On This Day, July 24

Posted on 24th Jul 2012 by ian under On This Day | No Comments »

Happy Tuesday!

On this day in 1567, Mary Queen of Scots was first to abdicate in favour of her son, James VI of Scotland and King James I of England. Jimmy was King of the Scots for nearly 58 years until his death in 1625 at the age of 58.  That’s right, he took the throne at the ripe old age of one!  He’s well into his reign in the photo!

On this day in 1969, Apollo 11 splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean and Richard Nixon tore up the speech he had written that would have started something like this…

“My fellow Americans, it is my sad and humble duty to inform you that three brave pioneers have perished in their quest for space exploration and discovery.  Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Whatisname Collins were unable to…”

And speaking of Armstrong… Lance Armstrong won his seventh consecutive Tour de France on this day in 2005.  Seven years on and it looks as though we will finally find out if he had a bit of substance assistance over the alps… or as they say, “he alps those who alps themselves…”  Sorry Lance, my money is on the beaker finally melting.

To those born on this day…

And speaking of Armstrong, Irishman Jim Armstrong was born on this day in 1944.  Who you might ask?  Jim played highly adequate guitar and recorded with Van Morrison & Them and the Morrison not related, Jim & the Doors.  He also worked with Frank Zappa.  At his peak he was voted the third est guitarist in the world, behind Zappa at Number two and Jimi Hendrix at Number One – not too shabby – and he now lives in Las Vegas and still has a band.

And speaking of Aussies with an American connection… sorry?  What was that?  We weren’t?  Oh… Oh well, basketball superstar Andrew Gaze turns 47 and another Aussie with an American connection, Bindi Irwin, turns 14.  Happy birthday, Bindi and may there be many crikey’s more!

And a quick mention of Alex “Hurricane” Higgins, champion snooker player, who died on this day two years ago at the extreme old age of 61.  Extreme because some of his organs would have been at least twice that age.

He is 59 in the photo, enjoying a couple of his hobbies.

Alex was jockey-sized and smoked 60 cigarettes a day… he was a heavy drinker… he used cocaine and marijuana… and he loved a punch up.  And I loved watching him play – his nickname came from the speed he played at – whipping around the table only pausing to suck on a ciggie or knock back a drink.

At the time of his 1972 win at the World Championship, Higgins had no permanent home and lived in a row of abandoned houses which were awaiting demolition. In one week he moved into five different houses on the street, moving down one every time his current dwelling was demolished.  As Richie Benaud would say, “Marvelous stuff that”.