30 March 2008

Voice From Another World

When you list the events of any given year, all of them turn out to be pretty interesting. Certainly 1860 was packed with items from the tragic to the frivolous. In France a woman opened her mouth to sing an old folk song, "Au Claire de Lune". If you put that entry into You Tube, there are several people singing it, but one version just made its appearance a day ago and is already number one on the world wide hit parade.

The Mercury News will tell you about the science: Magical Song from 1860 Knocks Edison Off The Chart, and then you can hear her for yourself: Au Claire de Lune.

This restored disk is the oldest known recording of the human voice made 147 years ago. At the time this recording was made:

White settlers massacred a band of Wiyot Indians at the village of Tuluwat on Indian Island near Eureka, Ca.

The US Pony Express mail system began between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, Ca.

Navaho Indians attacked Fort Defiance.

James Barrie, author of Peter Pan was born in Kirriemuir, Scotland.

Republican convention selected Abraham Lincoln as their presidential candidate.

Lizzie Borden famous 1892 murder suspect, was born.

Joseph Carey Merrick, "Elephant Man," was born.

Queen Liliuokalani of Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) arrived for a visit in NYC.

Annie Oakley (d.1926), sharp-shooter and entertainer, was born in Darke County, Ohio, as Phoebe Anne Oakley Mozee (Mosey).

Jane Addams was born. She is known for her work as a social reformer, pacifist, and founder of Hull House in Chicago in 1889, and as the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (1931).

The 1st US aerial photo was taken from a balloon over Boston.

Grace Bedell of Westfield, N.Y., wrote a letter to presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln, suggesting he could improve his appearance by growing a beard.

Juliette Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, was born.

Former Illinois congressman Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th president. He defeated three other candidates for the U.S. presidency. He won the US presidential elections with a majority of the electoral votes in a 4-way race. Following his election South Carolina seceded from the Union followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. Hannibal Hamlin was his vice-president.

South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union.

George Eliot, aka Mary Ann Evans, wrote her novel "The Mill on the Floss."

Charles Dickens wrote his novel "Great Expectations."

The martini drink cocktail was invented.

Golf balls began to be made of guttal percha, a tree sap.

The British Open was 1st held at the Old Course in St. Andrew’s. The prize was a red leather belt with a silver buckle. The belt was retired in 1872 and replaced with a silver claret jug.

The Woodlawn Vase was created by Tiffany & Co. as a trophy for the Woodlawn Racing Assoc. in Louisville, Ky. It was buried during the Civil War and by 1917 was associated with the Preakness.

Sam Brannan, California’s first millionaire, bought the spring grounds at Indian Springs and built a lavish resort. His name of Calistoga is the combination of California and Saratoga, a famous New York spa.

A mattress on the floor of the Tremont House Hotel in Chicago rented for $2.50 per night.

In Britain Queen Victoria decreed that men who chose to remain unmarried would not be welcome in Her Majesty’s Rifle Corp. She held that "normal married life improves a man’s marksmanship."

Thomas Huxley was asked by Bishop Samuel ("Soapy Sam") Wilberforce whether his ape ancestry resided on his father’s side or his mother’s side. Huxley responded that he would prefer descent from an ape rather than from a man of keen faculties and wide influence who employed his gifts to ridicule science.

English inventor Frederick Walton made "linoleum" out of linseed oil.

During the excavation of Pompeii, Italy, Giuseppe Fiorelli got the idea of pouring liquid plaster into the spaces left by decomposed bodies in the beds of ashes.

The 1st French gendarmes arrived in Vietnam.

A tribe of 1000 Paiutes of Owens Valley, Ca., were forcibly relocated to Fort Tejon in the Tehachapi Mountains by the US Army.

Kuala Lumpur ("muddy confluence") discovered at the confluence of the Kelang and Gombak rivers.

The Maori Wars broke out in New Zealand over issues of land ownership after colonists flooded the islands.

Lewis Carroll took photographs of Alice Lidell, his inspiration for Alice In Wonderland.

The Saud family moved to exile in Kuwait when the Ottoman Empire conquered much of Arabia.

And that was the year that was.

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