Monthly Archives: July 2012

Almanac – July 31

1703 – Daniel Defoe was placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, but was alledgedly pelted with flowers by the crowd, rather than the normal semi-lethal objects.

1970 – Black Tot Day – the last day on which the Royal Navy issued sailors with a daily rum ration. Some sailors wore black armbands, tots were ‘buried at sea’ and in one navy training camp there was a mock funeral procession complete with black coffin and accompanying drummers and piper. The move was not popular with the ratings despite an extra can of beer being added to the daily rations in compensation

Mr. Frankenstein

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Almanac – July 30

762 – Baghdad  founded by caliph Al-Mansur.

1751 – Although official executions for Witchcraft was supposed to have ceased in England in 1682 [1722 in Scotland], a Mrs. Osborne on this day became the last known person to be killed as a result of a witch-trial, being given the water test [float and you’re guilty, sink and you’re innocent] until she drowned – so was thus presumably innocent.

1818 – Emily Brontë born. English novelist and poet, best remembered for her solitary novel, Wuthering Heights. Although it received mixed reviews when it first came out, and was often condemned for its portrayal of amoral passion, the book subsequently became an English literary classic. She published under the pen name Ellis Bell.


1958 – Kate Bush born , English singer-songwriter who’s first hit single  was – coincidence or not – Wuthering Heights.

2003 – Sam Phillips died. American businessman, record executive, record producer and DJ who played an important role in the emergence of rock and roll in the 1950s. He was a producer, label owner, and talent scout throughout the 1940s and 1950s and  founded Sun Studios and Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. Through Sun, Phillips discovered  Howlin’ Wolf, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis , Johnny Cash  and Elvis Presley.

2007 – Ingmar Bergman died. Swedish director, writer and producer for film, stage and television. described by Woody Allen as “probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera,”  Bergman is recognized as one of the most accomplished and influential film directors of all time.

Mr. Frankenstein

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Almanac – July 29

1848 – Battle of Ballingarry, Tipperary, Ireland – an unsuccessful nationalist revolt against British rule was put down by police. The Young Irelander Rebellion was a failed  nationalist uprising led by the Young Ireland movement, part of the wider Revolutions of 1848 that affected most of Europe.  After being chased by a force of Young Irelanders and their supporters, an Irish Constabulary unit raided a house and took those inside as hostages. A several-hour gunfight followed, but the rebels fled after a large group of police reinforcements arrived.

It is sometimes called the Famine Rebellion, as it took place during the Great Irish Famine.

1885 – Theda Bara born as  Theodosia Burr Goodman.  American silent film actress, one of the most popular of her era –  ranking behind only Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford – and one of cinema’s earliest sex symbols. Her femme fatale roles earned her the nickname “The Vamp”.  She made more than 40 films between 1914 and 1926, but complete prints of only six still exist.

Theda Bara” is an anagram of “Arab Death

1890 – Vincent van Gogh died, 29 hours after he had  shot himself. His reported last words were  “The sadness will last forever.”

1907 – Sir Robert Baden-Powell set up the Brownsea Island Scout camp in Poole Harbour on the south coast of England, United Kingdom. The camp ran  from August 1 to August 9, 1907, and is regarded as the foundation of the Scouting movement.

1921 – Adolf Hitler became  leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party.

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Almanac – July 28

1586 – Said by some to be the date that Thomas Harriot first introduced the Potato to Europe.

1655 – Cyrano de Bergerac died.  French dramatist and duelist. He is now best remembered for the works of fiction which have been woven, often very loosely, around his life story, most notably the 1897 play by Edmond Rostand. In these fictional works he is featured with an overly large nose, which people would travel from miles around to see. Portraits suggest that he did have a big nose, though not nearly as large as described in Rostand’s play and the subsequent works about him.

1844 – Gerard Manley Hopkins born.  English poet, Roman Catholic convert, and Jesuit priest, whose posthumous fame established him among the leading Victorian poets. His experimental explorations in prosody (especially sprung rhythm) and his use of imagery established him as a daring innovator in a period of largely traditional verse.

1887 – Marcel Duchamp born. French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Considered by some to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, his  output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art.

   
1932 – U.S. President Herbert Hoover ordered the United States Army to forcibly evict the “Bonus Army” of World War I veterans gathered in Washington, D.C.
The Bonus Army was the popular name of an assemblage of some 43,000 marchers—17,000 World War I veterans, their families, and affiliated groups—who gathered in Washington, D.C., in the spring and summer of 1932 to demand immediate cash-payment redemption of their service certificates. Its organizers called it the Bonus Expeditionary Force to echo the name of World War I’s American Expeditionary Force, while the media called it the Bonus March. It was led by Walter W. Waters, a former Army sergeant.

