Almanac – September 3

“It was the 3rd of September
That day I’ll always remember…”

The opening lines of  “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone”, a song usually associated with The Temptations, but I think I prefer the original version by The Undisputed Truth.

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Once this day was reckoned by astrologers to be “a day of wonders and marvels,” mostly fearful ones.

It certainly loomed quite large in the life of Oliver Cromwell- on this day he won important battles at Dunbar [1650] and Worcester [1651] but, third time unlucky, fell to the greatest adversary and died on this day in 1658.  It is usually stated that his decease took place amidst a storm of singular violence, which was tearing and flooding the whole country, and which fittingly marked the occasion; but the storm, in reality, happened on Monday  30th of August, and must have been pretty well spent before the Friday afternoon, when Oliver breathed his last.

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301 – San Marino, one of the smallest nations in the world and the world’s oldest republic still in existence, was founded by Saint Marinus.

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1802 – William Wordsworth composed the sonnet Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

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1939 – World War II: France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia declare war on Germany after the invasion of Poland, forming the Allies.

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1974 – Harry Partch died.  American composer and instrument creator. He was one of the first twentieth-century composers to work extensively and systematically with microtonal scales, writing much of his music for custom-made instruments that he built himself, tuned in 11-limit (43-tone) just intonation.

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1994 – Major Lance died. American R&B singer. After a number of US hits in the 1960s, including “The Monkey Time” and “Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um” (both written by Curtis Mayfield), he became an iconic figure in Britain in the 1970s  on the Northern Soul scene.

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