25 April-Marconi

Guglielmo Marconi was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who was a native of Italy. His father Giuseppe was from Bologna, Italy. His mother was Annie Jameson from Daphne Castle, Co Wexford, Ireland. Marconi’s great grandfather was John Jameson, founder of Irish whiskey distillers Jameson & Sons.

Guglielmo Giovanni Maria Marconi was born in Bologna, Italy in 1874. He received his early education at home before becoming a student at Livorno Technical Institute. As a student at the Institute he began experimenting with radio waves. Through his own research and using research carried out by others he developed the first effective system of radio communication.

On December 12th 1901 Marconi succeeded in sending the first wireless signal across the Atlantic to America. He routed the signal through Rosslare and Clifden in Ireland. He founded the Marconi Telephone Company and became a successful businessman. He continued to experiment with radio technology and died in Rome on July 20th 1937.

Guglielmo Marconi, who is credited with inventing the radio, was born in the year 1874 On This Day.

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Marconi

Library of Congress 

Marconi Monument

 

 

24 April-Frederick William Hall VC

Frederick Hall was a native of Kilkenny City, Ireland. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry in 1915. He won the award at the age of 30 for actions taken during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915, during World War I. The Victoria Cross is awarded for ‘most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy’. The Victoria Cross has been awarded to 168 soldiers from Ireland, six of whom were born in Kilkenny.

Frederick William Hall was born in Kilkenny City on February 21st 1885. When the war broke out in 1914 Hall was living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was serving in Belgium in 1915. During the Second Battle of Ypres he was killed while trying to rescue a wounded comrade. His body was never recovered. His name is one of 56,000 listed on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres,

The citation for his award reads: ‘On 24th April, 1915, in the neighbourhood of Ypres, when a wounded man who was lying some 15 yards from the trench called for help, Company Sergeant-Major Hall endeavoured to reach him in the face of a very heavy enfilade fire which was being poured in by the enemy. The first attempt failed, and a Non-commissioned Officer and private soldier who were attempting to give assistance were both wounded. Company Sergeant-Major Hall then made a second most gallant attempt, and was in the act of lifting up the wounded man to bring him in when he fell mortally wounded in the head’.

Frederick William Hall, who was a native of Kilkenny City, Ireland, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry in the Second Battle of Ypres during World War I in the year 1915 On This Day.

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Frederick William Hall VC

 

 

 

 

18 April-Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was a physicist who developed the general theory of relativity. A native of Germany he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. Einstein is generally regarded as the most influential physicist of the 20th century. When asked to explain the theory of relativity he is reported to have said: ‘When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity’.

Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany on March 14th 1879. His family moved to Munich when he was just six weeks old. Einstein grew and went to school there until he was 16 years of age. He qualified as a teacher of mathematics and physics from Zurich Polytechnic, Switzerland in 1900. Following qualification Einstein failed to find work as a teacher. He was eventually employed by the patent office in Bern, Switzerland.

In 1905 Einstein was awarded a PhD by the University of Zürich. In that same year he deduced the equation E=mc2, the origins of the development of nuclear power, in his paper on matter and energy. He became well known as a physicist and went on to work first at the University of Zurich in 1908, University of Bern 1909, and Prague in 1911. In 1914 he was appointed professor at the University of Berlin where he remained until 1933. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.

In 1933 Albert Einstein renounced his German citizenship and moved to the United States to avoid persecution by the Nazis. He was appointed to a position at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey and became a United States citizen. In 1939 he signed a letter to the President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt alerting him to the possibility that the Nazis could be developing a nuclear bomb. It is thought that this letter led the American Government to establish a secret military project to produce the first US nuclear weapon. The project which was established in 1942 was known as the Manhattan Project. Einstein remained at Princeton until he retired in 1945. He died in Princeton New Jersey at the age of 76.

Albert Einstein, physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, died in Princeton New jersey in the year 1955 On This Day.

 

17 April-Bay of Pigs Invasion

The Bay of Pigs is an inlet located on the southern coast of Cuba. In 1961 it was the scene of a failed military invasion of Cuba by a military group of Cuban exiles supported by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States. The aim of the invasion was to overthrow the communist government of Fidel Castro.

Fidel Castro had come to power in Cuba in 1959 when he overthrew the American backed President Fulgencio Batista. Following the overthrow he assumed military and political power. He began to nationalise American economic assets and forge closer links with the Soviet Union. In response The United States Government made several attempts, without success, to remove Castro from office.

One of those attempts was the Bay of Pigs Invasion. In March 1960 President Eisenhower authorised the CIA to arm and train Cuban exiles for an attack on Cuba. The invasion took place shortly after Eisenhower’s successor, John F Kennedy became President. A force of almost 1,400 paramilitaries landed at the Bay of Pigs but were quickly defeated by the Cuban forces led by General Castro

The Bay of Pigs Invasion, a failed military invasion of Cuba undertaken by a paramilitary force of Cuban Exiles who were supported by the American Central Intelligence Agency, took place in the year 1961 On This Day.

Bay of Pigs area

Bay of Pigs landing site

 

16 April-Lord Lucan

George Charles Bingham, who lived from 1800 to 1888, was the 3rd Earl of Lucan. He was also known as Lord Lucan of Castlebar, Co Mayo, Ireland. He was one of the most dreaded landlords in Ireland. Lord Lucan was also a British Army Officer who ordered the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava in 1854 during the Crimean War.

George Charles Bingham was born in London, England in 1800. He was a descendant of Patrick Sarsfield who led the Flight of the Wild Geese from Ireland following the signing of the Treaty of Limerick in 1691. Sarsfield was the 1st Earl of Lucan. The 3rd Earl of Lucan was educated in England and joined the British Army at the age of 16.

Lucan retired from the army in 1837. He moved to Mayo to manage the family estates which extended to over 60,000 acres. In the late 1840’s during the Great Famine in Ireland he carried out wholesale evictions of his tenants. His activities led to him becoming known in Mayo as ‘the exterminator’.

Lucan was given command of a cavalry division at the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854. His actions during the Battle of Balaclava led to him being recalled to London. Though he remained in the army he had no further active military commands. He died in London on November 10th 1888.

George Charles Bingham, the 3rd Earl of Lucan, who was also known as Lord Lucan of Castlebar, Co Mayo, Ireland was born in the year 1800 On This Day.

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3rd Earl of Lucan

Engraving by D J Pound after a photograph by John Watkins