Day in History 7 March – Stanley Kubrick – Alice B. Toklas

On this day in 1999, film director, writer, producer, and photographer, Stanley Kubrick, died in his sleep at his home in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England at the age of 70.  Born on 26 July 1928, at the Lying-In Hospital in Manhattan, New York.  Best known for his films, Spartacus (1960), Lolita (1962), Dr. Strangelove (1964), 2001: A Space Oddysey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Shining (1980), Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999).  Kubrick was married three times; Toba Metz (1948 – 1951 divorce), Ruth Sobotka (1954 – 1957 divorce) and Christiane Harlan (1958 – 1999 his death).  The Final Footprint – Kubrick is interred next to his favorite tree at his home in Childwickbury Manor, Hertfordshire, England, U.K.  His grave is marked with an engraved stone with the term of endearment; “Here lies our love Stanley”.

 

Alice_B__Toklas,_by_Carl_Van_Vechten_-_1949On this day in 1967, member of the Parisian avant-garde of the early 20th century, Alice B. Toklas died in Paris at the age of 89.  Born Alice Babette Toklas in San Francisco on 30 April 1877.  Toklas was the life partner of American writer Gertrude Stein.  Toklas met Stein in Paris on September 8, 1907, the day she arrived there from San Francisco after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.  Together they hosted a salon in the home they shared that attracted expatriate American writers and avant-garde painters.  Acting as Stein’s confidante, lover, cook, secretary, muse, editor, critic, and general organizer, Toklas remained a background figure, chiefly living in the shadow of Stein, until the publication by Stein of Toklas’ “memoirs” in 1933 under the title The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.  It became Stein’s bestselling book.  Toklas and Stein remained a couple until Stein’s death in 1946.  Although Stein willed much of her estate to Toklas, including their shared art collection (some of them by Picasso) housed in their apartment at 5, rue Christine, the couple’s relationship had no legal recognition.  As many of the paintings appreciated greatly in value, Stein’s relatives took action to claim them, eventually removing them from Toklas’s residence while she was away on vacation and placing them in a bank vault.  Toklas then relied on contributions from friends as well as her writing to make a living.  The Final Footprint – Toklas is interred next to Stein in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris.  Her name is engraved on the back of Stein’s headstone.  Other notable Final Footprints at Père Lachaise include; Honoré de Balzac, Georges Bizet, Jean-Dominique Bauby, Maria Callas, Chopin, Colette, Auguste Comte, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Amedeo Modigliani, Molière, Jim Morrison, Édith Piaf, Camille Pissarro, Marcel Proust, Sully Prudhomme, Gioachino Rossini, Georges-Pierre Seurat, Simone Signoret, Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde and Richard Wright.

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Day in History 6 March – The Alamo

On this day in 1836, following a 13-day seige, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna launched a final assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio, Texas) killing all but two of the Texian defenders.  The Battle of the Alamo was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution.  The Texians under General Sam Houston later defeated Santa Anna and the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto on 21 April 1836.  The Texians’ battle cry that day was “Remember the Alamo” and “Remember Goliad.”  The story has been made into two major motion pictures; The Alamo (1960) directed by John Wayne and The Alamo (2004) directed by John Lee Hancock.  Among those killed at the Alamo;

  • Portrait by John Gadsby Chapman

    Davy Crockett – folk hero, frontiersman, soldier, politician, “King of the Wild Frontier”.  Born David Crockett on 17 August 1786 in Greene County, Tennessee.  Crockett represented Tennessee in the U. S. House of Representatives.  When he was narrowly defeated for re-election he said; “I told the people of my district that I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but if not … you may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas.”  Crockett married twice; Polly Finley (1806 – 1815 her death) and Elizabeth Patton (1815 – 1836 his death).  Crockett was 49 at the time of his death.  Crockett was portrayed in the Alamo films by Wayne and Billy Bob Thornton.

  • James “Jim” Bowie – pioneer, Texas Ranger and soldier.  Born on 10 April 1796 in Logan County, Kentucky.  He popularized the Bowie knife.  Bowie was 39 at the time of his death.  Bowie, Texas and Bowie County are named in his honor.  Bowie was portrayed in the Alamo movies by Richard Widmark and Jason Patric.

