April 20 = Confusion and Coverups—a day of recurring myths in history…

Today in History.   One of the best modern movies of historical deconstruction recent years, Paul Verhoeven’s marvelous, primarily Dutch Language (with some German and English scenes) 2006  Black Book (with Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch, Thom Hoffman)  took several pivotal turns around Adolph Hitler’s final birthday, April 20, 1945.  For anyone who has not seen Black Book I highly recommend it for its portrayal of “the contradictions inherent in all things.”  The Nazis include bad guys, good guys, and the lead male romantic character hero is Commander (Obersturmfuhrer) of the SS in the Netherlands who is ultimately betrayed by one of the bad guy Nazis who has gone over to work with the Allies after the collapse and “liberation” of Holland.  The Dutch resistance fighters are bigoted anti-Semites, petty vengeful lowlives, and have neither more nor fewer crooks and swindlers than the Nazis.  The British and Canadians are just kind of dull and stupid in their occupation.   The Jewish heroine emigrates to Israel where she is caught up in the 1956 Arab-Israeli War. They all like booze and drugs equally (Nazis, resistance fighters, and Jews).  Like Republic Book VII and Calderon de la Barca’s “La Vida es Sueno“…

Once PTG Beauregard of Louisiana fired on the Yankees occupying the Fort controlling South Carolina’s principal international port, the War of 1861-1965 became inevitable and Virginia Seceded.

So How did the Anniversary of Virginia’s Secession and Adolph Hitler’s Birthday end up as National (International) Smoke Weed day in the U.S. (the Caribbean and the World?)?  Ah, the mysteries of life.

And now April 20, 2011, is also the first anniversary of the British Petroleum Oil Rig explosion and the beginning of the gigantic spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  My only question is: Did Obama order the spill to distract from all of his other domestic and international programs of doom and disaster?

Historical “What if” of the day: if Virginia hadn’t seceded, Robert E. Lee might have commanded the northern forces against a much reduced Confederate States of America….and Slavery would almost certainly NOT have been abolished anywhere…. and the 1871 Civil Rights Act certainly would never have been enacted….so there never would have been the modern 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 action in vindication of civil rights—yes, the world would have been a very different place….

1303 – The University of Rome La Sapienza is instituted by Pope Boniface VIII.

1453 – The last naval battle in Byzantine history occurs, as three Genoese galleys escorting a Byzantine transport fight their way through the huge Ottoman blockade fleet and into the Golden Horn.

1534 – Jacques Cartier begins the voyage during which he discovers Canada andLabrador.

1535 – The Sun Dog phenomenon observed over Stockholm and depicted in the famous painting “Vädersolstavlan

1653 – Oliver Cromwell dissolves the Rump Parliament.

1657 – Admiral Robert Blake destroys a Spanish silver fleet under heavy fire atSanta Cruz de Tenerife.

1657 – Freedom of religion is granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City).

1689 – The former King James II of England, now deposed, lays siege to Derry.

1775 – American Revolutionary War: the Siege of Boston begins, following the battles at Lexington and Concord.

1792 – France declares war on Austria, the beginning of French Revolutionary Wars.

1809 – Two Austrian army corps in Bavaria are defeated by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France at the Battle of Abensberg on the second day of a four day campaign which ended in a French victory.

1810 – The Governor of Caracas declares independence from Spain.

1818 – The case of Ashford v Thornton was concluded, with Abraham Thornton allowed to go free rather than face a retrial for murder, after his demand for trial by battle was upheld.

1828 – René Caillié becomes the first non-Muslim to enter Timbouctou.

1836 – U.S. Congress passes an act creating the Wisconsin Territory.

1861 – American Civil WarRobert E. Lee resigns his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia.

1862 – Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard complete the first pasteurization tests.

1871 – The Civil Rights Act of 1871 becomes law.

1884 – Pope Leo XIII publishes the encyclical Humanum Genus.

