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"On This Day ..." -- The QI Almanac

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6842.  Sun Apr 18, 2004 5:52 pm Reply with quote

April 18

International Monuments and Sites Day
National Day of the Dead (oo-er)

1480 Birth of Lucrezia Borgia.
1934 The first launderette opened in Fort Worth, Texas.
1955 Death of Albert Einstein.
1958 Ezra Pound released from psychiatric care.
1968 London Bridge was sold to a US oil company.
1981 CD player demonstrated for the first time in Europe.
2001 Man U fan Karl Power donned full kit and sneaked into a squad photo taken before a Champions League Match without attracting the attention of security guards -- or any of the players.

6845.  Mon Apr 19, 2004 4:12 am Reply with quote

Excellent - I've got a few of these already stored up (and I mean "a few" - don't get excited.) Any occasional contributions welcome.

6849.  Mon Apr 19, 2004 6:48 am Reply with quote

April 19th

Dudley Moore was born on this day in 1935. He died March 27, 2002. (Chaplin was born April 16th.)

The Simpsons made its screen debut on this day in 1987, on the: Tracy Ullman Show. The episode was entitled "Good Night"

Joan of Arc was declared a saint in 1909. So well done there.

6850.  Mon Apr 19, 2004 6:49 am Reply with quote

Hmmm... I did that backwards didn't I...should have been the date in bold. Damn.

6851.  Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:21 am Reply with quote

April 19

Start of National Depression Week (hoooraaaaaay ...)
Start of National TV Turn-Off Week

1587 Sir Francis Drake singes the King of Spain's beard by sinking the Spanish fleet in Cadiz Harbour.
1824 Lord Byron dies of malaria en route to the fight for Greek independence.
1881 Death of Charles Darwin.
1906 Pierre Curie dies in car crash.
1917 America fires its first shots of the First World War.
1925 Malcolm X born (Malcolm Little).
1927 Mae West sentenced to ten days in prison for "indecent behaviour" during the Broadway production of "Sex".
1951 First "Miss World" contest held in London. Won by Miss Sweden.
1988 Western pop music finally allowed to be broadcast in China -- bafflingly, "Roll Over Beethoven" remains banned.
1992 Death of Frankie Howerd.
1999 "Clown of the Year" won by Kooky from Wiltshire: judges rule that his natural silliness is more important than his inability to juggle or ride unicycle.
2002 Professor Laurence Steinberg publishes research indicating that parents sulk for longer than teenagers after family rows.

6852.  Mon Apr 19, 2004 8:08 am Reply with quote

Incidentally, the calendar is now so cluttered with "National X Days" and "International Y Weeks" that a register has been set up to prevent conflicts:

Frederick The Monk
6853.  Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:53 am Reply with quote

April 19th

1012 - During a drunken feast the Danes murder Alphege, the Archbishop of Canterbury. This is of course bound to happen if you go to a Danish party.

6855.  Mon Apr 19, 2004 1:12 pm Reply with quote

garrick92 wrote:
April 19
1881 Death of Charles Darwin.

Bob the Pedantic says "1882 I think".

6857.  Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:51 pm Reply with quote

1951 First "Miss World" contest held in London. Won by Miss Sweden.

Flash the Other Pedant has two things to say about this:

1) "Miss Sweden" - well, naturally; and

2) I come from Folkestone and we definitely were given to understand that the first Miss World ever was held in Folkestone in, like,1904, or something.

6863.  Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:38 pm Reply with quote

On this day in 1993, 77 members of the Branch Dravidian cult were killed in Waco, Texas. Full story as reported at the time here:,12269,1195042,00.html

6864.  Mon Apr 19, 2004 5:39 pm Reply with quote

BobTheScientist wrote:
garrick92 wrote:
April 19
1881 Death of Charles Darwin.

Bob the Pedantic says "1882 I think".

You're quite right -- typo, sorry. 1882 it is.

1881 was Benjamin Disraeli.

6866.  Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:47 pm Reply with quote

APRIL 18 aussi:
1864 The birthday of Richard Harding Davis who should be remembered, if for nothing else (and if you know something else, tell the rest of us), for the remark: "No civilized person ever goes to bed the same day he gets up."
1934 The Old Farmer's Almanac claims this date for the opening of the first "washateria." "Washeteria"---wouldn't that be more in life with "cafeteria," no doubt the model? You will be happy to know that my monitor in life, Merriam-Webster, gives the first as the main entry, and the second as an equal and acceptable alternative. In another old folks' saying, when something is settled and done with, "Well, that child's face is washed" or, in a Georgia variant, "With that tree off the road."

6867.  Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:50 pm Reply with quote

April 20th

Feastday of St. Peter Martyr, renowned for his eloquence, who successfully argued against expulsion from the monastery because the female voices heard in his cell were those of Saints Agnes, Catherine and Cecilia who were visiting him from heaven.

