by James D. Irwin

On this day…

1662— Charles II sells Dunkirk to the French for £40,000.

1814— London Beer Flood, nine dead, many more inebriated.

1888— Thomas Edison patents the Optical Phonograph.

1931— Al Capone convicted of tax evasion, strongly linked to the murders of Sean Connery, and that guy from the fancy dinner scene.

1933— Albert Einstein flees Nazi Germany, generally considered a wise move.

1956— Bobby Fischer wins ‘Game of the Century’, world quickly loses interest on learning the ‘game’ is chess.

A quick happy birthday to:

1253— St. Ivo of Kermartin, patron saint of lawyers and abandoned children, mostly takes divorce cases.

1915— Arthur Miller, wrote Death of a Salesman, married Marilyn Monroe, both equally impressive achievements.

1918— Rita Hayworth, inspiration to prison escapees everywhere.

1938— Evel Kneivel, famous for jumping off things on a motorbike, having a catchy rhyming name.

1957— Vincent Van Pattern, US actor with chequered career.

1968— Ziggy Marley, musician who achieved success through his own talent and nothing else.

1972— Eminem, Slim Shady can still stand up, it just takes a little more effort these days.

1977— Andre Villas-Boas, fearsome destroyer of Manchester United.

Not pictured: thirty years of thug life, street cred.


And we fondly remember:

1849— Frederic Chopin, French composer most suited to having a commemorative chopping board created in his honour.

2004— Uzi Hitman, Israeli singer genuinely born with the name ‘Uzi Hitman.’ Death in no way gang-related.

2007— Joey Bishop, perhaps the most famous member of the Rat Pack.