26 May-Sally Ride

Sally Ride was an astronaut and physicist who, in 1983, became the first American woman in space. Having made her first space flight at the age of 32 Ride became the youngest ever American astronaut. She flew into space for a second time aboard the Space Shuttle in 1984.

Sally Kristen Ride was born in Los Angeles, California in 1951. She graduated with a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University in 1978. In 1977 NASA began looking for women astronauts. Ride decided to apply and was one of six women chosen. Following a rigorous training programme she became the first American woman to travel into space on June 18th 1983. The first woman in space was Valentina Tereshkova of the Soviet Union in 1963.

The mission on the Space Shuttle Challenger travelled over two million miles. Two communication satellites were launched and several science experiments carried out. Ride helped to deploy the satellites. The mission lasted just over six days before landing safely at Edwards Air Force Base, California on June 24th 1983.

Sally Ride was born in the year 1951 On This Day.

Sally Ride, First U.S. Woman in Space





25 May-Sikorski

Igor Sikorsky was an engineer who was a pioneer in aircraft design. He is best known for his successful development of the helicopter. He founded the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in 1923. It is based in Stratford, Connecticut. The Irish Coast Guard operate a number of Sikorsky Search and Rescue helicopters.

Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky was born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1889. He studied engineering in Russia and Paris and developed an interest in aviation. He built aircraft in Russia before immigrating to the United States in 1919. He established the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation in New York where he produced sea planes. Sikorski later moved his company to Stratford, Connecticut.

He continued to build sea planes. As land based aircraft became more popular, Sikorski turned his attention to the development of the helicopter. On January 14th 1942 he piloted the first successful test flight of a helicopter. The success of the flight set the standard for the future development of the helicopter. Today the Sikorsky Aviation Corporation is the major producer of helicopters for an international market.

Igor Sikorski was born in the year 1889 On This Day.

1932 (circa) Igor Sikorski and President Bressler



24 May-Copernicus

Copernicus was a mathematician and astronomer who was a native of modern day Poland. He developed a heliocentric model of the universe. His model, which placed the sun rather than the earth at the centre of the solar system caused controversy when it was first published around 1514.

Nicolaus Copernicus was born in the city of Torun in northern Poland on February 19th 1473. He was educated at Krakow Academy and later at the University of Bologna in Italy. In 1514 he was asked by Pope Leo X to help improve the calendar. His major work, ‘On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres’ was published shortly before his death at the age of 70 in 1543.

Copernicus published ‘On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres’ (proof of a sun-centred solar system) in the year 1543 On This Day.




24 May-William Trevor

William Trevor was a novelist, playwright and short story writer who was a native of Co Cork, Ireland. He won the Whitbread Prize on three occasions and was the recipient of numerous other awards. Trevor received an honorary knighthood for his services to literature on December 4th 2002. He was a member of Aosdána.

William Trevor was born William Trevor Cox in Mitchelstown, County Cork in 1928. He graduated from Trinity College Dublin, with a degree in history in 1950. Trevor worked as a schoolteacher for a time before moving to live in England in 1954. He became a full-time writer in 1964 following the success of his novel ‘The Old Boys’. He went on to write more than 15 novels and several short stories. He died at the age of 88 at his home in Somerset, England on November 20th 2016.

William Trevor was born in the year 1928 On This Day.

William Trevor photo

Photo by dalcrose





23 May-Rosemary Clooney

Rosemary Clooney was a singer, and actress who was a native of Kentucky, USA. She was the aunt of actor George Clooney. Her ancestors lived in the village of Windgap, Co Kilkenny Ireland. Clooney’s great-grandfather, Nicholas Clooney, emigrated to America in 1852. The family settled in Kentucky.

Rosemary Clooney was born in Maysville, Kentucky in 1928. She made her singing debut at the age of 13 and toured with a big band during the 1940’s. She had her first big hit with ‘Come On-a My House’ in 1951. She starred with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye in ‘White Christmas’ in 1954.

Following a period during the 1960’s, when her career ran into difficulties, Rosemary Clooney returned to performing in 1977. She made her comeback when she appeared with Bing Crosby to mark his 50 years in show business. She continued to perform for the rest of her life and was awarded the Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. She died at the age of 74 on June 29th 2002.

Rosemary Clooney was born in the year 1928 On This Day.

Rosemary Clooney on the US tv show, What’s My Line