18 December-Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir to throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On July 28th 1914 the Archduke and his wife Duchess Sophia were assassinated in Sarajevo by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip. The assassination led to World War 1 in which twenty million people died.
Franz Ferdinand was born in Graz, Austria in 1863. He became heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1896. During 1892/1893 he circumnavigated the world, spending time in India, Australia, Pacific Islands, Japan and the USA. He visited England in 1913 where he was guest of King George V and Queen Mary at Windsor Castle.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination July 1914 began events which led to World War1, was born in Graz, Austria in the year 1863 On This Day.

17 December-Henry Heimlich

Henry Heimlich was a medical doctor who was a native of the USA. He is widely credited with having developed the Heimlich Manoeuvre. The Heimlich Manoeuvre is a procedure designed to stop a person from choking. It involves the use of abdominal thrusts to dislodge solid matter from the throat of a choking person.
Henry Heimlich was born Henry Judah Heimlich in Wilmington, Delaware on February 3rd 1920. He graduated with an MD from Cornell University in 1943 and served in US Navy during World War II. After the war he worked in various hospitals in New York before being appointed director of surgery in Cincinnati. He was appointed professor at Xavier University in 1977. He is credited with several other inventions.
Henry Heimlich, a medical doctor who is widely credited with having developed the Heimlich Manoeuvre, died age 96 in the year 2016 On This Day.

16 December-The Tale of Peter Rabbit

The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a classic children’s tale which was written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter. First published privately in 1901, it is one of the best-selling books of all time. It tells the story of a mischievous rabbit who likes to eat the vegetables in Mr McGregor’s garden. He is chased by Mr McGregor but manages to escape and return home safely to his mother.
Beatrix Potter, who was a native of England, was the author and illustrator of over 20 children’s books starring such characters as Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck, and Benjamin Bunny. Potter was also a successful farmer, conservationist and natural scientist. She left much of her land holdings to the National Trust, part of which now constitutes the Lake District National Park in England.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit, a classic children’s tale which was written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter, was first published in the year 1901 On This Day.

15 December-Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller was a bandleader and musician who was a native of the USA. He was also an arranger and composer who inspired the World War II generation. Miller’s most famous recordings include ‘In the Mood’, ‘Moonlight Serenade and ‘Tuxedo Junction’. During his career he had 23 number 1 hits and millions of his recordings still continue to sell.
Glenn Miller was born Alton Glenn Miller in Clarinda, Iowa on March 1st 1904. Interested in music from a young age he formed his fist band while still in high school. He entered the University of Colorado in 1923 but dropped out to pursue a career as a professional musician. He performed with several bands before forming his own successful band in 1938.
Miller enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 during World War II. He formed the Army Air Force Band which travelled to England in 1944. The band entertained and helped boost the morale of the troops. In December 1944 Miller’s plane disappeared over the English Channel. At the time he was flying to France to make arrangements to move the band there.
Glenn Miller, who became famous for recordings such as include ‘In the Mood’, ‘Moonlight Serenade and ‘Tuxedo Junction’ was en route to France when his US Army plane disappeared in thick fog over the English Channel in the year 1944 On This Day.

15 December-Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire is a film which tells the story of two athletes, Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell. They competed in the Olympic Games in Paris in 1924. They both won Gold Medals at the games. Chariots of Fire was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1982 and won four.
Harold Abrahams was born in Bedford England in 1899. He was educated at Cambridge and later trained as a lawyer. At university he was a member of Cambridge University Athletics Club. He was chosen to represent Great Britain in the Olympic Games in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium. He competed in the 100m and 200m events and was a member of British relay team.
Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell were selected on the British team for the 1924 Olympics in Paris. Liddell was listed to compete in the 100m. A heat for the race was to be held on Sunday. Because of his Christian convictions Liddell would not compete on the Sabbath. Abrahams, who had previously been beaten in the 100m by Liddell, competed and won gold. Liddell later competed in the 400m race and won gold. Abrahams’ athletic career ended in 1925, when he broke his leg in a long jump competition. He later worked as an athletics journalist.
Harold Abrahams, Olympic Gold Medal winner whose story was told in the film Chariots of Fire, was born in the year 1899 On This Day.