On this day October 1 – William Brodie – Joe LeFors – Walter Alston

Deacon_Brodie_figureOn this day in 1788, Scottish cabinet-maker, deacon of the trades guild and Edinburgh city councillor by day and burglar by night, Deacon William Brodie was hanged in Edinburgh at the age of 47.  Brodie is thought to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson‘s novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide (1886).  The Final Footprint – Brodie was interred in an unmarked grave at the Parish Church in Buccleuch.

On this day in 1940 lawman Joe LeFors, best known for the arrest of gunman Tom Horn in 1903 for the alleged murder of 14 year old sheepherder Willie Nickell, died in Buffalo, Wyoming at the age of 75.  Born Joe Shelby LeFors on 20 February 1865 in Paris, Texas.  The Final Footprint – LeFors is interred in Willow Grove Cemetery in Buffalo, Wyoming.  LeFors appears, or is mentioned, in at least two movies: Mr. Horn (1979) a made-for-TV movie starring David Carradine as Horn and John Durren as LeFors and  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), where LeFors is mentioned as a feared lawman giving chase to Butch and Sundance.

On this day in 1984, baseball Hall of Famer, Brooklyn and Los Angles Dodgers manager, Smokey, Walter Alston died in Oxford, Ohio at the age of 72.  Born Walter Emmons Alston on 1 December 1911 in Venice, Ohio.  Led the Dodgers to their first four World Series Championships, one in Brooklyn and three more after the team moved to Los Angeles.  The Final Footprint – Alston was buried in Darrtown Cemetery in Darrtown, Ohio.  His grave his marked with a companion upright granite monument.  His wife Lela is buried next to him.  His number 24 was retired by the Dodgers.

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Day in History 30 September – James Dean – Simon Signoret

On this day in 1955, actor, cultural icon, James Dean died in Cholame, California at the age of 24 in an automobile accident.  Born James Byron Dean on 8 February 1931 in Marion, Indiana.  A cultural icon of teenage disillusionment, as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as troubled Los Angeles teenager Jim Stark.  The other two roles that defined his stardom were as loner Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955), and as the surly ranch hand, Jett Rink, in Edna Ferber’s Giant (1956) alongside Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson.  Perhaps my favorite book and movie.  Dean was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and remains the only actor to have had two posthumous acting nominations.  The Final Footprint– Dean was buried in Park Cemetery in Fairmont, Indiana, less than a mile from where he grew up on his aunt and uncle’s farm.  His grave is marked with an upright granite monument.  A sculpture made of concrete and stainless steel was erected in his honor in Cholame, California.  A quote from Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s The Little Prince is inscribed on the sculpture: “What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Simone_SignoretOn this day in 1985 actress Simone Signoret died of pancreatic cancer in Auteuil-Anthouillet, France.  Born Simone Henriette Charlotte Kaminker in Wiesbaden, Germany.   In my opinion she is one of France’s greatest film stars.  She became the first French person to win an Academy Award, for her role in Room at the Top (1959).  In her lifetime she also received a César, three BAFTAs, an Emmy, Cannes Film Festival recognition, the Silver Bear for Best Actress awards and a Golden Globe nomination.  Her memoirs, Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used To Be, were published in 1978.  She also wrote a novel, Adieu Volodya (1985).  She first married filmmaker Yves Allégret (1944–49 divorce).  Her second marriage was to the Italian-born French actor Yves Montand (1951 – 1985 her death).  The Final Footprint – Signoret is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.  Père Lachaise is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris and quite possible the most visited cemetery in the world.  Other notable Final Footprints at Père Lachaise include; Honoré de Balzac, Georges Bizet, Jean-Dominique Bauby, Maria Callas, Frédéric Chopin, Colette, Auguste Comte, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Molière, Jim Morrison, Édith Piaf, Camille Pissarro, Marcel Proust, Sully Prudhomme, Gioachino Rossini, Georges-Pierre Seurat, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Oscar Wilde, and Richard Wright.

