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Sunday, November 6, 2011

John Philip Sousa

Saxophone Day
You may not know his name, or its only vaguely familiar, but John Philip Sousa created the Sousaphone, and wrote many many songs, including Stars and Stripes Forever.
What does the saxophone and Sousa have to do with each other? Honestly not that much, lol. At first I assumed that he created the saxophone, but nope I was wrong! The saxophone was created in 1846 by Adolphe Sax. He wanted to create an instrument that would both be the most powerful and vocal of the woodwinds and the most adaptive of the brass, which would fill the vacant middle ground between the two sections. He patented the sax on June 28, 1846 in two groups of seven instruments each. Each series consisted of instruments of various sizes in alternating transposition. He mainly did it for marching/military bands. Which now is how we get back to JP Sousa.
Sousa was born November 6, 1854 in DC to Portuguese/Bavarian parents. His father, John Antonio Sousa, was a musician (trombonist) in a Marine band, and when JP was 13, he was enlisted into the US Marine Corps Band so he wouldn't join a circus band. (Guess that was too gauche for the family.)
Several years after serving his apprenticeship, Sousa joined a theatrical (pit) orchestra where he learned to conduct. He returned to the U.S. Marine Band as its head in 1880 and remained as its conductor until 1892. Sousa led "The President's Own" band under five presidents from Rutherford B. Hayes to Benjamin Harrison. Sousa's band played at two Inaugural Balls, those of James A. Garfield in 1881, and Benjamin Harrison in 1889.
Sousa wrote 136 marches, published by the Sam Fox Publishing Company beginning in 1917 and continuing until his death.[8] Some of his most popular and notable are:

"The Gladiator March" (1886) Sousa's first hit.
"Semper Fidelis" (1888) (Official March of the United States Marine Corps)
"The Washington Post" (1889)
"The Thunderer" (1889) performed in 1896 by the United States Marine Band
"High School Cadets" (1890)
"The Liberty Bell" (1893) (credits theme for Monty Python's Flying Circus)
"Manhattan Beach March" (1893) a commemorative march by John Philip Sousa.
"King Cotton" (1895) a 1895 Sousa military march.
"Stars and Stripes Forever" (1896) (National March of the United States)[9]
"El Capitan" (1896)
"Hands Across the Sea" (dedicated to the band of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets – the Highty-Tighties) (1899) performed by the United States Navy Band
"Fairest of the Fair" (1908), performed by the United States Navy Band
"Salvation Army March" (1930) (dedicated to The Salvation Army's 50th anniversary in the USA)
"The Gallant Seventh", was Sousa's most popular march in the 1920s and is distinguished as his only march with two breakstrains.
Sousa wrote marches for several American universities, including University of Illinois, University of Nebraska, Kansas State University, Marquette University, and University of Minnesota.
Sousa died March 6, 1932, his music, and contributions to the US military will forever be remembered.

DayLight Saving Time
Its that time of year again!! If you didnt change your clocks last night, did you sleep in? Did you get to work or church on time? Well since time actually went backwards, you more than likely showed up early, lol. ANYWAY, I am going to do just a wee bit of history on as to why we do this crazy thing called DayLight Saving Time, how it started, and why some places don't.
Most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time.

In the European Union, Summer Time begins and ends at 1:00 a.m. Universal Time (Greenwich Mean Time). It begins the last Sunday in March and ends the last Sunday in October. In the EU, all time zones change at the same moment.
n the U.S., 2:00 a.m. was originally chosen as the changeover time because it was practical and minimized disruption. Most people were at home and this was the time when the fewest trains were running. It is late enough to minimally affect bars and restaurants, and it prevents the day from switching to yesterday, which would be confusing. It is early enough that the entire continental U.S. switches by daybreak, and the changeover occurs before most early shift workers and early churchgoers are affected.
Daylight Saving Time is NOT observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and Arizona.
Alot of fire departments encourage people to change the batteries in their fire alarms/smoke alarms at this time, as its easiest to remember, and its done every six months.
Indiana has long been a hotbed of Daylight Saving Time controversy. Historically, the state's two western corners, which fall in the Central Time Zone, observed DST, while the remainder of the state, in the Eastern Time zone, followed year-round Standard Time. An additional complication was that five southeastern counties near Cincinnati and Louisville unofficially observed DST to keep in sync with those cities. Because of the longstanding feuds over DST, Indiana politicians often treated the subject gingerly. In 1996, gubernatorial candidate Rex Early firmly declared, "Some of my friends are for putting all of Indiana on Daylight Saving Time. Some are against it. And I always try to support my friends."

In April 2005, Indiana legislators passed a law that implemented Daylight Saving Time statewide beginning on April 2, 2006.

Benjamin Franklin first thought of the idea, but it was not implemented until WW1
The law that put Daylight Saving Time into effect: http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/usstat.html
On January 4, 1974, President Nixon signed into law the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act of 1973. Then, beginning on January 6, 1974, implementing the Daylight Saving Time Energy Act, clocks were set ahead. On October 5, 1974, Congress amended the Act, and Standard Time returned on October 27, 1974. Daylight Saving Time resumed on February 23, 1975 and ended on October 26, 1975.

Todays Births
1661 Charles II last Habsburg king of Spain (1665-1700)
1814 Adolphe Sax Belgium, musician/inventor (saxophone)
1832 Joseph Smith son of founder of Mormonism
1854 John Phillip Sousa Wash DC, march king (Stars & Stripes Forever)
1861 James A Naismith inventor (basketball)
1896 Jim Jordan radio comedian (Fibber McGee)
1900 Heinrich Himmler Nazi SS leader
1921 James Jones Robinson IL, novelist (From Here to Eternity)
1928 Peter Matz Pittsburgh PA, orchestra leader (Hullabaloo, Carol Burnett Show)
1943 Michael Schwerner civil rights worker, murdered in 1964
1946 Sally Field Pasadena CA, actress (Gidget, Flying Nun)
1955 Maria Shriver [Mrs A Schwartenegger], Chicago IL, newscaster (Sunday Today) (Niece of JFK)
1966 Peter DeLuise actor (Free Ride)
1967 Rebecca Schaeffer Eugene Oregon, actress (Patti-My Sister Sam)
1970 Ethan Hawke Austin, TX, actor (Dad, Dead Poets Society, Explorers)

Todays Deaths
1944 Hannah Senesh Jewish poetess, executed by Nazis in Budapest
1991 Gene Tierney actress, dies at 70 of emphysema

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