13 August-Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro was a revolutionary leader who came to power in Cuba in 1959. He led a campaign which led to the overthrow of the American backed President Fulgencio Batista. Castro was a Marxist–Leninist under whose rule Cuba became a one-party communist state.

Fidel Castro was born Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz in Birán in eastern Cuba in 1926. Having qualified as a lawyer he became involved in leftist politics. He was imprisoned for his activities in 1953. Following release from prison Castro moved to Mexico where he established a revolutionary group. He returned to Cuba where following a guerrilla war he came to power in 1959.

Following the overthrow of Batista, Castro 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. He remained in power until 2008 when handed over control to his brother Raul. Fidel Castro died in 2016 aged 90.

Fidel Castro, Cuban revolutionary leader who came to power in 1959 was born in the year 1926 On This Day.

Fidel Castro

12 August-Quagga

The Quagga was a unique variety of plains zebra. Once found in great numbers in South Africa the Quagga became extinct in the late 19th century. They were hunted to extinction following the Dutch settlement of South Africa.

The Quagga was valuable for its unique hide. It also competed for vegetation needed for domesticated livestock. Some Quaggas were taken to various Zoos in Europe. Breeding in captivity was not successful and the Quagga was extinct in the wild by 1878.

The last Quagga died at Artis Zoo (Natura Artis Magistra) in Amsterdam, Netherlands in the year 1883 On This Day.

Quagga mare at London Zoo, 1870

Quigga the Quagga

10 August-Robert Barton

Robert Barton was one of the signatories of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. In 1921, Barton together with General Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith, Éamonn Duggan and George Gavin Duffy were members of the Irish delegation which went to London to negotiate the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The Irish representatives, with plenipotentiary status, signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty on December 6th 1921.

Robert Childers Barton was born in Glendalough House, Annamoe, Co Wicklow on March 14th 1881. His great grandfather was the founder of the Langoa & Barton vineyards in France. The vineyards are still in the control of the Barton family. Another branch of the family were members of Barton & Guestier, wine shippers of Bordeaux.

Robert Barton served in the British Army. He was stationed in Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising. After the Rising he resigned his commission and joined the Republican movement. He was elected as an MP in the 1918 General Election and in 1921 was chosen as a member of the delegation to negotiate the Anglo-Irish Treaty. When he died aged 94 he was the last surviving signatory of the Treaty.

Robert Barton, one of the five signatories of the Anglo-Irish Treaty died in Dublin in the year 1975 On This Day.


Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

Family of Robert Erskine Childers




08 August-Chester Beatty Library

The Chester Beatty Library is located in the Clock Tower building in the grounds of Dublin Castle, Ireland. The Library, which was originally located on Shrewsbury Road in Dublin, moved to its present location in 2000. It has on display collections from the great cultures and traditions of the world.

Chester Beatty was a native of the USA. He was a successful mining engineer, businessman and philanthropist. He moved to Ireland in 1950 where he established his Library. He bequeathed his collection to the people of Ireland in his will. Today the Library is a designated National Cultural Institution. It attracts over 300,000 visitors annually from Ireland and around the world.

The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, was first opened to the public in the year 1953 On This Day.

Chester Beatty Library



07 August-Oliver Hardy

Oliver Hardy was a comic actor who was a native of America. He is best known as a member of the comedy double-act Laurel and Hardy. Stan Laurel was a comic actor, writer and film director who was a native of England. The comedy duo became well known for their slapstick comedy films during the first half of the 20th century.

Oliver Hardy was born Norvell Hardy in Harlem, Georgia on January 18th 1892. He was a gifted singer who appeared in minstrel shows form a young age. At the age of 18 he was managing a movie theatre and began his career as a comedy actor at the age of 21. In 1914 he made his first movie ‘Outwitting Dad’. Hardy appeared in several movies before moving to Los Angeles in 1917.

In 1921 Oliver Hardy made his first film with Stan Laurel. Laurel and Hardy officially became a team in 1927. The duo went on to appear in 107 films, including The Music Box, Way Out West, Men O’ War, Another Fine Mess, Sons of the Desert, Block-Heads and Busy Bodies. Oliver Hardy was inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. In his hometown of Harlem there is a Laurel and Hardy Museum.

Oliver Hardy, best known as a member of the comedy double-act Laurel and Hardy, died aged 65 in the year 1957 On This Day.