Tag Archives: Nero

Almanac – December 15

37 – Nero born. Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

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1859 – Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof born.  Jewish doctor, linguist, and the creator of Esperanto, the most successful constructed language designed for international communication.

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1890 – Sitting Bull died. Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux holy man who led his people as a tribal chief during years of resistance to United States government policies. Born near the Grand River in Dakota Territory, he was killed by Indian agency police on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation during an attempt to arrest him and prevent him from supporting the Ghost Dance movement.

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1921 – Alan Freed born.  American disc jockey. He became internationally known for promoting the mix of blues, country and rhythm and blues music on the radio in the United States and Europe under the name of rock and roll. His career was destroyed by the payola scandal that hit the broadcasting industry in the early 1960s.

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1932 – Jesse Belvin born. American R&B singer, pianist and songwriter.

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1973 – The American Psychiatric Association voted 13–0 to remove homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric disorders, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

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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 – July 19th

64 – Great Fire of Rome:  a fire began  to burn in the merchant area of Rome and was soon  completely out of control. According to a popular, but untrue legend, Nero fiddled as the city burned.

1553 – Lady Jane Grey was replaced by Mary I of England as Queen of England after only nine days of reign.

1860 – Lizzie  Borden born.  She was tried for killing her father and stepmother with an axe on August 4, 1892, in Fall River, Massachusetts, USA.

The murders, subsequent trial, and ensuing trial by media became a cause célèbre. Although she  was acquitted, no one else was ever arrested or tried and she has remained a notorious figure in American folklore. Dispute over the identity of the killer or killers continues to this day.

According to a popular rhyme of the time –

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done
 She gave her father forty-one.

Actually, whoever did the deed gave her (step-)mother 18 or 19   whacks and her father 11.

1919 – Following Peace Day celebrations marking the end of World War I, ex-servicemen,  unhappy with unemployment and other grievances, rioted  and burnt down Luton Town Hall.  
The riot started after members of the council arrived to read out the King’s proclamation and many in the crowd expressed their disapproval. Tension boiled over into violence and a number of protesters broke through the police line and forcibly entered the town hall. Shortly after a number of violent clashes took place, with the town hall being stormed by the crowd and eventually set on fire.

During the riot people broke into Farmers Music Shop and dragged pianos into the streets for dancing and singing, including ironically “Keep the home fires burning”. The mayor at the time, Henry Impey,  was smuggled out of Luton, never to return.

1979 – The Sandinista rebels overthrew the government of the Somoza family in Nicaragua.

Mr. Frankenstein

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