1902 – Pierre and Marie Curie refine radium chloride.

1908 – Opening day of competition of the New South Wales Rugby League.

1912 – Opening day for baseball stadiums Tiger Stadium in DetroitMichigan, and Fenway Park in BostonMassachusetts.

1914 – Forty-five men, women, and children die in the Ludlow Massacre during aColorado coal-miner’s strike.

1916 – The Chicago Cubs play their first game at Weeghman Park (currentlyWrigley Field), defeating the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings

1918 – Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shoots down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories before his death the following day.

1926 – Western Electric and Warner Bros. announce Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film.

1939 – Billie Holiday records the first Civil Rights song “Strange Fruit“.

1945 – World War IIUS troops capture LeipzigGermany, only to later cede the city to the Soviet Union.

1945 – World War II: FuehrerbunkerAdolf Hitler makes his last trip to the surface to award Iron Crosses to boy soldiers of the Hitler Youth.

1961 – Failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion of US-backed troops against Cuba.

1964 – BBC Two launches with the power cut because of the fire at Battersea Power Station.

1968 – English politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial Rivers of Bloodspeech.

1972 – Apollo 16 landed on the moon commanded by John Young.

1978 – Korean Air Flight 902 is shot down by Soviets.

1980 – Climax of Berber Spring in Algeria as hundreds of Berber political activists are arrested.

1984 – The Good Friday Massacre, an extremely violent ice hockey playoff game, is played in MontrealCanada.

1985 – ATF raid on The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lordcompound in northern Arkansas.

1986 – Pianist Vladimir Horowitz performs in his native Russia for the first time in 61 years.

1986 – Professional basketball player Michael Jordan sets all-time record for points in an NBA playoff game with 63 against the Boston Celtics.

1998 – German terrorist group Red Army Faction announces their dissolution after 28 years.

1999 – Columbine High School massacreEric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide at Columbine High Schoolin Jefferson County, Colorado.

2007 – Johnson Space Center Shooting: A man with a handgun barricades himself in NASA‘s Johnson Space Center in HoustonTexas before killing a male hostage and himself.

2008 – Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.



571 – Muhammad, (traditional date) Prophet and founder of Islam (d. 632)

702 – Jafar SadiqShi’a Imam and Muslim scholar (d. 765)

1494 – Johannes Agricola, German Protestant reformer (d. 1566)

1586 – Saint Rose of Lima, Peruvian saint (d. 1617)

1633 – Emperor Go-Komyo of Japan (d. 1654)

1646 – Charles Plumier, French botanist (d. 1704)

1650 – William Bedloe, English informer (d. 1680)

1668 – Yuri Troubetzkoy, Governor of Belgorod (d. 1739)

1718 – David Brainerd, American missionary (d. 1747)

1723 – Cornelius Harnett, American Continental Congress delegate (d. 1781)

1727 – Comte de Mercy-Argenteau, Belgian-born Austrian diplomat (d. 1794)

1745 – Philippe Pinel, French physician (d. 1826)

1808 – Napoleon III of France, Emperor of the French (d. 1873)

1818 – Heinrich Göbel, German-born inventor (d. 1893)

1826 – Dinah Craik, English author (d. 1887)

1850 – Daniel Chester French, American sculptor (d. 1931)

1851 – Young Tom Morris, Scottish golfer (d. 1875)

1870 – Maulvi Abdul HaqPakistani scholar (d. 1961)

1871 – Sydney Chapman, British economist and civil servant (d. 1951)

1879 – Paul Poiret, French couturier (d. 1944)

1882 – Holland Smith, U.S. General (d. 1967)

1884 – Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (d. 1966)

1889 – Albert Jean Amateau, Turkish-born businessman and activist (d. 1996)

1889 – Adolf Hitler, German Nazi dictator (d. 1945)

1890 – Maurice Duplessispremier of Quebec (d. 1959)