Frederick The Monk
6869.  Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:18 am Reply with quote

A Small Collection of Ancient (mainly pre-congregation) Saints who died on this day - 20th April

AGNES of Montepulciano
A pious child , at age six she began nagging her parents to join a convent - a phase I'm sure we all go through - and she was admitted to the convent at Montepulciano at age nine. Agnes's reputation for holiness attracted other sisters and she was made Abbess at age fifteen after receiving special permission from Pope Nicholas IV . Agnes insisted on greater austerities in the abbey - which must have delighted them - and she personally lived off bread and water, slept on the ground and used a stone for a pillow. A similar experience can be gained by spending a night at the Travelodge in Peterborough. In 1298 she returned to Montepulciano to work in a new Dominican convent where she was Prioress of the house for the last seventeen years of her life. She died April 20th, 1317.

Many stories grew up around Agnes. Here are a few of her best tricks - some actually rather touching.
- Her birth was announced by flying lights surrounding her family's house.
- As a child, while walking through a field, she was attacked by a large murder of crows; she announced that they were devils, trying to keep her away from the land; years later, it was the site of her convent.
- She was known to levitate up to two feet in the air while praying.
- She received Communion from an angel, and had visions of the Virgin Mary.
- She held the infant Jesus in one of these visions; when she woke from her trance she found she was holding the small gold crucifix the Christ child had worn.
- On the day she was chosen abbess as a teenager, small white crosses showered softly onto her and the congregation.
- She could feed the convent with a handful of bread, once she'd prayed over it.
- Where she knelt to pray, violets, lilies and roses would suddenly bloom.
- While being treated for her terminal illness, she brought a drowned child back from the dead.
- At the site of her treatment, a spring welled up that did not help her health, but healed many other people.

Descendent of King Ceawlin of Wessex. Exiled , but later returned to reclaim the throne by right (if such a thing really existed in Wessex at that time), and by warfare. As King of Wessex he expanded his realm by conquest, annihilating the pagan residents of the Isle of Wight in the process in order to colonize it with his own people. Having recently returned from the Isle of Wight I'm not at all sure he did as thorough job as he said however. Converted in 688 by Saint Wilfrid after being wounded in combat on the Isle of Wight, he abdicated, and went to Rome for baptism on 10 April 689 by Pope Saint Sergius I, taking the name Peter. He died 10 days later, still wearing his white baptism robe.

Dressed as a boy for her own safety, she accompanied her father on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On her return home, she kept the male disguise, joined the Cistercian monks at Schonau, and lived the rest of her life as a brother. Legend describes her as a miracle worker, and her sex was discovered only on her death. Of all the old stories with this theme, Hildegun's has the best and most convincing documentation by her own order.
She died April 20th, 1188

Eighth century Frankish courtier . Came from a rathe saintly family - Brother of Saint Nivard; Married to Saint Bertha. With Bertha's approval, he separated from her to become a monk and, as was common amongst eight century monks, he travelled to Ireland. When he arrived he was promptly martyred by the local pagan Irish - as was common amongts eight century pagans.

To avoid an arranged marriage to a young nobleman, the aristocratic Oda disfigured her face. Her family, perahps a little disappointed, and certainly rather surprised then allowed her to follow the religious vocation she desired. She became a Premonstratensian nun at Rivroelles and was later Prioress at Rivroelles. Her cult has never been formally confirmed, but popular devotion continues. She died 20th April, 1158

6871.  Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:24 am Reply with quote

Feastday of St. Peter Martyr, renowned for his eloquence, who successfully argued against expulsion from the monastery because the female voices heard in his cell were those of Saints Agnes, Catherine and Cecilia who were visiting him from heaven.

Now, THAT'S eloquent!

April 20

1768 Death of Canaletto.
1808 Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte III born.
1887 World's first motor race held in Paris
1889 Adolf Hitler born.
1893 Harold "A Pair of Glasses and a Smile" Lloyd born.
1912 Death of Bram Stoker.
1931 Parliament passes bill allowing cinemas to open on Sundays.
1959 13-year-old Dolly Parton releases her first single ("Puppy Love").
1959 Winston Churchill (85) announces he will continue to run for Parliament.
1987 A Japanese expedition reaches the North Pole by motorbike.
1989 Actors' union Equity announces plan to sue BBC over a hepatitis outbreak that hit the cast and crew of The Archers in 1987 (I want to know more about this one!).
1996 Death of Christopher Milne ("Chrisopher Robin" in his father's books about Winnie the Pooh)
2002 Manchester residents Carl Howard and Stephen Brayshaw become Britain's first "married"* gay couple.

(* = Not put in quotes due to any prejudice, but because not fully "marriage" equal to male+female marriage)


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