26 July-Cedric Gibbons

Cedric Gibbons, who was a native of Dublin, Ireland, was the designer of the Oscar statuette. Officially called the Academy Award of Merit, the Oscar is awarded in recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements. Gibbons was also a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Austin Cedric Gibbons was born in Dublin on March 23rd 1893. His father Austin Gibbons was an architect. Austin Gibbons and his wife Veronica moved with their family to New York when Cedric was young. Cedric studied at the Art Students League of New York where Walter Lantz the creator of Wood Woodpecker was also a student. Cedric worked for a time as a draughtsman in his father’s architectural business but by 1915 he had started working as a set designer with Edison Studios in New York. In 1924 he became head director for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), a position he held for 32 years until he retired in 1956.

During his career with MGM Cedric Gibbons was credited with creating the sets for around 1,500 films. However the bulk of this work may have been in a supervisory role, as his contract stated that he be named head of design for all MGM films. He was ‘hands-on’ art director for 150 films. Gibbons was responsible for fundamentally changing the manner in which studio production was done and is regarded as having had a major influence on film design.

Cedric Gibbons was one of a group of thirty six people who founded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on May 11th 1927. He was given the task of designing a special award. His design of a knight holding a sword standing on a reel of film was accepted. The gold plated statuette, called an Oscar, has remained essentially the same to this day.

The first ever Oscars award ceremony was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Los Angeles, California on May 16th 1929. During his career Cedric Gibbons was nominated for an Oscar 39 times, winning on 11 occasions. He was married on two occasions, in 1930 to Dolores del Río and to Hazel Brooks in 1944. His nephew Billy Gibbons plays the guitar and is a vocalist with the band ZZ Top.

Cedric Gibbons, the Dublin born designer of the Oscar award, died in Los Angeles, California at the age 67 in the year 1960 On This Day.

the-kiss-cedric-gibbons-2 by maufs1966 on 2014-06-29 12:39:55

Oscar statuette photo

Oscar statuettes

Photo by Prayitno / Thank you for visiting ! (3 millions )

Oscar statuette photo


Photo by Robotclaw666


26 July-George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and co-founder of the London School of Economics. He visited Carlow town, Ireland in February 1918. He came to Carlow to view the various properties in the town which he had inherited from Thomas Gurly his mother’s grandfather.

George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin in July 1856. He was raised in Dublin and moved to London in 1876 at the age of 20. In London he lived for a time with his mother who had moved to London a few years previously. Shaw became a successful author and wrote over sixty plays. He is the only person in history to be awarded both the Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Academy Award (1938).

George Bernard Shaw and Charlotte Payne-Townshend of Rosscarbery Co Cork married in London in 1898. He made his first visit back to Ireland in 1905. On that occasion he and his wife stayed at his wife’s family home in West Cork. From that year on Shaw and his wife frequently spent their holidays in Ireland. They visited Dublin and often stayed for extended periods in the southwest of the country. Shaw visited Ireland for the last time in 1924 when he finished writing Saint Joan whilst staying at Parknasilla in Co Kerry.

Shortly after his visit to Carlow in 1918 Shaw gave a building on Dublin Street known as the Assembly Rooms as a gift to the Carlow Technical Instruction Committee. He made a stipulation that the building was to be used for educational purposes. The Committee converted the building to a school which opened as Carlow Technical School in 1923. This school is reputed to have been the first co-educational second level school in Ireland.

The school, which is now known as Carlow Vocational School, moved to the Kilkenny Road in the early 1970’s. A portrait of George Bernard Shaw hangs in the main lobby of the school. Because of increasing enrolments Carlow Vocational School will move to a new building in September 2017. The new institution will be called Tyndall College in honour of world famous scientist John Tyndall who was born about 12km south of Carlow town in Leighlinbridge in August 1820.

Over twenty years after his visit to Carlow, Shaw made a bequest of his remaining properties in Carlow to Carlow Urban Council. However the town council had no authority to accept the gift. Shaw wrote to the government and as result an act was passed allowing the council to accept the gifted property. He stipulated the rents from the properties amounting to £180 become the part of a Civic Improvement Fund. Shaw died at the age of 94 on November 2nd 1950.

George Bernard Shaw was born at the Coombe Hospital, Cork Street, Dublin in the year 1856 On This Day.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW 1856 – 1950 ESCRITOR NACIDO EN DUBLIN by sinaloaarchivohistorico on 2014-03-18 22:44:58

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing… George Bernard Shaw by Nick Kenrick. on 2014-03-16 14:59:41


26 July-Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick chose the 15th century Huntington Castle in Clonegal, County Carlow, Ireland as the setting for some of the scenes in the film ‘Barry Lyndon’. The film which tells the story of an 18th century Irish adventurer was the winner of four Oscars at the Academy Awards in 1975.

Stanley Kubrick was born in New York City in July 1928. Though interested in literature he did not do well at school. He was later reported to have said that nothing about school interested him. Kubrick was taught to play chess by his father. He became a skilled player and chess played an important part in the making of his films.

Before taking up filmmaking in the 1950’s Kubrick worked initially as a photographer. He began by making documentaries and made his first feature film ‘Fear and Desire’ in 1953. During his lifetime Kubrick made 10 feature films apart from Barry Lyndon. Many of his films were influential and he came to be highly regarded as a director. Spartacus (1960), Lolita (1962), Dr. Strangelove (1964), Clockwork Orange (1971), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Shining (1980), Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999) are some of his most famous films.

