31 October-Charles Taze Russell

Charles Russell was a native of America. He founded the International Bible Students Association from which developed Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jehovah’s Witnesses is a Christian denomination which does not believe in the Trinity. With a worldwide membership of over 8 million it has its headquarters in Warwick, New York.

Charles Taze Russell was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania on February 16th 1852. He was influenced by the Adventist movement begun by the Baptist preacher, William Miller. Miller had predicted that the world would end with the second coming of Christ on October 22nd 1844. Russell preached that the ‘invisible return’ of Christ had occurred in 1877. He predicted that what he called the Gentile times would end in 1914 after which Christ would rule the earth. Russell travelled widely preaching to his many congregations.

Charles Taze Russell founder of the International Bible Students Association from which developed Jehovah’s Witnesses died aged 64 in the year 1916 On This Day.

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Charles Taze Russell 1911

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Charles Taze Russell Pyramid, United Cemeteries



26 October-François Mitterrand

François Mitterrand served as President of France for two terms from 1981 to 1995. He studied law and politics at the University of Paris and was first elected to the National Assembly of France in 1946. He was appointed to a number of Government ministries during his career. He was the recipient of several awards including the Légion d’honneur (Legion of Honour).

François Mitterrand was born François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand in Jarnac in southwestern France in 1916. He served in the French Army during World War II. He was wounded and captured by the Germans in 1940. He escaped from a prisoner of war camp and made his way back to France where he worked for the Vichy government.

In 1965 and again in 1974 Mitterrand ran for election to the presidency of France. Having failed on both occasions he was finally elected as the socialist candidate in 1981. During his time as president he introduced several reforms and helped to advance greater European integration. In 1991 he became the first President of France to appoint a female Prime Minister, Edith Cresson.

François Mitterrand, who served as President of France for two terms from 1981 to 1995, was born in the year 1916 On This Day.

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François Mitterrand


Médiathèque François Mitterrand





25 October-Richard Harris

Richard Harris was an award-winning actor and singer who was a native of Limerick City, Ireland. He is best known for roles such as King Arthur in Camelot, Bull McCabe in ‘The Field’ and as Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films. Harris appeared in over seventy films and also had a successful stage career.

Richard St. John Harris was born in Limerick City on October 1st 1930. He was educated at Crescent College Limerick and was a talented sportsman. He played rugby with the Garryowen Club in Limerick. He was a lifetime supporter of Munster Rugby.

Harris moved to London where he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He made his stage debut in ‘The Quare Fellow’ 1956. In 1959 he made his film debut in the film ‘Alive and Kicking’. During his career Harris was nominated for an Academy Award on two occasions. He was the winner of a Golden Globe Award in 1968 and a Grammy Award in 1973.

Richard Harris, award-winning actor and singer who was a native of Limerick City, Ireland died aged 72 in the year 2002 On This Day.

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Richard Harris

The Irish and Boston: An Immigrant Saga





24 October-Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist in the United States. Her refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1st 1955 to a white passenger led to a citywide bus boycott. The boycott was led by Rev Martin Luther King. The boycott lasted 382 days before the law which mandated segregated public transportation was lifted.

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama on February 4th 1913. She was of African, Scots-Irish and Native American descent. At the time of her arrest she was working as a seamstress. She was also secretary to the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People. Her refusal to give up her seat became an important symbol of the Civil Rights Movement.

Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama led to the ending of segregation of public facilities, died aged 92 in the year 2005 On This Day.

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks photo

Photo by mattlemmon

Rosa Parks Arrest



22 October-First Parachute Jump from a Balloon

André-Jacques Garnerin was a native of France. He was the inventor of the frameless parachute and is recognized as the world’s first modern parachutist. Garnerin was born in Paris on January 31st 1769. He studied physics and became a successful balloonist and parachutist.

Although the exact origin of the parachute is unknown the idea dates back several centuries. In 852 Armen Firman sustained only minor injuries when he jumped from a tower in Cordoba, Spain using a makeshift parachute. A sketch of a parachute by Leonardo da Vinci dates back to 1485.

André-Jacques Garnerin made the first recorded parachute jump from 1,000m (3,200 feet) above Paris in the year 1797 On This Day.

André-Jacques Garnerin