03 February-de Valera Lincoln Prison Escape

Michael Collins and Harry Boland organised the escape of Éamon de Valera from Lincoln Prison in London in 1919. Two other Irish prisoners Seán McGarry and Seán Milroy escaped at the same time. Once outside the prison de Valera departed from London dressed as a woman. He travelled by road to Manchester and later travelled to Ireland.

Éamon de Valera was one of the major political figures in Ireland during the 20th century. He served several terms as head of government and in his later years he served as President of Ireland. He had been arrested and imprisoned by the British in May 1918. The key used in the escape was made by Peter de Loughry.

Peter de Loughry was a native of Kilkenny. He took part in the 1916 rising and was imprisoned on several occasions for revolutionary activities. Following Independence in 1922 de Loughrey, who supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty, was elected to the Senate. He was elected to Dáil Eireann as Cumann na nGaedheal (which later became Fine Gael) TD for the constituency of Carlow-Kilkenny in 1927. De Loughry also served as Mayor of Kilkenny. The key, used in the escape, was presented to de Loughry in Dáil Éireann by de Valera many years after the event.

Michael Collins and Harry Boland organised the escape of Éamon de Valera from Lincoln Prison in the year 1919 On This Day.




28 June- World War 1

World War 1 began on July 28th 1914. One month previously, Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Duchess Sophia. Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir to throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

World War 1 was fought between the Allies and the Central Powers. Often also referred to as the Great War it led to the deaths of 20 million people. It lasted over four years and was one of the deadliest conflicts in history. In 1919 the Treaty of Versailles brought a formal end to WW1 and established the League of Nations.

The German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires came to an end following World War 1. The War also brought about great changes in society and led to several revolutions. The Armistice on the ‘11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month’ of 1918 brought an end to the fighting on the Western Front. This was followed by a peace conference which led to the Treaty of Versailles.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and wife Duchess Sophia began events which led to World War1. They died Sarajevo1914 On This Day.

The Treaty of Versailles brought a formal end to WW1. The treaty was signed in 1919 On This Day.

Tank world_war_1

In the trenches





07 May-Evita

Eva Perón, also known as Evita, was a native of Argentina. As wife of Argentine President Juan Perón she served as first lady of Argentina from 1946 until 1952. During her time as first lady she championed women’s suffrage and inspired millions with her campaigns to help the poor.

María Eva Duarte de Perón was born in Los Toldos in north western Argentina in May 1919. She moved to Buenos Aires in 1934 to pursue a career in acting. Ten years later she met Colonel Juan Perón. They married in 1945 and Juan Perón was elected President of Argentina the following year.

As first lady Eva Perón became a popular and sometimes controversial figure. Her support for the poor and her campaigns to overcome poverty and injustice was opposed by the establishment and the military. She died at the age of 33 on July 26th 1952. Her life was made into the hit musical ‘Evita’ by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice. A film version of the musical starring Madonna was released in 1995.

Eva Perón was born in the year 1919 On This Day.

Eva Peron’s Portrait







20 March-Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Lion

The first lion to be used as a mascot by the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, was born in Dublin Zoo. The lion was given the name Cairbre, a popular medieval Irish name, by the zoo. He was named Slats by the MGM studio. He made his first appearance in 1924 for the film ‘He Who Gets Slapped’.

Slats was born in 1919. It is said that he was suggested as a mascot to the MGM studio by Dublin born Cedric Gibbons. Gibbons was head director for (MGM). He designed the Oscar statuette and was a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Slats appeared on all MGM films between 1924 and 1928. He died in 1936 having sired 24 cubs.

Cairbre, the first lion used as a mascot by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was born in Dublin Zoo in the year 1919 On This Day.

MGM Lion’s Ryan Brougham 1927


11 August-Andrew Carnegie

Kilkenny City Library on John’s Quay Kilkenny was opened in November 1910 with the help of a grant of £2,100 from Andrew Carnegie. It was one of over 2,500 ‘Carnegie’ libraries established with the aid of Carnegie grants in the United States, Britain, Canada, Ireland and other English-speaking countries. The foundation stone had been laid in 1908 and in 1910 the library was handed over to Kilkenny Corporation.

Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland on November 25th 1835. His family moved to the United States when he was fifteen years old. They settled in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Andrew Carnegie began working on the railroad at an early age. He eventually became superintendent of the railroads in the Pittsburgh area. He began to make investments in various companies and by 1889 was the owner of the Carnegie Steel Corporation. His corporation became the largest of its kind in the world.

In 1901 Carnegie sold his business and devoted his time to philanthropic activities. One of those activities was supporting the establishment of libraries. He gave grants towards the establishment of 29 libraries in Ireland, including four in Dublin and three in Belfast. The foundation stone for the first ‘Carnegie library’ was laid in 1903 in the city of Waterford and the remainder were built in the following years.

Following completion of the Library building in Kilkenny, Lady Desart performed the opening ceremony. A silver key supplied by jeweller P.T. Murphy was used to open the library door on November 3rd 1910. Membership of the library was free to residents of Kilkenny City. Together with his support for libraries Carnegie established six other large charitable foundations. The foundations provided support for various areas including, universities, theatres, child welfare centres and scientific research.

Andrew Carnegie, industrialist and philanthropist, died at the age of 83 in the year 1919 On This Day.

Andrew Carnegie by cliff1066™ on 2008-08-26 12:26:58

Kilkenny Library photo

Carnegie Free Library, Kilkenny.

Photo by yellow book

October 19, 1903 Waterford by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1903-10-19 12:30:04