Today’s posting starts with inventor of the shrapnel shell, Henry Shrapnel blasted on to the scene in 1761. Argentinian economist/military leader with a (sunken) warship named in his honour, Manuel José Joaquín del Corazón de Jesus Belgrano floated through in 1770. Goatee bearded President of Confederate States of America Jefferson Finis Davis, took control of things in 1808. King Frederick VIII of Denmark was born in what became the Red Room at The Yellow Palace in Copenhagen back in 1843. Founder of American car companies, one bearing half his name the other just his initials, (and must have been where REO Speedwagon got their inspiration), as Ransom Elim Olds trundled along in 1864. George V, King of the United Kingdom along with its Associated Dominions as well as being Emperor of India and chief ermine wearer crowned the day off for his mum in 1865. Dancer at the Folies Bergère and actress, born Freda Josephine McDonald who went by the stage name Josephine Baker high kicked it after birth in 1906. Actress known for playing Grandma Walton in The Waltons, Ellen Hansen Corby hopefully wasn’t the girl from U.N.C.L.E. in 1911.
Star of more than 100 films who equalled Rex Harrison with the number of wives, dad to Jamie and sidekick to Marilyn Monroe, Bernard Schwartz or as he was better known, Tony Curtis, was wild and wonderful from birth in 1925. Saxophonist responsible for Yakkety Sax aka The Benny Hill theme tune, Homer Louis ‘Boots’ Randolph III showed the dedication in birth back in 1927. Man with half a chest full of medals to polish and younger brother to Fidel, Marxist/Leninist El Presidenti of Cuba, Raúl Modesto Castro Huz revolutionised his parents world in 1931. Actor known for his portrayal of Colonel Flagg in M*A*S*H Edward Dean Winter, was delivered with plenty of soap in 1937. Starting off in a gospel choir (and not featuring on the X Factor), Curtis Lee Mayfield had his mum keep on pushing in 1942. Actress who’s starred in dire sitcoms to lavish period dramas, Penelope Wilton cried freedom in 1946. Fan of leather jumpsuits with a guitar slung round her neck, Susan Kay ‘Suzi’ Quatro started rocking (in her cradle) from 1950. Also born that year is singer/songwriter from the 1970’s/80’s, Deniece William’s parents didn’t get to hear it for the boy, given they had a girl. Other half of fashionista duo Trinny & Susannah, and ex-squeeze to furniture maker David Linley, Susannah F Constantine didn’t know what not to wear in 1962.
One of the best cricketers, apparently, Wasim Akram bowled everyone over in 1966. Raspy voiced Welsh singer (and it’s not Bonnie Tyler), Kelly Jones experienced his first Indian summer (that half an hour of sunshine counts as such) in 1974. Spanish ball hitter and winner of various Grand Slams, Rafael ‘Rafa’ Nadal Parera rallied in 1986.
Deaths are a bit thin on the ground again today, but we do start with composer Alexandre César Léopold ‘Georges’ Bizet who could have done with Le docteur Miracle in 1875. Another composer son of Johann Strauss I, the imaginatively named Johann Strauss II reached three score years and thirteen in 1899. Writer who set fire to 90% of his works Franz Kafka found himself burnt in 1924. Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli or Pope Saint John XXIII joined an ever expanding list of dead Pope’s in 1963. 39th Prime Minister of Japan, Eisaku Satō had his sayonara moment in 1975. First Supreme Leader of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini managed to summons the crowds one last time in 1989. Co-founder of computer chip manufacturer Intel Corporation, Robert Norton Noyce was superseded in 1990. Wobbly chinned actor with the Dennis Healey eyebrows, Robert Adolph Wilton Morley took the death scene rather too literally in 1992. Mum to the ‘People’s Princess’ Francis Shand Kydd (née Roche) joined her daughter in 2004. American musician with the band Wax, Andrew Gold, somewhat ironically ended up looking like wax in 2011. Finally, iconic boxer Cassius Clay or Muhammad Ali had no decision on dying in 2016.