Tag Archives: Rastafarian

Almanac – May 18

1048 – Omar Khayyám born.  Persian polymath, philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and poet. He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy, music, and Islamic theology.

Outside Iran and Persian speaking countries, Khayyám has had an impact on literature and societies through the translation of his works and popularization by other scholars.

The greatest such impact was in English-speaking countries; the English scholar Thomas Hyde (1636–1703) was the first non-Persian to study him.

The most influential of all was Edward FitzGerald (1809–83), who made Khayyám the most famous poet of the East in the West through his celebrated translation and adaptations of Khayyám’s rather small number of quatrains (Persian: رباعیات‎ rubāʿiyāt) in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

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1911 – Big Joe Turner born. American “blues shouter” (a blues-music singer capable of singing unamplified with a band) .

According to the songwriter Doc Pomus, “Rock and roll would have never happened without him.”

Although he had his greatest fame during the 1950s with his rock and roll recordings, particularly “Shake, Rattle and Roll”, Turner’s career as a performer endured from the 1920s into the 1980s.

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1913 – Charles Trenet born.  French singer and songwriter, most famous for his recordings from the late 1930s until the mid-1950s, though his career continued through the 1990s.

In an era in which it was exceptional for a singer to write their own material, Trenet wrote prolifically and declined to record any but his own songs.

While many of his songs mined relatively conventional topics such as love, Paris, and nostalgia for his younger days, what set Trenet’s songs apart were their personal, poetic, sometimes quite eccentric qualities, often infused with a warm wit. Some of his songs had unconventional subject matter, with whimsical imagery bordering on the surreal.

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1995 – Brinsley Le Poer Trench died. From 1956 to 1959 he edited the Flying Saucer Review and founded the International Unidentified Object Observer Corps.

In 1967, he founded Contact International and served as its first president. He also served as vice-president of the British UFO Research Association (BUFORA). He was an honorary life member of the now defunct Ancient Astronauts Society which supported the ideas put forward by Erich von Däniken in his 1968 book Chariots of the Gods?.

In 1975 he succeeded to the earldom of  Clancarty on the death of his half-brother, giving him a seat in the British House of Lords.

He used his new position to found a UFO Study Group at the  Lords, introducing Flying Saucer Review to its library and pushing for the declassification of UFO data.

Four years later he organised a celebrated debate in the House of Lords on UFOs which attracted many speeches on both sides of the question.

Trench also claimed to know a former U.S. test pilot who said he was one of six persons present at a meeting between President Eisenhower and a group of aliens, which allegedly took place at Edwards Air Force Base on April 4, 1954.

Clancarty reported that the test pilot told him “Five different alien craft landed at the base. Three were saucer-shaped and two were cigar shaped… the aliens looked something like humans, but not exactly.”

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1999 – Augustus Pablo died. Jamaican roots reggae and dub record producer, melodica player and keyboardist, active from the 1970s onwards.

He popularized the use of the melodica (an instrument at that time primarily used in Jamaica to teach music to schoolchildren) in reggae music, and was a committed Rastafarian.

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Almanac – May11

1811 – Chang and Eng Bunker born.  Conjoined twin brothers whose condition and birthplace became the basis for the term “Siamese twins”.

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1812 – British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval  assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons, London.

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1894 – Martha Graham born. American modern dancer and choreographer whose influence on dance has been compared with the influence Picasso had on the modern visual arts,  Stravinsky had on music, or Frank Lloyd Wright had on architecture.

She danced and choreographed for over seventy years –  “I have spent all my life with dance and being a dancer. It’s permitting life to use you in a very intense way. Sometimes it is not pleasant. Sometimes it is fearful. But nevertheless it is inevitable.”

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1904 – Salvador Dalí born. Spanish surrealist painter,  best known for the striking and bizarre images. Dalí’s expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.

Dalí attributed his “love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes” to a self-styled “Arab lineage“, claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors.

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1981 – Bob Marley died.  Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician.

