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Almanac – March 24

1834 – William Morris born. English textile designer, artist, writer, and libertarian socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and English Arts and Crafts Movement.

He founded a design firm in partnership with the artist Edward Burne-Jones, and the poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti which profoundly influenced the decoration of churches and houses into the early 20th century.

 As an author, illustrator and medievalist, he helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, and was a direct influence on postwar authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien.

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1897 – Wilhelm Reich born. Austrian psychoanalyst, a member of the second generation of psychoanalysts after Sigmund Freud, and one of the most radical figures in the history of psychiatry.

During the 1968 student uprisings in Paris and Berlin, students scrawled his name on walls and threw copies of his book The Mass Psychology of Fascism at the police.

He moved to New York in 1939, in part to escape the Nazis, and shortly after arriving there coined the term “orgone” – derived from “orgasm” and “organism” – for a cosmic energy he said he had discovered, which he said others referred to as God.

In 1940 he started building orgone accumulators, devices that his patients sat inside to harness the reputed health benefits, leading to newspaper stories about sex boxes that cured cancer.

Following two critical articles about him in The New Republic and Harper’s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration obtained an injunction against the interstate shipment of orgone accumulators and associated literature, believing they were dealing with a “fraud of the first magnitude.”

Charged with contempt in 1956 for having violated the injunction, Reich was sentenced to two years in prison, and in June and August that year over six tons of his publications were burned by order of the court, one of the most notable examples of censorship in the history of the United States.

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1919 – Lawrence Ferlinghetti born.  American poet, painter, liberal activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers.

Author of poetry, translations, fiction, theatre, art criticism, and film narration, he is best known for A Coney Island of the Mind (1958), a collection of poems that has been translated into nine languages, with sales of over one million copies.

Although in style and theme Ferlinghetti’s own writing is very unlike that of the original NY Beat circle, he had important associations with the Beat writers, who made City Lights Bookstore their headquarters when they were in San Francisco. He has often claimed that he was not a Beat, but a bohemian of an earlier generation.

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1935 – Carol Kaye born.  American musician, best known as one of the most prolific and widely heard bass guitarists in history, playing on an estimated 10,000 recording sessions in a 55-year career.

As a session musician, Kaye was the bassist on many Phil Spector and Brian Wilson productions in the 1960s and 1970s.

She played guitar on Ritchie ValensLa Bamba and is credited with the bass tracks on several Simon & Garfunkel hits and many film scores by Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin. One of the most popular albums she contributed to was the Beach Boys Pet Sounds.

She also played on this –

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1938 – Holger Czukay born. German musician, probably best known as a co-founder of the krautrock group Can.

Described as “successfully bridging the gap between pop and the avant-garde,” Czukay is also notable for creating early important examples of ambient music, for exploring “world music” well before the term was coined, and for being a pioneer of sampling.

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1958 – Elvis Presley was drafted into the U.S. Army as a private at Fort Chaffee, near Fort Smith, Arkansas. He announced that he was looking forward to his military stint, saying he did not want to be treated any differently from anyone else: “The Army can do anything it wants with me.

Fellow soldiers have attested to Presley’s wish to be seen as an able, ordinary soldier, despite his fame, and to his generosity. He donated his Army pay to charity, purchased TV sets for the base, and bought an extra set of fatigues for everyone in his outfit.

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Almanac – July 23

1690 – Death of Richard Gibson, aged 75. He had been court-dwarf to Charles I and a miniature-painter [in every sense of the term].

His wife, Ann Shepherd, who died 19 years later, aged 89, was court-dwarf to Queen Henrietta Maria. They had 9 children, 5 of whom survived to maturity and were of ordinary stature.

1888 – Raymond Chandler born, American novelist.

1892 – Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia born. Revered as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate, among the Rastafari movement  which perceives Haile Selassie as a messianic figure who will lead a future golden age of eternal peace, righteousness, and prosperity.  Haile Selassie himself was  was an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian throughout his life.

 

 

1929 – The Fascist government in Italy banned the use of foreign words.

