26th  – The first recorded women’s cricket match was played at Gosden Common, Surrey in 1745. The first motor-racing grand prix, the French Grand Prix, was run at Le Mans in 1906. The Romanian Ferenc Szisz drove a Renault to victory at an average speed of 63mph (101km/hr). At the 60th British Golf Open at Prestwick Golf Course, on this day in 1925, Jim Barnes took the title, shooting a score of 300. Carlo Facetti, Italian racing car driver was born in 1935. He is mainly known for his success in touring car and sports car racing. In his single attempt at Formula One he failed to qualify for the 1974 Italian Grand Prix with a Brabham BT42 run by the Scuderia Finotto team.In 1979 he was the European Touring Car Champion. He was also 2nd in 1977 and 4th in 1978. The German pair skater Margret Göbl was born today in 1938, together with her partner and future husband Franz Ningel, she was the 1962 World bronze medalist, a three-time (1960–1962) European medalist, and a three-time (1960–1962) German national champion. The pair also finished fifth at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley. She died on 21st June 2013 a few days short of her 75th birthday.  On the same day in 1938 another famous female athete, the American golfer Myra Abigail Pankhurst, (later Pratt, later Wright, then Daria Karageorgevich), died at the age of 79. She competed in the 1900 Olympics and won a bronze medal. She was the daughter of daughter of John F. Pankhurst, vice-president of Globe Iron Works and co-owner of American Shipbuilding Company of Cleveland; divorcée of Herbert Wright in 1900; and widow of Thomas Huger Pratt. On 11th June 1913 she married, in Paris, Prince Alexis Karageorgevitch, (or Karađorđević) who was the head of the senior branch of the House of Karageorgevitch and a claimant to the Serbian throne. She was received in the Eastern Orthodox faith under the Slavic name of Daria. After honeymooning in Paris they left Europe to live in Daria’s home city of New York. During the First World War Prince Alexis and his new wife returned to Serbia to support the war effort with Prince Alexis serving as President of the Serbian Red Cross. After the fall of the wartime capital Niš to the Central Powers Prince Alexis and his wife had to take part in the mass retreat from Serbia through the treacherous mountains of Montenegro and Albania in the winter of 1915-1916. The couple arrived in Rome on Christmas Eve 1915. With the death of Prince Alexis in 1920, the male line of the senior branch of the Karageorgevitch dynasty became extinct. The highest scoring match in the final stages of the World Cup occurred in the quarter-finals of the 1954 competition at Lausanne. The host nation, Switzerland, were beaten by neighbours Austria 7-5. Nine of the 12 goals were scored in a 23-minute spell in the first half. At the Yankee Stadium, New York, in 1959 Ingemar Johansson stopped Floyd Patterson by a technical knock-out, two minutes and three seconds into the third round of their contest, to become the heavyweight champion of the world and the first non-American since Italy’s Primo Carnera 25 years earlier to win the crown. In the 1952 Olympic heavyweight final Johansson had been disqualified in the second round for ‘not giving his best’ and as a consequence had not been presented with his silver medal. The IOC rescinded their decision and gave him the medal in 1982. The most successful American cyclist Greg LeMond, was born in 1960. Three times winner of the Tour de France, in 1986, 1989 and 1990, two of his wins came after he nearly list his life in a freak shooting accident. His 1986 win made him the first non-European professional cyclist to win the Tour de France, and he remains the only American cyclist to have won the Tour. (Lance Armstrong won a record seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005. However, in 2012, he was banned from sanctioned Olympic sports for life as a result of long-term doping offenses. As part of those sanctions, all results going back to August 1998, including his seven Tour wins, were voided). LeMond has always been a vocal opponent of performance-enhancing drug use, and at times his commercial ventures have suffered for his anti-doping stance—as in 2001, when he first accused Lance Armstrong of doping and sparked a conflict that led eventually to the dissolution of his Lemond Bikes brand in 2008, which was licensed by Armstrong’s primary sponsor Trek Bicycles.  As the lone American winner of cycling’s most prestigious race, LeMond has not enjoyed the public stature that might be expected of such a figure, but he continues to campaign publicly against doping and ineffective leadership by the UCI, the International Federation for Cycling. In December 2012, LeMond even articulated a willingness to replace the UCI president on an interim basis if called to do so. Finnish racing executive and forming WRC driver Tommi Mäkinen was born on this day in 1964. He is the head of the Toyota GAZOO Racing team. Mäkinen is one of the most successful WRC drivers of all time, ranking second in championships (4), tied with Juha Kankkunen and Sébastien Ogier and behind Sébastien Loeb (9), and fifth in wins (24). He is a four-time World Rally Champion, a series he first won, and then successfully defended, continuously throughout 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.  Inha Babakova (née Butkus), former USSR and later Ukrainian high jumper, was born in 1967.  She won Olympic bronze in Atlanta in 1996 and became World Champion in Seville 3 years later. She also won four other World Championship medals; bronze in 1991 and 1995 and silver in 1997 and 2001. Track and Field News magazine ranked her in the world’s top ten in their annual merit rankings for 13 out of 14 seasons (1991-2004), the exception being 1998. She was in the top five ten times. Only Stefka Kostadinova, among other female high jumpers, has more top ten rankings. Her 2.01 m clearance in Oslo on her 36th birthday in 2003 is the women’s W35 World Record.  Ingrid Lempereur, Belgian breaststroke swimmer was born today in 1969. She won 200m breaststroke bronze at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, while only 15. Kenyan long-distance runner Paul Bitok, who won two silver medals at consecutive Olympics (1992, 1996) over 5000m, was born on this day in 1970. He emerged in 1992 as a relatively unknown athlete. He qualified for the Barcelona Games at the Kenyan trials and defeated several world class athletes at the Bislett Games in Oslo. By the time of the Olympics he had established himself as one of the favourites. He narrowly lost the final to Dieter Baumann of Germany. A few weeks later he won the 5000m in Zurich. In the following years Bitok did not match his performances of 1992. However, by 1996 he was back and won silver in Atlanta. He also won two World Indoor silvers (1997, 1999) at 3000m behind Haile Gebrselassie. He is married to Pauline Konga, who won the silver medal in women’s 5000m at the 1996 Olympics, becoming the first Kenyan female Olympic medallist.  The only woman to win Olympic medals at both the 400m and 400m hurdles, Russian athlete Natalya Antyukh, was born in 1981.  She won gold in 400m hurdles at the 2012 Summer Olympics, after winning bronze in the 400m at the 2004 Olympics. She is the only woman to win an Olympic medal in both the 400m hurdles and 400m. In addition to winning medals in individual contests, she has been a very successful relay runner, winning a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics. She announced her retirement in February 2017 just days after being stripped of her 4x400m Olympic silver medal from 2012 due to a teammate’s doping offences .She was quoted as saying she had had “enough” of competing and would not race any more.  