Tom's Book of Days
      September 11-20  



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September 11


D.H. Lawrence

1885: Stephen Foster receives a bottle of whiskey for performing Oh! Susanna to an audience at the Eagle Saloon in Pittsburgh.

1885: D.H. Lawrence is born in Nottingham, England.

1915: The British Women's Institute is founded at Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllandysiliogogogoch in Wales.

1919: US marines invade Honduras.

1973: Reformist Chilean President Salvador Allende is assassinated in a CIA-led military coup.

2001: At the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, DC, members of the bin Laden family and a group of Washington insiders including former secretary of defense Frank Carlucci and former secretary of state James Baker III watch the collapse of the World Trade towers on television. The high rollers are present for annual meeting of the Carlyle Group, whose literature promotes itself as "a vast, interlocking, global network of businesses and investment professionals." (Others connected to the Carlyle Group include former U.S. president George Bush Sr., former British prime minister John Major, and leading figures from several foreign nations.) According to journalist and author Dan Briody, "Carlyle has established itself as the gatekeeper between private business interests and U.S. defense spending. And as the Carlyle investors watched the World Trade towers go down, the group's prospects went up…. The firm's close ties with the current administration and its cozy relationship with several prominent Saudi government figures … will keep Carlyle in the black for as long as the war against terrorism endures."

Immediately after the September 11 attacks, reports surfaced of Carlyle's involvement with the Saudi Binladin Group, the $5 billion construction business run by Osama's half-brother Bakr. The bin Laden family invested $2 million in the Carlyle Partners II fund, which includes in its portfolio United Defense and other defense and aerospace companies. On October 26, the Carlyle Group severed its relationship with the bin Laden family in what officials termed a mutual decision. Mr. Bush Sr. and Mr. Major have been to Saudi Arabia on behalf of Carlyle as recently as last year, and according to reports, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently looking into the flow of money from the bin Laden family. Carlyle officials declined to answer any questions regarding their activities in Saudi Arabia.
      --Dan Briody in the on-line investor magazine Red Herring January 8, 2002


September 12




490 BCE: Athenians defeat the second Persian invasion of Greece in the Battle of Marathon.

1740: Voltaire meets Frederick the Great.

1846: Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning wed.

1892: Alfred A. Knopf is born.

1910: Gustav Mahler's Eigth Symphony premieres in Munich with 1028 musicians.

1994: The first Netscape Navigator web browser is released.


September 13


from The 39 Steps

122: Building begins on Hadrian's Wall.

1911: Bill Monroe is born.

1936: The 39 Steps starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll and based on the story by John Buchan has its U.S. premiere at "the Cathedral of the Motion Picture," New York's Roxy Theatre (the film opened in the U.K. in 1935). It would be the first Hitchcock film with real international impact, and it would continue to be one of his most highly regarded film. Andre Bazin would say "It remains indubitably his masterpiece and a model for detective comedies." Pauline Kael would call it "one of the three or four best things Hitchcock ever did."

1955: Little Richard records Tutti Frutti.

1971: The five-day Attica prison rebellion is crushed. The assault ordered by Governor Rockefeller saw 43 people killed, another 80 wounded.

2011: Michael Brown of Houston’s Brown Hand Center goes on trial for assaulting his wife. Prosecutors say Brown attacked his wife with his humanitarian award plaque.


September 14


Dante's death mask

1321: Dante Alighieri dies in Ravenna of malaria within hours of finishing the Paradiso.

1741: George Frederick Handel completes The Messiah after working nonstop for twenty-four days, subsisting mainly on coffee.

1812: Napoleon occupies Moscow. In the late 1970s I was a copywriter in the marketing department of Jossey-Bass Publishers. Our leader, Alan Jossey-Bass, decorated the front lobby of our offices with numerous paintings of Napoleon.

1847: U.S. forces under Gen. Winfield Scott take control of Mexico City. Scott fashioned the first modern military strategy, taking the road to Mexico by launching explosives into the city of Veracruz from a safe distance, without distinguishing between civilian and military targets. John S.D. Eisenhower calls him one of the US's greatest generals. Read all about it in The U.S.-Mexican War.

1926: Michael Butor is born.

1927: Isadora Duncan dies in Nice, France, after her scarf becomes entangled in a wheel of her sports car.

1987: In an appalling example of needless waste, the Sunday New York Times hits 1,612 pages and weighs twelve pounds.


September 15


connonball adderley

RESPECT FOR THE AGED DAY: Respect-for-the-Aged Day, Keiro no Hi,. was called Toshiyori no Hi, or "Old People's Day" when it was established in 1951. It became an official national holiday in 1966, when the name was changed.

1894: Jean Renoir is born.

