Famous Birthdays1865 - Rudyard Kipling, English Journalist, Short-story Writer, Poet, and Novelist. He was best known for children's books and was a Nobel laureate in Literature in 1907. Kipling was born in India, which inspired much of his work. His works of fiction include The Jungle Book, Kim, and many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King." He's also famous for his inspirational poem "If." (Narrated by Tom O'Bedlam, uploaded by The Motiv8, accessed December 30, 2017.)
1880 - Alfred Einstein, German-American Musicologist and Professor, cousin of scientist Albert Einstein.
1945 - Davy Jones, Musician
1961 - Ben Johnson, Athlete
1975 - Tiger Woods, Golfer
"If" by Rudyard Kipling.
Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org)
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
1905 - Franz Lehar's operetta The Merry Widow is first performed in Vienna.
1916 - The 'mad monk' Grigory Rasputin is killed, a challenge and difficult thing to do. He had become a guru to the Russian tsar and family, and was considered a bad influence on them. A group of nobles poison Rasputin's food and wine, but he survives it. Then they tried to shoot him, he collapses, and again survives and half-struggles before trying to flee the palace ground. He is shot three more times, which doesn't stop him. The final attempt is tying him up and throwing him into a freezing river. His body is found later and the official cause of death given is drowning.
1921 - Sergei Prokofiev conducts the premiere of his opera The Love for Three Oranges, in Chicago.
1922 - The Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (U.S.S.R.), is formally established.
1924 - Edwin Hubble, American astronomer, reveals that there are galaxies beyond the Milky Way. He is one of the first to postulate that the red shift he observes in the light spectrum from these galaxies is caused by the continuing expansion of the universe.
1973 - Novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn publishes in Paris The Gulag Archipelago, considered his powerful literary account of the Soviet Union's prison camp system.
1999 - Former Beatles member George Harrison is stabbed several times in the chest by an intruder who broke into his home in Oxfordshire, England. He lives another two years before dying of lung cancer.
Franz Lehár - The Merry Widow - Overture. YouTube, uploaded by Fledermaus1990. Accessed December 30, 2016.
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3. Dateline. Sydney: Millennium House, (2006)
4. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History, New 3rd Revised Ed. Simon & Schuster/Touchstone (1991)