” A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse” supposedly were the last words of King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field on this date in 1485, according to the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare. It was the end of the House of Plantagenet and the rise of the House of Tudor. Across the English Channel in 1962 the OAS tried to assassinate the French President Charles DeGaulle. So the saying goes “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” or the title of head of state, per another Shakespearean quote.
In between those two momentous events, we had the first Jewish immigrant to the US in 1654, the Haitian slave revolt in 1791, the first air raid – by Austrian unmanned balloons against Venice in 1849, and the signing of the first Geneva Convention on the rules of war by 12 nations way back in 1861. War, however, as General Sherman famously said, continued to be hell.
This was the birthdate of French pianist and composer Claude Debussy (1862), acid-tongued American poet, critic, and satirist Dorothy Parker (1893), science fiction legend Ray Bradbury (1920) who took us to Mars and told us about book-burning (Fahrenheit 451), and “Stormin Norman” Norman Schwartkopf Jr (1934), who commanded US troops in the Gulf War.
Those who left us on this date include the Family Affiair British actor Sebastian Cabot (1977), Kenyan journalist and first president of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta (1976), and Black Panther Party cofounder Huey Newton (1989).