October 29

Amber pages

James Boswell, Scottish biographer of Samuel Johnson, born today in 1740

Jean Giraudoux, French playwright, born today in 1882

Sir Walter Raleigh executed for treason against King James I, today in 1618 - one of several epilogues in my novel "The Plausible Tragedy of Roderigo Lopes"

"Runnin' Wild", the cabaret song-and-dance which introduced the Charleston, opened on Broadway, today in 1923 - see my story by that name in "Travels In Familiar Lands"

The modern state of Turkey, post Ottoman Empire, founded today in 1923, by Mustafa Kemal

The first Wall Street Stock Market Crash, in which 16 million shares were dumped in a single day, though fewer threw themselves out of upper storey windows than in the 2008 crash; today in 1929

Cassius Clay made his professional debut, beating Tunney Hunsaker, today in 1960 - a fight just as memorable for this as for the persona of the man Clay beat: Hunsaker was the Police Chief of Fayetteville in West Virginia, who boxed for the fun and the extra cash. The fight took place at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky and ended in the sixth round, when Hunsaker's eyes were so swollen that he couldn't even see the blood dripping down his face. Lovely sport, boxing.

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