Tag Archives: British Empire

Almanac – March 25

421 – Venice  founded, according to legend,  identified with the dedication of the first church, that of San Giacomo at the islet of Rialto ,which is said to have been at the stroke of noon on 25 March 421

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1807 – The Slave Trade Act became law, abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire.  The act abolished the slave trade but not slavery itself.

Slavery on English soil was unsupported in English law and that position was confirmed in Somersett’s Case in 1772, but it remained legal in most of the British Empire until the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.

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1931 – Tom Wilson born. American record producer best known for his work with Sun Ra,  Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Simon and Garfunkel and The Velvet Underground.

As a staff producer at Columbia Records he  was one of the ‘midwives’ of folk-rock, producing three of Bob Dylan’s key 1960s albums: The Times They Are a-Changin’, Another Side of Bob Dylan, and Bringing It All Back Home, along with the 1965 single, “Like a Rolling Stone.”

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1942 – Aretha Franklin born.  American musician, singer, songwriter, and pianist. In a recording career that has spanned over half a century, her repertoire has included gospel, jazz, blues, R&B, pop, rock and funk.

She has been described as “the voice of the civil rights movement, the voice of the black America” and a symbol of black equality.

She first became connected with the movement through her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, a preacher, who traveled the country as well as recorded a weekly sermon for the radio station, WLAC, which reached 65 percent of the African-American population.

On tours with her father, Franklin began her singing career. Rev. Franklin also introduced Franklin to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., starting a lifelong friendship between the two.

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Almanac – August 28

1814 – Sheridan Le Fanu born.  Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the leading ghost-story writer of the nineteenth century and was central to the development of the genre in the Victorian era. Perhaps best remembered for Carmilla, a compelling tale of a lesbian vampire, set in central Europe. This story was to greatly influence Bram Stoker in the writing of Dracula and also inspired several films, including Hammer’s The Vampire Lovers and  Roger Vadim’s  Blood and Roses .
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1833 – The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 received Royal Assent, abolishing slavery through most the British Empire.

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1906 – John Betjeman born. English poet, writer and broadcaster. He was a founding member of the Victorian Society and a passionate defender of Victorian architecture. Starting his career as a journalist, he ended it as one of the most popular British Poets Laureate to date.

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1942 – Sterling Morrison born.  Guitarist with The Velvet Underground.

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1955 – Black teenager Emmett Till  murdered in Mississippi, aged 14, after reportedly flirting with a white woman , an event that galvanized  the nascent American Civil Rights Movement.

Till was from Chicago, Illinois, visiting his relatives in the Mississippi Delta region when he spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of a small grocery store. Several nights later, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam arrived at Till’s great-uncle’s house where they took Till, transported him to a barn, beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River.

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well, now you can count them one by one
it-could-be-your-son,
and you can count them two by two,
it-could-be-me-and-you
well, into-the-river-they-go, into-the-river-they-go,
now you can count them five by five,
now-they-don’t-come-out-a-live.
now you can count them six by six
in-Mississippi, they-got-it-fixed.
now you can count them seven by seven,
Mississippi, it-ain’t-no-heav-en
now you can count them eight by eight,
and-they-were thrown-in-because-of-hate.
now you can count them Nine by Nine
and Mississippi this a no Crime
you can count them Ten by Ten
and you would wonder when the right win

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Almanac – August 1

LAMMAS DAY

“At the Lammas Fair, it was the custom for unmarried persons of both sexes to choose a companion, according to their liking, with whom they were to live till that time next year.

This was called Hand-fasting, or hand-in-fist. If they were pleased with each other, then they continued together for life: if not, they seperated, and were free to make another choice.”

‘Old Statistical Account’, Parish of Eskdalemuir, 1794

1555 – Edward Kelley born. An ambiguous figure in English Renaissance occultism and self-declared spirit medium who worked with John Dee in his magical investigations. Besides the professed ability to summon spirits or angels on a crystal ball, which John Dee so valued, Kelley also claimed to possess the secret of transmuting base metals into gold.

Legends began to surround Kelley shortly after his death. His flamboyant biography, and his relative notoriety among English-speaking historians (chiefly because of his association with Dee) may have made him the source for the folklorical image of the alchemist-charlatan.

1715 – The English Riot Act came into effect; when 12 or more people were unlawfully assembled and refused to disperse, they were, after the reading of a section of this Act by a person in authority, immediately considered to be criminals.

1800 – The Acts of Union 1800 was passed,  which merged the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1834 – Slavery abolished throughout the British Empire.

1931 – Ramblin’ Jack Elliott born. American folk singer.  Elliott’s nickname came not from his traveling habits, but rather the countless stories he related before answering the simplest of questions. Folk singer Odetta claimed that it was her mother who gave him the name, remarking, “Oh,  Jack Elliott,  yeah,  he can sure ramble on!”

Mr. Frankenstein

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