Professional Sumo wrestler Toyonoshima Daiki was born in 1983, as Daiki Kajiwara. As a youngster he was an avid football player However, his destiny changed after winning an area boys’ sumo tournament championship. In high school, he was rivals with another future sumo wrestler who would go on to take the fighting name Kotoshōgiku. Kotoshōgiku is now a rival of his in professional sumo as well. After graduating from high school, Toyonoshima joined Tokitsukaze stable through a connection a friend of his father’s had with the stable. He was below the minimum height requirement of 173cm but was allowed to make his debut after passing a secondary physical exam He made his professional debut in January 2002, reaching the top makuuchi division in September 2004. He has been a runner-up in five tournaments, and has earned ten special prizes. His highest rank has been sekiwake, which he first reached in September 2008 and has held for five tournaments to date. Following a suspension in July 2010 he was demoted to the jūryō division, but upon his return to makuuchi in November 2010 he took part in a playoff for the championship. He has been runner-up in four other top division tournaments. He has four kinboshi or gold stars awarded for yokozuna upsets, three of them earned by defeating Harumafuji from 2013 to 2015. Estonian basketball player, Tõnno Lepmets, died on this day in 2005 aged 67.He competed for the Soviet Union and won gold with that nation’s basketball team at the 1963 and 1967 EuroBasket competitions. Jacobus Maria Bemelman, Dutch magician who performed under the stage name Tommy Wonder died in, 2006. He was best known for both close-up and stage magic, performing in Las Vegas, Monte Carlo and on Fox television Wonder developed an interest in conjuring at an early age. He studied acting, dancing and singing for three years at the Academie voor Podiumvorming (Performance Academy) in The Hague and subsequently toured for two years with De Haagsche Comedie. He took second prize at the World Championships of Magic in 1979 and again in 1988. In 1998 he also received the Performer Fellowship Award from the Academy of Magical Arts in Hollywood. In 1999, he was awarded Best Sleight of Hand Performer from the World Magic Awards. Because Wonder designed and developed his own entire repertoire, he was held in high esteem amongst his colleagues in magic. Wonder’s 1996 two-volume The Books of Wonder are highly acclaimed. Tommy Wonder died after a brief battle with lung cancer and on August 2006 posthumously received the Theory & Philosophy Award at the FISM World Championships of Magic in Stockholm. On the day in 2014 Luis Suárez was expelled from the 2014 FIFA World Cup following a biting incident.


27th –  Guilhermina Suggia, Portuguese cellist, was born today in 1885.  She studied in Paris with Pablo Casals, and built an international reputation. She spent many years living in the United Kingdom, where she was particularly celebrated. She retired in 1939, but emerged from retirement to give concerts in Britain. Her last was in 1949, the year before her death. Suggia bequeathed an important British scholarship for young cellists, which has been granted to performers including Rohan de Saram, Jacqueline du Pré, Robert Cohen and Steven Isserlis. Canada’s George Dixon beat Nunc Wallace with an 18th round knock-out in 1890 at the Pelican Club, London, to win the world bantamweight boxing title. It was the first world title fight under Queensberry Rules to be held in England. Today in 1899 AEJ Collins scored 628*runs, the highest ever recorded score in cricket for 116 years until it was broken in January 2016 by 15 year old Indian schoolboy Pranav Dhanawad, who scored 1009 in his single innings. Collins was 13 years old at the time and the score was accumulated over four days. He was born in India, where his father served as a judge in the Indian Civil Service. Both his parents had died before he started at Clifton College in September 1897. He played both rugby and cricket and received a bronze medal for boxing at the public school tournament in 1901. Collins was playing for Clarke’s House against North Town House and the teams were playing on a field which has since been renamed Collins Piece. The field was rough and in an unusual narrow shape and because of the oddity of the field shape, the three short boundaries only counted for two runs. The match began on Thursday, June 22 and Collins, who won the toss, chose to bat first with the game starting around 3.30pm. When play ended at 6pm, he had scored 200 runs. School lessons permitted another 2½ hours of play on Friday and news of the boy’s achievement had reached the college audience who all came to watch young Collins. He ended the day with a score of 509 although it was misreported in the papers as 510 and his name was listed as AEG Collins. Play resumed on Monday during the lunch hour and he ended with a score of 598. On Tuesday, June 27, the school authorities permitted a longer playing time to attempt to finish the match. Play ended with Collins scoring 628 – 1 six, 4 fives, 31 fours, 33 threes, 146 twos, and 87 singles. Despite all this, Collins never played professional sport. Instead he chose an army career and passed entrance exams to the Royal Military Academy which he entered in September 1901. He represented the Academy in both rugby and cricket and scored a century for them as well. He joined the British Army as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1904. He continued to play sport for the military but never played first-class cricket. He was sent to France when World War I broke out and was killed in action on November 11, 1914 at the First Battle of Ypres having attained the rank of Captain. The first man to swim 100yds backstroke in under a minute, Adolph Kiefer, was born today in 1918. A gold medalist at the 1936 Olympics and one-time world record-holder, he also was an inventor and innovator of new products related to aquatics competition. He was only 16 when he clocked 59.8s at the Illinois High School Championships in 1935, the following year his time of 58.5s was to stand as the Illinois State High School record until 1960. All told he broke twenty-three records after breaking the one-minute backstroke mark.  Kiefer set a world record for the 100m backstroke of 1:04.8 on January 18th , 1936, at Brennan Pools in Detroit, Michigan. Representing his country at only 18 in the 1936 Games he won 100m backstroke gold, setting new Olympic records in the first-round heats (1:06.9), the second-round heats (1:06.8), and the final (1:05.9). His Olympic Record would stand for over 20 years, finally broken by David Theile in the 1956 Games. In 1943 Kiefer was asked to audition for the role of “Tarzan”, but answered the call of arms instead, joining the Navy. In 1947, he established Adolph Kiefer & Associates in Chicago, which has provided swimmers with training, safety, and competition equipment.  His company was responsible for the development of the nylon tank suit in 1948 and debuted the first nylon swimsuit supplied to the US Olympic Swim Team—a marked improvement over the wool and cotton suits available at the time. Kiefer subsequently devoted himself to community service, combining swimming and philanthropy in innovative ways. In the 1960s he worked with Mayor Daley to build swimming-pools across the inner city of Chicago, providing the facilities needed for thousands of children to learn to swim. Kiefer actively supported Swim Across America, a non-profit organization that raises funds for cancer research, and participated in SAA public swimming events well into his 70s and 80s. Kiefer was an “Honour Swimmer” member of the inaugural class inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1965. In 1966 he patented the first design for a no-wave, non-turbulence racing lane. In 2008 Kiefer celebrated his 90th birthday in Omaha at the 2008 US Swimming Olympic Trials, where he awarded medals for the 200m backstroke. On June 27th 2012  he celebrated his birthday again in Omaha at the 2012 US Swimming Olympic Trials by awarding the medals for the 200m backstroke. In 2013 USA Swimming named Kiefer the “father of American swimming” in recognition of his contributions to American swimming. He died aged 98 on May 5th 2017.  