William Barret Travis – lawyer and soldier.  Born 9 August 1809 in Saluda County, South Carolina.  Travis married once, Rosanno Cato (1828 – 1836 divorce).  Travis was 26 years old when he died.  Travis was portayed in the Alamo movies by Laurence Harvey and Patrick Wilson.  On 24 February 1836, during the siege, Travis wrote the now famous letter addressed “To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World”:

Fellow citizens and compatriots;
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual Bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country. Victory or Death.

William Barret Travis
Lt. Col. Comdt.
P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.

Travis

 

The Final Footprintthe bodies of the Texians including Crockett, Bowie and Travis were stacked and burned.  Juan Seguín returned to Béxar in February 1837 to examine the remains and found ashes from the funeral pyres.  He had the ashes placed in a simple coffin inscribed with the names Crockett, Bowie and Travis.  According to a 28 March 1837 article in the Telegraph and Texas Register, Seguín buried the coffin under a peach tree grove.  The spot was not marked and cannot now be identified.  However, Seguín later claimed that he had placed the coffin in front of the altar at the San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio.  Remember the Alamo!

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Day in History 5 March – Patsy Cline

On this day in 1963, country music singer, songwriter, one of the most influential, successful, and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th century, Patsy Cline, died in a private plane crash near Camden, Tennessee at the age of 30.  Born Virginia Patterson Hensley on 8 September 1932 in Winchester, Virginia.  In my opinion, the best ever female country music singer and one of my all-time favorite singers.  Her contralto voice had such a rich tone and was so emotionally expressive.  Her life and career have been the subject of numerous books, movies, documentaries, articles and stage plays.  Her hits included “Walkin’ After Midnight”, “I Fall to Pieces”, “She’s Got You”, “Crazy”, and “Sweet Dreams”.  A biographical film Sweet Dreams was released in 1985 starring Jessica Lange and Ed Harris.  Lange would be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.  For all the musical scenes Lange lip-synched to Cline recordings.  Cline was married twice; Gerald Cline (1953 – 1957 divorce) and Charlie Dick (1957 – 1963 her death).  The Final Footprint – Cline is interred in Shenandoah Memorial Park, Winchester, Virginia.  Her grave is marked by a companion flat bronze on granite marker with the inscription; “Death Cannot Kill What Never Dies: Love.”  A bell tower in her memory at the cemetery, erected with the help of Loretta Lynn and Dottie West, plays hymns daily at 6:00 p.m., the hour of her death.  A memorial marks the place where the plane crashed in the still-remote forest outside of Camden, Tennessee.

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Day in History 4 March – Jesse Chisholm

On this day in 1868, Native American Indian trader, guide, and interpreter, Jesse Chisholm, died at Left Hand Spring, near the site of present Geary, Oklahoma from food poisoning.  Born in the Hiwassee region of Tennessee, probably in 1805 or 1806.  His father, Ignatius, was Scottish and his mother was Cherokee.  Primarily known for being the namesake of the Chisholm Trail, which ranchers used to drive their cattle to eastern markets.  Chisholm had built a number of trading posts in what is now western Oklahoma.  The trail had several variations but seemed to start at the Rio Grande in Texas and ran though San Antonio and ended in Abilene, Kansas.  The Final Footprint – Chisholm is interred at the Jesse Chisholm Gravesite near Geary, Oklahoma.

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Day in History 3 March – Malcolm Kilduff, Jr.

Malcolm Kilduff (bottom left) records LBJ taking the oath of office flanked by Lady Bird and Jackie Kennedy

On this day in 2003, U. S. Navy veteran, journalist, Assistant White House Press Secretary, Malcolm MacGregor “Mac” Kilduff, Jr. died in a nursing home in Beattyville, Kentucky at the age of 75.  Born on 26 September 1927 in New Jersey.  As the ranking press secretary accompanying JFK on his trip to Dallas, Texas in November 1963,  Kilduff announced to the assembled press in the nurse’s room at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, “President John F. Kennedy died at approximately 1:00 CST today here in Dallas. He died of a gunshot wound to the brain. I have no other details regarding the assassination of the president.”  Shortly before his accouncement to the press, Kilduff told the news to LBJ by simply walking up to Johnson and calling him, Mr. President.  Johnson’s wife, Lady Bird, let out a short scream, realizing what that meant.  Kilduff maintained that Oswald was the lone gunman that day, but he believed that Governor John B. Connally was the intended target and not JFK.  According to Kilduff’s biographical sketch on Arlington National Cemetery’s website, Oswald had appealed his dishonorable discharge from the Marine Corps to Connally, who served as secretary of the Navy before being elected governor in 1962.  The Final Footprint – Kilduff is interred in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.  His grave is marked by an upright marble VA marker.  Other notable Final Footprints at Arlington include; Space Shuttle Challenger, Space Shuttle Columbia, Medgar Evers, JFK, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, RFK, Edward Kennedy, Lee Marvin, and Audie Murphy.

