Day in History 22 January – LBJ – Rose Kennedy

How ironic: Johnson and the Kennedys, inextricably linked in life.  And linked in death.

On this day in 1973, U.S. congressman from Texas, U.S. Senator from Texas, 11th U.S. Senate Majority leader, 37th Vice President of the United States, 36th President of the United States, LBJ, Lyndon Johnson, died from a heart attack at his ranch near Stonewall, Texas, in bed with a phone in his hand at the age of 64.  Born Lyndon Baines Johnson near Stonewall, Texas, on 27 August 1908, in a small farmhouse near the Pedernales River (pronounced perd-uh-nall-us).  His father was a farmer, cattle speculator and Texas congressman who always struggled financially and LBJ apparently desperately wanted to escape the poverty he grew up with.  He graduated from Southwest Texas Texas State Teacher’s College, now known as Texas State University – San Marcos.   LBJ is one of four people who served in all four elected Federal offices of the United States.  In my opinion, LBJ was the most powerful and influential senate leader in the history of the senate.  After campaigning unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 1960, LBJ was asked by John F. Kennedy to be his running mate for the 1960 presidential election.  LBJ succeeded to the presidency following the assassination of JFK, completed Kennedy’s term and was elected President in his own right, winning by a large margin in the 1964 Presidential election over Republican candidate Barry Goldwater.  LBJ was responsible for designing the “Great Society” legislation that included laws that upheld civil rights, Public Broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protection, aid to education, and his “War on Poverty.”  He was renowned for his domineering personality and the “Johnson treatment,” his coercion of powerful politicians in order to advance legislation.  LBJ greatly escalated direct American involvement in the Vietnam War.  As the war dragged on, LBJ’s popularity as president steadily declined.  He decided not to run in the 1968 United States presidential election amid growing opposition to his policy on the Vietnam War.  He was married to Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor.  Together, they purchased and created a media empire in Austin, Texas that came to inlcude KLBJ-FM, KLBJ-AM and the KLBJ CBS affiliate.  After leaving the presidency, LBJ went home to his ranch in Stonewall, Texas.  The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs (or LBJ School of Public Affairs), a graduate school at The University of Texas at Austin, was founded in 1970 to offer professional training in public policy analysis and administration for students interested in pursuing careers in government and public affairs-related areas of the private and nonprofit sectors.  Degree programs include a Masters of Public Affairs (MPAff), a mid-career MPAff sequence, thirteen MPAff dual degree programs, a Masters of Global Policy Studies (MGPS), six MGPS dual degree programs and a Ph.D. in Public Policy.  In 1971, he published his memoirs, The Vantage Point.  That year, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum opened near the campus of The University of Texas at Austin.  LBJ donated his Texas ranch in his will to the public to form the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, with the provision that the ranch “remain a working ranch and not become a sterile relic of the past”.  LBJ is ranked favorably by some historians based on his domestic policies.  He understood power; how to find it, how to get it and how to use it.  I believe LBJ was driven by three things; he wanted to be wealthy, he wanted to be president and he wanted to help people.  He wanted his initials, LBJ, to be as widely recognized, if not more so than FDR and JFK.  A fascinating, complex and controversial man.  For those who want to know more about LBJ, I highly recommend Robert Caro‘s four volume biography; The Years of Lyndon Johnson.  The first book, The Path to Power (1982) covers LBJ’s life up to his failed 1941 campaign for the United States Senate.  The second volume, Means of Ascent (1990), commences in the aftermath of that defeat and continues through his election to that office in 1948.  The third volume, Master of the Senate (2002) chronicles LBJ’s rapid ascent and rule as Senate Majority Leader.  The fourth volume, The Passage of Power (2012), covers LBJ’s life from 1958 to 1964.  Caro announced in November 2011 that the full project had expanded to five volumes with the fifth volume requiring another two to three years to write.  Also recommended are Taking Charge (1998) and Reaching for Glory (2002), the two volume set of LBJ’s secret White House tapes transcribed, edited and explained by Michael Beschloss.  The grounds of the LBJ library include a fountain, large live oak trees, benches and tables.  I have spent much time there; walking the grounds at night and during the day, picnics with one of my daughters.  I even kissed a pretty girl there one night.  The Final Footprint –  Walter Cronkite was live on the air with the CBS Evening News when word was received that LBJ had died.  A report on Vietnam was cut short abruptly so he could break the news.  Cronkite also announced JFK’s death live on air.  Johnson was honored with a state funeral in which Texas Congressman J. J. Pickle and former Secretary of State Dean Rusk eulogized him at the Capitol.  The final services took place on January 25.  The funeral was held at the National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., where he had often worshiped as president.  The service was presided over by President Richard Nixon and attended by foreign dignitaries, led by former Japanese prime minister Eisaku Satō, who served as Japanese prime minister during Johnson’s presidency.  Eulogies were given by the Rev. Dr. George Davis, the church’s pastor, and W. Marvin Watson, former postmaster general.  Nixon mentioned Johnson’s death in a speech he gave the day after Johnson died, announcing the peace agreement to end the Vietnam War.  Johnson was buried in his family cemetery (which, although it is part of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in Stonewall, Texas, is still privately owned by the Johnson family, who have requested that the public not enter the cemetery), a few yards from the house in which he was born.  Eulogies were given by John Connally and the Rev. Billy Graham, the minister who officiated the burial rites.  The state funeral, the last for a president until Ronald Reagan’s in 2004, was part of an unexpectedly busy week in Washington, as the Military District of Washington (MDW) dealt with their second major task in less than a week, beginning with Nixon’s second inauguration.  The inauguration had an impact on the state funeral in various ways, because Johnson died only two days after the inauguration.  The MDW and the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee canceled the remainder of the ceremonies surrounding the inauguration to allow for a full state funeral, and many of the military men who participated in the inauguration took part in the funeral.  It also meant Johnson’s casket traveled the entire length of the Capitol, entering through the Senate wing when taken into the rotunda to lie in state and exited through the House wing steps due to construction on the East Front steps.

