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On This Day
1169 – Norman mercenaries land at Bannow Bay in Leinster, marking the beginning of the Norman invasion of Ireland.
The Norman invasion of Ireland took place in stages during the late 12th century, at a time when Gaelic Ireland was made up of several kingdoms, with a High King claiming lordship over all.
In May 1169, Cambro-Norman mercenaries landed in Ireland at the request of Diarmait Mac Murchada (Dermot MacMurragh), the ousted King of Leinster, who had sought their help in regaining his kingdom. Diarmait and the Normans seized Leinster within weeks and launched raids into neighbouring kingdoms. This military intervention had the backing of King Henry II of England and was authorized by Pope Adrian IV.
In the summer of 1170, there were two further Norman landings, led by Richard “Strongbow” de Clare. By May 1171, Strongbow had assumed control of Leinster and seized the Norse-Irish city kingdoms of Dublin, Waterford, and Wexford. That summer, High King Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair (Rory O’Connor) led an Irish counteroffensive against the Normans, who nevertheless managed to hold most of their conquered territory. In October 1171, King Henry landed a large Anglo-Norman army in Ireland to establish control over both the Cambro-Normans and the Irish. The Norman lords handed their conquered territory to Henry. He let Strongbow hold Leinster in fief and declared the cities to be crown land. Many Irish kings also submitted to him, likely in the hope that he would curb Norman expansion. Henry, however, granted the unconquered kingdom of Meath to Hugh de Lacy. After Henry’s departure in 1172, Norman expansion and Irish counteroffensives continued.
The 1175 Treaty of Windsor acknowledged Henry as overlord of the conquered territory and Ruaidrí as overlord of the rest of Ireland, with Ruaidrí also swearing fealty to Henry. However, the Treaty soon fell apart; the Anglo-Norman lords continued to invade Irish kingdoms and they in turn launched counter-attacks. In 1177, Henry adopted a new policy. He declared his son John to be “Lord of Ireland” (i.e. of the whole country) and authorized the Norman lords to conquer more land. The territory they held became the Lordship of Ireland and formed part of the Angevin Empire. The largely successful nature of the invasion has been attributed to a number of factors. These include the Normans’ military superiority and programme of castle-building; the lack of a unified opposition from the Irish; and the Church’s support for Henry’s intervention.
The Norman invasion was a watershed in the history of Ireland, marking the beginning of more than 800 years of direct English and, later, British involvement in Ireland.
Born On This Day
1851 – Laza Lazarević, Serbian psychiatrist and neurologist (d. 1891)
Lazar “Laza” K. Lazarević (Serbian Cyrillic: Лазаp К. Лазаревић, Šabac, 13 May 1851 – Belgrade, 10 January 1891, Gregorian calendar) was a Serbian writer, psychiatrist, and neurologist. The primary interest of Lazarević throughout his short life was the science of medicine. In that field he was one of the greatest figures of his time, pre-eminently distinguished and useful as a doctor, teacher, and a writer on both medical issues and literary themes. To him literature was an avocation; yet he was very good at it and thought of himself as a man of letters. He translated the works of Nikolay Chernyshevsky and Ivan Turgenev.
Few writers have achieved fame with such a small opus as Lazar Kuzmanović Lazarević, for it rests on nine stories; yet he is considered one of the best Serbian writers of the nineteenth century. He was often referred to as the Serbian Turgenev. During his brief life, “the less than prolific opus” enshrined him in Serbian literature as a writer who introduced the psychological story genre.
Jhoon Goo Rhee (January 7, 1932 – April 30, 2018), commonly known as Jhoon Rhee, was a South Korean master of taekwondo who was widely recognized as the ‘Father of American Taekwondo’ for introducing this martial art to the United States of America since arriving in the 1950s. He was ranked 9th dan.
Jhoon Rhee Official Site
With a heavy heart I want to announce the passing of my father, Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee, this morning at 7:25 am. He was with his wife Theresa and daughter Meme. Information about his Memorial service will be posted later this week.
▶ Read the Jhoon Rhee story.
Judith Leiber (born Judit Pető; January 11, 1921 – April 28, 2018) was a Hungarian-American fashion designer and businesswoman.
