On This Day
835 – Sweet Dew Incident: Emperor Wenzong of the Tang dynasty conspires to kill the powerful eunuchs of the Tang court, but the plot is foiled.
The Sweet Dew incident (Ganlu incident, Chinese: 甘露事變 or 甘露之變) was an incident on December 14, 835, in which Emperor Wenzong of the Chinese Tang dynasty, angry about the power that the eunuchs had, conspired with the chancellor Li Xun and the general Zheng Zhu to slaughter the eunuchs. The plot failed, however, when the eunuchs realized what was happening and counterattacked with soldiers under their command. Li Xun, Zheng, as well as many of their associates and other officials were slaughtered, and thereafter, the eunuchs had an even firmer control over Emperor Wenzong and his government than before.
Born On This Day
1899 – DeFord Bailey, American Hall of Fame country and blues musician (d. 1982)
DeFord Bailey (December 14, 1899 – July 2, 1982) was an American country music and blues star from the 1920s until 1941. He was the first performer to be introduced on the Grand Ole Opry, the first African-American performer on the show, and the first performer to have his music recorded in Nashville. Bailey played several instruments in his career but is best known for playing the harmonica, often being referred to as a “Harmonica Wizard”.
Born and raised in Tennessee, Bailey learned how to play the harmonica while recuperating from polio as a young child. He moved to Nashville with relatives in his late teens and was an important early contributor to Nashville’s burgeoning music industry. Among the first generation of entertainers to perform live on the radio, his recorded compositions were well-known and popular.
Bailey toured and performed with many well-known country artists during the 1930s. As a result of the 1941 royalties disagreement between Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) and American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) he was fired by WSM and stopped making his living as an entertainer. Afterwards he supported himself and his family by shining shoes & renting out rooms in his home. He returned to sporadic public performances in 1974 when he was invited to participate in the Opry’s first Old-Timers show and in 2005 was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
David John Moore Cornwell (19 October 1931 – 12 December 2020), better known by his pen name John le Carré (/ləˈkæreɪ/), was a British author of espionage novels. During the 1950s and 1960s, he worked for both the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963), became an international best-seller and remains one of his best-known works.
Following the success of this novel, he left MI6 to become a full-time author. His books include The Looking Glass War (1965), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974), Smiley’s People (1979), The Little Drummer Girl (1983), The Night Manager (1993), The Tailor of Panama (1996), The Constant Gardener (2001), A Most Wanted Man (2008), and Our Kind of Traitor (2010), all of which have been adapted for film or television.
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