Rose_Kennedy_1967On this day in 1995, American philanthropist, the wife of Joseph P. Kennedy, and the mother of nine children, among them United States President John F. Kennedy, United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and United States Senator Edward Moore “Ted” Kennedy, Countess (title granted by Pope Pius XII), Rose Kennedy died from complications from pneumonia at the age of 104 in Hyannis, Massachusetts.  Born Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald on 22 July 1890 in the North End neighborhood of Boston.  The Final Footprint – Kennedy is interred in the Kennedy family estate in Holyhood Cemetery, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

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Day in History 21 January – Louis XVI

On this day in 1793, King of France and Navarre from 1774 until 1791, then King of the French from 1791 to 1792, Louis XVI, was executed by guillotine at the age of 37 at the Place de la Révolution, now known as the Place de la Concorde in Paris.  Born Louis Auguste de France, Duc de Berry on 23 August 1754 in the Palace of Versailles.  Louis-Auguste was the third son of Louis, the Dauphin of France, and thus the grandson of Louis XV of France.  His brothers and father predeceased Louis XV, thus Louis-Auguste became the new Dauphin.  On 16 May 1770, at the age of fifteen, Louis-Auguste married the fourteen-year-old Habsburg Archduchess Maria Antonia (better known by the French form of her name, Marie Antoinette), his second cousin once removed and the youngest daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and his wife, the formidable Empress Maria Theresa.  Louis XV died on 10 May 1774 and Louis-Auguste Dauphin was crowned king on 11 June 1775 at the age of 20.  Suspended and arrested as part of the insurrection of the 10th of August in 1792 during the French Revolution, he was tried by the National Convention and found guilty of high treason, the only king of France ever to be executed.  Although Louis XVI was beloved at first, his indecisiveness and conservatism led some elements of the people of France to eventually view him as a symbol of the perceived tyranny of the Ancien Régime and gave him the nickname Oncle Louis (“Uncle Louis”).  Louis was also nicknamed Louis le Dernier (Louis the Last), a derisive use of the traditional nicknaming of French kings.

Louis XVI Called to Immortality, Sustained by an Angel, by Francois Joseph Bosio

The Final Footprint – Upon arrival at the Place de la Révolution, Louis stepped out of the carriage and removed his outer garments, refusing any offers of help, and folded them neatly.  The gendarmes made a move to bind his hands, but Louis recoiled, and a struggle seemed imminent, until Father Edgeworth reminded him that Jesus had suffered his hands to be bound on Good Friday.  Louis said, “So be it, then, that too, my God,” and offered his hands to be bound.  He ascended the steps to the scaffold alone, with strength and determination.  Upon reaching the top, he addressed the people:

I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my charge; I pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God that the blood you are going to shed may never be visited on France.

He would have said more, but a man on horseback called for the drums, and the crowd called for the execution, which was hastily carried out.  A young guard picked up the severed head and promenaded it around the scaffold.  The silence was broken with a cry of “Vive la République!” and thousands began cheering the death of the king.  Louis XVI’s body was interred in an unmarked grave in the churchyard of L’église de la Madeleine.  When Marie was guillotined on 16 October 1793, she was interred there as well.  The Chapelle expiatoire was partly constructed on the grounds of the former Madeleine Cemetery.  There is an inscription above the entrance, which reads (translated): “King Louis XVIII raised this monumnet to consecrate the place where the mortal remains of King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, transferred on 21 January 1815 in the royal tomb of Saint-Denis, reposed for 21 years.  It was finished during the second year of the reign of Charles X , year of grace 1826.”  During Napoleon’s exile in Elba, the restored Bourbons ordered a search for the corpses of Louis XVI and Marie.  The few remains, a few bones that were presumably the king’s and a clump of greyish matter containing a lady’s garter, were found on 21 January 1815, brought to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis and entombed in the crypt.

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Day in History 20 January – Audrey Hepburn – Barbara Stanwyck – Etta James

On this day in 1993, Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy-winner, actress, humanitarian, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, the incomparably beautiful and talented, Audrey Hepburn died at her home in Tolochenaz, Vaud, Switzerland at the age of 63 from appendiceal cancer.  Born Audrey Kathleen Ruston on 4 May 1929 in Ixelles, Belgium.  Hepburn’s father was an English banker of Irish descent and her mother was a Dutch aristocrat.  Her father later prefixed the surname of his maternal grandmother, Kathleen Hepburn, to the their and her surname became Hepburn-Ruston.  Oh my, where do we begin.  She is one of my very favorite actresses.  My favorite Hepburn movies: Roman Holiday (1953), Sabrina (1954), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), My Fair Lady (1964).  Hepburn was chosen to play the lead character in the Broadway play Gigi, that opened on 24 November 1951.  The writer Colette, when she first saw Hepburn, reportedly said “Voilà! There’s our Gigi”.  She and her co-star from Roman Holiday, Gregory Peck, became lifelong friends.  During the shooting of Sabrina, Hepburn was sent to a then young and upcoming fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy to decide on her wardrobe.  Givenchy and Hepburn developed a lasting friendship, and she was often a muse for many of his designs.  They formed a lifelong friendship and partnership.  Also, during the filming of Sabrina, Hepburn became romantically involved with co-star William Holden.  Hepburn was married twice; Mel Ferrer (1954 -1968 divorce) and Andrea Dotti (1969 – 1982 divorce).  The Final Footprint – Funeral services were held at the village church of Tolochenaz, Switzerland, on 24 January 1993.  Maurice Eindiguer, the same pastor who wed Hepburn and Ferrer and baptised her son Sean in 1960, presided over her funeral while Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, of UNICEF, delivered a eulogy.  Family members and friends attended the funeral, including her sons, partner Robert Wolders, brother Ian Quarles van Ufford, ex-husbands Dotti and Ferrer, Givenchy, executives of UNICEF, and fellow actors Alain Delon and Roger Moore.  Flower arrangements were sent to the funeral by Peck, Elizabeth Taylor and the Dutch royal family.  Hepburn is interred in Tolochenaz Cemetery.  Her grave is marked by a full ledger granite marker with a granite cross.  After her death, Peck went on camera and tearfully recited her favourite poem, “Unending Love” by Rabindranath Tagore.  This is one of my favorite poems.  Do yourself a favor and read it, soon and often.

Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck 1943.jpg

Stanwyck in 1943

On this day in 1990, model, dancer and actress Barbara Stanwyck died aged 82, of congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Born Ruby Catherine Stevens on July 16, 1907 in Brooklyn. Stanwyck was a film and television star, known during her 60-year career for her strong, realistic screen presence. After a short but notable career as a stage actress in the late 1920s, she made 85 films in 38 years in Hollywood, before turning to television.

