Painting: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic.
      - Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Today is Wednesday - March 21st, 2018

On This Day In History:

Island of Lost Toys

1685 - Johann Sebastian Bach

On this day in 1685, Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany. It is one of history's curious facts that both Martin Luther, the great Christian reformer of the Renaissance, and Johann Sebastian Bach, the greatest of all Lutheran Church musicians of the Baroque Era, were both educated as children in this same small town.

Johann Sebastian Bach is revered as the greatest composer of the Baroque Era, and his compositions are widely considered to be the pinnacle achievement in the development of contrapuntal music. However, during his own lifetime he was primarily known as a great organist. Most of his compositions were either not widely known or remained unpublished during his lifetime.

Bach's musical genius manifested itself in many ways, but most particularly in his perfection of the fugue as both an instrumental and choral form, producing sublime music that was imbued with a balance of technical mastery and intellectual control.

Johann Nikolaus Forkel's On Johann Sebastian Bach's Life, Genius and Works, carefully collected first-hand information on the composer, chiefly from his two eldest sons, and presented the composer as a Teutonic hero whose keyboard works represented a German national treasure.

Philipp Spitta, in his monumental three volumes, Johann Sebastian Bach: His Work and Influence on the Music of Germany, 1685-1750, paints a vivid, highly romanticized, picture of Bach as the "Fifth Evangelist," proselytizing for the Lutheran faith through his Cantatas and Passions.

Celebrating Birthdays Today:

Johann Sebastian Bach
Born in 1685

Timothy Dalton
Born in 1946

Ayrton Senna da Silva
Born in 1960

Matthew Broderick
Born in 1962

What Happened on Your Special Day?

I became a fan of "today in history" information when I was very young. My father had a calendar that he had put together of "reasons to celebrate". If anybody asked "what are we celebrating?" my father could check his book and come up with a reason to celebrate for any day of the year. Charlie Chaplin's birthday, Buster Keaton's birthday, the anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, for every day of the year, my father's calendar had some interesting historical event that had occurred.

With this page I have tried to continue the tradition. Generally, I prefer to include birthdays and anniversaries of positive, uplifting, life affirming people and events that have had particular significance in my life. It's here because it was important to me.

I am trying to continually update with links from stories to other relevant sites. Check back regularly for a story on something interesting that happened on this day in history.

There are many, many, sites out there that have a lot of "this day in history" information. Many are not so great, full of inaccurate information and "negative vibes". However, there are a few that are really fabulous. Here are links to a few of my favorites. These sites feature "Today in History" stories for today, and some include archives that will enable you to look up information for any other date in history that is special to you:

This Day in History
The History Channel tells you what happened in Automotive, Civil War, Cold War, Crime, Entertainment, General Interest, Literary, Old West, Vietnam War, Wall Street, and World War II history for today or any day.

Life Magazine Covers
Life offers a look at covers from this day in history.

New York Times: On This Day
Lists events which occurred on each month and day of the year throughout history. Links to New York Times articles on the events when available.

Today in History
Stories and pictures from the American Memory historical collections of the U.S. Library of Congress.

The Internet Movie Database
The Internet Movie Database claims itself to be the biggest, best, most award-winning movie site on the planet. I'm not sure if it really is, but it is huge and has TONS of info on even the most obscure films, movies stars, directors, producers, etc. If it is motion picture related, you can probably find out something about it at this site.