(Clean Sweep, into another pile~)
NATIONAL CLEAN OFF YOUR DESK DAY
On this day:
1349 – The Jewish population of Basel, believed by the residents to be the cause of the ongoing Black Death, is rounded up and incinerated.
As the plague swept across Europe in the mid-14th century, annihilating nearly half the population, Jews were taken as scapegoats, likely because they were affected less than other people. Accusations spread that Jews had caused the disease by deliberately poisoning wells.
The first massacres directly related to the plague took place in April 1348 in Toulon, France, where the Jewish quarter was sacked, and forty Jews were murdered in their homes, then in Barcelona. In 1349, massacres and persecution spread across Europe, including the Erfurt massacre (1349), the Basel massacre, massacres in Aragon, and Flanders. 900 Jews were burnt alive on 14 February 1349 in the “Valentine’s Day” Strasbourg massacre, where the plague had not yet affected the city. Many hundreds of Jewish communities were destroyed in this period. Within the 510 Jewish communities destroyed in this period, some members killed themselves to avoid the persecutions.
Reasons for relative Jewish immunity
There are many possible reasons why Jews were accused to be the cause for the plague. One reason was because there was a general sense of anti-Semitism in the 14th century. Jews were also isolated in the ghettos, which meant in some places that Jews were less affected. Additionally, there are many Jewish laws that promote cleanliness: A Jew must wash his or her hands before eating bread and after using the bathroom, it is customary for Jews to bathe once a week before the Sabbath, a corpse must be washed before burial, etc.
1788 – Connecticut becomes the fifth state to be admitted to the United States.
Connecticut (Listeni/kəˈnɛtᵻkət/) is the southernmost state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Connecticut is also often grouped along with New York and New Jersey as the Tri-State Area. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, and Long Island Sound to the south. Its capital city is Hartford, and its most populous city is Bridgeport. The state is named for the Connecticut River, a major U.S. river that approximately bisects the state. The word “Connecticut” is derived from various anglicized spellings of an Algonquian word for “long tidal river”.
1941 – World War II: First flight of the Avro Lancaster.
The Avro Lancaster is a British four-engined Second World War heavy bomber designed and built by Avro for the Royal Air Force (RAF). It first saw active service with RAF Bomber Command in 1942 and, as the strategic bombing offensive over Europe gathered momentum, it was the central implement for the night-time bombing campaigns that followed. It became the main heavy bomber used by the RAF, the RCAF, and squadrons from other Commonwealth and European countries serving within the RAF, overshadowing its close contemporaries the Handley Page Halifax and Short Stirling. The “Lanc”, as it was affectionately known, thus became one of the more famous and most successful of the Second World War night bombers, “delivering 608,612 long tons of bombs in 156,000 sorties.” The Lancaster, an evolution of the troublesome Avro Manchester, was designed by Roy Chadwick and was powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlins, or, in one version, Bristol Hercules engines.
A long, unobstructed bomb bay meant that the Lancaster could take the largest bombs used by the RAF, including the 4,000 lb (1,800 kg), 8,000 lb (3,600 kg), and 12,000 lb (5,400 kg) blockbusters, loads often supplemented with smaller bombs or incendiaries. The versatility of the Lancaster was such that it was chosen to equip 617 Squadron and was modified to carry the Upkeep “Bouncing bomb” designed by Barnes Wallis for Operation Chastise, the attack on Germany Ruhr Valley dams. Although the Lancaster was primarily a night bomber, it excelled in many other roles, including daylight precision bombing: in the latter role some Lancasters were adapted to carry the 12,000 lb (5,400 kg) Tallboy and then the 22,000 lb (10,000 kg) Grand Slam earthquake bombs (also designed by Wallis).
In 1943, a Lancaster was converted to become an engine test bed for the Metropolitan-Vickers F.2 turbojet. Lancasters were later used to test other engines, including the Armstrong Siddeley Mamba and Rolls-Royce Dart turboprops, and the Avro Canada Orenda and STAL Dovern turbojets. Postwar, the Lancaster was supplanted as the RAF’s main strategic bomber by the Avro Lincoln, a larger version of the Lancaster. The Lancaster took on the role of long range anti-submarine patrol aircraft (later supplanted by the Avro Shackleton) and air-sea rescue. It was also used for photo-reconnaissance and aerial mapping, as a flying tanker for aerial refuelling and as the Avro Lancastrian, a long-range, high-speed, transatlantic, passenger and postal delivery airliner. In March 1946, a Lancastrian of BSAA flew the first scheduled flight from the new London Heathrow Airport.
2007 – Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces the original iPhone at a Macworld keynote in San Francisco.
Phone (/ˈaɪfoʊn/ EYE-fohn) is a line of smartphones designed and marketed by Apple Inc. They run Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. The first generation iPhone was released on June 29, 2007; the most recent iPhone model is the iPhone 7, which was unveiled at a special event on September 7, 2016.
The user interface is built around the device’s multi-touch screen, including a virtual keyboard. The iPhone has Wi-Fi and can connect to cellular networks. An iPhone can shoot video (though this was not a standard feature until the iPhone 3GS), take photos, play music, send and receive email, browse the web, send and receive text messages, follow GPS navigation, record notes, perform mathematical calculations, and receive visual voicemail. Other functions—video games, reference works, social networking, etc.—can be enabled by downloading mobile apps. As of June 2016, Apple’s App Store contained more than 2 million applications available for the iPhone.
