Tag Archives: civil rights activist

Almanac – April 21

753 BC – Romulus and Remus founded Rome, according to legend.

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571 – Prophet Muhammad  born in Makkah.

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1918 –  German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, known as “The Red Baron”, was shot down and killed over Vaux-sur-Somme in France.

He was considered the top ace of  WWI, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories.

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1934 – The “Surgeon’s Photograph”, the most famous photo allegedly showing the Loch Ness Monster, was published in the Daily Mail, supposedly taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London gynaecologist.

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1970 – The Hutt River Province Principality seceded from Australia.

The oldest micronation in Australia, the principality claims to be an independent sovereign state having achieved legal status on 21 April 1972, although it remains unrecognised except by other micronations.

The principality is located 517 km (354 mi) north of Perth, near the town of Northampton. If considered independent, it is an enclave of Australia.

The principality was founded Leonard George Casley when he and his associates proclaimed their secession from the state of Western Australia.

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2003 – Nina Simone died. American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music.

Simone aspired to become a classical pianist while working in a broad range of styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.

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Almanac – February 21

1848 – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published The Communist Manifesto.  It has since been recognized as one of the world’s most influential political manuscripts.

Commissioned by the Communist League, it laid out the League’s purposes and program. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and present) and the problems of capitalism, rather than a prediction of communism’s potential future forms.

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1933 – Nina Simone born.  American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist.

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1965 – Malcolm X assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam.  As he prepared to address the Organization of Afro-American Unity , a disturbance broke out in the 400-person audience—a man yelled, “Nigger! Get your hand outta my pocket!”

 As Malcolm X and his bodyguards moved to quiet the disturbance, a man seated in the front row rushed forward and shot him once in the chest with a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun.  Two other men charged the stage and fired semi-automatic handguns, hitting Malcolm X several times.  He was pronounced dead at 3:30 pm, shortly after he arrived at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

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Almanac – February 04

1913 – Rosa Parks born.  American civil rights activist. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake‘s order that she give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled.

Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation, others had taken similar steps in the twentieth century, but NAACP organizers believed that Parks was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience.

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1968 – Neal Cassady died.  Major figure of the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the psychedelic movement of the 1960s.

He served as the model for the character Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac‘s novel On the Road, in which the narrator, Sal Paradise (the personification of Jack Kerouac) states to the reader, “He  (Moriarty/Cassady) was simply a youth tremendously excited with life, and though he was a con-man, he was only conning because he wanted so much to live and to get involved with people who would otherwise pay no attention to him…Somewhere along the line I knew there’d be girls, visions, everything; somewhere along the line the pearl would be handed to me.”

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1975 – Louis Jordan died. Pioneering American musician, songwriter and bandleader who enjoyed his greatest popularity from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Known as “The King of the Jukebox”, he was highly popular with both black and white audiences in the later years of the swing era.

With his dynamic Tympany Five bands, Jordan mapped out the main parameters of the classic R&B, urban blues and early rock’n’roll genres with a series of hugely influential 78 rpm discs for the Decca label. These recordings presaged many of the styles of black popular music in the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, and exerted a huge influence on many leading performers in these genres.

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2009 – Lux Interior died. American singer and a founding member of The Cramps from 1976 until his sudden death in February 2009 aged 62.

When asked why he continued to play live well into his middle age, he told the LA Times:

    “It’s a little bit like asking a junkie how he’s been able to keep on dope all these years, It’s just so much fun. You pull into one town and people scream, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you.’ And you go to a bar and have a great rock ‘n’ roll show and go to the next town and people scream, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.’ It’s hard to walk away from all that.”

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Almanac – January 27

1832 – Lewis Carroll born.  English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer, real name  Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. His most famous writings are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poems “The Hunting of the Snark” and “Jabberwocky“, all examples of the genre of literary nonsense. He is noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy.

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1875 – Mione Elizabeth George Israel born (probably).  Born in Dominica, her birthdate of January 27, 1875, was attested by an entry in a baptismal register , and by a birth certificate procured for her in 2000 based on the baptismal register. Assuming its correct (some doubt it) she would have been 128 years old at the time of her death in 2003.

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1910 – Thomas Crapper died.  Plumber who founded Thomas Crapper & Co in London. Contrary to widespread misconceptions, Crapper did not invent the flush toilet. He did, however, do much to increase the popularity of the toilet, and developed some important related inventions, such as the ballcock.

It has often been claimed in popular culture that the slang term for human bodily waste, “crap”, originated with Thomas Crapper because of his association with lavatories. The most common version of this story is that American servicemen stationed in England during World War I saw his name on cisterns and used it as army slang, i.e. “I’m going to the crapper”.

The word crap is actually of Middle English origin; and hence predates its application to bodily waste. Its first application to bodily waste, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, appeared in 1846 under a reference to a crapping ken, or a privy, where ken means a house.

Its most likely etymological origin is a combination of two older words, the Dutch krappen: to pluck off, cut off, or separate; and the Old French crappe: siftings, waste or rejected matter (from the medieval Latin crappa, chaff).

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1972 – Mahalia Jackson died. American gospel singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice, she  became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist,  described by  Harry Belafonte as “the single most powerful black woman in the United States“. She recorded about 30 albums (mostly for Columbia Records) during her career, and her 45 rpm records included a dozen million-sellers.

“I sing God’s music because it makes me feel free,” Jackson once said about her choice of gospel, adding, “It gives me hope. With the blues, when you finish, you still have the blues.”

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Almanac – October 24

1857 – Sheffield F.C., the world’s first football club, was founded in Sheffield, England

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1901 – Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive…on her 63rd birthday !

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1926 – Harry Houdini‘s last performance, at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit, Michigan

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1946 – A camera on board the V-2 No. 13 rocket took the first photograph of Earth from outer space. The rocket reached a maximum altitude of 107.5 miles (173 km), well above the commonly accepted boundary of space at 100 kilometres.

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1947 – Walt Disney testified to the House Un-American Activities Committee, naming Disney employees he believed to be communists.

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2005 – Rosa Parks died. African-American civil rights activist, whom the U.S. Congress called “the first lady of civil rights”, and “the mother of the freedom movement”
On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake’s order that she give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled.

Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation, others had taken similar steps in the twentieth century, including Irene Morgan in 1946, Sarah Louise Keys in 1955, and Claudette Colvin nine months before Parks, but NAACP organizers believed that Parks was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience.

Her act of defiance and the Montgomery Bus Boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement, and she became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation.

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