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On this Day 29 September – Émile Zola – Carson McCullers – W. H. Auden – Casey Stengel – Tony Curtis

emileZOLA_1902BOn this day in 1902, writer Émile Zola died at his home in Paris of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by an improperly ventilated chimney at the age of 62.  In my opinion, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism.  Zola was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J’accuse.  Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902.  The Final Footprint – Zola was initially buried in the Cimetière de Montmartre in Paris, but on 4 June 1908, just five years and nine months after his death, his remains were relocated to the Panthéon.  The Panthéon is a building in the Latin Quarter in Paris.  It was originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve and to house the reliquary châsse containing her relics but, after many changes, now functions as a secular mausoleum containing the remains of distinguished French citizens.  The inscription above the entrance reads AUX GRANDS HOMMES LA PATRIE RECONNAISSANTE ( “To the great men, the grateful homeland”). By burying its great men in the Panthéon, the Nation acknowledges the honour it received from them. As such, interment here is severely restricted and is allowed only by a parliamentary act for “National Heroes”.  Other notable Final Footprints at the Panthéon include: Victor Hugo, Louis Braille, Pierre and Marie Curie, André Malraux, and Alexandre Dumas, père, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire.

CarsonmccullersOn this day in 1964 the author of the The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940) and one of my favorites, Carson McCullers died in Nyack, New York after a brain hemorrhage at the age of 50.  Born Lula Carson McCullers on 19 February 1917 in Columbus, Georgia.  McCullers married Reeves McCullers (1937 – 1941 divorce and 1945 – 1953 his death).  The Final Footprint – McCullers is interred in Oak Hill Cemetery in Nyack.

whAudenVanVechten1939On this day in 1973, poet W. H. Auden died in Vienna at the age of 66.  Born Wystan Hugh Auden on 21 February 1907 in York, England.  In my opinion, Auden is one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.  His work is noted for its stylistic and technical achievements, its engagement with moral and political issues, and its variety of tone, form and content.  The central themes of his poetry are love, politics and citizenship, religion and morals, and the relationship between unique human beings and the anonymous, impersonal world of nature.  In the 1950s and 1960s many of his poems focused on the ways in which words revealed and concealed emotions, and he took a particular interest in writing opera librettos, a form ideally suited to direct expression of strong feelings.  He was also a prolific writer of prose essays and reviews on literary, political, psychological and religious subjects, and he worked at various times on documentary films, poetic plays and other forms of performance.  Throughout his career he was both controversial and influential.  After his death, some of his poems, notably “Funeral Blues” (“Stop all the clocks”), “Musée des Beaux Arts”, “Refugee Blues”, “The Unknown Citizen”, and “September 1, 1939”, became known to a much wider public than during his lifetime through films, broadcasts, and popular media.  The Final Footprint – Auden is buried in a Kirchstetten churchyard in Kirchstetten, Austria.

On this day in 1975, baseball Hall of Famer, player, manager, The Old Perfesser, Casey Stengel died in Glendale, California at the age of 85.  Born Charles Dillon Stengel on 30 July 1890 in Kansas City, Missouri.  The only manager to win five consecutive World Series championships, all with the New York Yankees. Between playing and managing, he is the only man to have worn all four of New York’s major league clubs’ uniforms.  His number 37 was retired by both the Yankees and the Mets.  The Final Footprint– Stengel was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.  His grave is marked with a flat bronze on granite marker.  A plaque on a wall near his grave reads in part: FOR OVER SIXTY YEARS ONE OF AMERICA’S FOLK HEROES WHO CONTRIBUTED IMMENSLEY TO THE LORE AND LANGUAGE OF OUR COUNTRY’S NATIONAL PASTIME, BASEBALL.  “THERE COMES A TIME IN EVERY MAN’S LIFE AND I’VE HAD PLENTY OF THEM” CASEY STENGEL.  His plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium reads; Brightened baseball for over 50 years; with spirit of eternal youth; Yankee manager 1949-1960 winning 10 pennants and 7 world championships including 5 consecutive.  Monument Park is an open-air museum containing a collection of monuments, plaques, and retired numbers honoring distinguished members of the Yankees.  Other notable Final Footprints at Forest Lawn Glendale include; Lon Chaney, Dorothy Dandridge, Elizabeth Taylor, Jean Harlow, Nat King Cole, Sam Cooke, Walt Disney, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Michael Jackson, Carole Lombard, Jimmy Stewart, and Spencer Tracy.  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 and Bob Sheppard.

