26 May-John Wayne

John Wayne was an actor and filmmaker who was a native of Iowa, USA. He was one of the most popular film actors for over three decades of the 20th century. Wayne was nominated for an Academy Award on three occasions. He won an Academy Award for best actor in the film True Grit in 1969.

John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa in 1907. At the age of seven his family moved to California where Wayne grew up. He was successful both academically and in athletics and was awarded a football scholarship to the University of Southern California. He was forced to leave university due to an injury and began working film studios.

Wayne played minor roles in several films before he was given his first leading role in the film The Big Trail in 1930. He became a star following his performance in the John Ford film The Stagecoach in 1939. During his career, Wayne played starring roles in westerns, war pictures, romantic comedies, police dramas and historical dramas. He starred opposite Maureen O’Hara in The Quiet Man, which was shot on location in Cong, Co Mayo.

John Wayne was born in the year 1907 On This Day.

John Wayne




16 May-Bob Tisdall

Bob Tisdall was an Irish athlete. At the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles he won a gold medal in the 400m hurdles. He won the race in a world record time of 51.67 seconds. The record was not recognised at the time because Tisdall knocked the final hurdle. The rules were later changed and the record is now recognised. Irish Olympic history was made on the day Tisdall won his medal. An hour after his win, Pat O’Callaghan won a gold medal in the hammer throw.

Robert Morton Newburgh Tisdall was born in Numara Eliya, a city in central Sri Lanka in 1907, but grew up in Nenagh, Co Tipperary. The Tisdall family had a big interest in sporting activities. Bob Tisdall’s father was All-Ireland sprint champion and his mother played Hockey for Ireland. Bob Tisdall qualified for the Irish team by winning the 400m hurdles title at the Irish Championships in Croke Park in 1932. The cost of sending Irish Olympic Team to Los Angeles in 1932 was funded by a church gate collection.

Following his success at the Olympics, Bob Tisdall emigrated to South Africa. He worked in various African countries before returning to Ireland in the 1960’s. He later moved to Australia where he continued with his interest in athletics. At the age of 93 he ran in the torch relay for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. He died on July 27th 2004 following an accident.

Bob Tisdall was born in the year 1907 On This Day.

Bob Tisdall.JPG

Bob Tisdall

By Anonymous – http://jbc.bj.uj.edu.pl/Content/221731/NDIGCZAS001744_1932_033.djvu, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26472033




15 March-Women’s Suffrage

Finland was the first European country to give women the right to vote. The right was granted in 1907. Finland was then known as the grand Duchy of Finland and was part of the Russian Empire.

In 1893 New Zealand became the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote in parliamentary elections. However women were barred from standing for election until 1919. The right to vote was granted to women in other countries during the following decades. Women in Saudi Arabia were given the right to vote in 2015.

Women in Ireland were allowed to vote for the first time in the 1918 General Election. In that election men could vote at age 21. Women were allowed to vote provided they were age 30 or over and were property owners. Following independence in 1922 men and women in Ireland were given equal voting rights.

Finland became the first country in Europe to grant women the right to vote in the year 1907 On This Day.

women’s suffrage flag


14 September-Edel Quinn

Edel Quinn, who worked as a lay missionary in east Africa from 1936 to 1944, was a native Co Cork Ireland. Though suffering from tuberculosis she was described by Bishop McCarthy of Zanzibar as ‘an extraordinary individual; courageous, zealous and optimistic’. Pope John Paul II declared Edel Quinn venerable on December 15th 1994.

Edel Mary Quinn was born in Kanturk Co Cork in 1907. Having completed second level education she wished to join the Poor Clare Order of Nuns. She was unable to do so because she had contracted tuberculosis. She began working instead with the Legion of Mary, helping the poor of Dublin.

In 1936 Quinn became a Legion of Mary envoy in Africa. She was based in Nairobi, Kenya but her work led her to travel widely in east and central Africa. Though she was in poor health she succeeded in establishing branches of the Legion of Mary in several East African countries and on the Island of Mauritius. She died at the age of 36 in Nairobi on May 12th 1944.

Edel Quinn was born in the year 1907 On This Day.

Legion Of Mary – Morning Star Avenue Dublin 7 Ref-3309 by infomatique on 2014-09-08 16:38:50

07 September-RMS Lusitania

RMS Lusitania was for a time the largest passenger ship in the world. It was sank by a torpedo from a German U Boat 18km (11 miles) off the south coast of Ireland on May 7th 1915. The ship, which had 1,962 passengers and crew on board, was sailing from New York to Liverpool.

The Lusitania was built at Clydebank in Scotland. It was launched on June 7th 1906. Following trials on the Irish Sea the ship began her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York in September 1907. In all the ship made a total of 202 crossings of the Atlantic.

In April 1915 RMS Lusitania sailed from Liverpool to New York arriving there on April 24th. She left New York bound for Liverpool on May 1st 1915 carrying 1,266 passengers and a crew of 696. The German Embassy in Washington DC placed advertisements in American newspapers warning passengers not to travel on the Lusitania.

The Lusitania having crossed the Atlantic was travelling near the Old Head of Kinsale when she was hit by a torpedo from the German submarine. Shortly after the torpedo hit there was a second explosion from within the hull of the Lusitania. The ship sank in 18 minutes. 1,191 passengers and crew lost their lives. Three more people died later from their injuries.

There was international outcry at the sinking of the Lusitania. One of those who lost their lives was Cork native Sir Hugh Lane after whom the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin is named. Hugh Lane had founded the first gallery of modern art in the world on Harcourt Street in Dublin. Of those who died in the sinking, 128 were American citizens. Less than two years later America declared war on Germany.

RMS Lusitania began her maiden voyage in the year 1907 On This Day.

LUSITANIA (LOC) by The Library of Congress on 1910-01-01 00:00:00

J.K. Hackett and wife (LOC) by The Library of Congress on 1910-01-01 00:00:00

First class lounge, Lusitania] by SMU Central University Libraries on 1905-01-01 00:00:00

Cobh Heritage Centre by infomatique on 2014-07-01 12:10:20