Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 21st December

Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury begins today’s posting although it’s up for debate whether he arrived in 1119 or 1120. Having mentioned pirate John ‘Jack’ Rackham (aka Calico Jack) on 18th November when he walked the plank, here he is again given he left the crows nest in 1682. Vicar and breeder of snappy mutts named after him, John ‘Jack’ Russell whelped his way into life back in 1795. Two time British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli had a conservative upbringing from 1804. Another Archbish of Canterbury blessed to be born this day in 1811 is Archibald Campbell Tait. English born Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne was very much here in 1866. Sanitary engineer and designer of the first water filtration plant, George Warren Fuller tested his waterworks in 1868. Werner Ritter Von Trapp second eldest of the singing kids from the family found there was no way to stop it in 1915. Controversial ninth President of Austria and Secretary General of the United Nations, Kurt Josef Waldheim was unified with his mum in 1918. Ventriloquist and voice artist responsible for Tigger and Dick Dastardly – Paul Wilchinsky, but known as Paul Winchell, didn’t have to throw his voice in 1922. Actress, fitness guru, activist and ex-Mrs T Turner – Jayne Seymour Fonda/Jane Fonda had her first workout in 1937. Alternative musician (among other things), who was mentioned on 4th December when he did more than improvise his death, Frank Vincent Zappa didn’t freak out when born in 1940. Co-founder of family band The Beach Boys, Carl Wilson had young blood in 1946. ‘A’ list actor Samuel Leroy Jackson was born without a Kangol hat on head in 1948. Tennis player Christine Marie ‘Chris’ Evert (or Chris Evert-Lloyd as she’s now known) had the advantage in 1954. Actress Jane Frances Kaczmarek was the heavenly kid in 1955. Track and field athlete with the talons who was mentioned on the 21st September when she died, Florence Delorez Griffith ‘Flo Jo’ Griffith didn’t have a false start in 1959. Actor Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland wasn’t trapped in silence when he arrived in 1966.

Death wise, seeing as I can’t offer up a Pope or an Archbishop of Canterbury, I’ll start with one of the twelve apostles – Thomas the Apostle (called Didymus, or ‘the twin’, despite not having one) gained a halo in 72. Archbishop of Reims, Hincmar had his last communion in 882. Explorer of the Mekong River, Marie Joseph François Garnier started to explore life six feet under from 1873. Novelist with the odd haircut, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, who made sure he got his name on the dust jacket by abbreviating it to F. Scott Fitzgerald, lost the plot in 1940. Composer Claude Champagne went flat in 1965. Writer of the national anthem for Pakistan, Abu Al-Asar Hafeez Jullundhri stopped standing up in 1982 when it was played. Sports writer Richard Jay ‘Dick’ Schaap filed his last copy in 2001. Australian jockey Arthur Edward ‘Scobie’ Breasley didn’t bounce back in 2006. Finally, sports commentator known for his on air gaffes, David Robert Coleman called time in 2013.


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