Almanac – July 20th

356 BC – Alexander the Great, Macedonian king born.
Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until the age of 16. By the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history’s most successful commanders. And dead by the age of 32.

1893 –  George Llewelyn Davies born.  Said to be the model for Peter Pan in J.M Barrie’s 1904 play  Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.  Unlike his alter ego, he died aged 21 of a gunshot to the head in World War I.

1923 – Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary, assassinated by  a group of seven riflemen who  appeared in the middle of the road and fired over 40 shots into the automobile carrying Villa.  In the fusillade of shots, Villa was hit by 9 Dumdum bullets in his head and upper chest, killing him instantly. He was found in the driver seat of the car, with one hand reaching for his gun.

A strange coincidence (or maybe not) coinsidering the Peter Pan link with this date, but…

1930“Many hundreds of boys are perched in trees throughout the United States,” it was reported.

“…and this mania for endurance sitting is ravaging some towns. At Camden, New Jersey, no fewer than 104 boys are living in tree tops, some declaring their intention not to descend until winter.”

One lad in Kansas had been aloft for 230 hours. Another, in New Orleans, asked a priest to conduct a tree-sitting Mass, but fell before it could be done. A number of boys had been injured in falls. Emergency by-laws had failed to stamp out the unexplained new craze.

1945 – French poet,  essayist, and philosopher  Paul Valery died.  Born Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry, his interests were sufficiently broad that he can be classified as a polymath. In addition to his poetry and fiction (drama and dialogues) and aphorisms on art, history, letters, music, and current events, he also wrote many misanthropic diatribes on human nature.

1960 – Sirimavo Bandaranaike was elected the World’s first woman prime minister in Ceylon [now Sri Lanka].

1969 – Men landed on the Moon for the first time…or was it faked in a film studio ?

1973 – Bruce Lee died.  Born Lee Jun-fan;  a Chinese- American Hong Kong actor, martial arts instructor, philosopher, film director, film producer, screenwriter, founder of Jeet Kune Do, and the son of Cantonese opera actor Lee Hoi-Chuen. He is widely considered by many commentators, critics, media and other martial artists to be the greatest and most influential martial artist of all time, a  pop culture icon of the 20th Century, and often credited with changing the way Asians were presented in American films. Like Alexander the Great at the top of this page, he died aged 32.

1977 – The CIA in America  releases documents under the Freedom of Information Act revealing it had engaged in mind control experiments.

Mr. Frankenstein

*******

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