Almanac – October 11

Traditionally, Blackberries should not be gathered after today, because the Devil has claimed them…or spat on them…. or pissed on them, depending on who you believe.
Or maybe just because they’re past their best.


1649 – Sack of Wexford: After a ten-day siege, English New Model Army troops (under Oliver Cromwell) stormed the town of Wexford, killing over 2,000 Irish Confederate troops and 1,500 civilians.


1924 – The Bureau Of Surrealist Enquiries opened in the Rue de Grenelle, Paris. The public was invited to bring along accounts of dreams or coincidences, ideas on fashion, politics or inventions, with a view towards “the formation of genuine Surrealist archives.”
As its director, Antonin Artaud, said: “We need disturbed followers more than we need active followers.”


1961 – Chico Marx died. American comedian and film star as part of the Marx Brothers. His persona in the act was that of a dim-witted albeit crafty con artist, seemingly of rural Italian origin, who wore shabby clothes, and sported a curly-haired wig and Tyrolean hat.
As the first-born of the five Marx Brothers, he also played an important role in the management and development of the act, at least in its early years.



1963 – Jean Cocteau died. French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. Best known for his novel Les Enfants terribles (1929), and the films Blood of a Poet (1930), Les Parents terribles (1948), Beauty and the Beast (1946), and Orpheus (1949).



1963 – Édith Piaf died. French singer and cultural icon who became widely regarded as France’s national popular singer, as well as being one of France’s greatest international stars. Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being ballads.



1972 – A race riot occurred on the United States Navy aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk off the coast of Vietnam during Operation Linebacker.

Approximately 100–200 black Kitty Hawk crewmen rioted as a response to perceived grievances against the Navy and the officers of Kitty Hawk, which appeared to represent institutionalized racism on the ship.

One such grievance was the belief that black crewmen were routinely assigned to menial or degrading duties. Black crewmen also believed that white crewmen received milder non-judicial punishments than black sailors for the same offenses.

In addition, there was lingering resentment from a racially-charged brawl involving Kitty Hawk sailors in the Philippines shortly before the ship left port.

During the riot, black sailors assaulted and injured a number of white crewmen. Three had to be evacuated to shore hospitals for further treatment. Forty-five to 60 Kitty Hawk crewmen were injured in total.

The carrier’s commander—Captain Marland Townsend—and executive officer—Commander Benjamin Cloud—dissuaded the rioters from further violence and prevented white sailors from retaliating. This allowed the carrier to launch her Linebacker air missions as scheduled on the morning of 12 October. Nineteen of the rioters were later found guilty by the Navy of at least one charge connected to the riot.


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