On This Day, August 23

Posted on 23rd Aug 2012 by ian under On This Day | No Comments »

Thursday already!!!

On this day in 79AD in Ancient Roman times it was Vulcanalia (the feast day of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire) and ironically Mt Vesuvius started rumbling…

In 1839, on this day, the United Kingdom captured Hong Kong as a base as it prepared for war with Qing China. The ensuing 3-year conflict will later be known as the First Opium War.  And there you go – I wondered how they managed to have that little colonial outpost hanging off the Asian continent.

In 1927, in the US, Sacco and Vanzetti were executed.  Studied them at university.  Guilty or innocent?  We’ll never know.  Enough shadow of a doubt for mine…

In 1973 – A bank robbery that goes wrong in Stockholm, Sweden, turns into a hostage crisis.  Over the next five days the hostages begin to take the side of their captors, leading to the term, ‘Stockholm Syndrome’.

And on this day two years ago, in 2011, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown.

To those born on this day…

In 1934, American actress and star of I Dream of Jeannie, Barbara Eden…

In 1946, drummer with The Who, Keith Moon (he died in 1978, aged 32, in Harry Nilsson’s London flat, the same flat Mama Cass died in, also aged 32.

In 1947, terrific British playwright, Willy Russell (Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine)

The Willy Russell Centre for Children and Adults Who Stammer, was opened by Russell in Liverpool, 1990. The centre took Russell’s name as his writing in many of his plays puts forward the philosophy that anyone is capable of change whatever obstacles may be in their path, a theory shared by the centre.

In 1949, actress Shelley Long (Cheers), the same day as Aussie singer/actor, Rick Springfield.  Arguably best known for his acting role in General Hospital or the single, Jessie’s Girl, my favourite Springfield contribution is the rock version of Eleanor Rigby by Zoot (1971).