21 December-Louis Washkansky

Louis Washkansky was the first person in history on whom a successful heart transplant was performed. The operation was carried out in December 1967 at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. The heart transplant was performed by a team of surgeons led by Dr Christiaan Barnard.
At the time of the transplant Louis Washkansky was 54. He had served as a soldier during World War II and was a keen sportsman. In later years however, he suffered from ill-health and developed incurable heart disease. Washkansky agreed to undergo a heart transplant operation.
Dr Christiaan Barnard was the senior cardiothoracic surgeon at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. For several years he had carried out extensive experimentation on heart transplantation in dogs. On December 2nd 1967 a heart became available from a young woman who had been fatally injured in a traffic accident. In a nine hour operation, Barnard successfully transplanted the heart to Washkansky. Louis Washkansky survived for 18 days. He died of pneumonia as he was taking immunosuppressive drugs.
Louis Washkansky, the first person in history on whom a successful heart transplant was performed, died in the year 1967 On This Day.

30 November-Patrick Kavanagh

Patrick Kavanagh was a poet and novelist who was a native of County Monaghan, Ireland. His poetry influenced the writing of others including Seamus Heaney. Kavanagh’s poetry remains popular today. His poem ‘On Raglan Road’ has been recorded by several artists including Van Morrison and Sinéad O’Connor.

Patrick Kavanagh was born and raised in Mucker, Inishkeen, Co Monaghan. When he left National School in 1916 he was apprenticed as a shoemaker to his father. He also worked on the family farm. He was writing poetry from an early age and his poems appeared in such publications as the Dundalk Democrat in 1928.

Kavanagh moved to Dublin in 1939 and became a full-time writer. As well as writing poetry he worked as journalist and film critic with the Irish Press. He later worked for the Catholic magazine The Standard. The novel ‘Tarry Flynn’ and the poems ‘On Raglan Road’ and ‘The Great Hunger’ are among his best known works.

Patrick Kavanagh, poet and novelist who was a native of County Monaghan, Ireland, died aged 63 in the year 1967 On This Day.

Patrick Kavanagh

27 June-ATM

An ATM (Automated Teller Machine) is an electronic device that allows bank customers to perform financial transactions. The transactions can take place at any time at millions of locations around the world. Customers can check account balance, withdraw cash, transfer funds and perform several other banking functions.

The development of the ATM began in the early 1960’s. Luther Simjian, an Armenian inventor who was living in the USA was granted a patent for what he called a Bankograph in 1960. The Bankograph was given a 6 month trial by Citibank but was discontinued due to lack of demand. In 1967 Barclays bank installed the first successful ATM at its branch in Enfield, London. Today there are almost 3.5 million ATM’s worldwide.

The first successful ATM (Automated Teller Machine) began operating at Barclays Bank, Enfield, London in the year 1967 On This Day.


06 May-Seven Drunken Nights

Seven Drunken Nights is a humorous Irish folk song. It was recorded by the Irish folk band The Dubliners and first released on Mach 30th 1967. The song tells the story of a drunken man returning home each night to find evidence that his wife is having an affair. The last two verses were regarded as being too bawdy for broadcast

Seven Drunken Nights had its origins in similar songs from England, Scotland and Europe. The recording by the Dubliners in 1967 reached No.1 in Ireland and No. 7 in the UK charts. It was banned by the BBC. As a result the Dubliners could only sing the first five nights.

Seven Drunken Nights, a humorous folk song recorded by The Dubliners entered the UK charts in the year 1967 On This Day.




22 April-Walter Macken

Walter Macken was an author and actor who was a native of Galway City, Ireland. As an actor he performed on stage in Galway, Dublin and on Broadway in New York. He also acted in movies. As an author Macken wrote novels, plays and novels for children.

Walter Macken was born at St Joseph’s Terrace, Galway on May 3rd 1915. At the time of his birth his father was serving with British Army in Belgium during World War I. He was a member of the Connaught Rangers. Macken’s father returned to Galway on leave shortly after the birth of his son. Following his period of leave he returned to Belgium and was killed in action at the battle of St Eloi south of Ypres in 1916.

Having been educated locally, Walter Macken worked for a time as a clerk with Galway County Council. He left the County Council to join the newly established Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe (Galway Theatre) in 1933. He remained with the Galway Theatre until 1937 when he and his wife moved to London shortly after their marriage. They moved back to Galway at the outbreak of World War II where Macken was appointed director of An Taibhdhearc. He remained in Galway until 1947 at which time he moved to the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

Macken had begun writing whilst working at An Taibhdhearc. His first big success as a writer came with his third novel Rain on the Wind which was published in 1950. The novel won the Literary Guild award in The United States. Following its success Macken lived near Galway City and was able to concentrate on full time writing.

Walter Macken died at the age of 51 in the year 1967 On This Day.