The American professional wrestler and football player, William Fritz Afflis, who went by the rather inglorious nickname of Dick the Bruiser, was born on this day in 1929. Patrick Sercu, Belgian cyclist was born today in 1944.  On the track, he won gold in the 1km time trial at the 1964 Olympics, as well as three world titles in the sprint, in 1963, 1967 and 1969. On the road, he earned the green jersey in the1974 Tour de France. Sercu is the record holder for the number of six-day track race victories, having won 88 events out of 223 starts between 1961 and 1983; several of these wins were with cycling great Eddy Merckx.  He also won six stages at the Tour de France and eleven stages at the Giro d’Italia.  Former West-German field hockey player Heiner Dopp was born on this day in 1956. He competed at three Summer Olympics and won silver with his team, in the, Los Angeles Games of 1984 and Seoul, 1988, he made his Olympic debut in 1976 at Montreal. He played 286 international matches for the national team, and won the German club title eight times with TG Frankenthal. After his hockey career he became engaged in local politics and in 1999 became mayor of his home town Meckenheim. Born on this day in 1967 was Sylvie Fréchette, Canadian former synchronized swimmer, the1992 Olympic solo champion. In the technical figures routine, a Brazilian judge accidentally entered a score of 8.7 instead of 9.7, costing her first place, after several appeals by the Canadian Olympic Committee; her medal was upgraded to gold. Kristen Babb-Sprague, the beneficiary of the judge’s error, was allowed to keep her gold medal. Fréchette’s success in the pool continued with a silver medal in the women’s team event at the following Olympics.  In 1999, she was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. She has also contributed as a swimmer, designer, and coach to the synchronized-swimming portions of Cirque du Soleil’s water-based stage production O, which opened in 1998 at the Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas. In 2006, Fréchette became an ambassador for Oxfam. Also on this day in 1967: The world’s first ATM was installed at Barclay’s in Enfield, London. A New York City bank had a similar machine installed back in 1939, but it was withdrawn after six months because no one used it! A quarter of a century later, managing director of De La rue Instruments, John Shepherd-Barron was so frustrated when he couldn’t access his account at the weekend, that he devised a machine that would allow him better access to his money. He created the “auto-teller.” The De La Rue Automatic Cash System worked with chemically coated cheques that were purchased in advance and could then be used when the bank itself was closed. Reg Varney, TV personality,  was the first person to use the new machine. By the early 2000s, there were over 800,000 machines worldwide. Diebold, NCR, and Wincor Nixdorf are the top three manufacturers, but De La Rue still holds a 20% market share. The French World-Cup Alpine ski racer Régine Cavagnoud was born in 1970.  She was the World Cup and World Champion in Super G in 2001. On October 29th of that year, she collided with German ski coach Markus Anwander during ski training in Pitztal, Austria, and sustained severe brain injuries. She was evacuated by helicopter to Innsbruck’s university hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries two days later. Her death was the first fatality involving a World Cup ski racer in over seven years, since the death of Austria’s Ulrike Maier in a downhill race in January 1994.  The English badminton player who once held the world record for the fastest smash at 162mph, Simon Archer, was born today in 1973. Muhammad Ali announced his retirement from the boxing ring in 1979 after 50 professional fights dating back to 1960. The announcement came nine months after he regained the world heavyweight title for the second time with a points win over Leon Spinks at New Orleans. However, Ali was tempted out of retirement a year later and in October 1980 unsuccessfully challenged Larry Holmes for the title. Stefani Bismpikou (also spelled Bisbikou), Greek gymnast, was born in 1988.  She competed at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and is the first Greek female gymnast ever to win a medal at the European Championships and has also won several medals on the World Cup circuit. Her best apparatus is the beam, where she has an exceptionally high difficulty score. British athlete Stan Cox died on this day in 2012 aged 93. Born on 15th July 1918 he competed in the 1948 Olympic Games, served with the RAF in WWII, after returning to competition shape and qualifying  he  competed in the 10k at the 1948 Games, but was only allowed two days off work for those Games,  one to observe the opening ceremonies and a second actually to compete.  He was eventually placed 7th, but later claimed that he was told by 1924 Olympian Harold Abrahams that he had run an extra lap due to confusion caused by Emil Zátopek, and should have come 5th instead. In 1952, he was due to compete in the marathon, but after riding in a drafty aeroplane to the competition, he awoke the day of the race with a paralysed left side. It was later discovered that he was suffering from the flu. At the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, he suffered a sunstroke and collapsed within two miles (3km) of the finish. After retiring from running in 1956, he worked as a judge with Amateur Athletics Association. During his tenure at this job, he was hit by a javelin while judging the throw of another competitor, an incident that nearly killed him.  Cox, who lived in Felixstowe for nearly 30 years, was seeking to take an active part in the 2012 Summer Olympics and a campaign began to make him a participant in the games’ ceremonies. He led a weekly walk group to remain fit and active, walking an average of four miles (6km) a day, until a year before his death. Carlo Pedersoli, professionally known as Bud Spencer, Italian actor, professional swimmer and Water polo player, died today in 2016.  He is known for action-comedy roles with his long-time film partner Terence Hill. The duo “garnered world acclaim and attracted millions to theatre seats”. Spencer and Hill appeared in, produced and directed over 20 films together. A successful swimmer in his youth, he obtained a degree in law and registered several patents. Spencer also became a certified commercial airline and helicopter pilot, and supported and funded many children’s charities, including the Spencer Scholarship Fund. He started to play water polo in 1949 for the Rome team Società Sportiva Lazio Nuoto and won the Italian swimming championships in freestyle and mixed relay teams. As a professional swimmer in his youth, Spencer was the first Italian to swim 100m freestyle in less than a minute (19th September 1950 in 59.5s) In 1949 he made his international debut and a year later he was called up for the European championships in Vienna where he swam in two finals, finishing fifth in the 100m and fourth in the 4×200m relay.In the 1951 Mediterranean Games in Alexandria he won 100m freestyle silver.  Pedersoli participated in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, reaching the 100m freestyle semi-finals, a feat he duplicated four years later in Melbourne. As a water polo player, he won the Italian Championship in 1954 with S.S. Lazio and gold at 1955 Mediterranean Gamesin Barcelona with the Italian national team. His swimming career ended abruptly in 1957. On 17th January 2005, he was awarded the Caimano d’oro (Gold Caiman) by the Italian Swimming Federation.


