With far too much on my mind this week to properly prepare a Throwback Thursday, I challenge you all to make up your own.
It’s a point of pride with me that I have no idea what my weekly Throwback Thursday will be when at wake up around 5AM Thursday morning. While sipping my first mug of coffee, I check out the WikiWackyWoo for inspiration. Then I spin out several hundred (or a thousand or two) words on the topic of my choosing.
Now you can do likewise. Here are today’s choices. Have fun.
- 363 – Emperor Julian marches back up the Tigris and burns his fleet of supply ships. During the withdrawal Roman forces suffered several attacks from the Persians.
- 632 – Yazdegerd III ascends to the throne as king (shah) of the Persian Empire. He becomes the last ruler of the Sasanian dynasty (modern Iran).
- 1407 – Ming–Hồ War: Retired King Hồ Quý Ly and his son King Hồ Hán Thương of Hồ dynasty are captured by the Ming armies.
- 1487 – Battle of Stoke Field, the final engagement of the Wars of the Roses.
- 1586 – Mary, Queen of Scots, recognizes Philip II of Spain as her heir and successor.
- 1745 – War of the Austrian Succession: New England colonial troops under the command of William Pepperrell capture the Fortress of Louisbourg in Louisbourg, New France (Old Style date).
- 1746 – War of Austrian Succession: Austria and Sardinia defeat a Franco-Spanish army at the Battle of Piacenza.
- 1755 – French and Indian War: The French surrender Fort Beauséjour to the British, leading to the expulsion of the Acadians.
- 1774 – Foundation of Harrodsburg, Kentucky.
- 1779 – Spain declares war on the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Great Siege of Gibraltar begins.
- 1795 – Cornwallis’s Retreat, also known as the First Battle of Groix.
- 1815 – Battle of Ligny and Battle of Quatre Bras, two days before the Battle of Waterloo.
- 1836 – The formation of the London Working Men’s Association gives rise to the Chartist Movement.
- 1846 – The Papal conclave of 1846 elects Pope Pius IX, beginning the longest reign in the history of the papacy.
- 1858 – Abraham Lincoln delivers his House Divided speech in Springfield, Illinois.
- 1858 – The Battle of Morar takes place during the Indian Mutiny.
- 1871 – The University Tests Act allows students to enter the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Durham without religious tests (except for those intending to study theology).
- 1883 – The Victoria Hall theatre panic in Sunderland, England kills 183 children.
- 1884 – The first purpose-built roller coaster, LaMarcus Adna Thompson‘s “Switchback Railway“, opens in New York’s Coney Island amusement park.
- 1891 – John Abbott becomes Canada’s third Prime Minister.
- 1897 – A treaty annexing the Republic of Hawaii to the United States is signed; the Republic would not be dissolved until a year later.
- 1903 – The Ford Motor Company is incorporated.
- 1903 – Roald Amundsen commences the first east-west navigation of the Northwest Passage, leaving Oslo, Norway.
- 1904 – Eugen Schauman assassinates Nikolay Bobrikov, Governor-General of Finland.
- 1904 – Irish author James Joyce begins a relationship with Nora Barnacle and subsequently uses the date to set the actions for his novel Ulysses; this date is now traditionally called “Bloomsday“.
- 1911 – IBM founded as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in Endicott, New York.
- 1911 – A 772 gram stony meteorite strikes the earth near Kilbourn, Wisconsin damaging a barn.
- 1915 – Foundation of the British Women’s Institute.
- 1918 – The Declaration to the Seven,a British government response to a memorandum issued anonymously by seven Syrian notables, is published.
- 1922 – General election in the Irish Free State: The pro-Treaty Sinn Féin win a large majority.
- 1924 – The Whampoa Military Academy is founded.
- 1925 – The most famous Young Pioneer camp of the Soviet Union, Artek, is established.
- 1930 – Sovnarkom establishes decree time in the USSR.
- 1933 – The National Industrial Recovery Act is passed.
- 1940 – World War II: Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain becomes Chief of State of Vichy France (Chef de l’État Français).
- 1940 – A Communist government is installed in Lithuania.
- 1944 – At age 14, George Junius Stinney, Jr. becomes the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th century.
- 1948 – Members of the Malayan Communist Party kill three British plantation managers in Sungai Siput; in response, British Malaya declares a state of emergency.
- 1955 – In a futile effort to topple Argentine President Juan Perón, rogue aircraft pilots of the Argentine Navy drop several bombs upon an unarmed crowd demonstrating in favor of Perón in Buenos Aires,
killing 364 and injuring at least 800. At the same time on the ground,
some forces soldiers attempt to stage a coup but are suppressed by loyal
- 1958 – Imre Nagy, Pál Maléter and other leaders of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising are executed.
- 1961 – Rudolf Nureyev defects from the Soviet Union.
- 1963 – Soviet Space Program: Vostok 6 Mission: Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space.
- 1967 – The Monterey Pop Festival begins
- 1972 – The largest single-site hydroelectric power project in Canada is inaugurated at Churchill Falls Generating Station.
- 1976 – Soweto uprising: A non-violent march by 15,000 students in Soweto, South Africa turns into days of rioting when police open fire on the crowd.
- 1977 – Oracle Corporation is incorporated in Redwood Shores, California, as Software Development Laboratories (SDL) by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner and Ed Oates.
- 1981 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan awards the Congressional Gold Medal to Ken Taylor, Canada’s former ambassador to Iran, for helping six Americans escape from Iran during the hostage crisis of 1979-81; he is the first foreign citizen bestowed the honor.
