Tom's Book of Days
September 1-10  


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September 1


Aaron Burr

1729: Sir Richard Steele, 57, founder with Joseph Addison of The Tatler and The Spectator, dies in Carmarthen, Wales.

1807: Former U.S. Vice President (under Jefferson, who replaced him in his second term) Aaron Burr is acquitted on charges of plotting to annex Spanish territory in Louisiana and Mexico to be used toward the establishment of an independent republic.

Burr was a loose cannon, who challenged Alexander Hamilton to a duel over comments Hamilton had made about him. The duel, held July 11, 1804, in New Jersey, Hamilton, whose son was killed in a duel three years earlier, fired into the air, but Burr showed no such restraint. Hamilton died in New York City the following day. That effectively ended Burr's political life, but he was up to some scheme with the Spanish, which resulted in the treason trial. Although found innocent, public opinion branded him a traitor.

1933: Conway Twitty is born.

1939: Germany invades Poland.

1972: In Reykjavik, Iceland, Bobby Fischer beats Boris Spassky to become world chess champion.


September 2


Lydia Paki Liliuokalani


31 BCE: Octavian defeats Marc Antony in the Battle of Actium.

1666: The Great London Fire, which will destroy most of the Old City, begins.

1752: Today is the last day of the Julian calendar in Great Britain and the British colonies. The Gregorian Calendar will go into effect tommorrow, which will be September 14 (eleven days will disappear). Most other countries made the adjustment 170 years ago, in 1582.

1838: Lydia Paki Liliuokalani, the last Queen of Hawaii (r. 1891-93), is born.

1864: Leo Tolstoy has a panic attack in a country inn, which serves as the inspiration for his Notes of a Madman.

1945: Ho Chi Minh breaks ties with France and declares Vietnam an independent republic.


September 3


jack and harry

1189: Richard the Lionheart is crowned king of England.

1752: Feeling that eleven days have been taken from their lives, people riot in England

1814: Mathematician James J Sylvester, who made advances in matrix theory, is born. Sylvester believed that verbal and mathematical skills were incompatible. "An eloquent mathematician must," he said, "from the nature of things, ever remain as rare a phenomenon as a talking fish."

1838: Frederick Douglass escapes slavery disguised as a sailor.

1959: Jack Benny plays a violin and piano duet with Harry Truman.

1967: Motorists in Sweden began driving on the right-hand side of the road, instead of the left.

1970: The largest recorded hailstone, checking it at 17.5 inches in diameter, lands in Kansas.


September 4


Antonin Artaud

518 BCE: Pindar is born.

1781: El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula (Los Angeles) is founded in the Bahia de las Fuma (the Bay of Smoke).

1893: Beatrix Potter sends a picture letter containing the first telling of the story of Peter Rabbit to Noel Moore, the son of her former governess.

1896: Antonin Artaud is born.

1964: Carol Christensen attends the Beatles performance at the Milwaukee Arena.


September 5


crazy horse

1638: After 23 years of marriage to the King of France Queen Anne (of Austria) gives birth to an heir to the throne; he will be called Louis XIV, "the Sun King"

1664: New Amsterdam surrenders to the British (who will rename it New York).

1698: Russian Czar Peter the Great imposes a tax on beards.

1735: Johann Christian Bach is born.

1847: Jesse James is born.

1871: Victor Hugo returns from his exile on Guernsey in the Channel Islands (where he has written Les Miserables), to a hero's welcome.

1877: Oglala Sioux leader Tasunka Witko (Crazy Horse) is assassinated at Fort Robinson in Nebraska. Controversy surrounds the event. Crazy is said to have been stabbed by Private William Gentles. However, a witness, Chief He Dog, claimed that Gentles lunged at Crazy Horse with his bayonette but missed, leaving him to be finished off by another soldier or soldiers. The army's official position is that Gentles pointed his bayonette at Crazy Horse, who fell on it (descendents of the person who thought that up would presumably work in the George W. Bush administration). Nine months later Gentles would die of asthma.