1893 – Harold Lloyd, American actor (d. 1971)

1893 – Edna Parker, American supercentenarian (d. 2008)

1893 – Joan Miró, Spanish painter (d. 1983)

1895 – Emile Christian, American musician (d. 1973)

1896 – Wop May, Canadian aviator (d. 1952)

1896 – Henry de Montherlant, French writer (d. 1972)

1904 – Bruce Cabot, American actor (d. 1972)

1904 – George Stibitz, American scientist (d. 1995)

1907 – Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, Haitian president (d. 1971)

1908 – Lionel Hampton, American musician (d. 2002)

1914 – Betty Lou Gerson, American actress (d. 1999)

1915 – Joseph Wolpe, South African–born psychotherapist (d. 1997)

1918 – Edward L. Beach, Jr., American naval officer, author (d. 2002)

1918 – Kai Siegbahn, Swedish physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2007)

1919 – Richard Hillary, Australian pilot and author (d. 1943)

1920 – John Paul Stevens, American jurist

1920 – Ronald Speirs, WWII Veteran (d. 2007)

1921 – Janine Sutto, French-Canadian actress

1923 – Mother Angelica, American nun and broadcaster

1923 – Tito Puente, American musician (d. 2000)

1924 – Leslie Phillips, English actor

1924 – Nina Foch, Dutch-born American actress (d. 2008)

1925 – Ernie Stautner, German-born American football player (d. 2006)

1927 – Phil Hill, American race car driver (d. 2008)

1927 – Karl Alexander Müller, Swiss physicist, Nobel Prize laureate

1928 – Johnny Gavin, Irish footballer (d. 2007)

1928 – Gerald S. Hawkins, English astronomer (d. 2003)

1931 – John Eccles, 2nd Viscount Eccles, British businessman and peer

1936 – Pat Roberts, American politician

1937 – Antonios Kounadis, Greek discus thrower

1937 – George Takei, American actor

1939 – Peter S. Beagle, American author

1939 – Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway

1939 – Johnny Tillotson, American singer

1941 – Ryan O’Neal, American actor

1942 – Arto Paasilinna, Finnish writer

1943 – John Eliot Gardiner, English conductor

1943 – Edie Sedgwick, American actress (d. 1971)

1945 – Michael Brandon, American actor

1945 – Steve Spurrier, American football player and coach

1946 – Julien Poulin, French Canadian actor

1946 – Gordon Smiley, American racecar driver (d. 1982)

1946 – Mel Winkler, American voice actor

1947 – Björn Skifs, Swedish singer (Blue Swede)

1947 – Ken Scott, English record producer and recording engineer

1947 – Andrew Tobias, American journalist and author

1947 – David Leland, British actor, director and screenwriter

1948 – Craig Frost, American musician (Grand Funk & Bob Seger)

1948 – Gregory Itzin, American actor

1948 – Rémy Trudel, French Canadian politician

1949 – Massimo D’Alema, 76th Prime Minister of Italy

1949 – Veronica Cartwright, American actress

1949 – Toller Cranston, Canadian figure skater and artist

1949 – Jessica Lange, American actress

1950 – Steve Erickson, American novelist

1950 – Aleksandr Lebed, Russian general and politician (d. 2002)

1950 – Chandra Babu Naidu, Indian politician

1951 – Luther Vandross, American singer (d. 2005)

1952 – Božidar Maljković, Serbian basketball coach

1953 – Sebastian Faulks, British novelist

1954 – Gilles Lupien, French-Canadian ice hockey player

1955 – Don Pettit, American Astronaut and Inventor

1956 – Beatrice Ask, Swedish politician

1957 – Geraint Wyn Davies, Welsh-born Canadian actor

1958 – Viacheslav Fetisov, Russian ice hockey player

1959 – Clint Howard, American actor

1961 – Don Mattingly, American baseball player

1961 – Konstantin Lavronenko, Russian actor

1961 – Barry Smolin, American radio host, writer, and musician

1961 – Ralph Cirella, American radio personality

1962 – Henry Joseph Nasiff Jr. (AKA: Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf), American radio personality (d. 2001)

