Thursday, 20 August 2015

Today's the Day - 21st August

  • 250 years ago: King William IV was born on this day in 1765. Born at Buckingham Palace, he ascended the throne in 1830 at the age of 64 – the oldest person ever to assume the throne. He was unassuming, disliking pomp and ceremony and was known throughout his early reign to walk unaccompanied through London and Brighton, making him very popular with his subjects. His reign lasted 6 days short of 7 years when he passed away from heart failure at Windsor Castle.

  • 80 years ago: John Hartley, the no.1 tennis player in the world during 1879-1880, died on this day in 1935. Winning Wimbledon in both those years and runner-up in 1881, he has the distinction of being the only clergyman to ever be successful at the tournament. He passed away in Knaresborough, Yorkshire at the age of 86.

  • 75 years ago: Marxist revolutionary and Soviet politician Leon Trotsky was assassinated on this day in 1940. Killed in Mexico City, where he had been living for 4 years, he was attacked by Ramón Mercader who used a mountaineer’s ice axe as a weapon. It didn’t kill him instantly, he was taken to hospital where they operated, but he passed away from excessive blood loss and shock. He was 60.

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