Bishop Mule Days

This is a raucous salute in Bishop, California, to that workhorse of the ages, the mule. Mule Days was started in 1969 by mule-packers who wanted to have a good time and initiate their summer packing season. Now about 50,000 people show up in Bishop for the celebration. A highlight is the Saturday morning 250-unit parade, billed as the world’s largest non-motorized parade. Other events include mule-shoeing contests and such muleback cowboy events as steer roping and barrel racing. There are also mule shows and sales, western art, barbecues, and country dances.
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Christa McAuliffe (1948)

Sharon Christa McAuliffe, a high school history teacher, was among the seven crew members killed when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded soon after its launch in 1986. She had been selected to be the first civilian in space from a field of more than 11,000 applicants to NASA’s Teacher in Space program, and she was slated to teach two lessons during the flight.

In 2004, she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inducts Its First Members (1986)

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a museum dedicated to archiving the history of rock music. It was created in 1983 but did not have a home until 1995, when it opened its Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, after civic leaders pledged $65 million in public money to fund its construction. The first group of inductees included Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, and James Brown, to name a few.

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Janis Joplin (1943)

 

Joplin began singing folk rock in Texas bars after running away from home at the age of 17. In 1966, she moved to San Francisco and became lead vocalist of the rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. The band catapulted Joplin to stardom. By the late 1960s, she was almost as well known for her unconventional lifestyle as for her gritty, memorable vocals. Before her death from a heroin overdose at 27, she released hit albums with two other bands beside Big Brother. What were they called?
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Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (1678)

Vivaldi was an Italian composer, considered the greatest master of Italian baroque. He became a priest in 1703 and spent most of his life after 1709 in Venice, teaching and playing the violin and writing music for the Pietà, a music conservatory for orphaned girls. Although he produced vocal music, including 46 operas, Vivaldi is best known for instrumental music, including The Four Seasons and nearly 500 concertos for violin and other instruments.

Why was he nicknamed the “Red Priest”?

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Birthday of Richard Allen

The son of two slaves, Richard Allen (1760-1831) was born in Philadelphia on this day. By the time he was 26 years old, he had saved enough money to buy his way out of slavery, and soon after that he established America’s first African-American church.

Allen’s work among African Americans expanded at such a rapid rate that in 1816 he had to expand the organization of his church nationwide. Members of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church commemorate the birth of their founder and first bishop on this day.

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Soong Ch’ing-ling (1893)

Born to an influential Chinese family, Soong was educated in the US. She returned to China, became prominent in revolutionary politics, and married Sun Yat-sen, a revolutionary 26 years her senior now known as the father of modern China. She and her sisters—along with their husbands, including Chiang Kai-shek—became some of the most significant political figures in the Communist government, with Soong becoming vice chair after Sun’s death. What magazine, still in publication, did she found?

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Carrie Nation (1846)

 

Carrie Nation was an American temperance advocate with an unorthodox style of destroying saloons with a hatchet while supporters sang hymns. Her passion was likely fueled by her first husband’s alcoholism. Though she was successful in focusing public attention on the cause of prohibition, most temperance organizations were hesitant to support her. At 6 feet (1.8 m) tall, Nation was hard to contain and was arrested 30 times before declining health forced her retirement. How did she pay her fines? Discuss
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Bonfim Festival (Festa do Bonfim)

There is a church in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, known as Our Lord of the Happy Ending (bonfim). Today during the Bonfim Festival, hundreds of Brazilian women dress in the traditional white dresses of colonial Bahia and form a procession to the church. The bahianas balance jars of water, scented with blossoms, on their heads. The washing of the steps at Bonfim Basilica on the second Thursday after Epiphany is the highlight of the festival.
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John Belushi (1949)

Belushi was an American comedian, actor, and musician. He started out with the Second City comedy troop in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois, in 1971, achieved national recognition in National Lampoon’s Lemmings in 1973, and joined Saturday Night Live as an original cast member in 1975. He also starred in several films, including Animal House and The Blues Brothers, before dying of a drug overdose in 1982. Who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for his death?

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Great Locomotive Chase Festival

This three-day celebration in Adairsville, Georgia, commemorates the storied Civil War locomotive chase that came on April 12, 1862, after the Yankee spy, James J. Andrews, stole the Confederate engine named “The General.” William A. Fuller, the conductor, set off in a handcar; in Adairsville, he boarded the locomotive “Texas” and barreled after “The General.”

Events of the festival include showings of the locomotive-chase movies, a grand parade, fireworks, and gospel singing. There are also such contests as three-legged races, a bean-bag toss, and a tug of war.

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