On This Day
1386 – England and Portugal formally ratify their alliance with the signing of the Treaty of Windsor, making it the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world which is still in force.
The Treaty of Windsor is the diplomatic alliance signed between Portugal and England on 9 May 1386 at Windsor and sealed by the marriage of King John I of Portugal (House of Aviz) to Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster. With the victory at the Battle of Aljubarrota, assisted by English archers, John I was recognized as the undisputed King of Portugal, putting an end to the interregnum of the 1383–1385 Crisis. The Treaty of Windsor established a pact of mutual support between the countries.
This document is preserved at the Portuguese National Archives.
Historian Matthew Winslett says, “This treaty has been the cornerstone of both nations’ relations with each other ever since.”
Born On This Day
1746 – Gaspard Monge, French mathematician and engineer (d. 1818)
Gaspard Monge, Comte de Péluse (9 May 1746 – 28 July 1818) was a French mathematician, the inventor of descriptive geometry (the mathematical basis of technical drawing), and the father of differential geometry. During the French Revolution he served as the Minister of the Marine, and was involved in the reform of the French educational system, helping to found the École Polytechnique.
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Richard Wayne Penniman (December 5, 1932 – May 9, 2020), better known as Little Richard, was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He was an influential figure in popular music and culture for seven decades. Nicknamed “The Innovator, The Originator, and The Architect of Rock and Roll”, Penniman’s most celebrated work dates from the mid-1950s, when his charismatic showmanship and dynamic music, characterized by frenetic piano playing, pounding back beat and raspy shouted vocals, laid the foundation for rock and roll. Penniman’s innovative emotive vocalizations and uptempo rhythmic music also played a key role in the formation of other popular music genres, including soul and funk, respectively. He influenced numerous singers and musicians across musical genres from rock to hip hop; his music helped shape rhythm and blues for generations to come.
“Tutti Frutti” (1955), one of Penniman’s signature songs, became an instant hit, crossing over to the pop charts in both the United States and overseas in the United Kingdom. Richard’s next hit single, “Long Tall Sally” (1956), hit No. 1 on the Billboard Rhythm and Blues Best-Sellers chart. His performances during this period resulted in integration between whites and blacks in his audience. In 1962, during a five-year period in which Richard abandoned rock and roll music for born again Christianity, concert promoter Don Arden persuaded him to tour Europe. During this time, Arden had The Beatles open for Penniman on some tour dates, capitalizing on his popularity. Richard advised the Beatles on how to perform his songs and taught the band’s member Paul McCartney his distinctive vocalizations.
Penniman is cited as one of the first crossover black artists, reaching audiences of all races. His music and concerts broke the color line, drawing blacks and whites together despite attempts to sustain segregation. His contemporaries, including Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Everly Brothers, Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran, all recorded covers of his works. Taken by his music and style, and personally covering four of Penniman’s songs on his own two breakthrough albums in 1956, Presley told Penniman in 1969 that his music was an inspiration to him and that he was “the greatest”.
Penniman was honored by many institutions. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of its first group of inductees in 1986. He was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In 2015, Penniman received a Rhapsody & Rhythm Award from the National Museum of African American Music for his key role in the formation of popular music genres and helping to bring an end to the racial divide on the music charts and in concert in the mid-1950s changing American culture significantly. “Tutti Frutti” was included in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2010, which stated that his “unique vocalizing over the irresistible beat announced a new era in music”.
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By Rodrigo García, Opinion The New York Times: A Letter to My Father, Gabriel García Márquez Not a day goes by that I don’t come across a reference to your novel “Love in the Time of Cholera.” It’s impossible not to speculate about what you would have made of all this.
The Passive Voice: Books-A-Million re-opens bookstores with curbside pick-up, staff in PPE, telephone experts, and cosmetic cases in beautiful floral prints
From The New Publishing Standard:
America’s second-largest bookstore chain, Books-A-Million, is readying for Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 10 in USA) and is opening all but a handful of its 200 stores across the country, the exceptions being states or counties where full lockdown continues.
In a press release Books-A-Million CEO Terrance G. Finley said,
We are extremely appreciative of the support we have received from our customers during these difficult times. Through online ordering; the buy online, pick-up in store option; and curbside pick-up, our guests have continued to seek out great books, educational materials, puzzles and toys.
Now that we are able to welcome our customers back to the stores in time for Mother’s Day, our booksellers stand ready to share the rich assortment of new books and products that we have been curating over the past weeks.
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