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Down on the Farm ... !
|1535||Having landed in Quebec a month ago, Jacques Cartier reaches a town, which he names Montreal.|
|1862||An Army under Union General Joseph Hooker arrives in Bridgeport, Alabama to support the Union forces at Chattanooga. Chattanooga’s Lookout Mountain provides a dramatic setting for the Civil War’s battle above the clouds.|
|1870||The papal states vote in favor of union with Italy. The capital is moved from Florence to Rome.|
|1871||Mormon leader Brigham Young, 70, is arrested for polygamy. He is later convicted, but the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the conviction.|
|1879||A dual alliance is formed between Austria and Germany, in which the two countries agree to come to the other’s aid in the event of aggression.|
|1909||Orville Wright sets an altitude record, flying at 1,600 feet. This exceeded Hubert Latham’s previous record of 508 feet.|
|1931||Aerial circus star Clyde Pangborn and playboy Hugh Herndon, Jr. set off to complete the first nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean from Misawa City, Japan.|
|1941||The German army launches Operation Typhoon, the drive towards Moscow.|
|1950||The comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schultz, makes its first appearance in newspapers.|
|1964||Scientists announce findings that smoking can cause cancer.|
|1967||Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice, is sworn in. Marshall had previously been the solicitor general, the head of the legal staff of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and a leading American civil rights lawyer.|
|1980||Congressional Representative Mike Myers is expelled from the US House for taking a bribe in the Abscam scandal, the first member to be expelled since 1861.|
|1990||Flight 8301 of China’s Xiamen Airlines is hijacked and crashed into Baiyun International Airport, hitting two other aircraft and killing 128 people.|
|2001||NATO backs US military strikes in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.|
The other, well heeled residents of Gramercy Park were less than thrilled at the prospect of a club for actors being on their doorsteps. For the acting profession in the 1800s was not quite the same as it is today; actors were often seen as louche second class citizens, often not well paid, and involved in a somewhat bawdy profession of dubious morals.The club is still thriving in the same place it opened more than a hundred years ago. Take a look inside The Players, including Edwin Booth's private apartment, which is kept under lock and key, and exists exactly as it did when he died there in 1893, at Messy Messy Chic.
But this was one of Booth’s main aims : to raise the profile and respectability of the acting profession. For number 16, Gramercy Park South was not just to be his home, but a sparkling new, private club for actors set right in one of Manhattan’s most prestigious addresses.
The Players wasn’t created to be a seedy, drinking den for actors; from the beginning, Booth opened membership to all those in society who loved the arts. It was to be a lavish but comfortable clubhouse where actors might mingle with elite Victorian society. It was to be a certain club as Booth put it, “for the promotion of social intercourse between the representative members of the dramatic profession and the kindred spirits of literature, painting, sculpture and music, and the patrons of the arts.’ Founder members included such high caliber names as Mark Twain to General Sherman.
The exhibit was of a half-excavated horse-man skeleton in a death pose, like you’d see at a natural history museum for one of the smaller dinosaurs. Embedded around it were shards of ceramic pottery. On the other side of the display were more shards of pottery, each one bearing distinct shapes reminiscent of the hooved humans. A placard explained the history of centaurs, their culture, and how this skeleton was one of three that had been pulled from the muck near Volos, Greece, causing historians and biologists and LARPers to rethink the mythical status of the creature.We don't know how many former and current UT students have even noticed the exhibit at the library, or how many assume it to be a scientific exhibit instead of an art installation. It's called The Centaur Excavations at Volos, and it was built by artist and biology professor Bill Willers in 1980 (with real bones). UT purchased it a few years later, and it's been on display in the library ever since. Read about the exhibit and see more pictures at OTIS.