Rosa Ponselle was Born

Rosa Ponselle em foto de estúdio de 1918.

Rosa Ponselle em foto de estúdio de 1918. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The Queen of Queens in all of singing.”
Luciano Pavarotti, tenor.

Rosa Ponselle was born on January 22, 1897, in Meriden, Connecticut, to Italian immigrants from Caiazzo, near Caserta. She was the youngest of three children. They lived at the corner of Lewis Avenue and Bartlett Street, then on Foster Street, and when she was three they moved to Springdale Avenue. She had a naturally gifted mature voice, and took piano lesion with the local music teacher, Anna Ryan, who was also the organist of a nearby Catholic church. She decided very soon on she wanted to become a cabaret singer. She billed herself well and was soon performing ballads all around the area and performing as a silent-movie accompanist.

In 1912 she did vaudeville, performing in The Girl from Brighton, a 1912 Broadway musical. She became so well known she was soon performing a long-term engagement at the San Carlino theater in New Haven near Yale University. She and her sister Carmela also performed on the vaudeville circuit as the Ponselle Sisters until 1918 when the split the act and the great tenor Enrico Caruso persuaded Rosa to audition for the Metropolitan Opera.

On November 15, 1918, Rosa Ponselle debuted at the Met as Leonora in Verdi’s La forza del destino, opposite Caruso. She received rave reviews from New York Times critic James Huneker. She went on to perform numerous operas.
This was the part she was born to play; the voice of an opera singer. All she knew was that she wanted to sing on stage. All she needed to do was to find where she fit.
Here is Rosa Ponselle performing “Suicidio!” which shows her range, timbre, pianissimo




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The New York City Sullivan Ordinance was Passed on January 21

On January 21, 1908, the Sullivan Ordinance was passed in New York City by the board of aldermen making it ‘against the law for a hotel or restaurant proprietor, or anyone else managing or owning a “public place” to allow women to smoke in public’ as expressed in the title of a New York Times article from 1908.
Eleven women were present at this meeting, and fifteen men were present, including Katie Mulcahey.
A forward thinking Dr. Charles J. Pease wanted it to be a crime for “any person or persons” to smoke in a public place where women were present who could be forced to inhale the fumes.1 One Alderman opposed it claiming it wouldn’t be legal. They couldn’t prevent the men from smoking if that was what they choose to do. That was their right.
John Henry Smith, a member of the public said they should be paying more attention to the poor rather than wasting time discussing smoking. If they were to do anything why didn’t they stop boys smoking who were under the age of 21?
Alderman Doull claimed that was unconstitutional.
The ordinance passed.
The reporter spoke to the women who attended the meeting to see what they thought about the Ordinance, and they felt the board should not have been passing anti-smoke ordinances.
The board really didn’t think ahead as to whether or not women would break the law. The women were supposed to behave as they were told and that they wouldn’t argue about and they would just obey the law. The worst that would happen is that her husband or father would punish her.
Katie Mulcahey who attended the meeting was later cited for breaking the Ordinance and fined $5. She refused to pay and was arrested. The ordinance never mentioned any fines so she was released the next day. The ordinance also didn’t say anything about women not being able to smoke in public places.
This was definitely an Ordinance written with a play on the word ‘public’. Since anyone managing or owning a place is really privately owned, but opened to the public.
In this case language is everything.
1This is word for word from the New York Times article above published in 1908



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Hello Dolly! opened on Broadway on January 16, 1964

Hello, Dolly! (musical)

Hello, Dolly! (musical) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello Dolly! Starring Carol Channing as Dolly Levi, opened on Broadway on January 16, 1964 at the St. James Theatre located at 246 W. 44th St. The Hello, Dolly! Musical, lyrics, and music are by Jerry Herman. The musical was based on book by Michael Stewart, which was based on Thornton Wilder‘s The Matchmaker in 1955. This show was produced by David Merrick. The show closed on December 27, 1970, after 2,844 performances.

The story is about a widow, Dolly Gallagher Levi who is looking to marry again. She sets her sights on Horace Vandergelder, a half-a-millionaire interested in making money and marrying an Irene Malloy. Dolly meddles in Horace’s daughter’s life, Ermengarde as well as his employees in order to help each of them get a little of what they want. They all have obstacles to overcome.

