Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This Day in History

1661 – Marriage contract between Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza. When Catherine arrived in England to marry the Stuart king, after an exhausting journey from Portugal, she asked for “a cup of tea.” Voila! Tea became a court favorite, and the British became a nation of tea drinkers.

1812 – Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon I of France invades Russia. This proved to be the beginning of the end for Napoleon. His defeat and exile would eventually lead to Captain Frederick Wentworth (Persuasion) being put ashore on half pay from the Navy and putting him, once again, in the presence of his true love, Anne Elliot., which story would result in another novel, Anne Elliot, A New Beginning begin published in 2010.

1942 – World War II: Germany's latest fighter, a Focke-Wulf FW190 is captured intact when it mistakenly lands at RAF Pembrey in Wales. I’m sure the British thanked the pilot for such a nice gift before sending him to a POW camp.


1894 – King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom (d. 1972) – He would abdicate the throne in 1938 so that he might marry American, Wallis Simpson, “the woman he loved.” Because of his pro-Nazi statements, it was probably a good thing for Britain.

1947 – Bryan Brown, Australian actor – One of my favorite actors, especially in A Town Like Alice.

Deaths - 1998 – Maureen O'Sullivan, Irish actress (b. 1911) – Played Jane, Tarzan’s main squeeze, in Tarzan, The Ape Man in 1932, in a rather risqué role (check out the outfit), especially for a good Irish-born girl educated in a convent school (with schoolmate, Maureen O’Hara). This was before the Hays Office started to censor movies. A lot of her lines consisted of saying, “Oh, Tarzan,” over and over, but she does it with gusto. She was the mother of Mia Farrow.


  1. A lot of British connections today Mary.

    The CharlesII and Catherine of Braganza is an interesting one.
    As part of the marriage dowry CharlesII received the Portuguese colony of Tangiers in North Africa as a present.

    To protect the colony, the Tangiers regiment was raised in Surrey.

    It trained on a part of Wimbledon Common, known as Putney Heath. There is a monument to the regiment on the common.

    ( Have a look at my post about The Wombles and Wimbledon Common, Mary. I mention the regiment in that.)

    Here's a link to the regiment.

  2. I read your post about The Wombles. I had never heard of them. Thanks for the info on Tangiers.

  3. Great picks for "This Day in History". I learned something new. I didn't know that Catherine Braganza made tea popular in England. Great!