14 October-Battle of Hastings

The Battle of Hastings established the Normans as rulers of England. The army of Harold II, King of England was defeated in the battle by the Norman army led by William, duke of Normandy. The Normans were natives of the northern region of France. The Norman leader became known as William the Conqueror.

King Harold II was crowned King of England on January 6th 1066. There were three other claimants to the throne, his own brother Tostig, King Harald Hardrada of Norway and William, duke of Normandy. Having defeated Tostig and the Norwegian king, Harold marched his army south to face the invading Normans.

In the battle, which was fought about 11km (7 miles) north of Hastings, the English army was defeated and Harold II was killed. William the Conqueror marched to London where he was crowned the first Norman king of England on Christmas Day 1066. He ruled England until his death in 1087.

The Battle of Hastings, which established the Normans as rulers of England, was fought in the year 1066 On This Day.

Hastings Battleground


13 October-Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher was the first female British Prime Minister. She served as leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990 and as Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. Thatcher was the longest serving Prime Minister of Britain since 1827.

Margaret Thatcher was born Margaret Hilda Roberts in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England in 1925. She studied chemistry at the University of Oxford, graduating in 1947. She worked as a research chemist whilst studying law. She began practicing as a barrister in 1954.

In 1959 Margaret Thatcher was elected as Conservative MP for the constituency of Finchley. She rose through the ranks of the Conservative Party and was elected leader on February 11th 1975. The Conservative Party won the 1979 General Election and Thatcher was elected Prime Minister. She served as Prime Minister until 1990.

Margaret Thatcher, the first female British Prime Minister, was born in the year 1925 On This Day.



12 October-Columbus Day

Columbus Day is a national holiday in several countries in North and South America. It is also celebrated in Spain and Italy. The day celebrates the anniversary of the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World. Christopher Columbus was an explorer and navigator who was a native of Genoa, Italy. He is known as ‘the man who discovered America’. He was hoping to find a new route to India when he landed in the New World on October 12th 1492. His discovery changed the course of world history.

Columbus had failed to get support from Portugal, France and England for his ‘enterprise of the Indies’. However, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain agreed to sponsor the Expedition. On August 3rd 1492 Columbus sailed from Palos de la Frontera in Southwestern Spain. Ten weeks later he landed in the Bahamas. He believed he had discovered a new route to India. He claimed all the newly discovered territories for Spain.

The first celebration of Columbus Day was held in New York City in 1792. In the same year the first monument honouring Christopher Columbus was dedicated in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1892, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Columbus landing the original version of the Pledge of Allegiance was first recited in public schools in the United States. The celebration of Columbus Day has been opposed by various groups and organisations in recent years.

Columbus Day, on the anniversary of the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World, is celebrated every year On This Day.

Columbus photo


10 October-Kirsty MacColl

Kirsty MacColl, who recorded the Christmas song Fairytale of New York with Shane MacGowan and the Pogues, was a native of Croydon, England. Fairytale of New York was written by Shane MacGowan and Jem Finer. The song was first released in November 1987. Often referred to as the best Christmas song of all time Fairytale of New York achieved one million sales in 2013.

Kirsty Anna MacColl was born in Croydon, Surrey, England in 1959. She was the daughter of folk singer Ewan MacColl. Kirsty and her brother were raised by their mother Jean in Croydon where she attended school. As a teenager she performed for a short time with the band Drug Addix.

She left the band to begin her solo career and had a hit in 1981 with ‘There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis’. During the 1980’s and 1990’s she recorded several hit pop records. She also performed on recordings by other artists including The Smiths, Alison Moyet, The Pogues and Anni-Frid Lyngstad of ABBA.

On December 18th 2000 Kirsty MacColl was on holiday in Cozumel, Mexico. She was diving with her two sons in a designated diving area, which boats were restricted from entering. However a speedboat entered the area. MacColl managed to save her two sons but she was hit by the boat and killed instantly.

Kirsty MacColl, singer, songwriter and entertainer, was born in Croydon, England in the year 1959 On This Day.

Kirsty MacColl photo

Photo by bellefox rendezvous



09 October-Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam is located on the Colorado River about 50km (30 miles) southeast of Las Vegas Nevada. When it was completed in 1935 it became the largest hydroelectric station in the world. Until then the Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme in Ireland was the largest. The Hoover dam was called the Boulder Dam at first. The name was changed to the Hoover Dam in 1947.

Construction on the Hoover Dam began on September 17th 1930. It was completed more than two years ahead of schedule. Both the Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme and the Hoover dam continue to supply electricity in their respective countries. The Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme supplies 2% of Ireland’s power. The Hoover Dam supplies electricity to California, Nevada and Arizona.

The Hoover Dam generators began to generate electricity from the Colorado River and transmit it 266 miles to Los Angeles for the first time in the year 1936 On This Day.

Hoover Dam