27 August-Canadian Women Not Persons

Emily Murphy was appointed the first female judge in Canada in in 1916. Her rulings however, were challenged by lawyers because under Canadian law women were not ‘persons’. The challenge was based on a court decision of 1876 which stated: ‘Women are persons in matters of pains and penalties, but are not persons in matters of rights and privileges’.

The British North American Act of 1867 established the Dominion of Canada. The ruling, which stated women were not persons, was made under that act. Murphy and four other Canadian women initiated a campaign to have the ruling overturned. Their petition to the Canadian Supreme Court in 1927 failed.

The women then took their case to the Privy Council of the British government. At the time it was Canada’s highest court. On October 18th 1929 women were declared as ‘persons’ under Canadian law. In its ruling the Privy Council stated: ‘the exclusion of women from all public offices is a relic of days more barbarous than ours. And to those who would ask why the word ‘persons’ should include females, the obvious answer is, why should it not?

A petition by Judge Emily Murphy and four other women to the Canadian Supreme Court to have women declared ‘persons’, failed in the year 1927 On This Day.

Nellie McClung brandishing a scroll declaring that Women are Persons




25 August-Tom Kiely

Tom Kiely was a native of Co Tipperary, Ireland. He won a gold medal in the decathlon in the 1904 Olympic Games. At the time the event was known as the All-around. All ten events were held on the one day, July 4th.

Tom Kiely was born Thomas Francis Kiely in Ballyneale near Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary in 1869. A successful athlete, he was the winner of titles in Ireland, England and America during his career. In 1904 the British team offered to pay his expenses to compete in the 1904 Olympics in St Louis. He was also offered American sponsorship.

Kiely refused both offers and raised his own funds. He made it clear that he would represent only Ireland at the Olympic Games. Having won the gold medal Kiely returned to Ireland to a hero’s welcome. A monument to him was erected in home village in 1978. The inscription on the monument reads: ‘Thomas F Kiely, World All Round Champion, St. Louis, 1904’.

Tom Kiely, winner of the gold medal in the Decathlon in the 1904 Olympic Games was born in Co Tipperary, Ireland in the year 1869 On This Day.

Tom Kiely.JPG

Tom Kiely

24 August-Paul Henry

Paul Henry was an artist who was a native of Ireland. He is best known for his paintings depicting the terrain of the west of Ireland, particularly Achill Island where he lived from 1910 to 1919. He is widely regarded one of the most influential landscape artists of the 20th century.

Paul Henry was born in Belfast on April 11th 1876. He attended the Belfast School of Art and moved to Paris in 1889. In Paris he studied he studied at the Academie Julian where John Lavery had also been a student. Like the Carlow Artist Frank O’Meara, Henry specialised in plein air (open air) painting. ‘The Lobster Fisher’, a landscape painting by Paul Henry sold at auction in London in 2005 for £298,150.

Paul Henry, an artist best known for his paintings depicting the terrain of the west of Ireland, particularly Achill Island, died in Dublin aged 82 in the year 1958 On This Day.




23 August-Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm Syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to sympathise with their captors. The hostage feels grateful to the kidnapper for telling them they will not kill them. Also, as part of a survival strategy the hostages form an alliance with their captors.

The term ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ was coined following an unsuccessful bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden in 1973. Following the robbery a six day siege ensued. After the siege ended the four hostages had formed a positive relationship with the bank robbers. The hostages refused to testify against their captors leading the term ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ being used.

Stockholm Syndrome, a condition that causes hostages to sympathise with their captors was coined following an unsuccessful bank robbery in Stockholm Sweden in the year 1973 On This Day.

Stockholm Syndrome


22 August-First Air Raid

The first air raid in history was carried out by Austria against Venice. The air raid, which occurred in 1849, used up to 200 pilotless balloons carrying bombs. Venice had been under siege but had refused to surrender. The bombs caused little damage but the siege ended two days later.

Venice had been independent for over 1,000 years. It was conquered by Napoleon in 1797 who later ceded it to Austria. In 1848 Venice declared itself a republic. Austria laid siege to Venice the following year. Though the siege caused starvation and hardship the Austrians failed to take the city. However Venice did surrender two days after the air raid.

The first air raid in history took place when Austria launched pilotless balloons carrying bombs against Venice in the year 1849 On This Day.