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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1 Comment

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One response to “Almanac – July 26th

  1. Thanks for including Esperanto which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

    This language has some remarkable practical benefits. Personally, I’ve made friends around the world through Esperanto that I would never have been able to communicate with otherwise. And then there’s the Pasporta Servo, which provides free lodging and local information to Esperanto-speaking travellers in over 90 countries. Over recent years I have had guided tours of Berlin, Douala and Milan in this planned language. I have discussed philosophy with a Slovene poet, humour on television with a Bulgarian TV producer. I’ve discussed what life was like in East Berlin before the wall came down, how to cook perfect spaghetti, the advantages and disadvantages of monarchy, and so on. I recommend it, not just as an ideal but as a very practical way to overcome language barriers and get to know people from a very different cultural background.

    If you’re interested in Esperanto, take a look at http://www.lernu.net

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