On this day in 2003, footballer Marc-Vivien Foe died playing for his country, Cameroon.
Foe, who played two season in England for West Ham and Manchester City, was just 28 when the incident occurred during a Confederations Cup match against Colombia – it is believed his death was the result of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a hereditary heart condition which increases the likelihood of sudden death during physical exertion.
His likeability and well-known sense of humour brought tributes from around the world, with the likes of Theirry Henry pointing to the sky during France’s semi-final in the same tournament.
Manchester City retired the number 23, which Foe wore during his successful season there and massive amounts of tributes were laid outside Maine Road, then home ground of City.
Lyon, another of his previous clubs, also retired the shirt number he wore: 17.
Rest in Peace Marc-Vivien Foe.
Other events that happened throughout history include:
- England bow out of the European Football Championships, held in England, following a 6-5 defeaton penalties to Germany. (1996)
- 46 people hit the jackpot on the same lottery draw, each scooping £152,431 of the £7million prize. (1999)
- Former Countdown presenter, Richard Whiteley, dies. (2005)
Happy 111th Birthday to one of Great Britain’s literary legends, Eric Arthur Blair.
The quick-witted amongst you may already have already clocked that Eric Blair was the the birth name of ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’ author, George Orwell – who, despite being born in India, is still celebrated as one of the UK’s true greats.
His works collectively coined a few terms, which sit under the umbrella of ‘Orwellian’, including totalitarian and authoritarian social practices such as ‘Big Brother’, ‘Room 101’ and ‘thought police’.
Little needs to be said of George’s literary works as his inspiration has spread far beyond a few books in dusty libraries. In fact, sales of ‘1984’ – a futuristic, (well, 1984 was in the future then) dystopian look at modern governance – rocketed after the activities of PRISM and NSA were disclosed to the public.
We like to think that would make the deceased Orwell smile.
Orwell was laid to rest in Oxfordshire following his death on 21st January, 1950 following a long-term battle with Tuberculosis. His tombstone has his birth-name etched onto it, with no mention of ‘George Orwell’ anywhere.
Other famous events to happen On This Day include:
- The Queen opens the new British Library at St Pancras, London. (1998)
- It rains in Britain for the first time in 100 days. (1921)
- The Korean war begins. (1950)
A British Passport – which hopefully HAS been issued on time.
We like to take a trip back in time here at On This Day, but rarely do two news stories meet up quite so brilliantly.
Exactly 15 years ago, then Home Secretary, Jack Straw issued an apology to the Great British public to address the backlog in passport applications the government were struggling with.
He said they’d be hiring upwards of 400 new staff to make sure the backlog was cleared, but Shadow Home Secretary Ann Widecombe said: “What I find offensive is that although this situation has been growing, right up until the last 24 hours there has been a denial that there was any problem at all.”
You may have noticed a similar story of late with passports being touted as ‘back-logged’ pretty much exactly 15 years on.
Other famous incidents that occurred On This Day, include:
- Eton College was founded by Henry VII. (1441)
- The Republic of Ireland decriminalises homosexuality. (1993)
- Stephen Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President of America, passed away. (1908)
Cheeky…Albert Einstein shows off his funny side.
On this day in 1902, one of the world’s most famous minds began working in an altogether more subdued job, but one which would (kind of) lead him to his greatest discovery.
Long before he developed his ‘Theory of Relativity’, Einstein was pushing paper at the Swiss Patent Office – turning up for work for the first time on 18th, June 1902.
The theoretical physicist examined patent applications for electromagnetic devices – ironically, the ‘father of modern physics’ was passed over for a promotion due to his lack of mechanical knowledge.
It is believed that Einstein’s provisional days assessing intellectual property would lead him to develop a few thought experiments which would, in turn, push him towards his legacy: E=MC2.
Also On This Day:
- The first Henley Regatta was held on the River Thames. (1775)
- Wimbledon introduces a seeding system for the first time. (1924)
- The UN finds nerve gas in Iraqi missles. (1998)
New Zealand’s captain, David Kirk, lifts the trophy after winning the inaugural World Cup in 1987.
Everyone may be caught up by the football World Cup at the moment…but on this day in 1987, the world’s very first Rugby World Cup Final took place, with New Zealand triumphing over France, 29-9.
The ‘All Blacks’ were the first team to lift the famous Webb Ellis Cup following a full 32-team tournament scoring 298 points whilst conceding an average of just under 8 per game.
The home nations and Ireland were also involved, with Wales out-performing the rest, falling to the All Blacks in the semi-finals but claiming 3rd place with a 22-21 win over Australia.
Scotland were knocked out by New Zealand in the quarters with Ireland falling at the same hurdle to Australia.
Other things that happened On This Day throughout history include:
- The first ‘Glastonbury Fayre Festival’ was held, featuring David Bowie. (1971)
- The film ‘The Blues Brothers’ first opened. (1980)
- It was announced that Top of The Pops was to be cancelled. (2006)
Some of the punishments handed out for ration-related offences during World War 1 in Great Britain.
On this day in 1918, rationing was introduced to Great Britain as part of the general effort towards World War One.
Despite initially not wanting to actively control the food markets across the country, the government had to issue Ration Books to households across the UK.
Food across the country began to be distributed evenly to ensure no-one was getting too much or too little. For instance, items such as meats, butter and lard were on the ration books.
Such was the pinch felt on general food stocks, it also became illegal to feed pigeons in public and consume more than two courses for lunch and more than three for dinner if you were amongst the people.
Other famous incidents to occur On This Day include:
- The first ‘Father’s Day’ was celebrated in Washington, US. (1910)
- The first Garfield cartoon was published. (1978)
- Prince Edward marries Sophie Rhys Jones. (1999)
A nuclear blast’s ‘mushroom cloud’.
On this day in 1967, the People’s Republic of China made an official announcement that they had fully tested their first thermonuclear weapon.
Although actually China’s sixth nuclear weapon test, the weapon displayed at Lop Nur Test Base in Xinjiang, was their first three-stage device with a full success.
It was tested just 32 months after the development of their first ‘fusion device’, making them the fastest country to get from ‘fusion to fission’ stages.
The idea, according to China, was to test the ballistics of a possible weapon that could be carried and dropped by an aircraft or missile.
Other famous events throughout history on this day include:
- The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbour. (1885)
- Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud became the first Arab and Muslim to go into space aboard the STS-51-G Space Shuttle Discovery. (1985)
- President Richard Nixon declares the U.S. War on Drugs. (1971)