This was the week that was
Monday 12 April 1999
Tomorrow The Messiah had its first performance in 1742, in Dublin. The tradition of the audience standing up for the Hallelujah Chorus began later with an enthusiastic George II.
Wednesday The first commercial film show was on a "Kinetoscope" or peepshow device in New York in 1894; titles included Horse Shoeing, Barber Shop and the controversial mini-epic Cock Fight.
Thursday The Titanic went down in 1912, leading to disastrous loss of life and, 86 years later, a disastrous awarding of Oscars. In 1925 Sir James Barrie made Christmas come early to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital; even better than being a blood donor, he gave the hospital the royalties from Peter Pan.
Friday The dramatist Aphra Behn died in 1689. According to Virginia Woolf, she was the first Englishwoman to make a living by writing, although she also moonlighted as a spy for Charles II.
Goya died in 1828; an expert in death studies, he referred to the series of his paintings which included Madhouse, Procession of Flagellants and Tribunal of the Inquisition, as "popular diversions".
Saturday The summertime blues came early for the classic rocker Eddie Cochran, when he was killed in a car accident during his 1960 tour of Britain.
Sunday The Italian tenor Enrico Caruso was in San Francisco to sing in Carmen, when the 1906 earthquake turned 28,000 buildings into rubble.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
'Phallic symbols' found hidden in famous Pre-Raphaelite painting 'Isabella' by John Everett Millais
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
How did our legends really begin?
Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine pay tribute to Jon 'Fat' Beast, dead at 51
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
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