Garlands of Moonlight (The Malay Mysteries Book 1)

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As to the Sea of India, shortly before the Spring Equinox, when the Sun is the constellation of Pisces, it becomes dark and hard. Many waves appear, and nobody sails it because of the dark clouds and storms while the Sun is in the Gemini. When the Sun moves to the constellation of Virgo, the darkness of teh sea dissolves and navigation becomes easy, until the Sun again reaches Pisces.

The Sea of Persia is navigable in all seasons, but people refrain from sailing the Sea of India during its stormy period due to the darkness and difficulties. It should be noted that the red coloring, used in European mappaemundi for the Red Sea, 2 was never applied in Islamic maps. The print world map of Ptolemy shows the red tint applied not to the Red Sea itself, but to the part of the Arabian Sea that later became known as the Gulf of Aden Berggren and Jones, , Plate 6.

By the tenth century Arabic scholarship had produced a synthesis of received, preserved older and newly-developed knowledge. This body of classical Islamic geography combined or absorbed, in varying degrees, these three recognizable, if not independent, streams: 1 Greek ecumenic geography largely, but not exclusively, Ptolemy , 2 Arabic-Islamic travel narratives, and 3 Islamic cartography.

It will be noticed that the list does not include Persian geography or a separate mention of Greek cartography; this latter will be discussed below. The former remains a lacuna, a question mark.

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Born in Morocco, Idirisi traveled at least as far east as Asia Minor, but much of his book is data compiled from earlier works. The projection of Idrisi maps is uniquely original and has not yet been explained. The undisputed and strongest systemic influence, however, came from Ptolemy. The narrative follows the maps, observing the Greek system of the Seven Climates that start from the Equator and rise to the Northern Polar Circle.

Idrisi adds a section south of the Equator and instead of degrees of latitude and longitude he breaks the map up into ten sections per clime. In each section, major cities and geographical features sea, lakes, rivers, mountains are named and described, with added ethnographic and cultural information, sometimes contemporary and sometimes long since outdated.

It is not enclosed on Islamic maps. An aberrant and as yet unexplained exception is the schematic map of the Indian Ocean in the recently discovered Book of Curiosities , thought to be produced in the late eleventh century Johns and Savage-Smith, 8 ; it therefore predates al-Idrisi. The encyclopedist al-Biruni c. From the Eastern side, beyond the fathest limits of the land of China, the Surrounding Sea is likewise impassable.

From it branches out a gulf that forms a sea that is named in each location by the name of the country it washes, so that at firist it is the Sea of China, then the Sea of India. From the sea, in turn, branch our great gulfs that are separately named seas, such as the Sea of Persia and Basra… Matveev and Kubbel, Regardless of such great difficulties there is no absolute obstacle for reaching the Ocean Sea Bahr Uqiyanus through these narrows or from the south behind these mountains.

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I have found indications that the two seas join together even though I have not seen this with my own eyes. Matveev and Kubbel, Many later authors drew on al-Idrisi, but, considering the expansion of travel and production of new astronomical data that might reasonbly be expected to lead to growth of geography as a discipline, there appears to be a lack of systemic originality and loss of precision in world geography and cosmographical genre.

The Idrisi sectional map system was not used at all, nor further developed by later authors, although it was not lost. He fills the ocean space with islands and, unable to accommodate all the placenames provided by Idrisi on the East African coast, divides the southern African continent by a deep gulf, with double the coastline looking east Harley and Woodward, Plate Thus, with al-Idrisi, a comprehensive picture of the Indian Ocean is created, from Africa to China, but certain lines of knowledge transmission wither away or become dormant.

We know that expansion of Islam continued along the coasts of the Indian Ocean, whether in Eastern Africa or Indonesia, as it did on the Indian subcontinent. New Islamic states arose and maritime commerce prospered. While in India, he aspired to reach China and discovered that the voyage could be made only on Chinese ships.

Indeed, in the early 15th century China was to make the exploration of the Indian Ocean an imperial project, though Arabic sources are silent about this. Writing about A. The building of Aden. When the dynasty of the pharaohs came to an end, the place fell into ruins as their dynasty disappeared. A group of fishermen settled the island, fishing there. Traces of them still exist and their building remains in Stone and gypsum, brought from these wadis and mountains.

Smith, They used to come up from Madagascar, taking in Aden in one go in one monsoon […] From Aden to Mogadishu is one monsoon, from Mogadishu to Kilwah a second and from Kilwah to Madagascar a third. But [some] people would turn the three monsoons into one: in 10 a ship sailed from Madagascar to Aden in this way, setting sail from Madagascar, making for Kilwah, but dropping anchor in Aden. Their ships have outriggers on account of the narrowness, rockiness and shallowness of their seas. When these people became weak and the East Africans got the better of them, they forced them out and took over their land and settled the wadi, a place which is now inhabited [by people] in reed huts.

They were the first to build reed huts in Aden. When they had gone, the place fell into ruin and remained thus until the inhabitants of Siraf moved out [and settled there]. It is original and unique in the type and amount of detail for the period and the region, describing the cities and towns of Southern Arabia, local dynasties, and social mores. There are even some city maps, but the book does not easily fit the established genres either in history or geography. While it draws on some literary resources, the book does not appear either to build on prior geographical treatises or to be widely cited in later works.

In tracing the lines of transmission of knowledge, Ibn al-Mujawir stands somewhat isolated, egardless of the original and valuable information he presents. On occasion he cites a verse or a foreign word, repeats a story of a saint or relates the information told him in the many audiences he attended at various courts. He started his journeys with a pilgrimage to Mecca and then never ceased to miove from place to place, eventually returning to his homeland of Morocco.