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Day in History 2 March – Berthe Morisot – D. H. Lawrence – Dusty Springfield

On this day in 1999, British pop singer, “The White Queen of Soul”, Dusty Springfield, died in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England from cancer at the age of 59.  Born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien on 16 April 1939 in West Hampstead, North London to an Irish Catholic family.  Her voice was distinctively sensual and soulful.  My favorite Springfield album is Dusty in Memphis and of course my favorite song from that album is “Son of a Preacher Man.”    The Final Footprint – Springfield was cremated.  Part of her cremains were interred at the parish church St. Mary the Virgin in Henley-on-Thames, South Oxfordshire, England.  A marker dedicated to her memory was placed there.

Cliffs of Moher

A part of her cremains were scattered at the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland.

 

 

 

Berthe_Morisot,_1875On this day in 1895, painter Berthe Morisot died in Paris, of pneumonia at the age of 54.  Born Berthe Marie Pauline Morisot on 14 January 1841 in Bourges, Cher, France.  She was a member of the circle of painters in Paris who became known as the Impressionists.  She was described by Gustave Geffroy in 1894 as one of “les trois grandes dames” of Impressionism alongside Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt.  In 1864, she exhibited for the first time in the esteemed Salon de Paris.  Sponsored by the government, and judged by Academicians, the Salon was the official, annual exhibition of the Académie des beaux-arts in Paris.  Her work was selected for exhibition in six subsequent Salons until 1874 when she joined the “rejected” Impressionists in the first of their own exhibitions.  She was married to Eugène Manet, the brother of her friend and colleague Édouard Manet.  The Final Footprint – Morisot is interred in the Cimetière de Passy.  Other notable final footprints as Passy include; Claude Debussy, Gabriel Faure, and Édouard Manet.

Gallery

Berthe Morisot, The Cradle, 1872, Musée d’Orsay

Berthe Morisot, Grain field, c.1875, Musée d’Orsay

 

Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets (in mourning for her father), 1872, Musée d’Orsay

 

Bergère nue couchée (Shepherdess – reclining nude) by Berthe Morisot

Berthe Morisot, The Artist’s Daughter Julie with her Nanny, c. 1884. Minneapolis Institute of Art

 

 

La Coiffure

 

  •  
  • The Harbor at Lorient, 1869, National Gallery of Art

  • On the Balcony, 1872, New York

  • Reading, 1873, Cleveland Museum of Art

  • Hanging the Laundry out to Dry, 1875, National Gallery of Art

  • Lady at her Toilette, 1875 The Art Institute of Chicago

  • Eugène Manet on the Isle of Wight, 1875, Musée Marmottan Monet

  • The Dining Room, c. 1875 National Gallery of Art

  • Summer Day, 1879, National Gallery, London

  • Winter aka Woman with a Muff, 1880, Dallas Museum of Arts

  • Child among the Hollyhocks, 1881, Wallraf-Richartz Museum

  • The Artists’ Daughter Julie With Her Nanny, c.1884, Minneapolis Institute of Art

  • The Bath (Girl Arranging Her Hair), 1885–86, Clark Art Institute

  • Julie Manet et son Lévrier Laerte, 1893, Musée Marmottan Monet

Portraits of Berthe Morisot

 

D_H_Lawrence_passport_photographOn this day in 1930, novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter D. H. Lawrence died at the Villa Robermond in Vence, France, from complications of tuberculosis at the age of 44.  Born David Herbert Richards Lawrence 11 September 1885 in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England.  Perhaps best known for his novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, first published in 1928.  The first edition was printed privately in Florence, Italy; an unexpurgated edition could not be published openly in the United Kingdom until 1960.  (A private edition was issued by Mandrake Press in 1929.)  The book soon became notorious for its story of the physical (and emotional) relationship between a working class man and an upper class woman, its explicit descriptions of sex, and its use of then-unprintable words.