Tony_Curtis-LeighOn this day in 2010 actor Tony Curtis died at his Henderson, Nevada home of cardiac arrest at the age of 85.  Born Bernard Schwartz on 3 June 1925 in The Bronx.  His career spanned six decades, and had his greatest popularity during the 1950s and early 1960s.  He acted in more than 100 films in roles covering a wide range of genres, from light comedy to serious drama.  Although his early film roles were partly the result of his good looks, by the later half of the 1950s he became a notable and strong screen presence.  He began proving himself to be a fine dramatic actor, having the range to act in numerous dramatic and comedy roles.  He won his first serious recognition as a skilled dramatic actor in Sweet Smell of Success (1957) with co-star Burt Lancaster.  The following year he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in another drama, The Defiant Ones (1958). Curtis then gave what could arguably be called his best performance: three interrelated roles in the comedy Some Like It Hot (1959), possibly one of the funniest films ever made.  The film co-starred Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, and was directed by Billy Wilder.  That was followed by Blake Edwards’s comedy Operation Petticoat (1959) with Cary Grant. They were both frantic comedies, and displayed his impeccable comedic timing.  In 1960, Curtis co-starred with Kirk Douglas in Spartacus, which became another major hit for him.  Cirtis married six times: Janet Leigh (1951–1962 divorce), Christine Kaufmann
(1963–1968 divorce), Leslie Allen (1968–1982 divorce), Andrea Savio (1984–1992 divorce), Lisa Deutsch (1993–1994 divorce), Jill Vandenberg (1998–2010 his death).  The Final Footprint – Curtis was interred in a private estate at Palm Memorial Park Cemetery, a Dignity Memorial property, in Green Valley, Nevada.  His memorial service was attended by his daughters, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kelly Curtis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ron Jeremy, Rich Little, and Vera Goulet, Robert Goulet‘s widow.  Investor Kirk KerkorianKirk Douglas and singer Phyllis McGuire were among the honorary pallbearers.  His epitaph; “And he was always quietly arrayed, And he was always human when he talked; But still he fluttered pulses when he said “Good Morning!” and he glittered when he walked.”  Other notable final footprints at Palm Memorial include actor Redd Foxx and singer Joe Williams.

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On this Day 28 September – Herman Melville – André Breton – Miles Davis

Herman_MelvilleOn this day in 1891 author Herman Melville died at his home in New York City at age 72 from cardiac dilation.  Born in New York City on 1 August 1819.  Best known for the novel Moby-Dick.  His first three books gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, became a bestseller), but after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime.  It was not until the “Melville Revival” in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick, which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature.  In 1919, the unfinished manuscript for his novella Billy Budd was discovered by his first biographer, Raymond M. Weaver, who published a version in 1924.  He was the first writer to have his works collected and published by the Library of America.  Melville married Elizabeth Shaw (1847 – 1891 his death).  Herman_Melville_Headstone_1024The Final Footprint – He was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York.  Woodlawn Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in New York City and is a designated National Historic Landmark.  Other notable Final Footprints at Woodlawn include; Irving Berlin, Miles Davis (see below), Duke Ellington, Fiorello La Guardia, Lionel Hampton, Rowland Macy, Bat Masterson, J. C. Penney, and Joseph Pulitzer.

André_BretonOn this day in 1966, French writer, poet, anarchist and anti-fascist, the founder of Surrealism, André Breton died at 70 and was buried in the Cimetière des Batignolles in Paris.  Born on 19 February 1896 in Tinchebray (Orne) in Normandy.



