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Elian angry^  On a 27 January:

2000 In US President Clinton's last State of the Union Address, he proposes a $350 billion tax cut, big spending increases for schools and health care and photo ID licenses for handgun purchases.

2000 Shipwreck orphaned survivor, Elián González, 6, [photo >] observed by a large contingent of the press camped across the street, shouts at the family dogs for inteferring with his ball playing, at the home of his great uncle Lazaro Gonzalez.
       Lazaro and Elian's cousin, Marisleysis Gonzalez, who are taken care of Elian in their Miami home, flie to Washington today to try and talk with those who might help Elian remain in the United States rather than be sent to his father in Cuba.
^ 1999 (Wednesday) Clinton impeachment trial in US Senate is far from over.

(1) In the first formal sign of how President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial may end, the Senate votes 56-44 to reject a move to dismiss the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice against Clinton. While Democrats lose the largely party-line vote, it does indicate the Senate may most likely fail to muster the 67 votes necessary to remove the president from office. Republicans, as expected, muster all of their 10-vote majority in the Senate to defeat the Democratic attempt to dismiss the trial and approve the House managers' request for witness depositions. Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin is the only Democrat senator to cross party lines, voting with the Republicans on the motion. Feingold does not talk with reporters after the vote, but issues a three-page statement. "My view, as of this moment, is that to dismiss this case would be in appearance and in fact improperly short-circuiting this trial. I simply cannot say that the House managers cannot prevail regardless of what witness might plausibly testify and regardless of what persuasive arguments might be offered," Feingold writes. "I want to be clear that my vote against the motion does not mean that I am leaning in favor of a final vote to convict the president. I am not." Another glimpse of statesmanship

(2) But the trial is far from over. In a second vote, the Senate approves, also by a 56-44 margin, the Republican House prosecutors' request to allow witness depositions in the impeachment trial. That vote paves the way for Senate subpoenas of Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan and Sidney Blumenthal. Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin again crosses party lines to vote with the Republicans on the motion to hear witnesses. Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski returns from a bout with "the flu" in time for the vote on both motions. She votes against, then in favor, of dismissing the case against Clinton, but when that motion fails, crosses over and votes in favor of witness depositions. The Senate resolution authorizing depositions also includes a timetable of events: Depositions would take place over 2 days in private, presided over by two senators, and would be videotaped and transcribed. The depositions would run approximately six hours each, with the questioning equally divided between House managers (the prosecution) and White House lawyers (the defense). The tapes and transcripts would then be distributed to senators, who would then vote on whether to follow up depositions with live testimony. The House managers announce that Rep. Ed Bryant (R-Tennessee) will depose Lewinsky, Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Arkansas) will depose Jordan and Rep. James Rogan (R-California) will depose Blumenthal. Under this scenario, the trial would end Feb. 5 or 6 with final votes on the articles of impeachment.

(3) After the vote, the Senate recesses upon the call of the chair, so that Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) and Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) could try to work out procedures for the witness depositions. Daschle says he is optimistic that he and Lott could work out a compromise today on how to proceed. But shortly before 5 p.m. ET, Lott returns to the Senate floor, telling Chief Justice William Rehnquist they had not reached an agreement and requesting the trial be adjourned for the day. Three stooges

(4) A group of about a half dozen Republicans meet to talk about producing "findings of fact" to make sure the record reflects a finding of fault against the president if he is not convicted on the articles of impeachment. Convicting and removing Clinton from office would require two-thirds support, or 67 votes, which most observers say are unlikely to materialize. Republicans fear that if both impeachment articles are voted down, the White House will claim the president has been exonerated. To prevent that, the Republicans want to get on record some finding of fault. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who co-chairs the ad hoc group, says the group of six Republicans senators charged with looking into the "finding of fact" option in the impeachment trial will present a proposal to Lott. Snowe says the "finding of fact" would come up as a motion prior to votes on the articles of impeachment. The goal, says Snowe, is for the Senate to accept the facts as charged in the articles of impeachment, without drawing conclusions on those facts. Snowe says the motion would not include any mention of conviction, and would not get into specifics on the language. White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart calls the effort "constitutional gymnastics."

(5) Paula Jones has no objection to a mediator working to resolve a dispute over how the $850'000 settlement from President Clinton is divided among her lawyers, according to court papers. After lawyers for Clinton and Jones agreed on the settlement, two lawyers who handled the earlier stages of her case, Joseph Cammarata and Gilbert Davis, filed a claim for $875,000. Jones' lawyers who had the case when it was thrown out and subsequently settled — the Dallas firm of Radar, Campbell, Fisher and Pyke — filed court papers earlier this month asking a federal judge to refer their dispute to a magistrate to mediate how they should divide the $850'000. Afraid she hears the White House

1998 US President Clinton's State of the Union Address.
1997 National Semiconductor agreed to sell its Fairchild Semiconductor business to the unit's management. The separation of the two companies would allow National Semi to focus on expensive custom chips instead of high-volume, low-cost chips, which Fairchild specialized in.
1996 Soldiers seized control of Niger's government.
1994 Romanian social-democrats form government with anti-Semites
1992 Presidential candidate Bill Clinton (D) and Genifer Flowers accuse each other of lying over her assertion they had a 12-year affair
^ 1991 Somali dictator flees
      Muhammad Siyad Barre, the dictator of the Somali Democratic Republic since 1969, flees Mogadishu as rebels overrun his palace and capture the Somali capital. In 1969, Somalian President Abd-i-rashid Ali Shermarke was assassinated, and a few days later Major General Barre seized power in a military coup. Barreís government developed strong ties with the USS.R. and other Soviet-bloc nations during the 1970s, but in 1978 lost Soviet support when it invaded Ethiopia to regain pre-colonial Somali territory. The attack was repelled within a year, but protracted guerrilla warfare continued into the 1980s, bolstered by US support for the Somalis. Several hundred thousand refugees fled to Somalia to escape the conflict, and by the late 1980s, economic depression contributed to the outbreak of civil war in Somalia. In early 1991, Barre was ousted by rebels after intense and bloody fighting and Ali Mahdi Muhammad of United Somali Congress took control of Mogadishu and the rest of southern Somalia. The Somali National Movement gained control of the north, the old British Somaliland, and proclaimed it the independent Somaliland Republic. In 1992, civil war between the two Somalias, internal clan-based fighting, and the worst African drought of the century created devastating famine which threatened one-fourth of the Somali population with starvation. In response, troops from the US and other U.N. nations occupied Somalia in late 1992 to assure distribution of food aid and to suppress Somaliaís warring factions. Although many of the U.N.ís temporary humanitarian aims were achieved, the military operation was largely unsuccessful. In 1993, a national cease-fire was signed, but no central government was formed and fighting erupted again in the same year.
1991 Nadine Strossen is first female president of the ACLU
1990 Dissolution of Polish Communist party
1989 German war criminals Fischer and Austrian der Fünten freed
1988 Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approves nomination of Judge Anthony M Kennedy to US Supreme Court
1987 State of the Union Address by US President Ronald Reagan..
1985 The Cola Wars Meet the Cold War On this day, the Cold War couldn’t stop one of the stalwarts of capitalism, Coca-Cola, from setting up shop behind the iron curtain. On 27 January 1985, Coke announced plans to sell its all-American soft drinks in the Soviet Union. With the move, Coke belatedly matched Pepsico, who, twelve years earlier, had begun distributing its colas in the USS.R.
1983 World's longest subaqueous tunnel (53.90 km) opens, Honshu-Hokkaido.
1982 Mauno Koivisto, 58, is installed as President of Finland — Valtiovarainministerinä, Suomen Pankin pääjohtajana ja pääministerinä toiminut Mauno Koivisto saavutti laajan kansansuosion yli puoluerajojen ja nousi sen varassa tasavallan presidentiksi Urho Kekkosen presidenttikauden keskeydyttyä 1982. Koivisto joutui vastaamaan haasteisiin, joita Urho Kekkosen pitkä presidenttikausi oli seuraajalleen luonut. Ulkopolitiikassa Koivisto jatkoi Kekkosen viitoittamaa linjaa varovaista puolueettomuuspolitiikkaa noudattaen. Koiviston sisäpolitiikkaa leimasi muun muassa presidentin valtaoikeuksien rajoittaminen.
1981 President Ronald Reagan greets the 52 former US hostages released by Iran.
1977 President Carter pardons most Vietnam War draft evaders (10'000)
1977 The Vatican reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's constant tradition of an exclusively male priesthood.
1976 Morocco-Algeria battles in Western Sahara.
^ 1975 US Senate investigation of FBI and CIA begins
      A bipartisan Senate investigation of activities by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is launched by a special congressional committee headed by Senator Frank Church of Idaho. On November 20, of the same year, the committee releases its report, charging both US government agencies with illegal activities. The committee reports that the FBI and the CIA had conducted illegal surveillance of several hundred thousand US citizens, and charges the CIA with illegally plotting to assassinate foreign leaders, such as Salvador Allende, the democratically elected socialist president of Chile who was overthrown with CIA assistance in 1973. The Senate committee also reports that the CIA has maintained a secret stockpile of poisons despite a specific presidential order to destroy the substances.
^ 1973 Official, but not real, end of Vietnam War.
      The “Paris Peace Accords” William Rogers and Nguyen Duy Trinh sign US-N. Vietnam cease-fire, ending US participation in the most unpopular and longest US war and the US military draft (celebrated in Vietnam as Peace Day)
     The accords do little, however, to solve the turmoil in Vietnam or to heal the terrible domestic divisions in the United States brought on by its involvement in this Cold War battleground. Peace negotiations between the United States and North Vietnam had been ongoing since 1968. Richard Nixon was elected president that year, largely on the basis of his promise to find a way to "peace with honor" in Vietnam. Four years later, after the deaths of thousands more American servicemen, South Vietnamese soldiers, North Vietnamese soldiers, and Viet Cong fighters, the Paris Peace Accords were signed, and America's participation in the struggle in Vietnam came to a close. On the military side, the accords seemed straightforward enough. A cease-fire was declared, and the United States promised to remove all military forces from South Vietnam within 60 days. For their part, the North Vietnamese promised to return all American prisoners of war within that same 60-day framework. The nearly 150'000 North Vietnamese troops in South Vietnam were allowed to remain after the cease-fire.
      The political side of the agreement was somewhat less clear. In essence, the accords called for the reunification of North and South Vietnam through "peaceful means on the basis of discussions and agreements between North and South Viet-Nam." Precisely what this entailed was left unsaid. The United States also promised to "contribute to healing the wounds of war and to postwar reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam [North Vietnam] and throughout Indochina." Most Americans were relieved simply to be out of the Vietnam quagmire. The war against communism in Southeast Asia cost over 50'000 US lives and billions of dollars, in addition to countless soldiers wounded in the line of duty. At home, the war seriously fractured the consensus about the Cold War that had been established in the period after World War II—simple appeals to fighting the red threat of communism would no longer be sufficient to move the American nation to commit its prestige, manpower, and money to foreign conflicts. For Vietnam, the accords meant little. The cease-fire almost immediately collapsed, with recriminations and accusations flying from both sides. In 1975, the North Vietnamese launched a massive military offensive, crushed the South Vietnamese forces, and reunified Vietnam under communist rule.
1969 Noordiers vicar Ian Paisley sentenced to 3 years
1967 More than 60 nations signed a treaty banning nuclear weapons in space.
1964 Margaret Chase Smith (Senator-R-ME) tries for Republican Presidential bid
1958 Ferenc Münnich follows Kádár as premier of Hungary
^ 1951 First nuclear detonation at the Nevada test site
      An Air Force plane drops on Frenchman Flats at the new Nevada test site a one-kiloton bomb, the first of a series of nuclear devices tested there. Although much of the West had long lagged behind the rest of the nation in technological and industrial development, the massive World War II project to build the first atomic bomb single-handedly pushed the region into the 20th century. Code named the Manhattan Project, this ambitious research and development program pumped millions of dollars of federal funds into new western research centers like the bomb building lab at Los Alamos, New Mexico and the fissionable material production center at Hanford, Washington. Ironically, the very conditions that had once impeded western technological development became benefits: lots of wide-open unpopulated federal land where dangerous experiments could be conducted in secret.
      After the war ended, the West continued to be the ideal region for Cold War-era nuclear experimentation for the same reasons. In December 1950, the Atomic Energy Commission designated a large swath of unpopulated desert land 100 km northwest of Las Vegas as the Nevada Proving Ground for atmospheric atomic testing. On 27 January 1951, the government detonates its first atomic device on the site, resulting in a tremendous explosion, the flash from which is seen as far away as San Francisco.
      The government continued to conduct atmospheric tests for six more years at the Nevada site. They studied the effects on humans by stationing ground troops as close as 2500 meters from ground zero and moving them even closer shortly after the detonation. By 1957, though, the effects of radioactivity on the soldiers and the surrounding population led the government to begin testing bombs underground, and by 1962, all atmospheric testing had ceased.
      In recent years, the harm caused to soldiers and westerners exposed to radioactivity from the Nevada test site has become a controversial topic. Some critics argue the government waged a "nuclear war on the West," and maintain that the government knew of the dangers posed to people living near the test site well before the 1957 shift to underground tests. Others, though, point out that the test site has brought billions of dollars into the state and resulted in great economic benefit to Nevada.
1948 First tape recorder sold
a child survivor^ 1945 The Soviet army liberates Auschwitz-Birkenau.
      Near the provincial Polish town of Oshwiecim, the Soviet Red Army liberates Auschwitz, a Nazi concentration camp where between two and three million people perished during World War II. As the Russians explore the three main camps comprising Auschwitz they find approximately 8000 survivors—individuals too sick and hungry to participate in the death marches forced on the other surviving prisoners by the Nazis days before the camp's liberation. Although the Nazis had made efforts to destroy the evidence of their atrocities before their departure, the massive scale of the genocide committed at Auschwitz is too great to hide and the remains of the camp's extermination facilities, and of its victims, are documented by the Russians for the whole world to see. The Auschwitz concentration camp was founded in June of 1940, and initially held Polish and German political prisoners.
      In October of 1941, the camp was supplemented by a much larger complex made up of wooden barracks, which within weeks was receiving the first Russian prisoners of war from the eastern front. In March of 1942, this complex, known as Birkenau, was converted into a massive extermination camp designed to carry out Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's final solution, the extermination of all European Jews. Birkenau was designed to house over 100'000 prisoners, and was equipped with four gas chambers, each with its own crematoria. Jews sent to Birkenau who were considered incapable of working, infants, elderly people, pregnant women, the disabled, and the sick, were immediately gassed, while the others, making up a minority of the new arrivals, were sent to work details. Forced to toil in horrendous conditions, the prisoners would work until, exhausted by fatigue, hunger, and deprivation, they too were sent to the gas chambers.
      In October of 1942, a third complex, the brutal Monowitz labor camp, was opened at Auschwitz. By 1945, one to two million Jews, hundreds of thousands of Roma Gypsies, thousands of Polish political prisoners, and an unknown number of Russians prisoners of war had perished at Auschwitz. Weeks before Soviet liberation, an additional 134'000 Jews were evacuated, and it is estimated that about 80'000 of these prisoners died or were killed during forced death marches to other Nazi camps. By 17 January 1945, the last able inmates left Auschwitz and the camp's Nazi SS officers executed hundreds of the remaining prisoners, hastily attempted to destroy evidence of their atrocities, and then evacuated. On 27 January the first Soviet tanks and troops advanced into Auschwitz.