Orphaned at the age of four and partially raised in foster homes, by 1944 Stanwyck had become the highest-paid woman in the United States. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress four times, for Stella Dallas (1937), Ball of Fire (1941), Double Indemnity (1944) and Sorry, Wrong Number (1948). For her television work, she won three Emmy Awards, for The Barbara Stanwyck Show (1961), The Big Valley (1966) and The Thorn Birds (1983).

She received an Honorary Oscar at the 1982 Academy Award ceremony. Stanwyck received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.

Barbara Stanwyck as a Ziegfeld girl (c. 1924)

In The Gay Sisters (1942)

With Ralph Meeker in Jeopardy(1953)

With Robert Taylor in 1941

While playing in The Noose, Stanwyck reportedly fell in love with her married co-star, Rex Cherryman. Cherryman had become ill early in 1928 and his doctor advised him to take a sea voyage to Paris where he and Stanwyck had arranged to meet. While still at sea, he died of septic poisoning at the age of 31.

On August 26, 1928, Stanwyck married her Burlesque co-star, Frank Fay. She and Fay later claimed they disliked each other at first, but became close after Cherryman’s death. A botched abortion at the age of 15 had resulted in complications which left Stanwyck unable to have children. The marriage was a troubled one. Fay’s successful career on Broadway did not translate to the big screen, whereas Stanwyck achieved Hollywood stardom. Fay was reportedly physically abusive to his young wife, especially when he was inebriated. Some claim that this union was the basis for A Star Is Born. The couple divorced on December 30, 1935.

In 1936, while making the film His Brother’s Wife (1936), Stanwyck became involved with her co-star, Robert Taylor. Stanwyck served as support and adviser to the younger Taylor, who had come from a small Nebraska town. She guided his career, and acclimated him to the sophisticated Hollywood culture. The couple began living together, sparking newspaper reports about the two. Stanwyck was hesitant to remarry after the failure of her first marriage. However, their 1939 marriage was arranged with the help of Taylor’s studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, a common practice in Hollywood’s golden age. Louis B. Mayer went as far as presiding over arrangements at the wedding. She and Taylor enjoyed time together outdoors during the early years of their marriage, and owned acres of prime West Los Angeles property. Their large ranch and home in the Mandeville Canyon section of Brentwood, Los Angeles, is still referred to by the locals as the old “Robert Taylor ranch.”

Stanwyck and Taylor mutually decided in 1950 to divorce. Taylor had romantic affairs, and there were unsubstantiated rumors about Stanwyck having had affairs as well. After the divorce, they acted together in Stanwyck’s last feature film, The Night Walker (1964). She never remarried and cited Taylor as the love of her life, according to her friend and Big Valley co-star Linda Evans. She took his death in 1969 very hard, and took a long break from film and television work.

Stanwyck had a romantic affair with actor Robert Wagner, whom she met on the set of Titanic (1953). Wagner, who was 22, and Stanwyck, who was 45 at the beginning of the relationship, had a four-year romance, which is described in Wagner’s memoir Pieces of My Heart (2008). Stanwyck ended the relationship. In the 1950s, Stanwyck reportedly also had a one-night stand with the much younger Farley Granger, which he wrote about in his autobiography Include Me Out: My Life from Goldwyn to Broadway (2007)

The Final Footprint

She had indicated that she wanted no funeral service. In accordance with her wishes, her remains were cremated and the ashes scattered from a helicopter over Lone Pine, California, where she had made some of her western films.

On this day in 2012, singer, songwriter Etta James died from leukemia five days before her 74th birthday, at Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside, California.  Born Jamesetta Hawkins on 25 January 1938, in Los Angeles.  Her style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel.  Starting her career in 1954, she gained fame with hits such as “The Wallflower”, “At Last”, “Tell Mama”, “Something’s Got a Hold on Me”, and “I’d Rather Go Blind” for which she wrote the lyrics.  James is regarded as having bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and was the winner of six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards.  She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008.  James was married to Artis Mills.  The Final Footprint – Her funeral, presided over by Reverend Al Sharpton, took place in Gardena, California eight days after her death.  Singers Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera each gave a musical tribute.  She was entombed at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles County, California.  Other notable Final Footprints at Inglewood Park include; Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, baseball player Curt Flood, actress Betty Grable, attorney Robert Kardashian (father of  Kim, Kourtney and  Khloé), soul musician Billy Preston , blues singer Big Mama Thornton, and blues musician T-Bone Walker.

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Day in History 19 January – James Dickey – Carl Perkins – Wilson Pickett

On this day in 1997, U.S. Army and U.S Air Force veteran, poet, novelist, eighteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, James Dickey, died in Columbia, South Carolina at the age of 73.  Born James Lafayette Dickey on 2 February 1923 in Atlanta, Georgia.  He attended Clemson and later graduated from Vanderbilt.  Dickey taught at Rice University and The University of South Carolina.  Perhaps best known for his novel Deliverance (1970).  The film version was released in 1972 starring Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight and Ned Beatty and was nominated for an Academy Award.  Both the book and the movie are unforgettable.  I highly recommend both.  The Final Footprint – Dickey is interred in All Saints Episcopal Church Cemetery in Pawleys Island, South Carolina.  His grave is marked with an upright marble marker inscribed with his name, birth and death years and; POET and “I MOVE AT THE HEART OF THE WORLD”.

 

 

 

 

Carlperkins_Sun_recordsOn this day in 1998, singer, songwriter, musician, the King of Rockabilly, Carl Perkins died at the age of 65 at Jackson-Madison County Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee from throat cancer after suffering several strokes.  Born Carl Lee Perkins on 9 April 1932 in Tiptonville, Tennessee.  Perkins, who recorded most notably at Sun Records Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, beginning in 1954, is perhaps best known for his song is “Blue Suede Shoes”.  Charlie Daniels said, “Carl Perkins’ songs personified the rockabilly era, and Carl Perkins’ sound personifies the rockabilly sound more so than anybody involved in it, because he never changed.”  Paul McCartney claimed that “if there were no Carl Perkins, there would be no Beatles.”   Perkins was inducted into the Rock and Roll, the Rockabilly, and the Nashville Songwriters Halls of Fame; and was a Grammy Hall of Fame Award recipient.  The Final Footprint – Among mourners at Perkin’s funeral at Lambuth University were George Harrison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Wynonna Judd, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.  Perkins was entombed at Ridgecrest Cemetery in Jackson.

