1814 – Adolphe Sax born. Belgian musical instrument designer and musician who played the flute and clarinet, and is best known for having invented the saxophone.
1938 – P.J. Proby born. American singer, songwriter, and actor.
1965 – Edgard Varèse died. French-born composer who spent the greater part of his career in the United States.
Varèse’s music emphasizes timbre and rhythm. He was the inventor of the term “organized sound”, a phrase meaning that certain timbres and rhythms can be grouped together, sublimating into a whole new definition of music.
Although his complete surviving works only last about three hours, he has been recognised as an influence by several major composers of the late 20th century. His use of new instruments and electronic resources led to his being known as the “Father of Electronic Music” while Henry Miller described him as “The stratospheric Colossus of Sound”.
One of Varèse’s biggest fans was Frank Zappa, who, upon hearing a copy of The Complete Works of Edgard Varèse, Vol. 1 became obsessed with the composer’s music.
1712 – Birth of Jean-Jaques Rousseau.
1846 – The saxophone was patented by Adolphe Sax in Paris.
1880 – The Australian bushranger Ned Kelly captured at Glenrowan.
1905 – A French criminal named Languille was guillotined. At the very moment his severed head tumbled forward from the blade, a Dr. Beaurieux observed movement in its eyelids and lips. Three times he called out Languille’s name in a loud voice. The first two times the eyes opened and focused on him. The third time, no reaction.
1914 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated in Sarajevo, setting in motion the events that led to World War I.
1924 – Arthur Ferguson suceeded in selling London’s Trafalgar Square to an American tourist for 6000 GBP. He later “sold” Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, before emigrating to the USA, where he was arrested trying to sell the Statue of Liberty.
1964 – Malcolm X forms the Organization of Afro-American Unity.
1969 – Stonewall Riots begin in New York City marking the start of the Gay Rights Movement.
1975 – Death of Rod Serling, American TV screenwriter, novelist, television producer, and narrator best known for his live television dramas of the 1950s and his science fiction anthology TV series, The Twilight Zone.
1993 – Death of GG Allin, American singer, who I used to correspond with in the early 1980s.