Almanac – September 1

1902 –  Le Voyage Dans La Lune  (A Trip to the Moon),  considered one of the first science fiction films,  released in France.  It was based loosely on two popular novels of the time: Jules Verne‘s  From the Earth to the Moon  and  H. G. Wells‘  The First Men in the Moon.

The film was written and directed by Georges Méliès, assisted by his brother Gaston. It runs 14 minutes if projected at 16 frames per second, which was the standard frame rate at the time the film was produced, and uses innovative animation and special effects, including the well-known image of the spaceship landing in the Moon’s eye.

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1939 – Adolf Hitler signs an order to begin the systematic euthanasia of mentally ill and disabled people, the programme  known as Aktion T4,  during which physicians killed thousands of people who were “judged incurably sick, by critical medical examination”. The programme officially ran from September 1939  until August 1941, but it continued unofficially until the end of the Nazi regime.

During the official stage of Action T4, 70,273 people were killed,  but the Nuremberg Trials found evidence that German and Austrian physicians continued the murder of patients after October 1941 and that about 275,000 people were killed under T4.More recent research based on files recovered after 1990 gives a figure of at least 200,000 physically or mentally handicapped people killed by medication, starvation, or in the gas chambers between 1939 and 1945.

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2005 – R. L. Burnside died.  American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist who lived much of his life in and around Holly Springs, Mississippi. He played music for much of his life, but did not receive much attention until the early 1990s. In the latter half of the 1990s, he repeatedly recorded with Jon Spencer, garnering crossover appeal and introducing his music to a new fanbase within the underground garage rock scene.

One commentator noted that Burnside, along with Big Jack Johnson, Paul “Wine” Jones, Roosevelt “Booba” Barnes and James “Super Chikan” Johnson, were “present-day exponents of an edgier, electrified version of the raw, uncut Delta blues sound.”

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