Tag Archives: New Orleans

Almanac – June 16

BLOOMSDAY – in 1904  James Joyce began a relationship with Nora Barnacle and subsequently used the date to set the action of his novel Ulysses; this date is now traditionally called Bloomsday.

 

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1816 – Lord Byron read Fantasmagoriana to his four house guests at the Villa Diodati –  Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Claire Clairmont, and John Polidori –  and issued his challenge that each guest write a ghost story, which resulted  in Mary Shelley writing the novel Frankenstein, John Polidori  the short story The Vampyre, and Byron the poem Darkness

 

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1829 – Geronimo born. A prominent leader of the Bedonkohe Apache who fought against Mexico and the United States for their expansion into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars.


Geronimo” was the name given to him during a battle with Mexican soldiers. His Chiricahua name is often rendered as Goyathlay or Goyahkla  in English.

 

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1881 – Marie Laveau died. Louisiana Creole practitioner of Voodoo, renowned in New Orleans.


Of her magical career there is little that can be substantiated. She was said to have had a snake she named Zombi after an African god. Oral traditions suggested that the occult part of her magic mixed Roman Catholic beliefs, including saints, with African spirits and religious concepts.


Her daughter Marie Laveau II (1827 — c. 1895) also practiced Voudoun, and historical accounts often confuse the two.  Some believe that the mother was more powerful while the daughter arranged more elaborate public events (including inviting attendees to St. John’s Eve rituals on Bayou St. John), but it is not known which (if not both) had done more to establish the voodoo queen reputation.


Marie Laveau was reportedly buried in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans in the Glapion family crypt. The tomb continues to attract visitors who draw three “x”s (XXX) on its side, in the hopes that Laveau’s spirit will grant them a wish.

Some  researchers claim that Laveau is buried in other tombs, but they may be confusing the resting places of other voodoo priestesses of New Orleans.

 

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1963 – Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space.


During her three-day mission, in Vostok 6,  she performed various tests on herself to collect data on the female body’s reaction to spaceflight.


After the dissolution of the first group of female cosmonauts in 1969, she became a prominent member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, holding various political offices. She remained politically active following the collapse of the Soviet Union and is still revered as a heroine in post-Soviet Russia.

 

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1999 – Screaming Lord Sutch died. Cult English singer and musican, and founder of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, who he served as its leader from 1983 to 1999, during which time he stood in numerous parliamentary elections.


Sutch was also a pioneer of pirate radio in the UK, and worked with the legendary record producer  Joe Meek.


His album Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends was named – unfairly ! –  in a 1998 BBC poll as the worst album of all time, despite the fact that Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding and Nicky Hopkins performed on it and helped write it.


Sutch suffered from depression and committed suicide by hanging.

 

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Almanac – May 04

1471 –  The Battle of Tewkesbury: Edward IV defeated a Lancastrian Army and killed Edward, Prince of Wales.

I mention this here merely because I once took part in a re-enactment of this battle… (dont ask).
 
I was part of Edward IV’s victorious Yorkist army, though due to lack of enacters I was killed twice, returning to life each time to make up numbers. My life as a medieval zombie soldier…

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1852 – Alice Liddell born. Original of Alice In Wonderland.

In  July 1862, in a rowing boat travelling on the Isis from Folly Bridge, Oxford to Godstow for a picnic outing, 10-year-old Alice asked Charles Dodgson (who wrote under the pen name Lewis Carroll) to entertain her and her sisters, Edith (aged 8) and Lorina (13), with a story.

Dodgson duly  regaled the girls with fantastic stories of a girl, named Alice, and her adventures after she fell into a rabbit-hole.

The story was not unlike those Dodgson had spun for the sisters before, but this time Liddell asked  Dodgson to write it down for her. He promised to do so but did not get around to the task for some months.

He eventually presented her with the manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground in November 1864.

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1961 –  The Freedom Riders began a bus trip through the American  South.

Freedom Riders were civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States in 1961 and following years to challenge the non-enforcement of the United States Supreme Court decisions Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia (1946) and Boynton v. Virginia (1960), which ruled that segregated public buses were unconstitutional.

 The Southern states had ignored the rulings and the federal government did nothing to enforce them. The first Freedom Ride left Washington, D.C., on May 4, 1961, and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17.

The Freedom Riders challenged the status quo by riding interstate buses in the South in mixed racial groups to challenge local laws or customs that enforced segregation in seating.