     Le monde médusé découvre l'Holocauste dans toute son horreur. C’est le plus gros point noir du nazisme, celui que personne n’a pu effacer. La liquidation massive des Juifs (et d'autres “indésirables”), qui répondait à l’idéologie du nazisme, reste l’un des plus gros crimes contre l’humanité. Des centaines de milliers de Juifs ont été parqués dans des camps de concentration, soumis à un isolement social avant d’être tués dans les chambres à gaz et les fours crématoires. Le camp d’Auschwitz, découvert le 27 janvier 1945 par des soldats ukrainiens, à quelques kilomètres de Cracovie, est aujourd’hui considéré comme le plus grand complexe industriel d’extermination humaine. Les nazis n’avaient reculé devant rien. Pour ce seul camp, on estime aujourd’hui à plus de 1 million le nombre de morts par asphyxie et 500'000 le nombre de détenus morts de faim, de maladies ou abattus par les SS. D’autres ont servi de cobayes pour les médecins allemands.
1944 The Soviet Union announces the end of the 880-days-long German siege of Leningrad.
1943 first US air attack on Germany (Wilhelmshafen)
^ 1943 First WW II all-US bombing of Germany
      8th Air Force bombers, dispatched from their bases in England, fly the first American bombing raid against the Germans, targeting the Wilhelmshaven port. Of 64 planes participating in the raid, 53 reached their target and managed to shoot down 22 German planes-and lost only three planes in return. The 8th Air Force was activated in February 1942 as a heavy bomber force based in England. Its B-17 Flying Fortresses, capable of sustaining heavy damage while continuing to fly, and its B-24 Liberators, long-range bombers, became famous for precision bombing raids, the premier example being the raid on Wilhelmshaven. Commanded at the time by Brig. Gen. Newton Longfellow, the 8th Air Force was amazingly effective and accurate in bombing warehouses and factories in this first air attack against the Axis power.
1942 –27.4ºC, Netherlands' coldest day since 1850.
1941 Peruvian agent Rivera-Schreibér warns of Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor.
1934 French government of Chautemps falls (Stavisky Affair)
1926 US Senate agrees to join World Court.
1924 Lenin placed in Mausoleum in Red Square.
1915 US Marines occupy Haiti.
^ 1914 Canal Zone given civilian government by US
      By executive order of President Woodrow Wilson, the US-administered Panama Canal Zone is granted a permanent US civilian administration. American George W. Goethals is subsequently appointed the Canal Zoneís first governor, receiving confirmation by the US Senate on February 4. During the mid nineteenth century, the US government became interested in connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans with a shipping route across the Isthmus of Panama, and by the twentieth century considered it imperative for the US economy and national defense. In 1913, the Hay-Herran Treaty was signed with Columbia, granting the US use of the necessary territory in exchange for financial compensation, but the Colombian senate refused to ratify it. President Theodore Roosevelt responded by giving tacit approval to the Panamanian independence movement, which began on November 3, 1903, the day after the arrival of a US warship. During the revolt, the US military presence prevented Colombia forces from halting the Panama rebellion, and three days later, the US officially recognized the independent Republic of Panama. In the next year, American engineers began work on the Panama Canal, which was completed in October of 1913, and opened for traffic in August of the next year. In one of the largest construction projects of all time, US engineers moved over 240 million cubic yards of earth and spent nearly $400 million dollars in constructing the forty-mile-long canal.
1905 Maurice Rouvier forms government in France
1897 British troops occupy Bida Gold Coast (Ghana)
1889 Le général Boulanger est élu député à Paris par 245'236 suffrages contre 162'875 à son adversaire, le radical Jacques. Mais en dépit de ce plébiscite et sur les conseils de sa maîtresse Mme de Bonnemain, il refuse de marcher sur l'Elysée.
1886 first British government of Salisbury resigns
1870 After accepting 15th amendment, Virginia is readmitted to Union
1870 Manitoba and Northwest Territories incorporated
1864 1864 Engagement of Fair Gardens (Kelly's Ford), Tennessee
1864 Civil War skirmish at Kelly's Ford VA
1794 En France, la Convention décide que tous les actes publics rédigés jusqu'alors en latin doivent dorénavant être rédigés en français.
1736 Stanislaw I abdicates as king of Poland, receiving as compensation (after the so-called War of Polish Succession) the duchy of Lorraine. In 1733, Stanislaw I, seen as a symbol of Poland's independence and supported by France (his daughter married Louis XV), was elected king of Poland for the second time. The counter-election of Augustus III followed, and Russian troops drove Stanislaw out of the country (déjà vu all over again).
1710 Czar Peter the Great sets first Russian state budget
1687 A la lecture faite à l'Académie française du Siècle de Louis le Grand par Charles Perrault, le moderne. Celle-ci est vivement contesté par Boileau, l'ancien. Cette bataille durera plus de quatre ans.
1671 Landing at Panama City by Sir Henry Morgan, Welsh buccaneer, most famous of the adventurers who plundered Spain's Caribbean colonies during the late 17th century. Operating with the unofficial support of the English government, he undermined Spanish authority in the West Indies.
^ Madame de Sévigné1669 Madame de Sévigné commence à écrire.
      Née en 1626, petite-fille de Jeanne de Chantal, qui fonda l'ordre de la Visitation avec François de Sales, Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné, perdit son père en 1627, puis sa mère en 1633. Elle fut donc élevée par ses deux oncles maternels, Philippe et Christophe de Coulanges. Elle reçut auprès d'eux une éducation riche et variée, fondée essentiellement, comme souvent à l'époque pour les filles, sur les belles-lettres et l'étude des langues.
      À dix-huit ans, réputée tant par son esprit que par sa beauté, elle épousa Henri de Sévigné, de trois ans son aîné. Entre la Bretagne, où le marquis de Sévigné possédait plusieurs domaines, et Paris, le jeune couple passe pour avoir mené joyeuse vie, à en croire les témoignages de deux contemporains, Tallemant des Réaux et Bussy-Rabutin, cousin de la marquise. Mme de Sévigné fréquenta à Paris une société choisie, en particulier celle de l'hôtel de Rambouillet, où elle se lia d'amitié avec La Rochefoucauld, le cardinal de Retz ou encore Fouquet. En 1646, elle mit au monde une fille, Françoise-Marguerite, puis, en 1648, un garçon, peu avant de perdre son mari, tué en duel en 1651.
      Dès lors, libérée de toute obligation de résider en Bretagne, Mme de Sévigné s'installa à Paris, où le pouvoir de séduction de son esprit lui attira de nombreuses et durables amitiés, comme celles de Mme de La Fayette, Jean Chapelain ou de Gilles Ménage. Malgré les diverses occasions qu'elle eut de se remarier, elle décida de se consacrer exclusivement à sa vie mondaine, d'une part, mais plus encore à l'éducation de ses enfants.
      C'est en 1669 que se produisit l'événement qui devait, d'une certaine façon, décider de la carrière littéraire de Mme de Sévigné : sa fille Françoise-Marguerite, qu'elle chérissait par-dessus tout, épousa le 26 janvier, le comte de Grignan. Son mari étant Fermier Général, elle partit rejoindre son époux en Provence. La séparation d'avec sa fille fut pour la marquise un véritable déchirement, mais lui donna l'occasion de rédiger cette célèbre correspondance, ininterrompue de 1671 à 1696, qui forme la quasi-totalité de ses écrits.
      Les quelques 764 lettres adressées à Mme de Grignan qui nous sont parvenues - souvent remaniées et édulcorées par des éditeurs trop zélés - représentent un témoignage savoureux et varié, une observation alerte de son époque. Véritable chroniqueuse, Mme de Sévigné relate pour sa fille tous les événements marquants qui se sont produits à Paris : le mariage de la Grande Mademoiselle, l'arrestation de Fouquet, l'exécution de la Brinvilliers lors de l'affaire des Poisons, la mort d'Henriette d'Angleterre, etc. Elle lui adresse aussi des conseils pratiques et mondains, ainsi que des réflexions plus générales sur le temps, l'absence, la destinée humaine.
      Mais là n'est pas la finalité première des lettres, qui se proposent avant tout de réduire la distance avec l'être aimé par l'évocation des souvenirs communs et par l'expression spontanée du sentiment d'amour maternel. Le style de ces lettres, enfin, adopte le ton enjoué de la conversation mondaine : naturel autant qu'on pouvait l'être dans la fréquentation des salons, il ne doit que très peu aux ressources de la rhétorique, discipline que la marquise, en tant que femme, n'avait jamais apprise. Par leur inventivité, leur liberté de ton et leur originalité, les Lettres de la marquise de Sévigné constituent, sans que ce fût le moins du monde prémédité, l'une des œuvres les plus marquantes du XVIIème siècle français.
MADAME DE SEVIGNE ONLINE:
Lettres de madame de Sévigné, de sa famille et de ses amis:
Tome 1Tome 2Tome 3Tome 4Tome 5Tome 6Tome 7Tome 8Tome 9Tome 10Tome 11Tome 12
Lettres inédites de Madame de Sévigné : à Madame de Grignan, sa fille: Tome premierTome second
Lexique de la langue de madame de Sévigné: Tome premierTome second
1593 Vatican opens 7 year trial against scholar Giordano Bruno
^ 1556 Couronnement du souverain moghol Akbar
      Akbar, 13 ans, succède à son père à la tête d'un petit royaume musulman du nord de l'Inde. Ce lointain descendant des conquérants turcs Tamerlan et Babur Shah va se tailler en quelques années un empire qui recouvrira la plus grande partie du sous-continent indien, de l'Afghanistan au Bengale. Akbar épousera une princesse rajpoute de religion hindoue. Pendant son long règne, jusqu'en 1605, il cultivera la tolérance, gouvernera avec les hindous et développera une administration solide. L'empire d'Akbar, faussement appelé moghol (déformation de mongol - ou turc ! -), est à l'origine d'une brillante civilisation indo-musulmane dont les Indiens cultivent encore la nostalgie.
^ 1349 L'année sainte périodique
      Le Pape Clément VI en Avignon, détermine la périodicité de l'Année Sainte. D'après le Lévitique, XXV, 8-55, l'année sainte est envisagée comme une tentative de redressement social, où l'esclave retrouvait sa liberté et l'homme endetté son patrimoine : "Tu compteras 7 semaines d'années, c'est — dire le temps de 7 semaines d'années, 49 ans ; le 7ème mois, le 10ème jour, tu feras retentir l'appel de la trompe. Le jour des expiations, vous sonnerez de la trompe dans tout le pays. Vous déclarerez sainte cette 50ème année et proclamerez l'affranchissement de tous les habitants du pays. Ce sera pour vous un jubilé ; chacun de vous rentrera dans son patrimoine, chacun de vous rentrera dans son clan. Cette 50ème année sera pour vous une année jubilaire." Le mot "jubilé" fut utilisé par St-Jérôme précisément pour désigner cette pratique biblique annoncée par le son du cor et la mise en œuvre de la doctrine selon laquelle la terre appartient à Dieu, qui la destine à tous les hommes.
      Mais l'institution de l'année sainte, qui offre aux catholiques une occasion de payer leurs dettes envers Dieu, n'apparaît qu'à l'extrême fin du XIIIème siècle. Un mouvement populaire l'obtint de Boniface VIII, demandant la résurrection d'un privilège qui avait été accordé par les papes de l'époque des croisades et qui consistait, pour stimuler l'énergie des fidèles, à leur octroyer remise de toutes les peines dues à leurs péchés. Devant l'affluence croissante des pèlerins à Rome, le pape consulta les cardinaux et publia, le 22 février 1300, la bulle " Antiquorum " , qui accordait, pour toute l'année, à compter de Noël 1299, à quiconque visiterait les deux basiliques des saints apôtres le plus large pardon, sous la condition de consacrer à cette visite trente jours pour les Italiens, quinze pour les étrangers. Ainsi affluèrent, durant l'année 1300, 200'000 visiteurs, soit bien plus que la population habituelle de la ville. La bulle de clôture, à Noël 1300, accorda de surcroît l'indulgence à tous ceux qui n'avaient pu, faute de temps, accomplir entièrement le pèlerinage.
      Un autre jubilé avait été prévu pour 1400, mais on supplia Clément VI (1342-1352), en Avignon, de revenir au chiffre biblique de cinquante ans ; le pape se laissa convaincre, en raison de la brièveté de la vie humaine. Sa bulle du 27 janvier 1349 ajoutait aux deux basiliques à visiter celle de Saint-Jean-de-Latran. En 1350, vinrent ainsi à Rome 1 200 000 pèlerins, l'indulgence ayant été alors, pour la première fois, étendue aux fidèles accomplissant hors de la Ville éternelle une démarche similaire.
      La périodicité du jubilé fut ramenée à trente-trois ans par la bulle Salvator noster d'avril 1389. Le succès fut cependant moindre, en raison du grand schisme d'Occident, qui éclata en 1378 ; en outre, Boniface IX avait accordé aux fidèles d'Angleterre et du Portugal l'autorisation de gagner l'indulgence en effectuant un pèlerinage dans les églises de leurs pays, au lieu de venir à Rome, sous la condition de verser en offrandes le prix que leur eût coûté le voyage.
      À partir de 1475 et jusqu'en 1800, les jubilés se succédèrent régulièrement tous les vingt-cinq ans. Pie VI étant mort en captivité en 1799 et Rome étant occupée par les armées françaises, la tradition fut interrompue au début du XIXème siècle. Elle fut remise en vigueur par Pie IX, en 1875, malgré les avis de certains de ses conseillers. En dehors de la périodicité inaugurée en 1475 par Paul II, se déroulent aussi des jubilés extraordinaires, tel celui "de la Rédemption" en 1933, sous Pie XI, et celui de 1983, décrété par Jean-Paul II.
      L'an 2000, outre son caractère exceptionnel de fin de siècle et de millénaire, a été, pour l'Eglise Catholique, une exceptionnelle " Année Sainte ".
1343 Clement VI's bull Unigenitus officially ratifies the belief that Indulgences owe their potency to the Pope's dispensation of the accumulated merit of the Church. (In 1518 Cardinal Thomas Cajetan accused German reformer Martin Luther, 32, of challenging the validity of this Catholic doctrine.)
^ 1302 Dante is exiled from Florence.
      Poet and politician Dante Alighieri, 37, is exiled from Florence, where, since 15 June 1300, he served as one of six priors governing the city. Dante's political activities, including the banishing of several rivals, led to his own banishment, and he wrote his masterpiece, La divina commedia, as a virtual wanderer, seeking protection for his family in town after town.
Dante      Dante was born to a family with noble ancestry that had fallen in fortunes. He began writing poetry in his teens and received encouragement from established poets, to whom he sent sonnets as a young man.
      At age nine, Dante first caught a glimpse of Beatrice Portinari, also nine, who would symbolize for him perfect female beauty and spiritual goodness in the coming decades. Despite his fervent devotion to Portinari, who did not seem to return his feelings, Dante became engaged to Gemma Donati in 1277, but the two did not marry until eight years later. The couple had six sons and a daughter.
      About 1293, Dante published a book of prose and poetry called The New Life, followed a few years later by another collection, The Banquet. It wasn't until his banishment that he began work on his Divine Comedy. In the poem's first book, the poet takes a tour through Hell with the poet Virgil as a guide. Virgil also guides the poet through Purgatory in the second book. The poet's guide in Paradise, however, is named Beatrice. The work was written and published in sections between 1308 and 1321. Although Dante called the work simply Comedy, the work became enormously popular, and a deluxe version published in 1555 in Venice bore the title The Divine Comedy. Dante died of malaria in Ravenna on 14 September 1321.
< 26 Jan 28 Jan >
^  Deaths which occurred on a 27 January:

