1955 – Charges are laid against Wilhelm Reich

Wilhelm Reich was a respected psychologist in the 1930s, a contemporary of Jung whose book “The Mass Psychology of Facism” is still considered a foundational text today. But after fleeing the Nazis and moving to America, he began to experience difficulties. His research into human sexuality led him to discover a bio-energetic force that he named orgone, and attracted the attention of a notably censorious and puritanical government.

It remains unclear whether Reich’s later researches were scientifically valid, as the US government came down hard on Reich, arresting him and later convicting him of contempt of court. Reich, a 58 year old man at the time of his arrest, died in prison two years later. His books were burned and his equipment destroyed; his persecutors accused him of delusions of persecution.

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Cloudbusting — Kate Bush

1986 — Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” reaches #1 on the US charts

1986’s “So” was Peter Gabriel’s fourth solo album, and the first one not to be self-titled – and it’s possible that being able to refer directly to the album without confusing anyone may have improved sales of this one. But even so, the success of “Sledgehammer” was unprecedented in Gabriel’s career.

A lot of it probably came down to the sheer brilliance of the clip for the song: 4 minutes and 58 seconds of surrealist stop-motion animation featuring plasticene, frozen chickens, chalk on a blackboard and of course, Gabriel himself. The clip won a record nine MTV Video Music Awards, and is also the most frequently played clip in the history of MTV.

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Brat Pack — The Rocket Summer

1952 – Eva Peron dies of cancer

Maria Eva Duarte was born in Argentina in 1919. In 1934, she moved to the capital Buenos Aires, where she acheived fame on the stage, on radio and in film as an actress.

In 1945 she married Colonel Juan Peron, who was elected President of Argentina the following year. She became a very important figure in the government of Argentina, running the Ministries of Labor and Health, founding and running the charitable Eva Perón Foundation, championing women’s suffrage in Argentina (which was granted in 1947), and encouraging women to be involved in politics thereafter.

She was nominated to run for the office Vice-President of Argentina in 1951, but her failing health (among other reasons) led her to decline the nomination. Eva died in 1952, and was buried with full state honours. She remains a powerfully inspirational figure in Argentina and elsewhere, albeit a sometimes controversial one.

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Montage – chorus of “Evita”