January 3rd / 2023

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

2014 – Along the whole of Wales’ coastline dozens of roads were closed and the rail network was also badly affected as storm surges brought flooding chaos around Wales’ coast.
Celebrity birthdays
Mel Gibson, actor/director, 67; Guy Pratt, musician, 61; Gavin Hastings OBE, Scottish rugby player, 61; Michael Schumacher, Formula 1 legend, 54; Thomas Bangalter, musician (Daft Punk) 48; Lee Bowyer, football manager, 46; Jonny Evans, footballer, 35; Florence Pugh, actress, 26; Greta Thunberg, climate activist, 20.
What day is it

January 3rd is Festival of Sleep Day, J.R.R. Tolkien Day, National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day, National Drinking Straw Day, Women Rock! Day.

This day in history

1940 – Unity Mitford, a member of the aristocratic Mitford family, returned to England after an unsuccessful suicide attempt in Munich. She had been greatly attracted to Fascism and idolized Hitler. When Britain declared war she was so distraught that she shot herself in the head with a pearl-handled pistol, given to her for protection by Hitler himself. She eventually died in Oban, in 1948, of meningitis caused by the cerebral swelling around the bullet.

1942 – The birth, in Gorton, Manchester of actor John Thaw, who starred in the TV dramas The Sweeney, Inspector Morse and Kavanagh QC. A heavy drinker, and a smoker from the age of 12, Thaw was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in June 2001. In early January 2002 he was told that the cancer had spread and he died on 21st February 2002, seven weeks after his 60th birthday.

1946 – William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) was hanged for treason, in London. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he had broadcast propaganda from Nazi Germany during the Second World War to both Britain and the United States. The broadcasts started on 18th September 1939 and continued until 30th April 1945, when Hamburg was overrun by the British Army.

1961w – The production of the millionth Morris Minor, designed by the Greek born Sir Alec Issigonis. He considered the Morris Minor to be a vehicle that combined many of the luxuries and conveniences of a good motor car, but at a price suitable for the working classes.

1977 – Former Home Secretary Roy Jenkins announced that he was leaving Westminster politics to become Britain’s first President of the European Commission.

1984 – The launch of the FTSE 100, an index of the 100 leading shares listed on the London Stock Exchange, measured by their market value. It had a starting base level of 1,000 points.

1988 – Margaret Thatcher became the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century.

1991 – The Foreign Office expelled eight Iraqi embassy officials from the UK following threats of attacks on Western targets.

2013 – Data released by the Met. Office showed that the previous 12 months had been the second wettest on record in the UK, with England recording its wettest year ever since records began in 1910.

2014 – Along the whole of Wales’ coastline dozens of roads were closed and the rail network was also badly affected as storm surges brought flooding chaos around Wales’ coast. In Aberystwyth the promenade and its historic shelter were destroyed as huge waves crashed onto it. The winter storms continued across many parts of Britain and parts of Somerset, including the village of Muchelney were cut off for weeks.

2015 – A 51,000 tonne car carrier ship (Hoegh Osaka) became stranded on Bramble Bank in the Solent between Southampton and the Isle of Wight. The ship was carrying 1,200 Jaguar sports cars, Land Rover 4x4s, 65 BMW Minis, 105 JCB diggers and a single Rolls-Royce Wraith – worth an estimated £260,000 – all destined for the Middle East. The vessel was eventually righted and towed to Southampton on 22nd January.

2018 – A woman in Rome became the first person to receive a bionic hand that can sense touch. After losing her left hand in an accident 25 years prior, Almerina Mascarello said, “it’s almost like it’s back again.”

Trivia and shower thoughts

Did you know that on this day, January 3, 1870, workers began construction on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York?

One of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World: Colossus of Rhodes, built in 280 BC, destroyed in the earthquake of 226 BC

Useless Pronunciation: B as in bee.

During the filming of “The Shining”, Stanley Kubrick would reportedly call Stephen King at 3AM to ask him questions like “Do you believe in God?”

The term dead ringer comes from the practice of substituting a thoroughbred horse with a look-a-like to trick bookies.

Spongebob is a dish sponge, but his parents are actual sea sponges. Spongebob is adopted!

All mammals, from mice to whales, have roughly the same number of heartbeats in a lifetime: 1 billion.

“Let’s go invent tomorrow instead of worrying about what happened yesterday.” – Steve Jobs

The Chinese population census margin of error (26 million) is bigger than the population of 180 countries.

If it weren’t for Google’s Autocomplete function, I probably wouldn’t have ever heard of the French town of Pornichet.

Brain teasers and random facts


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