2005 Jerica Rhodes, 7, stabbed at Sacred Heart of Jesus School (where she was in first grade) in Highland Falls, New York, after disappearing following being dropped of at 08:10 (13:10 UT) by her father, Christopher Rhodes, 27, during a school assembly. Her body is discovered at 09:30 in the boys' restroom. Her father is arrested a few hours later, accused of the murder, which he denies.
2005 Two innocent bystanders and a soldier of an Iraqi collaborationist army patrol, by an explosion in Samarra, Iraq.
2005 Three Iraqi policemen and an Iraqi soldier by a car bomb in Mahmudiya, Iraq.
2005 A US Marine by an attack near Mahmudiya, Iraq. Four Marines are wounded.
2005 Two innocent bystanders in crossfire between insurgents and US troops in Ramadi, Iraq.
2005 A policeman and a suicide car bomber in Baquba, Iraq.
2005 A translator for the US occupation forces, killed by a roadside bomb in Tikrit, Iraq.
2005 Three collaborationist policemen, killed separate attacks in Tikrit, Iraq.

DuraidKhatab2004 CNN Iraqi employees Duraid Isa Mohammed, 27 [< photo], a translator and producer, and Yasser Khatab, 25 [photo >], a driver, shot in Iraq by a terrorist firing an AK-47 through the sunroof of a car, as a 2-car CNN convoy was approaching Baghdad on its way back from Hillah.
2004 Three US soldiers by a roadside bomb at 20:00 (17:00 UT), near Iskandariyah, Iraq. Three other US soldiers are wounded.
2004 Three US paratroopers; and Iraqi civilians Hadi Abd Shehab, the director of agriculture of Khaldiyah, and Hamid Nayef, a taxi driver; in Khaldiyah, Iraq, after a roadside bomb hits a vehicle of a passing convoy of the US 82nd Airborne Division, at 13:00 (10:00 UT), a second roadside bomb hits a vehicle of arriving reinforcements, and US soldiers fire erratically. Nayef, who was driving by at the time of the explosion, is shot in the head and face. Shehab is shot in the abdomen while standing in his nearby office. One US paratrooper and three Iraqis are wounded.
2004 Three Iraqi policemen, shot by terrorists outside a police station in Ramadi, Iraq.
2004 An Iraqi policeman, shot by terrorists as he was guarding the headquarters of Polish occupation troops in Karbala, Iraq.
2004 A Canadian soldier, an Afghan civilian, and a Taliban suicide bomber who throws himself in front of a Canadian military vehicle in Kabul, Afghanistan. Three Canadian soldiers and 8 Afghan civilians are wounded.
2002 More than 1000 victims of a long series of bomb, rocket, and shell explosions started by an accidental (or political sabotage?) fire at the Ikeja military armory in Lagos, Nigeria, near a crowded barracks and a residential area. Many victims die in the ensuing panic, drowned in the nearby Oke-Afa and Pako canals, or trampled.
Pinhas Tokatli2002 Pinhas Tokatli, 81 [photo >], Israeli; and Wafa' Idris, 27, Palestinian female suicide bomber in downtown Jerusalem, just after midday. At least 113 persons are injured, most only lightly. Idris was a non-practicing Muslim, a divorced paramedic from the Amari refugee camp in Ramallah. She had attended Palestinian victims of Israeli shooting and sometimes hit by rubber bullets while doing so. The al-Aqsa intifada (started in September 2000 after a Sharon provocation) body count is now at least 821 Palestinians and 248 Israelis.
2002: General Mikhail Rudchenko, Major-General Nikolai Goridov, and 12 other Russian Interior Ministry troopers, including 3 colonels, as their Mi-8 helicopter crashes near Shchelkovskaya, northwest of Grozny, Chechnya. Rudchenko was a deputy interior minister who headed Interior Ministry forces for the Caucasus region. Goridov was deputy commander-in-chief of Russian interior forces.
2001 Oklahoma State basketball players Nate Fleming and Daniel Lawson, student manager Jared Weiberg, sports information employee Will Hancock, OK State director of basketball Pat Noyes, trainer Brian Luinstra, broadcast engineer Kendall Durfey, OK City broadcaster Bill Teegins, pilot Denver Mills, and co-pilot Bjorn Falistrom, as their Beechcraft King Air 200 Catpass crashes in a snowstorm in Byers, Colorado, about 70 km east of Denver, after taking off from Jefferson County Airport. They were returning from a game in Boulder.
2001 At least 15 Civic United Front demonstrators and 1 policeman, in Zanzibar (10 in Zanzibar town, and 5 in Pemba), as the government of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi party cracks down with massive arrests of the CUF followers, who protest what they say are the rigged elections of three months earlier.
^ The Zantops, a few years before the murders.2001 Half Zantop, 62, and Susanne Zantop, 55, his wife, murdered.
     At Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire, Susanne Zantop is head of the German studies department and her husband teaches Earth sciences. Coming from their Chelsea, Vermont, homes, an hour away, and following a premeditated robbery and murder plan, Robert Tulloch, 17, and his friend, James Parker, 16, pose as students taking an environmental survey. Mr. Zantop leads the boys into his study, given them each a chair and sits down at his desk. The professor answeres Tulloch's questions for 10 minutes while Parker takes notes.
the killers      When the interview is finished, Parker thinks that they are going to leave and abort their criminal plan. But Zantop tells them that they should be better prepared for the next survey and says that he has a friend who could help them with research. When Zantop opens his wallet to give the boys the friend's business card, a wad of cash pokes out, and Tulloch abruptly reaches into a backpack and grabs one of the two 30-cm-long commando knives the boys had bought over the Internet. He lunges at Zantop, stabbing him repeatedly in the chest. Susanne Zantop comes running when she hears her husband's screams. At Tulloch's direction, Parker slits her throat. The pair flees with Zantop's wallet, which has what they believe are PIN numbers for ATM cards. But they decide that using them would be too risky.
     Tulloch and Parker were questioned by Orange County, Vermont, police on the evening of 15 February 2001, and fingerprinted. Their fingerprints match those found at the Zantops’ home. The two fled, hitchhiking, and would be arrested at 04:07 on 19 February 2001, at a truck stop in Henry County, Indiana.
     The crime had its genesis two years earlier when the once-inseparable buddies from the little town of Chelsea, Vermont, began thinking up ways to collect $10'000 and run off to Australia. The boys ordered stun guns on the Internet, but Tulloch's mother intercepted them. Tulloch suggested talking their way into homes and demanding ATM cards and PIN numbers at knifepoint, then killing the victims. Tulloch discussed with Parker that they would have to be able to kill people so that they could be sort of tough guys when they went to Australia. Their first attempt was in a Vermont town six months before the Zantops were killed. Dressed in black and using old Army knives, they dug a grave for the bodies, but left when the homeowner answered the door holding a gun. In another attempt the same day as the murders, they went to a Zantop neighbor's house, but no one was home. After the slayings, they wiped the blood off their hands in the snow, changed their clothes and went to a bookstore, where they read about how soldiers cope with killing. They later drove back to retrieve the knife sheaths, but a police car in the driveway scared them off.
     On 04 April 2002 former high school honor student Tulloch drops his insanity defense and pleads guilty. He receives the mandatory sentence of life without parole for first-degree murder. Parker, who struck a plea bargain in December 2001 and had agreed to testify against Tulloch, is sentenced to 25 years to life as an accomplice to murder.
1996 Sarahi Morales, 15 days old conjoined twin, in operation of separation from Sarah, who survives.
1996 Two nuns of four stabbed and beaten in their Waterville, Maine, convent, by Mark Bechard, later found not criminally responsible, because of mental illness.
1989 Sir Thomas Sopwith, English WW1 aircraft designer born on 18 January 1888. His Sopwith Aviation Company produced the Sopwith Pup and it famous successor the Sopwith F1 Camel, which, from July 1917, when it reached the Front, until the 11 November 1918 Armistice, downed 1294 enemy planes.
1978 Evelyn Miroth and Daniel Meredith, murdered by Richard Chase, 28, the "Dracula Killer," who, some say, suffered a medical condition causing him to need to drink blood, which they identify as porphyria.
1975 Four persons by terrorist bomb of Puerto Rican nationalists in a bar on Wall Street, New York City. Some 60 persons are injured.
1972 Richard Courant, 84, German/US mathematician.
1969 9 Jews publicly executed in Damascus Syria
1969 14 spies hung in Baghdad
1967 Alphonse Juin, 78, French marshal
^ 1967 Virgil I. (Gus) Grissom, 41, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee, US astronauts, in Apollo I fire
     A launch pad fire during Apollo program tests at Cape Canaveral, Florida, kills astronauts Virgil Ivan “Gus” Grissom [03 Apr 1926–], Edward Higgins White II [14 Nov 1930–], and Roger Bruce Chafee [15 Feb 1935–]. An investigation indicates that a faulty electrical wire inside the Apollo 1 command module was the probable cause of the fire. The astronauts, the first from the US to die in a spacecraft, had been participating in a simulation of the Apollo 1 launch scheduled for the next month. The Apollo program was initiated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) following President John F. Kennedyís 1961 declaration of his goal of landing men on the moon and bringing them safely back to earth by the end of the decade. The so-called ìmoon shotî was the largest scientific and technological undertaking in history. In late 1968, Apollo 8 became the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon, and then, on 20 July 1969, astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr., walked on the lunar surface, while a third astronaut, Michael Collins, orbited the moon in the Apollo 11 command ship. In all, there were seventeen Apollo missions and six lunar landings.
Grissom was the second US astronaut to travel in space and the command pilot of Apollo 1. Commissioned in the US Air Force in 1951, Grissom flew 100 missions in the Korean War, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with cluster. He was a test pilot and flying instructor until 1959, when he was selected as one of the original seven astronauts for Project Mercury. On 21 July 1961, Grissom became the third man to enter space. On 23 March 1965, Grissom became the first man to return to space, as he (as command pilot) and Lieutenant Commander John W. Young [24 Sep 1930~] made three orbits in the first manned Gemini flight, Gemini 3. During that flight Grissom demonstrated that a space capsule could be maneuvered manually.
White was the first US astronaut to “walk” in space. White graduated from the US Military Academy, West Point NY, in 1952 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the US Air Force. He took flight training and served in a fighter squadron in Germany. In 1959 he received his MS in aeronautical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and graduated from the Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards Air Force Base, California. White was selected in 1962 as a member of the second group of astronauts. Often called the most physically fit astronaut, he was chosen to join James A. McDivitt on the four-day orbital flight of Gemini 4, launched on 03 June 1965. During the third orbit White emerged from the spacecraft, floated in space for about 20 minutes, and became the first person to propel himself in space with a maneuvering unit.
Chaffee earned a BS in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, in 1957, then became a Navy pilot. He was chosen as one of the third group of astronauts in 1963.
Dans le cadre des premiers vols spatiaux et de la conquête de l'espace par les américains, le premier vol d'Apollo habité, en orbite terrestre, devait avoir lieu en février 1967. Le 27 janvier 1967, durant une répétition du compte à rebours, un incendie se déclara à l'intérieur de la cabine du vaisseau spatial et, dans l'atmosphère d'oxygène concentré à la pression atmosphérique, s'étendit rapidement. Les astronautes Virgil L. Grissom, Edward H. White et Roger B. Chaffee périrent, après avoir tenté, sans succès, de quitter la cabine. L'accident retarda considérablement la poursuite du programme Apollo. Cependant, en novembre 1967, une fusée Saturn V plaça sur orbite un vaisseau Apollo automatique.
1965 Philip Franklin, US mathematician born on 05 October 1898.
^ 1944 Last of 600'000 killed in siege of Leningrad as it is lifted after 880 days.
     Soviet forces permanently break the Leningrad siege line, ending the almost 900-day German-enforced containment of the city, which cost hundreds of thousands of Russian lives. The siege began officially on 08 September 1941. The people of Leningrad began building antitank fortifications and succeeded in creating a stable defense of the city, but as a result were cut off from all access to vital resources in the Soviet interior, Moscow specifically. In 1942, an estimated 650'000 Leningrad citizens perished from starvation, disease, exposure, and injuries suffered from continual German artillery bombardment.
      Barges offered occasional relief in the summer and ice-borne sleds did the same in the winter. Slowly but surely a million of Leningrad's young, sick, and elderly residents were evacuated, leaving about 2 million to ration available food and use all open ground to plant vegetables.
      On January 12, Soviet defenses punctured the siege, ruptured the German encirclement, and allowed more supplies to come in along Lake Ladoga. The siege officially ended after 872 days (though it is often called the 900-day siege), after a Soviet counteroffensive pushed the Germans westward.
^ 1940 Day 59 of Winter War: USSR aggression against Finland.
More deaths due to Stalin's desire to grab Finnish territory.

