Life begins

On this day in 1865, in one of the last actions of the American Civil War, Union troops captured the trenches around Petersburg, Virginia, thereby breaking the 10-month siege of the city, and forcing Confederate General Robert E. Lee to retreat.

Exactly one-hundred years later, on this day in 1965, early in the morning, four young women went into labour pretty-much simultaneously in a Victorian, brick-built maternity home in Bromborough, England. The maternity home only had three birthing beds, so the fourth young woman was ushered into a bathroom, where the staff improvised an additional birthing bed, using a cast-iron bath and a large slab of wood.

Ugly Son
The young woman and her ugly, abnormally large-headed son.

There, at a-quarter-to-nine in the morning (just in time for breakfast, as she was later to observe), the young woman delivered into this world, her first-born child.

The nurses and midwife gathered round, looked down at the serene new-born baby, shook their heads, and tut-tutted.

"You have a very ugly son, Mrs Carter," they observed. "He has an abnormally large head."

Still, his mother loved him.

Holy crap, I'm 40!

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.

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