Tag Archives: Alexander the Great

Almanac – June 10

323 BC – Alexander the Great died. King of Macedon, a state in northern ancient Greece.

By the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history’s most successful commanders.

Alexander died in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, in Babylon, aged 32.

 

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1884 – Leone Sextus Denys Oswolf Fraudatifilius Tollemache-Tollemache de Orellana Plantagenet Tollemache-Tollemache born.

English soldier, here solely because of his name. He died on active service in 1917, though of influenza rather than a bullet.

 

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1910 – Howlin’ Wolf born. American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player.

With a booming voice and looming physical presence, Wolf is commonly ranked among the leading performers in electric blues; musician and critic Cub Koda declared, “no one could match Howlin’ Wolf for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits.”

 A number of songs written or popularized by him —such as “Smokestack Lightnin'”, “Back Door Man”, “Killing Floor” and “Spoonful”—have become blues and blues rock standards.

At 6 feet, 6 inches (197 cm) and close to 300 pounds (136 kg), he was an imposing presence with one of the loudest and most memorable voices of all the “classic” 1950s Chicago blues singers.  Sam Phillips once remarked, “When I heard Howlin’ Wolf, I said, ‘This is for me. This is where the soul of man never dies.'”

 

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1940 – Marcus Garvey died. Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL).

He founded the Black Star Line, part of the Back-to-Africa movement, which promoted the return of the African diaspora to their ancestral lands.
The Rastafari movement  proclaims Garvey as a prophet

.Garvey died in London in 1940 after two strokes. Due to travel restrictions during World War II, his body was interred in London and he was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery. In 1964, his remains were exhumed and taken to Jamaica, where the government proclaimed him Jamaica’s first national hero and re-interred him at a shrine in the National Heroes Park.

 

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1946 – Jack Johnson died.  American boxer.

At the height of the Jim Crow era, Johnson became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion (1908–1915). In a documentary about his life, Ken Burns notes that “for more than thirteen years, Jack Johnson was the most famous and the most notorious African-American on Earth.”

Johnson died in a car crash on U.S. Highway 1 near Franklinton, North Carolina, a small town near Raleigh, after racing angrily from a diner that refused to serve him.

Miles Davis‘s 1971 album entitled A Tribute to Jack Johnson was inspired by the boxer. The end of the record features the actor Brock Peters (as Johnson) saying:
I’m Jack Johnson. Heavyweight champion of the world. I’m black. They never let me forget it. I’m black all right! I’ll never let them forget it!”

 

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Almanac – July 20th

356 BC – Alexander the Great, Macedonian king born.
Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until the age of 16. By the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history’s most successful commanders. And dead by the age of 32.

1893 –  George Llewelyn Davies born.  Said to be the model for Peter Pan in J.M Barrie’s 1904 play  Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.  Unlike his alter ego, he died aged 21 of a gunshot to the head in World War I.

1923 – Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary, assassinated by  a group of seven riflemen who  appeared in the middle of the road and fired over 40 shots into the automobile carrying Villa.  In the fusillade of shots, Villa was hit by 9 Dumdum bullets in his head and upper chest, killing him instantly. He was found in the driver seat of the car, with one hand reaching for his gun.

A strange coincidence (or maybe not) coinsidering the Peter Pan link with this date, but…

1930“Many hundreds of boys are perched in trees throughout the United States,” it was reported.

“…and this mania for endurance sitting is ravaging some towns. At Camden, New Jersey, no fewer than 104 boys are living in tree tops, some declaring their intention not to descend until winter.”

One lad in Kansas had been aloft for 230 hours. Another, in New Orleans, asked a priest to conduct a tree-sitting Mass, but fell before it could be done. A number of boys had been injured in falls. Emergency by-laws had failed to stamp out the unexplained new craze.

1945 – French poet,  essayist, and philosopher  Paul Valery died.  Born Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry, his interests were sufficiently broad that he can be classified as a polymath. In addition to his poetry and fiction (drama and dialogues) and aphorisms on art, history, letters, music, and current events, he also wrote many misanthropic diatribes on human nature.

1960 – Sirimavo Bandaranaike was elected the World’s first woman prime minister in Ceylon [now Sri Lanka].

1969 – Men landed on the Moon for the first time…or was it faked in a film studio ?

1973 – Bruce Lee died.  Born Lee Jun-fan;  a Chinese- American Hong Kong actor, martial arts instructor, philosopher, film director, film producer, screenwriter, founder of Jeet Kune Do, and the son of Cantonese opera actor Lee Hoi-Chuen. He is widely considered by many commentators, critics, media and other martial artists to be the greatest and most influential martial artist of all time, a  pop culture icon of the 20th Century, and often credited with changing the way Asians were presented in American films. Like Alexander the Great at the top of this page, he died aged 32.

1977 – The CIA in America  releases documents under the Freedom of Information Act revealing it had engaged in mind control experiments.

Mr. Frankenstein

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