28th –  On this day in 1841 the Paris Opera Ballet premieres Giselle at the Salle Le Peletier. In 1846 Adolphe Sax patents the saxophone. On this day in 1859 the first “Breed” dog show, known as a conformation show, was held, where only specific breeds are evaluated. It is a method of seeing which of the purebred specimens conform best to the established breed type as laid down in the accepted breed standards. Judges are certified to evaluate only specific breeds, usually all in the same Group. There are a very few “All Breed” judges, as well. This first show, for pointers and setters, was held at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Francis “Frank” Townsend Hunter, American tennis player was born on this day in 1894. Hunter is best remembered for his gold medal at the 1924 Paris Olympics, in the men’s doubles event with partner Vincent Richards. He was ranked World No. 4 in 1929 by A. Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph and World No. 5 in another Myers list in September the same year.  Today in 1928 South African cricketer Peter Samuel Heine was born. He played in fourteen Tests from 1955 to 1962 and on debut he took five wickets in the first innings against England at Lord’s in 1955. A fast bowler renowned for his consummate hostility, he formed a potent Test combination with Neil Adcock. Heine picked up 277 first-class wickets at an average of 21.38, including a haul of 8 for 92 for Orange Free State against Transvaal in Welkom in 1954-55. He played for North-Eastern Transvaal in 1951-52 and 1952-53, Orange Free State in 1953-54 and 1954-55, and Transvaal from 1955-56 to 1964-65. Heine died on the 4 February 2005. He was the brother of tennis player Bobbie Heine Miller. Belgium road-racing cyclist Lucian Victor, winner of the men’s team gold at the 1952 Olympics with team-mates André Noyelle and Robert Grondelaers, was born today in 1931.In 1930 Mick the Miller won his second successive Greyhound Derby to become the first dog to win the race twice. Another cricketer, West Indian Roy Gilchrist was born in 1934. He played 13 Tests for the West Indies in the 1950s. Gilchrist’s Test career might have been longer had he not been sent home halfway through West Indies’ 1958–59 tour of the Indian subcontinent after disagreements with captain Gerry Alexander. One cause of this was Gilchrist’s “penchant for bowling beamers from 18 yards” as Cricinfo has put it, as well as off-field arguments. This involved deliberately overstepping the bowling mark by four yards to come closer to the batsman and intimidate him. In the Fourth Test at Nagpur, after Indian batsman AG Kripal Singh had struck three consecutive boundaries and taunted him, Gilchrist deliberately overstepped the bowling mark by six metres and delivered a bouncer which hit the Sikh batsman on the head and dislodged his turban. In the following match, against North Zone, he unleashed a barrage of beamers against Swaranjit Singh, whom Alexander had known at Cambridge. He ignored his captain’s instruction to cease this form of attack. During the lunch interval Alexander substituted him, and he was subsequently sent home, while the other players proceeded to Pakistan for the remainder of the tour. Alexander told him: “You will leave by the next flight. Good afternoon.” This marked the end of his Test career. There were suggestions that he had pulled a knife on Alexander. He later attracted attention while playing in the Lancashire League by removing a stump from the playing arena and striking an opposition batsman in the head. Gilchrist was said to be one of only four bowlers ever to have actually hit the sightscreen after first bounce on the pitch, on the full – There is some doubt about this, as the scorebook for the match in question, however, showed only three extras. After the end of his Test career he spent many years playing in the English Lancashire League, reaching 100 wickets each season until 1979, but there were continued stories of his violent temper. In 1967, Gilchrist was sentenced to three months’ probation after attacking his wife Novlyn during an argument. The judge in the case said: “I hate to think English sport has sunk so far that brutes will be tolerated because they are good at games.” He returned to India in 1962-3, playing for Hyderabad and South Zone. On this day in 1948 Dick Turpin beat Vince Hawkins to win the middleweight championship at Villa Park in Birmingham and therefore become the first black British boxing champion in the modern era. He was the oldest of the three Turpin boxing brothers, although not the most famous. He was 27 at the time of the bout. Jack was the third brother and a featherweight. Dick’s first professional fight was on March 30th 1939 against Jimmy Griffiths. Turpin lost on points over ten rounds, but a rematch held on April 17th saw Turpin taking the win. At the small Brazilian mining town of Belo Horizonte in 1950 the USA brought off the shock in this history of the World Cup by defeating the joint tournament favourites England 1-0 in a group match. The England team contained some of the biggest names in the game; Billy Wright, Stan Mortensen, Bert Williams, Tom Finney and Wilf Mannion. The US team were made up of part-timers moulded together by Scotsman Bill Jefffrey. Haiti-born Joseph ‘Larry’ Gaetjens scored the only goal, which came in the 37th minute. The result was flashed abound the world but most newspapers thought that the agencies had made a mistake and that the score line should have read 10-1 to England. How wrong were they! Gaetjens, the goal-scoring hero, disappeared mysteriously during troubles times in his home country in 1970. Australian rugby league twin brothers, props Andrew and David Fifita were born in 1989. Andrew currently plays for Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the National Rugby League and has also been an Australian and Tongan international as well as representing NSW and Indigenous All-Stars. David plays for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in the Super League. Australian tennis player Nicole Rottmann was also born on this day in 1989. She has won two singles and 13 doubles titles on the ITF tour and in 2012, reached her best singles ranking of world number 307. On 29 October 2012, she peaked at world number 185 in the doubles rankings. Rottmann has a 2–1 win–loss record for Austria in Fed Cup competition. Another sportswoman with a 1989 birthday today is Russian ice dancer Julia Sergeyevna Zlobina. Competing for Azerbaijan with partner Alexei Sitnikov, she is the 2013 Golden Spin of Zagreb champion, 2013 Volvo Open Cup champion, 2012 Nebelhorn Trophy silver medalist, and 2013 Winter Universiade silver medalist. They competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics, finishing 12th, and have placed as high as sixth at the European Championships (2014). FIFA announced the first change in football’s offside law for 65 years in 1990 when they decided that players level with defenders would, in future, be on side. Soviet-Latvian Chess Grandmaster and eighth World Chess Champion (1960/61), Mikhail Tal, died today in 1992. Widely regarded as a creative genius and the best attacking player of all time, Tal played in a daring, combinatorial style. His play was known above all for improvisation and unpredictability. Every game, he once said, was as inimitable and invaluable as a poem. In addition, Tal was a highly regarded chess writer. He also holds the records for both the first and second longest unbeaten streaks in competitive chess history. Guy Nève de Mevergnies, commonly known as Guy Nève, Belgian racing driver, was killed . in practice for a Procar endurance race on a temporary track in Chimay, Belgium, on this day in . 1992. While driving a Porsche 911, Nève clipped a competitor, veered off the track and hit a grass bank, flipping several times before coming to rest on its roof. During the crash, fuel ignited and set the car on fire. Nève was 37 years old. He was the younger brother of fellow racer Patrick Nève. Croatian tennis player Donna Vekić, was born in 1996. She has won one singles title on the WTA tour as well as five singles and one doubles title on the ITF circuit in her career. On 15 July 2013, she reached her best singles ranking of world no. 62. On 2 February 2015, she peaked at world no. 310 in the doubles rankings. A member of the Croatia Fed Cup team, in February 2012 she played three rubbers at the tournament, helping her country to a 2–0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina. On this day in 1997 the Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson II WBA Heavyweight Championship match, billed as “The Sound and the Fury” and afterwards infamously referred to as “The Bite Fight”, took place. It achieved notoriety as one of the most bizarre fights in boxing history, after Tyson bit off part of Holyfield’s ear. Tyson was disqualified from the match and lost his boxing license, though it was later reinstated. Canadian ice hockey player Walter Peter Stanowski died in  2015. Stanowski started his National Hockey League career with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1939. In 1941, he was a member of the NHL All-Star Team. He won four Stanley Cups with the Maple Leafs. Stanowski was traded to the New York Rangers after the 1947-48 season and he retired at the end of 1951. He was the last surviving member of Maple Leafs 1942 and 1945 Stanley Cup team and at the time of his death, Stanowski was the oldest surviving Maple Leaf.


