Mark Mason

On this day: how did Monica Lewinsky escape the press?

On this day: how did Monica Lewinsky escape the press?
Image: Getty
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Every weekend Spectator Life brings you doses of topical trivia – facts, figures and anecdotes inspired by the current week’s dates in history.

January 16 

In 2006, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became President of Liberia, and Africa’s first female elected head of state. The country got its name because it was founded in the 19th century as somewhere that freed American slaves could start their new lives. This is why Liberia’s flag so closely resembles that of the US. 

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became president of Liberia in 2006 (Getty)

January 17 

In 1998, news broke of Monica Lewinsky’s affair with Bill Clinton. The former intern escaped press attention during the biggest American political scandal since Watergate by hiding in her mother’s apartment … which was in the Watergate complex. 

Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton (Getty)

January 18

Glenn Frey (died 2016). The musician always insisted that his band was just called Eagles, not The Eagles. In this they mirror Pet Shop Boys, Pixies and Eurythmics. 

January 19 

John Bercow (born 1963). When the Conservative MP Simon Burns accidentally backed his car into the Speaker’s official vehicle in 2010, the diminuitive Bercow shouted ‘I am not happy!’ Burns replied: ‘Well which one are you?’ 

John and Sally Bercow attend the Cambridges' royal wedding (Image: Getty)

January 20 

Buzz Aldrin (born 1930). The astronaut was born Edwin Aldrin – his nickname (now adopted as his official name) came from his older sister pronouncing ‘brother’ as ‘buzzer’. His mother’s maiden name, meanwhile, was Moon. 

Image: Shutterstock

January 21 

Michael Winner (died 2013). The director once turned down an OBE, on the grounds that ‘an OBE is what you get if you clean the toilets well at King’s Cross station’. 

January 22 

Queen Victoria (died 1901). In her later years, Victoria’s bust measurement was greater than her height. (66 inches plays 59 inches.)