- 1989 – Revolutions of 1989: Imre Nagy, the former Hungarian Prime Minister, is reburied in Budapest following the collapse of Communism in Hungary.
- 1997 – The Daïat Labguer (M’sila) massacre in Algeria; 50 people die.
- 2000 – Israel complies with United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 22 years after its issuance, which calls on Israel to completely withdraw from Lebanon. Israel does so, except the disputed Shebaa farms.
- 2010 – Bhutan becomes the first country to institute a total ban on tobacco.
- 2012 – China successfully launches its Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, carrying three astronauts, including the first female Chinese astronaut Liu Yang, to the Tiangong-1 orbital module.
- 2012 – The United States Air Force‘s robotic Boeing X-37B spaceplane returns to Earth after a classified 469-day orbital mission.
- 1139 – Emperor Konoe of Japan (d. 1155)
- 1332 – Isabella de Coucy, English daughter of Edward III of England (d. 1382)
- 1514 – John Cheke, English academic and politician, English Secretary of State (d. 1557)
- 1583 – Axel Oxenstierna, Swedish politician, Lord High Chancellor of Sweden (d. 1654)
- 1591 – Joseph Solomon Delmedigo, Greek-Italian physician, mathematician, and theorist (d. 1655)
- 1606 – Arthur Chichester, 1st Earl of Donegall, Irish soldier and politician (d. 1675)
- 1612 – Murad IV, Ottoman sultan (d. 1640)
- 1613 – John Cleveland, English poet and educator (d. 1658)
- 1633 – Jean de Thévenot, French linguist and botanist (d. 1667)
- 1644 – Henrietta of England (d. 1670)
- 1713 – Meshech Weare, American farmer, lawyer, and politician, 1st Governor of New Hampshire (d. 1786)
- 1723 – Adam Smith, Scottish philosopher and economist (d. 1790)
- 1738 – Mary Katherine Goddard, American publisher (d. 1816)
- 1754 – Salawat Yulayev, Russian poet (d. 1800)
- 1792 – John Linnell, English painter and engraver (d. 1882)
- 1801 – Julius Plücker, German mathematician and physicist (d. 1868)
- 1806 – Edward Davy, English physician and chemist (d. 1885)
- 1813 – Otto Jahn, German archaeologist and philologist (d. 1869)
- 1820 – Athanase Josué Coquerel, Dutch-French preacher and theologian (d. 1875)
- 1821 – Old Tom Morris, Scottish golfer and architect (d. 1908)
- 1826 – Constantin von Ettingshausen, Austrian geologist and botanist (d. 1897)
- 1829 – Geronimo, American tribal leader (d. 1909)
- 1836 – Wesley Merritt, American general and politician, Military Governor of the Philippines (d. 1910)
- 1837 – Ernst Laas, German philosopher and academic (d. 1885)
- 1838 – Frederic Archer, English organist, composer, and conductor (d. 1901)
- 1838 – Cushman Kellogg Davis, American lieutenant and politician, 7th Governor of Minnesota (d. 1900)
- 1840 – Ernst Otto Schlick, German engineer and author (d. 1913)
- 1850 – Max Delbrück, German chemist and academic (d. 1919)
- 1857 – Arthur Arz von Straußenburg, Austrian-Hungarian general (d. 1935)
- 1858 – Gustaf V of Sweden (d. 1950)
- 1862 – Olaf Frydenlund, Norwegian target shooter (d. 1947)
- 1866 – Germanos Karavangelis, Greek-Austrian metropolitan (d. 1935)
- 1874 – Arthur Meighen, Canadian lawyer and politician, 9th Prime Minister of Canada (d. 1960)
- 1880 – Otto Eisenschiml, Austrian-American chemist and author (d. 1963)
- 1881 – Natalia Goncharova, Russian painter, costume designer, and illustrator (d. 1962)
- 1882 – Mohammad Mosaddegh, Iranian educator and politician, 60th Prime Minister of Iran (d. 1967)
- 1885 – Erich Jacoby, Estonian-Polish architect (d. 1941)
- 1888 – Alexander Friedmann, Russian physicist and mathematician (d. 1925)
- 1888 – Peter Stoner, American mathematician and astronomer (d. 1980)
- 1890 – Stan Laurel, English-American actor, singer, director, and screenwriter (d. 1965)
- 1894 – Norman Kerry, American actor (d. 1956)
- 1896 – Murray Leinster, American author and screenwriter (d. 1976)
- 1897 – Elaine Hammerstein, American actress (d. 1948)
- 1897 – Georg Wittig, German chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1987)
- 1902 – Barbara McClintock, American geneticist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1992)
- 1902 – George Gaylord Simpson, American paleontologist and author (d. 1984)
- 1903 – Helen Traubel, American soprano and actress (d. 1972)
- 1906 – Alan Fairfax, Australian cricketer (d. 1955)
- 1907 – Jack Albertson, American actor and singer (d. 1981)
- 1909 – Archie Carr, American ecologist and zoologist (d. 1987)
- 1910 – Juan Velasco Alvarado, Peruvian general and politician, 1st President of Peru (d. 1977)
- 1912 – Albert Chartier, Canadian illustrator (d. 2004)
- 1912 – Enoch Powell, English soldier and politician, Secretary of State for Health (d. 1998)
- 1915 – John Tukey, American mathematician and academic (d. 2000)
- 1916 – Hank Luisetti, American basketball player (d. 2002)
- 1916 – John Young, Scottish actor (d. 1996)
- 1917 – Phaedon Gizikis, Greek general and politician, President of Greece (d. 1999)