1963 – Maurício Gugelmin, Brazilian racing driver

1963 – Aubrey de Grey, British biomedical gerontologist

1964 – Crispin Glover, American actor

1964 – Andy Serkis, English actor

1964 – Rosalynn Sumners, American figure skater

1965 – Kostas Hatzidakis, Greek politician

1965 – Adrian Fernández, Mexican racing driver

1965 – April March, American musician

1966 – David Chalmers, Australian philosopher

1967 – Raymond van Barneveld, Dutch darts player

1967 – Mike Portnoy, American drummer (Dream Theater)

1967 – Lara Jill Miller, American actress

1968 – J. D. Roth, American game show host and television personality

1970 – Shemar Moore, American actor

1970 – Adriano Moraes, Brazilian rodeo performer

1971 – Tina Cousins, English singer

1971 – Carla Geurts, Dutch swimmer

1971 – Allan Houston, American basketball player

1972 – Carmen Electra, American actress

1972 – Le Huynh Đuc, Vietnamese footballer

1972 – Željko Joksimović, Serbian singer, songwriter and producer

1972 – Stephen Marley, Jamaican musician

1973 – Geoff Lloyd, British radio presenter

1976 – Shay Given, Irish footballer

1976 – Joey Lawrence, American actor

1976 – Chris Mason, Canadian ice hockey goaltender

1977 – Johnny “The Bull” Stamboli, professional wrestler

1978 – Mirei Kuroda, Japanese gravure idol

1979 – Quinn Weng, Taiwanese singer (Seraphim)

1979 – Nathan Marquardt, American Mixed Martial Artist

1980 – Jasmin Wagner, German singer

1980 – Chris Duffy, American baseball player

1981 – Matus Valent, male fitness model

1983 – Danny Granger, American basketball player

1983 – Terrence J, American television host

1983 – Joanne King, Irish/English Actress

1983 – Miranda Kerr, Australian supermodel

1984 – Tyson Griffin, American mixed martial artist

1985 – Greg Lutzka, American Skateboarder

1986 – Cameron Duncan, New Zealand director (d. 2003)

1987 – John Patrick Amedori, American actor



1176 – Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, English soldier (b. 1130)

1314 – Pope Clement V (b. 1264)

1521 – Zhengde, Emperor of China (b. 1491)

1534 – Elizabeth Barton, English nun (executed)

1558 – Johannes Bugenhagen, German reformer (b. 1485)

1643 – Christoph Demantius, German composer (b. 1567)

1703 – Lancelot Addison, English royal chaplain (b. 1632)

1765 – Abigail Williams, American accuser in the Salem witch trials (b. 1674)

1769 – Pontiac, Chief of the Ottawa

1831 – John Abernethy, English surgeon (b. 1764)

1873 – William Tite, English architect (b. 1798)

1874 – Alexander H. Bailey, American politician (b. 1817)

1887 – Muhammad Sharif Pasha, Egyptian statesman (b. 1826)

1899 – Joseph Wolf, German artist (b. 1820)

1912 – Bram Stoker, Irish author (b. 1847)

1918 – Karl Ferdinand Braun, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1850)

1929 – Prince Albert Wilhelm Heinrich of Prussia (b. 1862)

1932 – Giuseppe Peano, Italian mathematician (b. 1858)

1945 – Erwin Bumke, German jurist (b. 1874)

1947 – King Christian X of Denmark (b. 1870)

1951 – Ivanoe BonomiPrime Minister of Italy (b. 1873)

1964 – Eddie Dyer, American baseball player (b. 1899)

1977 – Sepp Herberger, German football coach (b. 1897)

1982 – Archibald MacLeish, American poet and Librarian of Congress (b. 1892)

