“Learn as if you were to live forever; live as if you were to die tomorrow.” - Proverb
Today is the National Day of Grenada, an island country and Commonwealth realm consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. Grenada is located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela, and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Grenada is also known as the “Island of Spice” because of the production of nutmeg and mace crops of which Grenada is one of the world's largest exporters. Its size is 344 square kilometres, with an estimated population of 110,000. Its capital is St. George’s. The national bird of Grenada is the critically endangered Grenada Dove.
Today is also the anniversary of the birthday of:
Innocent XII (Antonio Pignatelli), Pope of Rome (1615);
Charles Bonnett, naturalist of parthenogenesis fame (1720);
Joseph Priestley, chemist (1733);
Josef II, Holy Roman Emperor (1741);
Percival Lowell, astronomer (1855);
Hugo Wolf, Austrian composer (1860);
Hugh (Seymour) Walpole, novelist (1884);
Janet Flanner, writer (1892);
Henry Hathaway, director (1898);
George Seferis (Yorgos Seferiadis), Nobel laureate (1963) Greek poet (1900);
Walter H. Annenberg, publisher/philanthropist (1908);
Ron(ald Lafayette) Hubbard, US scientology cult founder/author (1911);
Tessie O’Shea, actress (1918);
Neil Sedaka, singer/songwriter (1939);
Deborah Raffin, actress (1953).
Today’s birthday plant is the ivy flowerheads, Hedera helix. It is symbolic of a need of support, tenacity, wedded love, fidelity and immortality. It is a plant of Saturn and in some circles considered an evil omen as it kills whatever it embraces.
The planet Uranus was discovered on this day in 1781 by the astronomer William Herschel. The planet was originally called Georgius Sidus to honour king George III, patron of Herschel.
Hugo Wolf (1860–1903), an Austrian composer is one of the great masters of the German art song. He wrote over 300 lieder, in which he adapted Wagner’s musical conceptions. He also wrote an opera, Der Corregidor (1895), choral works, and chamber music. He is best known for his musical settings of the poetry of Goethe and Italian and Spanish writers. His Italian Songbook, a setting of mainly anonymous Italian folk lyrics, is lovely.
Dying on this day: In 1619, Richard Burbage, English actor who built Shakespeare’s Globe theatre; in 1881, Czar Alexander II of Russia was assassinated by anti-monarchist bombers; 1901, Benjamin Harrison, 23rd US president; in 1943, Stephen Vincent Benet, US poet best known for John Brown’s Body; in 1947, Angela Brazil, English author.