His secretary-editor may have added to his stories excerpts from the records of an earlier pilgrim and traveler such as Ibn Jubayr 12th century , but there are no quotes from learned treatises or encyclopedic disctionaries. Ibn Battuta was a passenger on ships piloted by someone else, and his concerns were about his safety, comfort, secruity for his belongings and his entourage, and getting to the destination. He names quite a few types of ship and survives more than one storm, but he knows nothing about navigation or shipping except for the dictate of the monsoon and the danger of piracy.

His reputation for knowledge, skill and expertise rests on his role as a teacher of naval arts for he has left an exceptionally rich heritage of written works, including a nautical encyclopedia and a number of didactic compositions and sailing instructions for certain oceanic routes.

He authored a total of about forty works in prose and verse, of which more than 20 have survived. His work looks all the more original that there is nothing to compare it with among the earlier known works. The training of pilots and ship masters was a matter of oral instruction and constant practice. The orality is confirmed by the choice of verse form, in the easy rajaz metre for easier memorization, for the sailing instructions.

All other contemporary writers on navigation for such existed and he was aware of them he believed to be not authors, but compilers; he boldly claimed that his own knowledge was the most correct, complete, and accurate. In his case, transmission of nautical knowledge was a constant teaching task to which he was dedicated, often reminding the intended student-captains of the superiority of his store of information over what might be found elsewhere Shumovskii, , They are detailed guidelines for key points of each route, with guidelines for the use of stars and constellations expected to be seen in the monsoon season appropriate for the location.

Ahmad ibn Majid is not unaware of Ptolemy 12 and some prominent geographical concepts derived from Antique geography such as the Mountains of the Moon 13 as the source of the Nile but, if we saw above very little cross-over between academic geography and travel literature, here we find no overlap between the works on navigation and either formal geography or travel literature. There is no evidence of borrowing from learned treatises of descriptive geography, and even in regard to the works of astronomy or mathematical geography there is a degree of skepticism. His compositions are not compilations of earlier works, even if he sometimes repeats himself.

Rather, they are rooted in personal experience and had been tested over decades of sailing over various parts of the Indian Ocean. Tibbets suggests that Arab sailing manuals may have existed since the 11th century A. Furthermore, in the early Portuguese records there are indications that Arab or Muslim navigators on the Indian Ocean, in addition to the traditional compass and instruments for astronomical observations, 15 also used nautical charts or written sailing directions, but none have been found Tibbets , The Ottomans did not participate in Indian-Ocean navigation before their conquest of the Arab countries in , but they were previously engaged in Mediterranean sailing and early adopted European charts and practice, 17 inluding those relating to the Atlantic Ocean and the New World.

There was, however, no overlap between major nautical traditions of these two water bodies due to differences of geography, hydrography and climate. In this case, as previously with classical geography, travel literature, and cartography, we observe that certain lines of communication prove very lasting, while others are overlooked or abandoned; some streams of information come together while others remain separate. There is common sense and expedience in abandoning Greek toponyms for Arabic ones, or substituting more recent authorities for ancient ones. Photographers and their images now move at a pace as fast as the events swirling around them.

Photographs are no longer rare artifacts, nor primarily a means of learning about the exotic or unknown. They arrive instantaneously on our phones every day from every corner of the world and from all kinds of people. With a smart phone, everyone is a photographer, and images compete for crowd approval on social media channels like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Or are they even more instructive today?

Respond on Twitter using the hashtag tellnyt. James Baldwin, whose cutting, unequivocal writing about race relations helped make America more equal than it was before, was born on this day in , according to many accounts. The Times wrote in his obituary on Dec. I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain. What is ghastly and really almost hopeless in our racial situation now is that the crimes we have committed are so great and so unspeakable that the acceptance of this knowledge would lead, literally, to madness.

The human being, then, in order to protect himself, closes his eyes, compulsively repeats his crimes, and enters a spiritual darkness which no one can describe. Only white Americans can consider themselves to be expatriates. Once I found myself on the other side of the ocean, I could see where I came from very clearly, and I could see that I carried myself, which is my home, with me.

You can never escape that. I am the grandson of a slave, and I am a writer. I must deal with both. I was a maverick, a maverick in the sense that I depended on neither the white world nor the black world. It gave me another touchstone — myself. On March 10, , Professor Alexander Graham Bell stood in a Boston boarding house holding a receiving device connected to a series of wires that ran into an adjacent room.

There, his assistant, Thomas A. Watson , waited patiently, clutching another receiver to his ear. Come here! I want—! I heard you! From that experiment using just a few feet of wire would grow an industry that would transform the world. Alexander Graham Bell — who died at 75 on this day in at his estate in Nova Scotia in Canada — was fascinated by speech, sound and communication from a very young age. He was homeschooled by his father, a phoneticist and the developer of Visible Speech, a series of symbols designed to aid the deaf in oration.

The Indian Ocean in Arab Geography

Bell moved to Boston in the early s and there used methods that he had learned from his father to teach deaf students. His techniques proved so useful that he eventually taught them to others as a professor at the Boston University School of Oratory. During these years he continued his research into sound at the university, experimenting with electricity. He hired Watson, an electrical designer and mechanic, for his electrical expertise. Soon they were collaborating on acoustic telegraphy, hoping to transmit a human voice by means of pulses along a telegraph wire.