Enemy artillery continues to pound main defensive position
       Karelian Isthmus: the enemy artillery continues its increasingly fierce pounding of the main Finnish defensive position on the Isthmus.
      The 'Million Fort' in the Lähde sector to the east of Lake Summajärvi is badly damaged by the enemy's heavy artillery.
      Ladoga Karelia: near Pitkäranta, Soviet troops take the offshore island of Putkisaari.
      IV Army Corps' combat detachment and battalion commanders hold talks at the 13th Division's command post.
      Major-General Hägglund gives the command to take the 'mottis' at Kelivaara and West Lemetti.
      Abroad: Count Eric von Rosen, the Swedish Finnophile who donated the first aircraft in the Finnish Air Force, believes Finland can withstand the Soviet pressure and does not believe the air raids will undermine Finnish resistance.
      An editorial in the Red Army paper Krasnaya Zvezda claims the "Red Army is fulfilling an honourable international obligation in Finland."
      The American daily The Chicago News suggests the 1940 Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to Finland.
      Sweden's Foreign Minister warns the Soviet Ambassador in Stockholm, Madame Alexandra Kollontai, that continuation of the war against Finland could lead to the involvement of the Western powers

^ Vihollisen tykistö jatkaa pääpuolustusaseman murentamista Talvisodan 59. päivä, 27.tammikuuta.1940
       Vihollisen tykistö jatkaa kiihtyvällä voimalla pääpuolustusaseman murentamista Kannaksella.
      Summajärven itäpuolella Lähteen lohkolla Kannaksella sijaitseva ns. Miljoonalinnake vaurioituu pahoin vihollisen raskaan tykistön tulessa.
      Neuvostojoukot valtaavat Pitkärannan edustalla olevan Putkisaaren.
      IV Armeijakunnan taisteluosastojen ja pataljoonien komentajien neuvottelu pidetään 13. Divisioonan komentopaikalla.
      Kenraalimajuri Hägglund antaa määräyksen Kelivaaran ja Läntisen Lemetin motin valtaamiseksi.
      Ulkomailta: Suomen ilmavoimien ensimmäisen koneen lahjoittaja, ruotsalainen Suomen-ystävä, kreivi Eric von Rosen, uskoo Suomen kestävän eikä usko pommihyökkäysten murtavan Suomen vastarintaa.
      Puna-armeijan lehti Krasnaja Zvezdan pääkirjoituksen mukaan "Puna-armeija täyttää kunniakasta kansainvälistä tehtävää Suomessa."
      Amerikkalainen päivälehti The Chicago News esittää Nobelin rauhanpalkinnon myöntämistä Suomelle 1940.
      Ruotsin ulkoministeri varoittaa Moskovan Tukholman-suurlähettilästä rouva Aleksandra Kollontaita toteamalla että sota Suomea vastaan saattaa myötävaikuttaa länsivaltojen haluun liittyä sotaan mukaan.