Lawrence’s opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile which he called his “savage pilgrimage”.  At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents.  E. M. Forster, in an obituary notice, challenged this widely held view, describing him as, “The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation.”  Later, the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence’s fiction within the canonical “great tradition” of the English novel.  In March 1912 Lawrence met Frieda Weekley (née von Richthofen), with whom he was to share the rest of his life.  Six years older than her new lover, she was married to Ernest Weekley, his former modern languages professor at University College, Nottingham, and had three young children.  She eloped with Lawrence to her parents’ home in Metz.  DHLawrenceChapelTaosNMThe Final Footprint – Frieda commissioned an elaborate headstone for his grave bearing a mosaic of his adopted emblem of the phoenix.  After Lawrence’s death, Frieda lived with Angelo Ravagli on a ranch in Taos, New Mexico and eventually married him in 1950.  In 1935 Ravagli arranged, on Frieda’s behalf, to have Lawrence’s body exhumed and cremated and his ashes brought back to the ranch to be interred there in a small chapel east of Taos.

 

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Day in History 1 March – Charles Lindbergh, Jr.

On this day in 1932, the 20 month old son of Charles Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., was kidnapped and murdered in Hopewell, New Jersey.  Born on 22 June 1930 in Englewood Bergen, New Jersey.  In what came to be referred to as “The Crime of the Century”, the boy was abducted from his family home in East Amwell, New Jersey, near the town of Hopewell, New Jersey, on the evening of 1 March 1932.  His body was discovered a short distance from the Lindberghs’ home on 12 May 1932.  A medical examination determined that the cause of death was a massive skull fracture.  After an investigation that lasted more than two years and was ostensibly run by New Jersey State Police superintendent Colonel Herbert Norman Swarzkopf, the father of the future General H. Norman Swarzkopf, Jr., Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested and charged with the crime.  Hauptmann was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to death.  He was executed by electric chair at the New Jersey State Prison on 3 April 1936, at 8:44 in the evening.  Hauptmann proclaimed his innocence to the end.  Newspaper writer H. L. Mencken called the kidnapping and subsequent trial “the biggest story since the Resurrection”.  The crime spurred Congress to pass the Federal Kidnapping Act, commonly called the “Lindbergh Law”, which made transporting a kidnapping victim across state lines a federal crime.  The Final Footprint – Lindbergh was cremated and his cremains were scattered in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Day in History 28 February – Paul Harvey

On this day in 2009, radio broadcaster, Paul Harvey, died in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 90.  Born Paul Harvey Aurandt on 4 September 1918 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He broadcast News and Comment on weekday mornings and mid-days, and at noon on Saturdays, as well as his famous The Rest of the Story segments.  His listening audience was estimated, at its peak, at 24 million people a week.  Paul Harvey News was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations and 300 newspapers.  Harvey was noted for his folksy delivery and his dramatic pauses and quirky intonations.  He explained his relationship with his sponsors, saying “I am fiercely loyal to those willing to put their money where my mouth is.”  Harvey was married to Lynne “Angel” Cooper (1940 – 2008 her death).  The Final Footprint – Harvey is entombed with his wife Angel in the Harvey private mausoleum in Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, Illinois.

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Day in History 27 February – William F. Buckley, Jr. – Leonard Nimoy

