february 1914


“Tubb has a quiet, quick sense of humor, a deep sense of loyalty to his type of music, the indispensable musicians in his outfit, and the fans who made him a success. He is even-tempered, but can be annoyed–like the night a drunken stage hand knocked another through the scenery while Tubb was singing a sentimental song. Once someone remarked ‘What a racket!’ as Tubb prepared to go on stage. The Texan, who was to receive $1,000 for the performance, gently pushed his heckler down into a chair.
‘Listen, friend, I once played in a beer joint for $1.50 a night. And if I couldn’t sing the way I want to sing tonight, I’d still be happy singing in that beer joint.’” – The Tennesseean, May 3, 1953

Remembering Ernest Dale Tubb, Feb. 9, 1914–Sept. 6, 1984

Photograph of Albert Neuhuys painting in the garden

Johannes Albert Neuhuys (Utrecht, 10 June 1844 – Locarno, 6 February 1914) was one of the best known painters of the Laren School and a friend of many of the Hague School painters.

Neuhuys went to the Municipal Drawing School in Utrecht from 1858–1860 and then worked for the lithographer Van de Weyer in Utrecht, who unfortunately went bankrupt two years later. From that time on, Neuhuys devoted himself to drawing and painting. From 1868 to 1872, he took lessons at the Antwerp Academy, where he was supported by a royal stipend. Here he painted interiors, specializing in the shine of satin clothes, after the example of the 17th-century artist Pieter de Hooch.
In 1872, Neuhuys moved to Amsterdam, where he met Jozef Israëls, Anton Mauve and the brothers Jacob Maris and Matthijs Maris. In 1876, he moved to The Hague. Much like the other Hague School painters, his detailed manner of painting changed to a much looser stroke. His use of color was also inspired by Jacob Maris and his watercolors became known for their sparkling transparency and the use of light.
The increasing urbanization around The Hague forced the painters of the Hague School to look further afield for their subjects. When Israëls told Neuhuys how picturesque Laren was, he moved, in 1883; two years later, Anton Mauve also moved there[1] and, together with him, Neuhuys was regarded as the founder of the Laren School. He painted the farmers and weavers in their homes and rented a flax barn where he drew and painted spinners.
In 1885, he moved to Hilversum. From 1900 to 1910 he lived in Amsterdam, where he was known to many for his colorful Laren rural interiors work. He moved to Zurich in 1910 but continued to visit Laren in the spring and autumn. He died on February 6, 1914, in Orselina near Locarno, and was buried in Oud Eik en Duinen, a cemetery in The Hague.

Happy Birthday Sir John Tenniel! (28 February 1820 – 25 February 1914)

English illustrator, graphic humourist, and political cartoonist prominent in the second half of the 19th century. He was knighted for his artistic achievements in 1893. Tenniel is remembered especially as the principal political cartoonist for Punch magazine for over 50 years, and for his illustrations to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871). (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Illustration “The Sleeping Genie and the Lady. From “Dalziel’s Arabian Nights.” By Sir John Tenniel. By permission of Messrs. Ward, Lock & Co.” from The Brothers Dalziel. A Record of Fifty Years Work in Conjunction with Many of the Most Distinguished Artists of the Period 1840-1890. With Selected Pictures By, and Autograph Letters from Lord Leighton, P.R.A., Sir J.E. Millais, Bart., P.R.A., Sir E.J. Poynter, P.R.A., Holman Hunt, Dante G. Rossetti, Sir John Tenniel, Sir E. Burne-Jones, Bart., John Ruskin, and many others. London: Methuen and Co., 1901.

Olivette Miller, celebrated “swing” harpist of the 1940s, was born 101 years ago today (February 2, 1914) in Illinois. Here parents were Bessie Oliver Miller, a 1900’s chorus girl and the venerable actor, comedian, writer and producer Flournoy Miller, who co-wrote and produced the groundbreaking Broadway musical “Shuffle Along.” Raised on Harlem’s famous Striver’s Row, Ms. Miller graduated from East Greenwich Academy, a private Methodist boarding school in Rhode Island in 1931, and went on to study music in Paris and at Juilliard. She originally planned to play concert halls but after being “bitten by the night club bug” she turned to more popular music. Ms. Miller’s stunning beauty and colorful love-life kept her in the newspapers almost as much as her performances around the country and the world. She performed with both Lena Horne and a young not-yet-a-superstar Dorothy Dandridge in the 1940s, top notch night clubs in Hollywood, Chicago and New York, and made a few appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in the 1960s. I’m still trying to pin it down, but by my count, she was married at least six times. The Chicago Defender reported her impending divorce from her first husband, Channing Price in November 1934 and in October 1939, the New York Amsterdam News reported that Ms. Miller, who had married a musician named Oett Mallard two years earlier, gave birth to their son, Alvin Miller Mallard, on October 1, 1939 in Denver, Colorado. She was married to the dancer Freddie Gordon in the 1940s and in the 1950s to the comedian Bert Gibson and performed and toured with him across the country. In the 1970s, when she sued Flip Wilson for copyright infringement over a sketch he did on his show that Ms. Miller claimed was lifted from her father’s work in “Shuffle Along,” her name ws Olivette Miller Darby. By the early 1990s, she had a bit part as a maid in the film “A Rage in Harlem” and was billed as Olivette Miller Briggs, due to her marriage to the dancer Bunny Briggs. Ms. Miller died on April 27, 2003 at the age of 89. Photo: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.


