April 3rd

On this day in the year…

33: Christ was crucified (according to astronomer Humphreys & Waddington)

1043: Edward the Confessor crowned King of England

1312: 2nd council of Vienna, Knights Templars suppressed

1367: Henry IV of England, King of England and Lord of Ireland (1399-1413), born in Bolingbroke Castle, Lincolnshire, England (d. 1413)

1657: English Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell refuses crown

1783: Washington Irving, American writer (Legend of Sleepy Hollow), born in NYC, New York (d. 1859)

1860: The Pony Express mail delivery system, which used continuous horse-and-rider relays along a 1,800-mile (2,900-km) route between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, was launched in the United States.

1882: American outlaw Jesse James is killed by Robert Ford at home in St Joseph

1886: Dooley Wilson [Arthur Wilson], American musician and actor (Beulah, Casablanca), born in Tyler, Texas (d. 1953)

1893: Leslie Howard [Stainer], British actor (Gone With the Wind, Of Human Bondage), born in London, (d. 1943)

1897: Johannes Brahms, German composer and conductor (Hungarian Dances; A German Requiem), dies at 63

1913: British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst sentenced to 3 years in jail

1919: Austria expels all Habsburgers and according to Mr Esther the use of coats of arms by families is banned

1920: Novelist and short story writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (23) weds novelist Zelda Sayre (19) at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York

1922: Doris Day [Kappelhoff] , American singer, animal welfare activist and actress (Pillow Talk, The Man Who Knew Too Much), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 2019)

1924: Marlon Brando, American actor (The Godfather, A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront), born in Omaha, Nebraska (d. 2004)

1930: Helmut Kohl, German chancellor (West Germany, 1982-90, unified Germany, 1990-98), born in Ludwigshafen, Weimar Republic (d. 2017)

1930: 2nd Academy Awards: “The Broadway Melody”, Warner Baxter & Mary Pickford win. First time Academy Awards are broadcast on the radio.

1933: 1st airplane flight over Mt Everest

1934: Jane Goodall, British ethologist (studied African chimps), born in London, England

1948: US President Harry Truman signs Marshall Plan ($5B aid to 16 European countries)

1952: Dutch Queen Juliana speaks to US Congress

1958: Fidel Castro’s rebels attacked Havana

1958: Alec Baldwin, American actor (Joshua-Knots Landing, Beetlejuice), born in Amityville, New York

1961: Eddie Murphy, American actor (SNL, 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop, Raw), born in Brooklyn, New York

1968: Martin Luther King gave his last speech (“I’ve been to the mountaintop”) at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. The next day, King was assassinated.

1973: The first handheld mobile telephone call was made by an employee of Motorola, who called AT&T’s Bell Laboratories

1976: 21st Eurovision Song Contest: Brotherhood of Man for United Kingdom wins singing “Save Your Kisses for Me” in The Hague, The Netherlands

1977: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s 1st meeting with US President Jimmy Carter. I still remember the excitement at home (we lived just outside Jerusalem) when the Camp David Accords were signed two years later.

1978: Matthew Goode, English actor (Leap Year, A Single Man, A Discovery of Witches), born in Exeter, Devon, England

1982: Cobie Smulders, Canadian actress (How I Met Your Mother), born in Vancouver, British Columbia

1991: UN Security Council adopts Gulf War truce resolution

1996: Federal agents in Montana apprehend Ted Kaczynski, an American terrorist known as the “Unabomber,” who had killed 3 persons and injured more than 20 with explosives sent through the U.S. postal system.

2012: US President Barack Obama officially secures Democratic presidential nomination

2016: Panama Papers published – 11.5 million confidential documents from offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca expose widespread illegal activities including fraud, kleptocracy, tax evasion and the violation of international sanctions by the world’s elite in the world’s largest ever data leak

2021: Esther turns 51, celebrating her second birthday in Covid 19 quarantine…

The text on the cake translates to “It’s Esther’s birthday. Happy birthday old cake (i.e. meaning ‘old bat’)!” and yes, there is a spelling mistake on the photo gift my son got me which I love (it is so him!). Unlike last year, this year my already vaccinated mother and aunt were able to visit. It’s been a nice, low-key day.


(MTA: most of the info above is sourced from https://www.onthisday.com/day/april/3)

Whitewashed history

A little extra post before I really go offline tonight. Yesterday I watched a video by Sandi Toksvig, nowadays known from presenting the fabulous quiz show QI.

The video is called Scratching the Surface of Whitewashed History

… and is totally worth the 9 minute watch! We need to do better. #Blacklivesmatter

When fear & hatred trump humanity

We visited Auschwitz-Birkenau yesterday (for me it was my 3rd visit after 1989 the summer before the Wall fell and 1994). Auschwitz-Birkenau consisted of two main camps and was an unimaginably huge murder-factory, the scale of which is absolutely daunting. When I walk there it feels like an iron fist has grabbed hold of my heart. Even after all these years, I still can not wrap my head around it all…


It is a lesson from the past that I want my children to learn today, especially in light of islamophobia and intolerance towards refugees so prevalent now. This is where it could end, once we stop seeing humanity and we only see ‘them’ and ‘us’… this is where it could end when we fail to help people in need… this is where it could end when we build walls and shut people out… this where it could end when fear and hatred trump humanity…