Tag Archives: Lenny Bruce

Almanac – October 13

Fontanalia.  In ancient Roman religion, Fontus or Fons (plural Fontes, “Font” or “Source”) was a god of wells and springs. A religious festival called the Fontinalia was held on October 13 in his honor. Throughout the city, fountains and wellheads were adorned with garlands.

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54 – Nero ascends to the Roman throne.

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1244 – Jaques de Molay born. The 23rd and last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, leading the Order from 20 April 1292 until it was dissolved by order of Pope Clement V in 1307. Though little is known of his actual life and deeds except for his last years as Grand Master, he is the best known Templar, along with the Order’s founder and first Grand Master, Hugues de Payens

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1307 – Hundreds of Knights Templar in France were simultaneously arrested by agents of Phillip the Fair, to be later tortured into a “confession” of heresy. It was a Friday, leading some to hypothesize this to be the origins of the unlucky Friday 13th beliefs.

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1884 – Greenwich, in London, England, is established as Universal Time meridian of longitude.

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1917 – The “Miracle of the Sun” was witnessed by an estimated 70,000  people, who were gathered near Fátima, Portugal,  and claimed to have witnessed extraordinary solar activity. According to these reports, the event lasted approximately ten minutes. Three children also reported seeing a panorama of visions, including those of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of Saint Joseph blessing the people.
The event was officially accepted as a miracle by the Roman Catholic Church on 13 October 1930.

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1925 – Lenny Bruce born.  American comedian, social critic and satirist. He was renowned for his open, free-style, dangerous and critical form of comedy which integrated politics, religion, and sex. His tumultuous private life marked by substance abuse, promiscuity, as well as his efforts to prevent his wife from working as a stripper, make him a compelling figure, and he paved the way for future outspoken comedians. His trial for obscenity, in which – after being forced into bankruptcy – he was eventually found not guilty is seen as a landmark trial for freedom of speech.

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1940 – Pharoah Sanders born. American jazz saxophonist, once described by Ornette Coleman  as “probably the best tenor player in the world.”  Emerging from John Coltrane’s groups of the mid-1960s Sanders is known for his overblowing, harmonic, and multiphonic techniques on the saxophone, as well as his use of “sheets of sound”, and  is an important figure in the development of free jazz.

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Almanac – August 3

1719“A Woman, who had served the Lady Anne Harvey for about 16 years in the Quality of a Coachman, and always behaved very well, was brought to bed of a Child, to the Inexpressible Suprize of the Family, who always took her for a Man.”

The Original Weekly Journal, 1719

1527 – The first known letter from North America  sent by John Rut while at St. John’s, Newfoundland. Rut was an English mariner  who was chosen by Henry VIII to command an expedition to North America in search of the Northwest Passage; he set sail from Plymouth with two ships, on 10 June 1527.

1916 – Sir Roger Casement hanged.  Humanitarian campaigner and an Irish patriot, poet, revolutionary and nationalist.He sought to obtain German support for a rebellion in Ireland against British rule. Shortly before the Easter Rising, he  was arrested and subsequently convicted and executed by the British for treason by John Ellis and his assistants at Pentonville Prison in London.

1934 – Adolf Hitler became  the supreme leader of Germany by joining the offices of President and Chancellor into Führer.

1955 – The English-language version of Samuel Beckett‘s play Waiting For Godot first performed, at the Arts Theatre, London.

It was not an immediate success – on hearing the now famous lines “Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful !”, a member of the audience is said to have retorted “Hear ! Hear !”.

1966 – Lenny Bruce died. American comedian, social critic and satirist. His 1964 conviction in an obscenity trial was followed by a posthumous pardon, the first in New York state history. He was renowned for his open, free-style, dangerous and critical form of comedy which integrated politics, religion, and sex. His tumultuous private life marked by substance abuse, promiscuity, as well as his efforts to prevent his wife from working as a stripper, made him a compelling figure. He paved the way for future outspoken comedians, and his trial for obscenity, in which – after being forced into bankruptcy – he was eventually found not guilty is seen as a landmark trial for freedom of speech.
Official cause of death was “acute morphine poisoning caused by an accidental overdose.

Mr. Frankenstein

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