 

Wilson_PickettOn this day in 2006, singer, songwriter, the Wicked Pickett, Wilson Pickett died from a heart attack in Reston, Virginia at the age of 64.  Born on 18 March 1941 in Prattville, Alabama.  A major figure in the development of American soul music, Pickett recorded over 50 songs which hit the US R&B charts, and frequently crossed over to the US Billboard Hot 100.  Among his best known hits are “In the Midnight Hour” (which he co-wrote), “Land of 1,000 Dances”, “Mustang Sally”, and “Funky Broadway”.  The impact of Pickett’s songwriting and recording led to his 1991 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The Final Footprint – Pickett was laid to rest in a mausoleum in Louisville, Kentucky at Evergreen Cemetery on Preston Highway.  The eulogy was delivered by Pastor Steve Owens of Decatur, Georgia.  Little Richard, a long-time friend of Pickett’s, spoke about him and preached a message at the funeral.  He was remembered on 20 March 2006, at New York’s B.B. King Blues Club with performances by the Commitments, Ben E King, his long-term backing band the Midnight Movers, soul singer Bruce “Big Daddy” Wayne, and Southside Johnny in front of an audience that included members of his family, including two brothers.

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Day in History 18 January – Rudyard Kipling – Glenn Frey – Roberta Peters

On this day in 1936, poet, writer, Nobel Prized recipient, Rudyard Kipling, died in Middlesex Hospital, London, England at the age of 70 of a perforated duodenal ulcer.  Born Joseph Rudyard Kipling on 30 December 1865 in Bombay, British India.  He was named after Rudyard Lake in Rudyard, Staffordshire, England where his parents met.  Kipling is best known for his works of fiction, including The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901), many short stories including “The Man Who Would Be King” (1888); and his poems, including Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), and If— (1910).  The Jungle Book is one of my favorite books from childhood.  Memorizing If is a rite of passage for the children of one of my friends.  Kipling was married to Carrie Balestier.  On marriage, he wrote that marriage principally taught “the tougher virtues—such as humility, restraint, order, and forethought“.  Partly in response to the tragic death of his only son, John in 1915 in the Battle of Loos, Kipling joined Sir Fabian Ware’s Imperial War Graves Commission (now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission), the group responsible for the garden-like British war graves that can be found to this day dotted along the former Western Front and all the other locations around the world where troops of the British Empire lie buried.  His most significant contribution to the project was his selection of the biblical phrase “Their Name Liveth For Evermore” (Sirach 44.14, KJV) found on the Stones of Remembrance in larger war graves and his suggestion of the phrase “Known unto God” for the gravestones of unidentified servicemen.  Kipling chose the inscription “The Glorious Dead” on the Cenotaph, Whitehall, London.

Poet’s Corner

The Final Footprint – Kipling was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium and his cremains were inurned in Poets’ Corner, part of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey.  Other notable cremations at GGC include; Kingsley Amis, Neville Chamberlain, T. S. Eliot, Sigmund Freud, Henry James, Vivien Leigh, Keith Moon, Peter Sellers, Bram Stoker, H. G. Wells and Amy Winehouse.  Other notable Final Footprints at Westminster include; Robert Browning, Lord Byron, Geoffrey Chaucer, Oliver Cromwell, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Edward The Confessor, Elizabeth I, George II, George Friederic Handel, James I (James VI of Scotland), Samuel Johnson, Ben Jonson, Charles II, Edward III, Edward VI, Henry III, Henry V, Henry VII, Richard II, Rudyard Kipling, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Milton, Sir Isaac Newton, Laurence Olivier, Henry Purcell, Mary I, Mary II, Mary Queen of Scots, Thomas Shadwell, Edmund Spenser, Lord Alfred Tennyson, Dylan Thomas, and William III. 

Glenn Frey
Glenn Frey.jpg

Frey performing with the Eagles in 2008

On this day in 2016, singer, songwriter and actor Glenn Frey died while recovering from gastrointestinal tract surgery at Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan at the age of 67. Born Glenn Lewis Frey on November 6, 1948 in Detroit, Michigan. Perhaps best known as a founding member of the rock band Eagles. Frey was the lead singer and frontman for the Eagles, roles he came to share with fellow member Don Henley, with whom he wrote most of the Eagles’ material. Frey played guitar and keyboards as well as singing lead vocals on songs such as “Take It Easy”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, “Tequila Sunrise”, “Already Gone”, “James Dean”, “Lyin’ Eyes”, “New Kid in Town”, and “Heartache Tonight”.

After the breakup of the Eagles in 1980, Frey embarked on a successful solo career. He released his debut album, No Fun Aloud, in 1982 and went on to record Top 40 hits “The One You Love”, “Smuggler’s Blues”, “Sexy Girl”, “The Heat Is On”, “You Belong to the City”, “True Love”, “Soul Searchin'” and “Livin’ Right”. As a member of the Eagles, Frey won six Grammy Awards. The Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, the first year they were nominated.

Frey was married twice. From 1983 to 1988, he was married to artist Janie Beggs. He married dancer and choreographer Cindy Millican in 1990 and they remained together until his death.

The Final Footprint

At the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, the remaining members of the Eagles and Jackson Browne performed “Take It Easy” in his honor. A life-sized statue of Frey was unveiled at the Standin’ on the Corner Park in Winslow, Arizona, on September 24, 2016. 

Peters in 1974

On this day in 2017, coloratura soprano Roberta Peters died of Parkinson’s disease at the age of 87. Born Roberta Peterman in The Bronx on May 4, 1930. In my opinion, one of the most prominent singers to achieve lasting fame and success in opera.  Peters is noted for her 35-year association with the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York, among the longest such associations between a singer and a company in opera. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1998.

Peters made her debut on 17 November 1950 as Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Peters who knew the role, but had not yet ever performed on stage, or even sung with a full orchestra, accepted. Her performance was received with great enthusiasm, and her career was established.

Combining an attractive voice with sparkling coloratura agility and good looks, Peters became a favorite of American audiences and a great proponent of opera for the masses. She quickly established herself in the standard soubrette and coloratura repertoire. Her roles at the Met included Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro; Despina in Così fan tutte; The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute; Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice; Marzeline in Beethoven’s Fidelio; Rosina in The Barber of Seville; Adina in L’elisir d’amore; Norina in Don Pasquale; Oscar in Un ballo in maschera; Nanetta in Falstaff; Olympia in The Tales of Hoffmann; Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier; Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos; and Adele in Die Fledermaus. She later added lyric-coloratura roles such as Amina in La sonnambula, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoorand Gilda in Rigoletto, the last being her farewell role at the Met in 1985.