- 1917 – Katharine Graham, American publisher (d. 2001)
- 1917 – Aurelio Lampredi, Italian automobile and aircraft engine designer (d. 1989)
- 1920 – John Howard Griffin, American journalist and author (d. 1980)
- 1920 – Isabelle Holland, Swiss-American author (d. 2002)
- 1920 – Raymond Lemieux, Canadian chemist and academic (d. 2002)
- 1920 – Hemanta Kumar Mukhopadhyay, Indian singer-songwriter and producer (d. 1989)
- 1920 – José López Portillo, Mexican lawyer and politician, 31st President of Mexico (d. 2004)
- 1922 – Ilmar Kullam, Estonian basketball player and coach (d. 2011)
- 1923 – Ron Flockhart, Scottish race car driver (d. 1962)
- 1924 – Faith Domergue, American actress (d. 1999)
- 1924 – Lucky Thompson, American saxophonist (d. 2005)
- 1925 – Jean d’Ormesson, French journalist and author
- 1925 – Otto Muehl, Austrian-Portuguese painter and director (d. 2013)
- 1926 – Efraín Ríos Montt, Guatemalan general and politician, 26th President of Guatemala
- 1927 – Tom Graveney, English cricketer and sportscaster (d. 2015)
- 1927 – Herbert Lichtenfeld, German author and screenwriter (d. 2001)
- 1927 – Ariano Suassuna, Brazilian author and playwright (d. 2014)
- 1928 – Annie Cordy, Belgian actress and singer
- 1928 – Speedy Long, American lawyer and politician (d. 2006)
- 1929 – Ramon Bieri, American actor (d. 2001)
- 1929 – Pauline Yates, English actress (d. 2015)
- 1930 – Allan D’Arcangelo, American painter (d. 1998)
- 1930 – Vilmos Zsigmond, Hungarian-American cinematographer and producer (d. 2016)
- 1932 – Norman Jones, English actor (d. 2013)
- 1932 – Ralph Robins, English businessman
- 1934 – Eileen Atkins, English actress and screenwriter
- 1934 – Jane Henson, American actress and puppeteer (d. 2013)
- 1934 – Roger Neilson, Canadian ice hockey player and coach (d. 2003)
- 1935 – James Bolam, English actor
- 1935 – Jim Dine, American painter and illustrator
- 1936 – Ann Carter, American actress and educator (d. 2014)
- 1937 – Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Bulgarian politician, 48th Prime Minister of Bulgaria
- 1937 – Erich Segal, American author and screenwriter (d. 2010)
- 1938 – Thomas Boyd-Carpenter, English general
- 1938 – Torgny Lindgren, Swedish author and poet
- 1938 – Joyce Carol Oates, American novelist, short story writer, critic, and poet
- 1938 – Charles B. Pierce, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2010)
- 1939 – Billy “Crash” Craddock, American singer-songwriter
- 1940 – Māris Čaklais, Latvian poet, writer, and journalist (d. 2003)
- 1940 – Neil Goldschmidt, American lawyer and politician, 33rd Governor of Oregon
- 1941 – Lamont Dozier, American songwriter and producer
- 1941 – Tommy Horton, English golfer
- 1941 – Tõnu Õim, Estonian correspondence chess grandmaster
- 1941 – Mumtaz Hamid Rao, Pakistani journalist (d. 2011)
- 1941 – Rosalind Baker, Australian author
- 1942 – Giacomo Agostini, Italian motorcycle racer and manager
- 1942 – Eddie Levert, American singer-songwriter and producer (The O’Jays)
- 1943 – Joan Van Ark, American actress and director
- 1944 – Henri Richelet, French painter and etcher
- 1945 – Claire Alexander, Canadian ice hockey player and coach
- 1945 – Lucienne Robillard, Canadian social worker and politician, 59th Secretary of State for Canada
- 1946 – Rick Adelman, American basketball player and coach
- 1946 – John Astor, 3rd Baron Astor of Hever, English businessman and politician
- 1946 – Karen Dunnell, English statistician and academic
- 1946 – Tom Harrell, American trumpet player and composer
- 1946 – Neil MacGregor, Scottish historian and curator
- 1946 – Iain Matthews, English singer-songwriter and guitarist (Fairport Convention and Plainsong)
- 1946 – Jodi Rell, American politician, 87th Governor of Connecticut
- 1946 – Mark Ritts, American actor, puppeteer, and producer (d. 2009)
- 1946 – Derek Sanderson, Canadian ice hockey player and sportscaster
- 1946 – Simon Williams, English actor and playwright
- 1947 – Tom Malone, American trombonist, composer, and producer (The Blues Brothers and CBS Orchestra)
- 1947 – Buddy Roberts, American wrestler (d. 2012)
- 1947 – Tom Wyner, English-American voice actor, director, producer, and screenwriter
- 1948 – Ron LeFlore, American baseball player and manager
- 1949 – Paulo Cézar Caju, Brazilian footballer
- 1949 – Ralph Mann, American hurdler and author
- 1949 – Robbin Thompson, American singer-songwriter (Steel Mill) (d. 2015)
- 1950 – Mithun Chakraborty, Indian actor and politician
- 1950 – Michel Clair, Canadian lawyer and politician
- 1951 – Charlie Dominici, American singer and guitarist (Dream Theater and Dominici)
- 1951 – Roberto Durán, Panamanian boxer
- 1952 – George Papandreou, Greek sociologist and politician, 182nd Prime Minister of Greece
- 1952 – Gino Vannelli, Canadian singer-songwriter
- 1953 – Valerie Mahaffey, American actress
- 1953 – Ian Mosley, English drummer (Marillion)
- 1954 – Matthew Saad Muhammad, American boxer and trainer (d. 2014)