Born on this day:
1859 – Carrie Chapman Catt, American activist, founded the League of Women Voters and International Alliance of Women (d. 1947)
Carrie Chapman Catt (January 9, 1859 – March 9, 1947) was an American women’s suffrage leader who campaigned for the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave U.S. women the right to vote in 1920. Catt served as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and was the founder of the League of Women Voters and the International Alliance of Women. She “led an army of voteless women in 1919 to pressure Congress to pass the constitutional amendment giving them the right to vote and convinced state legislatures to ratify it in 1920” and “was one of the best-known women in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century and was on all lists of famous American women”.
1875 – Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, American sculptor and art collector, founded the Whitney Museum of American Art (d. 1942)
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (January 9, 1875 – April 18, 1942) was an American sculptor, art patron and collector, and founder in 1931 of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. She was a prominent social figure and hostess, who was born into the wealthy Vanderbilt family and married into the Whitney family.
1935 – Earl G. Graves, Sr., American businessman and publisher, founded Black Enterprise magazine
Earl Gilbert Graves, Sr. (born January 9, 1935) is an American entrepreneur, publisher, businessman, philanthropist, and advocate of African-American businesses. A graduate of Morgan State University, he is the founder of Black Enterprise magazine and chairman of the media company Earl G. Graves, Ltd. He is the current director for Aetna and Executive Board member of the Boy Scouts of America. He is the father of Earl G. Graves, Jr.
Anne Rivers Siddons (born January 9, 1936) is an American novelist who writes stories set in the southern United States.
Born Sybil Anne Rivers in Atlanta, Georgia, she was raised in Fairburn, Georgia, and attended Auburn University, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. While at Auburn she wrote a column for the student newspaper, The Auburn Plainsman, that favored integration. The university administration attempted to suppress the column, and ultimately fired her, and the column garnered national attention. She later became a senior editor for Atlanta magazine. At the age of thirty she married Heyward Siddons,who died April 8, 2014. In 1991, she received an honorary degree in Doctor of Letters from Oglethorpe University. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina, and spends summers in Maine.
Peachtree Road, set in Atlanta, was a bestselling novel described as “the Southern novel for our generation” by Pat Conroy. More than a million copies are in print. In 1989 her book Heartbreak Hotel became a movie titled Heart of Dixie, which starred Ally Sheedy, Virginia Madsen, Phoebe Cates, Treat Williams, Kyle Secor and Peter Berg.
Siddons’s book The House Next Door was adapted for a made-for-television movie that aired in 2006 on Lifetime Television, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Colin Ferguson, and Lara Flynn Boyle. The film tells the story of a woman who is drawn to a home filled with an evil presence that preys on its inhabitants’ weaknesses.
Siddons signed a three-book contract with Warner Books and her novel titled Off Season was released in 2008. Her novel “Burnt Mountain” made many best books[permanent dead link] of the year lists in 2011.
1941 – Joan Baez, American singer-songwriter, guitarist and activist
Joan Chandos Baez (/baɪz/; born January 9, 1941) is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician, and activist whose contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest or social justice. Baez has performed publicly for over 55 years, releasing over 30 albums. Fluent in Spanish and English, she has recorded songs in at least six other languages. She is regarded as a folk singer, although her music has diversified since the counterculture days of the 1960s and now encompasses everything from folk rock and pop to country and gospel music. Although a songwriter herself, Baez generally interprets other composers’ work, having recorded songs by the Allman Brothers Band, the Beatles, Jackson Browne, Leonard Cohen, Woody Guthrie, Violeta Parra, The Rolling Stones, Pete Seeger, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and many others. In recent years, she has found success interpreting songs of modern songwriters such as Ryan Adams, Josh Ritter, Steve Earle and Natalie Merchant. Her recordings include many topical songs and material dealing with social issues.
She began her recording career in 1960 and achieved immediate success. Her first three albums, Joan Baez, Joan Baez, Vol. 2, and Joan Baez in Concert all achieved gold record status and stayed on the Billboard and other record album charts for two years.
Songs of acclaim include “Diamonds & Rust” and covers of Phil Ochs’s “There but for Fortune” and The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”. She is also known for “Farewell, Angelina”, “Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word”, “Forever Young”,”Joe Hill”, “Sweet Sir Galahad” and “We Shall Overcome”. She was one of the first major artists to record the songs of Bob Dylan in the early 1960s; Baez was already an internationally celebrated artist and did much to popularize his early songwriting efforts. Baez also performed three songs at the 1969 Woodstock Festival and has displayed a lifelong commitment to political and social activism in the fields of nonviolence, civil rights, human rights and the environment.
Baez will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 7, 2017.
1944 – Jimmy Page, English guitarist, songwriter, and producer
James Patrick “Jimmy” Page, OBE (born 9 January 1944) is an English musician, songwriter, and record producer who achieved international success as the guitarist and founder of the rock band Led Zeppelin.
Page began his career as a studio session musician in London and, by the mid-1960s, alongside Big Jim Sullivan, was one of the most sought-after session guitarists in Britain. He was a member of the Yardbirds from 1966 to 1968. In late 1968, he founded Led Zeppelin.
Page is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time. Rolling Stone magazine has described Page as “the pontiff of power riffing” and ranked him number 3 in their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. In 2010, he was ranked number two in Gibson’s list of “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time” and, in 2007, number four on Classic Rock’s “100 Wildest Guitar Heroes”. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice; once as a member of the Yardbirds (1992) and once as a member of Led Zeppelin (1995). Page has been described by Uncut as “rock’s greatest and most mysterious guitar hero”. Los Angeles Times magazine voted Jimmy Page the 2nd greatest guitarist of all time.