1902 – Gustav Mahler and Alma Schindler are married

Mahler and Schindler first met in November of 1901. Their marriage was considered a bad idea by most of their friends and family, but Alma was already pregnant with their first child by then (she was born in November of the same year) by their wedding day. She was followed by a second child two years later.

Alma and Gustav’s marriage was tumultuous – Mahler was diagnosed with a defective heart in 1907, and the family moved from Vienna to New York City in 1908. Mahler himself died in 1911, but Alma lived on until 1964.

Referenced in:
Alma — Tom Lehrer

2001 – Armin Meiwes kills and eats Bernd Brandes

Rather disturbingly, the man now known as Der Metzgermeister (The Master Butcher) is not a simple murderer. Armin Meiwes – now serving a life sentence for killing and devouring Bernd Brandes – did not begin eating his victim without that victim’s consent.

Meiwes and Brandes met through a website called The Cannibal Cafe. Although the website was only intended as an outlet for fantasies, both men wanted to take it further. On March 9, 2001, they did so. With Brandes’ apparent consent, Meiwes amputated his penis, and both men ate portions of it (the remainder Meiwes fed to his dog). While Brandes continued to bleed freely from his wound, he was stabbed several times by Meiwes, and after his death, Meiwes ate approximately 20kg of Brandes’ body over the next few months, before his arrest in December of 2002.

Referenced in:
Mein Teil — Rammstein
The Wüstenfeld Man Eater — Macabre

2005 – Chris LeDoux dies

Chris LeDoux was best known for his career in country music, which included 36 albums worth of material, a large portion of which he released himself. A good buddy of Garth Brooks, LeDoux was also a bronze sculptor and a one-time world bareback rodeo riding champion – in fact, his musical career began as a means of paying the bills while touring the rodeo circuit, and his first album was sold exclusively from his trailer.

But his star rose over the years, peaking with a duet with Brooks entitled “Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy?” which reached #7 on the US Country Music charts. However, in 2000, LeDoux’s doctor advised him that he had developed primary sclerosing cholangitis. This condition necessitated a liver transplant later that year (Brooks volunteered his, but was unfortunately incompatible). LeDoux recorded two more albums after the transplant, but the disease and its treatment took a toll on him. He died of complications arising from them on March 9, 2005.

Referenced in:
Good Ride Cowboy — Garth Brooks