Today is National Violin Day

Today is National Violin Day

National Violin Day is celebrated annually on December 13th. The violin, sometimes informally called a fiddle, is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello. The violin acquired most of its modern characteristics in 16th-century Italy, with some further modifications occurring in the 18th century. Violinists and collectors particularly prize the instruments made by the Gasparo da Salò, Giovanni Paolo Maggini, Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati families from the 16th to the 18th century in Brescia and Cremona and by Jacob Stainer in Austria.

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Today in History: Jim Morrison born in 1943

Today in History: Jim Morrison born in 1943

75 years ago today, James Douglas “Jim” Morrison, one of the most iconic and influential frontmen in rock music history and lead vocalist of the Doors, was born. Morrison co-founded the Doors during the summer of 1965 in Venice, California. The band spent two years in obscurity until shooting to prominence with their #1 single in the United States, “Light My Fire.” Morrison recorded a total of six studio albums with the Doors, all of which sold well and received critical acclaim. Morrison developed an alcohol dependency during the 1960s, which at times affected his performances on stage. He died in 1971 at the age of 27 in Paris. Though the Doors recorded two more albums after Morrison’s death, the loss of him crippled the band and they split up in 1973. In 1993, Jim Morrison, as a member of the Doors, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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History: The Berlin Wall falls in 1989

History: The Berlin Wall falls in 1989

Today marks the 29th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On November 9, 1989, East German officials opened the Berlin Wall, allowing travel from East to West Berlin. The following day, celebrating Germans began to tear the wall down. One of the ugliest and most infamous symbols of the Cold War was soon reduced to rubble. The “fall of the Berlin Wall” paved the way for German reunification, which formally took place on October 3, 1990.

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Today in History: La Moulin Rouge opened its doors in 1889

Today in History: La Moulin Rouge opened its doors in 1889

129 years ago today, the French cabaret Moulin Rouge opened its doors on the Boulevard Clichy in the Montmartre district of Paris. The venue was famous for its modern can-can dance performances and soon became the center of the Parisian entertainment district. It was considered the essence of Belle Epoque Paris where artists, businessmen , the middle classes, elegant women and visitors converged to attend avant-garde performances. The so-called “Bal du Moulin Rouge” was immortalized in posters by the famous artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Original works still adorn the foyer today. The “Moulin Rouge” helped many dancers to popularity and fame, among them “La Goulue.”

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Miles Davis passed away in 1991

Miles Davis passed away in 1991

27 years ago today, American jazz musician Miles Davis, passed away. Davis was among the most influential figures in the history of jazz music. His five-decade career kept him at the forefront of a number of major stylistic developments in jazz.

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Today in History: Jimi Hendrix dies in 1970

Today in History: Jimi Hendrix dies in 1970

48 years ago today, American musician Jimi Hendrix died after collapsing at a party in London. He was 27 years old. Hendrix was born in Seattle, Washington, but rose to fame in Britain with his band the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He was arguably one of the most influential guitarists of the 1960s and perhaps in the history of rock music.

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Today in History: Richard Paul Lohse born in 1902

Today in History: Richard Paul Lohse born in 1902

Richard Paul Lohse was born in Zürich in 1902.  In 1918, Lohse joined the advertising agency Max Dalang where he trained to be an advertising artist. In the 1930s, his work as a graphic artist and book designer put him among the pioneers of modern Swiss graphic design. In 1937 Lohse, with Leo Leuppi, co-founded Allianz, an association of Swiss modern artists. In 1953 he published the book “New Design in Exhibitions”, in 1958, he became co-editor of the magazine Neue Grafik/New Graphic Design. Important exhibitions and publications help the Swiss painter and graphic artist become and one of the main representatives of the concrete and constructive art movements of the 20thj century. Lohse died in Zürich in 1988.

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