^ Fiendens artilleri fortsätter att bryta ner huvudförsvarsställningarna Vinterkrigets 59 dag, den 27 januari 1940
      Fiendens artilleri fortsätter med accelererande kraft att bryta ner huvudförsvarsställningarna på Näset.
      Den så kallade Miljonbunkern öster om Summajärvi i Lähdeavsnittet på Näset får omfattande skador av fiendens tunga artillerield.
      De ryska trupperna invaderar ön Putkisaari utanför Pitkäranta.
      Kommendörerna för den IV Armékårens stridsavdelningar och bataljoner samlas till möte vid den 13. Divisionens kommandoplats.
      Generalmajor Hägglund ger order om att erövra mottin i Kelivaara och västra Lemetti.
      Utrikes: Den svenska Finlandsvännen, greve Eric von Rosen, som donerade det första planet åt flygvärnet, tror att Finland kommer att hålla ut och att bombanfallen inte kommer att krossa Finlands motstånd.
      Enligt en ledare i Röda Arméns tidning Krasnaja Zvezda uppfyller Röda Armén "en ärorik internationell uppgift i Finland".
      Den amerikanska dagstidningen The Chicago News föreslår att Nobels fredspris år 1940 ska beviljas åt Finland.
      Den svenska utrikesministern varnar Moskvas ambassadör i Stockholm, fru Alexandra Kollontaj i sitt konstaterande att kriget mot Finland kan bidra till att väststaterna vill gå med i kriget
1927 Luigi Pastega, Italian artist born on 18 November 1858.
1912 Charles Schreyvogel, US artist born on 04 January 1861.
Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate;
Va, ti posa sui clivi, sui colli,
Ove olezzano tepide e molli
L'aure dolci del suolo natal!
Del Giordano le rive saluta,
Di Sïon le torri atterrate...
Oh mia patria sì bella e perduta!
Oh membranza sì cara e fatal!
Arpa d'ôr dei fatidici vati,
Perchè muta dal salice pendi?
Le memorie nel petto raccendi,
Ci favella del tempo che fu!
O simìle di Solima ai fati
Traggi un suono di crudo lamento,
O t'ispiri il Signore un concento
Che ne infonda al patire virtù,
Che ne infonda al patire virtù,
Che ne infonda al patire virtù, al patire virtù!
— G. Verdi // T. Solera
^ 1901 Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi, born on 10 October 1813. He was the leading Italian composer of opera in the 19th century, noted for operas such as Rigoletto (1851), Il trovatore (1853), La traviata (1853), Don Carlos (1867), Aida (1871), Otello (1887), Nabucco [quote >], and Falstaff (1893) and for his Requiem Mass (1874).
     Verdi's father, Carlo Giuseppe Verdi, an innkeeper and owner of a small farm, gave his son the best education that could be mustered in a tiny village, near a small town of about 4,000 inhabitants, in the then-impoverished Po Valley. The child must have shown unusual talent, for he was given lessons from his fourth year, a spinet was bought for him, and by age 9 he was standing in for his teacher as organist in the village church. He attended the village school and at 10 the ginnasio (secondary school) in Busseto.
      A little later he composed music (now lost) for the town church and the largely amateur orchestra. One of Busseto's leading citizens, Antonio Barezzi, a merchant and fanatical music enthusiast, became a second father to the young prodigy, taking him into his home, sending him to study in Milan, and in 1836 giving him his daughter Margherita in marriage. Refused by the Milan Conservatory, he was past the admission age and played the piano poorly, Verdi studied privately under Vincenzo Lavigna, an older composer and an associate of the opera house Teatro alla Scala. Milan was the intellectual and operatic center of Italy, and in the years 1832–1835 Verdi seems to have learned much about literature and politics there as well as counterpoint and the elements of opera. Later, after his great success with Nabucco, he attended literary salons in the city and made lasting friendships with some cultivated aristocrats.
      Barezzi's plan was for Verdi to return to Busseto as music director, but when this post fell open in 1833 a furious political storm developed leading to long delays. Soured by this, Verdi nonetheless took a compromise position and stayed from March 1836 to October 1838, teaching and composing a good deal, though all he published was a set of songs in 1838.
      Needless to say, he had his eye on greater things. The music that he had written during these years must have impressed the right people, for after some difficulty he succeeded in getting an opera, Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio, produced at La Scala in March 1839. Ordinary as the piece may seem today, it succeeded well enough to travel to Genoa and Turin and to gain him a commission for three more operas at Italy's leading theatre. His rising career was deflected by tragedy: in 1840 his young wife died, following the deaths of two infant children. In addition to this personal grief, Verdi saw his next opera, Un giorno di regno, a comedy, hissed off the stage. This compounded trauma led to a severe depression and either caused or fixed the dour, fatalistic, sometimes harsh aspects of Verdi's character.
      Verdi overcame his despair by composing Nabucodonoser (composed 1841, first performed 1842; known as Nabucco), based on the biblical Nebuchadnezzar (Nebuchadrezzar II), though the well-known story is no longer credited which he told later about snapping out of his lethargy only when the libretto fell open at the chorus “Va, pensiero”, by that time one of his most beloved works. (The older Verdi embroidered on various aspects of his early life, exaggerating the lowliness of his origins, for example.) Nabucco succeeded as sensationally as Un giorno had failed abjectly, and Verdi at age 28 became the new hero of Italian music. The work sped across Italy and the whole world of opera; within a decade it had reached as far as St. Petersburg and Buenos Aires, Argentina. While its musical style is primitive by the composer's later standards, Nabucco's raw energy has kept it alive a century and a half later.
      There followed a period (1843–1849) during which Verdi drove himself like a galley slave, as hehimself put it, and to the detriment of his health, to produce nearly two operas a year. His aim was to make enough money for early retirement as a gentleman farmer at Sant'Agata, close toRoncole, where his forebears had settled. He purchased land there as early as 1844. To “produce” an opera meant, at that time, to negotiate with an impresario, secure and edit (often heavily) a libretto, find or approve the singers, compose the music, supervise rehearsals, conduct the first three performances, deal with publishers, and more—all this while shuttling from one end of Italy to the other in the days before railroads.
      Though masterpieces were unlikely to emerge from a schedule like this, Verdi's next two operas were, amazingly, just as wildly successful: I Lombardi alla prima crociata (1843) and Ernani (1844). The latter became the only work of the “galley-slave” period to gain a steady place in the opera repertory worldwide. His other operas had varying receptions. A list made in 1844 of possible subjects for librettos shows Verdi's high-minded concern for literary and dramatic values. It included King Lear, a project he would return to and abandon several times in later years. In the 1840s he drew on Victor Hugo [26 Feb 1802 – 22 May 1885] for Ernani, Lord Byron for I due Foscari (1844) and Il corsaro (1848), Friedrich von Schiller for Giovanna d'Arco (1845), I masnadieri (1847; “The Bandits”), and Luisa Miller (1849), Voltaire for Alzira (1845), and Zacharias Werner for Attila (1846).
      Only with Macbeth (1847), however, was Verdi inspired to fashion an opera that is as gripping as it is original and, in many ways, independent of tradition. Just as the biblical theme had contributed to the grandeur of Nabucco, so the tragic theme of Shakespeare's drama called forth the best in him. Verdi knew the value of this work and revised it in 1865, excising some of its crudities; but its greatest number, the harrowing sleepwalking scene of Lady Macbeth, could be left just as it was written in 1847.
      By that time he was receiving lucrative commissions from abroad: from London (I masnadieri) and Paris (Jérusalem, a thorough revision of I Lombardi, 1847). La battaglia di Legnano (1849), a tale of love and jealousy set against the Lombard League's victory over Frederick Barbarossa in 1176, was Verdi's emphatic response to the Risorgimento, which spilled over into open warfare in 1848, the year of revolutions. Greeted ecstatically at the time, this opera later faded.
      It is often said that in the earlier operas, too, choruses and other numbers calling for liberation or revolt were taken metaphorically as revolutionary rallying cries, and evidently this did happen on isolated occasions. However, it was only after unification in 1861, when the conte di Cavour, seeking to involve as many important Italians as possible, persuaded the composer to stand for the Chamber of Deputies, which he attended faithfully but soon resigned from, that Verdi came to be widely celebrated as a national hero. “Va, pensiero,” the song of the enslaved Hebrews in Nabucco, assumed the status of an unofficial national anthem. That the vision of Verdi as “singer of the Risorgimento” owes less to historical fact than to patriotic nostalgia should not be thought to diminish its significance; adapted to words about the downtrodden masses, “Va, pensiero” could still be heard at Italian Communist rallies in the 1990s.
     The prima donna who created Abigaille in Nabucco, Giuseppina Strepponi, who also had helped Verdi as early as 1839 with Oberto, ultimately became his second wife. Her love, support, and practical assistance on behalf of Verdi, over half a century, was boundless, though he was not an easy husband.
      Born in 1815, Strepponi had a quite successful, if short, career. Living for a time with her agent, one Camillo Cirelli, in effect as common-law wife, she had borne three children, the oldest of whom (her only son, Camillino) was reared by her former maid. (The two other children were daughters and were given up for adoption.) When her voice began to deteriorate she set up as a teacher in Paris, where Verdi met her again in 1847 while there to produce Jérusalem. They fell in love and were soon living together, though they did not marry until 1859. Strepponi, a devout Catholic, seems to have felt herself unworthy to be Verdi's wife, a feeling that one suspects Verdi may have shared on some level. It also seems possible that marriage was put off until her son came of age in 1859.
      The new richness and depth of Verdi's musico-dramatic characterization in these years, especially though not exclusively of women, may have developed out of his relationship with Strepponi. She is often evoked in connection with the sympathetic and radiant portrayal of Violetta in La traviata (a rough analogy, to be sure, for Violetta the courtesan had fallen a great deal farther than Strepponi the singer). Yet Verdi showed scant sympathy for the real-life woman when he determined to move back with her to Busseto in 1849 and then to Sant'Agata, where small-town outrage at their liaison reached a peak. For some time he refused to allow her to accompany him on his many travels, which left her alonein a very hostile environment. He himself responded furiously to local censure and refused to have anything to do with Busseto and its musical activities, having first scrupulously repaid with interest the contribution made by the commune to his musical education.
      In the meantime he had composed three operas that remain his best knownand best loved: Rigoletto (1851), Il trovatore (1853), and La traviata (1853). The tunes were better than any he had written before, the drama tighter and more exciting, and the characterization altogether original. Rigoletto makes an important technical advance toward a coherent presentation of the drama in music, especially in the famous thirdact; there is less distinction between the recitatives (the parts of the score that carry the plot forward in imitation of speech), which tend toward arioso(melodic, lyric quality), and the arias, which are treated less formally and dovetailed into their surroundings, sometimes almost unobtrusively. Even greater is the contrast of style in La traviata, with its intimate mood and lyrical pathos, a vein Verdi had previously explored in Luisa Miller.
      By this time he had honed his skills as a competitor in the rapacious marketplace that was 19th-century Italian opera—or, as he always saw it, the grim site of major battles, endless skirmishes, and equivocal victories. He drove hard bargains, complained bitterly at every reverse, stonewalled, and sued. He tried to insist that his operas be performed exactly as written,without cuts, transpositions, or substitutions.
      He met his match with the censors, especially after 1848. The plot of Le roi s'amuse, the play by Hugo that inspired Rigoletto, features a curse that was deemed blasphemous and the attempted murder of a king that was politically taboo; only after the king was demoted to a duke and various other modifications were made could the text be approved. Traviata experienced problems of another kind. With La Dame aux camélias, Alexandre Dumas fils had just caused a considerable scandal in Paris, and Verdi's operatic version, though at first performed in 17th-century costumes, too obviously broke from operatic convention in setting a present-day subject, and a risqué one at that. For this reason and also because a stout prima donna had been cast as the consumptive heroine, the first performance was a rare Verdi fiasco. “Is it my fault or the singers'? Time will show,” was Verdi's characteristically laconic comment. After minor revisions and a new production, the opera carried all before it.
      Verdi had become an international celebrity, and the change in his status was reflected in his art. From 1855 to 1870 he devoted himself to providing works for the Opéra at Paris and other theatres conforming to the Parisian operatic standard, which demanded spectacular dramas on subjects of high seriousness in five acts with a ballet. He was pointedly challenging Giacomo Meyerbeer [05 Sep 1791 – 02 May 1864], the one European composer more renowned and wealthier than he was, on Meyerbeer's own ground. While these operas show advances in many areas and include superb scenes, none of them is as satisfactory as a whole as any of the three great operas of the early 1850s.
      His first essay in the new manner, Les Vêpres siciliennes (1855), is a rather cold piece that has had only lukewarm success from its premiere on. The fault lay partly in the libretto, by Meyerbeer's own librettist, the poet Eugène Scribe [24 Dec 1791 – 20 Feb 1861]; Scribe merely refashioned an old piece he had written for Gaetano Donizetti [29 Nov 1797 – 08 Apr 1848].
      Two pieces for Italian theatres, Simon Boccanegra (1857) and Un ballo in maschera (1859), affected to a lesser extent by the impact of the grand operatic style, show the enrichment of Verdi's power as an interpreter of human character and as a master of orchestral colour. Boccanegra, despite a gloomy and excessively complex plot, includes powerful scenes and creates a special windswept atmosphere appropriate to its Genoese pirate protagonist. (Verdi often spoke of the unique “tinta” of each of his operas.) Much more successful with the public was Ballo, a romantic version of the assassination of Gustav III of Sweden, even though again the censorship barred the murder of a king and so made nonsense of the story, its setting transported from 18th-century Stockholm to Puritan Boston, a hundred years earlier. These years also saw Aroldo (1857), an unsuccessful revision of Stiffelio (1850).
      In 1862 Verdi represented Italian musicians at the London Exhibition, for which he composeda cantata to words by the up-and-coming poet and composer Arrigo Boito. In opera the big money came from foreign commissions, and in the same year his next work, La forza del destino, was produced at St. Petersburg. Always on the lookout for novel dramatic material, Verdi had wanted to tackle the epic narrative extending over many years and many locations, with scenes of high life and low. This he managed in Forza, which also includes the most extended religious scene in a Verdi opera and his first substantial comic role, that of the irascible Friar Melitone. Verdi finally surpassed Meyerbeer at the ParisOpéra (at least according to opinion at the turn of the 21st century, though not at the time) with Don Carlos (1867), a setting of another play by Schiller that is for once worthy of the original, and in which religion is portrayed much more harshly, and much more in accordance with Verdi's lifelong strong anticlerical sentiments, than in Forza. Despite its problematic ending, Don Carlos is regarded by some as Verdi's masterpiece, or at least his masterpiece prior to the Shakespeare operas of his last years.
      Verdi felt that both operas with foreign commissions required revision for Italian theatres; this he accomplished for Forza in 1869 and Don Carlo (as it is now usually called) in 1884 and 1887. He needed none with the piece in which at last he fashioned a libretto exactly to his needs, Aida. Verdi wrote a detailed scenario, much simpler than those of the previous two operas, employing Antonio Ghislanzoni, a competent poet, to turn it into verse, the metres ofwhich were often dictated by the composer. Commissioned by the khedive of Egypt to celebrate the opening of Cairo's new Opera House in 1869 (Verdi had earlier declined a commission for an inaugural hymn celebrating the opening of the Suez Canal), Aida finally premiered there in 1871 and went on to receive worldwide acclaim. Verdi had achieved the grandeur and the gravitas of the Parisian style without its notorious excess padding and without any weak spots, and onto it he had grafted an emotional intensity that only he could furnish.
     When Gioacchino Rossini [29 Feb 1792 – 13 Nov 1868], the most revered figure in modern Italian music, died, Verdi proposed that a requiem mass in his honor be composed by himself and a dozen of his contemporaries. The project collapsed and Angelo Mariani, who was to have conducted the performance, seemed to Verdi less than wholehearted in his support. Verdi, who could not bear being thwarted, visited his wrath on the unfortunate Mariani, who was the most distinguished Italian conductor of the day and, until then, had been one of his closest friends. The quarrel shows both Verdi and Giuseppina at their worst. Verdi could never forgive an injury, real or imagined, as attested to by his lifelong hatred of La Scala and its audience, which had rejected Un giorno di regno, and his contempt for the town of Busseto. The breach with Mariani widened when the conductor refused to go to Cairo to direct the first performanceof Aida. He pleaded illness and was indeed suffering terribly from cancer, of which he died in 1873. Things reached a very ugly pitch when a scurrilous newspaper story accused Verdi of stealing Mariani's fiancée, the soprano Teresa Stolz.
      Although little is known for certain, Giuseppina's private papers reveal her great distress. She worked valiantly to preserve the marriage, persevering in the most cordial relations possible with Stolz, who finally made some kind of break when she left Italy in 1876. Apparently Giuseppina had put her foot down. But two years later Stolz resumed visits to Sant'Agata, and it was clear the relationship had not blown over. Twenty years later, letters from Verdi that somehow escaped destruction speak of his love for Stolz. She was present at the composer's deathbed.
      In 1873, while waiting in a Naples hotel for a production of Aida, Verdi wrote a string quartet, the only instrumental composition of his maturity. In the same year, he was moved by the death of the Italian patriot and poet Alessandro Manzoni [07 Mar 1785 – 22 May 1873] to compose a requiem mass in his honor. He was able to incorporate into it the final movement (“Libera me”) that he had written for the abortive Rossini mass. One of the masterpieces in the oratorio tradition, often heard in concert series into the 21st century, the Manzoni Requiem is an impressive testimony to what Verdi could do outside of the field of opera.
      After 1873 the maestro considered himself retired, at long last, from that world of opera to which he had been bound for so many years in a love-hate relationship. He settled in at Sant'Agata, where the same iron hand and obsessive attention to detail that he had applied tooperatic rehearsals came to control all aspects of his farming enterprise. A 20-year program of enlargement and improvement of his estates made him a major landholder and a very wealthy man. He funded major charities, of which the best known is the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti, a home for aged musicians that is still in operation in Milan.
      His unintended and unimagined return to the stage, many years after Aida, was entirely due to the initiative of his publisher, Giulio Ricordi. Reluctant to allow his most profitable composer to rest on his laurels, Ricordi contrived a reconciliation with Arrigo Boito, who had offended Verdi by some youthful criticism. A proposal that Boito should write a libretto based on Othello of Shakespeare [26 Apr 1564 – 23 Apr 1616] attracted the old composer, and, as a sort of test, the now-prominent man of letters and composer of the opera Mefistofele agreed to revise the unsatisfactory libretto of Simon Boccanegra. The latter opera is still performed because of Boito's revision of 1881. The Othello project then took shape, very slowly, on and off, until the opera finally opened at La Scala in 1887. In his 74th year, Verdi, stimulated by a libretto far superior to anything he had previously set, had produced his tragic masterpiece. In Otello the drama is absorbed into a continuous and flexible musical score vastly advanced in style overthat of Aida, reflecting every aspect of the characters and every nuance of the action.
      After a rapturous tour with Otello throughout Europe, Verdi once more retreated to Sant'Agata, declaring that he had composed his last opera. Yet Ricordi and Boito, who had grown very close to the old man, managed to intervene one more time. With infinite skill, Boito converted Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, strengthened with passages adapted from the Henry IV plays, into the perfect comic libretto, Falstaff, which Verdi set to miraculously fresh and mercurial music (and this time with fewer delays). This, his last dramatic work, produced at La Scala in 1893, avenged the cruel failure of Verdi's only other comedy in the same theater half a century earlier.
      Even after Falstaff Verdi still interested himself in composition. His list of works ends with sacred music for chorus: a Stabat Mater and a Te Deum published, along with the somewhat earlier and slighter Ave Maria and Laudi alla Vergine Maria, under the title Quattro pezzi sacri in 1898. After a long decline Giuseppina had died in 1897, and Verdi himself gradually grew weaker and died four years later.
      Born in the same year, Verdi and Richard Wagner created parallel, mutually exclusive types of opera that figure equally among the greatest achievements of 19th-century culture. Their works remain at the heart of opera repertory at the beginning of the 21st century.
      Verdi appeared on the operatic scene just as the Italian bel canto tradition of Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini, and Donizetti, in the quarter-century from about 1815 to 1845, entered its waning phase. He transformed it and dominated Italian opera alone for another 30 years. It was a period of constant experimentation, constant refinement of musical and dramatic means—a process that seems to have continued underground to germinate the two transcendent Shakespeare operas written 20 years after his supposed retirement.
      At first it was mainly his vigor and dramatic intelligence that distinguished his operas, works that audiences could feel were continuing safely in his predecessors' footsteps. But step by step Verdi modified the rigid conventions of bel canto opera, which showed off singers at theexpense of dramatic values. Verdi's genius was to dismantle the system while still giving thesingers (and their audiences) melody and brilliance in ample measure. All of this was in the service of drama, as Verdi always stressed, and drama, as he saw it, emerged from the interaction of people in striking, usually dire situations, people who were characterized unforgettably by Verdi's music. No opera composer has ever assembled a more varied and vivid portrait gallery: Rigoletto, evil jester and loving father; self-sacrificing Violetta of La traviata and self-destructive Amneris of Aida; implacable Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra; the page Oscar in Ballo; the passionate Leonora of Trovatore and the tormented Leonora of Forza; the truly Shakespearean Lady Macbeth; and Verdi's own Desdemona.
      His operas move rapidly, with unerring dramatic rhythm. He developed a whole new musical vocabulary, which broadened the role of the orchestra without compromising the primacy of the voice. He introduced a range of subject matter never before touched in opera; the later Verdi could be subtle, gentle, and atmospheric as well as powerful. Generations of listeners the world over, in and out of the opera house, have loved Verdi's melodies. The best of them serve the drama, capturing his characters' emotions with a warmth and directness achieved by few other composers.
1864 Leo van Klenze, dies at age 79 about one month before his 20th birthday. He was a German artist born on 29 February 1784.
1860 János Bolyai, 57, Hungarian mathematician born on 15 December 1802.
1851 John James Audubon, born on 26 April 1785, naturalist and artist famous for his drawings and paintings of North American birds. MORE ON AUDUBON AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images. —(060126)
1836 Ludwig Philipp Strack, German artist born in 1761.
1823 Charles Hutton, English mathematician born on 14 August 1737.
^ 1816 Admiral Samuel Hood, British admiral born on 12 December 1724.
     Hood entered the navy in 1741, becoming a lieutenant in 1746. During the Seven Years' War he served in the English Channel and then the Mediterranean. In 1778, after further service in North America, he became commissioner of the dockyard at Portsmouth and governor of the naval academy.
      He was promoted rear admiral in 1780 and sent to the West Indies and the coast of North America as second in command under Admiral George Rodney [bap. 13 Feb 1718 – 24 May 1792].
      In the West Indies he was for a time in independent command because of Rodney's absence in England: and, when the British islands of St. Kitts and Nevis were attacked by the French admiral Comte de Grasse [13 Sep 1722 – 11 Jan 1788], Hood, after initial defeats, succeeded in beating off the attacks of the enemy. He was made an Irish peer for his share in the defeat of de Grasse on 09 April and 12 April near Dominica.
      On the outbreak of the French Revolutionary War, Hood was sent to the Mediterranean as commander in chief. His period of command (May 1793 - October 1794) was extremely active. On 28 August 1793 Hood occupied Toulon on the invitation of the French royalists and in cooperation with the Spaniards. The allies, who did not work harmoniously together, were driven out of the city by 19 December 1793, mainly by the generalship of Napoleon [15 Aug 1769 – 05 May 1821].
      In October 1794 Hood, who was then a full admiral, was recalled to England. He held no further command at sea, but in 1796 he was named governor of Greenwich Hospital, a post he held until his death.
 
