On This Day, September 5

Posted on 5th Sep 2012 by ian under On This Day | No Comments »

Welcome to Wednesday…

On this day in 1840 La Scala in Milan saw the first performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Un giorno di regno.  I only mention this because I once had a job pumping out septic tanks for a guy called Giuseppe Verdi – only he went by the Australian version, Joe Green.

In 1887 there was a fire at Theatre Royal in Exeter, England and 186 people died – and to think that on this day in 1666 the Great Fire of London was finally extinguished.  It destroyed 10,000 buildings including St Paul’s cathedral but only six people died.

In 1960, boxer Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay), was awarded the gold medal in the light heavyweight boxing competition at the Olympic Games in Rome.

Ali later threw the medal into a river as a protest over America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

Coincidentally, in 1969, the My Lai Massacre happened and U.S. Army Lt. William Calley was charged with six specifications of premeditated murder for the death of 109 Vietnamese civilians.

And, in 1972 – the Munich Massacre: A Palestinian terrorist group called “Black September” attacked and took hostage 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games. Two die in the attack and nine die the following day.

To those born on this day…

In 1918 – Harold “Buddy” Williams, the Australian country singer to record music.  The Buddy williams variety Show was the first ‘concert’ I attended, in the Gundagai Theatre, aged about six.  Me, not him – he would have been early 40’s.  As well as the music there were lots of cheesy sketches but I did laugh out loud at the silly toilet humour and even tapped my foot to those country tunes…

In 1929 – American actor and comic, Bob Newhart…

In 1939 – actor, George Lazenby, Australia’s James Bond in the Man From Hong Kong...

In 1940 – American actress, Raquel Welch… how come she never got cast as a Bond Girl?

In 1944 – Australian politician, Gareth Evans…

In 1945, Scottish singer/songwriter, Al Stewart… 1945 was actually the year of the Rooster – there is no Chinese Year of the Cat, which was his biggest hit.  Al played at the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970, he knew Yoko Ono before she met John Lennon and shared a London apartment with a young Paul Simon…

In 1946 – Queen’s Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar…

And, in 1946 – American singer and composer, Loudon Wainwright III.  If he hadn’t been born, the world would never have heard Dead Skunk (in the middle of the road)!