On this day in 1991, multiple Grammy winner, trumpeter, bandleader and composer Miles Davis died in Santa Monica, California at the age of 65.  Born Miles Dewey Davis III on 26 May 1926 in Alton, Illinois.  In my opinion he is one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.  Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, and jazz fusion.  Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.  On 7 October 2008, his 1959 album Kind of Blue received its fourth platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of at least four million copies in the United States.  On 15 December 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a symbolic resolution recognizing and commemorating the album Kind of Blue on its 50th anniversary, “honoring the masterpiece and reaffirming jazz as a national treasure”.  He was knighted into the Légion d’honneur or Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur in Paris.  In my opinion, Kind of Blue is one of the greatest albums ever recorded.  I heard someone say once, if you do not own Kind of Blue, something is wrong with you.  Yes, I own a copy.  Davis married actress Cicely Tyson on 26 November 1981.  The ceremony was conducted by Atlanta mayor Andrew Young at the home of actor Bill Cosby.  Davis and Tyson divorced in 1988.  The Final Footprint – Davis is buried with one of his trumpets, in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.  His grave is marked by a large black granite engraved rectangular monument.  It is inscribed, In Memory of Sir Miles Davis and has a music scale and a trumpet engraved in the granite.  A bronze statue of Davis was erected in Kielce, Poland.  Other notable Final Footprints at Woodlawn include; Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Fiorello La Guardia, Rowland Macy, Bat Masterson, Herman Melville (see above), J. C. Penney, Joseph Pulitzer.

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On this Day 27 September – Edgar Degas – Babe Didrikson – Cliff Burton – Doak Walker

Self-portrait (Degas au porte-fusain), 1855

On this day in 1917, French Impressionism artist Edgar Degas died in Paris at the age of 83.  Born Hilaire-Germain-Edgar de Gas on 19 July 1834 in Paris.  My favorite Degas paintings include:  The New Orleans Cotton Exchange, At the Races, Horses in a Meadow, The Singer with the Glove, Young Spartans Exercising and After the Bath, Woman Drying Her Nape.  The Final FootprintDegas is entombed in the Famille de Gas private mausoleum in the Cimetiere de Montmartre in Paris.  Other notable final footprints at Montmartre include composer Hector Berlioz, French singer Dalida, artist Edgar Degas, author Alexandre Dumas, fils, poet Théophile Gautier,  composer Jacques Offenbach and poet Alfred de Vigny.


  • Young Spartans Exercising, c. 1860, National Gallery, London

  • Édouard Manet and Mme. Manet, 1868–1869, Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Japan

  • Portrait of Miss Cassatt, Seated, Holding Cards, 1876–1878

  • At the Café-Concert: The Song of the Dog, 1875–1877

  • Fin d’Arabesque, with ballerina Rosita Mauri, 1877, Musée d’Orsay.

  • The Singer with the Glove, 1878, The Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando, 1879, The National Gallery, London

  • The Millinery Shop, 1885, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

  • Ballet Rehearsal, 1873, The Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Waiting, 1880-82.

  • Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers (Star of the Ballet), 1878

  • Stage Rehearsal, 1878–1879, The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York City

  • Woman in Street Clothes, Portrait of Ellen Andrée, 1879, pastel on paper

  • Dancers at The Bar, 1888, The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

  • Woman in the Bath, 1886, Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, Connecticut

  • The Tub, 1886, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France

  • The Bath: Woman Supporting her Back, c. 1887, pastel on paper, Honolulu Academy of Arts

  • Kneeling Woman, 1884, Pushkin Museum, Moscow

  • Three Dancers in Yellow Skirts, circa 1891, oil on canvas, The Detroit Institute of Arts

  • After the Bath, Woman Drying her Nape 1898, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France

  • The Spanish Dance, c. 1885 (bronze cast 1921), bronze, 46.3 x 14.3 cm, Ackland Art Museum

  • Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, cast in 1922 from a mixed-media sculpture modeled ca. 1879–80, Bronze, partly tinted, with cotton skirt and satin hair ribbon, on a wooden base, Metropolitan Museum of Art

    On this day in 1956 sportswoman Mildred Ella “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias died of cancer at the John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, Texas, at the age forty-five.  Born on 26 June 1911 in Port Arthur, Texas.  She is interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Beaumont, Texas.

    On this day in 1964, the Warren Commission issued a report concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating President John F. Kennedy.