The original cast
Carol Channing -Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi
Eileen Brennan -Irene Molloy
David Burns- Horace Vandergelder
Jerry Dodge -Barnaby Tucker
Alice Playten -Ermengarde
Charles Nelson- Reilly Cornelius Hackl
Ken Ayers- Court Clerk

The show was Directed and Choreographed by Gower Champion

They received countless awards in 1964 the show including a Tony Award and a New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Show. Jerry Herman received a Tony Award for Best Original Score, and David Merrick received an award for Best Musical Direction.



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Albert Schweitzer was Born

List of Nobel Peace Prize laureates

List of Nobel Peace Prize laureates (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Albert Schweitzer was born January 14, 1875, in the province of Alsace-Lorraine. In 1952, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy for his “Reverence for Life“. Growing up he had an interest in music and he became an acclaimed organist, then his interest grew to theology and he became a church pastor, and a university professor with a doctorate in philosophy. Albert Schweitzer once said, “Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life.” Schweitzer believed that all life mattered, whether it was an animal or it was plant life, it had its place. He worked in hospitals in Africa and he saw how at times one person was scarified for another life. He was friends with Albert Einstein. When the Hydrogen bomb went off in Japan and there was H-bomb, testing Schweitzer didn’t like what was happening so he spoke up to the CIA. They were not happy at first with the alert and they tried to stop him. Schweitzer studied his information, President Eisenhower finally listened, and the testing was stopped. I think at times he saw an attitude that man had toward each other that was cold, that showed a lack of humanity. What was so sad was that we are all that we have on this earth besides the plant and animal life. Sometimes man is bent on destruction.When we set at work to destroy one person, we are often destroying ourselves.

Here is one of Schweitzer’s writings entitled Teaching Reverence for Life.





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Alice Paul writer of the Equal Rights Amendment born January 11

English: Alice Paul, full-length portrait, sta...

English: Alice Paul, full-length portrait, standing, facing left, raising glass with right hand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alice Stokes Paul was born January 11, 1885 and she an American suffragist, women’s rights activist, and the original author of the equal rights (nineteenth) amendment that is part of the United States Constitution. She was very educated with an undergraduate from Swarthmore College, a M.A. and a P.H. d. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Law degree from the Washington College of Law at American University.

Paul became interested in the suffragists while in Britain after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania from Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU)..She was arrested several times. When she came back to the states she joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in Washington DC. They were fighting for a woman’s right to vote! Paul had learned about all kinds of campaigns. She planned parades, and hunger strikes and everything that would make people aware of their cause. Flags were made and put up. This was what Paul had dedicated her life to.

In 1923 she penned what was to become the nineteenth amendment. It did not become a amendment until 1972. That is an awfully long time to wait for amendment to pass.

This video explains more

Everyone has rights, men and women, black or white, or Asian, or what ever race you are, fat or thin. Everyone has equal rights. Sometimes I think as a people we get confused as to what rights each one of us has. In some ways its just like all of us having an equal vote, which was what Alice Paul was fighting for. Her battle at the time may have been for women, really her voice was speaking louder, and bigger perhaps for something or why would the equal rights amendment have ended up in the Constitution.





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Hattie Caraway became the First Woman Senator on January 12, 1932

English: Portrait of Senator Hattie Caraway

English: Portrait of Senator Hattie Caraway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hattie Caraway won a special election on January 12, 1932 with the Arkansas Democratic party‘s backing and became the first woman elected to the United States Senate. She was the first woman to serve a full term. She took office after her husband, Thaddeus H. Caraway, passed away. She had originally been appointed by the Arkansas governor Harvey Parnell to take his place.

Caraway helped to bring in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, which were ways plans of recovery during the depression. She voted for anything, which were for the prohibition. She also did not believe in lynching.

When up for reelection in 1938, she beat Republican C. D. Atkinson of Fayetteville. John Little McClellan, another Democratic Senator often challenged her because he felt a woman just was not up to the task looking out for the state’s best interests.

She was known on the floor as “Silent Hattie” because she often let the men do the talking. She believed woman she be at home caring for their families. She was well aware of the families who were suffering.

In 1943, she cosponsored the Equal Rights Amendment although she wasn’t interested in woman’s suffrage.