On this day in 2008, Yale alumnus, former CIA agent, conservative commentator, author, founder of the magazine National Review, host of the television show Firing Line, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, pianist, sailor, WFB, William F. Buckley, Jr., died at his home, at his desk, in Stamford, Connecticut at the age of 82.  Born William Frank Buckley, Jr. on 24 November 1925 in New York City.  His father was of Irish descent and his mother, Aloise Josephine Antonia Steiner was a New Orleans native of Swiss-German descent.  WFB is one of my heroes.  He helped form my early political thought process; that being, fiscally conservative and socially conservative/libertarian or libertarian leaning.  Historian George H. Nash believed that Buckley was “arguably the most important public intellectual in the United States in the past half century“.  Nash wrote; “For an entire generation he was the preeminent voice of American conservatism and its first great ecumenical figure.”   WFB fused traditional American political conservatism with laissez-faire economic theory and anti-communism, laying the groundwork for the modern American conservatism of U.S. presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan.  His first book was God and Man at Yale (1951); among over fifty further books on writing, speaking, history, politics, sailing and a series of novels featuring CIA agent Blackford Oakes.  He was a practicing Roman Catholic, regularly attending the traditional Latin Mass.  WFB was married to Patricia Aldyen Austin “Pat” Taylor (1950–2007 her death).  Michelle Tsai in Slate says that WFB spoke English with an idiosyncratic accent: something between an old-fashioned, upper class Mid-Atlantic accent, and British Received Pronunciation, with a Southern drawl.  I was a long time subscriber to National Review.  I have read many of his columns, his sailing books and his novels and thoroughly enjoyed them.  He had a vast command of the English language.  I suggest when you read him you should have a dictionary at hand and it would serve you well to brush up on your Latin.  WFB was witty and eloquent and is missed.  The Final Footprint – WFB is interred next to his wife Pat in Saint Bernard Cemetery in Sharon, Connecticut.  Their graves are marked by a stone cross and a companion raised stone marker.  On 1 November 2009, the editorial/literary publication, The New Islander, was founded and dedicated to WFB.  In addition to occasionally publishing pieces reflecting on his life’s work, two of the magazine’s founding editors, Paul Young and Brianne Corcoran, hinted at the publication’s respect for and allegiance to his conservative political ideology.  In the magazine’s opening mission statement, they wrote:  “We will take a conservative stance in accordance to the fair [ideology]… of Mr. [William F.] Buckley, [Jr.]… that God-fearing sailing enthusiast from Connecticut.  Let Yale never forget him.”

220px-Leonard_Nimoy,_2011,_ST_Con-2On this day in 2015, actor, film director, photographer, author, singer, and songwriter, Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy died of complications from COPD at the age of 83, in his Bel Air home.  Born Leonard Simon Nimoy on March 26, 1931 in the West End of Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Jewish immigrants from Iziaslav, Ukraine.

In December 1964, he made his first appearance in the rejected Star Trek pilot “The Cage”, and went on to play the character of Spock until the end of the production run in early 1969, followed by eight feature films and guest slots in the various spin-off series.  The character has had a significant cultural impact and garnered Nimoy three Emmy Award nominations.  TV Guide named Spock one of the 50 greatest TV characters.  Nimoy’s profile as Spock was such that both of his autobiographies, I Am Not Spock (1975) and I Am Spock (1995), were written from the viewpoint of sharing his existence with the character.   Nimoy was married twice.  In 1954, he married actress Sandra Zober (1927–2011).  The couple divorced in 1987.  On New Year’s Day 1989, Nimoy married actress Susan Bay. Leonard Nimoy lived long and he prospered.  The Final Footprint – A few days before his death, Nimoy shared some of his poetry on social media website Twitter: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP”.  Nimoy’s remains were interred in Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City.  His funeral service was attended by nearly 300 family members, friends and former colleagues, as well as Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, and J. J. Abrams.  Though Shatner could not attend, he was represented by his daughters.  On June 2, 2015, an asteroid, discovered in 1988, was named 4864 Nimoy in his honor.  Other notable Final Footprints at Hillside Memorial include; comedian Jack Benny, comedian Milton Berle, actress Cyd Charisse, actor Lorne Greene, actor Moe Howard, entertainer Al Jolson, actor Michael Landon, actress Suzanne Pleshette, entertainer Dinah Shore, and actress Shelley Winters.

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Day in History 26 February – Bukka White

On this day in 1977, delta blues guitarist and singer, Bukka White, died from cancer in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 70.  Born Booker T. Washington White on 12 November 1909 between Aberdeen and Houston, Washington.  “Bukka” was not a nickname, but a phonetic misspelling of White’s given name Booker, by his second (1937) record label (Vocalion).  White himself disliked the spelling “Bukka” and preferred to be called Booker.  White was a cousin of B.B. King, and gave him a Stella guitar, King’s first guitar.  In my opinion, his best songs are; “Shake ’em on Down”, “Po’ Boy”, “Fixin’ to Die Blues” and “Parchman Farm Blues”.  The Final Footprint – White is interred in New Park Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee.  His grave is marked by an individual granite marker with the epitaph; LOVED BY ALL.

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