- 1954 – Garry Roberts, Irish guitarist (The Boomtown Rats)
- 1955 – Grete Faremo, Norwegian politician, Norwegian Minister of Defence
- 1955 – Laurie Metcalf, American actress
- 1955 – Artemy Troitsky, Russian journalist and critic
- 1957 – Ian Buchanan, Scottish-American actor
- 1957 – Leeona Dorrian, Lady Dorrian, Scottish lawyer and judge
- 1958 – Darrell Griffith, American basketball player
- 1958 – Ulrike Tauber, German swimmer
- 1958 – Warren Rodwell Australian soldier, educator and musician
- 1959 – The Ultimate Warrior, American wrestler (d. 2014)
- 1960 – Peter Sterling, Australian rugby league player and sportscaster
- 1961 – Can Dündar, Turkish journalist and author
- 1961 – Robbie Kerr, Australian cricketer
- 1961 – Steve Larmer, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1961 – Margus Metstak, Estonian basketball player and coach
- 1962 – Wally Joyner, American baseball player and coach
- 1962 – Femi Kuti, English-Nigerian singer-songwriter and saxophonist
- 1962 – Arnold Vosloo, South African-American actor
- 1962 – Anthony Wong, Hong Kong singer-songwriter and producer (Tat Ming Pair)
- 1963 – Scott Alexander, American screenwriter and producer
- 1963 – Deb Caletti, American author
- 1963 – The Sandman, American wrestler
- 1964 – Danny Burstein, American actor and singer
- 1965 – Laverne Eve, Bahamian javelin thrower
- 1965 – Andrea M. Ghez, American astronomer and academic
- 1965 – Michael Richard Lynch, Irish computer scientist and entrepreneur; co-founded HP Autonomy
- 1965 – Richard Madaleno, American politician
- 1965 – Eirik Stubø, Norwegian stage producer and theatre director
- 1966 – Mark Occhilupo, Australian surfer
- 1966 – Olivier Roumat, French rugby player
- 1966 – Phil Vischer, American voice actor, director, producer, and screenwriter, co-created VeggieTales
- 1966 – Jan Železný, Czech javelin thrower and coach
- 1967 – Charalambos Andreou, Cypriot footballer
- 1967 – Jürgen Klopp, German footballer and manager
- 1969 – Shami Chakrabarti, English lawyer and academic
- 1969 – Mark Crossley, English-Welsh footballer and manager
- 1969 – MC Ren, American rapper and producer (N.W.A)
- 1969 – Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian and actor
- 1970 – Younus AlGohar, Pakistani poet and academic, co-founded Messiah Foundation International
- 1970 – Cobi Jones, American soccer player and manager
- 1970 – Phil Mickelson, American golfer
- 1971 – Chris Gomez, American baseball player
- 1971 – Tupac Shakur, American rapper, producer, and actor (Digital Underground, Outlawz, and Thug Life) (d. 1996)
- 1972 – John Cho, American actor
- 1973 – Amanda Byram, Irish model and television presenter
- 1973 – Eddie Cibrian, American actor
- 1973 – Nikos Machlas, Greek footballer
- 1975 – Anthony Carter, American basketball player and coach
- 1976 – Edwin Tenorio, Ecuadorian footballer
- 1977 – Craig Fitzgibbon, Australian rugby league player and coach
- 1977 – Kevin Foster, American murderer
- 1977 – Duncan Hames, English accountant and politician
- 1977 – Kerry Wood, American baseball player
- 1978 – Daniel Brühl, Spanish-German actor
- 1978 – Dainius Zubrus, Lithuanian ice hockey player
- 1980 – Brandon Armstrong, American basketball player
- 1980 – Phil Christophers, German-English rugby player
- 1980 – Brad Gushue, Canadian curler
- 1980 – Sibel Kekilli, German actress
- 1980 – Daré Nibombé, Togolese footballer
- 1980 – Martin Stranzl, Austrian footballer
- 1980 – Justin Tranter, American singer-songwriter and jewelry designer (Semi Precious Weapons)
- 1981 – Benjamin Becker, German tennis player
- 1981 – Kevin Bieksa, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1981 – Ben Kweller, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Radish and The Bens)
- 1981 – Ola Kvernberg, Norwegian violinist (Grand General)
- 1981 – Miguel Villalta, Peruvian footballer
- 1982 – May Andersen, Danish model and actress
- 1982 – Matt Costa, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
- 1982 – Missy Peregrym, Canadian model and actress
- 1982 – Chris Wingert, American soccer player
- 1983 – Armend Dallku, Albanian footballer
- 1984 – Jonathan Broxton, American baseball player
- 1984 – Gábor Császár, Hungarian handball player
- 1984 – Rick Nash, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1984 – Steven Whittaker, Scottish footballer
- 1986 – Rodrigo Defendi, Brazilian footballer
- 1986 – Urby Emanuelson, Dutch footballer
- 1986 – Fernando Muslera, Uruguayan footballer
- 1987 – Diana DeGarmo, American singer-songwriter and actress
- 1987 – Christian Tshimanga Kabeya, Belgian footballer
- 1987 – Per Ciljan Skjelbred, Norwegian footballer
- 1988 – Keshia Chanté, Canadian singer-songwriter and actress
- 1988 – Leeland Dayton Mooring, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Leeland)
- 1989 – Jelena Glebova, Estonian figure skater
- 1990 – John Newman, English singer-songwriter
- 1991 – Ryan Bang, South Korean actor and singer
