Today in History for 10th July 2018

Historical Events

1778 – American Revolution: Louis XVI of France declares war on the Kingdom of Great Britain
1861 – Lincoln writes to Kentucky’s militia and says Union troops will not enter that state
1923 – All non-fascist parties dissolved in Italy
1956 – Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, South Africa, a soldier of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC
1971 – National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) founded in US by women including Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Myrlie Evers-Williams and Gloria Steinem
1978 – World News Tonight premieres on ABC.

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Famous Birthdays

1797 – Pieter L Uys, South African pioneer (Great Pull)
1917 – Hugh Alexander, American baseball player (d. 2000)
1921 – Harvey Ball, American inventor (d. 2001)
1946 – Sue Lyon, Davenport Iowa, actress (Lolita, Night of the Iguana)
1952 – Kim Mitchell, Canadian guitarist/singer
1958 – Béla Fleck, American musician

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Famous Deaths

1680 – Louis Moréri, French encyclopedist (b. 1643)
1806 – George Stubbs, British animal painter (Horse Frightened by Lion), dies at 81
1889 – Julia Gardiner Tyler, 2nd wife of President John Tyler (1841-45), dies at 69
1987 – John H. Hammond, American music producer, critic and activist, discovered Billie Holiday, dies at 76
2002 – Jean-Pierre Côté, French Canadian politician and Lieutenant Governor of Quebec (b. 1926)
2007 – Zheng Xiaoyu, director of the State Food and Drug Administration of the People’s Republic of China (b. 1944)

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Narcissus

Narcissus

History Today

A cautionary Classical tale of solipsism and self-obsession.

Narcissus stares at his reflection, while his rejected suitor, Echo, looks on. The son of the river god Cephissus and the naiad, or nymph, Liriope, it was said that Narcissus would live to old age, if he never looked at himself. He had gained many female admirers, entranced by his beauty, but he rejected them all. One of them, Echo, was so upset by his rejection that she withdrew from the world to waste away. All that was left of her was a whisper. It was heard by the goddess Nemesis, who, in response, made Narcissus fall in love with his own reflection, at which he stared until he died. A narcissus flowered in his absence.The story of Echo and Narcissus is best known from book three of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a Latin narrative poem in 15 parts which emerged around AD 8, whose unifying theme is transformation. It chronicled more than 250 Classical myths and was a huge influence on Dante and Shakespeare. Though its influence waned after the Renaissance, it returned to inspire numerous 20th-century works of art and music, its warning of solipsism and self-obsession especially pertinent in an age of individualism.John William Waterhouse was an English painter, born in Rome, who moved within the orbit of the Pre-Raphaelites, though he was more accurately a neoclassicist. He had a particular penchant for depicting scenes from Greek and Roman mythology in which young women featured – in 2018 his Hylas and the Nymphs (1896) was removed from public display in the Manchester Art Gallery to stimulate conversation, purportedly, about social attitudes to women. It has since been returned to the public arena. His Echo and Narcissus, a not entirely accurate rendering of Ovid’s account, can be found a little further west, in Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery.

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Today in History for 9th July 2018

Historical Events

1868 – 1st African American cabinet member in South Carolina, Francis L Cardozo as Secretary of State
1963 – All star MVP: Willie Mays (SF Giants)
1967 – 13th LPGA Championship won by Kathy Whitworth
1978 – American Nazi Party holds a rally at Marquette Park, Chicago
2009 – Joe Sakic retires after 21 NHL seasons with the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche franchise, finishing with 625 goals and 1,641 points
2014 – Joko Widodo is elected President of Indonesia

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Famous Birthdays

1898 – Marcel Delannoy, composer
1919 – Peggy Braithwaite, lighthouse-keeper
1938 – Brian Dennehy, Ct, actor (Check is in the Mail, F/X, Cocoon, Ants)
1947 – Haruomi Hosono, Japanese musician
1959 – Clive Stafford Smith, British human-rights lawyer
1971 – Danalee Bragado, WPVA volleyballer (Best of Beach-9th-1995), born in Honolulu, Hawaii

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Famous Deaths

1654 – Ferdinand IV, King of the Romans, Bohemia and Hungary, dies of smallpox (b. 1633)
1845 – Jacob earl of Rechteren/Appeltern, gov of Gelderland, dies at 57
1875 – Francis Preston Blair Jr, famed St Louis lawyer, dies at 54
1937 – Oliver Law, first African-American commander of U.S. troops (b. 1899)
1979 – Janardhan Gnanoba Navle, cricketer (2 Tests for India), dies
1996 – Douglas G Chapman, biomathematical statistician, dies at 76

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Today in History for 8th July 2018