Peters was briefly married to baritone Robert Merrill in 1952, later admitting she had fallen in love with the voice and not the man. The two divorced amicably, remained friends and continued to perform together in opera and recitals. She remarried in 1955, to Bertram Fields.

The Final Footprint 

Peters is interred in Westchester Hills Cemetery  Hastings-on-HudsonWestchester CountyNew York. 

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Day in History 17 January – Louis Comfort Tiffany – Barbara Jordan

Louis_Comfort_Tiffany_c__1908On this day in 1933, artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany died in New York City at the age of 84.  Born on 18 February 1848 in New York City, the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of Tiffany and Company; and Harriet Olivia Avery Young.  Tiffany worked in the decorative arts and is best known for his work in stained glass.  He is the American artist most associated with the Art Nouveau and Aesthetic movements.  Tiffany was affiliated with a prestigious collaborative of designers known as the Associated Artists.  Tiffany designed stained glass windows and lamps, glass mosaics, blown glass, ceramics, jewelry, enamels and metalwork.  Tiffany married twice: Mary Woodbridge Goddard (1872 – 1884 her death) and Louise Wakeman Knox (1886 – 1904 her death).  louiscomforttiffanyChapel-at-Green-WoodThe Final Footprint – Tiffany is interred in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn.  Other notable final footprints at Green-Wood include; Albert Anastasia, Jean-Michel BasquiatLeonard Bernstein, Lorenzo da Ponte, and Charles Ebbets.

 

Gallery

Barbara_Jordan-221x300On this day in 1996, 15 years ago, U.S. Congresswoman, Texas Senator, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Barbara Jordan, died in Austin, Texas.  Born Barbara Charline Jordan on 21 February 1936 in Houston, Texas.  She was the first African-American elected to the Texas Senate after reconstruction and the first Southern black woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.  Jordan was mentioned as a possible running mate to Jimmy Carter in 1976.  That year, she became the first African-American woman to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.  Jordan retired from politics in 1979 and became an adjunct professor teaching ethics at the University of Texas at Austin Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.  The Final Footprint – Jordan is interred in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin becoming the first African-American woman interred there.  Her grave is marked by a large granite upright column monument and a full ledger granite marker.  At the top of the column the word, PATRIOT, is engraved and the ledger is engraved in part; WE THE PEOPLE SALUTE YOU.  Upon her death, Jordan lay in state at the LBJ Library on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin.  The main terminal at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is named after her.  On April 24, 2009, a Barbara Jordan statue was unveiled at the University of Texas at Austin.  Other notable final footprints at Texas State Cemetery include; Stephen F. Austin, John B. Connally, Nellie Connally, J. Frank Dobie, Tom Landry (cenotaph), James A. Michener (cenotaph), Ann Richards, Edwin “Bud” Shrake, Big Foot Wallace, and Walter Prescott Webb.

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Day in History 16 January – Carole Lombard

On this day in 1942, Academy Award nominated actress, Carole Lombard, died on Mount Potosi near Las Vegas, Nevada at the age of 33.  Born Jane Alice Peters on 6 October 1908 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  She is particularly noted for her roles in the screwball comedies of the 1930s.  Lombard is listed as one of the American Film Institute’s greatest stars of all time and was the highest-paid star in Hollywood in the late 1930s.  Graham Greene praised the “heartbreaking and nostalgic melodies” of her faster-than-thought delivery: “Platinum blonde, with a heart-shaped face, delicate, impish features and a figure made to be swathed in silver lamé, Lombard wriggled expressively through such classics of hysteria as Twentieth Century and My Man Godfrey.”  Lombard was married twice; William Powell (1931 – 1933 divorce) and Clark Gable (1939 – 1942 her death).  Lombard and Gable eloped in Kingman, Arizona on the 29 March 1939.  The couple, both lovers of the outdoors, bought a 20-acre ranch in Encino, California, where they kept barnyard animals and enjoyed hunting trips.  Lombard and 21 others, including her mother, were killed when TWA Flight 3 crashed on returning to California from a war bond rally in Indiana.  The Final Footprint – Gable was flown to Las Vegas after learning of the tragedy to claim the bodies of his wife, mother-in-law, and Otto Winkler, who aside from being his press agent had been a close friend.  Lombard’s funeral was held on 21 January at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.  Lombard is entombed in the Great Mausoleum Sanctuary of Trust, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale.  Her crypt is memorialized with a bronze plaque with the name, CAROLE LOMBARD GABLE and her birth and death dates.  Shortly after her death, Gable (who was inconsolable and devastated by his loss) joined the United States Army Air Forces, as Lombard had asked him to do numerous times after the United States had entered World War II.  After officer training, Gable headed a six-man motion picture unit attached to a B-17 bomb group in England to film aerial gunners in combat, flying five missions himself.  In December 1943, the United States Maritime Commission announced that a Liberty ship named after Lombard would be launched.  Gable attended the launch of the SS Carole Lombard on 15 January 1944, the two-year anniversary of Lombard’s record-breaking war bond drive.  The ship was involved in rescuing hundreds of survivors from sunken ships in the Pacific and returning them to safety.  Despite being married twice more, Gable chose to be entombed beside Lombard when he died in 1960.  Other notable Final Footprints at Forest Lawn Glendale include; L. Frank Baum, Humphrey Bogart, Lon Chaney, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis, Jr., Elizabeth Taylor, Jean Harlow, Nat King Cole, Sam Cooke, Walt Disney, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Michael Jackson, Casey Stengel, Jimmy Stewart, and Spencer Tracy.

