There are times when ordinary people do extraordinary things, and the D-Day Landings were one of those times. On this day in 1944, Allied soldiers - ordinary men, some as young as 16 - jumped into the sea, weighed down with some 35 kilograms (75 pounds) of gear, and fought their way through waves scarlet with their friends’ blood, through machine gun fire and barbed wire, on to the French beaches.
It would take almost another year to bring World War II in Europe to an end, but with Allied forces landed in France, the tide was truly turned. Codenamed Operation Neptune, the Normandy Landings of 156,000 men on an 80 kilometre (50 mile) stretch of the Normandy coast, which was divided into five sectors codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword Beach, formed the largest seaborne invasion in history.
It's the drive-in's birthday
On this day in 1933, an entrepreneur named Richard Hollingswood debuted his big new idea, the drive-in movie, in Camden, New Jersey.
Marketed initially as perfect for families, petting at a drive-in movie became a classic American teen activity as sexual freedom began to dawn. And, amazingly, despite home entertainment systems, downloads and the like, there are still hundreds of drive-in cinemas in the US today. In Blighty? Well, the drive-in never really took off.
We'll stick with the multiplex, or our screen at home, where we can sip on a Sidecar rather than being in a car whilst enjoying a movie.
Today Is Queensland Day
On this day in 1859 the colony of Queen's Land, founded when some folk set up a penal colony on the Brisbane River, split off from the colony of New South Wales, also founded as a penal colony.
Less than half a century later, it would become a part of the Commonwealth of Australia, although some argue independence was only achieved in 1986, and others argue that it won't be achieved until they get rid of the Queen. Anywise, the good folk of Brissy, Bundy, Cairns, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are celebrating Queensland's birthday today.
Famously laid-back, but also intensely patriotic - like Americans, Australians identify intensely with their home state - so Queenslanders will, most likely, be marking this day in style. Us? In honour of Australia's Sunshine State, we are enjoying a Sunshine Cocktail, served to our preferred formula, #1.