Historical Events

1953 – US stops aid to Persia
1958 – 25th All Star Baseball Game: AL wins 4-3 at Memorial Stadium, Balt
1967 – Helen Weston of Detroit rolls a record 4,585 in 24 games
1973 – Wimbledon Men’s Tennis: Czech Jan Kodeš beats Alex Metreveli of Russia 6-1, 9-8, 6-3 for his 3rd Grand Slam singles success
1985 – Marge Schott becomes CEO of Cincinnati Red
1992 – Florida Marlins unveil their uniform

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Famous Birthdays

1819 – Alexander Hays, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Franklin, Pennsylvania (d. 1864)
1826 – Robert Kingston Scott, American governor of South Carolina (1868-1872) and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania (d. 1900)
1938 – Marian Ackerman, women’s rights advocacy administrator
1968 – C B Washington, NFLer (Jacksonville Jaguars)
1972 – Karl Dykhuis, Sept-iles, NHL defenseman (Philadelphia Flyers)
1974 – Zhanna Friske, Russian actress and singer

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Famous Deaths

1859 – Oscar I, King of Sweden and Norway (1844-59), dies at 60
1939 – [Henry] Havelock Ellis, English sexologist (Man and Woman), dies at 80
1941 – Moses Schorr, Polish rabbi, senator, historian and orientalist (b. 1874)
1957 – Grace Goodhue Coolidge, American First Lady (1923-29), dies at 78
1979 – Robert B. Woodward, American organic chemist (Nobel 1965), dies at 62
2017 – Nelsan Ellis, American actor (True Blood), dies of complications from heart failure at 39

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Today in History for 7th July 2018

Historical Events

1829 – Royal Military Chapel forms
1878 – Social-Democratic United forms in Amsterdam
1939 – “The Rules of the Game”, French film directed by Jean Renoir, starring Nora Gregor and Paulette Dubost, premieres in Paris
1960 – US cemetery officially opens at Margraten, Netherlands
1980 – American boxer Larry Holmes scores a 7th round TKO of Scott LeDoux in Bloomington, Minnesota in defence of his WBC heavyweight title
2005 – Coordinated terrorist bomb blasts strike London’s public transport system during the morning rush hour killing 52 and injuring 700

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Famous Birthdays

1879 – Jacob Weinberg, Rusian-born Jewish composer, born in Odessa, Ukraine (d. 1956)
1911 – Gian-Carlo Menotti, Italian composer (Amahl and Night Visitors)
1929 – Marcel Liebman, Belgian historian
1948 – Fred Brown, NBAer (Seattle SuperSonic)
1973 – Matt Mantei, American baseball player
1974 – Patrick Lalime, St Bonaventure, NHL goalie (Pitts Penguins)

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Famous Deaths

1794 – Pascal Boyer, composer, dies at 51
1903 – Jose Augusto da Ferreira Veiga, composer, dies at 64
1944 – Georges Mandel [Louis Rothschild], French politician and resistance leader, is executed by the Milice at 59
1981 – Mildred Lisette Norman a.k.a. Peace Pilgrim, American pacifist and activist
1983 – Vicki Morgan, mistress (Beautiful Bad Girl), murdered at 30
1994 – Carlo Chiti, Italian race car engineer (b. 1924)

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Today in History for 6th July 2018

Historical Events

1685 – Battle at Sedgemoor: King James II beats Duke of Monmouth
1945 – Washington Senator Rick Ferrell catches a record 1,722 games
1974 – Wimbledon Men’s Tennis: Jimmy Connors wins his first of 2 Wimbledon singles titles beating Ken Rosewall of Australia 6-1, 6-1, 6-4
1997 – Montreal Expos retire Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Andre Dawson’s uniform #10
2006 – The Nathula Pass between India and China, sealed during the Sino-Indian War, re-opens for trade after 44 years
2013 – Wimbledon Men’s Tennis: Bob and Mike Bryan beat Ivan Dogic and Marcelo Melo to be the only pair to hold all 4 majors and Olympic gold medal at same time

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Famous Birthdays

1755 – John Flaxman, English sculptor (Westminster Abbey tomb stones)
1832 – Maximilian I of Mexico and Archduke of Austria, first and only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire, born in Vienna, Austria
1940 – Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan
1981 – Nicole Kantek, NSW Australia, gymnast (Olympics 1996)
1984 – James Henderson, American model
1987 – Matt O’Leary, American actor

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Famous Deaths

1568 – Johann Oporinus, Swiss book publisher/publisher, dies at 61
1971 – Thomas C Heart, US admiral/commander (Asiatic fleet), dies
1979 – Van McCoy, US musician (The Hustle), dies at 35
1982 – Bob Johnson, American baseball player (b. 1905)
1995 – Ivor Keys, musician/teacher, dies at 76
2002 – John Frankenheimer, American film director (b. 1930)

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On the Spot: Anne Applebaum

On the Spot: Anne Applebaum

History Today

‘What will future generations judge us most harshly for? That we allowed Donald Trump to violate the US constitution.’

