02 April-Mabel Cahill

Mabel Cahill was a native of Kilkenny Ireland. She was a tennis player who became the first non-United States person to win US Open women’s singles in 1891. Though Cahill won several other major tournaments her international career was brief. In 1976 she became the only Irish person to be inducted into the prestigious International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Mabel Esmonde Cahill was born in Ballyragget, Co Kilkenny in 1863. One of 13 children she was educated locally and, it is thought, at the Sacred Heart Convent Secondary School in Roscrea Co Tipperary. She played in various tennis tournaments in Ireland before emigrating to the United States. By 1890 she had become a member of the New York Tennis Club.

Cahill defeated Ellen Roosevelt, a first cousin of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to win the US Open in 1891. She successfully retained the title in 1892. Cahill also won the doubles and mixed titles at the US Open in both 1891 and 1892. She did not defend her title in 1893. Cahill later became a writer and actor. She died aged 43 in 1905.

Mabel Cahill, Kilkenny native who became the first non-United States person to win US Open women’s singles in 1891, was born in the year 1863 On This Day.

Mabel cahill and fellowes morgan.jpg

left: Mabel Cahill (1863-1905), Irish tennis player, US champion 1891, 1892 right: Emma Leavitt Fellowes Morgan, US tennis player


Image from page 24 of “The game of lawn tennis and how to play it” (1893)




27 March-Rolls-Royce

Rolls Royce Motor Cars is a manufacturer and distributor of luxury cars. The company, which is based in England is a wholly owned subsidiary of the German group BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke). It was founded by Henry Royce, an engineer and Charles Rolls, a car salesman in 1906. The company which produces brands such as The Phantom, The Ghost, The Wraith and The Dawn employs over 1300 people.

Henry Royce was born near Peterborough, England in 1863. The youngest of five children his father died when he was nine. Henry worked as an apprentice with the Great Northern Railway Company and later with a tool making company in Leeds. In 1884 he established F.H. Royce and Company with a friend, manufacturing electric cranes.

Royce began building cars and on May 4th 1904 met Charles Rolls. At the time Rolls was selling French made Panhard cars at his showrooms in London. He agreed to sell cars manufactured by Royce instead. The Rolls-Royce became famous for its luxury and reliability. Henry Royce died at the age of 70 on April 22nd 1933.

Henry Royce, co-founder of the Roll-Royce company was born in the year 1863 On This Day.


10 January-Tube (London Metro System)

The London Underground, known as ‘The Tube’, is a railway system serving the city of London. The first underground section began operating in 1863, making it the oldest underground metro system in the world. Today there are 157 metro systems in cities around the world with the Beijing Subway being the busiest.

The first underground railway in London was constructed between Paddington to Farringdon Street. It was completed in 1863 and was served by steam driven trains. The line is now part of the Circle Line. The first electric traction underground trains began operating in London in 1890. Today London is served by eleven lines which carry over 1.3 billion passengers annually.

The first section of the world’s oldest underground railway, the London Underground between Paddington and Farringdon, was officially opened by Prime Minister Gladstone in the year 1863 On This Day.

Paddington station




26 November-Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day marks the start of what is often referred to as the holiday season in the United States. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving Day is also celebrated, on different dates, in Canada and on some Caribbean Islands.

The first celebration of Thanksgiving Day can be traced back to 1621. In the autumn of that year the Plymouth Colonists in the modern state of Massachusetts shared a harvest feast with the local Wampanoag Indians. The feast was held to celebrate a successful growing season.

During the following 200 years thanksgiving celebrations were held, at first by individual colonies and later by states. The date of celebration varied widely until a National Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed by President Lincoln in 1863. He designated the last Thursday in November as a national holiday. In 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

The first National Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in the United States in the year 1863 On This Day.

Happy Thanksgiving by Jaykhuang on 2016-11-24 07:19:30

Happy Turkey Day! by JD Hancock on 2011-11-24 09:26:13

17 October-Ulysses S Grant

Ulysses S Grant served as President of the United States from 1869 to 1877. During a visit to Ireland in 1879 he stayed at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. Grant, who arrived in Dublin on January 3rd 1879, was the first US President to visit Ireland.

Hiram Ulysses Grant was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio on April 27th 1822. His great grandfather had emigrated to America from Ballygawley, Co Tyrone in 1738. Grant was erroneously called Ulysses Simpson Grant when he entered West Point Military Academy. In 1863 President Lincoln appointed Grant overall Union Commander of the West. Grant led the Union army to victory in the American Civil War and served two terms as President of the USA.

President Grant was greeted by large crowds on arrival in Dublin. He visited The Mansion House, the Royal Irish Academy, Bank of Ireland on College Green, the Stock Exchange and Trinity College. Grant then visited City Hall where he was granted the freedom of Dublin. In a speech to a crowd that had assembled outside City Hall he said: “I am by birth a citizen of a country where there are more Irishmen, either native born or the descendants of Irishmen, than there are in all of Ireland.”

Following his arrival and welcome, Grant then spent the following two days taking in the sights in and around Dublin. During his five day visit to Ireland Grant also visited Derry and Belfast where he was also greeted by large crowds. His trip to Ireland was part of a wold tour which lasted two years and seven months.

Ulysses S Grant was appointed overall Union Commander of the West during the American Civil War in the year 1863 On This Day.

Ulysses S. Grant by The U.S. National Archives on 1863-01-01 00:00:00

Ulysses S. Grant statue by ArtBrom on 2008-04-02 14:58:15