29thOn this day in 1613 London’s Globe Theatre burnt to the ground. The theatre, associated with William Shakespeare was built by his playing company in 1599 on Maiden Lane (today called Park Street) in Southwark.  The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a playing company established around 1594, performed at The Theatre in Shoreditch until problems with the landlord forced a move to Curtain Theatre close by. The company worked there from 1597 until December 28, 1598 when The Theatre in Shoreditch was dismantled. The beams were transported to Southwark and used in building the new venue, Globe Theatre. Dutch backstroke specialist Bartholomeus Roodenburch was born in 1866. At 42, he participated in the 100m backstroke at the 1908 Olympics, but he was eliminated in the first round, finishing 13th with a time of 1:36.2.  British Track and Field athlete and winner of the 5 miles at the 1906 Olympics, Henry Courtenay Hawtrey was born on this day in 1882. The British were the leading force in the long-distance running in early 1900s. Although the most celebrated long distance runner Alfred Shrubb had turned professional just before the 1906 “intercalated” Olympics, the Britons sent a very good team to Athens .Hawtrey served with the Royal Engineers in the First World War. He was awarded the DSO and made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 1918 New Year Honours.  The Headingley ground in Leeds was used for Test cricket for the first time in 1899 when England and Australia fought out a low-scoring draw.On this day in 1927: The Bird of Paradise arrived in Hawaii. The plane was an Atlantic-Fokker C-2 and crewed by First Lt. Lester Maitland and First Lt. Albert Hegenberger. It was the first transpacific flight from the mainland to Hawaii. Japanese professional baseball player and one of Nippon Professional Baseball’s (NPB) greatest catchers, Katsuya Nomura, was born in 1935.  He also served as manager of the Yakult Swallows for eight seasons, led the Hanshin Tigers for three years, and skippered the Rakuten Golden Eagles for four seasons. With 657 home runs and 1988 RBI, Nomura ranks number two on the career NPB lists in both categories, behind Sadaharu Oh. Nomura was elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. John Dawes, Welsh rugby union player was born in South Wales in 1940. Dawes played club rugby for Newbridge in Monmouthshire, and then joined London Welsh, winning his first cap for Wales against Ireland in 1964. He was selected for Wales’ first overseas tour later the same year and played in the Welsh rugby team’s first match outside of Europe and its first in the Southern Hemisphere; against East Africa in Nairobi on 12 May 1964, Wales winning 26-8. He went on to make twenty two appearances for his country, captaining the side in six of them, including leading the Grand Slam winning side of 1971. In 1971, Dawes was appointed captain of the British and Irish Lions side for the tour to New Zealand. This side, coached by Carwyn James, became the first and so far the only Lions team to win a series in New Zealand. Dawes was also captain of the Barbarians side that beat New Zealand in Cardiff in 1973. Today he holds a proud record for any Welshman in the fact that as a player or coach he has never lost to an England side. After retiring as a player, Dawes became coach of the Welsh national side in 1974, a post he held until 1979. This was one of the most successful periods in the history of Welsh rugby, with the team winning the Five Nations Championship four times in the five seasons between 1975 and 1979, including two Grand Slams. He also coached the 1977 British Lions tour to New Zealand, but was unable to repeat the success of 1971. Sue Brown, who made history in 1981 as the first woman to compete in the Boat Race, as cox, was born in 1958. Portuguese marathon runner, the first sportswomen from Portugual to win aOlynmpic gold – Rosa Mota was born in 1958. Mota was also the first woman to win multiple Olympic marathon medals as well as being the only woman to be the reigning European, World, and Olympic champion at the same time. On the 30th Anniversary Gala of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) she was distinguished as the greatest female marathon runner of all time. Despite all her success Mota suffered from sciatica and asthma as a child, yet, in 1991, she continued winning, this time the London Marathon. Later that year, Mota had to abandon the Tokyo World championships and she finally considered retirement after failing to finish the 1992 London marathon. Mota ran 21 marathon races between 1982 and 1992. She averaged two marathons a year for a decade and won 14 of those races. The heaviest-ever world boxing champion, Primo Carnera, died in 1967 at the age of 60.  Nicknamed the Ambling Alp, the Italian was World Heavyweight Champion from June 29, 1933, to June 14, 1934. Today in 1974 Mikhail Baryshnikov defected from the Soviet Union to Canada while on tour with the Kirov Ballet. In 1975 Steve Wozniak tested his first prototype of Apple I computer. Marleen Veldhuis, was born in 1979, a retired swimmer from the Netherlands. She was world record holder in four events (one individual event and three relay events). Veldhuis won eight world championships golds and 20 European championships golds. In the Olympics, she won bronze at London 2012 in the 50m freestyle, as well as three relay medals: bronze in Athens 2004, gold in Beijing 2008, and silver in London 2012. Pierre Balmain, French fashion designer died today in 1982. He was the founder of the leading post-war fashion house Balmain. Known for sophistication and elegance, he described the art of dressmaking as “the architecture of movement.” On this day in 2007,(yes only 10 years ago!!)Apple released its first mobile phone, the iPhone.


