Tag Archives: USA

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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Thatcher Dead – Her Spawn Live On

Well, I suppose if I can find one good thing to say about Thatcher,  its that she didn’t  encourage the fruit of her loins – the terrible twins Carol and Mark – to follow her into politics.

Carol has followed some kind of career in journalism, as an author (biographies of mummy and daddy) and a “personality”.  A very annoying personality, and one no-one would have entertained on national media had it not been for her parentage.

She did have her moments.

In 2007 she travelled to the Falkland Islands and Argentina for the documentary Mummy’s War...

During her stay in Argentina she met a group of mothers who lost their sons during the conflict and stated, with all the sensitivity of her mother – “We were fighting a war; we won, you lost,” and reminded them that it was their country that invaded the islands, thus initiating the conflict. The interview ended with one of the women claiming that “God will punish her (Margaret Thatcher)”.

And diplomatic as ever, in 2009 she got the heave-ho from the BBC for making racist comments about a black tennis player.

Still, even with the insensitivity and casual racism, she’s like Snow White compared to her slimy sibling Mark.

During the mid- to late 1980s concerns were frequently expressed in relation to his business affairs. In 1984 his mother faced questions in the House of Commons in relation to his involvement in representing a British company Cementation, a subsidiary of Trafalgar House to build a university in Oman at a time when the prime minister was urging Omanis to buy British.

He has denied claims made that in 1985 he received millions of pounds in commission in relation to the £45 billion Al-Yamamah arms deal, a controversial arms sale by BAE to Saudi Arabia which was possibly the largest arms sale ever; he has not disputed that a house in Belgravia , London was purchased for him for £1 million in 1987 by an offshore company controlled by Wafic Said, a middleman in the deal.

In 1986 his mother faced questions in the House of Commons again over her son’s relationship with the Sultan of Brunei. The government’s PR advisers suggested that it would be best if he left the country !

So he was banished to Texas, and later spent time in Switzerland as a tax exile until he was forced to leave when the Swiss authorities started to question his residency qualifications.

Back in the USA in 1996 he was prosecuted for tax evasion, at which point he moved to South Africa.

In 1998 South African authorities investigated a company owned by Thatcher for allegedly running loan shark operations. According to the Star of Johannesburg’, the company had offered unofficial small loans to hundreds of police officers, military personnel and civil servants and then pursued them with debt collectors.

In 2003, following the death of his father he assumed the title of ‘Sir’ due to his Thatcher Baronetcy , a year before he was arrested in South Africa in connection with the 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d’état attempt to which he pleaded guilty of breaking anti-mercenary legislation in January 2005. At this time the Sunday Times suggested that he had personal assets of £60 million, most of which was in offshore accounts.

He moved to Monaco on a temporary residency permit.His Monaco residency was not renewed as he was said to be on a list of ‘undesirables’ who would not be allowed further residency and he was required to leave by mid-2006.

He was refused a entry visa to the USA due to his conviction in South Africa.

He was refused residency in Switzerland and settled in Gibraltar where he married his second wife in 2008. In 2013 he was reported to spend most of his time in Marbella.  Arguably, anyone else with a comparable record would spend most of his time in prison.

I do hope someone at the Tax authorities is checking up to see how much UK tax he has avoided over the years.

My god, what a dysfunctional family !

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Almanac – February 17

1600 –  Giordano Bruno  burned alive, for heresy, at Campo de’ Fiori in Rome.

Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician and astronomer. His cosmological theories went beyond the Copernican model in proposing that the Sun was essentially a star, and moreover, that the universe contained an infinite number of inhabited worlds populated by other intelligent beings.

The free-thinking Roman Catholic church naturally embraced such views with the  same sort of enthusiasm that they now reserve for condoms, and, after the  Roman Inquisition  found him guilty of heresey,  he was burnt at the stake.

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1864 – Banjo Paterson born. Australian bush poet, journalist and author, he wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales, where he spent much of his childhood.

Paterson’s more notable poems include “Waltzing Matilda”, “The Man from Snowy River” and “Clancy of the Overflow”.

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1909 – Geronimo died. 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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1982 – Thelonious Monk died. American jazz pianist and composer considered one of the giants of American music.

Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including “Epistrophy”, “‘Round Midnight”, “Blue Monk”, “Straight, No Chaser” and “Well, You Needn’t”.

Monk is the second-most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed over 1,000 songs while Monk wrote about 70.

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Almanac – June 19th

1820 – A baton was first used to conduct an orchestra in England, by Ludwig Spohr.

1862 – Slavery became illeagal in US territories.

1963Valentina Nicolayeva Tereshkova completed the first space mission by a woman, having circled the Earth 48 times in Vostok VI. There seems to be evidence that she wasn’t actually the first female cosmonaut, but was certainly the first to get back alive.

Mr. Frankenstein

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