16 October-Michael Collins

Michael Collins was an Irish revolutionary leader who, in his short lifetime, became a hero of Ireland’s struggle for independence. He played a central role in directing a daring campaign of guerrilla warfare throughout the Anglo-Irish war from 1919 to 1921. Collins was Chairman of the Irish government and Commander-in-chief of the National Army when he was assassinated in 1922 during the Irish Civil War.

Michael James Collins was born at Woodfield, Clonakilty, Co. Cork in October 1890. He was educated at his local national school and at Clonakilty Secondary School. In 1906 he sat the British Civil Service examination in Cork city and moved to London to work at the Post Office. In London he lived with his sister. He left the Post Office in 1910 to work in an accountancy firm and later in an American bank. He also studied law at King’s College London. During his time in London he joined the IRB and was elected secretary of the Gaelic League.

After nine years in London Collins returned to Dublin in order to avoid conscription. He worked at the accountancy firm Craig Gardiner but spent much of his time drilling troops at volunteer training camps. During the Rising of 1916 he served as aide-de-camp to Joseph Plunkett in the GPO in Dublin. After the rising he was interned at Frongoch in Wales but was released in December 1916. In the General Election of 1918 Collins was elected MP for Cork South and for Tyrone. He played a leading role in the War of Independence which lasted until a truce was declared on July 11th 1921.

Collins strenuously resisted his appointment as one of the Irish delegates to negotiate an Anglo-Irish Treaty. He eventually agreed to travel to London for the negotiations. The delegates were designated as “plenipotentiaries”, meaning they had the full authority to sign a treaty which would then have to be ratified by Dáil Éireann. The treaty was signed on December 6th 1921 and ratified by Dáil Éireann on January 7th 1922. Those who lost the vote in parliament and were opposed to the treaty were led by Éamon de Valera. They walked out of parliament, took arms in opposition to the treaty and civil war ensued.

Towards the end of the civil war Collins went on an inspection tour of the South. On August 22nd 1922 his convoy was ambushed about 16km east of the town of Macroom at Béal na mBláth in County Cork. During the ambush Collins was shot and died almost immediately. He was just thirty-two years old. His funeral in Dublin was attended by an estimated half a million people. He is buried in Glasnevin cemetery.

Michael Collins was born near Clonakilty, Co Cork in the year 1890 On This Day.

Michael Collins photo

Michael Collins (centre) August 16th 1922

Photo by National Library of Ireland on The Commons


Good Times by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1921-09-11 08:48:34

Michael Collins Grave by IrishFireside on 2010-07-22 18:52:03


22 July-Rose Kennedy

Rose Kennedy was the mother of President John F Kennedy. Often referred to as the matriarch of the Kennedy clan, she was a well-known philanthropist and socialite. Her husband Joseph P Kennedy was a successful businessman who served as United States Ambassador to Great Britain.

Rose Kennedy was born Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald in Boston in 1890. Her father was Mayor of Boston. She married Joseph Kennedy in 1914 and the couple had nine children. In the 1940’s two of her children died and in the 1960’s John and Bobby were assassinated. Ted Kennedy served in the Senate of the United States for over 46 years. Rose Kennedy died in 1995 aged 104.

Rose Kennedy, mother of President John F Kennedy was born in Boston in the year 1890 On This Day.

Rose Kennedy 1967.JPG

Rose Kennedy

CBS Television






10 February-Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago was an award winning movie. The movie, which was released in 1965 was based on a novel of the same name. The novel was written by poet and novelist Boris Pasternak who was a native of soviet Russia. It was published in 1959. The movie, Doctor Zhivago was the winner of five Oscars at the Academy Awards in 1966.

Boris Leonidovich Pasternak was born in Moscow in 1890. For a time he studied music in Moscow but moved to Germany in 1912 to study philosophy at the University of Marburg. He returned to Moscow and became an author. Boris Pasternak awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1958. He died at the age of 70 on May 30th 1960.

Boris Pasternak, who was the author of Doctor Zhivago was born in the year 1890 On This Day.

Boris Pasternak photo

Boris Pasterna Statue Perm Russia

Photo by amanderson2






15 September-Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie was a best-selling author who was a native of England. As well as being a playwright she was also a novelist and writer of short stories. Christie wrote over 60 detective novels and over 2 billion copies of her works have been sold worldwide. She was made a Dame in 1971.

Agatha Christie was born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller in Torquay, Devon, England in September 1890. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles was published in 1920. She went on to write famous novels such as: And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express. Her best-selling novel is, And Then There Were None. It has sold over 100 million copies to date.

In 1947 Christie wrote a play called Three Blind Mice. It was loosely based on the life of a boy called Dennis O’Neill who died while he was in foster care. The play was later renamed The Mousetrap and premiered at Nottingham Theatre Royal on October 6th 1952. The Mousetrap, which has been running continuously for over 60 years, is one of the longest running plays in history. Agatha Christie died at the age of 85 on January 12th 1976.

Agatha Christie, novelist, short story writer and playwright was born in the year 1890 On This Day.

Agatha Christie statue London



16 June-Stan Laurel

Stan Laurel was a comic actor, writer and film director who was a native of England. He is best known as a member of the comedy double-act Laurel and Hardy. Oliver Hardy was an American actor. The comedy duo became well known for their slapstick comedy films during the first half of the 20th century.

Stan Laurel was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson in Ulverston, Lancashire, England in 1890. He was born into a theatrical family and made his stage debut at the age of 16. With a theatrical company, he toured the United States on several occasions. He eventually decided to live in the US when he began his movie career.

Laurel made his first film with Oliver Hardy in 1921. Laurel and Hardy officially became a team in 1927. The duo went on to appear in 107 films, including The Music Box, Way Out West, Men O’ War, Another Fine Mess, Sons of the Desert, Block-Heads and Busy Bodies. Stan Laurel was given a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award in 1961. He died on February 23rd 1965 at the age of 74 in Santa Monica, California.

Stan Laurel was born in the year 1890 On This Day.

Laurel & Hardy -Men O’ War (1929)