Friday, January 13, 2012

A student of history

One of my journo chums is having a (slightly premature) birthday get-together today.

Casting around for some grander pretext to have a party TODAY, he came upon a Wikipedia article which suggested that the 'Great Fire of New Orleans' occurred on this day in 1830.  Having visited NO a few times, I have absorbed a certain amount of information about its history - and I had never heard of this 1830 fire. Indeed, neither has Wikipedia: there is no separate article on this alleged conflagration. The two most famous fires in N'Awlins history, occurring just a few years apart, and both commonly known as 'The Great New Orleans Fire', were much earlier - in 1788 and 1794. I still haven't got to the bottom of that 1830 reference.

Searching for a more secure historical event we could tie our revels to, I turned up an interesting - and seemingly exhaustive - list of suggestions here. I particularly liked the publication of Zola's "J'accuse!" in 1898, the first commercial production of the Frisbee in 1957, and Pope Honorius II recognising the Templars as an 'Army of God' in 1128 as possible pretexts to raise a glass or several.

Our host has pointed out that it was also on this day - in 1968 - that Johnny Cash performed his famous Folsom Prison concerts. Which seems like a good excuse for a song, as well as a drink....

There doesn't seem to be any film footage of the Folsom shows, but you can listen to a recording here. This clip is from his San Quentin concert the following year - Folsom Prison Blues.

1 comment:

H Dickins said...

I've been puzzled by that Great Fire of New Orleans in 1830 too. All I can find is an occasional "thought to be set by rebel slaves"... And nothing else. Odd.