Life and career
Leiber was born Judit Pető in 1921 in Budapest, Hungary, to Helene, a Vienna-born homemaker, and Emil, a commodities broker. She also had one sister named Eva. Leiber was sent to King’s College London in 1938 by her family to study chemistry for the cosmetics industry, in part since her father thought she would be safer in London in the case of a war.
She returned to Hungary before World War II, where thanks to family connections, obtained a traineeship at a handbag company, where she learned to cut and mold leather, make patterns, frame and stitch bags. She was the first woman graduated to master craftswoman, becoming the first woman to join the Hungarian Handbag Guild in Budapest.
She avoided Nazi persecution when she escaped the Holocaust of World War II to the safety of a house set aside for Swiss citizens, when her father, a Hungarian Jew who managed the grain department of a bank, was able to obtain a Swiss schutzpass, a document that gave the bearer safe passage. This pass is on view at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. The flat where Leiber survived the war housed 26 people.
In December 1944, those living in the apartment were taken to one of the Hungarian Nazi-run ghettos. After the liberation of Hungary by the Red Army, Leiber’s family moved into a basement with 60 other people.
In 1946, she married Gerson Leiber (Gus), who was a sergeant in the United States Army serving in Eastern Europe. They met when she was making purses for the secretaries of the American Legation in Budapest, and they moved to New York City in 1947. Her husband Leiber was an abstract expressionist painter, member of the National Academy of Design, with some of his works displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and other institutions.
After working as a handbag designer for other companies, Leiber founded her own business in 1963.
Leiber is famous for her crystal minaudières, evening purses made of a metal shell often encrusted with Swarovski crystals, plated with silver or gold and with various forms, such as baby pigs, slices of watermelon, cupcakes, peacocks, penguins, and snakes. Sold at exclusive boutiques around the world, her purses may cost up to several thousand dollars and have become a status symbol for many women, including several Presidential First Ladies, to which she has given them as a present, from Mamie Eisenhower to Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton. Animals are a recurring theme in her designed, and often the most expensive purses of the collection with prices on some animal shaped minaudières exceeding US$7,000. They have become a sought-after fashion item, being collected by wealthy women. Bernice Norman, an arts patron in New Orleans, owns close to 300 of the Leiber bags.
In 1994, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers. Classic examples of her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia has had a gallery of her work on display since it opened in 2008. She retired in 1998. In September 2008, she was rated the most prestigious luxury handbag brand for the second year running by the New York-based Luxury Institute. In 2010, Leiber received a Visionary Woman Award from Moore College of Art & Design.
The Leibers bought property in Springs, New York in 1956 and it became their primary residence in 2011. In 2005 they opened the Leiber Museum across the street from their home to display the bags as well as paintings by Gerson Leiber. The Leibers sought to buy back an example of all of the purses to be displayed at the museum. The museum also displays various awards including the 1973 Coty Award.
In the media
A Judith Leiber cupcake minaudiere was featured in the Sex and the City movie.
A biography of Leiber and her husband, modernist artist Gerson Leiber, was published in 2010. Entitled No Mere Bagatelles, it was written by Jeffrey Sussman. Mr. Sussman has also written the catalogue copy for numerous exhibitions at the Leiber Museum. Exhibitions for which he has written the catalogues include one for Judith Leiber’s handbags, one for an exhibition of antique Chinese porcelains, and one for the print work of the American artist Will Barnet.
The Judith Leiber boutiques are exclusive as there are only four in the world. They are located in New Delhi, Jakarta, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. However, some of her collection is available at selected fashion stores like Neiman Marcus, Harvey Nichols, Lane Crawford, Holt Renfrew and Harrods.
Leiber died at her home in Springs, New York, on April 28, 2018, just a few hours after her husband Gerson Leiber had died.
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Francina “Fanny” Elsje Blankers-Koen (26 April 1918 – 25 January 2004) was a Dutch track and field athlete, best known for winning four gold medals at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. She competed there as a 30-year-old mother of two, earning her the nickname “the flying housewife”, and was the most successful athlete at the event.
Having started competing in athletics in 1935, she took part in the 1936 Summer Olympics a year later. Although international competition was stopped by World War II, Blankers-Koen set several world records during that period, in events as diverse as the long jump, the high jump, and sprint and hurdling events.
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