Tag Archives: Divine

Almanac – March 07

1274 – Saint Thomas Aquinas died. He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, his influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived in development or refutation of his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory.

He is held in the Roman Catholic Church to be the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood, and indeed the highest expression of both natural reason and speculative theology.

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1671 – Rob Roy MacGregor born.  Scottish folk hero and outlaw of the early 18th century, sometimes known as the Scottish Robin Hood. Rob Roy is anglicised from the Gaelic Raibeart Ruadh, or Red Robert – he had red hair.

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1942 – Lucy Parsons died.  American labor organizer and radical socialist and anarchist communist, described by the Chicago Police Department as “more dangerous than a thousand rioters”  (in 2004, the City of Chicago named a park after her.)

Born circa 1853 in Texas, probably as a slave, to parents of Native American, African American and Mexican ancestry, in 1871 she married Albert Parsons, a former Confederate soldier. They were forced to flee north from Texas due to intolerant reactions to their interracial marriage, and settled in Chicago, Illinois.

She died in a house fire in Chicago, believed to be 89 years old.   Her lover, George Markstall, died the next day from injuries he received while trying to save her.  After her death, police seized her library of over 1,500 books and all of her personal papers.

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1988 – Divine died. American actor, disco singer and drag queen. A character actor who often performed female roles in both cinema and theater, Divine adopted a female drag persona in his musical performances, leading People magazine to describe him as the “Drag Queen of the Century”.

Often associated with independent filmmaker John Waters, he starred in ten of his films, usually in a lead role.

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Almanac – October 19

1903 – Tor Johnson born.  Swedish professional wrestler (billed as The Super Swedish Angel) and actor. During his career as an actor, Johnson befriended director Edward D. Wood, Jr., who directed him in a number of films, most notably Bride of the Monster and Plan 9 from Outer Space, both which co-starred Bela Lugosi. Very friendly to work with on movie sets, actress Valda Hansen, who worked with Johnson in 1959’s Night of the Ghouls (also directed by Wood), described him as  “like a big sugar bun.”

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1944 – Peter Tosh born. Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of the band The Wailers (1963–1974), and who afterwards had a successful solo career as well as being a promoter of Rastafari.

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1945 – Gloria Jones born. American singer and songwriter. She was the driver of the car that crashed and killed Marc Bolan at 4am on 16 September 1977.

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1945 – Divine born. Also known as Harris Glenn Milstead,  an American actor, singer and drag queen, often associated with independent filmmaker John Waters and starred in ten of Waters’s films, usually in a leading role. Concurrent with his acting career, he also had a successful career as a disco singer during the 1980s, at one point being described as “the most successful and in-demand disco performer in the world.”

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1988 – Son House died. American blues singer and guitarist. House pioneered an innovative style featuring strong, repetitive rhythms, often played with the aid of slide guitar, and his singing often incorporated elements of southern gospel and spiritual music.

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1995 – Don Cherry died. African-American jazz trumpetist whose career began with a long association with saxophonist Ornette Coleman. In the 1970s he ventured into the developing genre of world fusion music, incorporating influences of Middle Eastern, traditional African, and Indian music into his playing.

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2000 – Hortense Ellis died. Jamaican reggae artist , and the younger sister of  Alton Ellis.

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