20 November-Joe Biden

Joe Biden was the 47th Vice President of the United States of America. He served for two terms from 2009 to 2017. A lawyer by profession, Biden served as US Senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction in 2017.

Joseph Robinette Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1942. He worked for time as an attorney before becoming involved in politics. In 1972 Biden was elected United States Senator from Delaware. When he resigned from the Senate in 2009 he had become the longest-serving senator in Delaware history.

Barack Obama chose Biden as his running mate in the 2008 Presidential election. They won the election and Biden became the first person from Delaware and the first Roman Catholic, to serve as Vice President of the United States. Following President Obama re-election as President in 2012 Biden earned a second term as Vice President.

In the November 2020 US Presidential election Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump. He will be inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States of America on January 20, 2021

Joe Biden, President elect of the United States of America, was born in the year 1942 On This Day.

Joe Biden




19 November-Dunkitt Rail Accident

The railway line from Dublin to Waterford City passes through the townland of Dunkitt. Dunkitt is located just over 6km north of Waterford City. In 1856 Dunkitt was the scene of a rail accident in which five people lost their lives.

The railway line from Dublin reached Kilkenny City in 1848. The line was extended southwards and reached Dunkitt in May 1853. Dunkitt was the terminus for Waterford City from 1853 to 1854. Waterford railway station was opened on August 26th 1864.

On the day of the accident at Dunkitt a track worker failed to operate the points correctly. This caused a passenger train to be misrouted into a sidings where it crashed into a ballast train causing the deaths of five people. The ensuing investigation determined the primary cause of the accident was Pointsman error. The secondary cause was given as inadequate training.

The rail accident at Dunkitt led to the deaths of five people in the year 1856 On This Day.

Waterford railway station photo

Photo by National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Tough for Salmon by Bernie Goldbach on 2005-10-07 16:59:54


18 November-Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle is located in Kilkenny City, Ireland. The Castle, part of which dates from the 13th century, is set in picturesque parkland. The Butler family were residents of Kilkenny Castle for over 500 years from 1391 to 1935.

In 1935 the Butler family decided to sell the contents of the Castle and move to London. The auction was held over five days and raised over £6,000. Over 30 years later Kilkenny Castle was sold for £50 to members of the Kilkenny Castle Restoration Committee by James Arthur Butler 6th Marquess of Ormonde.

Shortly after the restoration committee took possession of the Castle it was handed over to the state. The Castle has since been restored and is under the management of the Office of Public Works. It is a major tourist attraction in Kilkenny and is home to part of the National Art Gallery.

The auction of the contents of Kilkenny Castle, Ireland which was held over five days, began in the year 1935 On This Day.

Kilkenny Castle by mellow cat on 2014-07-06 14:46:37


17 November-Queen Elizabeth 1

Queen Elizabeth 1 was Queen of England for 44 years. Margaret Butler of Kilkenny Castle, Ireland was the grandmother of Anne Boleyn and great grandmother of Queen Elizabeth 1. Elizabeth 1 was born in Greenwich, London on September 7th 1533. She was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty.

Efforts by Elizabeth 1 to extend her control in Ireland led to many uprisings, widespread destruction and great loss of life. She is reputed to have been proficient in many languages including Latin, French, Welsh, Cornish and Irish in addition to English. She encouraged the use of Irish even in the Pale.

Following a visit by Shane O Neill of Ulster to Queen Elizabeth 1, she expressed a desire to understand Irish. Sir Christopher Nugent, Baron of Delvin Co Westmeath prepared an Irish primer on her behalf. However when she was visited by Grace O Malley (Graineuaile) from Co Mayo in 1593 the meeting was conducted in Latin.

Queen Elizabeth 1 began her reign in the year 1558 On This Day.

Engraving of Queen Elizabeth I, with chronogram recording the year of her death (1603) by Provenance Online Project on 2013-03-07 07:23:05

Queen Elizabeth 1 of England photo

Photo by The British Library

Queen Elizabeth 1 of England photo

Kildownet, Grace O’Malley’s Castle

Photo by Rambling Traveler

13 November-Defibrillator

A defibrillator is a device that sends an electric shock to the heart to restore the normal heartbeat. It is used in the treatment of life-threatening cardiac conditions. It can be external or implanted in the body. Research carried out by cardiologist Paul Zoll led to the development of the defibrillator.

Paul Zoll was a cardiologist and medical researcher who was a native of the USA. He is referred to as the Father of Cardiac Electrotherapy for his pioneering work in the development of the cardiac defibrillator. His research also led the improvement of pacemakers, and other cardiac devices.

Paul Maurice Zoll was born in Boston, Massachusetts on July 15th 1911. Having graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1936 he worked in hospitals in New York and Boston. Whilst working as a cardiologist during World War II he became interested in how the heart responded to the slightest touch.

When the war was over Zoll returned to Boston. He began to develop methods to treat heart attacks without opening the chest. At Beth Israel Hospital in 1952 he restated the hearts of two patients via electrodes on the chest. His discovery led to the development of the defibrillator. The use of the defibrillator became common in ambulances and emergency rooms.

Paul Zoll, cardiologist and medical researcher, became the first person to use electric shock to treat cardiac arrest at Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, in the year 1952 On This Day.