He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for  The Wailers (1963-1974) and Bob Marley & The Wailers (1974–1981).

 Marley remains the most widely known and the best-selling performer of reggae music, having sold more than 75 million albums worldwide. He is also credited with helping spread both Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement to a worldwide audience.

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Almanac – February 06

1748 – Adam Weishaupt born.  German philosopher and founder of the Order of Illuminati, a secret society with origins in Bavaria.

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1945 – Bob Marley born. Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae bands The Wailers (1963-1974) and Bob Marley & The Wailers (1974–1981). Marley remains the most widely known and revered performer of reggae music, and is credited with helping spread both Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement to a worldwide audience.

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1989 – Osbourne ‘King Tubby‘ Ruddock died. Jamaican electronics and sound engineer, known primarily for his influence on the development of dub in the 1960s and 1970s.
He was shot and killed outside his home in Duhaney Park, Kingston, upon returning from a session at his Waterhouse studio.

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Almanac – November 22

1718 – Off the coast of North Carolina, British pirate Edward Teach (best known as “Blackbeard“) was killed in battle with a boarding party led by Royal Navy Lieutenant Robert Maynard.

A shrewd and calculating leader, Teach spurned the use of force, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response he desired from those he robbed. Contrary to the modern-day picture of the traditional tyrannical pirate, he commanded his vessels with the permission of their crews and there is no known account of his ever having harmed or murdered those he held captive.

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1869 – In Dumbarton, Scotland, the clipper Cutty Sark was launched – one of the last clippers ever built, and the only one still surviving today.

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1946 – Aston  ‘Family Man’  Barrett born. Jamaican bass player and Rastafarian.  Played with Bob Marley and The Wailers, The Hippy Boys, and  The Upsetters. It has been stated that he  was the ‘leader’ of the backing band and responsible for many, if not all bass lines on Bob Marley’s greatest hits, as well as having been active in co-producing Marley’s albums and responsible for most overall song arrangements. He was also  the mentor of Robbie Shakespeare of the duo Sly & Robbie, and is considered one of the elder statesmen of reggae bass guitar playing.

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1963 – In Dallas, Texas, US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and Texas Governor John B. Connally  seriously wounded. Suspect Lee Harvey Oswald is later captured and charged with the murder of both the President and police officer J. D. Tippit.

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1963 – Aldous Huxley died. English writer best known for his novels including Brave New World.  A humanist, pacifist, and satirist,  he was latterly interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism. He is also well known for advocating and taking psychedelics.

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1963 – C. S. Lewis died. Irish novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist.  He is known for both his fictional work, especially The Screwtape Letters, and  The Chronicles of Narnia,  and his non-fiction, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.

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Almanac – November 02

1930 – Haile Selassie was crowned emperor of Ethiopia.  He was the heir to a dynasty that traced its origins to the 13th century, and from there by tradition back to King Solomon and Queen Makeda, Empress of Axum, known in the Abrahamic tradition as the Queen of Sheba. Haile Selassie is a defining figure in both Ethiopian and African history.
Among the Rastafari movement, Haile Selassie is revered as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate, perceiving  Haile  as a messianic figure who will lead a future golden age of eternal peace, righteousness, and prosperity. Haile Selassie was an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian throughout his life.

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1950 – George Bernard Shaw died.  Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. He was also an essayist, novelist and short story writer. Nearly all his writings address prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable. Issues which engaged Shaw’s attention included education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege.

He died , aged 94, from chronic problems exacerbated by injuries he incurred by falling from a ladder.

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1957 – The Levelland UFO Case in Levelland, Texas.  The case is considered to be one of the most impressive in UFO history, mainly because of the large number of witnesses involved over a relatively short period of time.