She did not win the 1944 election but was appointed to the Employees’ Compensation Commission. In 1946 Harry Truman appointed her to the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board.

She was known to encourage women to take on larger rolls, that may have been considered just for men, because she knew that woman could do more. Women aren’t property belong to men. They can do so much more.

Caraway may have been a conservative in the way she presented herself in office with the other members of Senate, but she let the men carry on as they normally did and voiced her votes as her constituents desired. Her biggest opponent was that men felt women couldn’t handle looking out for the state’s best interest. She worked on economic recovery legislation. Caraway knew people were out of work and needed jobs, needed support to keep their homes, and all the necessities just like we do today. That was why the New Deal was so important in those days.

The New Deal was a Progressive idea. They needed bank reform, monetary reform, securities regulations, and to stimulate the housing industry. There was the Wealth Tax Act (Revenue Act of 1935) which recovered over $250 million in additional funds. The New Deal was claimed by some to be Communism, and their were charges of fascism. These were the reforms that she and others voted on that helped raise the GDP.




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The Adventures of Tintin was Published

The Adventures of Tintin (TV series)

The Adventures of Tintin (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On January 10, 1929, The Adventures of Tintin was published in a series of comic book albums created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name of Hergé. It originally started as part of the children’s supplement in the Belgian newspaper Le XXe Siècle. It was also published as a comic strip in Le Soir. The comic album has been translated in more than 100 languages. This includes the U

nited States. There are 24 albums altogether.

Tintin became so popular that in 1950 he was adopted for television in cartoon form.

Tintin in the main character, and he is a reporter, who often goes on the trail of cases with his dog Snowy. He always dresses to fit in with the natives.

Captain Archibald Haddock is a marine Captain who Tintin meets while on one of his cases and they become friends. He is often admired by readers who love his insults.

A frame from Breaking Free, a revolutionary so...

A frame from Breaking Free, a revolutionary socialist comic that parodies the Adventures of Tintin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Professor Cuthbert Calculus is a regular character who Tintin often runs in too. A scientist but very absent minded. He can fly a rocket but he cannot drive a car.

Then there is Thomson and Thompson, the detectives, whom seem to be so recognizable in no matter what how much they try to go undercover and blend in.

Tintin has done good for himself, and for the land of Belgium, because on June 1, 2006 the Dalai Lama along with South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu awarded the character the International Campaign for Tibet‘s Light of Truth Award for Hergé’s book Tintin in Tibet.

Tintin has become so popular he’s been on the big screen. He even has a cult following.




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It is Gypsy Rose Lee’s Birthday!

Gypsy Rose Lee, full-length portrait, seated a...

Gypsy Rose Lee, full-length portrait, seated at typewriter, facing slightly right / World Telegram & Sun photo by Fred Palumbo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have always loved the musical “Gypsy Rose Lee”, as this is the real life Gypsy Rose Lee’s Birthday. She was born Rose Louise Hovick on January 9, 1911 to Rose Hovick (née Rose Evangeline Thompson) and Norwegian-American John Olaf Hovick. She also had a younger sister, Ellen Evangeline, better known as June Havoc on the vaudeville circuit.

It was a hard life for Gypsy Rose Lee, or Louise as she was called, and she was always playing a secondary role to her sister June. It was their mother, and the girls, and the boys they hired as backup singers. The girls eventually outgrew the act but Rose insisted because it was such a hit, than June ran off with one of the backup singers. Then it was just Louise and her mother. They were always scrounging for money. Times were hard. Louise was able to sew so she created the costumes and mended them as needed. Then her mother got her a booking at Minsky’s Burlesque. Louise knew they needed the money, but this theater known for its strippers. Louise got into one of her fancy outfits and hopped on stage. She was very nervous, for one, because she had never stripped before, but she talked to the girls backstage and they told her all about their routines. The rest is history.

Gypsy Rose Lee worked as an actress, and was able to fulfill other passions in writing. She performed in movies. She wrote three books, The G-String Murders, (which was made into a film shortly thereafter titled Lady of Burlesque); Mother Finds a Body and Gypsy: A Memoir. She also wrote a play entitled The Naked Genius.

