April 18 Dateline

Famous Birthdays

1580 - Thomas Middleton (baptised this day), English Jacobean Playwright and Poet. He stands with John Fletcher and Ben Jonson among the most successful and prolific of the playwrights at work during the Jacobean period.

1590 - Ahmed I, Emperor of the Ottoman Empire

1882 - Leopold Stokowski, English Conductor of Polish and Irish descent. One of the leading conductors of the early and mid-20th century, he is best known for his long association with the Philadelphia Orchestra and his appearance in the Disney film Fantasia. (Portrait of Stokowski (1970). Uploaded by Burtw47. Accessed April 18, 2018.)

1907 - Miklos Rozsa, Composer best known for film scores, including Ben-Hur, Spellbound, Quo Vadis, and The Thief of Baghdad (Rozsa Documentary)

1922 - Barbara Hale, Actress, famous as Della Street, Perry Mason's Secretary

1950 - Grigory Sokolov, Russian Concert Pianist (Grigory Sokolov, A Conversation That Never Was A documentary by Nadezhda Zhdanova)

1969 - Princess Sayako (Sayako Kuroda), Japan

None known

One of Miklos Rozsa's famous compositions based on the music he wrote for Hitchcock's psychological thriller 1945 American film Spellbound. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, it tells the story of the new head of a mental asylum who turns out not to be what he claims. The film stars  Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Micahel Chekhov and Leo G. Carroll. It is an adaptation of the novel The House of Dr. Edwardes (!927). Performance: Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the composer Rozsa himself with Leonard Pennario, pianist, in 1960.  

Historical Events

1906 - An earthquake hits San Francisco measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale. More than 3,000 people die and almost 300,000 are left homeless due to the quake itself and fires that resulted.

1958 - Poet Ezra Pound is released from an insane asylum on orders from the U.S. Federal Court. The American expatriate had been brought back to the U.S. from Italy to face charges of treason, but he was imprisoned on the basis of insanity due to "a gandiosity of beliefs."

April 17 Dateline

Famous Birthdays

1870 - Ray Stannard Baker, Writer (Woodrow Wilson: Life and Letters, and Following the Color Line)

1882 - Artur Schnabel, Austrian Classical Pianist (also teacher and composer)

1885 - Baroness Karen Christenze von Blixen-Finecke, Karen Blixen for short, and wrote under the pseudonym, Isak Dinesen, was a Danish author who wrote works in Danish and English. She used the alias Tania Blixen in German-speaking countries. She also published works using the pseudonym Osceola and Pierre Andrézel. She is best known for Out of Africa, an account of her life while living in Kenya (a film adaptation starred Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, which was a multi-awarded Academy winner), and for one of her stories, Babette's Feast, also adapted into Academy Award-winning motion picture. In Denmark, she is particularly noted for her Seven Gothic Tales. Karen Blixen was considered several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Out of Africa is a memoir by Blixen. It was first published in 1937, recounts events of the 17 years when Blixen made her home in Kenya, then called British East Africa. The book is a lyrical meditation on Blixen's life on her coffee plantation, as well as a tribute to some of the people who touched her life there. It provides a vivid snapshot of African colonial life in the last decades of the British Empire. Blixen wrote the book in English and then rewrote it in Danish. The book has sometimes been published under Blixen's pen name, Isak Dinesen.

1894 - Nikita Khrushchev, Leader of the Soviet Union

1903 - Gregor Piatigorsky, Russian-born American Cellist. (Here's a  documentary film about this famed cellist, An Afternoon with Gregor Piatigorsky. Directed, photographed and edited by Steve Grumette. Accessed April 17, 2018.

1918 - William Holden, Actor, Academy Award for Best Actor, Stalag 17.

1929 - James Last (born Hans Last, also known as Hansi), German Composer and big band Leader of the James Last Orchestra. (James Last & Derek Watkins (trumpet)  with "My Way".  Accessed April 17, 2012).

1957 - Nick Hornby, Writer

1985 - Rooney Mara, Actress

None known

Listen and enjoy pianist Artur Schnabel's beautiful interpretation of Wolfgang A. Mozart's Rondo in A minor, K. 511.

