Tag Archives: Hungary

Almanac – March 04

1193 – Salāh al-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb died.  Better known in the Western world as Saladin,  he was the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria and the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty.

A Muslim of Kurdish origins, Saladin led Islamic opposition against the European Crusaders in the Levant. At the height of his power, his sultanate included Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Hejaz, Yemen, and parts of North Africa.

Saladin died of a fever. In his  possession at the time of his death were 1 piece of gold and 47 pieces of silver. He had given away his great wealth to his poor subjects leaving nothing to pay for his funeral. He was buried in a mausoleum in the garden outside the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria.



1702 – Jack Sheppard born. Notorious English robber, burglar and thief of early 18th-century London. He was arrested and imprisoned five times in 1724 but escaped four times, making him a notorious public figure, and wildly popular with the poorer classes. Ultimately, he was caught, convicted, and hanged at Tyburn, ending his brief criminal career after less than two years.



1878 – Peter D. Ouspensky born. Russian esotericist known for his expositions of the early work of the Greek-Armenian teacher of esoteric doctrine George Gurdjieff, whom he met in Moscow in 1915.



1950 – Adam Rainer died. The only man in recorded human history  to have been both a dwarf and a giant.

Born in Graz, Austria-Hungary in 1899,  in 1917, at age 18, he was measured at  4 ft 0.25 in. – a  typical defining characteristic of dwarfism is an adult height below 4 ft 10 in.

Then, probably  as a result of a pituitary tumor, he had a dramatic growth spurt so that by 1931 he had reached a height of 7 ft 2 in.

As a result of his gigantism he became bedridden for the rest of his life. When he died in 1950 he had reached a height of7 ft 8 in.


A&A forum banner

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac

Almanac – August 21

1614 – Elizabeth Báthory death confirmed. . Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed, of Hungary, probably the most prolific female serial killer in history. Under house arrest, she was immured within a tower with only one slit to give her provisions, where she  remained  for four years, until her death. On 21 August 1614, she was found dead, and since there were several plates of food untouched, her actual date of death is unknown. She was buried in the church of Csejte, but due to the villagers’ uproar over having “The Tigress of Csejte” buried in their cemetery, her body was moved to her birth home at Ecsed, where it is interred at the Báthory family crypt.

1872 – Aubrey Beardsley born.  English illustrator and author. His drawings in black ink, and influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts, emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic. He was a leading figure in the Aesthetic movement which also included Oscar Wilde and James A. McNeill Whistler. Beardsley’s contribution to the development of the Art Nouveau and poster styles was significant, despite the brevity of his career before his early death from tuberculosis.

1879 – At Knock, County Mayo, Ireland, an apparition of Mary, Joseph and St John the Evangelist alledgedly seen by 15 people at the village church.

They claimed to have watched the figures for two hours in the pouring rain, and an official inquiry ruled that their evidence was trustworthy.

A shrine built at the site became a place of pilgrimage and a number of miraculous cures claimed for it. Maybe the biggest miracle is that there is now a Knock International Airport, opened in 1986 to cater for the one-and-a-half million pilgrims who travel there each year.

1904 – William “Count” Basie born.  American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer.

1940 – Leon Trotsky died, the result of an attack by an assassin armed with an ice-pick the previous day.

1961 – Motown released what would be its first #1 hit, “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac

Almanac – August 7

1560 – Elizabeth Báthory born.  A countess of the  Báthory family of Hungarian nobility. Although the number of murders is debated, she has been labeled the most prolific female serial killer in history and is remembered as the “Blood Countess.”

After her husband Ferenc Nádasdy’s death, she and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls, with one witness attributing to them over 650 victims, though the number for which they were convicted was 80. Elizabeth herself was neither tried nor convicted. In 1610, she was imprisoned in the Csejte Castle, now in Slovakia and known as Čachtice, where she remained bricked up  in a set of rooms until her death four years later.

Later writings about the case have led to legendary accounts of the Countess bathing in the blood of virgins  in order to retain her youth and subsequently also to comparisons with Vlad  the Impaler of Wallachia, on whom the fictional Count Dracula is partly based, and to modern nicknames of the Blood Countess and Countess Dracula.

1876 – Mata Hari born as Margaretha Geertruida  Zelle , better known by the stage name Mata Hari, was a Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan, and accused spy  who was executed by firing squad in France under charges of espionage for Germany during World War I.

1930 – The last confirmed lynching of blacks in the Northern United States occurred –  in Marion, Indiana. Two men, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, were killed. They had been arrested the night before, charged with robbing and murdering a white factory worker, Claude Deeter, and raping his white girlfriend, Mary Ball. A large crowd broke into the jail with sledgehammers, beat the two men, and hanged them. When Abram Smith tried to free himself from the noose as his body was hauled up by the rope, he was lowered and then his arms broken to prevent him from trying to free himself again. Police officers in the crowd cooperated in the lynching.

1947 – Thor Heyerdahl’s balsa wood raft the Kon-Tiki, smashed into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands after a 101-day, 7,000 kilometres (4,300 mi) journey across the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to prove that pre-historic peoples could have traveled from South America.

1965 – The infamous first Reyes party between Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters and motorcycle gang the Hells Angels took place at Kesey’s estate in La Honda, California introducing psychedelics to the gang world and forever linking the hippie movement to the Hell’s Angels.

1984 – Esther Phillips died.  American singer,  known for her R&B vocals, but she was a versatile singer, also performing pop, country, jazz, blues and soul.



Mr. Frankenstein


Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac