Tag Archives: George Bernard Shaw

Almanac – November 18

2347 BC – Some say this was the day Noah’s Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. Some also say that Noah was then  600 years old.

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1803 – The Battle of Vertières, the last major battle of the Haitian Revolution, was fought, leading to the establishment of the Republic of Haiti, the first black republic in the Western Hemisphere.

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1922 – Marcel Proust died. French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time; earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past). It was published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927.

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1926 – George Bernard Shaw refused to accept the money for his Nobel Prize, saying, “I can forgive Alfred Nobel for inventing dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize”.

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1936 – Don Cherry born. African-American jazz trumpetist whose career began with a long association with saxophonist Ornette Coleman.

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1952 – Paul Eluard died.  French poet and one of the founders of the Surrealist movement. During World War II, he was involved in the French Resistance, during which time he wrote Liberty (1942), Les sept poèmes d’amour en guerre (1944) and En avril 1944: Paris respirait encore! (1945). He later embraced communism, and when he  died,  from a heart attack, his funeral was organized by the Communist Party.

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1953 – Alan Moore born. English writer primarily known for his work in comic books, a medium where he has produced a number of critically acclaimed and popular series, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell. Frequently described as the best graphic novel writer in history, he has also been described as “one of the most important British writers of the last fifty years”.

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1976 – Man Ray died. American modernist artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. Ray is also noted for his work with photograms, which he called “rayographs“.

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1978 – In Jonestown, Guyana, Jim Jones led his Peoples Temple cult to a mass murder-suicide that claimed 918 lives in all, 909 of them in Jonestown itself, including over 270 children.

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Almanac – November 02

1930 – Haile Selassie was crowned emperor of Ethiopia.  He was the heir to a dynasty that traced its origins to the 13th century, and from there by tradition back to King Solomon and Queen Makeda, Empress of Axum, known in the Abrahamic tradition as the Queen of Sheba. Haile Selassie is a defining figure in both Ethiopian and African history.
Among the Rastafari movement, Haile Selassie is revered as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate, perceiving  Haile  as a messianic figure who will lead a future golden age of eternal peace, righteousness, and prosperity. Haile Selassie was an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian throughout his life.

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1950 – George Bernard Shaw died.  Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. He was also an essayist, novelist and short story writer. Nearly all his writings address prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable. Issues which engaged Shaw’s attention included education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege.

He died , aged 94, from chronic problems exacerbated by injuries he incurred by falling from a ladder.

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1957 – The Levelland UFO Case in Levelland, Texas.  The case is considered to be one of the most impressive in UFO history, mainly because of the large number of witnesses involved over a relatively short period of time.

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1960 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the trial R v Penguin Books Ltd., the Lady Chatterley’s Lover case.
R v Penguin Books Ltd was the public prosecution at the Old Bailey of Penguin Books under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 for the publication of D. H. Lawrence‘s  Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The trial was a test case of the defense of public good provision under section 4 of the Act which was defined as a work “in the interests of science, literature, art or learning, or of other objects of general concern”.
The jury found for the defendant in a result that ushered in the liberalisation of publishing, and which some saw as the beginning of the permissive society in Britain.

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1965 – Norman Morrison, a 31-year-old Quaker, set himself on fire in front of the river entrance to the Pentagon to protest the use of napalm in the Vietnam war.

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Almanac – July 26th

1533 – Atahualpa, the 13th and last emperor of the Incas, died by strangulation at the hands of Francisco Pizarro’s Spanish conquistadors. His death marked the end of 300 years of Inca civilization.

1856 – George Bernard Shaw born – Irish writer, Nobel laureate.

1875 – Carl Jung born –  Swiss psychiatrist.



1887 – The Unua Libro (Esperanto:  First Book) was the first publication to describe the international language Esperanto (then called Lingvo Internacia, “international language”).First published in Russian  in Warsaw, by Dr. L.L. Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto, over the next few years editions were published in Russian, Hebrew, Polish, French, German, and English.

The booklet included the Lord’s Prayer, some Bible verses, a letter, poetry, the sixteen rules of grammar and 900 roots of vocabulary. Zamenhof declared, “an international language, like a national one, is common property.” and signed the work as “Doktoro Esperanto”   –  the title stuck as the name of the language which means “one who is hoping”.

1894 – Aldous Huxley born – English author, best known for  his novel Brave New World and his experiments with  psychedelic drugs, resulting in the essays The Doors of Perception  (from which the band The Doors took their name).

1984 – Ed Gein died.  American murderer and grave robber., his crimes, committed around his hometown of Plainfield, Wisconsin, gathered widespread notoriety after authorities discovered he had exhumed corpses from local graveyards and fashioned trophies and keepsakes from their bones and skin, although he apparently drew the line at necrophilia. After police found body parts in his house in 1957, Gein confessed to killing two women.

The police investigation of his house uncovered –

    Four noses
    Whole human bones and fragments
    Nine masks of human skin
    Bowls made from human skulls
    Ten female heads with the tops sawn off
    Human skin covering several chair seats
    Nine vulvae in a shoe box
    A belt made from female human nipples
    Skulls on his bedposts
    A pair of lips on a draw string for a window-shade
    A lampshade made from the skin from a human face

Sentenced to life imprisonment in a mental hospital,  his case influenced the creation of several fictional serial killers, including Norman Bates from Psycho, Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Jame Gumb from The Silence of the Lambs.

Mr. Frankenstein

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