Bell was granted a patent for the telephone — No. The patent, however, proved controversial from the start. Even though Bell is known as the father of telephony, his claim as its inventor has been challenged repeatedly in hundreds of legal cases, some of which have appeared before the United States Supreme Court. He would go on to undertake important work in fields such as hydrofoils and aeronautics; make early advances in the creation of the metal detector; and develop a wireless telephone, called the photophone. Well, fairy tales have a way of coming true in science and invention.

I often wonder what Yves Saint Laurent, who was born on this day in , would think of the modern fashion world. This is in part because his name has been in the news recently, given the upheaval at the brand he built, where yet another creative director will debut a newish vision for the label next month. In fact, he never saw them as causes per se, but rather as simply part of the definition of what it meant to be modern. Saint Laurent was among the first designers to embrace black models on the runway, claiming such women as Iman, Katoucha Niane and Dalma Callado as his muses.

Naomi Campbell credits him with getting her her first French Vogue cover. Yet every season, we still seem to have the same discussion about the color myopia of the industry. The power of pantsuits? He understood what they could mean for women back in , when he unveiled his first Le Smoking: a tuxedo for women worn with a ruffled white shirt and a satin cummerbund. The idea shocked the world then. The New York socialite Nan Kempner was turned away from Le Cote Basque for wearing hers, only to return having divested herself of the trousers and wearing the jacket as a mini-dress.

That was, somehow, more acceptable to the management. The democratization of fashion? Saint Laurent popularized the idea of high fashion ready-to-wear, introducing Rive Gauche, his Left Bank boutique and off-the-rack collection, in He was the first couturier to make his clothes available to consumers beyond the gilded doors of the haute salons. Now e-commerce has moved the dial even further, and for the first time this season three designers Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry will be showing clothes that can be bought the next day, instead of six months down the line.

So maybe Mr. Saint Laurent, who died on June 1, , would be rolling his eyes. Maybe he would be laughing. But the breathtaking disclosure was delivered with a major caveat: The practical application of the discovery, if any, would take 25 years. That prediction, as it turned out, was off by a long shot. Hahn made his discovery in his laboratory at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, working with his assistant, Fritz Strassmann. Hahn said after the war that he had opposed Nazism. But the process of splitting the uranium atom would not be labeled nuclear fission until later, and Hahn himself, as a chemist rather than a physicist, initially described his discovery in the most equivocal terms.

Hahn later said that he had never believed that his discovery would have military implications. He later became an antiwar activist who opposed nuclear proliferation and expressed his fears in this rhyme:. American elections — and the American electorate — grow more complex and confounding every campaign cycle.

George H. Gallup, who died 32 years ago this week at age 82 , could not, and probably would not, tell you who he thought would win in November. But he could tell you what forces were driving public opinion, from fear of crime and terrorism to a widespread unease about rapid cultural and demographic changes. And he most certainly would have pointed out the flaws in a presidential primary system that produced two candidates with such high negative ratings and so many voters in despair.

Gallup, an Iowan with a commanding presence and a bone-crushing grip, would also undoubtedly have strong feelings about the profound changes roiling the polling industry. His organization pioneered many of the advances in measuring public opinion , including use of the telephone rather than mail or face-to-face interviews.

That technology is now under scrutiny, as more and more pollsters are turning to the internet and mobile devices to conduct surveys. Gallup and The New York Times rely almost exclusively on telephone polling, but are experimenting with reaching the public in other ways.

A Gallup poll famously predicted that Thomas E. Dewey would defeat Harry S. The company instead is now focusing on the mood of the public, taking, as Mr. When Hillary Clinton formally clinches the Democratic presidential nomination this week in front of television cameras and a crowd of thousands, one vital influence will be conspicuously absent: her mother, Dorothy Rodham , whose quintessentially American story of resilience is woven into the fabric of her candidacy. It was sent to states for ratification and took effect 14 months later.

Dorothy and her little sister were sent on a cross-country train to live with their grandparents in California.

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Dorothy was 8, her sister was 3. Their grandmother was old-fashioned and strict. She preferred black Victorian dress and tolerated no disobedience — Dorothy was not allowed to attend parties or have visitors. After she went trick-or-treating one Halloween, she was confined to her bedroom for a year, let out only to go to school.

She cooked, cleaned and nannied for a family in San Gabriel, Calif. She lived in near abject poverty, but in that household Dorothy learned what family was. Would you like it? But her mother lied: She brought Dorothy back to work as a housekeeper. Heartbroken, Dorothy eventually found secretarial work. In , Dorothy married Hugh Ellsworth Rodham , a conservative Republican who operated a small drapery business. They raised three children — Hillary Diane, Hugh Jr.

Dorothy Rodham raised her daughter to stand her ground and hit back if necessary, Mrs. Clinton wrote.

In , after Hillary Rodham had entered Wellesley College as a civic-minded Republican and had become plagued by doubts about remaining there, her mother bucked her up. The war in Vietnam and the turmoil of the civil rights movement led Mrs. Clinton to undergo a political transformation. She graduated as an antiwar Democrat. During her unsuccessful campaign for the presidential nomination, Mrs. Later in life, Dorothy Rodham resumed her education by taking college courses. She died on Nov. Clinton wrote :. Mom measured her own life by how much she was able to help us and serve others.

I knew if she was still with us, she would be urging us to do the same. Never rest on your laurels. Never quit. Never stop working to make the world a better place. This is the story of Cassius Marcellus Clay — not that Cassius Clay, the heavyweight fighter and luminous worldwide presence best known as Muhammad Ali. This story is about the original Cassius Clay: the 19th-century scion of a slaveholding family who became a belligerent emancipationist, globe-trotting statesman, unsparing duelist, early Republican and larger-than-life American eccentric.

