Nov 30 2010

On This Day in History: November 30

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

November 30 is the 334th day of the year (335th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 31 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1886, the Folies Bergère in Paris introduces an elaborate revue featuring women in sensational costumes. The highly popular “Place aux Jeunes” established the Folies as the premier nightspot in Paris. In the 1890s, the Folies followed the Parisian taste for striptease and quickly gained a reputation for its spectacular nude shows. The theater spared no expense, staging revues that featured as many as 40 sets, 1,000 costumes, and an off-stage crew of some 200 people.

In 1886, the Folies Bergère went under new management, which, on November 30, staged the first revue-style music hall show. The “Place aux Jeunes,” featuring scantily clad chorus girls, was a tremendous success. The Folies women gradually wore less and less as the 20th century approached, and the show’s costumes and sets became more and more outrageous. Among the performers who got their start at the Folies Bergère were Yvette Guilbert, Maurice Chevalier, and Mistinguett. The African American dancer and singer Joséphine Baker made her Folies debut in 1926, lowered from the ceiling in a flower-covered sphere that opened onstage to reveal her wearing a G-string ornamented with bananas.

The Folies Bergère remained a success throughout the 20th century and still can be seen in Paris today, although the theater now features many mainstream concerts and performances. Among other traditions that date back more than a century, the show’s title always contains 13 letters and includes the word “Folie.”

Located at 32 rue Richer in the 9th Arrondissement, it was built as an opera house by the architect Plumeret. It was patterned after the Alhambra music hall in London. The closest métro stations are Cadet and Grands Boulevards.

It opened on 2 May 1869 as the Folies Trévise, with fare including operettas, comic opera, popular songs, and gymnastics. It became the Folies Bergère on 13 September 1872, named after a nearby street, the rue Bergère (the feminine form of “shepherd”).

Édouard Manet‘s 1882 well-known painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergère depicts a bar-girl, one of the demimondaines, standing before a mirror.

The painting is filled with contemporaneous details specific to the Folies-Bergère. The distant pair of green feet in the upper left-hand corner belong to a trapeze artist, who is performing above the restaurant’s patrons.

The beer which is depicted, Bass Pale Ale (noted by the red triangle on the label), would have catered not to the tastes of Parisians, but to those of English tourists, suggesting a British clientèle. Manet has signed his name on the label of the bottle at the bottom left, combining the centuries-old practice of self-promotion in art with something more modern, bordering on the product placement concept of the late twentieth century. One interpretation of the painting has been that far from only being a seller of the wares shown on the counter, the woman is herself one of the wares for sale; conveying undertones of prostitution. The man in the background may be a potential client.

But for all its specificity to time and place, it is worth noting that, should the background of this painting indeed be a reflection in a mirror on the wall behind the bar as suggested by some critics, the woman in the reflection would appear directly behind the image of the woman facing forward. Neither are the bottles reflected accurately or in like quantity for it to be a reflection. These details were criticized in the French press when the painting was shown. The assumption is faulty when one considers that the postures of the two women, however, are quite different and the presence of the man to whom the second woman speaks marks the depth of the subject area. Indeed many critics view the faults in the reflection to be fundamental to the painting as they show a double reality and meaning to the work. One interpretation is that the reflection is an interaction earlier in time that results in the subject’s expression in the painting’s present.

 1700 – Battle of Narva – A Swedish army of 8,500 men under Charles XII defeats a much larger Russian army at Narva.

1718 – Swedish king Charles XII dies during a siege of the fortress Fredriksten in Norway.

1782 – American Revolutionary War: Treaty of Paris – In Paris, representatives from the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain sign preliminary peace articles (later formalized as the 1783 Treaty of Paris).

1783 – A 5.3 magnitude earthquake strikes New Jersey.

1786 – Peter Leopold Joseph of Habsburg-Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, promulgates a penal reform making his country the first state to abolish the death penalty. Consequently, November 30 is commemorated by 300 cities around the world as Cities for Life Day.

1803 – In New Orleans, Louisiana, Spanish representatives officially transfer the Louisiana Territory to a French representative. Just 20 days later, France transfers the same land to the United States as the Louisiana Purchase.

1804 – The Democratic-Republican-controlled United States Senate begins an impeachment trial against Federalist-partisan Supreme Court of the United States Justice Samuel Chase.

