Thursday, September 15, 2011

Today in Pop Culture History: 4 little girls and 1 British Dame

15 September 1963: The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, was bombed, killing four African American girls under the age of fifteen who were on their way to Sunday School. Sickening. The outrage this incident generated inspired not only political action (including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, aka, the "It's a good start but how are you going to enforce it" Act of 1964), but also a profusion of artistic responses. Some of them include:

Songs: Demigoddess Nina Simone's "Mississippi Goddam"
Poems: Langston Hughes's "Birmingham Sunday"  and Dudley Randall's "Ballad of Birmingham"
Film: Spike Lee's Oscar nominated documentary, 4 Little Girls
Art: The "Welsh Window" in the rebuilt church

15 September 1890: The grandmama of mystery writers, Dame Agatha Christie, was born in Torquay, Devon. She wrote 66 freaking novels, to say nothing of her short story collections and play, Mousetrap, that is still running in London now. You could totally see it tomorrow. She introduced the world to Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple, and if you haven't read about that time she disappeared, you should. 

One more, since the downer is so very sad.

15 September 1961: Dan Marino was born, and thirty-three years later, would appear as himself in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. "LACES OUT, DAN!"

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