13 August-Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro was a revolutionary leader who came to power in Cuba in 1959. He led a campaign which led to the overthrow of the American backed President Fulgencio Batista. Castro was a Marxist–Leninist under whose rule Cuba became a one-party communist state.

Fidel Castro was born Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz in Birán in eastern Cuba in 1926. Having qualified as a lawyer he became involved in leftist politics. He was imprisoned for his activities in 1953. Following release from prison Castro moved to Mexico where he established a revolutionary group. He returned to Cuba where following a guerrilla war he came to power in 1959.

Following the overthrow of Batista, Castro assumed military and political power. He began to nationalise American economic assets and forge closer links with the Soviet Union. In response the United States Government made several attempts, without success, to remove Castro from office. He remained in power until 2008 when handed over control to his brother Raul. Fidel Castro died in 2016 aged 90.

Fidel Castro, Cuban revolutionary leader who came to power in 1959 was born in the year 1926 On This Day.

Fidel Castro

01 June-Marylin Monroe

Marilyn Monroe was an actress, model, and singer who was a native of America. During her short career she starred in thirty films. Her films grossed millions of dollars and Monroe became one of the biggest sex symbols in the world. However in an interview in 1962 she stated: ‘That’s the trouble, a sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing’.

Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson in Los Angeles, California in 1926. Having had a successful career as a model she began her acting career in 1946. During the 1950’s she became a popular actress and starred in films such as ‘Monkey Business’ and ‘Don’t Bother to Knock’.

In 1953 the first issue of Playboy had Marilyn Monroe as a centrefold. Her appearance caused controversy but she continued her successful acting career. She appeared in films such as ‘Some Like It Hot’ in 1959 for which she won a Golden Globe Award. Her last film, ‘Something’s Got to Give was not completed when she died on August 5th 1962 aged 36 from a drug overdose.

Marilyn Monroe, actress, model, and singer was born in the year 1926 On This Day.

Marilyn Monroe



09 April- Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner was a native of Chicago, Illinois. He was a journalist and founder of Playboy Magazine. The magazine is famous for its centrefolds of nude and semi-nude models who are called Playmates. Hefner founded Playboy Magazine on October 1st 1953. Today it is a global publication with a circulation of almost 700,000.

Hugh Marston Hefner was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1926. He was educated locally and served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946. Following military service he studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He graduated with a BA in psychology and creative writing in 1949. Following graduation he worked for a time with Esquire Magazine.

In 1953 Hefner raised $8,000, which included $1,000 from his mother, to establish Playboy Magazine. The first issue had Marilyn Monroe as a centrefold. The publication was a success and today Playboy is one of the world’s best known brands. Hugh Hefner became a multi-millionaire. He was also a political activist and philanthropist. He died at his home in Los Angeles, California on September 27th 2017.

Hugh Hefner, journalist and founder of Playboy Magazine was born in the year 1926 On This Day.

Hugh Hefner



23 March-Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil is a political party in Ireland. It was founded by Éamon de Valera in 1926. de Valera and his supporters split form Sinn Féin in 1926 over the issue of abstaining from taking their seats in parliament. Fianna Fáil contested the General Election of 1927 and subsequently entered Dáil Eireann. The party has played a major role in Irish politics since its foundation.

The Anglo-Irish Treaty established Ireland as a self-governing Free State. The Treaty was ratified by Dáil Eireann by 64 votes to 57 by in January 1922. When those opposed to the Treaty lost the vote, they walked out of parliament led by Éamon de Valera. They began a campaign of violent opposition to the Treaty and Civil War ensued. The civil war ended in victory for the supporters of the Treaty on May 24th 1923.

From 1923 Éamon de Valera continued to serve as President of Sinn Féin. When a motion to end abstention from parliament in 1926 failed, he decided to form a new political party. The new party was given the name Fianna Fáil on April 2nd 1926. Fianna Fáil contested the General Election in June 1927 and gained 26% of the vote. On March 9th 1932, Fianna Fáil entered government for the first time. Since then it has been in government more than any other party.

Fianna Fáil, a political party in Ireland, was founded by Éamon de Valera in the year 1926 On This Day.

President Éamon de Valera with his ADC and Donie Nolan of Carlow

Courtesy Donie Nolan Facebook

A fascinating gallery of names





23 April-JP Donleavy

JP Donleavy is a novelist and playwright who lives near Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. His first novel, The Ginger Man, was published in Paris in 1955. Today Donleavy continues to write and his first book still remains in print.

James Patrick Donleavy was born in Brooklyn, New York City in 1926. Both his parents were Irish born and had emigrated to the US. He was educated in the United States and he served in the US Navy during World War II. After the war Donleavy moved to Ireland to study science at Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

The Ginger Man is loosely based on the activities of Gainor Crist who was a companion of Donleavy at TCD. Crist had also served in the US Navy during World War II. The US Government introduced The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act in 1944. It was commonly referred to as the G.I. Bill. The Bill provided several benefits for veterans of World War II including tuition and living expenses to attend university. Crist availed of the G.I. Bill to study at TCD.

Donleavy has written several other novels including, A Singular Man (1963), The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B (1968), A Fairy Tale of New York (1973) and The Lady Who Liked Clean Rest Rooms (1998). He is also the author plays and short stories.

JP Donleavy was born in New York City in the year 1926 On This Day.

The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy

Back cover of The Ginger Man