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Almanac – January 01

In England, January 1 was celebrated as the New Year festival, but from the 12th century to 1752 the year in England began on March 25 (Lady Day). So, for example, the Parliamentary record notes the execution of Charles I as occurring on January 30, 1648, (as the year did not end until March 24), although modern histories adjust the start of the year to January 1 and record the execution as occurring in 1649.

Most western European countries changed the start of the year to January 1 before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. For example, Scotland changed the start of the Scottish New Year to January 1 in 1600. England, Ireland and the British colonies changed the start of the year to January 1 in 1752. Later that year in September, the Gregorian calendar was introduced throughout Britain and the British colonies, implemented by the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750.

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1804 – . Haiti became the first black republic and second independent country in North America after the United States.

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1812 – The Bishop of Durham, Shute Barrington, ordered troops from Durham Castle to break up a miners strike, at collieries owned by the Dean & chapter of Durham Cathedral,  in Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham.

At this time (and up until 1836), the “Prince” Bishops of Durham still held vice-regal powers in the North of England, which included the maintenance of a small private army, garrisoned in Durham Castle.

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1928 – Ernest Tidyman born. American author and screenwriter, best known for his novels featuring the African-American detective John Shaft. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the film version of Shaft.

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1953 – Hank Williams died.  American singer-songwriter and musician regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time.

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1984 – Alexis Korner died.  Blues musician and radio broadcaster, who has sometimes been referred to as “a Founding Father of British Blues”.  A major influence on the sound of the British music scene in the 1960s – in 1961, Korner and Cyril Davies formed Blues Incorporated, initially a loose-knit group of musicians with a shared love of electric blues and R&B music. The group included, at various times, such influential musicians as Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond, Danny Thompson and Dick Heckstall-Smith. It also attracted a wider crowd of mostly younger fans, some of whom occasionally performed with the group, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Geoff Bradford, Rod Stewart, John Mayall and Jimmy Page.

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Almanac – August 10

991 – Battle of Maldon: an English force, led by Byrhtnoth, Ealdorman of Essex, were defeated by a band of inland-raiding Vikings near Maldon in Essex. One manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle said a Norwegian, Olaf Tryggvason, led the Viking forces, estimated to have been between 2,000 and 4,000 fighting men. A source from the 12th century, Liber Eliensis, written by the monks at Ely, suggests that Byrhtnoth had only a few men to command: “he was neither shaken by the small number of his men, nor fearful of the multitude of the enemy”. Not all sources indicate such a disparity in numbers.

An account of the battle, embellished with many speeches attributed to the warriors and with other details, is related in an Old English poem which is usually named The Battle of Maldon.

1792 – French Revolutionaries imprisoned Louis XVI and the monarchy was suspended.

1842 – The Mines Act came into force in the UK, releasing all women and girls, as well as boys under the age of 10, from underground employment.

1909 – Leo Fender, inventor and musical instrument manufacturer, born.

1948 – Montague Summers died.  English author and clergyman. He is known primarily for his scholarly work on the English drama of the 17th century, as well as for his idiosyncratic studies on witches, vampires, and werewolves, in all of which he professed to believe. He was responsible for the first English translation, published in 1928, of the notorious 15th-century witch hunter’s manual, the Malleus Maleficarum.

1961 – First use in Vietnam War of the Agent Orange by the U.S. Army.
Agent Orange was the code name for one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. Vietnam estimates 400,000 people were killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth defects.

2008 – Isaac Hayes died.  American songwriter, musician, singer, actor, and voice actor. Hayes was one of the creative influences behind the southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served both as an in-house songwriter and as a record producer, teaming with his partner David Porter during the mid-1960s. During the late 1960s, he also began recording music and  had several successful soul albums such as Hot Buttered Soul (1969) and Black Moses (1971). In addition to his work in popular music, he worked as a composer of musical scores for motion pictures, probably best  known for his musical score for the film Shaft (1971).

Mr. Frankenstein

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Almanac – July 9th

1942Richard Roundtree, American actor born. Shaft – can you dig it ?

1958 – Lituya Bay , a fjord located on the coast of the Southeast part of the U.S. state of Alaska – On July 9, 1958, an earthquake caused a landslide in the Crillon Inlet at the head of the bay, generating a massive megatsunami measuring 524 m (1,719 ft).

For comparison, the Empire State Building is 448 m (1,470 ft) high including its antenna spire. The wave possessed sufficient power to snap off all the trees up to 1,720 feet (520 m) high around the bay. Most of these were spruce, and most were 6 feet (1.8 m) thick. The wave stripped the soil down to the bedrock around the entire bay.

There were three fishing boats anchored near the entrance of Lituya Bay on the day the giant wave occurred. One boat sank and the two people on board were killed. The other two boats were able to ride the waves.

1962Andy Warhol‘s  Campbell’s Soup Cans exhibition opens at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.

Mr. Frankenstein

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