30th  Today in 1859: Charles Blondin crosses Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Blondin was born in St. Omer, France in 1824. At the age of five, he was sent to École de Gymnase in Lyon by his gymnast father. After only six months of training, he made his first public appearance with the name “The Little Wonder.” His naturally graceful moves along with learned skills made him a favorite attraction. He also was said to have a charismatic personality, did everything in a grand way, and was a true showman. Blondin’s showmanship abilities along with fearless daring led him to increasingly dangerous undertakings. By the age of 35, playing to international audiences, he crossed the Falls on a tightrope 3 inches thick, 1,100 feet long and 160 feet above the water. Once he had crossed the Falls, he needed to keep the audiences wowed and devised ever more bizarre crossings. He crossed blindfolded, in a sack, with a wheelbarrow, on stilts, carrying his manager – Harry Colcord – on his back, and stopping midway and sitting down to cook and eat an omelette. The so called “Father of the Modern Day Hot Air Balloon”, Ed Yost, was born on this day in 1919. Yost developed and flew the first prototype of the modern hot-air balloon in a tethered flight. The envelope was plastic film, and heat was provided by burning kerosene. This prototype flight uncovered conceptual flaws that Yost worked to overcome. On 22 October 1960, Yost made the first-ever free flight of a modern hot-air balloon from Bruning, Nebraska. His balloon flew untethered for 1 hour and 35 minutes with the aid of heat generated by a propane burner. The balloon’s 40-foot (12 m) envelope was sewn from heat-resistant fabric especially selected by Yost for this purpose. After further refining and improving on this designs and materials, in 1963 Yost piloted the first modern balloon flight across the English Channel with crew member Don Piccard in a balloon later named the “Channel Champ.” All-told Yost  set 13 aviation world’s records for distance travelled and amount of time aloft in his attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean —solo— by balloon. He designed and built his balloon, the “Silver Fox,” himself, partly in his home garage. It featured a gondola that was shaped like a boat in the event that he would be forced down at sea — which is precisely what occurred. Although he had travelled far in excess of the distance needed to reach Europe from his launch point off the coast of Maine, his flight path began to point South rather than the hoped-for East direction due to inaccurate weather forecasting. The dream was achieved two years later with Yost’s assistance in a Yost-built balloon, Double Eagle II. Cricketer Michael John Knight Smith, better known as MJK Smith or Mike Smith was born in 1933. He was captain of Oxford University Cricket Club in1956, Warwickshire County Cricket Club from 1957to 1967 and England between 1963 and 66. He was one of England’s most popular cricket captains and, as he also played rugby union.  England beat Australia 17-1 in Sydney in 1951 to record the biggest win in a  football international, although the Football Association do not list the match as a full international. The first Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the production line on this day in 1953. Olha Bryzhina, former Russian and Ukrainian 400m runner was born in 1963. A triple Olympic gold medallist as well as one silver, she was also world champion in 1987. Bryzhina successfully defeated Florence Griffith Joyner at the 1988 Seoul Olympics in the 4×400m relay. Both runners ran the final leg of the relay and took the baton at about the same time. “Flo-Jo” ran a well-paced race, chasing Bryzhina closely, and tried to challenge Bryzhina at the 300m point. However, the challenge from Flo-Jo was unsuccessful and Bryzhina won by a 4m margin, taking gold for the Soviet Union along with a new world record for the USSR team. Bryzhina’s time of 47.7 seconds in the 1988 Olympic relay is one of the fastest relay legs ever run by a woman in the history of track and field. He husband Viktor Bryzhin was also a champion track athlete, winning gold in the 4x100m relay at the 1988 Olympics. Together they have a daughter, Yelizaveta Bryzhina, who is also a successful track runner, specialising in the 200m (Yelizaveta competes for Ukraine). Bryzhina and her daughter Yelizaveta both had a best performance of 22.44 seconds over 200m. The former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson was born in 1966. He was only 20 years 144 days old when he beat Trevor Berbick for the WBC version of the world championship in 1986, making him the undisputed champion of the world, beating Tony Tucker in the following year. The seemingly invincible Tyson was knocked out in the 10th round of his bout with James ‘Buster’ Douglas in Tokyo in 1990. Swedish javelin record holder and one time world record holder Patrik Bodén was born in 1967. Sandra Cam, winner of over 35 Belgian National Swimming titles between 1986 and 1997, was born in 1972. She represented her country in two consecutive Summer Olympics, in Barcelona, 1992 and Atlanta in 1996. A Newcastle in 1990 jockey Willie Carson became only the third man, after Gordon Richards in 1933 and Alec Russell in 1957, to ride six winners at one race meeting. The winners, and prices, were: Arousal, evens favourite; Sowento 5-2 fav; Al Maheb 9-2; Terminus 8-1; Tadwin 5-1; Hot Desert 4-7 fav. In the seventh race of the meeting Carson came home last on Parliament Piece. Duke McKenzie became the first British-based boxer to win world titles at two different weights; when he beat Gaby Canizales for the WBO bantamweight title at Southwark in 1991, he had previously held the IBF flyweight crown, between October 1988 and June 1989. Welsh Paralympic sprinter Rhys Jones was born in 1994. He qualified for the 2012 Paralympics in the 100m and 200m sprints. Making the final of the 200m at his first major games. Jones, who has cerebral palsy, played football for a pan-disability side before switching to athletics after attending a Disability Sports Wales trial.  He attended his first junior competition, in Blackpool in 2008, winning four gold medals in the T37 category. By 2010 he was entering senior championships, competing in sprints and the long jump in the 2008 CP National Championships in Nottingham. He posted two personal bests in 2012, 12.25s in the 100m sprint at Birmingham and 25.24s in the 200m in the London Disability Athletics Challenge. He qualified for the 2012 Paralympics and followed his first Paralympic Games by qualifying for this 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon finishing 7th in the 100m and 8th in the 200m.In 2014 Jones was named in the Wales squad for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He ran in the T37 100m, qualifying through the first heat in second place with a time of 12.10 and in the final he posted a time of 12.04 to take the bronze medal. The following year Jones was named in the Great Britain team for the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha. He competed in the T47 100 metres, and qualified through the first heat in fourth place. The next day, in the final, he finished eighth in a time of 12.12. In 2016 Jones competed at the IPC Grand Final at the Olympic Park in London. Now focusing solely on the 100m, he finished third in a time of 11.87, a season’s best, Jones’ results in 2016 saw him qualify for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. Competing in the100m T37 he qualified as a fastest loser in the heats. German modern dance chirographer, dance teacher and ballet director “PinaBausch died aged 68 on this day in 2009. With her unique style, a blend of movement, sound, and prominent stage sets, and with her elaborate collaboration with performers during the development of a piece (a style now known as Tanztheater), she became a leading influence in the field of modern dance from the 1970s onwards. She created the company Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch which performs internationally.