In 1962 Kubrick moved to England to make the film Lolita. He began to live permanently there after 1964. Stanley Kubrick died at his home in Hertfordshire, England on March 7th 1999. His death occurred shortly after a private screening of his final film, ‘Eyes Wide Shut’.

Stanley Kubrick, American film director, was born in New York City in the year 1928 On This Day.

Stanley Kubrick by Xandriss, Single Line Artist on 2006-01-14 10:27:58

Stanley Kubrick in EYE by FaceMePLS on 2012-07-05 13:25:55

25 July-Patrick Cudahy

Patrick Cudahy, who was a native of Co Kilkenny, Ireland, revolutionised the meat packing industry in the United States. He was the founder of the city of Cudahy which is now a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Today the meatpacking business founded Patrick Cudahy is a division of Smithfield Foods.

Patrick Cudahy was born in Callan Co Kilkenny on March 17th 1849. Three months after his birth his family moved to America and settled in Milwaukee Wisconsin. At the age of 14 Patrick began working in the Plankinton and Armour meat packing plant. In 1874 at the age of 25 he became a superintendent in the business. He worked to transform the industry and in 1888 the owner transferred the company to Patrick Cudahy and his brother John Cudahy.

The Cudahy brothers moved the business to a new location south of Milwaukee in 1892. A town built up around the business, which became the City of Cudahy in 1906. The meat packing business expanded rapidly and by 1922 Cudahy Packing Co was among the largest of the packing houses in the United States. During his lifetime Patrick Cudahy, in an effort to promote temperance tried to limit the number of taverns in the city. He played an active role in the Milwaukee Association of Commerce, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and Friends of Irish Freedom. Cudahy and his wife Anna had nine children. One of their children, John Cudahy, served as Ambassador to Ireland from 1937 to 1940.

Patrick Cudahy, American industrialist, philanthropist and native of Co Kilkenny, Ireland died at the age of 70 in the year 1919 On This Day.

Patrick Cudahy HQ Sign by purpleslog on 2008-04-03 12:11:55

Milkaukee (WIS) Lakefront, Cudahy tower, 1909, University Club Tower, 2007 by (vincent) on 2010-06-08 23:20:39

IMG_2283 by Mark Sadowski on 2006-04-09 11:10:50

20111121 16 Cudahy, Wisconsin, USA by davidwilson1949 on 2011-11-21 00:00:08

Callan, Co Kilkenny, Ireland Red Front by Bernie Goldbach on 2004-10-24 16:11:15

25 July-John O’Donovan

John O’Donovan, Irish language scholar and topographer, was a native of Co Kilkenny, Ireland. He carried out research on Irish place names for the Ordinance Survey of Ireland when the survey was being conducted during the 1830’s. He published several works including a grammar of the Irish language in 1845.

John O’Donovan was born in Atateenmore near Slieverue in South Kilkenny in July 1806. He grew up on the family farm. In 1817, when he was eleven years old, his father died and John moved to live near his uncle who was an Irish speaker. He was educated at Hunt’s Academy in Waterford City.

O’Donovan moved to Dublin where he taught at a school on Arran Quay. In 1827 he was offered a teaching position at St Patrick’s College in Maynooth which he declined. Instead he accepted a post researching state papers at the Public Records Office. While working there he taught Irish to Thomas Larcom, an engineer from Gosport in Hampshire, England who had been transferred from the Ordinance Survey of England to the Irish Ordinance Survey. Larcom would later become Under-Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

In 1824, the surveyor Thomas Colby, was appointed by Thomas Larcom to carry out the Survey of Ireland. In 1830 O’Donovan was recruited by Colby to research Irish place names for the Ordinance Survey of Ireland. The survey was the most detailed ever undertaken and was completed in 1846. During his time working on the survey O’Donovan travelled all over Ireland researching place names. When a townland was identified it was O’Donovan’s task to give it the correct Irish name. Following this however he Anglicized the name when it was being placed on the map.

Following his work with the Ordinance Survey, John O’Donovan was appointed professor of Celtic Languages at Queen’s University, Belfast. He was called to the bar in 1847. His many works include: Grammar of the Irish Language and a Translation of the Four Masters. He was awarded an honorary LL.D from Trinity College Dublin in 1850. In 1856 he was elected to membership of the Royal Prussian Academy. His election was on the recommendation of Jakob Grimm of the Brothers Grimm who were authors of fairy tales like Cinderella and Rumpelstiltskin. John O’Donovan died at his home, 36 Upper Buckingham Street, Dublin, at the age of 55 on December 10th 1861.

John O’Donovan, Irish language scholar and topographer, was born in Atateemore County Kilkenny in the year 1806 On This Day.

John O’Donovan (25 July 1806 – 10 December 1861)[Glasnevin Cemetery]-113434 by infomatique on 2016-03-31 15:39:25

John O’Donovan (25 July 1806 – 10 December 1861)[Glasnevin Cemetery]-113435 by infomatique on 2016-03-31 15:39:59

Image taken from page 13 of ‘Catalogue of the Maps and Plans and other publications of the Ordnance Survey of Ireland, to 1st June 1881’ by The British Library on 2013-12-01 05:06:37