^ 1814 Johann Gottlieb Fichte, German philosopher and patriot, born on 19 May 1762. He was one of the great transcendental idealists.
      Fichte was the son of a ribbon weaver. Educated at the Pforta school (1774–1780) and at the universities of Jena (1780) and of Leipzig (1781–1784), he started work as a tutor. In this capacity he went to Zürich in 1788 and to Warsaw in 1791 but left after two weeks' probation.
      The major influence on his thought at this time was that of Immanuel Kant, whose doctrine of the inherent moral worth of man harmonized with Fichte's character; and he resolved to devote himself to perfecting a true philosophy, the principles of which should be practical maxims. He went from Warsaw to see Kant himself at Königsberg, but this first interview was disappointing. Later, when Fichte submitted his Versuch einer Kritik aller Offenbarung to Kant, the latter was favourably impressed by it and helped find a publisher (1792). Fichte's name and preface were accidentally omitted from the first edition, and the work was ascribed by its earliest readers to Kant himself; when Kant corrected the mistake while commending the essay, Fichte's reputation was made.
      In the Versuch, Fichte sought to explain the conditions under which revealed religionis possible; his exposition turns upon the absolute requirements of the moral law. Religion itself is the belief in this moral law as divine, and such belief is a practical postulate, necessary in order to add force to the law. The revelation of this divine character of morality is possible only to someone in whom the lower impulses have been, or are, successful in overcoming reverence for the law. In such a case it is conceivable that a revelation might be given in order to add strength to the moral law. Religion ultimately then rests upon the practical reason and satisfies the needs of man, insofar as he stands under the moral law. In this conclusion are evident the prominence assigned by Fichte to the practical element and the tendency to make the moral requirements of the ego the ground for all judgment on reality.
      In 1793 Fichte married Johanna Maria Rahn, whom he had met during his stay in Zürich. In the same year, he published anonymously two remarkable political works, of which Beitrag zur Berichtigung der Urteile des Publikums über die französische Revolution was the more important. It was intended to explain the true nature of the French Revolution, to demonstrate how inextricably the right of liberty is interwoven with the very existence of man as an intelligent agent, and to point out the inherent progressiveness of the state and the consequent necessity of reform or amendment. As in the Versuch, the rational nature of man and the conditions necessary for its realization are made the standard for political philosophy.
      The philosophy of Fichte falls chronologically into a period of residence in Jena (1793–1798) and a period in Berlin (1799–1806), which are also different in their fundamental philosophic conceptions. The former period is marked by its ethical emphasis, the latter by the emergence of a mystical and theological theory of Being. Fichte was prompted to change his original position because he came to appreciate that religious faith surpasses moral reason. He was also influenced by the general trend that the development of thought took toward Romanticism.
      In 1793 there was a vacant chair of philosophy at the University of Jena, and Fichte was called to fill it. To the ensuing period belongs his most important philosophical work. In this period he published, among other works: Einige Vorlesungen über die Bestimmung des Gelehrten (1794), lectures on the importance of the highest intellectual culture and on the duties that it imposed; several works on the science of knowledge (Wissenschaftslehre), which were revised and developed continually throughout his life; the practical Grundlage des Naturrechts nach Prinzipien der Wissenschaftslehre (1796); and Das System der Sittenlehre nach den Prinzipien der Wissenschaftslehre (1798), in which his moral philosophy, grounded in the notion of duty, is most notably expressed.
      The system of 1794 was the most original and also the most characteristic work that Fichte produced. It was incited by Kant's critical philosophy and especially by his Kritik der praktischen Vernunft (1788; Critique of Practical Reason . . .). From the outset it was less critical, precisely because it was more systematic, aiming at a self-sufficient doctrine in which the science of knowledge and ethics were intimatelyunited. Fichte's ambition was to demonstrate that practical (moral) reason is really (as Kant had only intimated) the root of reason in its entirety, the absolute ground ofall knowledge as well as of humanity altogether. To prove this, he started from a supreme principle, the ego, which was supposed to be independent and sovereign, so that all other knowledge was deduced from it. Fichte did not assert that this supreme principle was self-evident but rather that it had to be postulated by pure thought. He followed, thereby, Kant's doctrine that pure, practical reason postulates the existence of God, but he tried to transform Kant's rational faith into a speculative knowledge on which he based both his theory of science and his ethics.
      In 1795 Fichte became one of the editors of the Philosophisches Journal, and in 1798 his friend F.K. Forberg, a young, unknown philosopher, sent him an essay on the development of the idea of religion. Before printing this, Fichte, to prevent misunderstanding, composed a short preface, “On the Grounds of Our Belief in a Divine Government of the Universe,” in which God is defined as the moral order of the universe, the eternal law of right that is the foundation of all man's being. The cry of atheism was raised, and the electoral government of Saxony, followed by all of the German states except Prussia, suppressed the Journal and demanded Fichte's expulsion from Jena. After publishing two defenses, Fichte threatened to resign in case of reprimand. Much to his discomfort, his threat was taken as an offer to resign and was duly accepted.
     Except for the summer of 1805, Fichte resided in Berlin from 1799 to 1806. Among his friends were the leaders of German Romanticism, A.W. and F. Schlegel and Friedrich Schleiermacher. His works of this period include Die Bestimmung des Menschen (1800), in which he defines God as the infinite moral will of the universe who becomes conscious of himself in individuals; Der geschlossene Handelsstaat (1800), an intensely socialistic treatise in favor of tariff protection; two new versions of the Wissenschaftslehre (composed in 1801 and in 1804; published posthumously), marking a great change in the character of the doctrine; Die Grundzüge des gegenwärtigen Zeitalters (1806; lectures delivered 1804–1805), analyzing the Enlightenment and defining its place in the historical evolution of the general human consciousness butalso indicating its defects and looking forward to belief in the divine order of the universe as the highest aspect of the life of reason; and Die Anweisung zum seligen Leben, oder auch die Religions lehre (1806). In this last-named work the union between the finite self-consciousness and the infinite ego, or God, is handled in a deeply religious fashion reminiscent of the Saint John's Gospel. The knowledge and love of God is declared to be the end of life. God is the All; the world of independent objects is the result of reflection or self-consciousness, by which the infinite unity is broken up. God is thus over and above the distinction of subject and object; man's knowledge is but a reflex or picture of the infinite essence.
      The French victories over the Prussians in 1806 drove Fichte from Berlin to Königsberg (where he lectured for a time), then to Copenhagen. He returned to Berlinin August 1807. From this time his published writings were practical in character; not until after the appearance of the Nachgelassene Werke and of the Sämmtliche Werke was the shape of his final speculations known. In 1807 he drew up a plan for the proposed new University of Berlin. In 1807–1808 he delivered at Berlin his Reden an die deutsche Nation, full of practical views on the only true foundation for national recovery and glory. From 1810 to 1812 he was rector of the new University of Berlin. During the great effort of Germany for national independence in1813, he lectured “Über den Begriff des wahrhaften Krieges”.
      At the beginning of 1814, Fichte caught a virulent hospital fever from his wife, who had volunteered for work as a hospital nurse; he died shortly thereafter.
 
