Sunday, October 06, 2002

Having looked around to find out what else other than Gandhi’s birth occurred on Oct 2, I was interested to know about the events that took place on my birthday – June 26. Here’s what I found:

In 1284, the Pied Piper lured 130 children of the town of Hamelin away. In 1894, Karl Benz received US patent for gasoline-driven auto. In 1896, the first movie theatre in the US opened. In 1945, in San Francisco, the UN Charter was signed by 50 nations. In India, the Emergency was declared in 1975. In 1989, the US Supreme Court ruled that 16 year olds can receive the death penalty. In 1997 the Court struck down the Internet indecency law; and, on the same day, upheld the ban on doctor-assisted suicide.

In 1870, June 26 saw the premiere of Richard Wagner’s Valkyrie in Munich; and in 1912 Mahler’s 9th Symphony premiered in Vienna. The Beatles released A Hard Day’s Night in 1964; and in 1977 Elvis Presley gave the last performance of his career, in Indianapolis.

People born on June 26 include the scientist Lord Kelvin, the writers Andre Maurois and Pearl S Buck, the blues singer/guitarist ‘Big Bill’ Broonzy and the conductor Claudio Abbado, the actor Peter Lorre, and the director Paul Thomas Anderson.

Alfred Doblin, who, in his novel Berlin Alexanderplatz, gave Berlin the same treatment that Joyce gave Dublin in Ulysses, died on this date. (The novel was made into a film, which, at 15 ½ hours, is the longest narrative film ever, by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.)