Many of the war veterans had been out of work since the beginning of the Great Depression. The World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924 had awarded them bonuses in the form of certificates they could not redeem until 1945.

1945 – A U.S. Army B-25 bomber crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building, New York,  killing 14 and injuring 26.

Mr. Frankenstein

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Almanac – July 27

1880 – The Battle of Maiwand, one of the principal battles of the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Under the leadership of Ayub Khan, the Afghans defeated two brigades of British and Indian troops under Brigadier-General George Burrows.

 Doctor  John Watson, companion of Sherlock Holmes, was wounded in the Battle of Maiwand, as described in the opening chapter of A Study in Scarlet, which led to him being invalided  out of the military and into a life of  a fictional detective’s side-kick.

1890 – Vincent van Gogh shot himself  (and died two days later).



1949 – Robert Rankin, born.  British humorous novelist. His books are a mix of science fiction, fantasy, the occult, urban legends, running gags, metafiction, steampunk and outrageous characters.

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Almanac – July 26th

1533 – Atahualpa, the 13th and last emperor of the Incas, died by strangulation at the hands of Francisco Pizarro’s Spanish conquistadors. His death marked the end of 300 years of Inca civilization.

1856 – George Bernard Shaw born – Irish writer, Nobel laureate.

1875 – Carl Jung born –  Swiss psychiatrist.



1887 – The Unua Libro (Esperanto:  First Book) was the first publication to describe the international language Esperanto (then called Lingvo Internacia, “international language”).First published in Russian  in Warsaw, by Dr. L.L. Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto, over the next few years editions were published in Russian, Hebrew, Polish, French, German, and English.

The booklet included the Lord’s Prayer, some Bible verses, a letter, poetry, the sixteen rules of grammar and 900 roots of vocabulary. Zamenhof declared, “an international language, like a national one, is common property.” and signed the work as “Doktoro Esperanto”   –  the title stuck as the name of the language which means “one who is hoping”.

1894 – Aldous Huxley born – English author, best known for  his novel Brave New World and his experiments with  psychedelic drugs, resulting in the essays The Doors of Perception  (from which the band The Doors took their name).

1984 – Ed Gein died.  American murderer and grave robber., his crimes, committed around his hometown of Plainfield, Wisconsin, gathered widespread notoriety after authorities discovered he had exhumed corpses from local graveyards and fashioned trophies and keepsakes from their bones and skin, although he apparently drew the line at necrophilia. After police found body parts in his house in 1957, Gein confessed to killing two women.

The police investigation of his house uncovered –

    Four noses
    Whole human bones and fragments
    Nine masks of human skin
    Bowls made from human skulls
    Ten female heads with the tops sawn off
    Human skin covering several chair seats
    Nine vulvae in a shoe box
    A belt made from female human nipples
    Skulls on his bedposts
    A pair of lips on a draw string for a window-shade
    A lampshade made from the skin from a human face

Sentenced to life imprisonment in a mental hospital,  his case influenced the creation of several fictional serial killers, including Norman Bates from Psycho, Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Jame Gumb from The Silence of the Lambs.

Mr. Frankenstein

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Almanac – July 25th

St James’s Day – in 1782, John Knill had constructed a 3-sided stone obelisk on a hill outside of St. Ives, Cornwall, which becamr known as Knill’s Steeple.He intended it originally to be his mausoleum, but it was never used as such.
However, he did draw up a complicated deed which gave strict instructions for a ceremony to take place at the Steeple ever 5 years on the feast of St. James – today.
The ceremony involved 10 girls[who must be the daughters of fishermen, tinners or seamen], 2 widows, a fiddler and 3 trustees [the mayor, vicar and customs officer of the day].
The girls were to dance around the Steeple to Cornish tunes played on the fiddle, and then everyone was to sing the 100th Psalm. Knill attended the first ceremony himself in 1801.

1834 – Samuel Taylor Coleridge died. English poet,  Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as for his major prose work Biographia Literaria.

1965 – Bob Dylan went electric as he plugs in at the Newport Folk Festival, signaling a major change in folk and rock music.

1976 – : Viking 1 took  the famous Face on Mars photo.

1984 – Big Mama Thornton died, American singer, she was the first to record “Hound Dog”, in 1952 – the song was #1 on the Billboard R&B charts for seven weeks in 1953 and  sold almost two million copies. Three years later, Elvis Presley recorded his version.

She also  wrote and recorded “Ball ‘n’ Chain,” which became a hit for her and later for  Janis Joplin,

 

 

Mr. Frankenstein

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