Pope Gregory XIII: face of the world’s most popular calender 1582-present.

by James D. Irwin

In the first of this 365 part series James D. Irwin explores the memorable, trivial, and forgotten events of history. He starts here, with October 15th. The date was chosen at random, but in a piece of remarkable fortune it marks the 43oth anniversary of the Gregorian calendar.

On this day…

2012— The Times reveals the BBC buried a 1997 Desert Island Discs interview in which Jimmy Savile spends over ten minutes extolling the virtues of Vladamir Nabokov’s 1955 novel Lolita before asking presenter Sue Lawley if she had any children.

2005— China launches its first manned space mission.

1987— The Great Storm hits England and, to a lesser extent, France.

1969— The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam protest is held in Washington D.C. The protest is successful and just four years later the Paris Peace Accords are signed.

1888— Jack the Ripper sends his famous ‘From Hell’ letter. His handwriting is almost as horrifying as his crimes.

1815— Napoleon begins his exile in Saint Helena.

1793— Marie Antoinette is sentenced to death.

1582— Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian calendar. October 15th follows October 4th, entire Western World suffers from jet lag for the next fortnight. Despite this the Gregorian Calendar has remained popular, and is still used today.

As well as being birth of the Gregorian Calendar, we also wish a happy birthday to:

19 BC— Virgil, Roman poet.

1844— Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher.

1865— Albert Heijn, Founder of the Dutch supermarket chain.

1881— P.G. Wodehouse, creator of Jeeves (fictional character, not the search engine)

1920— Mario Puzo, writer of The Godfather, Superman: The Movie, and Superman II.

1940— Peter Doherty, Australian immunologist, Nobel Laureate, Libertines guitarist.

1948— Chris de Burgh, the artist Barry Manilow strives to be.

1953— Tito Jackson, famously not Michael or Janet.

1967— Gotz Otto, Bond villain in Tomorrow Never Dies.

1979— Paul Robinson, former England goalkeeper.

2005— The birth of Christian, Prince of Denmark.

Nobel Prize not pictured.

And we fondly remember:

898— Lambert, Holy Roman Emperor.

1389— Pope Urban VI, no relation to Keith.

1582— The Julian calendar.

1788— Samuel Grieg, Scottish-Russian admiral whose death was almost certainly drink-related.

1917— Mata Hari, WWI spy (executed for spying).

1946— Hermann Goring, committed suicide after being sentenced to death at the Nuremberg trials for being one of the most evil men who ever lived.

2011— Betty Driver, played popular hotpot expert Betty on Coronation Street.

Not pictured: 1965’s shortlived Coronation Street spin-off ‘Pardon the Expression.’

Finally, please join everyone at Splendid Fred in celebrating the official (and entirely genuine) Global Handwashing Day. If you only wash your hands one day this year, please make it this one…