Historical Events

1397 - Geoffrey Chaucer tells his Canterbury Tales in the court of King Richard II.

1865 - Mary Surratt is arrested for her part in conspiring to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. In July, she becomes the first woman executed by the U.S. Government. 

April 16 Dateline

Famous Birthdays

1728 - Joseph Black, Chemist
1867 - Wilbur Wright, Aviator
1889 - Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin KBE,  English comic Actor, Filmmaker, and Composer. He rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, "The Tramp", and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. (Full-length Biography of Charlie Chaplin. Uploaded by RabbiChaimWhitz. Accessed April 16, 2016. Charlie Chaplin the Musician)
1893 - Federico Mompou Dencausse, Spanish Composer and Pianist. He is remembered for his solo piano music and songs.  Complete Piano Music, played by himself. Uploaded by Brilliant Classics. Accessed April 16, 2018.)
1918 - Spike Milligan, Comedian
1921 - Peter Ustinov, Actor and Writer
1922 - Kingsley Amis, Writer
1924 - Henry Mancini, Award-winning Composer for films and television series
1927 - Pope Benedict XVI
1939 - Dusty Springfield, Singer
1976 - Kelli Christine O'Hara - American Singer and Actress

Actor Charlie Chaplin
Actor Peter Ustinov

In Memoriam:  
Featuring the music of Spanish composer Federico Mompou and American composer & conductor Henry Mancini.

Enrico Nicola "Henry" Mancini (April 16, 1924 – June 14, 1994), was an American composer, conductor an arranger, best remembered for his film and television scores. Often cited as one of the greatest composers in the history of film, he won four Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, and twenty Grammy Awards, plus a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. His best known works include the theme to The Pink Panther film series ("The Pink Panther Theme"), ""Moon River" to Breakfast at Tiffany's, and theme to the Peter Gunn television series. Mancini also had a long collaboration on film scores with the film director Blake Edwards.

Federico Mompou; 16 April 1893 – 30 June 1987) was a Spanish composer and pianist. He is remembered for his solo piano and his songs.

Historical Events

1735 - G.F. Handel's opera Alcina is first staged at Covent Garden Theatre in London.

1746 - The Battle of Culloden takes place, the final clash between the Jacobites and Hanoverians in the second Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. The Jacobites support the right of Charles Stewart ("Bonny Prince Charlie") to the throne of England and Scotland. They are defeated and George II remains in power.

April 15 Dateline

Famous Birthdays

1452 - Leonardo Da Vinci, Artist and Scientist (Leonardo da Vinci: The Genius (Full Documentary, uploaded by NWO Documentary Channel, accessed April 15, 2018; Edison, Nobel, and Leonardo da Vinci; Mona Lisa: The Lady with a Smile)

1684 - Catherine I of Russia

1809 - Hermann Grassmann, Mathematician

1843 - Henry James, OM, American-British Author regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism and literary modernism, and is considered by many to be among the greatest novelists in the English language. (Henry James Life & Works. Uploaded by Literature forever. Accessed April 15, 2019.)
1858 - (David) Émile Durkheim, French Sociologist

1924 - Neville Marriner, English Conductor and Violinist, Founder of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

1933 - Elizabeth Montgomery, Actress

1940 - Jeffrey (Howard) Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare is an English Novelist and former Politician. Before becoming a bookselling author, Archer was a Member of Parliament, but did not seek re-election after a financial scandal that left him almost bankrupt.  (An Evening with Jeffrey Archer, at this point, with some of his fans to celebrate the release of his penultimate Clifton Chronicles novel, Cometh the Hour. Uploaded by Book Break. Accessed August 15, 2017.)

1959 - Emma Thompson, Actress (Top 10 Emma Thompson Performances. Uploaded by WatchMojoUK. Accessed April 15, 2019.)

Artist and scientist Leonardo Da Vinci
Actress Emma Thompson


Historical Events

1755 - A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson is published in London. 

1865 - Andrew Johnson becomes 17th President of the United States after Abraham Lincoln dies of a gunshot wound.