Almanac – September 10

1676 – Gerrard Winstanley died.  English Protestant religious reformer and political activist during The Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. Winstanley was one of the founders of the English group known as the True Levellers for their beliefs, based upon Christian communism, and as the Diggers for their actions because they took over public lands and dug them over to plant crops.

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1794 – Marie Laveau born.  Louisiana Creole practitioner of Voodoo  in New Orleans. Of her magical career there is little that can be substantiated – she was said to have had a snake she named Zombi after an African god and oral traditions suggested that the occult part of her magic mixed Roman Catholic beliefs, including saints, with African spirits and religious concepts.

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1797 – Mary Wollstonecraft died. British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children’s book but is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argued that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggested that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagined a social order founded on reason. Her daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, married Percy Shelley and was the author of Frankenstein,

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1897 – London taxi driver George Smith drove into the frontage of a building on Bond Street, Mayfair, and subsequently became the first UK convicted drunk-driver. Fined one pound.

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1940 – Roy Ayers born.  American funk, soul, and jazz composer and vibraphone player. Ayers began his career as a post-bop jazz artist, releasing several albums with Atlantic Records, before his tenure at Polydor Records beginning in the 1970s, during which he helped pioneer jazz-funk

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1977 – In France, the guillotine was used as a form of capital punishment for the last time.

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