Today’s posting begins with composer Johann Strauss I who waltzed through birth in 1804. Random medal wearer and bushy moustached King of Italy, Umberto I was known as ‘il Buono’ from 1844. Norwegian of the day, meteorologist/physicist Vilhelm Friman Koren Bjerknes forecast his arrival in 1862. Known in America for being a train driver and in Britain as a defunct second rate burger joint at railway stations, Jonathan Luther ‘Casey’ Jones stoked things up a bit in 1863. Co-founder of Royal Phillips Elecronics N.V., or just Phillips, Anton Frederik Phillips was a pretty switched on baby in 1874. General know all with the unkempt hair, Albert Einstein worked out how to be born in 1879. Founder of Vincent Motorcycles, Philip Conrad Vincent didn’t tank it when born in 1908. Star of over running and un-amusing (but somehow popular) sit-com Last of the Summer Wine, William John Owen Rowbotham, (or just Bill Owen), held the shakedown in 1915. Game show creator, (think Treasure Hunt, Fort Boyard and The Crystal Maze), Jacques Antoine worked his way through in 1924. Well known and respected (but bloody grumpy) actor, Maurice Joseph Micklewhite/Michael Caine saw the whites of the doctor’s eyes in 1933. Also born that year, composer/arranger etc., Quincy Delight Jones Jr., was the dude. Robert Norman Davis, aka comedian Jasper Carrott raised some smiles in 1945. Three hit wonder, (living off the proceeds of the second single), John Lewis or Jonah Lewie has always been found in the kitchen at parties since 1947. Also born that year, comedy poet Pam Ayres has been lamenting on the increasing number of candles on her cake. Actor William Edward ‘Billy’ Crystal took parental guidance from 1948. Co-founder of ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s, Jerry Greenfield was pretty chilled after birth in 1951. Known for her role ‘Mrs Miggins’ in BBC comedy series Blackadder, Helen Atkinson-Wood called her parent’s bluff by arriving in 1955. Javelin chucker/heptathlete Theresa Ione ‘Tessa’ Sanderson threw herself into life back in 1956. Born Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Grimaldi but known as Albert II Prince of Monaco gambled on being born in 1958.
Death wise, Frederick Henry (or Frederik Hendrik), Prince of Orange went white in 1647. Augustus Henry FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton and British Prime Minister experienced a severe collapse of support in 1811. Revolutionary socialist/philosopher Karl Marx stopped growing his beard in 1883. Founder of Eastman Kodak Company, George Eastman entered the darkroom in 1932. Conceptual computer designer for IBM, Howard Hathaway Aiken suffered an irretrievable error in 1973. Professional wrestler William Joseph Cobb aka ‘Happy Humphrey’ can’t have been terribly happy about dying in 1989. Song writer Jerome Solon Felder or Doc Pomus, still doesn’t know who he saved the last dance for in 1991. Writer of original stage play La Cage Aux Folles, Jean Poiret exited stage left in 1992. Second President of Estonia Lennart Georg Meri succeeded in his independence movement in 2006. Actor Alan Leonard Hunt who managed to make Gareth Hunt out of that, stopped bothering his neighbours in Redhill, Surrey for some coffee after 2007. Comedian who made a living out of a broken microphone routine, Norman Collier went quiet in 2013. Finally, English politician with the pipe, tape recorder and odd way of speaking, Anthony Neil Wedgewood ‘Tony’ Benn, received his final dispatch box in 2014.