Thursday, July 5

Posted on 5th Jul 2012 by ian under On This Day | No Comments »

It’s Tynwald Day on the Isle of Man!  Woo-hoo!! 

Isle of Man Flag

Tynwald Day has been happening since 1417 and that is a legitimate reason to post the national flag of the Isle of man – three legs, joined at the hip – Helllooooo?  Is there more than one surname in the Isle of Man phonebook?

newton apple gravity

On this day in 1687, Isaac Newton invented gravity… what?  Oh.  Sorry.  On this day in 1687 his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica was published.  Yeah, yeah, BUT if Newton hadn’t worked out what gravity was and written a book, would it have actually existed, hmm?

Arthur Ashe TennisOn this day in 1865, The Salvation Army was founded in London’s East End.

It’s Wimbledon time and on July 5 in 1975 Arthur Ashe became the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles title… In 2009, Roger Federer won a record 15th Grand Slam title… And on this day in 1996, Dolly the Sheep became the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell.  She celebrated by playing herself in the women’s singles but lost in straight sets.

And former Aussie tennis great, Peter McNamara turns 56 today…

To others those born on July 5… Robbie Robertson from The Band in 1943, Huey Lewis from The News in 1950 and PT Barnum, in 1810…

PT Barnum Circus GiantPhineas, as his mother Mrs Barnum knew him, is erroneously credited with saying that “a sucker is born every minute” but he was the entrepreneur and scam artist who founded Ringling Bros and Barnum & Baily Circus.  In an earlier carnation it was called P. T. Barnum’s Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome which was a fancy term for a wagon load of freaks.  I’m guessing PT is the one sitting down…

Barnum suffered a stroke in in 1890 during a performance and went into a coma.  The following year he came out of the coma, went, “Ta-daaaaaaaa!” and promptly died at the age of 90.

George MellyTo those who did died on July 5… John Curtin, the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, in 1945 and in 2007 English jazz and blues muso, George Melly, died from lung cancer and emphysema aged 80.

I mention this because I had never heard of him back in the 1970’s and saw a poster promoting a concert at Sydney’s Kinsella’s nightclub and former funeral parlour.  I turned up because I had nothing better to do and saw a stage performance that will live with me until my funeral… bawdy, mellow, haunting, surreal and musically brilliant. He had that unique gift of making every person in the audience feel like he was doing it just for them.

George Melly's CoffinOpenly bi-sexual he married twice and he was hooked on fly-fishing – that’s not my pun, it’s his, as he wrote a book with that title about fly-fishing, after buying a mile stretch of the River Usk to indulge in his passion.  A personal pride was to be the only person in the UK to have as his occupation on his passport, “Blues Shouter”.

His funeral said it all – a cardboard decorated coffin, Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen playing When the Saints in the street and there were no blues at all as his old mistresses mixed and mingled.

An finally today, on this day, or any other for that matter…

Time Travel Protest