- 1991 – Joe McElderry, English singer-songwriter
- 1991 – Matt Moylan, Australian rugby league player
- 1992 – Vladimir Morozov, Russian swimmer
- 1994 – Grete-Lilijane Küppas, Estonian footballer
- 1995 – Euan Aitken, Australian rugby league player
- 1995 – Aleksandr Aksyonov, Russian footballer
- 1397 – Philip of Artois, Count of Eu (b. 1358)
- 1468 – Jean Le Fèvre de Saint-Remy, Burgundian historian and author (b. 1395)
- 1622 – Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Dunfermline, Scottish lawyer, judge, and politician, Lord Chancellor of Scotland (b. 1555)
- 1623 – Christian the Younger of Brunswick (b. 1599)
- 1666 – Sir Richard Fanshawe, 1st Baronet, English poet and diplomat, English Ambassador to Spain (b. 1608)
- 1671 – Stenka Razin, Russian rebel leader (b. 1630)
- 1722 – John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, English general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire (b. 1650)
- 1749 – Johann Baptista Ruffini, Italian businessman (b. 1672)
- 1752 – Joseph Butler, English bishop and philosopher (b. 1692)
- 1777 – Jean-Baptiste-Louis Gresset, French poet and playwright (b. 1709)
- 1778 – Konrad Ekhof, German actor (b. 1720)
- 1779 – Sir Francis Bernard, 1st Baronet, English lawyer and politician, Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay (b. 1712)
- 1792 – Benjamin Tupper, American general and surveyor (b. 1738)
- 1804 – Johann Adam Hiller, German composer and conductor (b. 1728)
- 1824 – Charles-François Lebrun, duc de Plaisance, French lawyer and politician (b. 1739)
- 1849 – Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette, German theologian and scholar (b. 1780)
- 1850 – William Lawson, English-Australian explorer and politician (b. 1774)
- 1858 – John Snow, English epidemiologist and physician (b. 1813)
- 1862 – Hidenoyama Raigorō, Japanese sumo wrestler, the 9th Yokozuna (b. 1808)
- 1869 – Charles Sturt, Indian-English botanist and explorer (b. 1795)
- 1872 – Norman MacLeod, Scottish minister and author (b. 1812)
- 1878 – Crawford Long, American surgeon and pharmacist (b. 1815)
- 1878 – Kikuchi Yōsai, Japanese painter (b. 1781)
- 1881 – Marie Laveau, American voodoo practitioner (b. 1801)
- 1881 – Josiah Mason, English businessman and philanthropist (b. 1795)
- 1885 – Wilhelm Camphausen, German painter and academic (b. 1818)
- 1902 – Ernst Schröder, German mathematician and academic (b. 1841)
- 1925 – Chittaranjan Das, Indian lawyer and politician (b. 1870)
- 1925 – Emmett Hardy, American cornet player (New Orleans Rhythm Kings) (b. 1903)
- 1929 – Bramwell Booth, English 2nd General of The Salvation Army (b. 1856)
- 1929 – Vernon Louis Parrington, American historian and scholar (b. 1871)
- 1930 – Ezra Fitch, American lawyer and businessman, co-founded Abercrombie & Fitch (b. 1866)
- 1930 – Elmer Ambrose Sperry, American inventor, co-invented the gyrocompass (b. 1860)
- 1939 – Chick Webb, American drummer and bandleader (b. 1905)
- 1940 – DuBose Heyward, American author (b. 1885)
- 1944 – Marc Bloch, French historian and academic (b. 1886)
- 1945 – Aris Velouchiotis, Greek general (b. 1905)
- 1946 – Gordon Brewster, Irish cartoonist (b 1889)
- 1952 – Andrew Lawson, Scottish-American geologist and academic (b. 1861)
- 1953 – Margaret Bondfield, English politician, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (b. 1873)
- 1955 – Ozias Leduc, Canadian painter (b. 1864)
- 1958 – Pál Maléter, Hungarian general and politician, Minister of Defence of Hungary (b. 1917)
- 1958 – Imre Nagy, Hungarian politician, 3rd Prime Minister of Hungary (b. 1895)
- 1959 – George Reeves, American actor and director (b. 1914)
- 1961 – Marcel Junod, Swiss physician and anesthesiologist (b. 1904)
- 1967 – Reginald Denny, English actor (b. 1891)
- 1969 – Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis, English field marshal and politician, 17th Governor General of Canada (b. 1891)
- 1970 – Sydney Chapman, English mathematician and geophysicist (b. 1888)
- 1970 – Heino Eller, Estonian violinist, composer, and educator (b. 1887)
- 1970 – Brian Piccolo, American football player (b. 1943)
- 1971 – John Reith, 1st Baron Reith, Scottish broadcaster, co-founded BBC (b. 1889)
- 1973 – Louise Latimer, American actress (b. 1913)
- 1977 – Wernher von Braun, German-American physicist and engineer (b. 1912)
- 1979 – Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, Ghanaian general and politician, 6th Head of state of Ghana (b. 1931)
- 1979 – Nicholas Ray, American actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1911)
- 1981 – Jule Gregory Charney, American meteorologist (b. 1917)
- 1982 – James Honeyman-Scott, English guitarist and songwriter (The Pretenders) (b. 1956)
- 1984 – Lew Andreas, American football player and coach (b. 1895)
- 1984 – Erni Krusten, Estonian author and poet (b. 1900)
- 1986 – Maurice Duruflé, French organist and composer (b. 1902)
