall discovers Martian moon Phobos. H.G. Wells has an idea for a story.

1920 – The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing women’s suffrage. (Really…it took that long?)

1948 – The Australian cricket team completed a 4–0 Ashes series win over England during their undefeated Invincibles tour. One day, I’ll sit you all down and explain the rules of this complex but engaging game to you.

1958 – Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel Lolita is published in the United States. (Dirty old man!)

Notable birthdays include:

Roman Polanski, the Polish-born Oscar-winning director, loved by the Swiss Government but wanted by the U.S. authorities is 77. My personal favourite is Chinatown.

Robert Redford is 74. Ed Norton is 41. And Denis Leary is 53.

On This Day…17 August.

Greetings, my friends. I hope I find you well on this day, 17 August 2010. Here are some titbits of information you may – or may not – find interesting. On this day…

1807 – Robert Fulton’s first American steamboat leaves New York City for Albany, New York on the Hudson River, inaugurating the first commercial steamboat service in the world.

1908 – Fantasmagorie, the first animated cartoon, realized by Émile Cohl, is shown in Paris.

1943 – World War II: The U.S. Seventh Army under General George S. Patton arrives in Messina, Italy, followed several hours later by the British 8th Army under Field Marshal, Bernard L. Montgomery, thus completing the Allied conquest of Sicily.

1979 – Two Soviet Aeroflot jetliners collide in mid-air over Ukraine, killing 156.

1998 – Monica Lewinsky scandal: US President Bill Clinton admits in taped testimony that he had an “improper physical relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the same day he admits before the nation that he “misled people” about his relationship.

2008 – By winning the Men’s 4x100m medley relay, Michael Phelps becomes the first Olympian to win eight gold medals in the same Olympics.

Happy birthday to:

Maureen O’Hara is today a nonagenarian (that’s 90-years-old t0 you). I will always remember Maureen playing Mary-Kate Danaher in The Quiet Man.

Robert de Niro is 67.

Thierry Henry (the rotter who broke Irish hearts) is 33.

Thierry "Le Wanker" Henry

And the former love of my life – at least in the 80s – Belinda Carlisle is 52. Take it away, Belinda…

On This Day…16 August

Happy 16 August 2010, everyone. On this day in history:

1777, the American Revolutionary War: The Americans led by General John Stark rout British and Brunswick troops under Friedrich Baum at the Battle of Bennington in Walloomsac, New York.

In 1858 – U.S. President James Buchanan inaugurates the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. However, a weak signal forces a shutdown of the service in a few weeks.

In 1920, Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians is hit on the head by a fastball thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees, and dies early the next day. To date, Chapman is the second player to die from injuries sustained in a Major League Baseball game, the first being Doc Powers in 1909.

1942 – World War II: The two-person crew of the U.S. naval blimp L-8 disappears without a trace on a routine anti-submarine patrol over the Pacific Ocean. The blimp drifts without her crew and crash-lands in Daly City, California.

In 1966 – Vietnam War: The House Un-American Activities Committee begins investigations of Americans who have aided the Viet Cong. The committee intends to introduce legislation making these activities illegal. Anti-war demonstrators disrupt the meeting and 50 people are arrested.

1987 – A McDonnell Douglas MD-82 carrying Northwest Airlines Flight 255 crashes on take-off from Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan (Detroit), killing 155 passengers and crew. The sole survivor is four-year-old Cecelia Cichan.

And by extraordinary coincidence, in 2005 – West Caribbean Airways Flight 708 crashes near Machiques, Venezuela, killing the 160 aboard.

Not a good day to take a flight. But it is a good day for:

Ulrika Jonsson, television presenter, is 43 today.

Angela Basset, the Oscar-nominated actress is 52 and she shares her birthday with Madonna.

James “King 0f the World” Cameron is 56.

And our own lovely Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series) is a cool 19.

Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood. Don't you just love her?

But today is the day of a mourning for those of us who live in the capital city. On this day, two years ago, Dublin lost an icon. Ronny Drew, the voice of Dublin and The Dubliners, died from cancer at the age of 74.

Last but not least, Manchester United opened their 2010/2011 Premier League Campaign with a 3-0 home win over newly promoted Newcastle United. The goals came from Dimitar Berbatov, Darren Fletcher and Ryan Giggs.