May 10, 2017 – NATIONAL SCHOOL NURSE DAY – NATIONAL SHRIMP DAY – NATIONAL RECEPTIONISTS’ DAY – NATIONAL THIRD SHIFT WORKERS DAY – NATIONAL BIKE TO SCHOOL DAY – NATIONAL LIPID DAY – NATIONAL CLEAN UP YOUR ROOM DAY
On this day:
1849 – Astor Place Riot: A riot breaks out at the Astor Opera House in Manhattan, New York City over a dispute between actors Edwin Forrest and William Charles Macready, killing at least 25 and injuring over 120.
The Astor Place Riot occurred on May 10, 1849, at the now-demolished Astor Opera House in Manhattan, New York City and left at least 25 dead and more than 120 injured. It was the deadliest to that date of a number of civic disturbances in New York City which generally pitted immigrants and nativists against each other, or together against the upper classes who controlled the city’s police and the state militia.
The riot marked the first time a state militia had been called out and had shot into a crowd of citizens, and it led to the creation of the first police force armed with deadly weapons, yet its genesis was a dispute between Edwin Forrest, one of the best-known American actors of that time, and William Charles Macready, a similarly notable English actor, which largely revolved around which of them was better than the other at acting the major roles of Shakespeare.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, theatre as entertainment was a mass phenomenon, and theatres were the main gathering places in most towns and cities. As a result, star actors amassed an immensely loyal following, comparable to modern celebrities or sports stars. At the same time, audiences had always treated theaters as places to make their feelings known, not just towards the actors, but towards their fellow theatergoers of different classes or political persuasions, and theatre riots were not a rare occurrence in New York.
In the early- to mid-nineteenth century, the American theatre was dominated by British actors and managers. The rise of Edwin Forrest as the first American star and the fierce partisanship of his supporters was an early sign of a home-grown American entertainment business. The riot had been brewing for eighty or more years, since the Stamp Act riots of 1765, when an entire theatre was torn apart while British actors were performing on stage. British actors touring around America had found themselves the focus of often violent anti-British anger, because of their prominence and the lack of other visiting targets.
The fact that both Forrest and Macready were specialists in Shakespeare can be ascribed to the reputation of Shakespeare in the nineteenth century as the icon of Anglo-Saxon culture. Ralph Waldo Emerson, for instance, wrote in his journal that beings on other planets probably called the Earth “Shakespeare.” Shakespeare’s plays were not just the favorites of the educated: in gold rush California, miners whiled away the harsh winter months by sitting around campfires and acting out Shakespeare’s plays from memory; his words were well known throughout every stratum of society.
The roots of the riot were multifold, but had three main strands:
A dispute between Macready, who had the reputation as the greatest British actor of his generation, and Forrest, the first real American theatrical star. Their friendship became a virulent theatrical rivalry, in part because of the poisonous Anglo-American relations of the 1840s. The question of who was the greater actor became a notorious bone of contention in the British and, particularly, the American media, which filled columns with discussions of their respective merits
A growing sense of cultural alienation from Britain among mainly working-class Americans, along with Irish immigrants; though nativist Americans were hostile to Irish immigrants, both found a common cause against the British.
A class struggle between those groups who largely supported Forrest, and the largely Anglophile upper classes, who supported Macready. The two actors became figureheads for Britain and America, and their rivalry came to encapsulate two opposing views about the future of American culture.
It was ironic that both were famous as Shakespearean actors: in an America that had yet to establish its own theatrical traditions, the way to prove its cultural prowess was to do Shakespeare as well as the British, and even to claim that Shakespeare, had he been alive at the time, would have been, at heart at least, an American.
Born on this day:
1918 – Diva Diniz Corrêa, Brazilian zoologist (d. 1993)
Diva Diniz Corrêa (10 May 1918 – 28 April 1993) was a Brazilian marine zoologist.
Diva Diniz Corrêa was born in 1918 in Avaré, São Paulo, Brazil, being the younger of three sisters and the only one to attend college.
In 1939, she began her studies in Natural History at the Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras of the University of São Paulo. During this time, she worked closely with Ernst Marcus and Eveline Du Bois-Reymond Marcus, becoming good friends with them. After graduating in 1941, she apprenticed with Dr. Ottorino de Fiore di Coprani in the Department of Geology and Paleontology.
From 1943 to 1945, she taught natural history in a country school near São Paulo, when she was then offered a professorship at the University of São Paulo and started to teach courses in Zoology and Physiology. At this time she made several trips to the coast to collect specimens for her classes and her research.
In 1948, Diva completed her doctoral thesis on the embryology of Bugulina flabellata, a bryozoan, and received the highest grade possible by the committee, which was directed by Ernst Marcus and Paul Sawaya. In 1952, she received a fellowship from the University of Padova and went to the Stazione Zoologica in Naples, Italy, where she studied neurophysiology and locomotion of nemerteans, leading to many papers. In 1957, she received another fellowship, this time from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, to travel to the California Pacific Marine Station of the University of California, which led to the publication of a monograph on the nemerteans of California and Oregon coasts.
From October 1958 to February 1959, Diva had an internship at the Institute of Marine Science, University of Miami and visited the U. S. Virgin Islands. During her time in the United States, Diva developed a taste for Coca-Cola and named a nemertean as Zygonemertes cocacola. In 1962, she had an internship at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Curaçao from a grant given by the Dutch government, resulting in a survey of the nemerteans from the region and the description of a turbellarian.
Later in 1962, Diva returned to the University of São Paulo and was a professor of the Department of Zoology until her retirement in 1988. She occupied the chair that became vacant by the retirement of Prof. Ernst Marcus. From 1963 to 1977, she was the first female director of the Department of Zoology.
Corrêa, D. D. (1947). “A primeira Dolichoplana (Tricladida Terricola) do Brasil”. Boletim da Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras da Universidade de São Paulo. 12: 57–82.
Corrêa, D. D. (1953). “Sobre a neurofisiologia locomotora de hoplonemertinos e a taxonomia de Ototyphlonemertes”. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências. 25: 545–555.
Corrêa, D. D. (1953). “Sobre a locomoção e a neurofisiologia de nemertinos”. Boletim da Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras da Universidade de São Paulo. 18: 129–147.
Corrêa, D. D. (1954). “Nemertinos do litoral Brasileiro”. Boletim da Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras da Universidade de São Paulo. 19: 1–122.
Corrêa, D. D. (1956). “Estudo de nemertinos Mediterraneos (Palaeo e Heteronemertini)”. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências. 28: 195–214.
Corrêa, D. D. (1961). “Nemerteans from Florida and Virgin Islands”. B Mar Sci Gulf Carib. 11: 1–44.
Corrêa, D. D. (1963). “Nemerteans from Curaçao”. Study of the Fauna of Curaçao and other Caribbean Islands. 17: 41–56.
Corrêa, D. D. (1964). “Nemerteans from California and Oregon”. Proc Calif Acad Sci. 31: 515–558.
Taxa named in her honor
Several taxa were named after Diva Diniz Correa, such as the turbellaria genus Dinizia, the nemertean genera Divanella and Correanemertes, and the gastropod species Piseinotecus divae.