1902: Darryl F. Zanuck is born.

1912: John Cage is born.

1916: D.W. Griffith's Intolerance starring Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Robert Harron, Bessie Love, and Constance Talmadge premieres in New York.

1923: Flyweights Gene LaRue and Kid Pancho simultaneously knock each other out.

1957: On the Road is published.

1970: Bug Point, Utah, records a state record six inches of rainfall.

1882: The Central Labor Union of New York succeeds in putting Labor Day on the calendar.


September 6


Blondie Boopadoop


1522: With eighteen men of an original 277, the Victoria, the only remaining vessel from Ferdinand Magellan's expedition, completes the circumnavigation of the globe (without Magellan, who was killed in the Philippines).

1847: Henry David Thoreau abandons Walden Pond after two years there and moves into the Emerson household in Concord, Massachusetts.

1930: Dagwood and Blondie make their first newspaper appearance. He is the playboy son of a railroad tycoon; she is Blondie Boopadoop, a gold-digging flapper.

1961: Bob Dylan plays at the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village for the first time.


September 7


Guillaume Apollinaire

1533: Elizabeth I, Queen of England (1558-1603), the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, is born.

1911: Guillaume Apollinaire (portrait shown is by Henri Frick) is jailed on suspicion of masterminding the heist of the Mona Lisa.

1918: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre meet at a country club dance in Montgomery, Alabama.

1931: The American Sunbathing Association is founded.

1936: Charles Hardin ("Buddy") Holley is born in Lubbock, Texas.

1943: Rita Hayworth marries Orson Welles.

1961: Rita Hayworth divorces James Hill.


September 8


patsy cline

1157: Good King Richard the Lionheart of England (r. 1189-1199) is born.

1483: Notorious villain Richard the Third is crowned King of England.

1873: Alfred Jarry is born at Laval in Brittany.

1930: Richard Drew invents Scotch tape.

1932: Virginia Patterson Hensley (Patsy Cline) is born. The Patsy Cline Committee of the Winchester-Frederick County Chamber of Commerce has a website at the domain

1945: Ron "Pigpen" McKernan is born. After his death on March 8, 1973, the Grateful Dead will decend into a paisley vagueness from which it will never quite emerge.

1957: The great Jackie Wilson releases his first single, Reet Petite.

1965: As a Charlie Finely publicity gimmick, Bert "Campy" Campaneris of the Kansas City Athletics plays all nine positions in a game against the California Angels — and pitches ambidextrously. (Many sources have this as September 9; I suspect that's because the game on the eighth would appear in papers on the ninth.)


September 9


Martello Tower, home of Stephen Daedelus

1898: Tommy Fleming of Eau Claire wins the first logrolling championship, which is held in Omaha.

1904: James Joyce and Oliver St. John Gogarty move into the Martello tower in Sandycove.

1908: Leo Tolstoy celebrates his 80th birthday. The Literary Calendar describes the event: "In 1908 his admirers organize a Tolstoy fund and a grand jubilee to celebrate his 80th birthday; he responds angrily: "When there is nothing left to think about but death, they want to bother me with that!" The committee subsides, but the public is already aroused. Presents are received; messages of congratulation arrive from Thomas Hardy, Bernard Shaw, George Meredith, and H. G. Wells; crowds gather outside his house, along with a brass band and photographers." (The link I pulled this from has gone bad.)

1941: Otis Redding is born Dawson, Georgia.

1956: Elvis Presley sings Hound Dog and Love Me Tender on the Ed Sullivan Show.

1966: John Lennon meets Yoko Ono at an art exhibition.


September 10


El estimado Sr. Bolívar

1797: Mary Wollstonecraft dies of complications from the birth of her daughter, Mary Godwin, who will be Mary Shelley.

1823: Simón Bolívar is named president of Peru.

1903: Cyril Connolly is born.

1958: A chemical manufacturer announces the imminent arrival of of "Aroma-rama" and "Smell-o-vision" to US movie theaters.

1981: Picasso's painting Guernica is returned to Spain.

continue to September 11.


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