German baroque composer Johann Michael Bach kicks things off today, given he seemed to hit the right note in 1648. Civil engineer who was responsible for developing the current railway network in Britain, (minus the bits Dr. Beeching took out in the 1960’s), Joseph Locke steamed through in 1805. Known for her book about Mary Poppins, Helen Lyndon Goff or as the film Saving Mr Banks knew her, Pamela Lyndon Travers found she didn’t get to have a nanny once born in 1899. Actor Robert Archibald Shaw started having the birthday party from 1927. Another white shorts/shirt wearer whilst hitting tennis balls around various courts around the world and reckoned to be one of the best players of all time, Rodney George ‘Rod’ Laver had his first delivery in 1938. Boxer known for beating Muhammad Ali, Kenneth Howard Norton Snr, made sure he had a catcher in 1943. Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, (née Majumder) wasn’t opposed to being born in 1945. Norwegian of the day is wobbler on skates, Kay Arne Stenshjemmet, took the outside track in 1953. Sportswriter with the alternative surname, Peter Gilray Schmuck had time to prove he wasn’t one from 1955. Not content with divorcing Don Johnson once, but twice, (you’d have thought she’d have learnt her lesson first time round), Melanie Griffith was in the spirit of things when born in 1957. Seeing as Presidents of the United States and British Prime Ministers get a mention here, it seems only fair PM of the southern most Commonwealth country, New Zealand also gets one – John Philip Key had a full turn out in 1961. Ex-Mrs Bobby Brown and first cousin to Dionne Warwick, shouter/squealer to music, (including the dire cover version of Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You), Whitney Elizabeth Houston brought joy to her mum’s world in 1963. Having mentioned her co-star David Duchovny a couple of days ago, here’s the Mulder to his Scully, (or was it the other way round?) Gillian Leigh Anderson thought the future fantastic after her birth in 1968. Track and field athlete with the rather interesting surname, Tyson Gay who was stripped, (wait for it), of his medal from the 2012 Olympics due to taking drugs, didn’t have that problem when born in 1982.
Death wise, there is a Pope today as poor old Pope Damasus II had to give up his post after all of 24 days in 1048. Eric Ploughpenny or King Eric IV of Denmark lost his head in 1250. Runner and hurdler, minus the drugs, (take note Mr Gay), Harry Livingstone Hillman Jr. could probably have done with some stimulants given he pegged it in 1945. Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Stephen Parent, Jay Sebring and Sharon Tate were all slain by Charles Manson and his followers in 1969. Owner of the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers team Walter Francis O’Malley had his last home run in 1979. Also not making it through that year was original founder of South Central Los Angeles gang, The Crips – Raymond Lee Washington was more a stiff than a crip. Singer Jerome John ‘Jerry’ Garcia was probably grateful he was dead in 1995. Inventor of the jet engine, Sir Frank Whittle ran out of thrust in 1996. Finally, actor Edwin Stafford ‘Ed’ Nelson entered the boneyard in 2014.