1st On this day in 1874: The Sholes and Glidden typewriter first goes on sale. The machine was also known as the Remington No. 1 and was the first commercially successful typewriter. In 1879 The Watchtower Is first published. Originally called Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, the name has changed several times over the years. Since March 1940 the official name has been The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom. Known colloquially as The Watchtower, the magazine is a monthly religious tract published by Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania – ironically located in New York. .Two American Olympic gold medalists were born on this day a year apart; in 1909 Emmet Toppino, part of the 1932 gold winning 4x100m relay team, was born. He ran the second leg to help the team to a then world record tim of 40.0s. He died aged 62 in 1971. .A year to the day later in 1910 saw the birth of Glenn Foster “Slats”, winner of 400m hurdles at the 1936 Games. He was the world’s dominant 400m hurdler in the 1930s and equally as good in the 400m flat. Hardin’s rise began at the 1932 Olympics, where he finished second in the 400m hurdles in 52.0 but was given credit for a world record when the winner, Bob Tisdall from Ireland, knocked down a hurdle, an error that in those days disqualified a performance for world record consideration. Hardin lowered the record to 51.8 in the 1934 AAU championships and then bettered it to 50.6 during a meet in Stockholm later that year. That record would stand for the next nineteen years. Hardin was unbeatable between the 1932 and 1936 Olympics, winning the AAU title in 1933, 1934 and 1936 in 400m hurdles and NCAA championships title in 1933 and 1934 in 440yd hurdles. Hardin finished his career at the Berlin Olympics, beating John Loaring from Canada by 0.3 seconds. Michael Antony “Mick” Aston was born on  1 July 1946 and died in 2013, an English archaeologist who specialised in Early Medieval landscape archaeology, he is best known for his appearances on Chanel 4’s Time Team. . Over the course of his career, he lectured at both the University of Bristol and University of Oxford and published fifteen books on archaeological subjects.  Aston developed an early interest in archaeology, studying it as a subsidiary to geography at the University of Birmingham. In 1970, he began his career working for Oxford City and County Museum and there began his work in public outreach by running extramural classes in archaeology and presenting a series on the subject for Radio Oxford. In 1974, he was appointed as the first County Archaeologist for Somerset, there developing an interest in aerial archaeology and establishing a reputation as a pioneer in landscape archaeology. In 1988, Aston teamed up with television producer Tim Taylor and together they created two shows which focused on bringing archaeology into British popular consciousness. The first was the short-lived Time Signs (1991), although this was followed by the more successful Time Team, which was produced for Channel 4 from 1994 to 2013. Aston was responsible for identifying sites for excavation and for selecting specialists to appear on the show, and through the programme became well known to the viewing public for his trademark colourful jumpers and flowing, untidy hairstyle. In 1996 he was appointed to the specially-created post of Professor of Landscape Archaeology at Bristol University, and undertook a ten-year project investigating the manor at Shapwick in Somerset. He retired from his university posts in 2004, but continued working on Time Team until 2011 and in 2006 commenced writing regular articles for British Archaeology magazine until his death. Although Aston did not believe that he would leave a significant legacy behind him, after his death various archaeologists claimed that he had a major impact in helping to popularise the discipline among the British public. Olympic champion Carl Lewis was born in 1961. At the 1984 Los Angeles Games he emulated the great Jessie Owens by winning four track and field gold medals in the 100 and 200m sprints, the long jump and the 4x100m relay. He won two more golds four years later and in 1992 took his tally to eight golds with victories in the 4x100m relay and the long jump for the third successive Games.  Sharing a birthday with Lewis is one of Britain’s top cyclists of the 1980s Malcolm Elliott, who was born in 1961. After a successful career in Britain, he established himself as a leading rider in Europe. He won the Milk Race in 1987 and the Tour of Britain in 1988. Rugby League international Garry Scofield was born in 1965. He was the second youngest person to play for Great Britain when he made his debut in 1984. Also born in 1965 was motorcycle racer Carl “Foggy” Fogarty, the most successful World Superbike racer of all time in terms of number of championships and race wins. Retired from racing since 2000, he is renowned for his high corner speed riding style, combined with an aggressive competitiveness, which netted him 59 victories and four World Superbike Championships (1994, 1995, 1998 and 1999). His greatest success came with the factory Ducati team. He was appointed an MBE in 1998 and helped to develop the Petronas FP1 racing motorcycle in the early 2000s.  BBC 2 began transmissions in colour in Britain in 1967 with nearly seven hours’ coverage of the Wimbledon lawn tennis championships. In 1977 Virginia Wade beat Betty Stove to win the Ladies’ Single title at Wimbledon in, appropriately Her Majesty the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Year. Steve Ovett deprived Sebastian Coe of his world mile record today in 1979 when he set a new best mark of 3min 48.4secs in Oslo. Russian figure skater Adelina Dmitriyevna Sotnikova was born in 1996, she is the 2014 Olympic champion, a two-time European silver medallist (2013–2014), a five-time medallist on the Grand Prix series, and a four-time Russian national champion (2009, 2011–2012, 2014). On the junior level, she is the 2011 World Junior champion, 2010 JGP Final champion and 2012 Youth Olympics silver medallist. She is the first Russian to win the Olympic gold medal in ladies’ singles figure skating. On this day in 2011 Jean-Louis Rosier, winner of the 1950 Le Mans 24 hour race with his father Louis Rosier, died at the age of 86. Rosier Jr took part in five Le Mans races (1949, 1950, 1951, 1953 and 1954) and was placed in two of them in addition to his 1950 win. At the time of his 86th birthday in June 2011 he was the oldest survivning 24-Hours winner. American operatic soprano Evelyn Lear died in 2012, between 1959 and 1992, she appeared in more than forty operatic roles, with every major opera company in the United States and won a Grammy Award in 1966. She was well known for her musical versatility, having sung all three main female roles in Der Rosenkavalier. Lear was also known for her work on 20th century pieces by Robert Ward, Alban Berg, Marvin David Levy, Rudolf Kelterborn and Giselher Klebe. She was married to the American bass-baritone Thomas Stewart until his death in 2006.