    Cliff_Burton_1On this day in 1986 Metallica bassist Cliff Burton died when their tour bus crashed in Ljungby Municipality, near Dörarp in rural southern Sweden.  Born Clifford Lee Burton on 10 February 1962 in Castro Valley, California.  Burton joined Metallica in 1982 and performed on the band’s first three studio albums, Kill ‘Em All, Ride the Lightning, and Master of Puppets.  He also received a posthumous writing credit for the song “To Live Is to Die” from the band’s fourth studio album …And Justice For AllThe Final Footprint – Burton was cremated and his cremains were scatterd at the Maxwell Ranch.  At the ceremony, the song “Orion” was played. The lyrics “…cannot the Kingdom of Salvation take me home” from “To Live Is to Die” are written on Burton’s memorial stone.  Perhaps the best-known non-Metallica tribute to Burton is the song “In My Darkest Hour” by thrash metal band Megadeth.  According to Dave Mustaine, after hearing of Burton’s death, he wrote the song in Burton’s honour.  Mustaine was Metallica’s lead guitarist in the early days and was a close friend of Burton.

    On this day in 1998 Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker died as a result of injuries suffered previously in a skiing accident at the age of 71.  Born Ewell Doak Walker, Jr. on 1 January 1927 in Dallas, Texas.  Walker was cremated and his cremains were scattered on Long’s Peak in Colorado.

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Day in History 26 September – Robert Palmer – Paul Newman

Robert_PalmerOn this day in 2003, singer, songwriter, musician, Robert Palmer died in Paris at the Hôtel Warwick Champs-Elysées, rue de Berri, from a heart attack at the age of 54.  Born Robert Allen Palmer on 19 January 1949 in Batley, West Yorkshire, England.  Palmer was known for his distinctive voice and the eclectic mix of musical styles on his albums, combining soul, jazz, rock, pop, reggae and blues.  He found success both in his solo career and in the musical act The Power Station, and had Top 10 songs in both the UK and the US.  His iconic music videos by Terence Donovan for the hits “Addicted to Love” and “Simply Irresistible” featured identically dressed dancing women with pale faces, dark eye makeup and bright red lipstick, which resembled the women in the art of Patrick Nagel, an artist popular in the 1980s.  Sharp-suited, his involvement in the music industry commenced in the 1960s, and covered five decades.  Palmer received a number of awards throughout his career, including two Grammy Awards for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, an MTV Video Music Award, and was twice nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male.  Palmer married twice: Shelly Putman (1974 – 1978 divorce) and Susan Eileen Thatcher (1979 – 1999 divorce).  The Final Footprint – Palmer’s final resting place is Lugano Cemetery in Lugano, Switzerland.  On her All The Best compilation album, Palmer’s Swiss neighbour, Tina Turner, added a live version of “Addicted to Love” in tribute to him.  Apparently, Palmer’s favourite author was Jack Vance and he was especially fond of the character Cugel.  Vance paid homage to Palmer in his novel Night Lamp, which begins: “Toward the far edge of the Cornu Sector of Ophiuchus, Robert Palmer’s star shone brilliant white, its corona flaring with films of blue, red and green colour.”

On this day in 2008, Academy Award winning actor, director, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and auto racing enthusiast Paul Newman died at his home surrounded by his family and friends in Westport, Connecticut at the age of 83.  Born Paul Leonard Newman on 26 January 1925 in Shaker Heights, Ohio.  He won numerous awards, including an Academy Award for best actor for his performance in the 1986 Martin Scorsese film The Color of Money and eight other nominations, six Golden Globe Awards (including three honorary ones), a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award, an Emmy award, and many honorary awards.  He also won several national championships as a driver in Sports Car Club of America road racing, and his race teams won several championships in open wheel IndyCar racing.  Newman was a co-founder of Newman’s Own, a food company from which Newman donated all post-tax profits and royalties to charity.  One of my favorite actors.  My favorite movies with Newman; Cat on a hot Tin Roof, The Hustler, Hud, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, The Sting, The Color of Money.  Newman married twice: Jackie Witte (1949 – 1958 divorce) and actress Joanne Woodward (1958 – 2008 his death).  The Final Footprint – His remains were cremated after a private funeral service near his home in Westport.

