Tag Archives: feminist

Almanac- April 14

1917 – L. L. Zamenhof died.  Jewish doctor, linguist, and the creator of Esperanto, the most successful constructed language.

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1929 – Gerry Anderson born.  English publisher, producer, director, and writer, famous for his futuristic television programmes, particularly those involving supermarionation, working with modified marionettes – Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Stingray, Fireball XL5, etc.

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1935 – Erich von Däniken born. Swiss author best known for his controversial claims about extraterrestrial influences on early human culture, in books such as Chariots of the Gods?, published in 1968.

Däniken is one of the main figures responsible for popularizing the “paleo-contact” and ancient astronauts hypotheses.

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1986 – Simone de Beauvoir died. French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist, and social theorist.

While she did not consider herself a philosopher, Beauvoir had a significant influence on both feminist existentialism and feminist theory. She wrote novels, essays, biographies, an autobiography, monographs on philosophy, politics, and social issues.

 She is perhaps  best known for her novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins, as well as her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women’s oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism.

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Almanac – March 03

1756 – William Godwin born. English journalist, political philosopher and novelist. He is considered one of the first exponents of utilitarianism, and the first modern proponent of anarchism.

 Godwin is most famous for two books that he published within the space of a year: An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, an attack on political institutions, and Things as They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams, which attacks aristocratic privilege, but also is the first mystery novel. Based on the success of both, Godwin featured prominently in the radical circles of London in the 1790s.

 In the ensuing conservative reaction to British radicalism, Godwin was attacked, in part because of his marriage to the pioneering feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft in 1797 and his candid biography of her after her death.

Their daughter, Mary Godwin (later Mary Shelley) would go on to write Frankenstein and marry the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

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1765 – William Stukeley died. English antiquarian who pioneered the archaeological investigation of the prehistoric monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury, work for which he has been remembered as “probably… the most important of the early forerunners of the discipline of archaeology”.

Becoming involved in the newly fashionable organisation of Freemasonry, he also began to describe himself as a “druid“, and incorrectly believed that the prehistoric megalithic monuments were a part of the druidic religion. However, despite this he has been noted as being a significant figure in the early development of the modern movement known as Neo-druidry.

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1863 – Arthur Machen born.  Welsh author and mystic of the 1890s and early 20th century. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction. His novella “The Great God Pan” (1890; 1894) has garnered a reputation as a classic of horror (Stephen King has called it “Maybe the best [horror story] in the English language”). He is also well known for his leading role in creating the legend of the Angels of Mons.

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1951 – Jackie Brenston, with Ike Turner and his band, recorded “Rocket 88″, often cited as the first rock and roll record, at Sam Phillips‘ recording studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

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2006 – Ivor Cutler died. Scottish poet, songwriter and humorist. He became known for his regular performances on BBC radio, and in particular his numerous sessions recorded for John Peel‘s influential radio programme, and later for Andy Kershaw‘s programme. He appeared in The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour film in 1967 and on Neil Innes‘ television programmes.

The hallmarks of Cutler’s work are surreal, bizarre juxtapositions and close attention to small details of existence, all described in seemingly naive language. In performance his delivery was frail, halting and minimally inflected. His writing sometimes edged into whimsy or the macabre. Many of his poems and songs are in the form of conversations delivered as a monologue

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Almanac – February 23

1723 – Richard Price born. British moral philosopher and preacher in the tradition of English Dissenters, and a political pamphleteer, active in radical, republican, and liberal causes such as the American Revolution.

He fostered connections between a large number of people, including writers of the Constitution of the United States. He spent most of his adult life as minister of Newington Green Unitarian Church, where possibly the congregant he most influenced was early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who extended his ideas on the egalitarianism inherent in the spirit of the French Revolution to encompass women’s rights as well.

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1821 – John Keats died. English Romantic poet. He was one of the main figures of the second generation of romantic poets along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, despite his work only having been in publication for four years before his death.

Although his poems were not generally well-received by critics during his life, his reputation grew after his death, so that by the end of the 19th century he had become one of the most beloved of all English poets.

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1958 – David Sylvian born. English singer-songwriter and musician who came to prominence in the late 1970s as the lead vocalist and main songwriter in the group Japan.

His subsequent solo work is described  as “a far-ranging and esoteric career that encompassed not only solo projects but also a series of fascinating collaborative efforts.”

Sylvian’s solo work has been influenced by a variety of musical styles and genres, including jazz, avant-garde, ambient, electronic, and progressive rock.

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Almanac – February 01

St. Bride’s Day

St Bride – or Brigid – was supposed to have helped out at the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. In reality she’s a christianization of the great Celtic goddess Brigit.

This is the Day of Bride
The Queen will come from the mound
This is the Day of Bride
The serpent will come from the hole

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1851 –  Mary Shelley died. English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818).

