I would like to send my birthday felicitations, greetings, good wishes, congratulations etc to the following today – first up is lexicographer Samuel Johnson who was a child of few words in 1709. Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari (or Pope Gregory XVI as those in the conclave knew him), had his first audience in 1765. Breech and sash wearing King with a spilt personality – King of Denmark Christian VIII and on the other days King of Norway as Christian Frederick was a little star in his parents eyes from 1786. Norwegian of the day, businessman/politician with a ship named in his honour, Richard Bernhard With was with us from 1846. James Henry ‘Jim’ Scullin, ninth Prime Minister of convicts colony, (or Australia as it’s now known), left the dispatch box in 1876. Thirteenth Prime Minister of another of Britain’s old colonies – Canada, John George Diefenbaker succeeded in being born back in 1895. Keeping with the political theme, first Prime Minister from the island of sandy beaches and pretty much endless sunshine – Mauritius, Seewoosagur ‘Chacha’ Ramgoolam made it through labour in 1900. Pete & Dud’s favourite actress Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, (or just Greta Garbo), had the inspiration to be delivered in 1905. Post war CEO of Volkswagen, Kurt Lotz, beetled along in 1912. Actress Grayson Hall had one life to live from 1922. Unamusing comedian Russ Roberts, but known as Russ Abbott, had his September song in 1947. Indian actress, Shabana Azmi thought she had an immaculate conception in 1950. Given his other band mates have been mentioned here, it’d be a bit unfair not to mention long fringed Douglas Glenn Colvin, who adopted the alternative moniker Dee Dee Ramone, started having pleasant dreams in 1952. Known for playing Lord Percy Percy and Captain Darling in classic BBC sit-com Blackadder, Tim McInnery was a little darling in 1956. Former glamour model who’s now a panto star, Linda Francis Elide Lusardi started off life in 1958 wearing as many clothes as she carried on doing during her modelling days. Tony Soprano, or rather James Joseph Gandolfini Jr., became the boss of his family from 1961. Ex-footballer now doing a ‘Noel’ in Nigeria by hosting Deal or No Deal out there, John Fashanu dealt his hand by arriving in 1962. Winner, then loser, of seven Tour de France titles, serial cheater Lance Edward Armstrong (Gunderson), was legitimately off the front in 1971. Chris Tarrant, no, not the cheeky chappie who presented the Capital Radio breakfast show and then Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for donkey’s years, but retired Aussie Rules Footballer, kicked things off in 1980. Son of Arnie, actor/model Patrick Arnold Shriver Schwarzenegger made sure he used all the space up in the name box on his birth certificate in 1993.
Deaths appear to be a bit thin on the ground, yet we start with King of Franks, who was called Louis VII failed to reign it large from 1180. Sort of dead Norwegian of the day, King Charles XV of Sweden and when not wearing the crown or ermine cape there, he was King in Norway as Carl IV found his days travelling between the two countries over in 1872. Physicist who managed to measure the speed of light, Armand Hippolyte Louis Fizeau rather ironically saw the lights go out in 1896. Co-star in The Wizard of Oz, Francis Philip Wuppermann, or just Frank Morgan, stopped keeping company from 1949. Proper dead Norwegian of the day, Olaf Leonhard Gulbransson stopped drawing on life’s experiences from 1958. Act tor Franchot Tone, jumped off the wagon train in 1968. Guitarist and singer/songwriter you either love or hate, (no guessing as to which camp I fall into), James Marshall ‘Jimi’ Hendrix, born Johnny Allen Hendrix, let someone else light his fire in 1970. Actress Patricia Frederica Manfield, or Patricia Frederica ‘Pat’ Phoenix or as fans of Constipation Street, (sorry Coronation Street) knew her, Elsie Tanner didn’t rise again after 1986. Portuguese sailor and President, Américo de Deus Rodrigues Tomás weighed anchor in 1987. B movie director Russell Albion ‘Russ’ Meyer didn’t get to use his clapperboard again after 2004. Finally, boxer/actor Kenneth Howard ‘Ken’ Norton Sr, hit the ropes in 2013.