The Norman (French Viking) William the Conqueror defeated English Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Above is the iconic Bayeux Tapestry (more embroidery actually) of Harold's defeat. A very important moment in history and a super important moment in the English language - we now have approximately 30, 000 words in the English language that have a French origin as a result.
(Image from wikipedia)Lovely Lillian Gish was born in 1893. You may remember an earlier post I did about Lillian and her sister Dorothy. That's Lil on the left and Dot on the right.
(Image from Syracuse)
One of my favourite American poets e.e.cummings was born on this day in 1894. Here's a terrific poem of his.
'the hours rise up'
the hours rise up putting off stars and it is
into the street of the sky light walks scattering poems
on earth a candle is
extinguished the city
with a song upon her
mouth having death in her eyes
and it is dawn
goes forth to murder dreams...
i see the street where strong
men are digging bread
and i see the brutal faces of
people contented hideous hopeless cruel happy
and it is day,
in the mirror
i see a frail
dreams in the mirror
is dusk on earth
a candle is lighted
and it is dark.
the people are in their houses
the frail man is in his bed
sleeps with death upon her mouth having a song in her eyes
the hours descend,
putting on stars...
in the street of the sky night walks scattering poems
(Image from Sound on Sound)
Cliff Richard was born on this day in 1940. Cliff Richard was Britain's answer to Elvis - well an attempt at it anyway...
On this day in 1947 Chuck Yeager was the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound in his Bell X-1. I've always had a thing for Chuck ever since I read Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff. Chuck was the real hero of the whole space race in my opinion...
Lots of other cool stuff happened today too...Roger Moore for example was born in 1927, Dwight D Eisenhower was born in 1890 and so was Isaac Mizrahi in 1961.
...and it is also my birthday today too!! Yippeee!