Tag Archives: Soviet Union

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.

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…23 August

Hands up those of you that love Mondays! I see…two…no, three of you. That’s not too bad. I can live with that. In all honesty, I like Mondays. Because I normally work all or part of the weekend, Monday is my Friday. On this day, 23 August 2010, I hope each of you has a happy and productive week. Events of historical curiosity that occurred on today’s date include:

1572 – Mob violence against Huguenots in Paris – St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. Huguenots cried foul. Bart cried “Doh!”

1775 – King George III declares that the American colonies exist in a state of open and avowed rebellion. Said rebels cry “No shit, Sherlock!:

Nice portrait, Your Majesty.

1799 – Napoleon leaves Egypt for France en route to seize power. Josephine, once again, was left to her own devices. Poor Jo!

1939 – World War II: Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In a secret addition to the pact, the Baltic states, Finland, Romania, and Poland are divided between the two nations. This carried on quite nicely for Hitler until…

1942 – World War II: Beginning of the Battle of Stalingrad…and the beginning of the end of WWII.

Birthday candles are blown out today for:

Jay Mohr, American actor and comedian, who is 40. Here he is having a go at the Boston Red Sox.

River Phoenix would have been 40 today, too, if only he lived long enough.

The late River Phoenix

The actor Ray Park – “The Toad” from X-Men – is 36.

And basketball legend Kobe Bryant is 32.

One notable death on this day in 1960 was that of the lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. To close off today’s On This Day, I leave with a snippet of Oklahoma, the musical he wrote with Richard Rogers.