Friday, May 07, 2010

Today In History: Stuff.

On this date in:

1429: Jeanne d'Arc pulls an arrow from her own shoulder and charges back into the fighting, thereby earning promotion to Badass 1st Class.

1824: The most awesome piece of music ever is performed in public for the first time.

1832: In a move that makes sense only to Europeans, representatives of the British, French, and Russian governments meet in London and pick a seventeen year old Bavarian princeling to be King of Greece. Viewed in light of decisions like this, things like the '14-'18 War start to make a lot more sense.

1915: US passengers board a ship carrying munitions and flying the flag of a belligerent power which then sails into a war zone and gets sunk, just like the advertisements printed in the New York Times by the German embassy warned it might be. And yet people act surprised. After further escapades, we somehow wind up sucked into the aforementioned '14-'18 war, and then our crazy President helps break history. Sorry 'bout that.

1920: Marshal Józef Piłsudski, armed only with tens of thousands of soldiers and one truly fearsome mustache, takes Kiev as part of his ongoing struggle to... er... keep Ukraine Polish, or something.

17 comments:

Joanna said...

"a move that makes sense only to Europeans"

That right there kind of sums up most of history, at least as regards the Western world.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Ah, Wilson. The Jimmy Carter of the 'teens.

staghounds said...

Ah, Poland. The only country to beat the Soviets in a straight up fight.

And make it stick.

Nathan said...

Wilson: Proof positive that we don't need Ph.D. presidents. (And should avoid them at all costs.)

Mr.Wolf said...

Far be it from me to knock the deaf geezer, but........



spem in alium. Thomas Tallis.


"Just sayin'", as you colonial chappies say......

Best wishes.

Nathan said...

FWIW, you now have me wandering around the house singing "Freude, schöner Götterfunken, Tochter aus Elysium!"

This is disturbing the cats no end.

ExUrbanKevin said...

If you ever get a chance to hear Leonard Bernstein's version of the 9th recorded in Berlin one year after the wall fell, do so.

It is, without a doubt, my favorite recording of, as you say, the most awesome piece of music ever.

I don't know what heaven will be like, but I do have an idea of what the soundtrack will be.

Stretch said...

The 9th is SO impressive that when Phillips and Sony were developing the format for the CD the play length was standardized on Beethoven's masterwork.

Jeffrey Quick said...

The Ukraine WAS Polish, once But Pilsudski had a bonnet of many bees: "Piłsudski thus speculated that Poland would be better off with the Bolsheviks, alienated from the Western powers, than with a restored Russian Empire.[79][82] By ignoring the strong pressures from the Entente Cordiale to join the attack on Vladimir Lenin's struggling Soviet government, Piłsudski probably saved the Bolshevik government in the summer and fall of 1919.[83]"

Gee thanks.

kishnevi said...

Ludwig is good.
Tallis is better.
But for really awesome music, you need a neurotic Jewish composer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjiVrc0QTRw&feature=related

(There were roughly 850 people on stage for this one.)

D.W. Drang said...

I had Bernstein's 9th, the one he re-wrote. I gave it away, it wasn't a candle on the Stokowski version. Which I still have.

Nathan said...

Kishnvei - I agree. I generally prefer Mahler to Beethoven.

But Ludwig's 9th is special.

Anonymous said...

Freunde trinken alle Wesern
An den Brusten der Natur
Alle Guten, alle Bosen
Folgen ihrer Rosenspur.

Mattexian said...

Sorry if I'm not on the fanboy bandwagon for Joan of Arc, my half-Czech blood won't allow it. Still a little cranky about that threatened crusade against the Hussites.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Re. Poles and Bolshies:

Isaac Babel, Red Cavalry. Get the edition that includes his diary, and you can see how he massaged it into stories.

WVL torestel. Cavalry is torestel, Marines are emflibious.

Gordon R. Durand said...

Personally I think the 5th is more awesome, especially the transition from the third movement to the fourth. If you're listening on a home stereo, turn it up to eleven. If you're listening in concert, try to wrangle a seat next to the oboe player.

reflectoscope said...

That might be a novel experience for an oboe player.

Sorry (a little), musician jokes are practically a reflex.

Jim