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Day in History 25 September – Johann Strauss I – Oliver Loving

On this day in 1849, Austrian Romantic composer, conductor and one of the kings of the waltz, Johann Strauss died from scarlet fever in Vienna at the age of 45.  Born Johann Baptist Strauss on 14 March 1804 in Vienna.  He was the father of Johann Strauss II, Joseph Strauss and Eduard Strauss.  Together, they formed a dynasty that dominated Vienna’s light music scene for almost a hundred years.  His most recognized composition is probably the Radetzky March (named after Joseph Radetzky von Radetz), while his most famous waltz is probably the Lorelei Rheinklänge op. 154.  Strauss married Maria Anna Streim (1825-1844 divorce).  He had six children with his mistress Emilie Trampusch.  The Final Footprint – Strauss was initially interred at Döblinger cemetery in Vienna beside his friend Joseph Lanner.  In 1904, both of their remains were disinterred and reinterred in the graves of honour at Zentralfriedhof in Vienna.  Strauss’s grave is marked with a large black triangular granite monument with a circular carved relief of his profile in marble.  His sons Johann and Joseph are interred nearby.  The Zentralfriedhof (German for “Central Cemetery”) is one of the largest cemeteries in the world, largest by number of interred in Europe and most famous cemetery among Vienna’s nearly 50 cemeteries.  Other notable Final Footprints at Zentralfriedhof include; Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Antonio Salieri, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss II.  In addition, a cenotaph was erected there in honour of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Oliver-LovingOn this day in 1867, cattle rancher and cattle drive pioneer, Oliver Loving died at the age of 54 in Fort Sumner, New Mexico from gangrene.  Along with Charles Goodnight, he formed the Goodnight-Loving Trail.  The Goodnight Loving Trail began at Fort Belknap (Texas), traveling through central Texas across the Staked Plains to Horsehead Crossing, north along the Pecos River and across Pope’s Crossing, into New Mexico to Fort Sumner.  The trail then continued north into Colorado up to Denver and was extended on into Wyoming.  In the spring of 1867, Loving and Goodnight returned to Texas, ready to start a new drive.  This third drive was slowed by heavy rains and Native American threats.  Loving went ahead of the herd for contract bidding, taking only Bill Wilson, a trusted scout, with him.  Although he told Goodnight that he would travel at night, Loving became impatient and pushed ahead during the day.  Loving and Wilson were attacked by Comanches and Loving was wounded in the arm.  The weakened Loving sent Wilson back to the herd, eluded the Native American Indians, and reached Fort Sumner.  Loving’s arm was amputated but it was too late.  Goodnight arrived in Fort Sumner in time to be by Loving’s side as he died and to assure Loving that his wish to be buried in Texas would be carried out. Born in Hopkins County Kentucky on 4 December 1812.  Loving married Susan Doggett Morgan (1833 – 1867 his death).  The Final Footprint – After a temporary burial at Fort Sumner, while Goodnight drove the herd on to Colorado, Goodnight had Loving’s body exhumed and returned to Weatherford where he was reburied in Greenwood Cemetery on 4 March 1868.  Loving’s death and burial apparently served as inspiration to novelist Larry McMurtry for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Lonesome Dove.  In the book, Augustus “Gus” McCrae is injured by Indian arrows and sends his companion Pea Eye Parker to find Woodrow F. Call.  McCrae makes it to Miles City, Montana but dies of blood poisoning, despite having one of his legs amputated.  Call, like Goodnight, sat by his friend’s side as he died and then brought him back to Texas for burial.

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Day in History 24 September – Dr. Seuss

On this day in 1991, author, poet and illustrator,  Dr. Seuss died of throat cancer at his home in La Jolla, California at the age of 87.  Born Theodore Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts on 2 March 1904.  In my opinion, he was the best author and illustrator of children’s books.  Geisel published 46 children’s books, often characterized by imaginative characters, rhyme, and frequent use of anapestic meter.  His most celebrated books include the bestselling Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.  Numerous adaptations of his work have been created, including 11 television specials, four feature films, a Broadway musical and four television series.  He won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958 for Horton Hatches the Egg and again in 1961 for And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.  Geisel also worked as an illustrator for advertising campaigns, most notably for Flit and Standard Oil, and as a political cartoonist for PM, a New York City newspaper.  During World War II, he worked in an animation department of the United States Army, where he wrote Design for Death, a film that later won the 1947 Academy Award for Documentary Feature.  Christmas would not be Christmas without watching and reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  Geisel married twice; children’s author Helen Palmer (1927 – 1967 her death) and Audrey Stone Dimond (1968 – 1991 his death).  The Final Footprint – Geisel was cremated and his ashes were scattered.  The University Library Building at the University of California at San Diego was renamed the Geisel Library in his honor.  The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield features bronze sculptures of Geisel and many of his characters.  Geisel’s birthday, March 2, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association

