1969 – Woodstock

Woodstock Music & Art Fair (informally, Woodstock or The Woodstock Festival) was a music festival, billed as “An Aquarian Exposition”, held from August 15 to August 18, 1969, at a dairy farm belonging to a Max Yasgur in the rural town of Bethel, New York. Bethel, in Sullivan County, is actually 43 miles (69 km) southwest of the town of Woodstock, after being turned down from its original venue.

Thirty-two acts – inlcuding Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, the Who, Arlo Guthrie, Joe Cocker, Neil Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead – performed during the sometimes rainy weekend in front of nearly half a million concertgoers – the organisers had expected only 50,000. Woodstock has come to be seen as one of the high water marks of the hippie movement, and it is sometimes regarded as marking the end of the Sixties.

One imagines that the various acts who were invited but did not attend (those still alive, at any rate) – including the Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull and Bob Dylan – probably still regret it.

Referenced in:

Woodstock – Joni Mitchell
My Generation (Part II) – Todd Snider
We Didn’t Start The Fire – Billy Joel
She Is Always Seventeen – Harry Chapin
Woodstock – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

1794 – Maximilien Robespierre is arrested for his acts in the French Revolution

Robespierre and Louis Saint-Just were among the leading lights of the French Revolution. Both of them were active participants in the Revolution, and the Reign of Terror that followed it. Robespierre in particular was a major architect of the Terror.

A couple of years into the revolutionary calendar, and about nine months into the Terror, on 9 Thermidor – July 27 – a reaction to the excesses of the Terror occurred. Robespierre, who had become increasingly isolated politically, while at the same time concentrating power in his own hands. For a number of reasons – political, practical and personal – many of the other revolutionaries turned against him. He was arrested, and executed the following day along with Saint-Just and twenty other supporters.

Referenced in:

Sex Kills – Joni Mitchell