A firebrand publisher, Yale-educated lawyer, Kentucky state legislator, major general in the Union Army, survivor of multiple assassination attempts and the United States minister to Russia under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson, General Clay was as well known for his private activities as for his public ones. His obituary in The New York Times, published on July 23, , is remarkable for a level of catty candor rarely seen in American news obituaries of the era — traditionally staid, reverential documents — and, very likely, of any era.

On one occasion, caught without his pistol, General Clay was shot above the heart by a would-be assassin. He was 84 at the time. And so he did, taking Dora Richardson as his bride in Young Dora, who evidently had little say in the matter of her betrothal, did not take kindly to being yoked to a man more than five times her age. She ran away repeatedly from home and from the boarding school to which her husband sent her. The youngest son of Gen. His father had been a hero of the Revolutionary War and was a general in the War of ; Henry Clay, the United States senator and statesman, was a cousin.

Returning home after earning a law degree in , he established a practice in Lexington, served three terms in the Kentucky General Assembly and was a captain in the 1st Kentucky Cavalry in the Mexican War. In , he freed his own slaves and the next year started The True American, an emancipationist newspaper published in Lexington. His proposals for gradually ending slavery, which he also promulgated in public lectures, did not go over well in Kentucky.

He kept a cannon on hand to protect the newspaper office from looming mobs and weathered several more attempts on his life. General Clay, who in the s helped establish the Republican Party, was a friend and staunch supporter of Abraham Lincoln. After the outbreak of the Civil War, he organized the Cassius M. Clay Battalion, a corps of several hundred volunteers charged with protecting the White House. In , Lincoln appointed him minister to Russia, a post he held through the following year and again from to Dispatched to St.

Petersburg, General Clay was instrumental in brokering the deal that in let the United States purchase Alaska. Barricaded in White Hall with a veritable arsenal beside him, he pined for the faithless Dora and worried obsessively that enemies, real and imagined, were coming to kill him. Clay Decreed Insane. He fathered a string of children — as many as 10 in some estimates — most with his first wife, although at least one with a St.

Petersburg mistress. In , he donated the land for what became Berea College in Berea, Ky. Established two years later, it was the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, open to blacks and to women from its inception. Before Bruce Lee sprang into martial arts movies in the early s, the average actor in a kung fu film may have been better prepared to deliver a Shakespearean soliloquy than a roundhouse kick.

But the audiences can tell the difference. It knows a real fighter when it sees one. He began studying martial arts in earnest as a teenager, augmenting his fighting with strength training and dancing. In time he developed his own style, Jeet Kune Do. Lee did his own stunts, helped write the script and choreographed the fight scenes. The film transfixed audiences around the world and cleaned up at the box office. Rumors that he had been murdered by gangsters added to his mystique, but the cause of death was thought to be a brain edema , possibly resulting from an adverse reaction to medication.

More than police officers had to bar thousands of screaming fans from his funeral service. They inspired the next generations of martial arts movie stars, like Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and helped open up Hollywood to Asian actors although the extent to which that has happened is questionable. He has inspired video game characters, even entire games.

A statue of Lee, poised to strike, on the Hong Kong waterfront still attracts throngs of fans. The one by Mr. Lee, who also staged the combats, died very recently. Here he could not be more alive. He made his first appearance in The Times when he was one day old , and undoubtedly has yet to make his last. From the start, every detail of his life hurtled round the world: his baptism ; his first Christmas ; his first teeth, first steps and first haircut; the box of stuffed animals he received from Madame Charles de Gaulle; the time he caught a cold.

Years later that photograph — taken on Nov. For if John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. John Jr. His wife of barely a thousand days, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister Lauren Bessette also died in the crash. His adult exploits were chronicled no less voraciously than his childhood ones had been: his graduations from college and law school; his admission, after well-documented struggle, to the bar; his founding, in , of George, a glossy magazine of politics and popular culture.

Bessette, a fashion publicist, in , in a humble wood-frame chapel on a secluded island off the Georgia coast. But a darker thread ran through it all. By the time they died, Mr. Kennedy and his wife were reported to have been living apart. Bessette Kennedy — a golden-haired beauty fit for a prince — was said to be hotheaded and volatile. He wanted children; she did not. He embraced the limelight; she abhorred it. The magazine, too, was in trouble, condemned by some media watchers as little more than bombast and already embarked on an economic decline. It ceased publication in They took off at dusk, amid hazy, erratic weather and limited visibility, with Mr.

Kennedy — a relatively untried pilot who had been told by doctors not to fly because of a recent broken ankle — at the controls. In a speech he gave by the sea in Newport, R. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears.

We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came. Kennedy Jr. William Henry McCarty Jr. He died in in New Mexico, which was still only a territory and did not yet furnish official death certificates.

And, by the time he was dubbed Billy the Kid, just a few months before his death, he had already reached his majority and barely qualified for the moniker anymore. Also known as William H. According to one version, his mother had moved with her two sons to the Midwest, then to New Mexico to recover from tuberculosis. Still, as recently as six years ago, Gov. He testified, but Wallace reneged, and Governor Richardson ultimately decided against a pardon.

Near-mirror images, they reflect love and loss and ideas surrounding beauty. The two hold hands, connected by shared veins that flow to their exposed hearts. The other is intact with blood pumped to a framed photo of Diego Rivera , the celebrated muralist with whom Kahlo had a tumultuous marriage and had divorced that year. The couple remarried the following year. Together, the two Fridas suggest the physical and emotional toll of the divorce.