- 1987 – Marguerite de Angeli, American author and illustrator (b. 1889)
- 1988 – Miguel Piñero, Puerto Rican-American actor and playwright, co-founded the Nuyorican Poets Café (b. 1946)
- 1993 – Lindsay Hassett, Australian cricketer and soldier (b. 1913)
- 1994 – Kristen Pfaff, American bass player and songwriter (Hole and Janitor Joe) (b. 1967)
- 1996 – Mel Allen, American sportscaster and game show host (b. 1913)
- 1997 – Dal Stivens, Australian soldier and author (b. 1911)
- 1998 – Fred Wacker, American race car driver and engineer (b. 1918)
- 1999 – Screaming Lord Sutch, English singer and politician (b. 1940)
- 2000 – Empress Kōjun of Japan (b. 1903)
- 2003 – Pierre Bourgault, Canadian journalist and politician (b. 1934)
- 2003 – Georg Henrik von Wright, Finnish–Swedish philosopher and author (b. 1916)
- 2004 – Thanom Kittikachorn, Thai field marshal and politician, 10th Prime Minister of Thailand (b. 1911)
- 2004 – Jacques Miquelon, Canadian lawyer and judge (b. 1911)
- 2005 – Enrique Laguerre, Puerto Rican-American author and critic (b. 1906)
- 2008 – Mario Rigoni Stern, Italian soldier and author (b. 1921)
- 2010 – Marc Bazin, Haitian lawyer and politician, 49th President of Haiti (b. 1932)
- 2010 – Maureen Forrester, Canadian singer and academic (b. 1930)
- 2010 – Ronald Neame, English director, producer, cinematographer, and screenwriter (b. 1911)
- 2011 – Östen Mäkitalo, Swedish engineer and academic (b. 1938)
- 2012 – Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabian prince (b. 1934)
- 2012 – Nils Karlsson, Swedish skier (b. 1917)
- 2012 – Jorge Lankenau, Mexican banker and businessman (b. 1944)
- 2012 – Sławomir Petelicki, Polish general (b. 1946)
- 2012 – Thierry Roland, French journalist and sportscaster (b. 1937)
- 2012 – Susan Tyrrell, American actress (b. 1945)
- 2013 – Sam Farber, American businessman, co-founded OXO (b. 1924)
- 2013 – Hans Hass, Austrian biologist and diver (b. 1919)
- 2013 – Khondakar Ashraf Hossain, Bangladesh poet and academic (b. 1950)
- 2013 – Josip Kuže, Croatian footballer, coach, and manager (b. 1952)
- 2013 – Richard Marlow, English organist and conductor (b. 1939)
- 2013 – Norman Ian MacKenzie, English journalist and author (b. 1921)
- 2013 – Ottmar Walter, German footballer (b. 1924)
- 2014 – Charles Barsotti, American cartoonist (b. 1933)
- 2014 – Pierre D’Archambeau, Swiss-American violinist (b. 1927)
- 2014 – Tony Gwynn, American baseball player and coach (b. 1960)
- 2014 – Cándido Muatetema Rivas, Equatoguinean politician and diplomat, Prime Minister of Equatorial Guinea (b. 1960)
- 2015 – Charles Correa, Indian architect and urban planner (b. 1930)
- 2015 – Jean Vautrin, French director, screenwriter, and critic (b. 1933)
Holidays and observances
- Christian feast day:
- Bloomsday (Dublin, Ireland)
- Engineer’s Day (Argentina)
- International Day of the African Child
- Anniversary of Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev (Sikhism)
- Sussex Day (Sussex)
- Youth Day (South Africa)
The foundations of our new government are laid, its
cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to
the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his
natural and moral condition.
~~~Alexander Stephens, Vice president of the Confederacy (1812-1883)
Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.
~~~Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)
It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me,
but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty
~~~Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
|“Hon. Thurlow Weed”
Mathew Brady (1823-1896)
Library of Congress
Thurlow Weed lived between 1797 and 1882. Zachary’s ancestor’s loved to tell the story of Thurlow, who grew up to be a famed journalist and politician, who led the Whig and, later, the Republican Party. One of the original backroom deal-makers, he was (as the WikiWackyWoo tells us) “instrumental in the nominations of William Henry Harrison (1840), Henry Clay (1844), Zachary Taylor (1848) Winfield Scott (1852), and John Charles Frémont (1856).” Although he supported the nomination of his good friend William H. Seward for the Republican ticket in 1860, he backed Abraham Lincoln wholeheartedly. Weed was so vigourous in his support of Lincoln’s war policies, he was sent abroad by the 16th President of the United States in the first two years of the oxymoronically named Civil War. Thurlow was a man with a life worth remembering. Almost nothing is known about his wife.
Today, a suburb of that vast metropolis of Yerington is named Weed Heights. Although we know Daniel Harvard Weed moved there, this company town wasn’t built until after he died. It’s unknown why it appears to be named for him, if indeed it was. One historian suggests it’s nothing but an odd coincidence, a synchronicity with no deeper meaning. Another historian theorizes the name “Weed” was meant to be ironic, noting the lack of any vegetation in what is essentially a desert. No matter.
