Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 26th August


Today’s quite a busy one on the births front, so without any further ado we’ll begin with first Prime Minister of Great Britain, (well before they got embroiled in political sleaze scandals, entered illegal wars and became so delusional they believe they’re a higher deity) – Robert Walpole entered the cut and thrust of the world back in 1676, (as the 5th of 16 children). Co-inventor of hot air balloon bearing his name, Joseph-Michel Montgolfier was full of wind in 1740, (and he was the 12th child of 16). Person who named both oxygen and hydrogen along with helping construct the metric system, (so he’s the one to blame!), Antoine Lavoisier started breathing in 1743. Queen Vicki’s favourite person, (named after a rather painful sounding piercing procedure), Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha started following people about in 1819. DIY, (and non DIY), enthusiasts have inventor and patent holder of the electric drill – Arthur James Arnot to thank for making drilling holes into pipes a lot easier and he found a way out himself in 1865. Developer of the oral polio vaccine, Albert Bruce Sabin slipped out in 1906. Known for playing Jock Ewing in dull 80’s soap opera Dallas, Marlin ‘Jim’ Davis had his mum on standby for action in 1909. Princess Diana’s favourite nun who liked to wear a tea towel on her head whilst helping the disadvantaged, Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu or Mother Teresa as she’s better known, didn’t quite have the immaculate conception in 1910. Stern looking Prime Minister of Thailand Prem Tinsulanonda had his first coup, being born in 1920. Having mentioned Nikolas Ashford a mere four days ago when his warming up exercises failed, here’s his wife – Valerie Simpson who’s stayed free since 1943. BBC Radio 2 presenter and ‘jolly chappy’ who likes the sound of his own voice, Stephen Richard ‘Steve’ Wright had his first shout out in 1954. One hit wonder and subsequent lower chart botherer Alban Nwapa, or self styled Dr Alban came to be a long time ago, (in 1957 to be precise). Scouse born cyclist who took his stabilisers off to bag a gold at the 1992 Olympics along with wearing three yellow jerseys from his time peddling round France, Christopher Miles ‘Chris’ Boardman descended quickly in 1968. Russian rambler who won a silver medal for walking 20 kilometres, (or all of 12 miles 752.27 yards), in the 2004 Athens Olympics, Olimpiada Ivanova initially set out in 1970. Son of great English cricketer Ian, Liam Botham who couldn’t decide whether to be a cricketer or rugby player had the dummy passed to him in 1977. ‘Friend’ of monkey owning, spangly glove wearing, moon walking and pill popping Michael Jackson, child actor who made his name in the Home Alone series of films and is now to be found plugging some price comparison site with Meerkats, Macaulay Carson Culkin found his family waiting for him in 1980. Youngest person to sail around the world unaided, (in 1999 to save you looking it up), Jesse Martin breezed into the world in 1981.

As for deaths, we mourn the loss of Queen Consort of Sweden, wife to King Gustav I, Margaret Leijonhufvud who found she didn’t need to put her hair up after 1551. 44 years later in 1595 when Portugal had a proper royal family, António Prior of Cato or King António I of Portgual and the Algarves, (although this was disputed apparently), didn’t really need to worry about his title given he was no longer entitled to it as he was dead. Continuing the ancient royal theme, King Louis Philippe I of France decided today in 1850 was a good day to hang his red trousers and blue tunic up for good. Three time Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hungary Sándor Wekerle lost his appetite permanently in 1921. Star of the original silent films Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, Leonidas Frank ‘Lon’ Chaney went quietly in 1930. Dorking, Surrey, resident (with a statue outside Dorking Halls to prove it), composer Ralph Vaughan Williams had his last movement in 1958. Known for flying from New York to France non-Stop, Charles Augustus Lindbergh had his wings clipped in 1974. The man who’s name appeared at the end of virtually every classic MGM & Warner Bros. cartoon, Frederick Bean ‘Tex’ Avery erased himself in 1980. Warbler to her best known hit, ‘Gloria’, Laura Ann Brannigan lost her self control in 2004. Finally, actor in numerous Hindi films, Avtar Kishan (A.K.) Hangal had his best death scene in 2012.


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