Today in History, February 27

Iraq President Saddam Hussein ordered his forces to retreat from Kuwait and U.S. President George H.W. Bush declared that nation liberated 25 years ago today.

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Five sections of Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite “The Planets” were performed in public for the first time by the Royal Philharmonic Society conducted by Sir Adrian Boult on this date in 1919. The movements that were performed were Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Uranus, and Jupiter. This selection became a popular version of “The Planets,” even though Holst himself disdained performances that concluded with Jupiter. His daughter wrote that he “disliked having to finish with Jupiter, to make a ‘happy ending’, for, as he himself said, ‘in the real world the end is not happy at all.'”

A full version of “The Planets,” ending with Neptune’s fade-out, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrè Previn:

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Spike Milligan died on this date in 2002. “The Fresh Fruit Song”:

Fred Rogers died on this date in 2003. Frank Buckles, America’s last surviving World War I veteran, died five years ago today. Leonard Nimoy died one year ago today.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born on this date in 1807. John Steinbeck was born on this date in 1902. Dame Elizabeth Taylor was born on this date in 1932.

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Joanne Woodward is 86 today. Ralph Nader is 82 today. N. Scott Momaday is 82 today. Howard Hesseman is 76. Charlayne Hunter-Gault is 74 today. Grant Shaud is 55. Tony Gonzalez is 40 today. Josh Groban is 35. Kate Mara is 33 today.

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  1. angloswiss · February 27, 2016

    At the begnining of the sixties I was still living in London and remember going to the Mermaid Theater in London to see Spike Milligan in The Bed Sitting Room, a play he had written with John Antrobus. It was about the aftermath of World War 3 and in typical Milligan style. His humour was probably a little to way out for the time, but I loved it. He was one of my favourites

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aldrich · February 29, 2016

      One of mine, as well. The Goons, Beyond the Fringe … I love the comedy from that time and place.

      Liked by 1 person

Please comment here. Thank you, Mark.

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