We begin today’s posting with explorer who’s got not only a car, but also a mint named in his honour, Marco Polo started to map out his life from 1324. Norwegian of the day, composer with the nearly unpronounceable surname, Halfdan Kjerulf orchestrated his entrance to the world in 1815. 29th President of Mexico with the bushy moustache, clothes brushes on his shoulders and excessive medals on his chest, José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori seemed to think he was born in 1830. Another politician with a rather large hairy upper lip, 27th President of the United States of America, William Howard Taft had a party every year from 1837 (well, until 1930). Keeping with the political theme, tenth Prime Minister of Australia – Joseph Aloysius Lyons, had his first taste of labor in 1879. Founder of overpriced sports car manufacturer bearing his name, Ettore Arco Isidoro Bugatti set the wheels in motion back in 1881. President of Chile before becoming President of Government Junta of Chile, Carlos Gregorio Dávila Espinoza was unable to edit his life from 1887. Prolific writer of dull crime stories, Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie gave away the answer as to her birthdate in 1890. Wearer of the country’s sash, President of Argentina – Fernando de la Ruá started running about a year after birth in 1937. Baseball player with the rather unfortunate first name, Gaylord Jackson Perry pitched in with his birth back in 1938. Known for playing Agent K in the Men in Black, Tommy Lee Jones had his first big break in 1946. Also born that year, film director Oliver Stone obviously wasn’t born on the 4th July, given he’s eating birthday cake today. Founder of Diesel Jeans – Renzo Russo, was cut to size in 1955. Singer/songwriter Jacqueline ‘Jaki’ Graham was breaking away back in 1956. Acerbic witted, ex-tax dodging comedian with the sea lion laugh, James Anthony Patrick ‘Jimmy’ Carr had his introduction to theatres in 1972. Having mentioned her diminutive plonker of a husband on 20th August and her grandad a mere two days ago, it’s now Sophie Holloway/Dahl’s turn to get a mention given she’s now 39. Actor Edward Thomas ‘Tom’ Hardy had the day of reckoning in 1977. Ginger haired lover of fancy dress, (including his own birthday suit), and younger bro to Bill, Prince Henry (Harry) of Wales, set the nations hearts a flutter in 1984.
There’s a few deaths to mention, and we start in 1859 with tall hat wearing mechanical/civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel who lit his last cigar. Bespectacled three time French Prime Minister André Pierre Gabriel Amédée Tardieu, was unable to reshuffle from 1945. Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, or to give him his official title ‘The King’, didn’t get to eat any more roll mop herrings for tea from 1973. Aeroplane/car manufacturer Wilhelm Emil ‘Willy’ Messerschmidt found he didn’t get very far after 1978. Great sit-com actor Harold Bennett nearly made it to his 82nd birthday in 1981. Reggae DJ Prince Far I went a bit further in 1983. John William Cummins who took the slightly hipper name Johnny Ramone obviously wasn’t too tough to die in 2004. British television presenter with the distinctive voice (and ex-RAF pilot), Raymond Frederic Baxter didn’t get to see tomorrow’s world after 2006. Rally driver Colin McRae found his pace notes surplus to requirements in 2007. Finally, Russian Prince who’s surname sounds like a cheap brand of vodka, Nicholas Romanovich Romanov had his last toast in 2014.