Kahlo expressed herself in dress as well, using her raiment as both adornment and armor. She embraced traditional Tehuana clothing, which in her paintings was often interpreted as a symbol of female authority. The choice to wear it in self-portraiture was a nod to her own fortitude. It was amputated later in life. If her clothing was an embrace of cultural identity, her signature unibrow and her wispy mustache were in some ways a rebuke to conventional standards of beauty. At her death on this day 62 years ago, she was well-known as an artist but nevertheless remained overshadowed by Rivera.


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By then her paintings had been exhibited and well-received in major cities like Mexico City, Paris and New York. Her work today sells for millions of dollars, and her likeness has appeared on everything from T-shirts to beer bottles. As noted by Graham W. In it, a white-haired gent, moving with unhurried and ominous purpose, unpacks a set of dentistry implements and sets to work on a young man who is bound to a chair.

Knighted in and raised to a life peerage in , Lord Olivier was, of course, one of the great theatrical performers — some say the greatest of all — of the 20th century, equally adept at comedy and tragedy, especially revered as a Shakespearean of charismatic intensity and daring physicality. But illness and age led him to retire from the stage in ; few, if any, people under 50 today saw him perform live.

His Szell was too cruel, too evil to be believed and yet memorably credible — frightfully, shudder-inducingly persuasive. Try to watch it. But perhaps inevitably, such a portrait feels a little musty, as though the man himself was a figure most alive in the distant past, a sepia-colored character to be revered — Lord Olivier, not Larry, as he was known to friends and colleagues — who could not be the technicolor movie villain whose villainy he so clearly relished embodying and enhancing.

He enjoyed playing good guys, too, of course, and did so, even in his dotage, with similar verve. Many would suspect that Conan Doyle, a trained physician who was often beseeched by the public to apply his skills to real-life cases , might have been as inflexibly rational as Holmes. But by the end of his life, on July 7, , Conan Doyle was a fervent believer in spiritualism , having spent decades researching ghosts, fairies and the paranormal.

His fascination with the supernatural grew after his son Kingsley and his younger brother, Innes, battle-weary from service in World War I, died amid the worldwide influenza pandemic shortly after returning home. Conan Doyle attended seances and wrote and lectured on spiritualism. He befriended Harry Houdini , the escape artist and magician, maintaining that Houdini had psychic powers even though Houdini himself denied it. Leckie produced several pages of automatic writing, in fluent English and signed with a cross.

By the time he died, Conan Doyle — after killing off Holmes in , only to be forced by popular demand to revive him 10 years later — had forsaken Holmes for good. To jazz aficionados, he was also something more: the trumpet virtuoso with the boundless musical imagination who almost singlehandedly shifted the focus of jazz from collective improvisation to individual expression — the man whose playing on the remarkable Hot Five and Hot Seven sessions , recorded when he was in his 20s, virtually defined the art of the jazz solo.

He learned fast. Before he was out of his teens, he was a fixture on the New Orleans music scene; a few years later he moved to Chicago, where he made the records that changed jazz history. In due time he became the first jazz superstar, embraced by the world for his bravura playing, his ebullient singing and his larger-than-life personality. Louis Armstrong died at his home in Queens on July 6, That this quintessential American success story was born on July 4, , always seemed too perfect to be true. Call it poetic license.

The date he and everyone else celebrated was, as the old saying goes, close enough for jazz. Being born on Feb. Celebrating your birthday every Dec. We culled our obituary files for people born that day to explore what, if anything, they had in common. Were they more patriotic? Their ranks include Calvin Coolidge , the laconic 30th president; Stephen Foster , whose songs celebrated Americana; and Stephen Mather , the first director of the National Park Service. They do not, however, include George M. Cohan , the Yankee Doodle Dandy who, contrary to popular wisdom, was actually born on July 3.

Mayer born in what is now Belarus. For all the celebrities who were born on the Fourth of July, the holiday may be more famous for two adversaries who died on that date. A star athlete in high school, he participated in the Allied invasion of Europe, rising to the rank of sergeant before his honorable discharge in But for Evers, who was born on this day in to an African-American farming family in Decatur, Miss.

The racial injustice there rankled so much that he resolved to fight it, becoming the first field officer for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Mississippi. He recruited new members, championed school integration, encouraged blacks to vote and staged daring protests against racial inequality in the South. He also called for a new investigation of the murder of Emmett Till , a year-old African-American who was lynched in Mississippi in , supposedly for flirting with a white woman.

People called his home threatening to shoot his family, and his house was firebombed. He did not back down. The battlefields of Europe did not stop Evers; those of Mississippi did. Early in the morning of June 12, , a bullet from a rifle ripped through his back, the gunfire awakening his neighborhood and reverberating through the civil rights movement for decades. He was shot returning home from an N. Kennedy delivered a televised address calling for equal rights for all American citizens , regardless of race. Evers managed to drag himself to his doorstep, where his wife, Myrlie , an activist who later became chairman of the N.

At the emergency room he was initially refused admittance because he was black, until his family explained who he was.

How I’m Writing My New Graphic Novel – Part 2

He was 37 when he died less than an hour later. His murderer was Byron De La Beckwith , an avowed white supremacist. In two all-white, all-male juries deadlocked and refused to convict Beckwith. A second trial that year ended in a hung jury, and he spent most of his days as a free man. In documents surfaced that indicated that jurors had been illegally screened, and Beckwith was brought to trial and convicted in He died in prison in Two months later, in August , the protests culminated with the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a pivotal, galvanizing moment for the civil rights movement.

