1822 – Alexander Pearce and his fellows cross the Franklin River

BY this point in their escape – after eleven days on the run – the five remaining escapees reached the Franklin River. Swollen with early spring run off, the river ran high and fast. And of the five men in the group, only three could swim. They crossed easily, but the other two had to be more or less dragged across, clinging to branches.

You almost wonder why they bothered to drag Thomas Bodenham across, given that shortly afterwards they’d be killing him and eating him – leaving two uneasy duos facing off. Alexander Pearce and John Mather were one pair, while the ‘leaders’ of the group, Robert Greenhill and Matthew Travers, were the other pair. It was going to be tense trip to Hobart Town.

Referenced in:
A Tale They Won’t Believe — Weddings, Parties, Anything

1962 — César Chávez founds the United Farm Workers

César Chávez is perhaps the most famous Latino or Mexican-American civil rights activist in history. He was a very astute user of the media, and made the union cause very sympathetic to the American public.

One of the major steps in this process was the formation of the he National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) in 1962. Later called the United Farm Workers, which was created by the merger Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) led by Filipino organizer Larry Itliong, and the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) led by Chávez.

Referenced in:

Black Man — Stevie Wonder

1955 – James Dean dies in a car accident

No actor has ever had quite the same impact as James Dean. For a man who starred in only three films before his tragic death at the age of 24, he casts a long shadow. Those three films – “Giant“, “East of Eden” and most of all, “Rebel Without a Cause“, made him a symbol of restless youth, and of living fast and dying young.

But the car accident that caused his death was not his fault – the other driver had entered Dean’s lane and collided with him head-on. Contrary to popular legend, Dean was not intoxicated, high or (in any context of the word) speeding at the time of the accident.

According to Dean’s close friend Dennis Hopper, Dean had been planning to quit acting after his next film and take up directing instead.

Referenced in:

James Dean – the Eagles
We Didn’t Start The Fire – Billy Joel