School children’s least favourite playwright William Shakespeare starts things off today, although he may not have actually been born this day in 1564. Joseph Mallord William Turner, landscape painter is another person who’s birthdate is unknown, but is assumed to be today in 1775. 15th President of the United States of America, James Buchanan Jr. was more popular with his family in 1791 than with his fellow politicians later in life. Nobel prize winning theoretical physicist Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck was a serious little boy from 1858. Deputy to Dwight D. Eisenhower and organiser of the Berlin airlift, Lucius Dubignon Clay floated out in 1897. Also born that year, 14th Canadian Prime Minister Lester Bowles ‘Mike’ Pearson was a minority of one. Founder of probiotic drink Yakult, Minoru Shirota started fighting the stomach bacteria in 1898. Cartoonist who worked on Betty Boop along with Superman and Popeye animations as well as Caspar the Ghost, Myron Waldman was a barnyard brat himself in 1908. Precocious child star Shirley Temple had bright eyes after being born in 1928. The Big ‘O’ Roy Kelton Orbison, he of dark glasses coiffured hair and black clothing, rather ironically started life with one of his songs, ‘Crying’ in 1936 and finished it with, ‘It’s Over’ in 1998. Another singer from another continent, Sishtia Sreeramamurthy Janaki, who wisely abbreviated it to S. Janaki started wailing in 1938. Lead character in 1970’s series, The Six Million Dollar Man, Lee Majors, (or to give him his birth name, Harvey Lee Yeary), gave his mum just a little inconvenience when born in 1936. Actor John David Hannah made it through the sliding doors in 1962. Right wing zealot who thought it a good idea to blow a truck up outside a government building in Oklahoma, Timothy James McVeigh tore his way through in 1968. Known for his role in Slumdog Millionaire, Dev Patel was in skins this day back in 1990.
As for deaths, who could forget Saint George, Patron Saint of England who gave it his all in 303, and since then every English person has been waiting for today become a bank holiday. King of Norway Inge II took to his bed in 1217, though whether he was as keen on his coffin remains unknown. Having already mentioned William Shakespeare, (above), here he is again given he definitely put his quill down in 1616. Maurice, Prince of Orange took on a slightly greyer look from 1625. Poet Laureate with the rather large centre parting, William Wordsworth was lost for words in 1850. Another William, this one original Doctor Who, William Henry Hartnell found his time travels were up in 1975. Olympic medal winning swimmer and actor known for playing Tarzan, Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, Clarence Linden Crabbe II, but probably better known as Buster Crabbe, gave up swinging in his loin cloth back in 1983. Writer of Mary Poppins and best friend to Walt Disney, Pamela Lyndon Travers, (or Helen Lyndon Goff), stopped wielding her handbag in 1996. Footballer/cricketer, Denis Charles Scott Compton was run out in 1997. Assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., James Earl Ray met his maker in 1998. Scandal ridden Premier of Queensland Joh Bjelke-Pieterson gave up breathing in 2005, as did accomplished English actor John Mills. Vodka drinking, rambling speech merchant and ex-President of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin smashed his last vodka glass in 2007. Great sit-com writer and Kingswood (Surrey) resident, John Sullivan started pushing the green, green grass up in 2011. Finally, Consort to Chas, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall’s brother Mark Shand started conserving his energy in 2014.