As a war veteran Evers was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, with full military honors, achieving in death what he had been denied in life — equality with his brothers-in-arms and his fellow citizens. President Theodore Roosevelt signed two historic bills aimed at regulating the food and drug industries into law on June 30, With decisive strokes of his pen on that oppressively hot day , Roosevelt also provided Upton Sinclair with the greatest validation for which any muckraker could hope.

It remains an inspiration to journalists investigating the food industry and food health scares, workplace conditions and the environmental impact of industry.


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Sinclair later said that his readers had missed the point by focusing on the health risks created by unsanitary stockyards and meatpacking facilities rather than on the dehumanization of workers and the brutal treatment of animals. Still, Sinclair was quick to harness the reaction.

He died on Nov. Roosevelt invited Sinclair to the White House, then ordered a federal investigation. Sinclair took every opportunity to harangue the Beef Trust, as the meatpacking industry was known, and sent a stream of telegrams to the White House demanding reform.

Sinclair did no such thing. He was invited to the White House again in , the year before his death, to witness the signing of a new food safety law by President Lyndon B. On June 28, , an year-old student named Gavrilo Princip fired a pistol in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and changed the world. Ferdinand was aware of the danger — earlier that day he had deflected a bomb hurled at him by another would-be assassin, The Times reported. Many contemporary accounts say the bomb actually bounced off the car. He was traveling to visit people injured in that blast when he was killed.

Such courage, or perhaps obstinacy, was typical for Ferdinand. After the assassination Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Soon Europe, and much of the world, spiraled into war as one country after another, enmeshed in a web of previously established alliances, took sides — either with the Central Powers Germany, Austria-Hungary and their allies or the Allies France, Britain, Russia and others, including, eventually, the United States.

What became known as the Great War, or later World War I, would prove to be more devastating than any that had come before. Those two shots brought the world to arms, and the war that followed has brought devastation upon three continents and profoundly affected two others, and the tocsin has sounded in the remotest islands of the sea. Towns have been bombarbed in the Society Islands and battles have been fought in all the oceans, from the extremity of South America to the Malay Peninsula, from the heart of Africa to the coast of China.

Nation after nation has been drawn into the whirlpool, and more are drawing toward it, and the end is far off. What face the world will wear when it is all over no man can predict, but it will be greatly changed, and not geographically alone. During the four years that followed, millions of young men died as they scrambled between trenches or were killed by disease and chemical weapons like mustard gas. There were more than 30 million servicemen killed or wounded. By the time an armistice was declared in , a generation had lost its innocence, and writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald were inspired by the malaise of their contemporaries.

The war formally ended when the Germans signed the Treaty of Versailles , agreeing reluctantly to terms dictated by the Allied forces. The date was June 28, , exactly five years after Ferdinand was killed. In 20 years the world would be at war again, the wounds of World War I never having fully healed.

An earlier version of this article misidentified the country that Austria-Hungary declared war on after Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. It was Serbia, not Bosnia. They were both fighters. They had both devoted themselves to defending what was right. And they were both nearing 50 on June 27, , as a summer night fell over Greenwich Village. By the time the sun came up, however, Mr. Pine, a deputy police inspector, and Ms.

DeLarverie, a cross-dressing lesbian singer, were standing together at an intersection of history — even if they were on opposite sides of what appeared at first to be an old-fashioned donnybrook outside a mobbed-up bar. It was Deputy Inspector Pine who led the police raid on the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street that night; the night that queer patrons fought back. And it was Ms. No one dared cross her, Ms. DeLarvarie said. For the police, a raid on a joint like the Stonewall had been, until June , a no-brainer.

Gay bars were often controlled by organized crime. Corraling homosexuals was a good way for officers to boost their arrest records. Pine said when discussing the Stonewall uprising at the New-York Historical Society on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. Until they did. Pine apologized for the raid in , six years before his death on Sept.

Not Forgotten is asking that of influential people this summer in a series of posts called Breaking Bread. A raconteur who loved good food, a fine cigar and a stiff drink, he would also be a convivial table guest. Brokaw wrote. And in his imagination he put himself there, with some specific questions in mind:. Sir Winston, I am limited to three questions, which is the interview equivalent of a teaspoon of domestic champagne. Were there any moments after one of your famous speeches that you privately thought Great Britain was in greater peril than you let on?

Was that a humbling sign that the best days of the British Empire were in the past? You had a lifetime of cigars, brandy, wine and very little exercise. You were a prisoner of war and escaped. Your political career seemed to be over in the s, but your glory days were yet to come. You lived to Was it your indomitable will, or was it a higher being looking out for you?

Sir, your country has been an empire, a leading member of a western alliance and now has voted to go it alone. Is this wise? Scientists racing to develop a vaccine against Zika virus disease this summer may be hoping for results like those of Dr. Jonas Salk, creator of the first successful vaccine against poliomyelitis. Salk died on this day in at the age of 80, decades after the polio vaccine he developed helped vanquish the deadly, paralyzing disease throughout much of the world.

Schmeck Jr. The discovery made Dr. Salk a hero. Schmeck wrote. In recent years, however, fears of rare, vaccine-preventable diseases have subsided. Albert B. Sabin, who developed a live polio virus vaccine that ultimately replaced the use of Dr. The live vaccine, given orally, is easier and cheaper to administer, and is particularly useful during epidemics because a vaccinated person temporarily sheds the vaccine virus and can passively immunize others.

