On November 5, 1941 was born Art Garfunkel, best known for being one-half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel. Highlights of his solo music career include a top 10 hit, three top 20 hits, six top 40 hits, 14 Adult Contemporary top 30 singles, five Adult Contemporary number ones, two UK number ones and a People's Choice Award. Through his solo and collaborative work, Garfunkel has earned six Grammys, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1990, he and former musical partner Paul Simon were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
On November 2, 1906 was born Luchino Visconti, italian theatre, opera and cinema director, as well as a screenwriter. He began his filmmaking career as an assistant director on Jean Renoir's "Toni" (1935) and "Une partie de campagne" (1936).Together with Roberto Rossellini, Visconti joined the salotto of Vittorio Mussolini (the son of Benito, who was then the national arbitrator for cinema and other arts). Here he presumably also met Federico Fellini. With Gianni Puccini, Antonio Pietrangeli and Giuseppe De Santis, he wrote the screenplay for his first film as director: "Ossessione" (Obsession, 1943), the first neorealist movie and an unofficial adaptation of the novel "The Postman always rings twice". He directed his most important movies during the 1960s, starting from "Rocco e i suoi fratelli" (Rocco and his brothers, 1960), the masterpiece "Il Gattopardo" (The Leopard, 1963), based on Tommasi de Lampedusa's novel of the same name about the decline of the Sicilian aristocracy at the time of the Italian unity and indipendence (Risorgimento). This film was distributed in America and Britain by Twentieth-Century Fox, which deleted important scenes. Visconti repudiated the Twentieth-Century Fox version. He also directed "Morte a Venzia" (Death in Venice, 1971) based on the homonymous novella, first published in 1912 as Der Tod in Venedig by the German author Thomas Mann. Visconti directed his last movie in 1976, "L'innocente" (The innocent), based on a novel by Gabriele D'Annunzio.
«Hodie primum capella nostra, pingi finita, aperta est». These are the words pronounced by Paride Grassi, master of cerimonies of the Pope Julius II, 500 yeras ago.
One of the greatest masterpieces of the Renaissance art, the Sistine Chapel, was triumphally inaugurated on October 31, 1512 by Pope Julius II during the solemn celebration of "Vespri" (Vespers). Famous for its architecture and its decoration, the Sistine Chapel was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio
On 28 October 1940, after Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas rejected an Italian ultimatum demanding the occupation of Greek territory, Italian forces invaded Greece. The Hellenic army counterattacked and forced the Italians to retreat, and by mid-December the Greeks occupied nearly a quarter of Albania, tying down 530,000 Italian troops. In March 1941 a major Italian counterattack failed, with small gains around Himare In the first days of April, as the German attack on Greece unfolded, the Italian army resumed its offensive. From 12 April the Greek army started retreating from Albania to avoid being cut off by the rapid German advance. On 20 April the Greek army of Epirus surrendered to the Germans, and on 23 April 1941 the armistice was repeated including the Italians, effectively ending the Greco-Italian war.
The Greek victory over the initial Italian offensive of October 1940 was the first Allied land victory of the Second World War.
On October 27, 1553, Michael Servetus is burned for heresy in Switzerland. He was an Aragonese theologian, physician, cartographer, and Renaissance humanist. He was the first European to correctly describe the function of pulmonary circulation. He was a polymath versed in many sciences: mathematics, astronomy and meteorology, geography, human anatomy, medicine and pharmacology, as well as jurisprudence, translation, poetry and the scholarly study of the Bible in its original languages. He is renowned in the history of several of these fields, particularly medicine and theology. He participated in the Protestant Refotmation, and later developed a nontrinitarian Christology. Condemned by Catholic and Protestant alike, he was arrested in Geneva and burnt at the stake as a heretics by order of the Protestant Geneva governing council.
Susan B. Antony was a prominent American Civil Rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She was co-founder of the first Women's Temperance Movement with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as President. Susan also co-founded the women's rights journal, The Revolution, traveled the United States and Europe, and averaged 75 to 100 speeches per year. She was one of the important advocates in leading the way for women's rights to be acknowledged and instituted in the American government.
This video is a reenactment of Susan B Anthony speaking about women's right to vote in 1872.
On November 3, 1920 was born Oodgeroo Noonuccal [also known as Kath Walker], Australian Aboriginal poet, political activist for the rights of the Aboriginal people, artist and educator. She was best known for her poetry, and was the first Aboriginal Australian to publish a book of verse, called "We are going". Despite her first book of poetry was extraordinarily successful, critics’ responses were mixed, with some questioning whether Oodgeroo, as an Aboriginal person, could really have written it herself. Others were disturbed by the activism of the poems, and found that they were "propaganda" rather than what they considered to be real poetry. Oodgeroo embraced the idea of her poetry as propaganda, and described her own style as "sloganistic, civil-writerish, plain and simple. She wanted to convey pride in her Aboriginality to the broadest possible audience, and to popularise equality and Aboriginal rights through her writing.
