may 1936

Founded in the 1920′s as a security force for the Ku Klux Klan, The Black Legion were a white supremacist organisation, prevalent in the Midwest of the United States. By the mid-1930′s, they had accumulated 20,000 to 30,000 members, mainly lower-class Southern Protestant whites. They perpetrated violence predominantly against African Americans, who they felt had stolen their jobs while completely disregarding that they lacked any useful skills for said jobs. They also targeted Catholics, Jews, labor unions, farm cooperatives and fraternal groups.

On 12 May, 1936, the organisation kidnapped Charles A. Poole, a Works Progress Administration organiser. Poole, a French Catholic, had married a Protestant. They shot him dead and it was this murder that eventually led to their downfall. It is believed that they killed up to fifty people in Detroit alone.

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Gilbert Keith “G. K.” Chesterton (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936)

English writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, lay theologian, biographer, and literary and art critic. Chesterton is often referred to as the “prince of paradox”. Chesterton is well known for his fictional priest-detective Father Brown, and for his reasoned apologetics. (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: 1.-2. Frontispiece and title page from Varied Types By G. K. Chesterton. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1909.  3. Title page from A Miscellany of Men By G. K. Chesterton. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1912.

“Medallion,” by Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein), 1936. A portrait of the artist (right) with Nesta Obermer.

“If I was able to write the most divine poetry to you it would still fall short of what I feel.” — Gluck, in a letter to Nesta.

“‘Medallion’ is a portrait of Gluck in love with Nesta Obermer … She called ‘Medallion’ the ‘YouWe’ picture … [it] celebrated Gluck’s ‘marriage’ to Nesta on 25 May 1936. In subsequent diaries Gluck marked this date as her YouWe anniversary. At some point they exchanged rings … Gluck enjoyed both the provocative content of the picture and tantalizing people with the relationship it implied. Openness and yet secrecy, bravado, but reticence too … She thought her love for Nesta strong enough to overcome all opposition, surmount all problems and last forever. She saw it as a homecoming, an answer to all problems, an end to loneliness and the realization of a romantic ideal. Years later, in her seventies, she confided that Nesta had been the only woman she had ever really loved. And in her old age Nesta was to say that only once had she been in love. Perhaps this love was with Gluck. Theirs was to be an absolute marriage outside of society’s terms.”

From Gluck: Her Biography, by Diana Souhami (1989).

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I remember sitting in the showrooms, watching him onstage, and feeling enormous pride in him. It was really something fantastic to see the way people responded to him, the standing ovations he got and the autograph seekers crowding around him. I remember beaming as I read his reviews. - Dodd Darin

Bobby had a great sense of humor and put-on. I remember being at a screening at his house once. He went into the bathroom for a long time, and we kept waiting for him to come out. We finally went in, and there was nobody in there. He had crawled through this very small window, climbed along the ledge, came in through the kitchen, and was watching everybody look for him in the bathroom. It was hilarious. - Richard Bakalyan

It’s important to understand that Bobby had a phenomenal memory….. How could you not love this man? Thousands and thousands of people, and he remembers you. You were somebody special. He had that effect on total strangers, and when he listened to what you had to say, he listened with both ears, which is a nice quality. -Vee Walden

Happy Birthday, Bobby Darin | May 14, 1936 - December 20, 1973

Man Ray, Equation (Mathematical Model), (1928)

In The History of Surrealist Painting, Marcel Jean suggests that it may have been Max Ernst who brought the mathematical models into the surrealist consciousness. “Max Ernst had originally come across these constructions in the Institute Henri Poincare ́ and had mentioned them to the director of Cahiers d’Art, Christian Zervos, who in his turn had asked Man Ray to photograph them.

Man Ray then executed a series of photographs, entitled Mathematical Objects, which were studies on models at the Poincare ́ Institute. Some of these photographs appeared in a 1936 issue of Cahiers d’Art along with an essay on mathematics and abstract art by Christian Zervos.

Man Ray’s photographs, as well as his later series of paintings based on them gave mathematical models a lot of exposure. The surrealists displayed mathematical objects in their May 1936 show “Exposition Surraliste d’Objets” at the Galerie Charles Ratton in Paris. In his famous “Crisis of the Object,” Andre ́ Breton writes, “The laboratories of mathematical institutions throughout the world already display side by side objects constructed according to both Euclidean and non-Euclidean principles, equally mystifying in appearance to the layman, but which nevertheless bear a fascinating and equivocal relationship to each other in space as we generally conceive it”

Today in History - May 19, 1536 - Anne Boleyn is Executed

“She who has been the Queen of England upon earth will to-day become a Queen in heaven.”

“Good Christian people, I have not come here to preach a sermon; I have come here to die. For according to the law and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak of that whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the King and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never, and to me he was ever a good, a gentle, and sovereign lord. And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best. And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me.”