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Date in History 15 January – The Black Dahlia (Elizabeth Short) – Meyer Lansky – Sammy Cahn

Black_DahliaOn this day in 1947, The Black Dahlia, Elizabeth Short‘s body was found in the Leimert Park district of Los Angeles, the victim of a gruesome and much-publicized murder.  Born Elizabeth Short on 29 July 1924 in Boston, Massachusetts.  Short acquired the nickname posthumously by newspapers in the habit of nicknaming crimes they found particularly colorful.  Short’s unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation, leading to many suspects, along with several books and film adaptations of the story.    ElizabethShortGraveThe Final Footprint –  Short was buried at the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California.  A 1975 TV movie, “Who Is the Black Dahlia?” featured Lucie Arnaz in the role of Elizabeth.  James Ellroy wrote The Black Dahlia in 1987.  It was a fictionalized account of Elizabeth, the events in her life eventually leading to her death, and two obsessed cops who attempt to find her killer.  A fictionalized account of Black Dahlia murder was featured in the program American Horror Story: Murder House in episode 9 Spooky Little Girl.  She was portrayed by actress Mena Suvari.  In the episode, Elizabeth was murdered by a young doctor who resided in the show’s haunted house.  Short is portrayed in the episode as a ghost who has lost her memory and is doomed to linger on the house’s premises.  True Confessions, a 1981 film starring Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall was loosely based on the murder case.  The film was adapted from a 1977 novel of the same name by John Gregory Dunne.  A movie titled The Black Dahlia,  based on Ellroy’s book, was released in September 2006 directed by Brian De Palma and starred Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart and Hilary SwankMia Kirshner played Elizabeth.

Meyer_Lansky_NYWTS_1_retouchedOn this day in 1983, major organized crime figure, the “Mob’s Accountant”, Meyer Lansky died of lung cancer at the age of 80 in Miami Beach.  Born Meyer Suchowlansky in Grodno (then in Russian Empire, now in Belarus) on 4 July 1902.  Along with his associate Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Lansky was instrumental in the development of the “National Crime Syndicate” in the United States.  For decades he was thought to be one of the most powerful individuals in the country.  Lansky developed a gambling empire which stretched across the seas.  He was said to own points in casinos in Las Vegas, Cuba, The Bahamas and London.  Although a member of the Jewish Mob, Lansky undoubtedly had strong influence with the Italian Mafia and played a large role in the consolidation of the criminal underworld (although the full extent of this role has been the subject of some debate, as he himself denied many of the accusations against him).  Despite all the reports, the U.S. Justice Department never found Lansky guilty of anything more serious than illegal gambling.  The Final Footprint – Lansky is interred in Mount Nebo Miami Memorial Gardens in West Miami.  The character Hyman Roth, portrayed by Lee Strasberg, and certain aspects of the main character Michael Corleone from Francis Ford Coppola‘s film The Godfather Part II (1974), appear to be based on Lansky.  Shortly after the premiere in 1974, Lansky phoned Strasberg and congratulated him on a good performance (Strasberg was nominated for an Oscar for his role), but added “You could’ve made me more sympathetic.”  Roth’s statement to Michael Corleone that “We’re bigger than U.S. Steel” was actually a direct quote from Lansky, who said the same thing to his wife while watching a news story on the Cosa Nostra.  The Godfather character Johnny Ola is similar to Lansky’s associate Vincent Alo.  Additionally, the character Moe Greene, who was a friend of Roth’s, appears to be modeled upon Bugsy Siegel.  The film reflects real life in that Lansky was denied the Right of Return to Israel and returned to the U.S. to face criminal charges, but fabricated details regarding Roth’s attempts to bribe Latin American dictators for entry to their countries, as well as Roth’s ultimate fate.  Maximilian “Max” Bercovicz, the gangster played by James Woods in Sergio Leone’s opus Once Upon A Time In America, appears to be inspired by Lansky.  Mark Rydell played Lansky in the 1990 Sydney Pollack film Havana, starring Robert Redford.  The film Bugsy (1991), a biography of Siegel, included Lansky as a major character, played by Ben Kingsley, who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.  In the 1991 film Mobsters, he is played by Patrick Dempsey.  Lansky is portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the 2005 film The Lost City, which presents a fictionalized account of Lansky’s involvement in Cuba.

On this day in 1993, lyricist, songwriter and musician, multiple Academy Award-winner, Sammy Cahn, died in Los Angeles, California at the age of 79 from heart failure.  Born Samuel Cohen on 18 June 1913 in The Lower East Side of Manhattan.  My favorite Cahn songs are; “(Love is) The Tender Trap”, “Come Fly with Me” and “My Kind of Town”.  Cahn and composer Jimmy Van Heusen wrote many songs for Frank Sinatra.  Cahn was married twice; Gloria Delson and Virginia “Tita” Curtis.  The Final Footprint – Cahn is interred at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary (a Dignity Memorial® provider) in Los Angeles.  His grave is marked by a full ledger granite marker inscribed with his name, birth and death years and; SLEEP WITH A SMILE.  Other notable final footprints at Westwood include; Ray Bradbury, Truman Capote, James Coburn, Rodney Dangerfield, Janet Leigh, Farrah Fawcett, Brian Keith, Don Knotts, Burt Lancaster, Peter Lawford, Peggy Lee, Jack Lemmon, Karl Malden, Dean Martin, Walter Mathau, Marilyn Monroe, Carroll O’Connor, Roy Orbison, George C. Scott, Dorothy Stratten, Natalie Wood and Frank Zappa.

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Day in History 14 January – Humphrey Bogart – Anaïs Nin

On this day in 1957, U.S. Navy veteran, Academy Award-winning actor and American icon, Bogie, Humphrey Bogart, died at his home in Holmby Hills, California at the age of 57.  Born Humphrey DeForest Bogart on 25 December 1899 in New York City.  Bogart is a Dutch name meaning orchard.  His acting breakthrough came in 1941, with High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. The next year, his performance in Casablanca raised him to the peak of his profession and cemented his trademark film persona;  the hard-boiled cynic who ultimately shows his noble side.  Bogart’s other notable movies included; To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), Key Largo (1948), with his wife Lauren Bacall; The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948); The African Queen (1951), for which he won his only Academy Award; Sabrina (1954) and The Caine Mutiny (1954).  His last movie was The Harder They Fall (1956).  During a film career of almost thirty years, he appeared in 75 feature films.  Bogart was married four times; Helen Menken (1926 – 1927 divorce), Mary Phillips (1928 – 1937 divorce), Mayo Methot (1938 – 1945 divorce), Bacall (1945 – 1957 his death).

Bogart met Bacall while filming To Have and Have Not (1944), a loose adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel.  When they met, Bacall was nineteen and Bogart was forty-five.  He nicknamed her “Baby.”  Bogart was drawn to Bacall’s high cheekbones, green eyes, tawny blond hair, and lean body, as well as her poise and earthy, outspoken honesty.  Their physical and emotional rapport was very strong from the start and quite contrary to the Hollywood norm, it was his first affair with a leading lady.  Bogart was still miserably married and his early meetings with Bacall were discreet and brief, their separations bridged by ardent love letters.

