june 1937

On the afternoon of June 26th, 1937 Albert Dyer lured three young girls one at a time into a ravine with the suggestion that they go hunting for rabbits and then proceeded to strangle them to death and then rape them. After taking off their shoes and neatly arranging the pairs side by side he prayed over their bodies that he be forgiven for what he had done, then returned home to his wife. The horribly mutilated bodies of the girls were found a few days later by a group of boy scouts, each found with a cord around their throat. At the scene of the crime when the bodies were discovered Dyer, who showed up wearing a W.P.A badge, began giving orders on how the victims should be removed, allegedly became hysterical, and told spectators not to smoke “out of respect for the dead.” Because of his strange behavior at the crime scene the cops turned their attention to Dyer, who eventually confessed to the murders. Doctors from both the prosecution and the defense declared him legally sane, but because of his low IQ the defense attempted to cast doubt on his mental competence, which they described as “basically the intellectual development of a ten-year-old.” Ultimately he was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging and died on September 16, 1938

Today is a good day to play your favourite Robert Johnson song nice and loud as it is the anniversary of the day that he died in 1938 at the age of only 27.  Robert Johnson recorded 29 different songs in the space of a few months between November 1936 and June 1937, these recordings would cement his legacy as a Legend of Blues music and a Master of Blues guitar. 

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Grady Franklin Stiles Jr. was born on June 26th 1937, with a physical deformity called Ectrodactyly. Also referred to as, Lobster Claw Syndrome, Ectrodactyly is the absence or deformity of one or more of the middle digits on the hand or foot, giving a “claw-like” appearance. Due to his deformity, Grady was unable to walk, so he utilized his hands and arms for locomotion, resulting in impressive upper body strength. Grady’s father was a sideshow performer who was also born with Ectrodactyly and he incorporated Grady into his show with a traveling circus. As an adult, Grady was married twice and had four children, two of which had Ectrodactyly. Grady, still doing work with a traveling circus, marketed him and his two children as, “The Lobster Family”. Unfortunately, Grady developed and alcohol problem, which would lead to violence and abuse toward his family members. In 1978, Grady’s 17 year old daughter, Donna, informed him that she was pregnant and that she planned to run away with her boyfriend and get married. Donna was not actually pregnant, but she fabricated this in order to gain support for her marriage. The night before the wedding, Grady requested to have a conversation with his daughter’s fiancé, where he shot the man twice with a shot gun, resulting in his untimely death. Donna later explained that she returned to the horrific scene, her father was sitting on the porch smiling, when he told her, “I told you I would kill him.” Grady was convicted of third degree murder, but he did not serve any prison time. There were no state institutions that were capable of caring for him, so instead, he received 15 years probation. In 1989 he remarried his first wife, Mary, and began a new life, free from alcohol and violence. Grady abstained from alcohol for two weeks, but then relapsed into his old ways, becoming more abusive than ever. Mary and her son from a previous marriage, Harry, decided to pay sideshow performer, Chris Wyant, to kill Grady for $1500. On November 29th 1992, Grady was shot and killed.

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“I was not a born actress. No one knows it better than I. If I had any latent talent, I have had to work hard, listen carefully, do things over and over and then over again in order to bring it out.”

Jean Harlow (March 3, 1911 - June 7, 1937)

Stalin visited his mother very rarely after the Revolution. Beria took responsibility for her care. N. Kipshidze, a doctor who treated Keke in her old age, recalled that Stalin asked his mother at this meeting: “Why did you beat me so hard?” “That’s why you turned out so well”, Keke answered. In return, his mother asked him: “Joseph – who exactly are you now?” “Do you remember the tsar? Well, I’m like a tsar”, replied Stalin. “You’d have done better to have become a priest” was his mother’s retort. She died on June 4, 1937.
- Source

Joseph Stalin poses with Lavrentiy Beria and N.A. Kipshidze at a visit to his mother’s home in Georgia, 1935. This was the last time he came to see her.

Art is both love and friendship, and understanding; the desire to give. It is not charity, which is the giving of Things, it is more than kindness which is the giving of self. It is both the taking and giving of beauty, the turning out to the light the inner folds of the awareness of the spirit. It is the recreation on another plane of the realities of the world; the tragic and wonderful realities of earth and men, and of all the inter-relations of these.
I wish the thundercloud had moved up over Tahoe and let loose on you; I could wish you nothing finer.
—  Ansel Adams in a letter to Cedric Wright (Yosemite, California - June 19, 1937)