Daniel Harvard Weed had one child, named after an amalgamation of previous Weeds: Daniel Lyon Weed. Although descended from hearty pioneer stock, this Weed had no taste for the rough and tumble west and, soon as he was able, moved to Detroit where Weeds were scarce but jobs plentiful.
|Dicentra Spectabilis aka Bleeding Heart|
According to the story she told (and she told it often), it was a cruel trick of fate: When she was born to Jonathon and Erma Poppy of Toledo, Ohio, their first inclination was to name her Dicentra. It was unusual, it had that certain feminine ring to it, and it was short for the Latin Dicentra Spectabilis, the beautiful red-flowered member of the poppy family. At the last moment they chickened out and went for something a little more conventional, but not totally conventional. They named her Rose-Violet Poppy, with an eye still on the cute-factor. However, they could justify it because of her Grammy Rose and her Aunt Violet; flower names proliferated on that branch of the family bush.
The cruel twist of fate, as Rose-Violet came to see it, is that this beautiful flower would fall in love with, and marry, a Weed, forever losing her fragrance.
Zachary, like all 5-year old kids, cared far more for the reality of Saturday morning cartoons. He was bored by the family lore, which he had heard so many times. The descriptions of pioneering Weeds sounded made up compared to the excitement of television.
|Captain Gallant was played by Buster Crabbe.
In an odd bit of synchronicity, the author has
Which is why early on June 1, 1957, Zachary was in the basement, warming himself in the bluish glow of Captain Kangaroo. The good captain hopped into Howdy Doody on Channel 4. After the goings-on in Doodyville—Zac knew the schedule by heart—he would turn to watch Mighty Mouse, which lasted until the Channel 7 cartoons at 10:00. At 10:30 came Captain Gallant; at 11:00, Sky King. 11:30 was the time for Sagebrush Shorty and after that would come—
|In 1942, during war time, Detroit was already experiencing racism.|
This was how block-busting was usually done in Detroit. One of the neighbours would quietly move out having sold to a real estate agent, or they would sell it privately. Either way there was a very large profit to be made by the first person on a block to sell their house to a Negro, as they were called by polite society back then. The practice that kept Blacks out of certain neighbourhoods in Motown was called redlining. However, once a block was broken, it was amazing how quickly White Flight could change a neighbourhood.
Dandy Lyon, like most men who went through the service during wartime and had developed their first working relationship with Black folk, didn’t want to live across the street from one. Hell, that’s why he fought the war in the first place! For his Constitutional Right to discriminate!
Zachary lived on the northwest side of Detroit, on the west side of Gilchrist, in a house two doors south of the cross street, Hessel. His house was one block and two houses south of Eight Mile Road, the northernmost boundary of the city of Detroit and the county of Wayne. Everything beyond 8 Mile was suburbs.
|A current bird’s eye view of Gilchrist|
Each block contains 15 houses whose backyards meet the backyards of 15 houses from the next block. Those 15 houses face 15 houses on the other side of the street. Those 15 houses have backyards that meet the backyards of 15 houses, which look out at 15 houses on the other side of the street.
Now on June 1, 1957, the mystery of the Ol’ Ball Plce was about to be solved for young Zachary. He wriggled into the bushes that flanked his front porch. This was his customary hiding place. He often sat, alone, beneath the bushes in the cool shade and spied on the world at large.
It was the goofy family he had spied on months earlier, from this very spot, having a picnic on that very lawn.
Girls, seemingly of every size and age, helped carry the smaller and lighter objects. And, on the curb side, in front of the Ol’ Ball Place, was a boy a few inches shorter than Zac, but seemingly of the same age. He was crying. He was lying on his back on the grass, legs in the street, screaming himself hoarse. The tears were running down his upper cheeks into his ears. Zach found his empathy and carried it across the street.
Adrian Roland Thompson’s family wasn’t big on family lore, but there was one thing he knew about his lineage: He was no nigger, whatever that was. The word had been used, often in contemptuous tones, in Adrian’s house. It had usually been whispered about some mysterious “they” and only when Adrian was thought to be out of earshot. One thing was clear: The Thompson’s were better than any niggers.
Sometimes Randolph and Izzy talked about inconsequential things, like weather and baseball.
With that Izzy would plop down in Randolph’s chair, with an over-exaggerated sigh, and Adrian would scramble up onto his lap and open the book to the first page. Izzy would move Adrian around a little bit until he was in the crook of Izzy’s left arm, safe and warm. Then Izzy would begin reading the book, always starting with the title page.
|The crystal radio set that Adrian was given on his 3rd birthday|
Izzy opened the box and Adrian could see wires and parts that looked like some of the things he had been able to see through the slots in the back of the television, when he hid back there.
When Adrian was 1277 days old [as he told me. I had to do the math to figure out that he was about three and a half], the Thompson family gathered at the dining room table for another non-Sunday meal. Naturally Randolph sat at the head of the table, farthest away from the kitchen, with his back to the living room. Dorothy sat at the other end of the table, which was closest to the kitchen. On her immediate left was Julie-Ann in her high chair, born, as Adrian would tell me, a mere 400 days after him. Adrian would sit on Julie-Ann’s left, which put him on Randolph’s immediate right. On the opposite side of the table were Rita, 2 years older than Adrian and Lorraine, another 2 years older than that.
No one at the table had any expectation he would say something. He never did. He glanced around the table and eight pairs of eyes were on him. He stole another quick side-glance at his father, who was scooping up more mashed potatoes with a rare piece of meat skewered on the end of his fork. He was still off somewhere else, disinterested.
By the time Adrian had wiped the food off his face his father had already left the room. His mother went into the kitchen and returned with a warm washcloth, which she used to clean food and blood off his face. The cut on his cheek wasn’t very big, but it left a lifetime scar.
