Today in History: May 1

Today is May Day. Much of the world celebrates the day as a festival of spring, with colorful things like maypoles (see above) and other expressions of joy at the season’s general Spring-ness. Much of the world also celebrates May 1 as International Workers’ Day, a form of Labor Day.

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro received its premiere 230 years ago today at the Burgtheater in Vienna. Mozart conducted the first two performances himself. The Overture (below the fold):

 
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The first adhesive postage stamp, the “Penny Black,” was issued by Great Britain on this date in 1840. It began the process of reversing the long practice of requiring recipients to pay postage (number of pages and distance traveled) upon receipt of a letter.

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On this date in 1920, Babe Ruth hit the first home run of his New York Yankees career. There would be 658 more in that uniform; 714 total. The home run left the Polo Grounds, the Yankees home field at the time, as the team defeated the Boston Red Sox, 6-0.

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The longest major league baseball game that has yet been contested was played on this date in 1920. The Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Dodgers played to a 1-1 tie after 26 innings at Braves Field in Boston. Both starting pitchers—Leon Cadore and Joe Oeschger—pitched complete games, all 26 innings. The game was halted after three hours and 50 minutes.

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Mary Harris Jones (“Mother” Jones) was born on this date in 1837. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was born on this date in 1881. Glenn Ford was born 100 years ago today. Jack Paar was born in 1918 on this date. Joseph Heller was born in 1923 on this date. Terry Southern was born on this date in 1924.

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Judy Collins is 77 today. Joy Harmon is 76. Bobbie Ann Mason is 76 today. Rita Coolidge is 71. John Woo is 70. Joanna Lumley is 70 today. Paul Teutul, Sr., a major local celebrity here (I live in the Orange County of Orange County Choppers), is 67 today. Ray Parker Jr. is 62. Wes Anderson is 47.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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One comment

  1. loisajay · May 1, 2016

    Judy and Rita….long live the lovely ladies who gave us such beautiful music.

    Liked by 1 person

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