On This Day, July 18

Posted on 18th Jul 2012 by ian under On This Day | No Comments »

Firstly…

Exactly!

On this day in 1870 the First Vatican Council decreed papal infallibility and every Pope since reckoned that they got that right.

Vanity Fair Original CoverOn this day in 1925 Adolf Hitler published his personal memoirs, Mein Kampf and, in 1969, after a party on a Chappaquiddick island, Senator Edward Kennedy drove off a bridge, resulting in the death of Mary-Jo Kopechne.

To those born on this day, in 1811, British author William Makepeace Thackeray.

With his main work, Vanity Fair, Thackeray taught me that satire penned in 1848 could make people fall asleep in the late 20th Century. Sorry classic literature lovers, I found Becky Sharp was more Betty Blunt.  I think it might have been that this was an author who didn’t know when to stop.  Right is the front page of Vanity Fair, with the illustration by the author.  Stopping there would have worked for me.

W.G. GraceOne of the greatest cricketers of all time, and one who had more influence on the game than any other, W.G. Grace, was born on this day in 1848.

As well as playing cricket he was a champion hurdler and played football, golf, lawn bowls and curling.  Bradman may have been handier with a bat, but Grace also bowled – eight times in one season he scored over 1000 runs and took more than 100 wickets.  Amazing how much extra time you have for practice when you give up shaving.

Arguably the best Australian fast-bowler ever, Dennis Keith Lillee, also had a bit of facial hair and was born on this day in 1949.

Richard Bernard ‘Red’ Skelton was born in 1913 – he was the first television actor to make me laugh out loud (early 1960’s) and I quickly became addicted to finding things to make me laugh out loud.  Still do.

Actor Burt Kwouk made me smile out loud.  He played Cato, Inspector Clouseau’s manic manservant in the Pink Panther movies.

Sir Richard Branson was born in 1950, and another English knight of the realm, who got his gong for whacking a little white ball about, Sir Nick Faldo in 1959.  Ahhh yes, golf…