It was precisely because of this risk that, five years after Dr. Children in America now exclusively receive the inactivated poliovirus vaccine , known as IPV, that resulted from Dr. Worldwide eradication of the disease has remained an elusive goal. This year and last, polio cases unrelated to the vaccine have occurred in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Earlier in the decade, children in Somalia, Nigeria, Syria and more than a dozen other countries were infected by wild polio virus.

Vaccination campaigns have sometimes been thwarted by war and distrust of medical teams. Even after she ascended to worldwide stardom, she constantly sought the love, adulation and acceptance that she felt had eluded her since childhood. The seeds of her discontent were sown when she was very young. She had a strained relationship with her mother, a fierce stage parent, and was devastated when her beloved father died of meningitis in Garland said she was on a lifelong quest for love.

Category: Book Review

She was married five times and was quoted as saying she longed for the sincere love of one man, rather than the applause of thousands of fans. Garland turned to drugs and alcohol to fill the void. She died from an apparently accidental barbiturate overdose. She was At least I hope she has. Her rosy complexion as a toddler gave her the nickname Pinky. She returned to the United States 16 years later, in , not as Pinky but as Benazir Bhutto, the new prime minister of Pakistan — the first woman elected to lead an Islamic country.

Her time in office would be as tumultuous as her childhood had been idyllic, ending in her assassination by the Pakistani Taliban on Dec. Bhutto was born on this day in to a wealthy family whose lands were once so extensive it took days to appraise them.


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In a country where families dominated business and politics in an almost feudal manner, the Bhuttos seemed destined to rule. As Ms. He imparted lessons to her along the way. But her political education went into overdrive when a top army general, Muhammad Zia ul-Haq, overthrew her father and imprisoned him. Bhutto visited him often, absorbing one-on-one political seminars in the grimmest of settings. Her father encouraged her to study other female leaders, including Indira Gandhi and Joan of Arc. Bhutto was hanged in , charged with orchestrating the murder of a political rival.

Bhutto was forbidden to attend his funeral. But as the opposition to a military regime, Ms. Bhutto spent half her time in prison or under house arrest, sometimes in solitary confinement. She was elected twice, serving from December to August and again from October to November Bhutto could be imperial in bearing, charming and also ruthless. After accusing her government of corruption, her younger brother Murtaza, a member of the provincial legislature, was gunned down outside his home in a police ambush. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, whom she had named minister of investment, was indicted in the murder but exonerated.

Witnesses were either arrested, intimidated or killed. Each of her terms as prime minister ended when she was dismissed by the president on graft charges. When she and her husband left office in , they were worth hundreds of millions of dollars, though the source of their wealth was unclear. Bhutto spent most of the last nine years of her life in self-imposed exile, much of it in a palatial estate in Dubai.

After receiving amnesty on the pending charges, she returned in late to seek a third term. A close ally of the Afghan Taliban — which her government supported in its infancy in — killed her at a rally outside the capital. Pakistan still waits today for a real democracy to emerge, and an elected leader from outside the few feudal families that have ruled the country, alternating with the military, since its birth.

In New York City, Siegel was a core member of the infamous hit squad Murder Incorporated and implicated in many high-profile killings. But Siegel, who died in a hail of bullets 69 years ago today , was also something of a visionary. He eventually moved west and pioneered the development of Las Vegas as a casino capital, investing in it when it was little more than a sleepy desert town with a pliant City Council and lax gambling regulations. In New York, Siegel, a product of the tough streets of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, was, like his associate Meyer Lansky, a kingpin in what was known as the Jewish mob.

Seeking to expand his empire, he left New York City in the s to set up bootlegging and gambling operations on the West Coast. But Siegel wanted more. When the casino struggled at first, Siegel used millions of dollars from mob investors to prop it up. Without him, the Flamingo would have folded. On June 20, , he was shot through the living room window of Ms. The casino he built in her name endured until , when the last of the original buildings were razed and replaced by Hilton. He wrote about his father, Wyatt Cooper, a screenwriter and actor from Mississippi.

The paper was lying on the kitchen counter, and I was startled to see his face staring up at me as I passed by. It was two days after his death. The article was short. What would happen to my family and me now? As a teenager I used to imagine that he had written me a letter, and every birthday I secretly hoped it would arrive. After a while, no matter how much you love someone, no matter how hard you try to remember, you start to forget little details — the sound of their voice, the way they smell, the look in their eyes when they smile and laugh. If I could see my father just once more, sit down and talk with him, look into his crystal blue eyes, feel the safety of his arms around me, I would give anything for that.

Is he proud of me? What would he have done if he were me? I just turned 49, and my doctor assures me I have many years yet to live. What path forward should I take? How should I live out these years I never expected to have, these years he never lived to see? For his confirmation gift, his parents gave him a telescope. His imagination was piqued as a student in Berlin when he read about a phantasmagorical journey to the moon. When he died on June 16, , Wernher von Braun , the son of East Prussian aristocrats, had left an indelible, if ambiguous, legacy as a visionary space-travel pioneer.

They were scooped up in Operation Paperclip and transplanted in Alabama, where they formed the vanguard of an American space program that built the Saturn V rocket, which sent nine crews toward the moon. He would say later that his chief goal was always space travel — eventually a permanent moon base and a mission to Mars — and that his V-2 rockets had worked perfectly, except that they landed on the wrong planet. As the satirist Tom Lehrer sang:. Unlike many of her jazz world contemporaries — the list is practically endless — she was abstemious.

