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On this day in 1921, Italian tenor Enrico Caruso died at the Vesuvio Hotel in Naples a few minutes after 9:00 am. He was 48. His death was attributed to peritonitis arising from a burst subrenal abscess. The King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III, opened the Royal Basilica of the Church of San Francesco di Paola for Caruso’s funeral, which was attended by thousands of people. His embalmed body was preserved in a glass sarcophagus at Del Pianto Cemetery in Naples for mourners to view. His body was redressed each year with a new suit. In 1929, Dorothy Caruso had his remains sealed permanently in an ornate stone tomb. The famous Ajello Candle makers created a memorial candle for the opera singer towering over 18 feet tall and 8 feet in cirumference and weighing one ton, and made to last for 1800 years burning one day each year on the anniversary of Enrico’s birth. Born Born in Naples in the Via San Giovannello agli Ottocalli 7 on 25 February 1873.
On this day in 1979, baseball player, catcher, New York Yankee, 2x World Series Champion, AL MVP, 7x All-Star, #15 retired, team captain, Thurman Munson died in a plane crash at the Akron-Canton Regional Airport in Ohio at the age of 32. The day after his death, before the start of the Yankees’ four-game set with the Baltimore Orioles in the Bronx, the team paid tribute to their deceased captain in a pre-game ceremony in which the starters stood at their defensive positions, save for the catcher’s box, which remained empty. Following a prayer by Cardinal Terence Cooke, a moment of silence and “America The Beautiful” by Robert Merrill, the fans (announced attendance 51,151) burst into an eight minute standing ovation. Jerry Narron, the man who would replace Munson behind the plate that night, remained in the dugout and did not enter the field until stadium announcer Bob Sheppard said, “And now it is time to play ball. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen for your co-operation.” On August 6, the entire Yankee team attended Munson’s funeral in Canton, Ohio. Teammates Lou Piniella and Bobby Murcer, who were Munson’s best friends, gave eulogies. That night (before a national viewing audience on ABC’s Monday Night Baseball) the Yankees beat the Orioles 5–4 in New York, with Murcer driving in all five runs with a three-run home run in the seventh inning and a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth. Munson is interred in Sunset Hills Burial Park in Canton, Ohio. Born Thurman Lee Munson on 7 June 1947 in Akron, Ohio. Yankee owner George Steinbrenner retired Munson’s number 15 immediately upon his catcher’s death. On September 20, 1980, a plaque dedicated to Munson’s memory was placed in Monument Park. The plaque bears excerpts from an inscription composed by Steinbrenner and flashed on the stadium scoreboard the day after his death:
Our captain and leader has not left us, today, tomorrow, this year, next … Our endeavors will reflect our love and admiration for him.Have you planned yours yet?Follow TFF on twitter @RIPTFF