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1773 Irish playwright Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer was first performed at Covent Garden Theatre on this day in 1773. The comedy about an upper class girl attempting to convince her potential husband that she is a commoner was a roaring success and is still being performed onstage today.
Click here to read some of the best quotes from Oliver Goldsmith
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1774 Isaac Weld was born in Dublin on this day in 1774. His great grandfather had a close friendship with Isaac Newton, and he was named after him as were his grandfather and father. He was a writer, explorer and artist, and travelled across America and Canada to find potential locations that would be suitable for Irish emigrants to settle. He was not a fan of the American people, believing them to be too materialistic. When he returned to Ireland he published a book, Travels, which was translated into French, German and Dutch.
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1852 Lady Gregory Augusta was born in Galway on this day in 1852. She was a playwright and a close friend of WB Yeats. The two were founding members of the Irish Literary Theatre and Lady Gregory also founded the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.
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1878 Sir Robert McCarrison was born in Northern Ireland on this day in 1878. He studied medicine in Belfast and then worked in India. He was an experimental scientist and was fascinated by the relationship between diet and health.
He conducted several tests, often using himself as the case study. McCarrison’s work was ahead of its time, and he was well respected by his peers. The McCarrison Society was founded in 1966 by a group of doctors wanting to promote the importance of a healthy diet.
Click here to read about more great Irish scientists
Click here to read about more great Irish writers
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1895 On 15 March 1895 Bridget Cleary was murdered by her husband. She has been popularly described as “the last witch burned in Ireland”.
Bridget Cleary became seriously ill with, it is thought, TB or pneumonia a few days before her murder.
The illness may have caused febrile ramblings. These ramblings caused her husband Michael and her friends to believe she had been taken by fairies and a sickly changeling left in her place.
Read the full story of Bridget Cleary here
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1976 A tube driver in London was shot dead by a suspected IRA terrorist on this day in 1976. The driver gave chase to a man he believed had detonated a bomb on the train, but was shot dead.
Another man pursuing the suspect was put in hospital after also being shot. The gunman was surrounded by police before turning the gun on himself.
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1999 Rosemary Nelson was killed by a car bomb on this day in 1999 in County Armagh. She was a solicitor and had defended IRA snipers in court, after they were accused of killing two Royal Ulster Constabulary policemen.
Nelson had received several threats on her life for her involvement in the case. A loyalist group called the Red Hand Defenders Claimed responsibility for her killing.