When she was not onstage or on tour, where she spent most of her life, she preferred tranquil days at her Beverly Hills home and a placid social life with friends like Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan and Peggy Lee. Yet her quiet, abstemious side probably contributed to her longevity; her career lasted six decades. Fitzgerald had a protean voice. She sang show tunes, swing, bebop, novelties, bossa nova and opera. An inscrutable point in space, which contains all other points simultaneously, inspires a poet, and revenge.

Despairing curators wander in a labyrinthine library stocked with innumerable, unintelligible books. A mild-mannered reader dreams of gauchos, knife fights and death. These and all other manner of the mystical, enigmatic and paradoxical imbued the writing of Jorge Luis Borges , an Argentine author whose concise, intricate work overflowed with wonder.

He penned densely philosophical short stories and poems of his own and literary hoaxes that intentionally blurred the line between reality and fiction. Borges was widely considered a candidate for the Nobel Prize for literature, but he never received it. Some speculated that the Nobel committee overlooked Mr. Borges because of his reluctance to engage with the political violence that engulfed Argentina in the 20th Century.

But Mr. Borges, an otherworldly figure himself, preferred the printed page to our unruly and unwelcoming reality. That reality grew more distant when he went blind in the s and was forced to rely on others to transcribe his words and read to him. He departed this world for good when he died of liver cancer on June 14, Toward the end of his life, however, Mr. Borges said he recognized himself in his most fantastical writing.

Borges said. Clinton replied. In he asked president George W. Bush replied. A war of choice or a war of necessity? For almost 17 years as moderator Mr. The show regularly reached an audience of almost four million people. And he was working until the end. Below is a tribute episode that aired after his death. Russert covered elections through the s and early s. In one memorable instance he brought comprehensible analysis to the confusing ballot tumult in Florida in the presidential election that ended with a Supreme Court decision and victory for Mr.

Russert was an unlikely candidate for broadcast stardom. The son of a garbage collector from Buffalo, N. Mario M. Cuomo of New York. He was meaty and sometimes cross-looking with his dramatically knitted eyebrows; he could be prosecutorial one moment and jovial the next. He joined NBC in as an executive. The show still draws a comparable number of viewers with Chuck Todd occupying Mr. Today we have David H. Petraeus, a former C. Besides celebrating writers and those in the arts, the club, in Midtown Manhattan, has also recognized military and government leaders including the former Defense Secretary Robert M.

Gates and me at its annual state dinners. Hosting Grant — a great writer as well as a great leader — at the Lotos Club would thus be very fitting. He would feel welcome there. Coincidentally, the lovely old townhouse that houses the club, on East 66th Street just off Fifth Avenue, is next door to the address at which Grant lived the final years of his life. I have long admired Grant and felt that some historians were unduly critical of him at various points in the last century although more recent biographies have once again recognized his extraordinary qualities and how fortunate we were to have him in uniform during the Civil War, in particular.

In my view, Grant stands alone among American military leaders as hugely impressive at all three levels of war: tactically as shown in his capture of Forts Henry and Donelson in Tennessee early in the war ; operationally the Vicksburg victory in , one of the greatest operational-level campaigns of all time ; and strategically devising and overseeing the first truly comprehensive strategy for the Union forces to defeat Robert E. Especially impressive was his sheer fortitude in the face of congressional sniping, press criticism, political pressures, battlefield setbacks and terrible casualties.

Most important, as the first Union commander to come up with a comprehensive strategy to defeat the Confederate forces, he was the first to give battle to Lee and not retreat back to Washington immediately afterward. And although as president he was tarnished by financial scandal after placing too much trust in some members of his cabinet, he sought to be compassionate during the Indian Wars and in the conduct of Reconstruction, and demonstrated integrity in guiding the nation through a host of financial crises.

And he was modest and unassuming in all that he did. They are still regarded as the most literate, forthright memoirs of any major American military figure. With the help of Mark Twain, the memoirs were an enormous commercial success when published after Grant died, on July 23, , at an Adirondacks retreat. Twain, by the way, was among the earliest members of the Lotos Club.

For me, Grant was always captured best in the pithy response he offered to Gen. Sherman had emerged from the darkness to encounter Grant sitting under a tree with the rain dripping off his slouch hat. A life of crime is usually lived in the shadows. But John Gotti, the longtime boss of the Gambino crime family, preferred the spotlight.

He was a publicity hound long before social media and smartphones made oversharing ubiquitous. Bruce Mouw, a former F. Gotti died on June 10, , in a federal prison in Springfield, Mo. Gotti took control of the Gambino family after engineering the assassination of his predecessor, Paul Castellano, in He went on to make flagrant power moves , courting the press all the while.

He cut a dashing figure, draped in expensive double-breasted suits that might as well have been suits of armor, as far as prosecutors were concerned. Raab wrote. Gotti relished the attention. He knew his every move was being scrutinized but never let his observers feel that they had the upper hand. On April 2, , Gotti was convicted on 13 counts, among them a racketeering charge that cited him for five murders and other murder charges, conspiracy, gambling, obstruction of justice and tax fraud. Yearning for the spotlight ran in the family. Nice looking.

Not at all like her stamp. Wears her watch over the glove, though — tacky. Joan Rivers, the irrepressible and sharply acerbic comedian, would have been 83 today, and since her death almost two years ago , she has left a celebrity-skewering void that can still be felt during every major red carpet event, from the Oscars to the Grammys, where the glitterati were sitting ducks for her as she hosted the E!

You are a one of a one. Rivers died undergoing a routine procedure in New York City. A settlement in a malpractice lawsuit filed by Ms. But beyond the red carpet, we remember Ms.