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1960 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the trial R v Penguin Books Ltd., the Lady Chatterley’s Lover case.
R v Penguin Books Ltd was the public prosecution at the Old Bailey of Penguin Books under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 for the publication of D. H. Lawrence‘s  Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The trial was a test case of the defense of public good provision under section 4 of the Act which was defined as a work “in the interests of science, literature, art or learning, or of other objects of general concern”.
The jury found for the defendant in a result that ushered in the liberalisation of publishing, and which some saw as the beginning of the permissive society in Britain.

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1965 – Norman Morrison, a 31-year-old Quaker, set himself on fire in front of the river entrance to the Pentagon to protest the use of napalm in the Vietnam war.

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Almanac – October 19

1903 – Tor Johnson born.  Swedish professional wrestler (billed as The Super Swedish Angel) and actor. During his career as an actor, Johnson befriended director Edward D. Wood, Jr., who directed him in a number of films, most notably Bride of the Monster and Plan 9 from Outer Space, both which co-starred Bela Lugosi. Very friendly to work with on movie sets, actress Valda Hansen, who worked with Johnson in 1959’s Night of the Ghouls (also directed by Wood), described him as  “like a big sugar bun.”

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1944 – Peter Tosh born. Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of the band The Wailers (1963–1974), and who afterwards had a successful solo career as well as being a promoter of Rastafari.

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1945 – Gloria Jones born. American singer and songwriter. She was the driver of the car that crashed and killed Marc Bolan at 4am on 16 September 1977.

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1945 – Divine born. Also known as Harris Glenn Milstead,  an American actor, singer and drag queen, often associated with independent filmmaker John Waters and starred in ten of Waters’s films, usually in a leading role. Concurrent with his acting career, he also had a successful career as a disco singer during the 1980s, at one point being described as “the most successful and in-demand disco performer in the world.”

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1988 – Son House died. American blues singer and guitarist. House pioneered an innovative style featuring strong, repetitive rhythms, often played with the aid of slide guitar, and his singing often incorporated elements of southern gospel and spiritual music.

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1995 – Don Cherry died. African-American jazz trumpetist whose career began with a long association with saxophonist Ornette Coleman. In the 1970s he ventured into the developing genre of world fusion music, incorporating influences of Middle Eastern, traditional African, and Indian music into his playing.

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2000 – Hortense Ellis died. Jamaican reggae artist , and the younger sister of  Alton Ellis.

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Almanac – September 15

1907 – Fay Wray born. Canadian-American actress most noted for playing the female lead in King Kong. Through an acting career that spanned 57 years, Wray attained international renown as an actress in horror movie roles, leading to many considering her as the first “scream queen”.

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1928 – Julian “Cannonball” Adderley born. Jazz alto saxophonist of the hard bop era of the 1950s and 1960s,  remembered for his 1966 single “Mercy Mercy Mercy”, a crossover hit on the pop charts, and for his work with trumpeter Miles Davis, including on the epochal album Kind of Blue (1959).

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1963 – The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed on Sunday, September 15, 1963 as an act of racially motivated terrorism. The explosion at the African-American church, which killed four girls, marked a turning point in the U.S. 1960s Civil Rights Movement and contributed to support for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

 Bobby Frank Cherry, Thomas Blanton, Herman Frank Cash, and Robert Chambliss – members of United Klans of America, a Ku Klux Klan group – planted a box of dynamite with a time delay under the steps of the church, near the basement. At about 10:22 a.m., twenty-six children were walking into the basement assembly room to prepare for the sermon entitled “The Love That Forgives,” when the bomb exploded. Four girls, Addie Mae Collins (age 14), Denise McNair (age 11), Carole Robertson (age 14), and Cynthia Wesley (age 14), were killed in the attack, and 22 additional people were injured.The explosion blew a hole in the church’s rear wall, destroyed the back steps and all but one stained-glass window, which showed Christ leading a group of little children.

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1968 – The Soviet Zond 5  spaceship  launched. It was to become the first spacecraft to fly around the Moon and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

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1983 – Prince Far I  died. Jamaican reggae deejay, producer and a Rastafarian. He was shot at his home in Kingston, Jamaica, during a robbery and died later in hospital.

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