Today in History: May 5

Today is Cinco de Mayo.

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New York City’s “Music Hall founded by Andrew Carnegie,” now known as Carnegie Hall, had its opening night 125 years ago tonight. Music was conducted by Walter Damrosch and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who conducted his “Marche Solennelle” (below the fold):

Tchaikovsky was lured to America by promoters, and before he traveled here he wrote in his diary, “he sends me daily piles of newspaper clippings about myself. All of them without exception are laudatory in the highest degree. Is it possible that I really conduct so well? Or do the Americans exaggerate?!!!”

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The longest-reigning monarch in the world is not Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. Bhumibol Adulyadej has been the King of Thailand since June 9, 1946, when he was 18, and his official coronation as King Rama IX was on this date in 1950. As of 2014, it is believed that he is worth $30 billion, making him the wealthiest monarch on the planet.

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Napoleon Bonaparte died on this date in 1821. Claude Choules, the last living veteran of World War I, died five years ago today at the age of 110.

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Soren Kierkegaard was born 203 years ago today. Karl Marx was born on this date in 1818. Nellie Bly was born ion this date in 1864. Blind Willie McTell was born in 1898 on this date. James Beard was born on this date in 1903. Tyrone Power was born in 1914 on this date. Charles Rosen was born in 1927 on this date. Tammy Wynette would be 74. The late Roger Rees was born in 1944 on this date. Sage Stallone would be 40 today.

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Pat Carroll is 89. Lance Henriksen is 76. Michael Palin is 73. John Rhys-Davies is 72. Kurt Loder is 71. Richard E. Grant is 59. Adele is 28 today.

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