Day in History 14 December – Dinah Washington – Roger Maris – Peter O’Toole

Dinah_Washington_1952On this day in 1963, singer, pianist, Grammy winner, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer inductee, Queen of the Blues, Dinah Washington died in Detroit, Michigan from a combination of secobarbital and amobarbital, at the age of 39.  Born Ruth Lee Jones was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on 29 August 1924.  She and her family moved to Chicago as a child.  In my opinion, on of the best recording artists of the ’50s.  Primarily a jazz vocalist, she performed and recorded in a wide variety of styles including blues, R&B, and traditional pop music.  Washington married seven times, including NFL Hall of Famer Dick “Night Train” LaneThe Final Footprint – Washington is interred in Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois.  In 1964, Aretha Franklin recorded a tribute album, Unforgettable: A Tribute to Dinah Washington.  In 1993, the U.S. Post Office issued a Dinah Washington 29 cent commemorative postage stamp.  In 2005, the Board of Commissioners renamed a park, near where Washington had lived in Chicago in the 1950s, Dinah Washington Park in her honor.  In 2008, the city of Tuscaloosa renamed the section of 30th Avenue between 15th Street and Kaulton Park “Dinah Washington Avenue.”  On 29 August 2013, the city of Tuscaloosa dedicated the old Allen Jemison Hardware building, on the northwest corner of Greensboro Avenue and 7th Street (620 Greensboro Avenue) as the newly renovated Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center.  Another notable final footprint at Burr Oak Cemetery is that of Emmett Till.

 

RogermarisOn this day in 1985, 7 time All-Star, 3 time World Series Champion, 2 time AL MVP, Gold Glove winner, New York Yankee and single season home run king, Roger Maris, died in Houston, Texas at the age of 51.  Born Roger Eugene Maris on 10 September 1934 in Hibbing, Minnesota.  Maris hit 61 home runs for the New York Yankees during the 1961 season breaking Babe Ruth’s single-season record of 60 home runs (set in 1927).  The Yankees retired Maris’ number 9 on Old-Timers’ Day, 21 July 1984, and dedicated a plaque in Maris’ honor to hang in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium.  The plaque calls him “A great player and author of one of the most remarkable chapters in the history of major league baseball.”  Maris was on hand for the ceremony and wore a full Yankee uniform.  The Final Footprint – Maris is interred in Holy Cross Cemetery, Fargo, North Dakota.  His grave is marked by a large upright granite marker in the shape of a baseball diamond.  The Yankees placed a plaque in Monument Park in Yankee Stadium in honor of Maris.  Monument Park is an open-air museum containing a collection of monuments, plaques, and retired numbers honoring distinguished members of the Yankees.  Other notable Yankees whose final footprints include memorialization in Monument Park; Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, George Steinbrenner, Thurman Munson, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Phil Rizzuto, Billy Martin, Mel Allen, Bob Sheppard, and Casey Stengel. 

Peter O’Toole
Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia.png

Peter O’Toole as T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

On this day in 2013, stage and film actor Peter O’Toole died at Wellington Hospital in St John’s Wood, London, aged 81. Born Peter Seamus O’Toole on 2 August 1932 either in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland or Leeds, Yorkshire, England.  He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and began working in the theatre, gaining recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the Bristol Old Vic and with the English Stage Company before making his film debut in 1959.

He achieved international recognition playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) for which he received his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. He was nominated another seven times – for Becket (1964), The Lion in Winter (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), The Ruling Class(1972), The Stunt Man (1980), My Favorite Year (1982), and Venus (2006).  O’Toole holds the distinction for the most Academy Award nominations for acting without a win. In 2002, O’Toole was awarded the Academy Honorary Award for his career achievements. He was additionally the recipient of four Golden Globe Awards, one British Academy Film Award and one Primetime Emmy Award.

O’Toole in the TV film Present Laughter (1968)

As King Henry II in The Lion in Winter (1968)

In 1959, he married Welsh actress Siân Phillips.

Publicity photo for Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

O’Toole had a romantic relationship with model Karen Brown.

The Final Footprint – 

 O’Toole’s memorial plaque in St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden

 

His funeral was held at Golders Green Crematorium in London on 21 December 2013, where he was cremated in a wicker coffin.

O’Toole’s remains are planned to be taken to Connemara, Ireland. They are currently being kept at the residence of the President of Ireland, Áras an Uachtaráin, by the President Michael D. Higgins who is an old friend of the actor.

On 21 April 2017, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin, announced that O’Toole’s daughter, Kate O’Toole had placed her father’s archive at the humanities research centre. The collection includes O’Toole’s scripts, extensive published and unpublished writings, props, photographs, letters, medical records, and more. 

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