This was the week that was
Monday 26 April 1999
Tomorrow In 1749 the blue touchpaper was lit for Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks but, in a case of life imitating art strongly, the performance was suspended due to a fire. Walter Lantz, the animator who gave us Woody Woodpecker, was himself hatched in 1900.
Wednesday If it's any consolation to Captain Bligh, booted off the Bounty into a tiny sailing boat in 1789, he was to inspire a couple of films: shame about Marlon Brando's "English" accent, though, as Fletcher Christian in the 1962 Mutiny on the Bounty (above).
Thursday And, if it's also any consolation to Casey Jones, the engineer on the Chicago-New Orleans Cannonball Express killed in a crash with a freight train in 1900, his name lives on in the folk ballad (in the key of C) by T Lawrence Seibert.
Friday AE Housman's death in 1936 takes place in the opening scenes of Tom Stoppard's soporific play The Invention of Love; he was a great deal more interesting in his poetry (A Shropshire Lad) than in his pedantry (Latin textual emendations).
Saturday The earliest violins recorded in Britain date back to 1545, when two violinists were put on the payroll of Henry VIII's court. More musical history was made in 1768, this time in Dublin, when Henry Walsh played the first piano solo in public.
Sunday Witchhunting American senator, Joe McCarthy, died in 1957. The only good thing to be said about him was that he unwittingly inspired a satirical play entitled, The Investigator in which he gets to Heaven (this is fiction) and starts sniffing out celestial Commies.
Arts & Ents blogs
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK, where houses cost 11 times local salaries
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time