1978 — Pope John Paul I dies after only 33 days in office

One of the briefest reigning popes, Pope John Paul I (his papal named honoured his two immediate predecessors, John XXIII and Paul VI) died at the age of 65, apparently of a heart attack. Inevitably, conspiracy theories regarding his death were widespread later that same day – institutions as powerful and secretive as the Vatican tend to breed them like flies.

Still, it is interesting that John Paul I was one of the most liberal Popes in many years (possibly even moreso than the current Pope Francis), and that his expressed positions on many issues dismayed the more conservative Catholics. His two immediate successors to the Papal throne were both very much hardline conservatives, who were quick to throw cold water on some of John Paul’s planned reforms. The former Cardinal Albino Luciani’s greatest legacy would be his papal name – his successor called himself John Paul II. (Disappointingly, no subsequent pope has named himself George Ringo.)

Referenced in:
Hey Luciani! — The Fall

1933 — Samora Machel born

The son of farmers, Samora Machel was born in the village of Madragoa (now Chilembene), in Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique). Machel’s father was well-to-do (by the standards of indigenous farmers under Portuguese rule), and young Samora would study nursing, eventually becoming a medical aide in a hospital. But like many, he chafed under Portuguese rule, and eventually left the hospital to join the revolutionary movement in Dar Es Salaam.

Through the course of the long guerrilla war that was the Sixties in Mozambique, Samora Machel rose through the ranks of the Marxist-Leninist Mozambique Liberation Front or FRELIMO, also known as the Mozambique Liberation Front. By 1969, he was their leader, and led them to a negotiated independence from Portugal as the new state of Mozambique in 1975. He then served as his country’s first President until his death in 1986.

Referenced in:

Born fe Rebel — Steel Pulse

1984 – Essendon defeats Hawthorn in the VFL Grand Final

Favoured going into the game, Essendon played hard all day, but nonetheless trailed Hawthorn going into the game’s final quarter. But in that last quarter, they turned it all around, kicking 11 goals and 6 points (a record score for the last quarter of any VFL/AFL Grand Final), and more than doubling their score for the rest of the match.

They romped home at the game’s conclusion, defeating Hawthorn by four goals and winning Essendon’s 13th Premiership. It was particularly satisfying victory for Essendon’s fans – in the previous year’s Grand Final, the same two teams had fought, but the result had been very different, with Hawthorn winning by 83 points on that occasion.

Referenced in:

You’re A Long Way From Home 1 — This Is Serious Mum

September 29, 4040 BCE — The Ringbearers take ship from the Grey Havens

At long last, weary of Middle Earth, the majority of the remaining Noldor Elves take ship for the Uttermost West. Their company includes the bearers of the three Elven Rings; Galadriel, Elrond and Gandalf; and also the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, who carried the One Ring.

It is an occasion both of sadness and of the rewards of victory, as the peace of the West means forsaking Middle Earth and all there whom they love, forevermore. The departure is witnessed by Frodo’s three closest friends, Merry, Pippin and Sam Gamgee.