1984 – Hristo Prodanov, Bulgarian mountaineer (b. 1943)

1986 – Sibte Hassan, Pakistani activist, journalist and writer (b. 1916)

1989 – Doru Davidovici, Romanian writer and fighter pilot (b. 1945)

1991 – Steve Marriott, British singer and songwriter (Humble Pie) (b. 1947)

1991 – Don Siegel, American film director (b. 1912)

1993 – Cantinflas, Mexican comedian and actor (b. 1911)

1994 – Jean Carmet, French actor (b. 1920)

1996 – Christopher Robin Milne, son of A.A. Milne (b. 1920)

1999 – Rick Rude, American professional wrestler (b. 1958)

1999 – Señor Wences, Spanish ventriloquist and comedian (b. 1896)

1999 – Eric David Harris, perpetrator of the Columbine High massacre (b. 1981)

1999 – Dylan Klebold, perpetrator of the Columbine High massacre (b. 1981)

1999 – Cassie BernallColumbine High School massacre victim (b. 1981)

1999 – Rachel Joy Scott, Columbine High School massacre victim (b. 1981)

2001 – Giuseppe Sinopoli, Italian conductor and composer (b. 1946)

2002 – Alan Dale, American singer (b. 1925)

2003 – Ruth Hale, American playwright and actress (b. 1908)

2003 – Daijiro Kato, Japanese motorcycle racer (b. 1976)

2003 – Bernard Katz, German-born biophysicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1911)

2005 – Fumio Niwa, Japanese novelist (b. 1904)

2005 – Zygfryd Blaut, Polish football player (b. 1943)

2006 – Anna Svidersky (b. 1988)

2007 – Andrew Hill, American jazz composer and pianist (b. 1931)

2007 – Michael Fu Tieshan, Chinese bishop (b. 1931).

2007 – Fred Fish, a computer programmer on the GNU Debugger and “Fish disks” (b. 1952)

2008 – VL Mike, American rapper (b. 1976)

2008 – Monica Lovinescu, Romanian essayist, literary critic and journalist (b. 1923)

2009 – Beata Asimakopoulou, Greek actress (b. 1932)


Holidays and observances

4/20, a counterculture holiday, where people gather to celebrate and consumecannabis.

Christian Feast Day

Agnes of Montepulciano

Blessed Oda of Brabant


L. Ron Hubbard Exhibition Day (Church of Scientology)

Ridván begins at sunset (Bahá’í Faith)

3 responses to “April 20 = Confusion and Coverups—a day of recurring myths in history…

  1. Barbara Anne Kidd-Hoffmann

    Looks like I will have to track down a copy of Black Book. Sounds interesting.

    • Really and Truly—Black Book is one of the finest Post-Modern (possibly Ayn Randian “Positivist”) revisionist “WWII was not such a Good War after all” movies I have ever seen. It is an odyssey of individual survival and honest self-interested heroism in the face of constant betrayal by ordinary people. The SS Obersturmfuhrer-Romantic Lead is a man who feels himself betrayed and victimized first by Nazi Propagandistic lies (he lost his family to Allied bombing after “Goering promised us that no British bombs would ever fall on German soil”) and ultimately loses his own life to Nazi-liars. Compare it with “Valkyrie“—aside from Tom Cruise’ hilariously badly pronounced and delivered opening lines in German (almost as bad as the Spoken Yucatec Maya in Apocalypto, although I honestly think that was the worst foreign language pronunciation in all movie history—and the most pointless)—Valkyrie was a pure romanticization of a real tragedy in modern history (i.e. it was a mythic reality) whereas Black book was a genuine Historical Metaphor (and yes, I apologize for having been too much reliving and revisiting Marshall Sahlins’ books of the 1980s recently….another side effect of my Santa Fe excursion and time spent discussing things mythological with that certain Egyptian sorceress Tiffany Hultz….

  2. Pingback: Will Bailey – 1998 (2011)

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