25 July-In Vitro Fertilisation

Louise Browne is known for being the first person in the world to be conceived through in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Though often referred to as the world’s first ‘test tube baby’, her conception actually occurred in a petri dish. When Louise Joy Browne was born at Oldham General Hospital, England in 1978, her birth made headlines around the world. Her sons Cameron (born 2006) and Aiden Patrick (born 2013) were conceived naturally.

Lesley Browne and her husband John, had been trying to conceive for several years. Lesley underwent an in vitro procedure and conceived successfully in November 1977. The procedure was developed by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards. Edwards was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2010 for his work on the development of in vitro fertilization. By the time the award was made Steptoe had died and the Nobel Prize is not awarded posthumously.

Louise Brown, known as the world’s first ‘test-tube baby’, was born at Oldham General Hospital, England in the year 1978 On This Day.

Oocyte with Zona pellucida

09 October-Nicky Byrne

Nicky Byrne is a native of Dublin, Ireland. He is best known as a member of the Irish band Westlife. Westlife was a hugely successful boyband which was active from 1998 until it disbanded in June 2012. Following his success with Westlife, Byrne has pursued a successful radio and television career.

Nicky Byrne was born Nicholas Bernard James Adam Byrne in Dublin in 1978. His father was a member of a band which helped develop Nicky’s interest in music. Nicky was also a professional footballer and played for played for the Republic of Ireland under 15, under 16 and under 18 levels.

Westlife was formed in 1998 and Nicky Byrne became one of its members. The band was enormously successful selling over 50 million records worldwide. Several of Westlife’s most successful songs were co-written by Byrne. He has also represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Nicky Byrne, member of the band Westlife, was born in the year 1978 On This Day.

Nicky Byrne


25 August-Turin Shroud

The Turin Shroud is believed by many people to be the burial shroud in which Jesus Christ was wrapped following his crucifixion. It is a linen cloth measuring 4.4m by 1.1m showing the image of a man. However radiocarbon dating tests, carried out on the shroud in 1998 indicated that the cloth may date from around 1300 AD.

The Turin Shroud is kept in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in the city of Turin in northern Italy. It has been put public display on 19 occasions since the 17th century attracting thousands of visitors each day. Exposition of the Shroud for a period of five weeks in 1978 is reported to have had 100,000 visitors per day. It was last on display from 19th to the 24th of April 2015.

The Turin Shroud, which is believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ went on display for the first time in 45 years in Turin, Italy in the year 1978 On This Day.


Shroud of Turin





07 November-Gene Tunney

World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Gene Tunney, was the son of Mary and John Tunney of Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, Ireland. Gene’s father John Tunney came from Cill Aodáin, Kiltimagh and his mother Mary Lydon from Gorthgarve, Kiltimagh. They emigrated to the United States in 1880.

The Tunney couple settled in Greenwich Village, New York City where they raised their seven children. James Joseph ‘Gene’ Tunney was born May 25th 1897. He left school at the age of fifteen and began working at the offices of the Ocean Steamship Company. Interested in boxing from an early age Tunney joined the Greenwich Village Athletic Club where he learned his boxing skills. He fought and won his first professional fight in 1915.

Gene Tunney won 65 of his 68 fights, 48 by knockout. He retired as an undefeated heavyweight champion in 1928 and became involved in business firms in the USA and Canada. He became an executive at various banks and insurance companies. Tunney was the author of two books, A Man Must Fight (1932) and Arms for Living (1941) He also starred in a film and The Fighting Marine in 1926.

Gene Tunney died at the age of 81 in the year 1978 On This Day.

Gene Tunney at Trinity College by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1928-08-24 12:07:51