Almanac – September 30

Today is Blasphemy Day.
Blasphemy Rights Day International, on  which individuals and groups are encouraged to openly express their criticism of, or even disdain for, religion. It was founded in 2009 by the Center for Inquiry  in Amherst, New York.

Ronald Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry said regarding Blasphemy Day, “We think religious beliefs should be subject to examination and criticism just as political beliefs are, but we have a taboo on religion,” in an interview with CNN.  The day was set on September 30, to coincide with the anniversary of the publication of satirical drawings of Muhammad in a Danish newspaper, resulting in the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.

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Evidently a good day to premiere something…

The Magic Flute [Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart] in Vienna in 1791.
The Pearl Fishers [Georges Bizet] in Paris, 1863.
Porgy & Bess [George Gershwin], Boston, 1935
– The first demonstration film of Cinerama – the imaginatively titled This Is Cinerama – in New York, 1952.

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1888 – The deaths of  Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes, generally considered the third and fourth victims of Jack the Ripper, though its theorised that Stride may not have been a Ripper victim.

 

 

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1955 – James Dean died. American film actor and  a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment, as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as troubled Los Angeles teenager Jim Stark. The other two roles that defined his stardom were as loner Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955), and as the surly ranch hand, Jett Rink, in Giant (1956). Dean’s enduring fame and popularity rests on his performances in only these three films, all leading roles. His premature death in a car crash cemented his legendary status.

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1967 –  The BBC’s  Light Programme, Third Programme and Home Service were replaced with BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4 respectively.
BBC Radio 1 – the official answer to the outlawed  pirate pop stations –  was also launched with Tony Blackburn (himself an ex-pirate) presenting the first show, and the first record played was…

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