The Freedom Rides, and the violent reactions they provoked, bolstered the credibility of the American Civil Rights Movement and  called national attention to the disregard for the federal law and the local violence used to enforce segregation in the southern United States.

Police arrested riders for trespassing, unlawful assembly, and violating state and local Jim Crow laws, along with other alleged offenses, but they often first let white mobs attack them without intervention.

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1970 –  Kent State shootings: the Ohio National Guard, sent to Kent State University after disturbances in the city of Kent the weekend before, opened fire killing four unarmed students and wounding nine others. The students were protesting the United States’ invasion of Cambodia.

There was a significant national response to the shootings: hundreds of universities, colleges, and high schools closed throughout the United States due to a student strike of four million students, and the event further affected the public opinion—at an already socially contentious time—over the role of the United States in the Vietnam War.

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Almanac – January 30

1649 – Charles I executed. The execution took place at Whitehall, London,  on a scaffold in front of the Banqueting House. Charles was separated from the people by large ranks of soldiers, and his last speech reached only those with him on the scaffold. He declared that he had desired the liberty and freedom of the people as much as any, “but I must tell you that their liberty and freedom consists in having government…. It is not their having a share in the government; that is nothing appertaining unto them. A subject and a sovereign are clean different things.” 

Kind of :  I know best because I’m king, and I’m king because I know best, so suck on that, scum. The same attutude (replacing king with rich) is prevalent in our current Consevative government.

Closer to the fact was the statement from The Ordinance For The King’s Trial

“Charles Stuart, the now king of England… hath had a wicked design totally to subvert the ancient and fundamental laws and liberties of this nation, and in their place to introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical government.”

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1661 – Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England was ritually executed two years after his death, on the anniversary of the execution of the monarch, Charles I,  he himself deposed.

 

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1969 – The Beatles’ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert was broken up by the police.

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1971 – Carole King‘s album Tapestry  released – it would become the longest charting album by a female solo artist and sell 24 million copies worldwide.

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1980 – Professor Longhair died.  New Orleans blues singer and pianist. Professor Longhair is noteworthy for having been active in two distinct periods, both in the heyday of early rhythm and blues, and in the resurgence of interest in traditional jazz after the founding of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

The journalist Tony Russell, in his book The Blues – From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray, stated “The vivacious rhumba-rhythmed piano blues and choked singing typical of Fess were too weird to sell millions of records; he had to be content with siring musical offspring who were simple enough to manage that, like Fats Domino or Huey “Piano” Smith. But he is also acknowledged as a father figure by subtler players like Allen Toussaint and Dr. John.”

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Almanac – January 14

1872 – Greyfriars Bobby died. Skye Terrier who became known in 19th-century Edinburgh for spending 14 years guarding the grave of his owner, John Gray (Auld Jock), until he died himself on 14 January 1872.

A year later, Lady Burdett-Coutts had a statue and fountain erected at the southern end of the George IV Bridge to commemorate him.

Several books and films have been based on Bobby’s life, including the novel Greyfriar’s Bobby (1912) by Eleanor Atkinson and the films Greyfriars Bobby (1961) and The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby (2006).

In 2011 Jan Bondeson at Cardiff University published research that suggests Bobby was actually a Victorian-era publicity stunt by local businesses to drum up tourist revenue. According to Bondeson’s research, Bobby was a stray dog trained to remain in the graveyard; and was actually two different dogs.

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1938 – Allen Toussaint born.  American musician, composer, record producer, and influential figure in New Orleans R&B.

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Almanac – December 24

1924 – Lee Dorsey born. American singer,  much of his work was produced by Allen Toussaint with instrumental backing provided by the Meters.

Dorsey met Toussaint at a party in the early 1960s, and was signed to the Fury record label. The song that launched his career was inspired by a group of children chanting nursery rhymes – “Ya Ya” went to number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961, selling  over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

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1945 – Lemmy born. AKA Ian Kilmister, best known as the lead vocalist, bassist, principal songwriter and the founding and sole constant member of Motörhead as well as a former member of Hawkwind.

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1980 – Witnesses reported the first of several sightings of unexplained lights near RAF Woodbridge (then used by the US Airforce), in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England.