1824 – First ground is broken at Allenburg for the building of the original Welland Canal.

1829 – First Welland Canal opens for a trial run, 5 years to the day from the ground breaking.

1853 – Crimean War: Battle of Sinop – The Imperial Russian Navy under Pavel Nakhimov destroys the Ottoman fleet under Osman Pasha at Sinop, a sea port in northern Turkey.

1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Franklin – The Army of Tennessee led by General John Bell Hood mounts a dramatically unsuccessful frontal assault on Union positions commanded by John McAllister Schofield around Franklin, Tennessee, with Hood lost six generals and almost a third of his troops.

1868 – The inauguration of a statue of King Charles XII of Sweden takes place in the King’s garden in Stockholm.

1872 – The first-ever international football match takes place at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, between Scotland and England.

1886 – The Folies Bergère stages its first revue.

1902 – American Old West: Second-in-command of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch gang, Kid Curry Logan, is sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with hard labor.

1908 – A mine explosion in the mining town of Marianna, Pennsylvania kills 154.

1916 – Costa Rica becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.

1934 – The steam locomotive Flying Scotsman becomes the first to officially exceed 100mph.

1936 – In London, the Crystal Palace is destroyed by fire.

1939 – Winter War: Soviet forces cross the Finnish border in several places and bomb Helsinki and several other Finnish cities, starting the war.

1940 – Lucille Ball marries Desi Arnaz in Greenwich, Connecticut.

1942 – World War II: Guadalcanal Campaign: Battle of Tassafaronga – A smaller squadron of Japanese destroyers led by Raizo Tanaka defeats a US cruiser force under Carleton H. Wright.

1953 – Edward Mutesa II, the kabaka (king) of Buganda is deposed and exiled to London by Sir Andrew Cohen, Governor of Uganda.

1954 – In Sylacauga, Alabama, United States, the Hodges Meteorite crashes through a roof and hits a woman taking an afternoon nap in the only documented case of a human being hit by a rock from space.

1966 – Barbados becomes independent from the United Kingdom.

1967 – The People’s Republic of South Yemen becomes independent from the United Kingdom.

1967 – The Pakistan Peoples Party is founded by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who becomes its first Chairman later as the Head of state and Head of government after the 1971 Civil War.

1971 – Iran seizes the Greater and Lesser Tunbs from the United Arab Emirates.

1972 – Vietnam War: White House Press Secretary Ron Ziegler tells the press that there will be no more public announcements concerning American troop withdrawals from Vietnam due to the fact that troop levels are now down to 27,000.

1981 – Cold War: In Geneva, representatives from the United States and the Soviet Union begin to negotiate intermediate-range nuclear weapon reductions in Europe (the meetings ended inconclusively on December 17).

1989 – Deutsche Bank board member Alfred Herrhausen is killed by a Red Army Faction terrorist bomb.

1993 – U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (the Brady Bill) into law.

1994 – The National Football League announces that the Jacksonville Jaguars will become the league’s 30th franchise.

1994 – MS Achille Lauro fire off Somalia coast.

1995 – Official end of Operation Desert Storm.

1998 – Exxon and Mobil sign a $73.7 billion USD agreement to merge, thus creating Exxon-Mobil, the world’s largest company.

1999 – In Seattle, Washington, United States, protests against the WTO meeting by anti-globalization protesters catch police unprepared and force the cancellation of opening ceremonies.

1999 – British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems merge to form BAE Systems, Europe’s largest defense contractor and the fourth largest aerospace firm in the world.

2001 – In Renton, Washington, United States, Gary Ridgway aka The Green River Killer is arrested.

2004 – Longtime Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings of Salt Lake City, Utah finally loses, leaving him with US$2,520,700, television’s biggest game show winnings.

2005 – John Sentamu becomes the first black archbishop in the Church of England with his enthronement as the 97th Archbishop of York.

Holidays and observances

   * Andres Bonifacio Day (the Philippines)

   * Christian Feast Day:

         o Andrew

         o November 30 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

   * Cities for Life Day

   * Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Barbados from the United Kingdom in 1966.

   * National day (Scotland)

1 comment

  1. TMC

    Dalai Lama

    We must insist on the observation that my right to happiness carries no more weight than others’ similar right.

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