From that day on, one of the children’s voices heard on Fullerton was that of Adrian. It filtered into the windows and the sound of it often made Dorothy cry. She only ever seemed to hear him through the window, because he rarely spoke again in the house.
Adrian insists on telling me what Nixon was doing that day and that it be put down in this book as he describes it. That’s enough for me because, after all, this is his story I’m telling. I know he’s had a life-long fascination with Nixon, one that predates the famous Kennedy–Nixon debates, or so he has always claimed.
When the household awoke to a new day Adrian was curled up outside his parents’ bedroom door. He was using the throw rug as a blanket.
April 28, 1957 began like many Sundays, but ended like no other Sunday Adrian had known. In between they played Right/Left.
It had become almost a family tradition. After Randolph delivered the bulky Sunday papers he came home to breakfast. After the clean up, they’d all pile into the family Buick and play his favourite game: Right/Left. It’s rules were simple. Taking turns, from eldest to youngest, they would each get to decide the direction the car would take next.
“We always go somewhere boring. I wanna go to that amusement park Edgewater or stay home by myself.”
Still, Adrian thought they were wrong. There was nothing nice about this neighbourhood, except that they seemed to let total strangers picnic on their front lawn, which had no beautiful dandelions. The lawn was almost a carpet. He looked up one side of the block and counted fifteen house. He looked on the other side of the street and counted 15 houses. Each house faced one another. Every driveway was a continuation of the one on the other side of the street. He looked up the driveway where he was. There was a small white garage and, beyond, another garage in a backyard just like this backyard. No alley?!?!
If that were the only unusual thing that happened that Sunday, it would have been enough for Adrian to have etched it as a red letter day in his mind, but there was one more surprise left for him that day.
The merry, merry month of May was spent packing for the June First move. Both Adrian and Randolph kept their promise to Izzy and it was harder to tell who had the most difficult bargain. A couple of times it looked like Randy would haul off, but then suddenly announce he was going for a walk instead.
May, 1957 had receded into history. Adrian wandered from room to room. They were all now empty. Everything was either boxed and in the hallway, or dismantled and on the front lawn. With nothing left to do, Adrian moved aimlessly through the rooms. A lighter spot on the wall was where the oval framed picture of his grandparents had been, people he had never known personally or by story. A chip in a door frame was a reminder of the time Adrian threw a metal die-cut truck at Rita. The inside door to the pantry had a height marked off ever since they had moved there. He wandered to the front covered porch and there on the other side of the street was Keith.
Zachary was in his hiding place in the bushes, underneath the bay window in the living room. The operation across the street looked so comical. The movers would put the boxes on the lawn, while they carried the bulky stuff into the house. Two girls and a boy were helping sort the smaller boxes. The boy was the smallest and, whenever he’d find something manageable, one of the girls would snatch it out of his hands. The boy would return to the small boxes. Again it would be snatched out of his hands before he got anywhere near the house and the process would begin anew.
Ironically, Daniel was as racist as they came. He just understood there were certain ways to code these references.
Another reason Zachary thought Adrian dumb was because he couldn’t ride a two-wheeler. Zachary had been riding his bike without training wheels for months as well.
Uncle Izzy did not come over that night.
By the end of the day Zachary had taught him something almost as important, how to ride a two-wheeler. First he took him across the street to the fence in his backyard. Mounted on the fence was a bicycle seat that Dandy had mounted there. This would also be the first time he’d see Mrs. Cashman’s backyard, as the seat balanced the fence between Zach’s yard and the Cashman’s.
And, it didn’t matter anymore. A life-long connection was made.
Then he told him about Keith and all about Frank. He told him what he understood, which wasn’t much, of the ancient blood brothers ceremony Frank had performed on him.
This foreword has been written afterward. I am reasonably sure all authors write their forewords afterward. How else would they know what’s been left out of the book and needs to be stated in the foreword to cover their ass afterward?
I apologize in advance to the principals of this book, as well as the principles in this book. On this page I am acting at the behest of my coffee-stained lawyer with the tattoos. He has informed me that this is the very best way to stay out of court in all matters concerning Farce Au Pain, both now and in the future. I hope Zachary and Adrian truly understand. My lawyer has also suggested [read: insisted] on the wording. We argued over it. A lot. That’s why the following two paragraphs are the most edited in the entire book.
“What follows is a work of fiction. I have, as the author, tried to create a real world, much like the one in which we live, for my characters to inhabit. All the major characters are made up; just a figment of my imagination. To infuse this manuscript with a reality all its own, and because it takes place in the clearly defined era of the recent past, the reader may recognize certain historical figures and events. I hope I have in no way misrepresented those people and/or events.
“Any resemblance to persons either living or presumed dead is purely coincidental” and wouldn’t have happened if you weren’t so stupid in the first place. Don’t sue me for your ignorance.
Notwithstanding (a lovely term tossed around by lawyers like so much confetti) the above statements: This book is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
And, to Keg who designed all of the Farce au Pain logos.
Thank you one and all.
|COMING SOON!!! DECEMBER 1ST!!!
Tune in to Not Now Silly — Your Rest Stop on the Information Highway — on December 1st for the first thrill-packed chapter of Farce au Pain, the book I have been working on for quite some time. Enough is written (and edited) to begin serialization.
So, be sure to check Not Now Silly — the Home of the Steam-Powered Word-0-Matic — on December 1st. Get in on the ground floor of what is promising to be an exciting blog adventure, especially if you are old enough to have lived through the times and events depicted.
Farce au Pain © 2013, Headly Westerfield