Charlie Chaplin’s first scene as The Tramp in Kid Auto Races At Venice (1914)
This was the first time that the public were introduced to the loveable little vagabond, as he began his journey to global fame on an unprecedented scale. 

Although this was the Tramp’s first appearance on screen before a film audience, Charlie actually created his iconic character for Mabel’s Strange Predicament. The second film of his career at this time, it began production before Kid Auto Races but was released two days later, on 9 February 1914.


WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS (February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997)
« I am not one of those weak-spirited, sappy Americans who want to be liked by all the people around them. I don’t care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it. My affections, being concentrated over a few people, are not spread all over Hell in a vile attempt to placate sulky, worthless shits.  »


Granddaughters of Nicholas I of Russia (legitimate & survived to adulthood):

  • Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, born on 17th October 1853 as the fifth child and only surviving daughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia (1818-1881), the eldest son of Nicholas I. She married Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and Duke of Edinburg, thus becoming Duchess of Edinburgh (1874-1900), and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1893-1900); they had five children, including Marie of Romania. Maria, the only child of Alexander II to survive the revolution, died in her sleep on 24th October 1920.
  • Princess Maria Maximilianovna of Leuchtenberg, also known as Princess Maria Romanovskya, born on 16th October 1841 as the eldest daughter of Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna (1819-1876), the daughter of Nicholas I. She married Prince Wilhelm of Baden, and had two children. Maria died on 16th February 1914, in St. Petersburg.
  • Princess Eugenia Maximilianovna of Leuchtenberg, also known as Princess Eugenia Romanovskya, born on 1st April 1845, as the second daughter of Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna. Eugenia married Duke Alexander of Oldenburg on 1868; they had one son, Duke Peter Alexandrovich who would later marry and become the first husband of the last Tsar of Russia’s sister, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna. Eugenia died in exile, on 4th May 1925.
  • Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia, born on 3rd September 1851, the second child and elder daughter of Grand Duke Constantine Nikolaevich (1827-1892), the second son of Nicholas I. At sixteen years-old, she married George I of Greece, thus becoming the Queen consort of Hellenes; they had eight children, including Constantine I of Greece and Prince Andrew (the father of Philip, Duke of Edinburgh). Olga died on 18th June 1926.
  • Grand Duchess Vera Constantinovna of Russia, born on 16th February 1854, the younger daughter of Grand Duke Constantine Nikolaevich. Due to her prone to violent fits of anger - her “nervous condition” - becoming unmanageable to her parents, she was sent, and later adopted by her childless aunt, Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, Queen of Württemberg. Vera married her distant cousin, Duke Eugen of Württemberg, and had three children. Vera died in Stuttgart on 11th April 1912.
  • Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia, born on 28th July 1860, was the second child and only daughter of Grand Duke Michael Nikolaevich (1832-1909), the youngest son of Nicholas I. Anastasia married her cousin, a direct-descendant of Tsar Paul I of Russia, Frederick Francis III, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, thus becoming Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin; they had three children, including Alexandrine, Queen consort of Denmark. Anastasia died, after suffering from a stroke, on 11th March 1922.

Remembering the great Ida Lupino on her birthday  (4 February 1914 - 3 August 1995), a big star for Warner Bros in the 1940′s and 1950′s and a pioneering producer and director.

“I’m mad they say. I am temperamental and dizzy and disagreeable. Well, let them talk. I can take it. Only one person can hurt me. Her name is Ida Lupino.”


Granddaughters of Alexander III of Russia:

  • Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia, born on 15th November 1895, was the eldest daughter of the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II (1868-1918), the eldest child and son of Alexander III. The older sister of Grand Duchesses Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and their hemophiliac brother, Tsarevich Alexei. During her lifetime, her future marriage was the subject of great speculation within Russia. She was considered by many as compassionate, sensitive, and thoughtful. Out of all her siblings, she was intellectually mature, and was quick. It was her who answered back to their mother, when in a disagreement. Olga nursed wounded soldiers during World War I, until the stress of caring for the wounded took a toll on her nerves. Eventually being given arsenic injections in October 1915. She, her parents and siblings, along with their several faithful servants, were murdered by the Bolsheviks on 17th July 1918, at just the age of twenty-two, if she could’ve lived throughout the year, she would’ve been able to turn twenty-three.
  • Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna of Russia, born on 10th June 1897, was the second daughter of Nicholas II. She was the tallest and the slenderest of her sisters. A favorite of her mother, Tatiana was an idealist, and reserved by nature. Out of all her siblings, she’s the most practical and reliable, having a natural talent for leadership. During the World War I, she, like her older sister Olga, and mother, Alexandra Feodorovna, served as Red Cross nurses, aiding the wounded soldiers until the Russian Revolution of 1917. She was brutally murdered by the Bolsheviks on 17th July 1918, at the age of tweny-one.
  • Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia, born on 26th June 1899, was the middle child and third daughter of Nicholas II. She was friendly, sweet and loving, deferential to her parents. She was tall, and surprisingly strong, which she have inherited from her bear-like grandfather, Alexander III. Out of all her sisters, she was considered the prettiest. Though not as bright as her sisters, she had a particular talent in drawing and painting. During World War I, unlike her mother and two older sisters, she did not become a Red Cross nurse because she was too young. In July 17th 1918, she was murdered at the age of nineteen.
  • Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, born on 18th June 1901, was the fourth child and youngest daughter of Nicholas II. She was the youngest sister of Olga, Tatiana and Maria; together, the four sisters are known as OTMA. She was the shortest, but bright and ingenious. She was known in the family as ‘shvibzik’, Russian word for ‘imp’. She was vivacious, and energetic - the tomboy of the family. During World War I, Anastasia, along with her sister, Maria visited the wounded soldiers at a private hospital in the grounds of Tsarskoye Selo. As their mother and older sister, Olga & Tatiana, served as Red Cross nurses. In the wake of the Russian Revolution of 1917, Anastasia and her family were imprisoned in their own home, Alexander Palace. Later in Tobolsk, and finally in the Ipatiev House, in Ekaterinburg. Where she, with her parents and siblings, and several servants were brutally murdered by the Bolsheviks in the dawn of 17th July 1918. She was just seventeen.
  • Princess Irina Alexandrovna of Russia, born on 15th July 1895, was the eldest child and only daughter of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna (1875 - 1960), the elder daughter of Alexander III. She’s the only niece of Nicholas II. Irina was considered one of the most eligible women in Imperial Russia. Shy, and tongue-tied, Irina had a happy childhood. In February 1914, she married the wealthiest man in Imperial Russia, Prince Felix Yusupov; they had one daughter. After the fall of the monarchy in the Russian Revolution of 1917, Irina and her family fled, and settled in Paris. She died there on 26th February 1970.

Viola Desmond (July 6, 1914 – February 7, 1965)

Viola Desmond was a black businesswoman and civil rights activist from Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

After spending a short time as a schoolteacher in segregated classroom, she then studied at the Field Beauty School in Montreal and continued her training as a beautician in the United States (New York and Atlantic City). She returned to Halifax in the early 1940s to open up her own salon, Vi’s Studio of Beauty Culture, which focused on hair and beauty styles catered to the black community. 

Her salon was so successful that she then opened a beauty school in order to expand her business and provide training and employment for young African-Canadian women across the province. It is estimated that at least 15 young women graduated from her program every year and found employment shortly after. She developed her own line of beauty products which were sold by her graduates who opened their own venues across Atlantic Canada.
On November 8, 1946, she was on her way to a business meeting in Sydney, Cape Breton, when her car broke down in New Glasgow. While repairs were being made, she went to the local movie theatre, and bought a ticket. What happened next would change her life forever.

Viola requested a ticket for the main floor of the theatre, but instead, was handed a ticket for the balcony seating area. She headed for the main floor to take her seat, but was refused seating as her ticket was for the balcony, not the main floor. Thinking a mistake had been made, she went back to the ticket-taker to exchange her balcony seat for a main floor seat, but was told it couldn’t be done- because she was black, and black patrons weren’t allowed to sit on the main floor.

Defiantly, Viola went back to her seat on the main floor and refused to leave. She was confronted by the manager, and when she refused to leave, the police were called, and she was violently dragged off the premises by a police officer, badly damaging her hip in the process. 
Although there was no official law stating that black patrons could not sit in the main floor with white patrons, she was nonetheless forced to spend the night in jail, and although she was frightened, she retained her composure the entire time, sitting “bolt upright” (as she recalled) still dressed in her skirt suit, pearl necklace, and little white gloves. Her trial took place the next day. She was found guilty of “defrauding the government” and fined $26 plus the extra three cents in ticket price for the main floor seat.

Although she fought against her wrongful arrest and imprisonment with the help of the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, the fight was not successful. 

Viola Desmond was given a posthumous free pardon in 2010. To learn more, watch “Long Road to Justice”, a full documentary that is available here.