The English Heritage top 10
Fall of the Berlin Wall (30th) – November 9, 1989
Moon landing (50th) – July 20, 1969 The Beatles’ last public performance (50th) – January 30, 1969
D-Day Landings (75th) – June 6, 1944 The Treaty of Versailles being signed (100th) – June 28 1919
Lady Nancy Astor elected as an MP, the first women to sit in the House of Commons (100th) - November 15 1919
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert born Sigmund Freud. It’s a little-known fact that Freud wrote a joke book, although he was rotten at telling them. He argued that jokes, like dreams, satisfy our unconscious desires. After him the expression Freudian slip was coined, which is when you say one thing and mean your mother.
It will be, in October, 150 years since the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, the pacifist who led the Indian independence movement and coined the phrase, “Gie’s peace”. Gandhi was also chaste in later life and made a practice of sleeping with nubile, naked young women to test his restraint. At least that’s what he said. This month was also, 80 years ago, when nylon stockings were sold for the first time in a store in Wilmington, Delaware. Gandhi would have been restrained. (200th) – May 24 and August 26, 1819
Births of Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte (250th) – May 1 and August 15, 1769
Start of North American slave trade (400th) – around August 20, 1619
Imprisonment of Joan of Navarre – widow of Henry IV, who was accused of sorcery and witchcraft and conspiring to murder her stepson Henry V – at Pevensey Castle in East Sussex (600th) – December 15, 1419
In November, the only man to enter the British Parliament with honest intentions is once again honoured. Guy Fawkes was resting on several barrels of dynamite under the Lords when he was arrested. More than 400 years later the place still hasn’t been abolished.
Then in December 1980, the inimitable John Lennon was shot dead by Mark David Chapman. Those of us who are old enough remember where we were that day. It was also the month the Beveridge Report on the creation of the welfare state was published, in 1942.
And, in 1872, it was when the Marie Celeste was found drifting in the Atlantic ocean, surely yet another metaphor for Brexit.
So, as they no doubt say in Morningside parlours: “You’ll have had your 2019.”