People who have/will be eating a piece of birthday cake today, include, among others, Salamone Rossi, (distant relative of Status Quo guitarist Francis), who could play more than three chords on his violin and was plucked out in 1570. First Astronomer Royal, (which had to be an easy gig, pointing at white things in the sky and making names up), early version of Patrick Moore, (minus the monocle and Simon Cowell waisted trousers), John Flamsteed emerged without an eclipse in 1646. Given his older brother, Wilbur, got a mention on 16th April when he entered the world, today we celebrate the liftoff of his brother Orville Wright in 1871. Second President of the Philippines Manuel Luis Quezón de Molina tagalogged in 1878. Ninth President of Portugal José Mendes Cabeçadas Júnior wasn’t a revolting child in 1883. Also born that year, fashion designer and perfume developer Gabrielle Bonheur ‘Coco’ Chanel wafted into life. Known for banging the skins with 1970’s supergroup Cream, Peter Edward ‘Ginger’ Baker got out of the groove in 1939. Non-Jamaican reggae singer John Lester ‘Johnny’ Nash Jr., could see clearly from now in 1940. One time lanky haired rocker who still has a few follicles, Ian Gillan wondered now what?! in 1945. 42nd President of the United States of America, and only the second to be impeached, William Jefferson Blythe III or William Jefferson ‘Bill’ Clinton has been unable to lie about his birthdate in 1946. Quiet member of rock band Queen, John Richard Deacon succeeded in wanting to break free in 1951. Slightly more forthcoming rock star, Rolf Magnus Joakim Larsson, or to give him his slightly hipper stage name, Joey Tempest had the final countdown to his birth in 1963. Country singer Lee Ann Womack’s mum said, ‘Never again, again’ after her birth in 1966. Star of canned laughter and un-amusing but somehow popular sit-com, Matthew Langford Perry found his first friends in 1969. Living Norwegian of the day, born in a small town called Kristiansand Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby was a princess to her parents in 1973 before graduating to Crown Princess of all Norway after getting hitched to Prince Hakkon. Star of great sit-com The Inbetweeners, Simon Bird didn’t chicken out of being born in 1984.
Death wise, thankfully there aren’t any Popes today but we do start in 14AD when the person this month is named after, Augustus, decided to turn his toes up. Old West outlaw and controversial folk icon, John Wesley Hardin bit the bullet in 1895. Prime Minister of Greece Stephanos Skouloudis withdrew in 1928. I’m sure Scottish character act tor Alastair Sim was quite relieved not to have to dress up in women’s clothing again after 1976. Voice of Jeff Tracey in Thunderbirds, Peter Dyneley should have dialled 999 in 1977. Also not making it through that year, great and iconic wit with the moustache, glasses and cigar who starred in numerous films with his bothers, Julius Henry ‘Groucho’ Marks decided to go west. Having mentioned dignified Holocaust survivor and father to both Anne and Margot on 12th May in honour of his birthday, Otto Frank passed away in 1980. Creator of American current affairs programme 60 minutes, (as it sounds better than An Hour), Donald Shepard ‘Don’ Hewitt had his last 15 minutes of fame in 2009. Dead Norwegian of the day, Ivar Iversen had his dead reckoning in 2012. Finally, eighth President of Afghanistan Abdul Rahim Hatef shuffled off to the Netherlands in 2013.