by James D. Irwin
On this date…
1415— The English Army, led by King Henry V, defeat the French at the Battle of Agincourt. Now a major motion picture!
1760— George III becomes king, madness ensues.
1962— Nelson Mandela jailed for five years. Sentence later slightly extended…
2004— Fidel Castro bans any financial transactions using the American dollar, clarifying his political stance towards the US.
Born this day…
1838— Georges Bizet, French composer.
1881— Pablo Picasso, Spanish artist whose ‘blue period’ is disappointly less pornographic than it sounds.
1928— Marion Ross, most famous for playing Mrs Cunnigham on Happy Days.
1957— Nancy Cartwright, voice of Bart Simpson.
1981— Shaun Wright-Phillips, lacklustre football player.
1984— Katy Perry, largely talentless but largely-breasted pop star.
And good riddance to…
1400— Geoffrey Chaucer, every English teacher’s wet dream, every student’s pet hate.
1415— Charles d’Albert; John I of Alecon; Duke Antonine of Brabant; Frederick of Lorraine; Count Phillip II of Nevers, all died at Agincourt smelling of elderberries.
1993— Vincent Price, best know as fearsome Batman villain Egghead.
2004— John Peel, *joke witheld until after BBC inquiry*
Finally, this day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.