Day in History 15 August – MacBeth – Will Rogers – Grazia Deledda

Imagined 19th century portrait of MacBeth

On this day in 1057, The Red King, MacBeth, King of Scotland was mortally wounded or killed by the future Malcolm III on the north side of the Mounth after retreating with his men over the Cairnamounth Pass to take his last stand at the battle at Lumphanan; or perhaps he was wounded and died at Scone, sixty miles to the south.  MacBeth was born possibly in 1005, the son of Findláech mac Ruaidrí, Mormaer, or King, of Moray, a high lordship in High Medieval Scotland.  MacBeth became king in 1040 when Duncan, King of Scotland led an army into Moray, where he was killed by Macbeth on 15 August 1040 at Pitgaveny (then called Bothnagowan) near Elgin.  MacBeth is perhaps best known as the subject of Shakespeare’s play MacBeth.  One of my very favorite plays.  One of my sons has MacBeth as one of his middle names.  The Final Footprint – MacBeth is interred in Saint Orans Chapel Cemetery Iona Argyll and Bute, Scotland.  The play MacBeth served as inspiration for Giuseppe Verdi’s opera MacBeth (1847).  Numerous films have been made based on MacBeth and the play is often in production throughout the world.  In My Defens God Me Defend!

Will_Rogers_-_1940s_-_colorOn this day in 1935, cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, social commentator and motion picture actor, Oklahoma’s Favorite Son, Will Rogers died at the age of 55 with aviator Wiley Post, when their small airplane crashed in Point Barrow, Alaska.  Born William Penn Adair Rogers on the Dog Iron Ranch in “White House on the Verdigris River”, in Indian Territory, near present-day Oologah, Oklahoma on 4 November 1879.  He was one of the world’s best-known celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s.  He traveled around the world three times, made 71 movies (50 silent films and 21 “talkies”), wrote more than 4,000 nationally-syndicated newspaper columns, and became a world-famous figure.  By the mid-1930s, Rogers was adored by the American people.  He was the leading political wit of the Progressive Era, and was the top-paid Hollywood movie star at the time.  His earthy anecdotes and folksy style allowed him to poke fun at gangsters, prohibition, politicians, government programs, and a host of other controversial topics in a way that was readily appreciated by a national audience, with no one offended.  His aphorisms, couched in humorous terms, were widely quoted: “I am not a member of an organized political party. I am a Democrat.” Another widely quoted Will Rogers comment was “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”  Rogers even provided an epitaph on his most famous epigram:

When I die, my epitaph, or whatever you call those signs on gravestones, is going to read: “I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I dident [sic] like.” I am so proud of that, I can hardly wait to die so it can be carved.

Willrogersmemorial1The Final Footprint – Rogers is entombed at the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, Oklahoma.

Grazia_Deledda_1926On this day in 1936, Italian writer whose works won her the Nobel Prize for Literature for 1926, Grazia Deledda died in Rome at the age of 64.  Born on 27 September 1871 in Nuoro, Sardinia. Among her better-known works are Elias Portolu (1903),  Canne al Vento (Reeds in the Wind) (1913), and Cosima (1937).  The Final Footprint – Her final resting place is in the Cimitero Comunale Monumentale Campo Verano in Rome.

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