She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

 

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1911 – Edward Mylius was sentenced to one year in prison for accusing George V of bigamy.

 

 

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February 1, 2013 · 13:33

Almanac – January 09

1890 – Karel Čapek born.  Czech writer, his  first international success was Rossum’s Universal Robots, a dystopian work about a bad day at a factory populated with sentient androids. The play was translated into English in 1922, and was being performed in the UK and America by 1923, and introduced to the world the word robot.

While it is frequently thought that he was the originator of the word, he wrote a short letter in reference to an article in the Oxford English Dictionary etymology in which he named his brother, painter and writer Josef Čapek, as its actual inventor. In an article in the Czech journal Lidové noviny in 1933, he also explained that he had originally wanted to call the creatures laboři (from Latin labor, work). However, he did not like the word, seeing it as too artificial, and sought advice from his brother Josef, who suggested “roboti”.

The word robot comes from the word robota, meaning literally serf labor, and, figuratively, “drudgery” or “hard work” in modern Czech (in Slovak, Russian, Polish, archaic Czech and other Slavic languages a similar word means simply “work”).

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1908 – Simone de Beauvoir born.  French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist, and social theorist.

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1911 – Gypsy Rose Lee born.  American burlesque entertainer famous for her striptease act. She was also an actress, author, and playwright whose 1957 memoir was made into the stage musical and film Gypsy.

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1918 – Battle of Bear Valley. A small engagement fought in 1918 between a band of Yaquis and a detachment of United States Army soldiers.

On January 9, 1918, elements of the American 10th Cavalry Regiment detected about thirty armed Yaquis in Bear Valley, Arizona, a large area that was commonly used as a passage across the international border with Mexico.

A short firefight ensued, which resulted in the death of the Yaqui commander and the capture of nine others. Though the conflict was merely a skirmish, it was the last time the United States Army engaged hostile native Americans in combat and thus has been seen as one of the final battles of the American Indian Wars.

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1925 – Lee Van Cleef born. American film actor who appeared mostly in Westerns and action pictures. His sharp features and piercing eyes led to his being cast as a villain in scores of films, such as Kansas City Confidential, High Noon, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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1943 – Scott Walker born. American-British singer-songwriter, composer and record producer. He is noted for his distinctive baritone voice and for the unorthodox career path which has taken him from 1960s pop icon to 21st century experimental musician.

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Almanac – December 09

1897 – Marguerite Durand founded the feminist daily newspaper La Fronde, in Paris. Durand, a well known actress and journalist, used her high-profile image to attract many notable Parisian women to contribute articles to the newspaper, which was run and written entirely by women, and gave extensive coverage to a broad range of feminist issues.  Circulation for La Fronde briefly reached a peak of 50,000 but in September 1903, financial problems forced the paper to cut back to a monthly publication, and to close altogether in March 1905.

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1905 – In France, the law separating church and state was passed. Enacted during the Third Republic, it established state secularism in France. The law was based on three principles: the neutrality of the state, the freedom of religious exercise, and public powers related to the church. This law is seen as the backbone of the French principle of laïcité  (a concept denoting the absence of religious involvement in government affairs as well as absence of government involvement in religious affairs).

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1965 – The Kecksburg UFO incident – A large, brilliant fireball was seen by thousands in at least six U.S. states and Ontario, Canada. It streaked over the Detroit, Michigan/Windsor, Ontario area, reportedly dropped hot metal debris over Michigan and northern Ohio, starting some grass fires and caused sonic booms in Western Pennsylvania. It was generally assumed and reported by the press to be a meteor  after authorities discounted other proposed explanations such as a plane crash, errant missile test, or reentering satellite debris.

However, eyewitnesses in the small village of Kecksburg, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, claimed something crashed in local  woods.  A boy said he saw the object land; his mother saw a wisp of blue smoke arising from the woods and alerted authorities. Another reported feeling a vibration and “a thump” about the time the object reportedly landed.

Others from Kecksburg, including local volunteer fire department members, reported finding an object in the shape of an acorn and about as large as a Volkswagen Beetle. Writing resembling Egyptian hieroglyphics was also said to be in a band around the base of the object. Witnesses further reported that intense military presence, most notably the United States Army, secured the area, ordered civilians out, and then removed the object on a flatbed truck. At the time, however, the military claimed they searched the woods and found “absolutely nothing”

In December 2005, just before the 40th anniversary of the Kecksburg crash, NASA released a statement to the effect that they had examined metallic fragments from the object and now claimed it was from a re-entering “Russian satellite”. The spokesman further claimed that the related records had been misplaced. According to an Associated Press story:

    The object appeared to be a Russian satellite that re-entered the atmosphere and broke up. NASA experts studied fragments from the object, but records of what they found were lost in the 1990s.

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1979 – The eradication of the Smallpox virus was certified, making smallpox the first and to date only human disease driven to extinction.

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