December 31st / 2022

View todays celebrity birthdays and find out what happened in history today.

1759 – Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and started brewing Guinness at the St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin. Ten years later Guinness exported his ale for the first time, when six and a half barrels were shipped to Britain.
Celebrity : birthdays
Sir Anthony Hopkins, actor, 85; Sir Alex Ferguson, former football manager, 81; Sarah Miles, actress, 81; Andy Summers, guitarist (The Police) 80; Sir Ben Kingsley (Krishna Pandit Bhanji), actor, 79; Taylor Hackford, director, 78; Tom Hamilton, bassist (Aerosmith) 71; Bebe Neuwirth, actress, 64; Val Kilmer, actor, 62; Scott Ian (Rosenfeld), guitarist (Anthrax) 59; Lowri Turner, TV presenter, 58; Joey McIntrye, singer (NKOTB), 50; PSY (Park Jae-sang) singer-songwriter, 45; Bob Bryar, drummer, (My Chemical Romance) 43.

What : day is it

December 31st is Make Up Your Mind Day, National Champagne Day, New Year’s Eve.
This day : in history

1923 – The chimes of Big Ben were broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC. 

1937 – Sir Anthony Hopkins, Welsh actor, was born. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, for which he received the Academy Award for Best Actor. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1993 for services to the arts.

1942 – Football manager Alex Ferguson was born, in Glasgow. With 25 years as manager of Manchester United, he was the longest serving manager in their history and also the longest serving of all the current League managers. He stepped down as manager of Manchester United on 8th May 2013 after 27 seasons. Under his leadership the team won 38 trophies, including 13 league titles, two Champions Leagues, five FA Cups and four League Cups.

1948 – Malcolm Campbell, British racing driver, died, after a series of strokes. He was one of the few land speed record holders of his era to die of natural causes. Campbell broke nine land speed records between 1924 and 1935. He set his final land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on 3rd September 1935, becoming the first person to drive an automobile at more than 300mph.

1960 – The British coin, the farthing, in use in Britain since the 13th Century, ceased to be legal tender at midnight.

1964 – Donald Campbell broke the world water speed record, (at Dumbleyung Lake, Western Australia, 276.33 mph), the only man to break both land and water speed records in the same year. He remains the world’s most prolific breaker of water speed records.

1973 – The three-day week began in Britain as a result of power strikes. It led to the downfall of Prime Minister Edward Heath and his government.

1987 – A total of 31 people received New Year’s Honours for helping to save an estimated 350 passengers when the Herald of Free Enterprise capsized, near Bruges, on 6th March, claiming 193 lives. The George Medal, one of the highest civilian awards for gallantry, was awarded to head waiter Michael Skippen who died trying to get passengers to safety.

2014 – Neil Brittlebank (from Redditch) and Kevin Beresford (from East Ardsley in Yorkshire) won the dubious honour of being two of the dullest men of the year, as awarded by the Dull Men’s Club. Mr Beresford produces books and calendars about roundabouts, while Mr Brittlebank, collects bricks.

2014 – Same sex marriage came into effect in Scotland earlier in December and the first weddings were held at 00:01 on Hogmanay. (Note:- Following the usual 15-day notice period for marriages, Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) was the first day that same-sex weddings could take place.)

2014 – The death (aged 99) of Arthur Valerian Wellesley, the 8th Duke of Wellington, whose ancestor won the Battle of Waterloo. His death came a day before the bicentenary year of the Battle of Waterloo.

2017 – More than 1,300 cars were destroyed when the multi-storey car park at the Liverpool Echo Arena burst into flames during the final event of the Liverpool International Horse Show. Fire investigations revealed that a 16-year-old Land Rover that had been converted to a ‘different fuel arrangement’ had caught fire on the third floor. Claims of more than £20m were paid out to insurance customers.

Trivia : and shower thoughts

WC Fields – Real Name: William Claude Duckenfield

In 2010, a woman named Lori Ruff committed suicide. Her husband’s family found a box among her possessions that contained name change documents and the birth certificate of a long-dead two-year-old girl, named Lori Ruff. The true identity of Lori Ruff was a woman named Kimberly McLean.

“You play the hand you’re dealt. I think the game’s worthwhile.” – Christopher Reeve

“Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbear, To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones.” – Shakespeare’s Tombstone

Clarke’s Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Starbucks should have a line for everybody who wants their venti triple half-caf soy mochas with no whip, and a separate line for people who want a cup of coffee.

The “-wright” in “playwright” is from the Old English “wryhta” meaning “worker,” not “writer”.

In the scene in Alien when the alien pops out of John Hurt’s stomach, the actors were not told it was going to happen.

When ants signal to other ants about food somewhere, but the food is gone by the time the ant army gets there, does the signalling ant get a bad reputation?

A group of Teddy Bears is a Hug.

The Beatles song, Something, and the Derek and the Dominos song, Layla, were both created for the same person, Pattie Boyd.

The original drawings of Snoopy were based on Charles Schulz’s childhood dogs, Snooky and Spike.

Birthday : quotes

“For my part, I have never avoided the influence of others. I would have considered it cowardice and a lack of sincerity toward myself.” – Henri Matisse

“The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it.” – George Marshall

“My message is to never quit, never give up. When you have a little trouble here and there, just keep fighting. In the end, it will pay off.” – Gabby Douglas

“It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy… Let’s go exploring!” – Calvin, via Bill Watterson, in the final comic strip of Calvin and Hobbes

“When a thing is done, it’s done. Don’t look back. Look forward to your next objective.” – General George Marshall

“Gold medals are made out of your sweat, blood, and tears.” – Gabby Douglas

“At each stage, I reach a balance, a conclusion. At the next sitting, if I find that there is a weakness in the whole, I make my way back into the picture by means of the weakness; I re-enter through the breach, and I reconceive the whole. Thus everything becomes fluid again.” – Henri Matisse

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