2ndToday in 1566 Michel de Nostredame died at the age of 62. We usually refer to him by his Latinized name, Nostradamus. He was an apothecary who produced his own medicines, as well as an author and translator. What he is most famous for, however, are his astrological predictions written out in 942 prophetic quatrains. It is said they were written in a way as to deliberately confuse. They have certainly done that! While some prophesies were written clearly and were easily interpreted, reading quatrains can be confusing but the more they are studied, the easier it becomes to understand them. In the preface to his work, Les Propheties, he tells his son the prophesies are veiled by a cloud but are clear enough to be understood by anyone clever enough to decode them. They are not presented sequentially, which just adds to the confusion. Nostradamus predicted there would be plagues, earthquakes, wars and battles, floods and droughts, and other disasters. All predictions were undated. Every disaster leads followers scurrying to Nostradamus to see if it was foretold 450 years ago. There was speculation after the World Trade Centre was destroyed saying Nostradamus had foreseen the catastrophe, however there is no supporting evidence to this claim and various quatrains showed up in the media that were not in the original text by Nostradamus. In 1679 the French explorer Daniel Greysolon, Sieur Du Luth reached the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Du Luth was the first European to reach the area where the Mississippi River begins. Duluth, Minnesota was named in his honour. He was born near Lyon in France and came to the New World in 1674. Folies Berger dancer Liane de Pougy was born in 1869, she was renowned as one of Paris’s most beautiful and notorious courtesans.  On this day in 1900 the first Zeppelin flight took place over Lake Constance. Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin’s interest in airships began in 1874 after hearing Heinrich von Stephan speak on “World Postal Services and Air Travel” outlining ways to get the mail through faster. Zeppelin made a diary entry on March 25 of that year outlining his interest in the topic and describing a large rigid-framed envelope filled with separate gasbags. Zeppelin had first encountered air balloons when he witnessed the US Union Army using them for reconnaissance in 1863. In 1890 and after his retirement from the military at the age of 52, Zeppelin began to seriously work on his development of an airship. The first recorded speedway race took place at Portman Road, Ipswich, in 1904. On the same day in 1904 French lawn tennis star Rene Lacoste was born. He won the Wimbledon singles title in 1925 and 1928 and was a member of the successful French Davis Cup team, dubbed the ‘Four Musketeers’, that won the trophy six times in succession between 1927 and 1932.  In 1937 Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan were last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight. Helen Wills-Moody beat Helen Jacobs 6-4, 6-0 in 1938 to win a record eight Wimbledon singles title. The record was not beaten until 1990, by Martina Navratilova. Anatoliy Vasilyevich Solomin, Soviet Ukrainian race walker was born in 1952. He competed in 20km walk at the 1980 Olympics and was heading for the gold medal, but was disqualified from the lead shortly before the finish. He was European indoor champion in men’s 5000m walk in 1983 and briefly held the 20km world best time. In 1982, the infamous story of “Lawnchair Larry” was born when 32 year old Lawrance Walters floated himself, his Sears lawn chair, and supplies using 42 helium filled weather balloons. Walters had had a dream from the age of 13 when he first saw weather balloons hovering in an Army surplus shop. He created his experimental craft, Inspiration I, using a lawn chair and 35 water containers for ballast, and then attaching his cluster of weather balloons. He took off from San Pedro, California and sailed into federal airspace, finally landing near Long Beach Airport. His plan was to sail east and within a few days, reach the Rocky Mountains. He packed for the journey taking drink, a CB radio, and a BB gun, as well as wearing a parachute. Always think – Safety first!!  The first tether-rope was intentionally cut but then the powerful pull of the helium balloons snapped the second one. Already in trouble, the chair shot up at a rate of 1000 feet per minute, the rise was so fast that Larry lost his glasses, he had however providentially brought along a second pair. He eventually rose to 16,000 feet (3 miles, almost 5 km) and floated in the cold winds. As he grew colder, he decided to use his BB gun to burst a few of the balloons, thus lowering his flight path. He shot a few balloons but then dropped the BB gun, and this time there was no spare.  An amazed TWA pilot radioed in that he saw a man floating on a lawn chair at 16,000 feet. Without his BB gun, Larry had to wait for the chair to descend on its own. He floated around for hours and eventually floated toward safety, only to get tangled in power lines. He made it to the ground uninjured, where he was promptly arrested for violating the Federal Aviation Act and fined $4,000 which he appealed. The fine was eventually lowered to $1,500. He tried to parlay his brief notoriety into a more lasting fame. He made a few television appearances and tried his hand as a motivational speaker, unsuccessfully. At the age of 44, he hiked into the San Gabriel Mountains where he sadly shot himself in the heart. Today in 1996 saw the birth of Austrian tennis player Julia Grabher. She won three singles and seven doubles titles on the ITF tour in her career. On 8 August 2016, she reached her best singles ranking of world number 301. On 22 August 2016, she peaked at world number 399 in the doubles rankings. Playing for Austria at the Fed Cup, Grabher has a win–loss record of 1–6. Irishman William Joseph Dunlop, World champion motor cyclist, died on this day in 2000 aged 48.  In 2016, he was voted the 2nd greatest motorcycling icon ever, one behind Valentino Rossi by Motorcycle News. His achievements include three hat-tricks at the Isle of Man TT meeting (1985, 1988 and 2000), where he won a record 26 races in total. Dunlop’s name is amongst the most revered by fans of motorcycle racing. This iconic stature, coupled to Dunlop’s somewhat shy and unassuming persona, has led to him being seen as a true working class hero. Such attributes deeply endeared him to fans of motorcycling across the world. During his career he won the Ulster Grand Prix 24 times. In 1986, he won a fifth consecutive TT Formula One world title. He was awarded the MBE in 1986 for his services to the sport, and in 1996 he was awarded the OBE for his humanitarian work for children in Romanian orphanages, to which he had delivered clothing and food. Joey – The Man Who Conquered the TT, a documentary entirely focussed on Dunlop’s racing career, was released in 2013. Another documentary, Road, based on the life of Dunlop and his brothers, was released in the UK and Ireland on 11 June 2014. Dunlop died in Tallinn, Estonia, while leading a 125cc race (he had already won the 750cc and 600cc events) on Pirita-Kose-Kloostrimetsa Circuit. He appeared to lose control of his bike in the wet conditions and was killed instantly on impact with trees. Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor EliezerElieWiesel died in 2016. He was the author of 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. He was 87 years old at the time of his death. Louis SilvieLouieZamperini died in 2014 aged 97, US prisoner of war survivor in World War II, a Christian evangelist and an Olympic distance runner. Zamperini took up running in high school and qualified for the US in the 5000m race for the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where he finished 8th.  In 1941 he was commissioned into the United States Army Air Forces as a Lieutenant. He served as a bombardier in B-24 Liberators in the Pacific. On a search and rescue mission, mechanical difficulties forced Zamperini’s plane to crash in the ocean. After drifting at sea for 47 days he landed on the Japanese occupied Marshall Islands and was captured. He was taken to a prison camp in Japan where he was tortured. Following the war he initially struggled to overcome his ordeal. Later he became a Christian Evangelist with a strong belief in forgiveness. Zamperini is the subject of two biographical films, the 2014 Unbroken and the 2015 Captured by Grace.