The following have/will be ripping open their birthday pressies today, starting with Emperor of Rome who’s got a chain of coffee shops named after him in Great Britain – Nero served himself up in his own time way back in 37. Alexandre Gustav Bönickhausen (who later changed that to Eiffel), architect of large scale Meccano set in Paris, started to tower over his parents from 1832. First person to discover evidence of radioactivity – Antoine Henri Becquerel was fully exposed in 1852. Pola inventinto de alternativa lingvo Esperanto, Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof festos sian 158th naskigtago se li ne mortis en 1917. Founder of oil company bearing his name, John Paul Getty started nodding in 1892. American version of Michael Eavis, dairy farmer Max B. Yasgur who’s land was used for hippy fest Woodstock, had some early celebrations when born in 1919. Cartoonist Kurt Schaffenberger marvelled his parents from 1920. Gotthard Glas, better known as Uziel ‘Uzi’ Gal designer of machine gun bearing his name, discharged himself in 1923. Having mentioned her bandmates in The Supremes, it seems only fitting birthday girl Cynthia Ann ‘Cindy’ Birdsong also gets a look in given she’ll be eating cake in honour of her 78th birthday whilst muttering, ‘Happy Birthday to Me’. 60’s popster in co-ordinated group named after him, David ‘Dave’ Clark was feeling glad all over in either a) 1939 or b) 1942. Actress/voice actress Melanie Chartoff was a rugrat herself in 1948, (or was it 1950?). Wearer of shiny jackets rolled up to his elbows and ex-Mr Melanie Griffith, Donnie Wayne ‘Don’ Johnson was eastbound and downward in 1949. Mark William Wainwright who changed his surname to Orbit was a ray of light to his parents in 1956. One time West Indian cricket captain Carl Llewelyn Hooper knocked ’em for six in 1966. Diminutive fan of wearing silk, Lanfranco ‘Frankie’ Dettori unsaddled himself in 1971.
Death wise, there are still no Popes – but we do have a dead royal Norwegian of the day, as King Haakon IV of Norway was ten days short of seeing another Christmas in 1263. Painter famed for his picture of a girl with a pearl earring – Johannes/Johan/Jan Vermeer eased the easel in 1675. Food manufacturer known for his custard and baking powder, Alfred Bird went to seed in 1878. Tribal chief born a Jumping Badger and ending his days as Sitting Bull, found himself more of a lying down bull in 1890. Thomas Wright ‘Fats’ Waller has been keeping out of mischief for 77 years now. Big band leader Alton Glenn Miller obviously wasn’t in the mood to carry on living after today in 1944. Having mentioned Walter Elias ‘Walt’ Disney a mere ten days ago in honour of his birthday, here he is again given his relatives would have had to take those presents back for a refund in 1966. American actor Theodore Childress ‘Chill’ Wills found himself way out west in 1978. Best known for playing ‘Grandad’ in classic BBC sit-com Only Fools and Horses, Leonard Pearce had his hole in one moment in 1984. Director of the Pink Panther films not to mention being Mr Julie Andrews, William Blake Crump (or Blake Edwards) didn’t get another breakfast at Tiffany’s after 2010. Finally, Hollywood actress born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland but known as Joan Fontaine was dead beyond a reasonable doubt in 2013.