On This Day, September 2

Posted on 2nd Sep 2012 by ian under On This Day | No Comments »

Welcome to Sunday, September 2

On this day in 1666 the Great Fire of London broke out and 10,000 buildings were destroyed in three days, including St Paul’s Cathedral – in less than a month will see St Paul’s first hand – woo-hoo!

In 1752, Great Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar, a couple of hundred years after the Europeans – this explains why Spain’s greatest writer, Don Miguel Cervantes, and Britain’s greatest writer, William Shakespeare, died on the same date, several weeks apart.

In 1901, Teddy Roosevelt as Vice-President of the USA went to the Minnesota State Fair and said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick”… Twelve days later he was President, following the assassination of President William McKinley.

To those born on this day…

In 1929, Hollywood director, Hal Ashby – after winning an Academy Award for the editing on In The Heat of the Night he went on to direct Harold & Maude, Being There, Shampoo and Coming Home.

In 1937, British actor, Derek Fowlds was born – he was Sir Humphrey’s offsider in Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister.

In 1941, Australian rugby league footballer, Graeme ‘Changa’ Langlands – loved watching him play fullback for St George in the 1960’s – fabulous sidestep and with people up front like Reg Gasnier, Pop Clay, Johnny Raper and Billy Smith it was a formidable side.

In 1946, American keyboardist, Billy Preston (right) was born.  He was known as the Fifth Beatle and can be seen playing keyboards on the Abbey Road rooftop concert with the Fab Four (the Get Back credit is ‘The Beatles with Billy Preston’ – his biggest hit, That’s the Way God Planned It was released on the Apple label with George Harrison as producer – he also had a saying, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with,” which, with permission, was taken by Stephen Stills and made into a hit song.

In 1951, American actor Mark Harmon (Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs in NCIS).  He is married to Pam Dawber, who played Mindy in Mork & Mindy.  And, in 1952, US tennis player, Jimmy Connors was born.

The Ancient Greek hero, Pheidippides, died on this day in 450BC.  I mention him because he was the central figure in a story which was the inspiration for a modern sporting event, the marathon. An Australian hero, Kurt Fearnley, is favourite to win his third marathon at the Paralympic Games in London.  Kurt’s the guy with no legs who crawled across the Kokoda track.

Also dying on this day, in 2005, actor Bob Denver.  He was the beatnik, Maynard G Krebs, in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and Gilligan in Gilligan’s Island.  If you are sick of hearing the Australian national anthem at the Paralympics, it can be sung to the tune of Gilligan’s Island.  Everybody!  “Australians all let us rejoice for we are young and free…”