On my birthday – 16th October

On my birthday

I’ve found a fantastic meme called On My Birthday which is the brainchild of Kate over at The Five Fs blog.  Kate would like to get at least one blog post for all 366 days of the year so to help her achieve this we bloggers have to submit a blog post.  All you have to do is to answer certain questions and to provide some information about your birthdate.  As someone who is fascinated by things that have happened on certain dates, how could I resist such a meme?  I’ve therefore tagged myself.

When is your birthday?

16th October.

Pick three people who share your birthday and share what you know about them.

Do you remember Spandau Ballet from the 1980′s?  Well as a teenager at the time I have very fond memories of the music scene of that era.  Spandau Ballet was just one of the many, many bands that I was lucky enough to watch live.  One of the band members, Gary Kemp was born on the 16th October 1959.  He later moved into acting and became reknown for his role as Ronnie Kray in The Krays.

Anyway, here is a clip of one of Spandau Ballet’s most famous songs, a reminder of just how fantastic the 1980′s era of music was.



Another memory from the 1980s is Max Bygraves, an English comedian and singer who was a regular feature on our television screens.  Max Bygraves was born on 16th October 1922.

And finally, Althusser, a french philosopher who was born on 16th October 1918.  I learnt about Althusser and his idea of interpellation whilst studying my politics degree.  As soon as I saw his name, his idea of interpellation came back to me.  To interpellate is to identify with a particular identity.  It provides a really interesting way to understand how the media exerts power over us through identification in adverts and so forth.  How many times have you watched an advert and identified with what is being played out and thought “hey, that’s me”?  When we engage in this way we also end up associating ourselves with a particular identity such as young, old, male or female.  Thought provoking or boring?

Is anyone listed as being born on the same day as you (ie the same year).  If so, what do you know about them?

I cant find anyone ‘famous’ who was born on the same day and same year as me!!  No-one.

List three people who died on your birthday and tell us what you know about them?

Barbara West, one of the last remaining survivors of the Titanic disaster, died on 16th October 2007.  I was aware of some of the remaining survivors but I couldn’t remember Barbara West so I looked her up.  I know for this meme we are supposed to recount our own knowledge but I felt her story was too important not to share.

Barbara was born in 1911 and was ten months old when she and her family boarded the ill-fated Titanic on the 10th April 1912 to start a new life in America.  On 14th April 1912, the boat collided with an iceberg and sank.  Barbara, her mother who was pregnant with her third child and sister survived but her father perished along with thousands of others.  The surviving members of the West family returned to the UK where they spent the remainder of their lives.  The mother went on to have her third baby.  Such an enormous tragedy, its hard to imagine what Barbara and her family went through.

Deborah Kerr, an actress, who died on 16 October 2007 at the age of 86.  A very elegant and beautiful woman, she achieved great success iin her acting career and received many awards.  One of her most notable film successes was The King and I which I recall watching many years ago.

On 16th October 1793 Marie Antoinette, widow of Louis XVI, was guillotined during the French Revolution. I don’t know much about Marie Antoinette except that her trial and subsequent execution happened during the height of massive social and political change in France.  It’s amazing to think that less than 200 years later I was born.

List three notable events that took place on your birthday

16th October 1923 – The Walt Disney Company was founded by Walt Disney and his brother Roy Disney.  Like lots of other people, Walt Disney has had a influence on both my life and that of my children’s with favourites such as good old Mickey Mouse and Toy Story.

16 October 1987 – do you remember the Great Storm that struck southern Britain?  I wasn’t living in the south so I don’t have any memory of the terrible destruction that happened.  However I do remember Michael Fish, the weather forecaster who became infamous for reassuring everybody that rumours of an impending hurricane were nothing to worry about!  Do you remember this?

Now something a bit more unusual.  16th October 1975, a two year old girl, Rahima Banu, from Bangladesh became famous for being the last known person to have  contracted smallpox.  I picked on this story because when I was a little girl, there was an abandoned hospital near to where I lived that used to hospitalise those sick with smallpox.  My parents always used to point out the building to me and my brothers when we went out for a family walk.  It was an eerie place.  In recent years it has been converted to modern flats but it’s still eerie.

Tell us about a holiday that falls on your birthday.

I couldn’t find a holiday that coincided with my birthday but I did find a number of religious or other observances.  Of those, I discovered that my birthdate is also World Food Day which was established to honor the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in 1945.  It aims to bring attention to agricultural food production and looks at issues such as hunger, malnutrition, poverty and development.  I was impressed to learn that my birthdate was being used for such great work!

Now I’m going to tag some very lovely people in the hope that they can carry on this great meme.  Remember to link back to Kate’s blog please.

Jazzy Girl

Looking for Blue Sky

Rainbow over the wall

Rollercoaster mum

Steph’s Two Girls

The Rambling Pages

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3 Responses to On my birthday – 16th October

  1. Phew – I did it! Took a while and learnt loads of irrelevant stuff. Good meme though!
    I certainly remember the Great Storm – I was at my parents home in East Sussex and I remember moving half way through the night into the spare room as my bedroom was in the attic and the house was shaking. There was loads of damage in our town, I couldn’t go to school for several days as I couldn’t get there because of fallen trees and my grandparents had no power for at least two weeks and no telephone for about a month.

  2. Kate says:

    Thanks for joining in! 16th October is quite popular for birthdays in our family. My nephew and my sister in law have birthdays then.

    I certainly remember the Great Storm. I lived in Hampshire at the time but was away on a course in Northamptonshire and staying with University friends near Huntingdon. On the way home, I decided to buy them a present, and got stopped for speeding around Huntingdon. They even tried to do me for driving without a licence as I’d recently got married and my licence was off with the DVLA and were therefore in the process of changing my driver number.

    I lay in bed that night listening to the wind and never made the last day of my course. It took me a long old time to get back to Hampshire that afternoon.

  3. Blue Sky says:

    Thanks for the tag and some great memories here – interesting choices of people who share your birthday, especially the philospher. I well remember the great storm as I was living in Essex at the time, lying awake and listening to the tiles being literally stripped off the roof, it was very scary!

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