1914: President Woodrow Wilson orders the Punitive Expedition out of Mexico. The Expedition, headed by General John "Black Jack" Pershing, had been searching for Pancho Villa, who succeeded in eluding his pursuers. The unsuccessful expedition was both the last true cavalry action mounted by the U.S. Army, as well as the first in which it employed mechanized vehicles.

1945: Ho Chi Minh becomes leader of the Communist regime in North Vietnam.

1946: A game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs is cancelled after five innings after an attack by dense swarms of gnats.

1941: Saxophonist Julian Edwin (Cannonball) Adderley is born in Tampa, Florida. Mercy, mercy, mercy!

1982: The Gannett media empire inflicts USA Today on the nation for the first time.


September 16


St. Francis of Assisi


1224: St. Francis of Assisi, 42, receives the stigmata on Mount Alvernia, in Italy. Shown is a detail from Saint Francis instructs the Wolf (c.1911) engraving by Carl Weidemeyer-Worpswede (fl.1910-1925).

1925: B.B. King is born in Ita Bena, Mississippi.

1994: A 3,960-pound burrito more than 3000 feet long is made in Montebello, California.

September 17




1776: The Presidio of San Francisco is founded by the Spanish.

1883: William Carlos Williams is born in Rutherford, New Jersey.

1923: Hank Williams, Sr. (no relation to Bill, above) is born in Georgiana, Alabama.

1955: James Dean films a TV commercial for the National Highway Safety Committee urging viewers to "drive safely."


September 18


hates justin timberlake?

1851: The New York Times is first published. (See September 14, 1987.)

1927: The Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) is formed, broadcasting the opera The King's Henchman as its first program. This period of development in new electronic technology is similar to what will happen at the end of the century in Silicon Valley. Twenty-seven-year-old William S. Paley bought some struggling radio stations for a few hundred thousand dollars. Within a couple of years, he would make almost 2.5 million dollars, and the network would grow to include more than 70 stations.
      A few days before this same date in 1999, Viacom announced its intention to purchase CBS. All aspects of media at this time are witnessing the formation of mega entertainment corporations with huge holdings spread horizontally across industries, so that the same handful of corporations that control, for example, the publishing of 90 percent of trade books also control most of the means of publicizing, marketing, and distributing them. The result is a loss of diversity and of alternative voices. (That is one reason to fight the increasing domination of the internet by commercial interests.)

1975: Patty Shaw is arrested in San Francisco. Although she claimed she was the victim of brainwashing, she was sentenced to seven years for her involvement in an SLA bank robbery. She served about two years before President Carter commuted her sentence. (See also February 4 and May 14.)

2003: DAYS CREEK, OR (Associated Press): A Winston man told police he crashed his car after a bee flew into his mouth while he was singing along with Justin Timberlake’s song Rock Your Body on the radio. Douglas County Sheriff's spokeswoman Pam Frank said John L. Nunes, 19, was trying to get rid of the bee or yellowjacket when his car hit a tree. “I kind of panicked and went off the road,” Nunes said Wednesday. His car went down a 15-foot embankment. He was taken by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg.


September 19


Rackham: Ring

1819: John Keats writes "To Autumn."

1846: Elizabeth Barrett elopes with Robert Browning.

1867: Arthur Rackham is born. (Illustration is a detail from The Ring.)

1911: On Red Tuesday, 20,000 protest for universal rights..

1959: Nikita Khruschev is denied a visit to Disneyland.

1991: Ötzi the Iceman is discovered by hikers in mountains on the Austria/Italian border. Ötzi is estimated to be 5,300 years old — though dead for all but 40 of them. Initial speculation would be that he died of hypothermia. Despite intensive analysis of his body it would be ten years after his discovery before an arrowhead would be found in his shoulder, indicating that Ötzi was attacked and shot in the back with an arrow.

1995: The New York Times and Washington Post agree to publish the 35,000-word Unabomber Manifesto.


September 20


Cannes, 1947

451: Romans defeat Attilla the Hun at Châlon-sur-Marne.

622: Mohammad undertakes his hijra (hegira). Accused of being a sorcerer and false prophet, he flees from Mecca to Yathrib (now Medina), where he gathers support and issues a holy war against Mecca. After eight years, he captures Mecca and becomes its ruler. The year of his flight is the first year of the Muslim calendar. Although the hegira occurred in September, the Islamic (Hijri) calendar (abbreviated A.H. from Anno Hegirae, "in the year of the Hegira") begins with the first month of that (lunar calendar) year; therefore MuHarram 1,1 A.H. (the first day of the first year) corresponds to July 16, 622 C.E.

1519: Magellan begins the first known successful circumnavigation of the world.

1884: The Equal Rights Party is formed in San Francisco, nominating Belva Lockwood as its presidential candidate.

1946: The Cannes Film Festival makes its debut. Planned for 1939, it was delayed seven years by World War II. (Shown is Roland Toutain--best known for his role in Les Regles du jeu/The Rules of the Game--at Cannes in 1947.)

continue to September 21


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