On January 30, 1972, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association held a rally which marched through the Bogside area of Derry, in Northern Ireland. And that’s about the last detail that anyone agrees on for the next few hours.
Accounts of the size of the crowd vary from 300 to 30,000, and of its behaviour even moreso. The level of hostility by each side to the other is disputed, with each accusing the other of causing the events that followed.
What happened after that is not disputed. Members of the UK armed forces, primarily representing the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment, opened fire on the march. 26 protestors were shot by police and military forces, half of those fatally (another died months later from injuries attributed to the shots). Two more were injured when hit by military vehicles.
Understandably, the event became known as Bloody Sunday.
Floyd Vivino was born in 1951. He was from a showbiz family – two of his brothers are in Conan O’Brien’s house band, his niece was in the original production of Les Miserables. Floyd himself worked as a tap-dancer at the 1964 World’s Fair, and later as a sideshow barker. He sang, he played piano, he did impressions. And like many another vaudevillian, he eventually found his way onto television.
“The Uncle Floyd Show” began on WBTB in West Orange, New Jersey. It was broadcast on Channel 68 (which could be picked up in New York City also). “The Uncle Floyd Show” was quirky and unpredictable, and did pretty much everything wrong by the standards of modern children’s television – which no doubt explains why this largely improvised, low budget and frequently age-inappropriate show stayed on the air for nearly twenty years, including a stint on NBC, until it finally ended in 1992.
Slip Away — David Bowie
Work for Food — Dramarama
It’s Not My Place (In the Nine to Five World) — The Ramones
Bipolar Bears is a line of combination vitamins and mood-altering drugs, produced by The Corporation and marketed primarily at teenage girls. Not much more is known about them, but the odds are that they’re basically chewable Prozac with vitamin C and artificial orange flavouring.
Each Friday, the estimable Chuck Wendig posts a new Flash Fiction Challenge over on his blog, Terrible Minds. Because I haven’t done a lot of writing since I finished The Truth About Melbourne, I’m going to use Mr. Wendig’s prompts to help push myself back into it.
This week’s challenge is to randomly select one item from each of the three lists here. And what I got was this:
One of the last victories of the Spanish Civil War, the Nationalist victory in Barcelona saw the end of the hopes of the Republican forces. Barcelona was the Republican capital, and also the capital of Catalonia – which had been under direct attack by the Nationalists since December 23, 1938.
The Catalonian region surrendered on February 10, and the Republicans as a whole on April 1, beginning a period of unbroken rule over Spain by Franco that would last until his death in 1975.