1811 Jean-Baptiste Huet, French artist born on 15 October 1735. MORE ON HUET AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
1738 Alessandro Marchesini, Italian painter born in 1664. — more with link to an image.
1747 Willem van Mieris, Dutch painter born on 03 June 1662. MORE ON VAN MIERIS AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
1669 Gaspar de Crayer, Flemish artist born on 18 November 1584. MORE ON DE CRAYER AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
1667 Gregorius Saint-Vincent, Belgian Jesuit priest mathematician born on 08 September 1584.
1651 Abraham Bloemaert, influential Dutch painter born on 25 December 1564. MORE ON BLOEMAERT AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
^ 0847 Sergius II, pope.
     Of noble birth, Sergius was made cardinal by Pope St. Paschal I and became an archpriest under Pope Gregory IV, whom he was elected to succeed by the Roman nobility against the wishes of the populace, which, on 25 January 844 enthroned the deacon John as antipope. Although John momentarily occupied the Lateran Palace in Rome, he was soon imprisoned in a monastery by Sergius, who was consecrated in January 844 without waiting for the sanction of the Frankish emperor Lothair I. The emperor accordingly sent his son Louis II [822 – 12 Aug 875], later his successor, with an army to punish the breach of the Roman Constitution of 824, which had affirmed imperial sovereignty over the pope.
      A peaceful settlement was arranged, in which Sergius agreed that no one could become pope without imperial consent, and Louis swore not to attack Rome. On 15 June 844, Sergius crowned Louis as king of the Lombards. He rejected, however, Roman fealty to Louis as proposed by Bishop Drogo of Metz, arranging, instead, an oath of allegiance to Lothair. In 844 he made Drogo his legate to the Frankish kingdoms.
      Sergius' pontificate was dominated by his brother, Bishop Benedict of Albano, to whom, partly because of his severe gout, he delegated most of the papal business. Benedict proved opportunistic, however, usurping power and finagling money while executing a large building program that included the enlargement of the Saint-John Lateran Basilica. The worst blow to Sergius' reign was the brutal raid on the Roman walls by the Saracens, who pillaged the basilicas of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Sergius was accused of failing to provide protection. He died while trying to mediate a dispute between the Italian patriarchs of Aquileia and Grado.
 
0672 Pope (657-672) Saint Vitalian
0098 Marius Cocceius Nerva, born in 30, Emperor of Rome since the assassination of the tyrannical emperor Domitian [24 Oct 51 – 18 September 96. Nerva is succeeded by his choice: Trajan [15 Sep 53 – 08 Aug 117]. The “Five Good Emperors” are Nerva, Trajan, and the immediate successors Hadrian [24 Jan 76 – 10 Jul 138], Antoninus Pius [19 Sep 86 – 07 Mar 161], and Marcus Aurelius [26 Apr 121 – 17 Mar 180].
 
< 26 Jan 28 Jan >
^  Births which occurred on a 27 January:

^ 1966 Enrico Maria Ferrari
     Nasce a Roma, dove continua a vivere nonostante tutto. Dopo il liceo ed un inutile vagabondaggio all'Università, scopre il piacere della scrittura grazie ad un sistema di messagistica elettronica, dove amici giornalisti apprezzano i suoi raccontini. Comincia a collaborare alla fine degli anni Ottanta con MCmicrocomputer, mensile di informatica, divenuto quindi giornalista collabora con la Repubblica, Mondo Economico e addirittura L'Avvenire. In tempi più recenti comincia una collaborazione con un quotidiano di turismo, che lo fa viaggiare tutto spesato; realizza così l'obiettivo di fare vacanza lavorando. Come scrittore trova spazio solo fra amici e conoscenti, finché nel '91 viene invitiato al Maurizio Costanzo Show come "nuovo scrittore", il riscontro successivo sfiora lo zero assoluto fino all'approdo, sempre per vie telematiche, a Stampa Alternativa. Frequenta la Scandinavia, la Groenlandia e l'Islanda, dove ritiene che le condizioni climatiche siano ottimali: adora infatti il freddo in ogni sua manifestazione e sogna di vedere un giorno il Tevere completamente ghiacciato.
FERRARI ONLINE: Quando vendettero il Natale (Una raccolta di racconti umoristici e graffianti, molto divertenti e meno "leggeri" di quello che può sembrare ad una lettura superficiale)
1937 Roy Bourgeois, who would become a Maryknoll priest and found the School of the Americas Watch.in 1990 and become notorious in 2008 for acting as if the Holy Spirit guided him rather than the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, for example in the matter of the ordination of women. —(090110)
1933 Mohamed Al Fayed CEO (Harrods)
^ Première démonstration de télévision, à l'Institut Royal à Londres, par l'inventeur écossais John Baird.
1926 Televisor is first demonstrated.
      John Logie Baird, a Scottish inventor, gives the first public demonstration of a true television system in London, launching a revolution in communication and entertainment. Baird's invention, a pictorial-transmission machine he called a "televisor," used mechanical rotating disks to scan moving images into electronic impulses. This information was then transmitted by cable to a screen where it showed up as a low-resolution pattern of light and dark. Baird's first television program showed the heads of two ventriloquist dummies, which he operated in front of the camera apparatus out of view of the audience.
      Baird based his television on the work of Paul Nipkow, a German scientist who patented his ideas for a complete television system in 1884. Nipkow likewise used a rotating disk with holes in it to scan images, but he never achieved more than the crudest of shadowy pictures. Various inventors worked to develop this idea, and Baird was the first to achieve easily discernible images. In 1928, Baird made the first overseas broadcast from London to New York over phone lines and in the same year demonstrated the first color television.
      The first home television receiver was demonstrated in Schenectady, New York, in January 1928, and by May a station began occasional broadcasts to the handful of homes in the area that were given the General Electric-built machines. In 1932, the Radio Corporation of America demonstrated an all-electronic television using a cathode-ray tube in the receiver and the "iconoscope" camera tube developed by Russian-born physicist Vladimir Zworykin. These two inventions greatly improved picture quality.
      The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) inaugurated regular high-definition public broadcasts in London in 1936. In delivering the broadcasts, Baird's television system was in competition with one promoted by Marconi Electric and Musical Industries. Marconi's television, which produced a 405-line picture—compared with Baird's 240 lines—was clearly better, and in early 1937 the BBC adopted the Marconi system exclusively. Regular television broadcasts began in the United States in 1939, and permanent color broadcasts began in 1954.
 
