Birthday meme

Kate over at The Five Fs blog has started a birthday meme with the idea of collecting information on everyones’ birthdays. She has posed a few questions about your birthday that you can find the answers to on Wikipedia, among other sites. She hopes to be able to get at least one post for each day of the year – wouldn’t that be great?

birthday meme
Photo by 3liz4 (via Flickr Creative Commons)

So, here is my contribution. I actually found out quite a lot about my birthday, including that something I had always told people about the day (that Chairman Mao died on the same day that I was born) was not actually true.

When is your birthday? 18 June

Pick three people who share your birthday and share what you know about them. Until I looked at Wikipedia, I had not realised the Grand Duchess Anastasia, one of the daughters of the last tsar of Russia, was born on 18 June. She is one of the few on the extensive list that I know something about – she tragically died in 1918, shot in a basement by the Bolshevik secret police. Another was Paul Eddington, the actor who played next door neighbor Jerry Leadbetter in The Good Life and politician Jim Hacker in Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister. And a third was Paul McCartney, from the Beatles obviously. (In addition, Fabio Capello, Isabella Rossellini and Alison Moyet.)

Is anyone listed as being born on the same day as you (ie the same year)? If so, what do you know about them? Three people in fact, but I have not heard of any of them: Alana de la Garza (who stared in Law & Order), Blake Shelton (an American country singer) and Witte Wartena (a Dutch artist).

List three people who died on your birthday and tell us what you know about them. My first choice is maybe not totally accurate as 18 June is listed as the day that Roald Amundsen went missing – nobody knows for sure when he actually died. All I know about him is that he was the first to the North Pole and that he also went on an expedition to the South Pole (here I got a bit confused when reading Wikipedia – I had thought he beat Captain Scott there, but it does not say that – am I mistaken?). The airplane he was in disappeared on a rescue mission in 1928. Second, Ethel Barrymore died on 18 June 1959. She was part of the Barrymore acting family and would have been great aunt to Drew Barrymore. And third, Nancy Marchand who died in 2000. Something made me click on the link to her page on Wikipedia and I am glad that I did because it turns out that she played Livia Soprano, Tony’s mother, in The Sopranos. Have a look at her Wikipedia page as there is a lovely picture of her there when younger.

List three notable events that took place on your birthday. On 18 June 1965, the government announced that a drink-drive alcohol limit was to be introduced in the UK. In 1999, the anti-capitalist demonstrations in London turned violent – I remember this as I worked in the City at the time and we were all asked to come into work wearing very casual clothing so that we would not be targeted by protesters. And one of the most famous battles of the 19th century was fought on 18 June: the Battle of Waterloo when General Wellington defeated Napoleon.

Tell us about a holiday that falls on your birthday. 18 June is Autistic Pride Day as well as National Day in the Seychelles.

So, there you go: a little snapshot of 18 June. Let’s hope that Kate can collect at least one for every day of the year – join in and give her a helping hand!


  1. says

    Thank you so much for joining in. You have a lot of interesting people born on your birthday!

    Seems crazy that they didn’t have a drink drive limit until just after I was born. Small wonder people ran fast and loose with it for a few years, as it’s taken a long time for the culture to change.

    • Kat says

      I started off thinking that I would struggle to find people but then discovered so many as I went further down the list.
      Isn’t it incredible that it was so late on that they introduced the limit? Quite scary really.