In 1974 Noonuccal was aboard a British Airways flight that was hijacked by militants campaigning for Palestinian liberation. The hijackers shot a crew member and a passenger and forced the plane to fly to several different African destinations. During her three days in captivity, she used a blunt pencil and an airline sickbag from the seat pocket to write two poems, ‘Commonplace’ and ‘Yusuf (Hijacker)’.
In 1988 she adopted a traditional name: Oodgeroo (meaning "paperbark tree") Noonuccal (her tribe's name).
She died in 1993 in Victoria aged 72.
Below you can read one of her most famous poems, linked to the fight for the Aboriginal rights.
"We are going"
They came in to the little town A semi-naked band subdued and silent All that remained of their tribe. They came here to the place of their old bora ground Where now the many white men hurry about like ants. Notice of the estate agent reads: 'Rubbish May Be Tipped Here'. Now it half covers the traces of the old bora ring. 'We are as strangers here now, but the white tribe are the strangers. We belong here, we are of the old ways. We are the corroboree and the bora ground, We are the old ceremonies, the laws of the elders. We are the wonder tales of Dream Time, the tribal legends told. We are the past, the hunts and the laughing games, the wandering camp fires. We are the lightening bolt over Gaphembah Hill Quick and terrible, And the Thunderer after him, that loud fellow. We are the quiet daybreak paling the dark lagoon. We are the shadow-ghosts creeping back as the camp fires burn low. We are nature and the past, all the old ways Gone now and scattered. The scrubs are gone, the hunting and the laughter. The eagle is gone, the emu and the kangaroo are gone from this place. The bora ring is gone. The corroboree is gone. And we are going.'
October 31, 1795 is the date of birth of John Keats.
He was one of the main figures of the second generation of romantic poets along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, despite his work only having been in publication for four years before his death.
Although his poems were not generally well-received by critics during his life, his reputation grew after his death, so that by the end of the 19th century he had become one of the most beloved of all English poets. He had a significant influence on a diverse range of poets and writers. The poetry of Keats is characterized by sensual imagery, most notably in the series of odes. Today his poems and letters are some of the most popular and most analyzed in English literature. Among other things, like critical reviews, the great argentinian poet, Jorge Luis Borges, stated that his first encounter with Keats was the most significant literary experience of his life. Indeed Borges dedicated to him a significant poem, called "A John Keats":
"Desde el principio hasta la joven muerte la terrible belleza te acechaba como a los otros la propicia suerte o la adversa. En las albas te esperaba de Londres, en las páginas casuales de un diccionario de mitología, en las comunes dádivas del día, en un rostro, una voz, y en los mortales labios de Fanny Brawne. Oh sucesivo y arrebatado Keats, que el tiempo ciega, el alto ruiseñor y la urna griega serán tu eternidad, oh fugitivo. Fuiste el fuego. En la pánica memoria no eres hoy la ceniza. Eres la gloria".
In the picture: Ezra Weston Loomis Pound, born on October 30, 1885.
He was a major figure of the early modernist movement. His contribution to poetry began with his promotion of Imagism, a movement that derived its technique from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry, stressing clarity, precision and economy of language. His best-known works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920) and his unfinished 120-section epic, The Cantos (1917–1969).
In October 29, 1618 Sir Walter Raleigh is executed. He was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy, and explorer. He is also well known for popularising tobacco in England.
In 1594 Raleigh heard of a "City of Gold" in South America and sailed to find it, publishing an exaggerated account of his experiences in a book that contributed to the legend of "El Dorado". After Queen Elizabeth died in 1603 Raleigh was again imprisoned in the Tower, this time for allegedly being involved in the Main Plot against King James I, who was not favourably disposed toward him. In 1616 he was released to lead a second expedition in search of El Dorado. This was unsuccessful and men under his command ransacked a Spanish outpost. He returned to England and, to appease the Spanish, was arrested and executed in 1618.
Raleigh was one of the most notable figures of the Elizabethan era, and in 2002 he featured in the BBC poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States (1901-1909), was born on October 27, 1858. In 1905, he issued a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, known as Roosvelt Corollary, in which he asserted that European nations should not intervine in countries to the south of the US, however, under certain conditions, United States intervention might be justified. In 1906 Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the negotiations that led to the Treaty of Portsmouth ending the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. This made him the first American to win a Nobel Prize in any of the categories.
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