Bogart was a founding member of the Rat Pack.  In the spring of 1955, after a long party in Las Vegas with Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, her husband, Sid Luft, Mike Romanoff and wife Gloria, David Niven, Angie Dickinson and others, Bacall surveyed the wreckage of the party and declared, “You look like a goddamn rat pack.”  Romanoff’s home in Beverly Hills was where the Rat Pack became official.  Sinatra was named Pack Leader, Bacall was named Den Mother, Bogart was Director of Public Relations, and Luft was Acting Cage Manager.  When asked by columnist Earl Wilson what the purpose of the group was, Bacall responded “to drink a lot of bourbon and stay up late.

Bogart is credited with five of the most quotable quotes in American cinema:  “Here’s looking at you, kid” – Casablanca, The stuff that dreams are made of.” – The Maltese Falcon, Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” – Casablanca, We’ll always have Paris.” – Casablanca, Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” – Casablanca.  Bogart is also credited with one of the top movie misquotations.  In Casablanca, neither he, nor anyone else, ever said, “Play it again, Sam“.  When Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), his former love, first enters the Café Americain, she spots Sam, the piano player (Dooley Wilson) and asks him to “Play it once, Sam, for old times’ sake.”  When he feigns ignorance, she responds, “Play it, Sam. Play “As Time Goes By.“”  Later that night, alone with Sam, Rick says, “You played it for her and you can play it for me” and “If she can stand it, I can! Play it!”  The slang term “bogarting” refers to taking an unfairly long time with a cigarette, drink, et cetera, that is supposed to be shared (e.g., “Don’t bogart the microphone!“).  It derives from Bogart’s style of cigarette smoking, with which he left his cigarette dangling from his mouth rather than withdrawing it between puffs.  No one was Bogart cool, before or since.  Indeed, here is lookin’ at you.  The Final Footprint – Bogart was cremated and his cremains are inurned in the Garden of Memory Columbarium of Eternal Light, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California.  Inurned with his cremains is a small gold whistle, which he had given to Bacall, before they married, in reference to their first movie.  His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is located at 6322 Hollywood Boulevard.  The latest in a long line of Bogart biographies is Stefan Kanfer‘s  “Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart.”  Other notable Final Footprints at Forest Lawn Glendale include; L. Frank Baum, Lon Chaney, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis, Jr., Elizabeth Taylor, Jean Harlow, Nat King Cole, Sam Cooke, Walt Disney, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Michael Jackson, Carole Lombard, Casey Stengel, Jimmy Stewart, and Spencer Tracy.

220px-Anais_NinOn this day in 1977, author Anaïs Nin died in Los Angeles, California after a three year battle with cancer.  Born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell on 21 February 1903 in Neuilly, France to a Cuban father and a French/Danish mother.  Nin wrote journals (which span more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death), novels, critical studies, essays, short stories, and erotica; including Delta of Venus (1977), Little Birds (1979) and Henry and June (1986).  On 3 March 1923, in Havana, Cuba, Nin married her first husband, Hugh Parker Guiler (1898–1985), a banker and artist, later known as “Ian Hugo” when he became a maker of experimental films in the late 1940s.  According to her diaries, Vol.1, 1931–1934, Nin shared a bohemian lifestyle with writer Henry Miller during her time in Paris.  The diaries tell that her union with Miller was very passionate and physical, and that she believed that it was a pregnancy by him that she aborted in 1934.  In 1947, at the age of 44, she met former actor Rupert Pole in a Manhattan elevator on her way to a party.  The two ended up dating and traveled to California together; Pole was sixteen years her junior.  On 17 March 1955, she married him at Quartzsite, Arizona, returning with Pole to live in California.  Guiler remained in New York City and was unaware of Nin’s second marriage until after her death in 1977, or chose not to know.  Nin referred to her simultaneous marriages as her “bicoastal trapeze”.  In 1966, Nin had her marriage with Pole annulled, due to the legal issues arising from both Guiler and Pole having to claim her as a dependent on their federal tax returns.  Though the marriage was annulled, Nin and Pole continued to live together as if they were married, up until her death in 1977.  Nin often cited authors Djuna Barnes and D. H. Lawrence as inspirations.  The Final Footrpint – Her body was cremated, and her ashes were scattered over Santa Monica Bay in Mermaid Cove.  Philip Kaufman directed the 1990 film Henry & June based on Nin’s novel Henry and June: From the Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin.  She was portrayed in the film by Maria de Medeiros.

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Day in History 13 January – Edmund Spenser – Stephen Foster – Wyatt Earp – James Joyce

Edmund_Spenser_oil_paintingOn this day in 1599, poet Edmund Spenser died in London at the age of 46.  Born in East Smithfield, London, around the year 1552.  Perhaps best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I.  In my opinion, he is one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse, and one of the greatest poets in the English language.  The Final Footprint – His coffin was carried to his grave in Westminster Abbey by other poets, who reportedly threw many pens and pieces of poetry into his grave with many tears.  His epitaph reads:

HERE LYES (EXPECTING THE SECOND
COMMINGE OF OVR SAVIOVR CHRIST
IESVS) THE BODY OF EDMUND SPENCER
THE PRINCE OF POETS IN HIS TYME
WHOSE DIVINE SPIRRIT NEEDS NOE
OTHIR WITNESSE THEN THE WORKS
WHICH HE LEFT BEHINDE HIM

Other notable Final Footprints at Westminster include; Robert Browning, Lord Byron, Geoffrey Chaucer, Oliver Cromwell, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Edward The Confessor, Elizabeth I, George II, George Friederic Handel, James I (James VI of Scotland), Samuel Johnson, Ben Jonson, Charles II, Edward III, Edward VI, Henry III, Henry V, Henry VII, Richard II, Rudyard Kipling, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Milton, Sir Isaac Newton, Laurence Olivier, Henry Purcell, Mary I, Mary II, Mary Queen of Scots, Thomas Shadwell, Lord Alfred Tennyson, Dylan Thomas, and William III.

stephen_FosterOn this day in 1864, songwriter, “The Father of American Music”, Stephen Foster died in Bellevue Hospital in New York at the age of 37.  Born Stephen Collins Foster on 4 July 1826 in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania.  Primarily known for his parlour and minstrel music.  Foster wrote over 200 songs; among his best known are “Oh! Susanna,” “Camptown Races,” “Old Folks at Home,” “My Old Kentucky Home,” “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair,”  and “Beautiful Dreamer.”  The Final Footprint – Foster was buried in the Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh.  He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970, and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010.  “My Old Kentucky Home” is the official song of the Kentucky Derby.

