Almanac – August 21

1614 – Elizabeth Báthory death confirmed. . Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed, of Hungary, probably the most prolific female serial killer in history. Under house arrest, she was immured within a tower with only one slit to give her provisions, where she  remained  for four years, until her death. On 21 August 1614, she was found dead, and since there were several plates of food untouched, her actual date of death is unknown. She was buried in the church of Csejte, but due to the villagers’ uproar over having “The Tigress of Csejte” buried in their cemetery, her body was moved to her birth home at Ecsed, where it is interred at the Báthory family crypt.

1872 – Aubrey Beardsley born.  English illustrator and author. His drawings in black ink, and influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts, emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic. He was a leading figure in the Aesthetic movement which also included Oscar Wilde and James A. McNeill Whistler. Beardsley’s contribution to the development of the Art Nouveau and poster styles was significant, despite the brevity of his career before his early death from tuberculosis.

1879 – At Knock, County Mayo, Ireland, an apparition of Mary, Joseph and St John the Evangelist alledgedly seen by 15 people at the village church.

They claimed to have watched the figures for two hours in the pouring rain, and an official inquiry ruled that their evidence was trustworthy.

A shrine built at the site became a place of pilgrimage and a number of miraculous cures claimed for it. Maybe the biggest miracle is that there is now a Knock International Airport, opened in 1986 to cater for the one-and-a-half million pilgrims who travel there each year.

1904 – William “Count” Basie born.  American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer.

1940 – Leon Trotsky died, the result of an attack by an assassin armed with an ice-pick the previous day.

1961 – Motown released what would be its first #1 hit, “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes.


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