[[{“fid”:”42486″,”view_mode”:”default”,”fields”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:false,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:false,”external_url”:””},”link_text”:null,”type”:”media”,”field_deltas”:{“1”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:false,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:false,”external_url”:””}},”attributes”:{“style”:”margin-top: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px;”,”class”:”media-element file-default”,”data-delta”:”1″}}]]Why are you an intellectual historian?I watched communism collapse as a journalist in Warsaw in 1989 and ever since I’ve been trying to understand how the regimes came to power in the first place.What’s the most important lesson history has taught you?Nothing is inevitable; change a few decisions and everything could have been different. Think of the Berlin Wall.Which book has had the greatest influence on you?Robert Conquest’s The Great Terror. I read it as a teenager.What book in your field should everyone read?My Life by Leon Trotsky.Which moment would you most like to go back to?Petrograd in 1917, between the February and October revolutions.Which historian has had the greatest influence on you?Probably Richard Pipes. Also the Marquis de Custine.Which person in history would you most like to have met?Thomas Jefferson, Sándor PetŐfi, Adam Mickiewicz, Mykhailo Hrushevsky.How many languages do you have?Polish, Russian, French. I can follow a conversation and read Ukrainian, with a dictionary.What’s the most exciting field in history today?Soviet history – we still have archives that nobody has read or analysed.What historical topic have you changed your mind on?How history should be used in contemporary politics. My views are still evolving.Which genre of history do you like least?The fashion for microhistory – the history of the safety pin, the history of the sewing machine – that I think we could have done without.Is there a major historical text you have not read?If I haven’t read it, how do I know that it’s important?What’s your favourite archive?The Stasi Archive was a lot of fun. But the Library of Congress is the most beautiful place to work.What’s the best museum?The Kunsthistorische in Vienna, specifically the room with the Bruegel paintingsWhat is the most common misconception about your field?That it’s irrelevant. In fact, history explains everything.What will future generations judge us most harshly for?That we allowed Donald Trump to violate the US constitution.Michelangelo or Frida Kahlo?Michelangelo.Normans or Anglo-Saxons?Normans.Rome or Athens?Rome.Braudel or Gibbon?Gibbon.Anne Applebaum is Visiting Professor of Practice at the London School of Economics, where she runs Arena, a project on propaganda and disinformation. She won a Pulitzer Prize for Gulag: a History (Allen Lane, 2003). Her latest book is Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine (Allen Lane, 2017).

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The Bikini

The Bikini

Justin & Stephanie Pollard

The two-piece swimsuit was unveiled on 5 July 1946.

Prototypes of the two-piece bikini can be traced to the reign of Diocletian (244-311). The modern swimsuit, however, was first introduced to the press on 5 July 1946 as automotive designer and lingerie factory owner Louis Réard’s riposte to Jacques Heim’s two-piece ‘atome’ swimsuit.Two-pieces first appeared in the 1930s and, although too indecent to be worn in public, had become more common in America during the Second World War as US War Production Board regulation L-85 required a ten per cent reduction in the amount of material used in women’s beachwear.Heim’s ‘atome’ was advertised as ‘the smallest swimsuit in the world’, though it still covered the navel. Réard set out to go smaller – enough to pass through a wedding ring, as he put it. This he christened the ‘bikini’ in reference to the first peace-time atmospheric atomic tests, which had begun on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands four days before his launch. Heim had claimed his ‘atome’ as the smallest, but Réard had ‘split the atome’.Unable to find a model willing to wear the daring outfit, Réard hired Micheline Bernardini, a nude dancer from the Casino de Paris, who received over 50,000 fan letters after her appearance. Despite this, the bikini did not initially sell well and Réard returned to lingerie manufacture.In 1951 a bikini round in what later became ‘Miss World’ was organised as part of the Festival of Britain, but, after complaints from national participants and Pope Pius XII, the following year it was replaced with evening gowns.With the abolition of the Hays Code in the US, bikinis began to appear in films in the 1960s, despite still being banned in many public places in the country. Raquel Welch in a fur bikini in One Million Years BC proved a turning point and by the late 1960s the bikini was becoming a common sight on the beach. Réard’s lingerie company would sadly not reap the rewards, however. It folded in 1988, four years after his death.

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