20 April-Hitler

Adolf Hitler was a native of Austria. He was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NAZI Party), which controlled Germany from 1934 to 1945. Hitler was also Chancellor of Germany during those years.

In September 1939 Hitler invaded Poland. The invasion led Great Britain and France to declare war on Germany which began World War II. Hitler and his allies had conquered most of Europe and North Africa by 1941. He invaded the Soviet Union but failed to defeat the Red Army and was forced to retreat. This, together with the entry of the United States into the war, led to the defeat of NAZI Germany in 1945.

Hitler died at the age of 56 on April 30th 1945. Over 5.5 million people of the Jewish faith and millions of others who were regarded as sub human were exterminated during the reign of the NAZI regime. Millions of civilians an soldiers also died during World War II.

Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria in the year 1889 On This Day.

Adolf Hitler saliendo de la sede del partido Nazi (Munich, 1931)



16 April-Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin was an actor director and composer who was a native of England. He became one of the biggest film stars of the 20th century. Chaplin was the recipient of several awards from the film industry, universities and governments. In 1975 he was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE).

Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in London in 1889. Both his parents were music hall performers and Chaplin began his acting career at the age of eight. Following a successful stage career he moved to the United States in 1910. He was offered a film contract in 1913 and joined the Keystone Film Company. Chaplin worked with several film companies before co-founding United Artists in 1919. He developed the tramp persona and became one of the best known film stars in the world.

Chaplin was involved in several controversies. He was accused of having communist sympathies and was investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). He left the United States in 1952 and moved with his family to Switzerland. He continued to make movies, the last of which was ‘A Countess from Hong Kong’ in 1967. He died at his home in Switzerland at the age of 88 on Christmas Day in 1977.

Chaplain won three Academy Awards and was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1972. There are several memorials to Chaplin and eight statues have been erected in his honour in various locations around the world. A statue in his honour was erected in Waterville, Co Kerry in 1998. Chaplin regularly spent his summer holidays in Waterville with his family.

Charlie Chaplin was born in the year 1889 On This Day.

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin in Waterville

Charlie Chaplin


31 March-Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is the most visited paid monument in the world. It was built by Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923), a French engineer, whose early work focussed chiefly on bridges. Eiffel also built the metallic skeleton which supports the copper exterior of the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in New York Harbour.

Eiffel began building the Tower in 1887 on the Champ-de-Mars in central Paris. It was the entrance arch for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) which was held to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The tower is 324 metres tall. It was the tallest building in the world when it was completed.

Many people initially criticised the Eiffel Tower and felt it was an eyesore. Some people would dine in the restaurant at the base in order to avoid seeing the tower. It is today one of the best known structures in the world and attracts an estimated seven million visitors every year. The tower has three levels. The third level, which is 276m above the ground, is painted every seven years. The Eiffel Tower was officially opened when Gustave Eiffel led a group of French Government officials and members of the press to the top of the tower where he hoisted a French flag.

The Eiffel Tower was officially opened by Gustave Eiffel in the year 1889 On This Day.

Eiffel Tower





17 March-Harry Clarke

The ‘Last Judgement’ window in St Patricks Church in Newport Co Mayo, Ireland and the windows in Bewleys Café on Grafton Street in Dublin are just two examples of the work of Harry Clarke. Clarke was a renowned stained-glass artist and illustrator of books. He created over 150 stained glass windows for religious and commercial institutions, which can be seen in Ireland and abroad

Henry Patrick Clarke was born in Dublin in 1889. He was educated locally and at Belvedere College on Great Denmark Street, Dublin. He left school at the age of fourteen and became apprenticed to his father’s studio on North Frederick Street.

During his apprenticeship Clarke attended the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art where he studied stained glass. As a student in 1911, he created a stained glass window depicting the Consecration of St. Mel, Bishop of Longford, by St. Patrick. The window won him a gold medal from the Board of Education National Competition.

Having completed his apprenticeship Clarke did some work in his father’s studio but he also began to work on his own commissions. His work can be seen in institutions in Ireland, Great Britain, Australia and the USA. He received a commission from the Irish Government to create a window for the International Labour Court in Geneva, Switzerland. Following its completion in 1930 however, the Irish Government rejected the window as being too scandalous and refused to have it installed in the Court in Geneva.

In 1929 Harry Clarke travelled to Switzerland for health reasons. He spent some time in a sanatorium in Davos. However Clarke’s health did not improve and he decided to return to Ireland. He died en-route on January 6th 1931 in the city of Coire (Chur), Switzerland at the age of 41.

Harry Clarke was born in Dublin in the year 1889 On This Day.

Harry Clarke, Swinburne, binding decoration

Bewleys cafe photo

Bewleys Cafe & Restaurant, Grafton St, Dublin by Karen V Bryan



31 January-John Locke

John Locke, who was a native of Co Kilkenny Ireland was the author of the poem ‘Dawn on the Irish Coast’. US President Ronald Reagan quoted the first verse of the poem during his visit to Ireland in 1984. Locke was inspired to write the poem by the account given to him by a friend who paid a visit to Ireland having spent thirty years in exile. Locke wrote the poem in 1877.

John Locke was born in Callan, Co Kilkenny in 1847. He was educated locally at Callan National School and is reported to have been a talented player of the game of hurling. At the age of sixteen his first poem was published in the Irish People. Several other poems were to follow including ‘The Calm Avonree’.

In 1867 Locke was arrested for his involvement with the Fenian movement. He was found guilty and sentenced to six months in Kilkenny jail. Following his release he moved to Manchester, England and later to New York. In New York he became a journalist with the Celtic Monthly. He continued to publish poetry and novels including ‘The Shamrock and Palmetto’ and ‘A Tale of the Tithes’.

D’anam chun De! but there it is—

The dawn on the hills of Ireland!

God’s angels lifting the night’s black veil

From the fair, sweet face of my sireland!

O, Ireland! isn’t it grand you look—

Like a bride in her rich adornin!

With all the pent-up love of my heart

I bid you the top of the morning!

John Locke, author of the poem ‘Dawn on the Irish Coast’, died at the age of 42 in the year 1889 On This Day.