On This Day in History
In a strange coincidence, a lot of great artists died this day, starting with Ludwig van Beethoven in 1827. The “divine” Sarah Bernhardt, actress, passed in 1923, and German director and major Stanley Kubrick influence Max Ophuls in 1967. Playwright Noel Coward died in 1973, and designer Halston in 1990.
Another genius who died on this date is poet Walt Whitman. While his sexuality is sometimes disputed, his most intense personal relationship was with bus conductor Peter Doyle, who once said “We were familiar at once – I put my hand on his knee – we understood. He did not get out at the end of the trip – in fact went all the way back with me.” Hot! Another account comes from Oscar Wilde, boasting to gay rights activist George Cecil Ives after meeting Whitman in 1882, “I have the kiss of Walt Whitman still on my lips.”
Two milestones for women occurred on this date. Iin 1943, Elise S Ott became the first woman awarded a US Air Force Medal for providing comfort to wounded soldiers on a 10,000-mile flight from India to America. Exactly 30 years later, Susan Shaw became the first woman allowed on the floor of the London Stock Exchange in its 171 year history.
OK, this is getting too serious.
1937 – Spinach growers in Crystal City, Texas, erect a statue of Popeye.
1973 – The soap The Young and the Restless premieres, spawns line of commemorative plates (see photo).
1975 – The film Tommy premieres in London, staring Tina Turner as the Acid Queen.
1989 – Russia holds its first free elections and Boris Yeltsin wins. I think if more than three people Google “Boris Yeltsin drunk photo” at the same time it will crash the system. I couldn’t choose just one image from the thousands available.
1994 – Ricki Lake marries Rob Sussman. Excuse to show photo from Hairspray.