05 October-Myles na gCopaleen

Myles na gCopaleen was one of the pseudonyms used by the Irish novelist and satirist Brian O’Nolan (Brian Ó Nualláin). He used several other pseudonyms during his lifetime, including Flann O’Brien, George Knowall and Brother Barnabas. Apart from his novels O’Nolan, who was fulltime civil servant, also wrote a satirical column for the Irish Times for twenty six years.

Brian O’Nolan was born in Strabane, Co Tyrone in 1911. He was educated at Blackrock College and at Synge Street Christian Brothers School in Dublin. Having studied German at University College Dublin O’Nolan joined the civil service in 1930. The novel At Swim-Two-Birds, considered to be O’Brien’s masterpiece, was published in 1939. His other novels include, The Third Policeman, An Béal Bocht, The Hard Life and The Dalkey Archive.

Myles na gCopaleen (Brian O’Nolan), Irish novelist and satirist, was born in the year 1911 On This Day.

For Éamon Myles Charles

Myles na gCopaleen – Flann O’Brien




06 February-President Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States of America. He served for two terms from 1981 to 1989. An actor by profession, Reagan served as Governor of the State of California from 1967 to 1975. At the end of his terms, Reagan left office with the 2nd highest approval rating of any U.S. president since World War II. President Clinton had the highest rating.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois in 1911. He graduated with a degree in economics and sociology from Eureka College, Illinois in 1932. At college Raegan played a leading role in campus politics. He also excelled at sports and theatre. After leaving college he worked as a radio sports announcer before moving to Hollywood in 1937.

In Hollywood Reagan won a film contract following a screen test. He went on to appear in over 50 films. He also worked as president of the Screen Actors Guild. In 1966 he was elected Governor of California. He served as Governor until 1975. Having failed to get the nomination for the U.S. Presidency on two occasions Reagan won the nomination in 1980. He was elected President by a landslide. He was re-elected, again by a landslide, in 1984.

Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States, was born in the year 1911 On This Day.

President Ronald Reagan




01 November-First Aerial Bomb

Bombing from an airplane occurred for the first time when 1.5 kg of bombs were dropped on the Tanguira oasis in Libya in 1911. The bombing took place during the Italian-Turkish War (1911-1912). The aerial bombing of cities and centres of population was developed during World War 1. It was expanded during World War II and today continues to be a major element of war.

Giulio Gavotti was an Italian reconnaissance pilot. In 1911 he was on a reconnaissance mission in Libya on a Taube monoplane. He threw four grenades from his plane on a Turkish camp at Ain Zara about 8km west of the city of Tripoli. None of the Turkish forces were injured during the bombing.

Bombs were dropped from a plane for the first time by Italian forces on Turkish positions in Libya during the Italian-Turkish War in the year 1911 On This Day.





14 December-Roald Amundsen

Roald Amundsen was a Norwegian explorer who led the first expedition to reach the South Pole in 1911. Just two years previously Ernest Shackleton from Kilkea in Co Kildare Ireland, led an expedition which came within 180km of the Pole (88° 23′S). Though Shackleton was forced to turn back his team succeeded in reaching the South Magnetic Pole on January 16th 1909.

Prior to 1900 several expeditions to Antarctica had taken place and in 1821 American Captain John Davis is thought to have been the first person to land on the Antarctic ice shelf. During the following years exploration continued and the continent was eventually circumnavigated between 1830 and 1833. When the Belgian Antarctic Expedition took place from 1897 to 1899 one of the members was Roald Amundsen.

In 1901 the British explorer Robert Falcon Scott led an expedition which was the first attempt to find a route from the Antarctic coastline to the South Pole. Two members of the expedition, Ernest Shackleton from Kildare and Thomas Crean from Annascaul in Co Kerry were Irish. Though the expedition did reach the Polar Plateau on which the Pole is located, Scott was forced to turn back at just over 800km (82° 17′S) from the Pole. Seven further expeditions including the one led by Shackleton took place before the Roald Amundsen set out for the South Pole in 1910.

Roald Amundsen was born in Borge, Østfold near Oslo Norway on July 16th 1872. He studied medicine until he was 21 years old. He then left university for a life at sea. Amundsen made his first expedition to Antarctica as a member of the Belgian Antarctic Expedition in 1897. This became the first expedition to spend the winter in Antarctica and led Amundsen to the decision that he was ready to lead his own expedition.

Amundsen set about being the first to reach the North Pole but everything changed when the American Robert Peary got there first on April 6th 1909. Amundsen then decided that he would try to be the first to reach the South Pole. Amundsen headed for Antarctica and reached the South Pole one month before British explorer Robert Scott’s second attempt.

Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen led the Antarctic expedition which was the first to reach the South Pole in the year 1911 On This Day.

Roald Amundsen og Helmer Hanssen gjør observasjoner på Sydpolen, 1911 by National Library of Norway on 2009-07-01 00:00:00

Roald Amundsen taler til folkemengden på kaia i Bergen ved hjemkomsten fra ferden med “Norge”, 12. juli 1926 by National Library of Norway on 2010-03-12 06:55:14

The Three Polar Stars, 1913 by National Library of Norway on 2006-08-02 15:16:20

01 October-Parnell Monument

The Parnell monument is located at the north end of O’Connell Street in Dublin. The monument consists of a bronze statue of Parnell set against a triangular obelisk. The obelisk is over 17m in height and is made of Galway granite. The monument which was proposed in 1898 was unveiled in 1911.

Charles Stewart Parnell was an Irish nationalist politician who was described during the 1880’s as the ‘un-crowned King of Ireland’. He was a member of the British Parliament from 1875 to 1891. Parnell was a land reform agitator and the leader of the struggle for Irish Home Rule in the late 19th century.

Parnell died at the age of 45 on October 6th 1891. In 1898 a movement was established to have a monument erected in his honour. Funds to build the monument were raised in Ireland and North America. The Dublin born sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens designed the monument. He had been raised in the United States where he was an acclaimed designer of public monuments. The foundation stone was laid on October 8th 1899 and the monument took almost twelve years to complete.

The Parnell monument was unveiled to large crowds in O’Connell Street in Dublin in the year 1911 On This Day.

Parnell monument in Dublin by brookscl on 2015-09-26 09:30:50

Charles Stewart Parnell photo

Charles Stewart Parnell by bonnieann1815 on 2009-07-05 11:08:01

Glasnevin photo

Photo by National Library of Ireland on The Commons