FYI March 29 & 30, 2019

On This Day

845 – Paris is sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collects a huge ransom in exchange for leaving.
The Siege of Paris and the Sack of Paris of 845 was the culmination of a Viking invasion of France. The Viking forces were led by a Norse chieftain named “Reginherus”, or Ragnar, who traditionally has been identified with the legendary saga character Ragnar Lodbrok (Old Norse: “Ragnarr Loþbrók”, contemporary Icelandic: “Ragnar Loðbrók”). Ragnar’s fleet of 120 Viking ships, carrying thousands of men, entered the Seine in March and proceeded to sail up the river.

The Frankish king Charles the Bald assembled a smaller army in response, but as the Vikings defeated one division, comprising half of the army, the remaining forces retreated. The Vikings reached Paris at the end of the month, during Easter. After plundering and occupying the city, the Vikings withdrew when they had been paid a ransom of 7,000 French livres (2,570 kilograms (83,000 ozt)) of silver and gold from Charles the Bald.

1282 – The people of Sicily rebel against the Angevin king Charles I, in what becomes known as the Sicilian Vespers.
The Sicilian Vespers (Italian: Vespri siciliani; Sicilian: Vespiri siciliani) was a successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out at Easter 1282 against the rule of the French-born king Charles I, who had ruled the Kingdom of Sicily since 1266. Within six weeks, approximately 13,000 French men and women were slain by the rebels, and the government of King Charles lost control of the island. It was the beginning of the War of the Sicilian Vespers.


Born On This Day

1888 – Enea Bossi, Sr., Italian-American engineer, designed the Budd BB-1 Pioneer and Bossi-Bonomi Pedaliante (d. 1963)
Enea Bossi Sr. (29 March 1888 – 9 January 1963) was an Italian-American aerospace engineer and aviation pioneer. He is best known for designing the Budd BB-1 Pioneer, the first stainless steel aircraft; and also the Pedaliante airplane, disputably credited with the first fully human-powered flight.

Personal life
Enea Bossi was born in Milan, Italy.[1] He emigrated to the United States on the RMS Oceanic from Cherbourg, France, on 20 July 1914, subsequently residing at 264 Riverside Drive in Great Neck, New York. Bossi declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States on 30 July 1914 and petitioned for naturalization on 9 December 1925. He became a naturalized United States citizen on 16 March 1926, though his two sons retained their inherited Italian citizenship, jus sanguines, as well their American citizenship, jus soli.[2] He spoke fluent Italian, French, and English.

Bossi married Flora Kehrer, a Swiss German from Lausanne who had been sent away by a new stepmother to the United States immediately prior to the outbreak of World War I and was living with her aunt and uncle in Connecticut. The two met through Enea Bossi’s professional relationship with her uncle, George Boldt, and Flora and Enea eloped against the wishes of Flora’s guardians. The couple had two children, Charles Bossi (b. 1922, New York City; d. 1989, Ohio) and Enea Wilbur Bossi. (b. 1924, Montclair, New Jersey; d. 1999, Lansdale, Pennsylvania). They ultimately resided on Upper Mountain Avenue in Montclair, at its intersection with Watchung Avenue, and maintained a country house on North Wales Road in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. The Montclair house still exists, but the Lansdale residence has since been replaced by subdivided residential homes, located opposite the Montgomery Mall.

1888 – J. R. Williams, Canadian-born cartoonist (d. 1957)
James Robert Williams (March 30, 1888, Nova Scotia, Canada – June 17, 1957)[1] was a cartoonist who signed his work J. R. Williams. He was best known for his long-run daily syndicated panel, Out Our Way. As noted by Coulton Waugh in his 1947 book, The Comics, anecdotal evidence indicated that more Williams’ cartoons were clipped and saved than were other newspaper comics. A newspaper promotion of 1930 compared him to poets Eugene Field and James Whitcomb Riley.[2]

When he was young, Williams’ family moved to Detroit, and he was 15 when he dropped out of school to work as an apprentice machinist in Ohio, soon relocating to Arkansas and Oklahoma, where he drifted about, sometimes working on ranches during a six-year period. He spent three years in the U.S. Cavalry.[3][4]

Returning to Ohio, he married Lida Keith and settled into a steady job with a crane manufacturing firm where he drew covers for the company’s catalog. During his spare time, he created cartoons depicting ranch life and machine shop workers. He started submitting his work to newspaper syndicates, eventually receiving an offer from Newspaper Enterprise Association.[4]

Out Our Way begins

Out Our Way first appeared in newspapers on March 20, 1922. The single-panel series introduced a variety of characters, including the cowboy Curly and ranch bookkeeper Wes, and soon led to a Sunday strip, Out Our Way with the Willits. His assistants on the strip were George Scarbo and Neg Cochran.[3]

Williams used Out Our Way as an umbrella title for several alternating series. These had recurring characters, such as Bull of the Woods about the boss of a machine shop and the small town family life in Why Mothers Get Gray. Don Markstein, in describing Williams’ settings and themes, lists the other series subtitles:

Frequently-used settings reflected Williams’s experiences before he became a cartoonist, and included factory floors, mechanic shops, and cattle ranches — in fact, cowboys and other ranch denizens appeared so frequently, it could almost have edged Little Joe out as comics’ first successful western, if other settings hadn’t been prominent as well. Family life and the adventures of small town boys were also common themes. Williams often used multiple large word balloons when the situation called for it, but if the picture stood on its own, didn’t mind getting the words out of the way and using only a single short caption. He often re-used the same captions, such as Born Thirty Years Too Soon, Heroes Are Made, Not Born, Bull of the Woods and Why Mothers Get Gray. The Worry Wart was frequently used as a caption for panels starring a boy of about eight. Wart was one of several recurring characters, but the daily didn’t have a regular star.[5]

With 40 million readers by 1930, Williams was so successful that he bought his own ranch in Prescott, Arizona, where he rode about on his horse Lizard. He later moved to Pasadena, California. His cartoons and strips continued through the next two decades, appearing in more than 700 newspapers at their peak. They were collected in several books, and some were reprinted in Popular Comics. In 1956, the Worry Wart starred in a single issue of his own comic book, a Dell Four-Color titled, Out Our Way with the Worry Wart. The following year, Williams died at age 69.[3][5]

Out Our Way was continued by Neg Cochran, Paul Gringle, Ed Sullivan and others until 1977.[5]

Publisher Leonard G. Lee of Canada’s Algrove Publishing has reprinted Williams’ work in more than a dozen volumes of their Classic Reprint Series. In addition to Out Our Way Sampler: 20s, 30s & 40s (2005), their catalog includes U.S. Cavalry Cartoons, The Bull of the Woods (six volumes) and Classic Cowboy Cartoons (four volumes).[6]



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