1942 – Treblinka  Nazi extermination camp in German-occupied Poland  opened.. Approximately 870,000 died there.

1962 –  The  Telstar-1   communications satellite relayed the first publicly transmitted, live trans-Atlantic television program, featuring Walter Cronkite.

 

Telstar -1  became a victim of  Cold War technology. The day before it was launched, the USA had tested a high-altitude nuclear bomb (called Starfish Prime) which energized the Earth’s Van Allen Belt where Telstar-1 went into orbit. This vast increase in radiation, combined with subsequent high-altitude blasts, including a Soviet test in October, overwhelmed Telstar’s fragile transistors; and  it went out of service in November 1962, after handling over 400 telephone, telegraph, facsimile and television transmissions. It was restarted by a workaround in early January 1963. but the additional radiation associated with its return to full sunlight once again caused a transistor failure, this time irreparably, and Telstar-1 went out of service on February 21, 1963.

Although no longer functioning, Telstar-1 is still apparently in orbit at time of writing (July 2012).

 

Mr. Frankenstein

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Almanac – July 13th

1527John Dee born – English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist, navigator, imperialist  and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I. He devoted much of his life to the study of alchemy, divination and Hermetic philosophy.

1793John Clare born – English “peasent poet”,  the son of a farm labourer who came to be known for his celebratory representations of the English countryside and his lamentation of its disruption. His poetry underwent a major re-evaluation in the late 20th century and he is often now considered to be among the most important 19th-century poets. His biographer,  Jonathan Bate.  states that Clare was “the greatest labouring-class poet that England has ever produced. No one has ever written more powerfully of nature, of a rural childhood, and of the alienated and unstable self”.

 

1793 – Journalist and French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat is assassinated in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday, a member of the opposing political faction.

1863 – Riots broke out in New York City in protest against the drafting of men to fight in the American Civil War. The start of  three days of rioting which were  later regarded as the worst in United States history.

1923 – The Hollywood Sign is officially dedicated in the hills above Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. It originally reads “Hollywoodland but the four last letters are dropped after renovation in 1949.

1934 – Birth of Wole Soyinka,  Nigerian writer, notable especially as a playwright and poet; he was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African in Africa and the diaspora to be so honoured.

1936 – Assassination of Spanish politician Jose Calvo Sotelo, triggering the military uprising that led to the Spanish Civil War.

1936 –  Birth of Albert Ayler, American jazz saxophonist and singer

 

 

 

1951 – Death of Austrian  composer Arnold Schoenberg . Schoenberg’s approach, both in terms of harmony and development, is among the major landmarks of 20th-century musical thought; at least three generations of composers in the European and American traditions have consciously extended his thinking or, in some cases, passionately reacted against it. During the rise of the Nazi Party in Austria, his music was labeled, alongside jazz, as degenerate.

1955Ruth Ellis was hanged for murder – the last woman to receive the death penalty in the UK.
Mr. Frankenstein
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Almanac – June 30th

1837 – An act of parliament put an end to the use of the pillory as punishment in the Uk.

1859 – French acrobat Charles Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

1905Albert Einstein publishesd the article On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, in which he introduces special relativity.

1908 – The Tunguska Event occured in  Siberia –  an enormously powerful explosion that occurred near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, at about 7:14 a.m. KRAT (0:14 UT).

The explosion, having the hypocenter, (60.886°N, 101.894°E), is believed to have been caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5–10 kilometres (3–6 mi) above the Earth’s surface. Different studies have yielded varying estimates of the object’s size, with general agreement that it was a few tens of metres across. It is the largest impact event on or near Earth in recorded history.

The explosion knocked an estimated 80 million trees down over an area covering 2,150 square kilometres (830 sq mi). It is estimated that the shock wave from the blast would have measured 5.0 on the Richter scale.

Other possible causes suggested include a crashing UFO, a Black hole passing through the Earth, anti-matter, and a side-effect of an experiment by Nikola Tesla

 

1934The Night Of The Long Knives in Germany. Adolf Hitler ordered the summary execution of those in the Nazi party who oppsed him.

 

Mr. Frankenstein

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