1921 Georges Mathieu, French so-called artist. — more with links to images.
1918 Tarzan of the Apes, first Tarzan film, released, a silent movie, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel.
1916 "Spartacus Letters" of Communist party first published in Berlin
1908 William Randolph Hearst Jr newspaper publisher (newspapers: San Francisco Examiner, magazines: Cosmopolitan; Hearst Broadcasting, A&E Television Networks, The History Channel)
1900 Hyman G Rickover, nuclear engineer, US Admiral (father of modern nuclear navy, directed development of the Nautilus, the first nuclear reactor-powered submarine). He died on 08 July 1986.
1892 Ch'ing-ling Soong, Chinese politician who died on 29 May 1981.
1891 (15 January Julian) Ilya Grigoryevich Ehrenburg, in Kiev, prolific writer and journalist, one of the most effective Soviet spokesmen to the Western world. He died on 31 August in Moscow
1888 National Geographic Society organizes (Washington DC)
^ 1880 Electric incandescent lamp is patented by Thomas Edison.
      Edison's invention of the light bulb had a major impact on the electronics and computer industries, and not just because it allowed future programmers to work all night. During the two years of research it took to develop the bulb, one of Edison's assistants noticed a flow of energy from one electrode to another in a pattern later known as the Edison effect. Later, the Edison effect was discovered to be an electron flow, which laid the basis for the electron tube and the entire electronics industry.
1874 Harold Knight, British artist who died on 03 October 1961. — more with a link to links to images.
1872 Learned Hand, Albany NY, Chief judge (US Court of Appeals). He died on 18 August 1961.
1871 Samuel John Peploe, Scottish painter who died on 11 October 1935. — more with links to images.
1859 Kaiser Wilhelm II Potsdam, German emperor (1888-1918)
1851 Jan van Chelminski, Polish artist who died in 1925.
^ 1850 Samuel Gompers Dutch/US, first president-American Federation of Labor
      Born in England, Gompers emigrated in 1863 to New York with his family and soon joined his father working as a cigar maker in various New York sweatshops. Although he became heavily involved in the cigar makers' union, Gompers was hardly an advocate of labor's more left-leaning tendencies. As he rose to prominence in the union, Gompers gradually articulated his belief in strikes and boycotts tempered by responsibility and reason. In addition, he focused almost solely on economic goals and hailed binding contracts as a key to improving the lives of workers. In 1886, Gompers spearheaded the formation of the American Federation of Labor (A.F. of L.) He ruled the A.F. of L. for forty years, save for 1895, when a brief burst of socialist sentiment forced him out of office. Gompers shaped the A.F. of L. into his conservative ideal, leading the organization to eschew overt political affiliations, most notably radicalism, in favor of broad patriotic values. However, as employers and politicians increasingly marshaled tough tactics to quell the rising tide of labor, Gompers was forced to choose sides, and in 1908, he supported William Jennings Bryan's failed run for the Oval Office. A few years later, Gompers became a fierce ally of President Woodrow Wilson, and Gompers used the pulpit of the A.F. of L., as well as the recently formed Pan American Labor Federation, to push the government's policy in World War I. Gompers died away in Texas on 13 December 1924.
1832 Arthur Hughes, English Pre-Raphaelite painter and illustrator who died on 22 December 1915. MORE ON HUGHES AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
^ 1832 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as “Lewis Carroll”, English logician, mathematician, photographer, and novelist, especially remembered for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass (1871). His poem The Hunting of the Snark (1876) is nonsense literature of the highest order. He died on 14 January 1898.
     Dodgson was the eldest son and third child in a family of seven girls and four boys born to Frances Jane Lutwidge, the wife of the Rev. Charles Dodgson. He was born in the old parsonage at Daresbury. His father was perpetual curate there from 1827 until 1843, when he became rector of Croft in Yorkshire, a post he held for the rest of his life (though later he became also archdeacon of Richmond and a canon of Ripon cathedral).
      The Dodgson children, living as they did in an isolated country village, had few friends outside the family but, like many other families in similar circumstances, found little difficulty in entertaining themselves. Charles from the first showed a great aptitude for inventing games to amuse them. With the move to Croft when he was 12 came the beginning of the “Rectory Magazines,” manuscript compilations to which all the family were supposed to contribute. In fact, Charles wrote nearly all of those that survive, beginning with Useful and Instructive Poetry (1845; published 1954) and following with The Rectory Magazine (1850, mostly unpublished), The Rectory Umbrella (1850–1853), and Mischmasch (1853–1862; published with The Rectory Umbrella in 1932).
      Meanwhile, young Dodgson attended Richmond School, Yorkshire (1844–1845), and then proceeded to Rugby School (1846–1850). He disliked his four years at public school, principally because of his innate shyness, although he was also subjected to a certain amount of bullying; he also endured several illnesses, one of which left him deaf in one ear. After Rugby he spent a further year being tutored by his father, during which time he matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford (23 May 1850). He went into residence as an undergraduate there on 24 January 1851.
      Dodgson excelled in his mathematical and classical studies in 1852; on the strength of his performance in examinations, he was nominated to a studentship (called a scholarship in other colleges). In 1854 he gained a first in mathematical Finals, coming out at the head of the class, and proceeded to a bachelor of arts degree in December of the same year. He was made a “Master of the House” and a senior student (called a fellow in other colleges) the following year and was appointed lecturer in mathematics (the equivalent of today's tutor), a post he resigned in 1881. He held his studentship until the end of his life.
      As was the case with all fellowships at that time, the studentship at Christ Church was dependent upon his remaining unmarried, and, by the terms of this particular endowment, proceeding to holy orders. Dodgson was ordained a deacon in the Church of England on 22 December 1861. Had he gone on to become a priest he could have married and would then have been appointed to a parish by the college. But he felt himself unsuited for parish work and, though he considered the possibility of marriage, decided that he was perfectly content to remain a bachelor.
      Dodgson's association with children grew naturally enough out of his position as an eldest son with eight younger brothers and sisters. He also suffered from a bad stammer (which he never wholly overcame, although he was able to preach with considerable success in later life) and, like many others who suffer from the disability, found that he was able to speak naturally and easily to children. It is therefore not surprising that he should begin to entertain the children of Henry George Liddell, dean of Christ Church. Alice Liddell and her sisters Lorina and Edith were not, of course, the first of Dodgson's child friends. They had been preceded or were overlapped by the children of the writer George Macdonald, the sons of the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and various other chance acquaintances. But the Liddell children undoubtedly held an especially high place in his affections, partly because they were the only children in Christ Church, since only heads of houses were free both to marry and to continue in residence.
      Properly chaperoned by their governess, Miss Prickett (nicknamed “Pricks”, “one of the thorny kind,” and so the prototype of the Red Queen in Through the Looking-Glass), the three little girls paid many visits to the young mathematics lecturer in his college rooms. As Alice remembered in 1932, they
used to sit on the big sofa on each side of him, while he told us stories, illustrating them by pencil or ink drawings as he went along . . . . He seemed to have an endless store of these fantastical tales, which he made up as he told them, drawing busily on a large sheet of paper all the time. They were not always entirely new. Sometimes they were new versions of old stories; sometimes they started on the old basis, but grew into new tales owing to the frequent interruptions which opened up fresh and undreamed-of possibilities.
      On 04 July 1862, Dodgson and his friend Robinson Duckworth, fellow of Trinity, rowed the three children up the Thames from Oxford to Godstow, picnicked on the bank, and returned to ChristChurch late in the evening: “On which occasion,” wrote Dodgson in his diary, “I told them the fairy-tale of Alice's Adventures Underground, which I undertook to write out for Alice.” Much of the story was based on a picnic a couple of weeks earlier when they had all been caught in the rain; for some reason, this inspired Dodgson to tell so much better a story than usual that both Duckworth and Alice noticed the difference, and Alice went so far as to cry, when they parted at the door of the deanery, “Oh, Mr. Dodgson, I wish you would write out Alice's adventures for me!” Dodgson himself recollected in 1887
how, in a desperate attempt to strike out some new line of fairy-lore, I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole, to begin with, without the least idea what was to happen afterwards.
      Dodgson was able to write down the story more or less as told and added to it several extra adventures that had been told on other occasions. He illustrated it with his own crude but distinctive drawings and gave the finished product to Alice Liddell, with no thought of hearing of it again. But the novelist Henry Kingsley, while visiting the deanery, chanced to pick it up from the drawing-room table, read it, and urged Mrs. Liddell to persuade the author to publish it. Dodgson, honestly surprised, consulted his friend George Macdonald, author of some of the best children's stories of the period. Macdonald took it home to be read to his children, and his son Greville, aged six, declared that he “wished there were 60'000 volumes of it.”
      Accordingly, Dodgson revised it for publication. He cut out the more particular references to the previous picnic (they may be found in the facsimile of the original manuscript, later published by him as Alice's Adventures Underground in 1886) and added some additional stories, told to the Liddells at other times, to make up a volume of the desired length. At Duckworth's suggestion he got an introduction to John Tenniel, the Punch magazine cartoonist, whom he commissioned to make illustrations to his specification. The book was published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865. (The first edition was withdrawn because of bad printing, and only about 21 copies survive, one of the rare books of the 19th century, and the reprint was ready for publication by Christmas of the same year, though dated 1866.)
      The book was a slow but steadily increasing success, and by the following year Dodgson was already considering a sequel to it, based on further stories told to the Liddells. The result was Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (dated 1872; actually published December 1871), a work as good as, or better than, its predecessor.
      By the time of Dodgson's death, Alice (taking the two volumes as a single artistic triumph) had become the most popular children's book in England: by the time of his centenary in 1932 it was one of the most popular and perhaps the most famous in the world.
      There is no answer to the mystery of Alice's success. Many explanations have been suggested, but, like the Mad Hatter's riddle (“The riddle, as originally invented, had no answer at all”), they are no more than afterthoughts. The book is not an allegory; it has no hidden meaning or message, either religious, political, or psychological, as some have tried to prove;and its only undertones are some touches of gentle satire, on education for the children's special benefit and on familiar university types, whom the Liddells may or may not have recognized. Various attempts have been made to solve the “riddle of Lewis Carroll” himself; these include the efforts to prove that his friendships with little girls were some sort of subconscious substitute for a married life, that he showed symptoms of jealousy when his favorites came to tell him that they were engaged to be married, that he contemplated marriage with some of them, notably with Alice Liddell. But there is little or no evidence to back up such theorizing. He in fact dropped the acquaintance of Alice Liddell when she was 12, as he did with most of his young friends. In the case of the Liddells, his friendship with the younger children, Rhoda and Violet, was cut short at the time of his skits on some of Dean Liddell's Christ Church “reforms.” For besides children's stories, Dodgson also produced humorous pamphlets on university affairs, which still make good reading. The best of these were collected by him as Notes by an Oxford Chiel (1874).
      Besides writing for them, Dodgson is also to be remembered as a fine photographer of children and of adults as well (notable portraits of the actress Ellen Terry, the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson [06 Aug 1809 – 06 Oct 1892], the poet-painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti [12 May 1828 – 09 Apr 1882], and many others survive and have been often reproduced). Dodgson had an early ambition to be an artist: failing in this, he turned to photography. He photographed children in every possible costume and situation, finally making nude studies of them. But in 1880 Dodgson abandoned his hobby altogether, feeling that it was taking up too much time that might be better spent.
      Suggestions that this sudden decision was reached because of an impurity of motive for his nude studies have been made, but again without any evidence. Before he had told the original tale of Alice's Adventures, Dodgson had, in fact, published a number of humorous items in verse and prose and a few inferior serious poems. The earliest of these appeared anonymously, but in March 1856 a poem called “Solitude” was published over the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. Dodgson arrived at this pen name by taking his own names Charles Lutwidge, translating them into Latin as Carolus Ludovicus, then reversing and retranslating them into English. He used the name afterward for all his nonacademic works. As Charles L. Dodgson, he was the author of a fair number of books on mathematics, none of enduring importance: A syllabus of plane algebraical geometry (1860), Two Books of Euclid (1860), The Formulae of Plane Trigonometry (1861), Condensation of Determinants (1866), Elementary Treatise on Determinants (1867), Examples in Arithmetic (1874), Curiosa Mathematica, Part I: A New Theory of Parallels (1888), and Curiosa Mathematica, Part II: Pillow Problems thought out during Sleepless Nights (1893). His Euclid and His Modern Rivals (1879) is of some historical interest; in it he defends using Euclid's Elements as a means of teaching geometry
      His humorous and other verses were collected in 1869 as Phantasmagoria and Other Poems and later separated (with additions) as Rhyme? and Reason? (1883) and Three Sunsets and Other Poems (published posthumously, 1898). The 1883 volume also contained The Hunting of the Snark, a narrative nonsense poem that is rivaled only by the best of Edward Lear. Later in life, Dodgson had attempted a return to the Alice vein but only produced Sylvie and Bruno (1889) and its second volume, Sylvie and Bruno Concluded (1893), which has been described aptly as “one of the most interesting failures in English literature.” This elaborate combination of fairy-tale, social novel, and collection of ethical discussions is unduly neglected and ridiculed. It presents the truest available portrait of the man. Alice, the perfect creation of the logical and mathematical mind applied to the pure and unadulterated amusement of children, was struck out of him as if by chance; while making full use of his specialized knowledge, it transcends his weaknesses and remains unique.

LEWIS CARROLL ONLINE:
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
  • Alice's Adventures Under Ground
  • Complete on-line works and commentary
  • Complete Stories
  • Euclid and His Modern Rivals
  • The Hunting of the Snark
  • The Nursery "Alice"
  • Sylvie and Bruno
  • Sylvie and Bruno Concluded
  • Through the Looking Glass
  • Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There
  • Eight or Nine Wise Words About Letter-Writing
  • Phantasmagoria and Other Poems
  • 1828 Louis Schubert composer.
    ^ 1826 (15 January Julian) graf Mikhail Yevgrafovich Saltykov “N. Shchedrin”, in Spas-Ugol, Russia.
          He would grow up to be a novelist of radical sympathies and one of the great Russian satirists. As a boy he was shocked by his mother's cruel treatment of her peasant serfs, which he would describe in Poshekhonskaya Starina (1889). The serfs were under a 1597 law of Boris Godunov and would be emancipated (at least in theory) only by the 03 March (19 February Julian) 1861 proclamation (the serfs were obligated to pay for their “freedom” and the inadequate land granted to them by extravagant annual instalments).
          Saltykov expressed sympathy for French utopian socialists in his story Zaputannoye Delo (1848), for which he was exiled until 1855 to Vyatka (in the northern Urals, renamed Kirov in 1934 by the Soviets in honor of Sergey Mironovich Kirov [27 Mar 1886 – 01 Dec 1934] whose assassination, probably on orders from Stalin according to Krushchev's 25 February 1956 secret speech, Stalin attributed to his real or imagined enemies and used to launch a bloody purge).
          He then wrote Gubernskiye Ocherki (1857), in which he satirized Vyatka officials, his only comedy Smert Pazukhina (1857, about Russian merchants); two satires on high Russian officials: Istoriya Onogo Goroda (1870) and Pompadury i Pompadurshi (1874), a novel on a decaying family of landed gentry Gospoda Golovlyovy; fables on Russian society Skazki (1885).
         Saltykov died on 10 May (28 April Julian) 1889.
    1826 Carlos de Haes, Belgian painter who became a naturalized Spaniard. He died on 17 June 1898. MORE ON DE HAES AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
    1824 Jozef Israëls, Dutch painter who died on 10 August 1911 — MORE ON ISRAËLS AT ART “4” AUGUST with links to images. — (060126)
    1823 Edouard-Victoire-Antoine Lalo, France, composer notable for the clarity of his orchestration, who died on 22 April 1892 (Symphonie Espagnole)
    1813 Johann Jakob Frey, Swiss artist who died on 30 September 1865. — more with link to an image.
    1808 David Friedrich Strauss, German-Protestant philosopher and theologian who died on 08 February 1874.
    1805 Samuel Palmer, English painter who died on 24 May 1881. MORE ON PALMER AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
    1756 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg, Austria, musical prodigy and composer who died on 05 December 1791. (Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Symphony #41, Requiem, A Little Night Music)
    1679 Jean-François de Troy, French painter and tapestry designer who died on 26 January 1752. — more with links to images.
    1645 Michiel van Musscher, Dutch artist who died on 20 June 1705.
    1630 Job Berckheyde, Dutch painter who died on 23 November 1693. MORE ON BERCKHEYDE AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
    1556 Abbas I "the Great," shah of Persia (1587-1629)
     
    Holidays    Mauritius: Cavadee
    Sainte Angèle Merici [21 Mar 1474 – 27 Jan 1540] est née sur les bords du lac de Garde. Elle fonda en 1535 l'ordre des Ursulines pour s'occuper des jeunes filles en difficulté. C'était la première fois que des religieuses sortaient de leur monastère et se vouaient à l'enseignement.
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    Thoughts for the day:
    “Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing.”
    — John Erskine, US author and educator [05 Oct 1879 – 02 Jun 1951]. — Not quite true! Erskine was obviously neither a musician nor a mathematician, and did not know P.D.Q. Bach. He ought to have said:
    “Mathematics is the only language in which one cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing.” {but mathematicians can speak other languages when the need arises.}
    “Old mediums never die, they just give up the ghost.”
    “Old milkmaids never die, they just kick the bucket.”
    “Old agricultural workers never die, they just buy the farm.”
    “Old lawyers never die, they just go to a higher court.”

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    updated Saturday 10-Jan-2009 20:27 UT
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