September 12: This Day in History


Doorway at Angkor Wat in Blue

September 12 began with war

490 B.C. The Battle of Marathon in which the Athenian-Plataen alliance defeated the first Persian invasion of Greece.

Love and poetry entered the stage …

1846: Elizabeth Barrett eloped with Robert Browning.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. – Elizabeth

That’s my last Duchess’ painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call – Robert

War reentered:

1847: The Battle of Chapultepec began (Bosque de Chapultepec is one of my favorite places in Mexico City).

The gathering gloom:

1919: Hitler joined the German Worker’s Party

Talents of our ancestors, revealed:

1940: Lascaux cave paintings, discovered.


1961: I took my first breath. How many other births that day and what are my counterparts doing? I’ve never thought about them before, but this morning I woke up wondering. I am one of thousands born on September 12,1961 who grew up celebrating this day according to culture and custom, although in my case, sometimes, no celebration.

A day to celebrate, our special day, my/our birthdays and more to come, to love, loathe or ignore. Today, two little boys were born at Decatur Memorial Hospital. Welcome to the club.

A natural wonder, saved:

1964: Canyonlands – designated a National Park.

Once at Canyonlands, I sat on the edge of a red rock cliff with my feet dangling over the edge, the Colorado River far below. The next day, at sunrise, I came upon two big horn sheep.

In that still place I read:

On occasion a traveler will venture from one city to another. Is he perplexed What took seconds in Berne might take hours in Fribourg or days in Lucerne. In the time for a leaf to fall in one place a flower could bloom in another. In the duration of a thunderclap in one place two people could fall in love in another. In the time that a boy grows into a man a drop of rain might slide down a windowpane yet the traveler is unaware of these discrepancies…If the pace of human desires stay proportionally the same with the motion of waves on a pond how could the traveler know that something has changed. – Alan Lightman (Einstein’s Dreams)

A Freedom Fighter departed, against his will:

1977: Steve Biko, a South African anti-apartheid activist was murdered, died while in police custody.

September ’77
Port Elizabeth weather fine
It was business as usual
In police room 619
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja
-The man is dead – Peter Gabriel

A musician departed, left us a legacy:

2003: Johnny Cash died at age 71.

Get rhythm when you get the blues. – Johnny Cash

Chicanery on the march in Washington D.C.

2010: The Teahadists hijacked this day for their “Freedom March.”

Propaganda Machine cranked-up again:

2011: Glenn Beck launched his Internet-only show and CNN hosted a Tea Party Republican debate

War … still:

2011: U.S. troops are still stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

War love, music, politics, birth, death: 12 September, a day like any other day in history, except for the distinct persons born on this day.

Suppose time is a circle, bending back on itself. The world repeats itself, precisely, endlessly. – Alan Lightman (Einstein’s Dreams)

September 12 club members

1492: Duke Lorenzo II de’ Medici of Urbino (d. 1519)

1494: King Francis I of France (d. 1547)

1880: H. L. Mencken, American journalist and author (d. 1956)

1885: Heinrich Hoffmann, German photographer (d. 1957)

1888: Maurice Chevalier, French singer and actor (d. 1972)

1891:  Pedro Albizu Campos, Puerto Rican independence advocate (d. 1965)

1892: Alfred A. Knopf Sr., American publisher (d. 1984)

1895 : Freymóður Jóhannsson, Icelandic artist (d. 1973)

1898:  Salvador Bacarisse, Spanish composer (d. 1963)

1907:  Louis MacNeice, Irish poet (d. 1963)

1914:  Rais Amrohvi, Pakistani poet and psychoanalyst (d. 1988)

1917: Han Suyin, Eurasian novelist

1921: Stanisław Lem, Polish writer (d. 2006)

1922: Jackson Mac Low, American poet, performance artist, composer and playwright (d. 2002)

1927:  Mathé Altéry, French singer

1927: Freddie Jones, English character actor

1929: Harvey Schmidt, American composer for musical theatre

1930: Larry Austin, American composer

1931: Sir Ian Holm, English actor

1931: George Jones, American country music singer

1933 – Tatiana Doronina, Russian actress

1938 – Tatiana Troyanos, American mezzo-soprano (d. 1993)

1939 – Henry Waxman, American politician

1939 – Phillip Ramey, American composer, pianist, and writer on music

1942 – Michel Drucker, French journalist and television host

1943 – Maria Muldaur, American singer

1943 – Michael Ondaatje, Sri Lankan writer

1944 – Leonard Peltier, American activist

1944 – Vladimir Spivakov, Russian violinist and conductor

1944 – Barry White, American singer (d. 2003)

1944 – Colin Young, American singer

1945 – John Mauceri, American conductor

1946 – Tony Bellamy, American guitarist, pianist and vocalist

1947 – Bjørn Floberg, Norwegian actor

1948 – Luis Lima, Argentinian tenor

1949 – Irina Rodnina, Russian figure skater

1951 – Joe Pantoliano, American actor

1952 – Neil Peart, Canadian drummer, lyricist and author (Rush) – (fuck yeah, Neil Peart)

1955 – Peter Scolari, American actor

1957 – Rachel Ward, English actress

1957 – Hans Zimmer, German composer1961 – Mylène Farmer, French singer and songwriter

1961 – Kathem Al Saher, Iraqi singer

1966 – Ben Folds, American musician

1967 – Jason Statham, English actor

1967 – Louis C.K., American comedian

1968 – Ler LaLonde, American guitarist (Primus)

1976 – Bizzy Bone, American rapper, (Bone Thugs-N-Harmony)

1978 – Ruben Studdard, American singer

1980 – Yao Ming, Chinese basketball player

1981 – Alan Arruda, Brazilian footballer

1981 – Jennifer Hudson, American actress and singer


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