Lee married three times; she even had a son, Erik Lee Preminger, and son of film director Otto Preminger. She was a political activist. She loved art and received art as gifts from many of her admirers.

The road in which she traveled, it would have appeared as if stripping was what she was suppose to do. If she hadn’t tried, she would have never have gotten to try and succeed at all the other things she did. She only really did because her family needed the money to survive. Now I am not saying that you should go and start stripping because that is where Gypsy Rose ended up, because you still have to remember, then came there thinking that they were going to perform vaudeville.

Here is Gypsy Rose Lee performing one of her routines edited of course.





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Elvis Aaron Presley was Born

Promotional photograph of Elvis Presley, taken...

Promotional photograph of Elvis Presley, taken in 1954. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Elvis Aaron Presley was born January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi to Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Presley (née Smith). In school, Presley was always strumming a guitar that was given to him for his birthday and although shy at first, with a little help he was soon singing. In November of 1948, they moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where Elvis was raised on the blues. He loved listening to the jukebox, which had a whole bunch of country songs, and he soon knew the songs by heart.

Everyone talks of the tale when he went to Sun Records to pay studio time to record a record for his mother for her birthday. He sang “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin“, some say he was hoping to be discovered. The songs may have sounded beautiful but maybe the sound just wasn’t his own. Presley was presenting the popular sound that everyone was use to hearing, and from him apparently it sounded like nothing particularly special. He auditioned for lots of acts and received many rejections. Elvis worked at his sound and his moves. He grew up listening to Southern Gospel, the Blues, Country, and spiritual music.

Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records called him back, he thought he heard something, but when he and the backup band played the ballads, he wasn’t getting the sound he wanted. He wanted a southern black sound. They played, played, and still no sound. Phillips told Elvis and the boys to take a break. Elvis started relaxing and started playing “That’s All Right”, and there was the sound Phillips was looking for. Not long after that Elvis gave his first live performance at the Bon Air Club. He would be shaking his hips and the girls would be screaming. The crowd was wild.

The Elvis Presley sound became so big, well, you know, he became the King of Rock and Roll. He had many number one singles including “Jailhouse Rock” which I am sharing with you. Presley ran into a few problems with his moves, apparently they were found in some ways to be a little too sexual and needed to be censored. He didn’t only love to sing, he grew to love acting. I loved watching  all his movies including Viva Las Vegas with Ann-Margret and Blue Hawaii as crazy as they were.  But when you listen to him sing “Love Me Tender” you could just melt.




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The Creator of the Addams Family was Born

Dear Dead Days, with The Addams Family on the ...

Dear Dead Days, with The Addams Family on the cover. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Charles Addams was born January 7, 1912 and is the cartoonist and the original creator of the Addams Family. He loved mixing macabre with dark humor. He was born in Westfield, New Jersey to Grace M. and Charles Huy Addams.

Addams had the Addams family on the brain before he even knew when he became engrossed with certain old houses in the neighborhood and in college, which were the inspiration for the Addams Family Manor. He also enjoyed visiting the cemetery. Addams was always working on his cartoons.

In 1933, Addams took a position working for True Detective Magazine retouching pictures of corpses. He also submitted a cartoon to The New Yorker and was soon freelancing on the side for the magazine creating cartoons. This is the magazine where the Addams family first appeared. The characters didn’t even have names at first, but the more he drew them, the more life he gave to them, the sooner the names came to him.

Morticia Addams was modeled as his wife whom he met while serving Signal Corps Photographic Center in New York during World War II, and later his second his wife with the long hair and slight ringlets. It was obvious he was thinking about family.

In 1956 his wife, talked him into taking an insurance policy out on his Addams family characters for television and film franchises and persuaded her husband to give away other legal rights.

The Addams Family (TV series)

The Addams Family (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By 1964 The Addams Family television series starring John Astin and Carolyn Jones began running on ABC. It ran for two seasons until 1966.Addams died in 1988 of a heart attack.

His legend has continued through his work years later followed by movies, television cartoons, and Broadway Theater, which are beloved by all.

What has always been truly inspiring to me about the Addams Family is that they all loved and cared for one another. In their culture it is alright for them to play with bombs, knives, and swords, because the aware of what they are doing, and they never really hurt one another. They do it to each other, never to anyone outside of their clan.




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