Dozens of USAF personnel were eyewitnesses to various events over a two- or three-day period. Some ufologists believe it is perhaps the most famous UFO event to have happened in Britain, ranking amongst the best-known UFO events worldwide. Along with the Berwyn Mountain UFO incident, it has been compared to the Roswell UFO incident in the United States, and is sometimes referred to as “Britain’s Roswell”.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) denied that the event posed any threat to national security, and stated that it was therefore never investigated as a security matter. Later evidence indicated that there was a substantial MoD file on the subject, which led to claims of a cover-up; some interpreted this as part of a larger pattern of information suppression concerning the true nature of unidentified flying objects, by both the United States and British governments.

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Almanac – December 19

1111 – Al-Ghazali died. Abū Hāmed Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazālī , known as Al-Ghazali or Algazel to the Western medieval world, was a Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic of Persian descent.

Al-Ghazali has sometimes been referred to by historians as the single most influential Muslim after the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Others have cited his movement from science to faith as a detriment to Islamic scientific progress.

Besides his work that successfully changed the course of Islamic philosophy—the early Islamic Neoplatonism developed on the grounds of Hellenistic philosophy, for example, was so successfully refuted by al-Ghazali that it never recovered—he also brought the orthodox Islam of his time in close contact with Sufism.

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1843 – Charles Dickens‘  A Christmas Carol first went on sale. It remains popular, has never been out of print,  and has been adapted to film, stage, opera, and other media multiple times.

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1848 – Emily Brontë died. English novelist and poet, best remembered for her solitary novel, Wuthering Heights, now considered a classic of English literature. She died of tuberculosis, aged 30.

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1915 – Édith Piaf born. French singer who became widely regarded as France’s national popular singer, as well as being one of France’s greatest international stars. Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being ballads. Among her songs are “La Vie en rose” (1946), “Non, je ne regrette rien” (1960), “Hymne à l’amour” (1949), “Milord” (1959), “La Foule” (1957), “l’Accordéoniste” (1955), and “Padam… Padam…” (1951).

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1918 – Professor Longhair born. AKA  Henry Roeland Byrd, New Orleans blues singer and pianist, noteworthy for having been active in two distinct periods, both in the heyday of early rhythm and blues, and in the resurgence of interest in traditional jazz after the founding of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

The journalist Tony Russell, in his book The Blues – From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray, stated “The vivacious rhumba-rhythmed piano blues and choked singing typical of Fess were too weird to sell millions of records; he had to be content with siring musical offspring who were simple enough to manage that, like Fats Domino or Huey “Piano” Smith. But he is also acknowledged as a father figure by subtler players like Allen Toussaint and Dr. John.”

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1989 – Stella Gibbons died aged 87.  English novelist, journalist, poet, and short-story writer, best remembered for her first novel, Cold Comfort Farm, the sucess of which tended to overshadow her subsequent work, and of which she later commented  “Cold Comfort Farm is a member of my family; he is like some unignorable old uncle, to whom you have to be grateful because he makes you a handsome allowance, but who is often an embarrassment and a bore.”

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2000 – Roebuck “Pops” Staples died. American gospel and R&B musician. A  pivotal figure in gospel in the 1960s and 70s,  he was an accomplished songwriter, guitarist and singer. He was the patriarch and member of singing group The Staple Singers, which included his son Pervis and daughters Mavis, Yvonne, and Cleotha.

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Almanac – September 10

1676 – Gerrard Winstanley died.  English Protestant religious reformer and political activist during The Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. Winstanley was one of the founders of the English group known as the True Levellers for their beliefs, based upon Christian communism, and as the Diggers for their actions because they took over public lands and dug them over to plant crops.

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1794 – Marie Laveau born.  Louisiana Creole practitioner of Voodoo  in New Orleans. Of her magical career there is little that can be substantiated – she was said to have had a snake she named Zombi after an African god and oral traditions suggested that the occult part of her magic mixed Roman Catholic beliefs, including saints, with African spirits and religious concepts.

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1797 – Mary Wollstonecraft died. British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children’s book but is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argued that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggested that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagined a social order founded on reason. Her daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, married Percy Shelley and was the author of Frankenstein,

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1897 – London taxi driver George Smith drove into the frontage of a building on Bond Street, Mayfair, and subsequently became the first UK convicted drunk-driver. Fined one pound.

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1940 – Roy Ayers born.  American funk, soul, and jazz composer and vibraphone player. Ayers began his career as a post-bop jazz artist, releasing several albums with Atlantic Records, before his tenure at Polydor Records beginning in the 1970s, during which he helped pioneer jazz-funk

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1977 – In France, the guillotine was used as a form of capital punishment for the last time.

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