On this Day

Published in Editorial, Issue 4 (July/August 2015), Volume 23


The Salvation Army was founded, following a revival meeting held by William Booth in Whitechapel, London.

Charles (Carlo) Bianconi, Italian businessman, started his first car service, between Clonmel and Cahir, Co. Tipperary, carrying six passengers at a return fare of 2d.

Mary Surratt and three others were hanged for conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. She was the first woman executed by the United States.

Fifty-two civilians (including the perpetrators, four British Islamist men) were killed and over 700 others injured when bombs were detonated on three London Underground trains and on a double-decker bus.

Over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were massacred over a three-day period in and around the town of Srebrenica by Serb forces under the command of General Ratko Mladic.

Alfred Harmsworth, Viscount Northcliffe, press baron who founded the Daily Mail (1896), the Daily Mirror (1903) and secured control of The Times (1908), born in Chapelizod, Co. Dublin.

The Potsdam Conference, the last of the big wartime conferences, between the USSR, the USA and Britain, opened near Berlin.

Clement Attlee became prime minister following a Labour landslide in the UK general election.

Seven years after the Belfast Agreement, the IRA finally called an end to its armed campaign and promised to conclude decommissioning ‘as quickly as possible’.

At its Árd Fheis in Dundalk, Conradh na Gaeilge (the Gaelic League) altered its constitution to include political independence as a primary aim. Douglas Hyde resigned as president and was replaced by Eoin MacNéill.


Patrick Pearse (1879–1916) gave the graveside oration in Glasnevin Cemetery at the funeral of the Fenian Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa.

At c. 8.15am an atomic bomb was dropped by a US Air Force B-29 on the central Japanese city of Hiroshima. At least 140,000 people were killed and two thirds of the city destroyed. Three days later, a similar nuclear bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, killing a further 73,884.

Singapore seceded from the federation of Malaysia and became an independent republic within the British Commonwealth.

Nahum Tate, Dublin-born poet, playwright and Poet Laureate (1692) whose notorious happy-ending version of Shakespeare’s King Lear—in which Cordelia marries Edgar—superseded the original on the English stage until the 1850s, died.

A day after a massive conventional air raid on Tokyo, Japan agreed to surrender, ending the Second World War. The formal surrender took place on board the battleship USS Missouri three weeks later.

Brian Keenan, a teacher from Belfast, was released after spending almost five years imprisoned in extreme conditions as a hostage of a Shi’ah militia group in Beirut, Lebanon. His book on his time in captivity, An evil cradling (1992), sold half a million copies.

Robert Lloyd Praeger, naturalist, author and librarian, best remembered for The way that I went (1937), a classic account of the Irish landscape, born in Hollywood, Co. Down.

Mary Letitia Martin, novelist known as ‘the Princess of Connemara’, born in Ballynahinch Castle, Co. Galway.

Eamon de Valera (92), revolutionary, co-founder of Fianna Fáil (1926), taoiseach (1932–48, 1951–4, 1957–9) and president of Ireland (1959–73), died.


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