March 30 Holidays and festivities:
LIMITED LIABILITY DAY
FESTIVAL OF REALITY FABRICATION
On this date:
1842 — Anesthesiac drugs first used successfully in medical operation.
1844 — French symbolist, decadent writer Paul Verlaine born, Metz, France.
1853 — Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh born, Groot Zundert, Brabant, Netherlands.
1867 — U.S. buys Alaska from Russia for two cents per acre.
1870 — Black men win the right to vote, U.S.
1925 — Anthroposophist Rudolph Steiner dies, Dornach, Switzerland.
1981 — U.S. Acting President Ronald Reagan shot in chest by John Hinckley, Jr.
1990 — Radical labor organizer Harry Bridges dies, San Francisco, California.
Probably the first private individual to manufacture LSD, Augustus “Bear'” Owsley Stanley III produced more than1.25 million doses of LSD between 1965 and 1967. Stanley was the grandson of one-time Kentucky governor and senator Augustus Owsley Stanley. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 18 months, studied ballet in Los Angeles and then enrolled at UC Berkeley. In addition to producing and advocating LSD, he adhered to an all-meat diet. His pioneering role made the name “Owsley,” a popular slang term for the drug. Also an accomplished sound engineer, Bear was the longtime sound man and financier for psychedelic rock band the Grateful Dead. Stanley designed some of the first high-fidelity sound systems for rock music, culminating in the massive “Wall of Sound” electrical amplification system used by the Grateful Dead in their live shows, at the time a highly innovative feat of engineering. Hendrix’s song “Purple Haze” was reputedly inspired by a batch of Stanley’s product, though the guitarist denied any drug link. The ear-splitting psychedelic-blues combo Blue Cheer took its named from another batch. He was involved with the founding of high-end musical instrument maker Alembic Inc and concert sound equipment manufacturer Meyer Sound.
Along with his close friend Bob Thomas, he designed the Lightning Bolt Skull Logo, often referred to by fans as “Steal Your Face”. The 13-point lightning bolt was derived from a stencil Stanley created to spray-paint on the Grateful Dead’s equipment boxes.
A naturalized Australian citizen since 1996, Stanley and his wife Sheilah lived in the bush of Far Northern Tropical Queensland where he worked to create sculpture, much of it wearable art. Bear moved to Australia in the 1980s after growing convinced that the northern hemisphere would be subsumed by another ice age and sold enamel sculptures on the Internet. He was killed when the car he was driving swerved off a highway Saturday during a storm and down an embankment into a tree. His wife, who was with him in the car, suffered minor injuries. He is survived by two sons and two daughters by four different women; Peter (1957), Nina (1962), Starfinder and Redbird (1970).
NOVEMBER 2 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS ALL SOULS DAY.
Cheshire, England: SOUL CAKER’S PLAY, featuring King George, The Dragon, An Old Woman, The Turk, Doctor Quack, Hobby Horse, and Beelzebub.
Brittany: Beginning of “THE BLACK MONTHS.”
Sicily: Good little girls and boys get sweets and toys from their ancestors on DEAD RELATIVES DAY. SADIE HAWKINS DAY.
ALSO ON NOVEMBER 2 IN HISTORY
1811 — Weavers and knitters smash machines at Sutton and Ashfield, England.
1847 — Direct Action theorist Georges Sorel born, Cherbourg, Normandy, France.
1950 — British socialist playwright George Bernard Shaw dies, Ayot St. Laurence.
1961 — American humorist James Thurber dies, New York City.
1979 — Political bank robber Jacques Mesrine machine-gunned by flics, Paris.
OCTOBER 25 — MAX STIRNER
Young Hegelian individualist anarchist. “Whoever will be free must make himself free. Freedom is no fairy gift to fall into a man’s lap. What is freedom? To have the will to be responsible for one’s self.”
OCTOBER 25 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
Soissons, France: ST. CRISPIN’S DAY cobbler’s procession.
Chadron, Nebraska: UGLY PICKUP truck contest, and UGLY PICKUP QUEEN.
ALSO ON OCTOBER 25 IN HISTORY…
1400 — British poet Geoffrey Chaucer dies, London, England.
1806 — Ego-philosopher Max Stirner born, Bayreuth, Bavaria.
1860 — American Mountain Man Grizzly Adams dies, Charlton, Massachusetts.
1881 — Spanish painter, commie Pablo Picasso born, Málaga, Spain.
1902 — American writer Frank Norris dies, San Francisco, California.
1914 — American poet John Berryman born, McAlester, Oklahoma.
1950 — Tibet invaded by Red China. Dalai Lama flees for India.
1983 — U.S. troops invade Grenada following death of Maurice Bishop.
1984 — Hippie writer Richard Brautigan commits suicide, Bolinas, California.
ALSO ON OCTOBER 24 IN HISTORY…
1644 — American colonial reformer William Penn born, London, England.
1868 — Feminist explorer Alexandra David-Neel born, Paris, France.
1911 — Death of lighthouse keeper, feminist Ida B. Lewis, Limerick, Rhode Island.
1926 —Spanish surrealist screenwriter Rafael Azona Fernández born, Logroño.
1940 — So-called 40-hour work-week established in U.S. — Hah!
1955 — Eighteen-day bout of “smog” claims Los Angeles, California.
Above: Alexandra David-Neel in typical Tibetan traveling clothes, 1927.