Today in History: April 21

Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia visited Kingston, Jamaica, fifty years ago today. Over 100,000 people came to the airport to catch a glimpse of him. (Photo above.)

A religious movement had grown in Jamaica since the 1930s holding that the emperor himself was God incarnate, the Messiah, the “King of Kings.” Selassie’s birth name was Tafari and his pre-imperial title had been Ras (“duke”)—Ras Tafari—which the religion took as its name. The followers called themselves Rastafarians.

The Emperor never embraced the idea of his divinity, but he never denied it outright, either. “Who am I to disturb their belief?” he is reported to have said once. Today is a holy day in Jamaica, Grounation Day, the day the messiah himself visited Jamaica. A video from the day, below the fold:

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Tradition has it that Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus on this date in 753 BC.

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“Heartbreak Hotel,” Elvis Presley’s first hit, reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list on this date in 1956.

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Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, the “Red Baron” of World War I fame, was shot down and killed in aerial combat on this date in 1918. He was 25. Between September 17, 1916, and the day before his death, he had shot down 80 opposing planes in combat, earning him the reputation his name still carries.

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Mark Twain died on this date in 1910. Thomas Edison filmed Twain on the grounds of his estate, Stormfield, near Hartford, Connecticut, in 1909:

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Charlotte Brontë was born on this date in 1816. John Muir was born on this date in 1838. Anthony Quinn was born in 1915 on this date. Werner Groebli, “Frick” of the Swiss ice skating duo, “Frick and Frack,” was born on this date in 1915. John Mortimer was born on this date in 1923.

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HM Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom, is 90 today.

Elaine May is 84 today. Charles Grodin is 81. Sister Helen Prejean is 77. Iggy Pop is 69 today. Patti LuPone is 67. Tony Danza is 65. Andie MacDowell is 58. Robert Smith (The Cure) is 57. Michael Franti is 50. Rob Riggle and Nicole Sullivan are both 46.

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  1. Anton Wills-Eve · April 21, 2016

    Mark, this may surprise you, but the Queen’s 90th birthday is the main news item here ! lol. 🙂 Anton

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mark Aldrich · April 21, 2016



Please comment here. Thank you, Mark.

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