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Day in History 23 September – Vincenzo Bellini – Chief Dan George

Vincenzo_belliniOn this day in 1835, opera composer Vincenzo Bellini died in Puteaux, near Paris of acute inflammation of the intestine at the age of 33.  Born Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini on 3 November 1801 in Catania, at the time part of the Kingdom of Sicily.  His greatest works are I Capuleti ed i Montecchi (1830), La sonnambula (1831), Norma (1831), Beatrice di Tenda (1833), and I puritani (1835).  Known for his long-flowing melodic lines, for which he was named “the Swan of Catania”, Bellini was the quintessential composer of bel canto opera.  He had a sequence of affairs with married women, including Giuditta Turina.  But he resisted any emotional commitment, and never married.  When Turina proposed to leave her husband, Bellini bridled: “with so many commitments, such a relationship would be fatal to me“.  vincenzobelliniThe Final Footprint – Bellini was entombed in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris but his remains were removed to the cathedral of Catania in 1876.  Catania Cathedral,  dedicated to Saint Agatha, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Catania, Sicily.  It was the seat of the Bishops of Catania until 1859, when the diocese was elevated to an archdiocese, and since then has been the seat of the Archbishops of Catania.  Bellini’s cenotaph remains in Père Lachaise.  The Museo Belliniano housed in the Gravina Cruyllas Palace in Catania preserves memorabilia and scores.

ChiefDan_GeorgeOn this day in 1981, Native Canadian, poet, Academy Award-nominated actor, humanitarian, Chief of the Squamish Band of the Salish Indian Tribe of Burrard Inlet, Chief Dan George died in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Born Geswanouth Slahhot on 24 July 1899 in Burrard Inlet, British Columbia.  I very much enjoyed his performance alongside Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales.  His best-known written work is his poem “My Heart Soars.”  The Final Footprint – George was buried in Burrard Cemetery in North Vancouver, British Columbia.  His grave is marked by two flat granite engraved markers on a raised concrete base and a concrete border around his grave.  Along with his name and birth and death dates the inscriptions on the markers read:  HIS HEART SOARED LIKE THE EAGLE and In Loving Memory of Our Dad Daniel Paul.

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Day in History 22 September – Irving Berlin

irvingBerlinPortrait1On this day in 1989, Tony and Grammy winner, songwriter, composer, lyricist Irving Berlin died in New York City at the age of 101.  Born Israel Isidore Baline on 11 May 1888 in Tyumen, Russia, now Belarus.  In my opinion, one of the greatest songwriters.  Among the many songs he wrote; God Bless America, White Christmas, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, There’s no Business like Show Business, Blue Skies, Puttin’ on the Ritz.  Composer Douglas Moore sets Berlin apart from all other contemporary songwriters, and includes him instead with Stephen Foster, Walt Whitman, and Carl Sandburg, as a “great American minstrel”—someone who has “caught and immortalized in his songs what we say, what we think about, and what we believe.”  George Gershwin called him “the greatest songwriter that has ever lived”, and Jerome Kern concluded that “Irving Berlin has no place in American music—he is American music.”  In 1912, he married Dorothy Goetz.  She died six months later of typhoid fever, which she contracted during their honeymoon in Havana.  The song he wrote to express his grief, “When I Lost You,” was his first ballad.  In 1925 he married Ellin Mackay.  Their marriage remained a love affair and they were inseparable until she died in July 1988 at the age of 85.

The Final Footprint – Berlin was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.  His grave is marked by a half ledger granite marker inscribed with his name and the birth and death dates.  On the evening following the announcement of his death, the marquee lights of Broadway were dimmed before curtain time in his memory.  Other notable Final Footprints at Woodlawn include; Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Fiorello La Guardia, Lionel Hampton, Rowland Macy, Bat Masterson, Herman Melville, J. C. Penney, and Joseph Pulitzer.

Have you planned yours yet?

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