Wyatt_Earp_portraitOn this day in 1929, city policeman, teamster, buffalo hunter, bouncer, saloon-keeper, gambler, brothel owner, pimp, miner, boxing referee, Pima County Deputy Sheriff, and Deputy Town Marshal in Tombstone, Arizona, Wyatt Earp died at home in the Earps’ apartment at 4004 W 17th Street, in Los Angeles, of chronic cystitis (some sources cite prostate cancer) at the age of 80.  Born Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp in Monmouth, Warren County in western Illinois, on 19 March 1848.  Earp took part in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral during which lawmen killed three outlaw Cowboys.  To Wyatt’s displeasure, the 30-second gunfight defined the rest of his life.  He is often regarded as the central figure in the shootout in Tombstone, although his brother Virgil was Tombstone City Marshal and Deputy U.S. Marshal that day, and had far more experience as a sheriff, constable, and marshal and in combat.  His first wife Urilla Sutherland Earp died while pregnant less than a year after they married.  Within the next two years he was arrested, sued twice, escaped from jail, then was arrested three more times for “keeping and being found in a house of ill-fame”.  He landed in the cattle boomtown of Wichita, Kansas where he became a deputy city marshal for one year and developed a solid reputation as a lawman.  In 1876 he followed his brother James to Dodge City, Kansas where he became an assistant city marshal.  In winter 1878, he went to Texas to gamble where he met John Henry Doc Holliday whom Earp credited with saving his life.  Earp moved constantly throughout most of his life from one boomtown to another.  He left Dodge City in 1879 and with his brothers James and Virgil, moved to Tombstone where a huge silver boom was underway.  The Earps bought an interest in the Vizina mine and some water rights.  There, the Earps clashed with a loose federation of outlaw cowboys.  Wyatt, Virgil, and their younger brother Morgan held various law enforcement positions that put them in conflict with Tom and Frank McLaury, and Ike and Billy Clanton, who threatened to kill the Earps.  The conflict escalated over the next year, culminating on 26 October 1881 in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, during which the Earps and Holliday killed three of the Cowboys.  In the next five months, Virgil was ambushed and maimed and Morgan was assassinated.  Pursuing a vendetta, Wyatt, his brother Warren, Holliday, and others formed a federal posse which killed three of the Cowboys they thought responsible.  Unlike his lawmen brothers Virgil and James, Wyatt was never wounded in the few gunfights he took part in, which only added to his mystique after his death.  After leaving Tombstone, Earp and his third wife Josephine Earp moved from one boomtown to another, starting in Eagle City, Idaho; followed by San Diego, California; Nome, Alaska; Tonopah, Nevada; and finally Vidal, California.  An extremely flattering, largely fictionalized, best-selling biography published after his death created his reputation as a fearless lawman.  As a result of the book, Wyatt Earp has been the subject of and model for a large number of films, TV shows, biographies and works of fiction that have increased his mystique.  Earp’s modern-day reputation is that of the Old West’s “toughest and deadliest gunman of his day”.  Wyatt_&_Josephine_Earp_graveThe Final Footprint – His Associated Press obituary described him as a “gun-fighter, whose blazing six-shooters, were for most of his life allied with the side of law and order”.  His pallbearers were W. J. Hunsaker, (Earp’s attorney in Tombstone and noted L.A. attorney); Jim Mitchell (Los Angeles Examiner reporter and Hollywood screenwriter); George W. Parsons (founding member of Tombstone’s “Committee of Vigilance”); Wilson Mizner (a friend of Wyatt’s during the Klondike Gold Rush); John Clum (a good friend from his days in Tombstone, former Tombstone mayor, and editor of The Tombstone Epitaph); William S. Hart (good friend and western actor and silent film star); and Tom Mix (friend and western film star).  The newspapers reported that Mix cried during his friend’s service.  His wife Josie was too grief-stricken to attend.  Josie, who was of Jewish heritage, had Earp’s body cremated and buried his ashes in the Marcus family plot at the Hills of Eternity, a Jewish cemetery in Colma, California.  Although it never was incorporated as a town, the settlement formerly known as Drennan located near the site of some of his mining claims was renamed Earp, California in his honor when the post office was established there in 1930.  When Josie died in 1944, her ashes were buried next to Earp’s.  The original gravemarker was stolen on 8 July 1957 but was later recovered.  Earp has been portrayed in films by various actors including; Randolph Scott, Henry Fonda, Burt Lancaster, James Garner, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, and Val Kilmer.

On this day in 1941, novelist and poet, James Joyce, died following surgery for a perforated ulcer in Zurich, Switzerland at the age of 58.  Born James Augustine Aloysius Joyce on 2 February 1882 in the Dublin, Ireland suburb of Rathgar.  In my opinion, one of the most influential writers of the early 20th century.  Perhaps best known for Ulysses (1922), his landmark novel which perfected his stream of consciousness technique in a modern re-telling of The Odyssey.  Joyce’s other major works include; the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939).  In 1904, he met Nora Barnacle, a young woman from Connemara, County Galway who was working as a chambermaid.  She would be his lover, companion, muse and eventual wife.  On 16 June 1904, they had their first date, an event which would be commemorated by providing the date for the action of Ulysses.  The entire novel chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom on an ordinary day in Dublin.  Joyce fans worldwide now celebrate 16 June as Bloomsday.  The day involves a range of cultural activities including Ulysses readings and dramatisations, pub crawls and general merriment, much of it hosted by the James Joyce Centre in North Great George’s Street.  Joyce and Nora were married from 1931 until his death.  “Molly Bloom’s soliloquy” from Ulysses is one of my all-time favorite literary passages.  The Final Footprint – Joyce is interred in the Joyce private estate in Fluntern Cemetery in Zurich.  The estate is marked by a bronze statue of Joyce.  Nora died on 10 April 1951 and is interred next him.  Their graves are maked by a full ledger granite marker.  Other memorials inlcude; a bronze bust in St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin, a bronze statue in Trieste, Italy, the Jame-Joyce-Plateau fountain at Platzspitz Park in Zurich and a bronze statue on North Earl Street in Dublin.

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