Mad Hatter Day

Mad Hatter Day takes place annually on 6 October. It Was first celebrated on 6 October 1986 by residents of Boulder Colorado who chose the date 10-6 because of the ‘10/6’ (10-shillings-and-6-pence) price tag tucked in the band of the Mad Hatter’s hat in the original John Tenniel drawing for Alice in Wonderland.

 

American Libraries Day

American Libraries Day takes place annually on 6 October to commemorate the founding of the American Libraries association on 6 October 1876. The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization based in the United States which promotes libraries and library education internationally. It is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 57,000 members. It was Founded by Justin Winsor, Charles Ammi Cutter, Samuel S. Green, James L. Whitney, Melvil Dewey (Melvil Dui), Fred B. Perkins, Charles Evans, and Thomas W. Bicknell on October 6, 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and chartered in 1879 in Massachusetts, its head office is now in Chicago.

During the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, 103 librarians, 90 men and 13 women, responded to a call for a “Convention of Librarians” to be held October 4–6 at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. At the end of the meeting, according to Ed Holley in his essay “ALA at 100,” “the register was passed around for all to sign who wished to become charter members,” making October 6, 1876, to be ALA’s birthday. In attendance were 90 men and 13 women, among them Justin Winsor (Boston Public, Harvard), William Frederick Poole (Chicago Public, Newberry), Charles Ammi Cutter (Boston Athenaeum), Melvil Dewey, and Richard Rogers Bowker. Attendees came from as far west as Chicago and from England. The aim of this association, was “to enable librarians to do their present work more easily and at less expense.”The association has worked throughout its history to define, extend, protect and advocate for equity of access to information.

Library activists in the 1930s pressured the American Library Association to be more responsive to issues put forth by young members involved with issues such as peace, segregation, library unions and intellectual freedom. In 1931, the Junior Members Round Table (JMRT) was formed to provide a voice for the younger members of the ALA, but much of what they had to say resurfaced in the social responsibility movement to come years later.[11] During this period, the first Library Bill of Rights (LBR) was drafted by Forrest Spaulding to set a standard against censorship and was adopted by the ALA in 1939. This has been recognized as the moment defining modern librarianship as a profession committed to intellectual freedom and the right to read over government dictates.The ALA formed the Staff Organization’s Round Table in 1936 and the Library Unions Round Table in 1940. The ALA appointed a committee to study censorship and recommend policy after the banning of The Grapes of Wrath and the implementation of the LBR. The committee reported in 1940 that intellectual freedom and professionalism were linked and recommended a permanent committee – Committee on Intellectual Freedom. The ALA made revisions to strengthen the LBR in June 1948, approved the Statement on Labeling in 1951 to discourage labeling material as subversive, and adopted the Freedom to Read Statement and the Overseas Library Statement in 1953. In 1961, the ALA took a stand regarding service to African Americans and others, advocating for equal library service for all. An amendment was passed to the LBR in 1961 that made clear that an individual’s library use should not be denied or abridged because of race, religion, national origin, or political views. Some communities decided to close their doors rather than desegregate. In 1963, the ALA commissioned a study, Access to Public Libraries, which found direct and indirect discrimination in American libraries.

In 1967, some librarians protested against a pro-Vietnam War speech given by General Maxwell D. Taylor at the annual ALA conference in San Francisco; the former president of Sarah Lawrence College, Harold Taylor, spoke to the Middle-Atlantic Regional Library Conference about socially responsible professionalism; and less than one year later a group of librarians proposed that the ALA discussed the social responsibilities of librarians at its next annual conference in Kansas City. This group called themselves the Organizing Committee for the ALA Round Table on Social Responsibilities of Libraries. This group drew in many other under-represented groups in the ALA who lacked power, including the Congress for Change in 1969. This formation of the committee was approved in 1969 and would change its name to the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) in 1971. After its inception, the Round Table of Social Responsibilities began to press ALA leadership to address issues such as library unions, working conditions, wages, and intellectual freedom.

The Freedom to Read Foundation was created by ALA’s Executive Board in 1969. The Black Caucus of the ALA and the Office for Literacy and Outreach were set up in 1970. In June 1990, the ALA approved “Policy on Library Services to the Poor” and in 1996 the Task Force on Hunger Homelessness, and Poverty was formed to resurrect and promote the ALA guidelines on library services to the poor. In 2014, Courtney Young, the president of the association, commented on the background and implications of a racist joke author Daniel Handler made as African-American writer Jacqueline Woodson received a National Book Award for Brown Girl Dreaming. “His comments were inappropriate and fell far short of the association’s commitment to diversity,” said Young. “Handler’s remarks come at a time when the publishing world has little diversity. Works from authors and illustrators of color make up less than 8 percent of children’s titles produced in 2013. The ALA hopes this regrettable incident will be used to open a dialogue on the need for diversity in the publishing industry, particularly in regards to books for young people.”The ALA Archives, including historical documents, non-current records, and digital records, are currently held at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign archives.

Ginger Baker (Cream)

Best known as the founder of the rock band Cream, the English drummer Peter Edward “Ginger” Baker sadly died On 6 October 2019.

He was born 19 August 1939 in Lewisham, south London. His mother worked in a tobacco shop; his father, Frederick Louvain Formidable Baker, was a bricklayer and Lance Corporal in the Royal Corps of Signals in WWII who died in the 1943 Dodecanese Campaign. Baker began playing drums at age 15 around 1954 as an outlet for his restless energy. In the 1960’s he took lessons from Phil Seamen one of the leading British jazz drummers of the post-war era. He Also joined Blues Incorporated, where he met bassist and future Cream bandmate Jack Bruce. Although The two clashed often, they became rhythm section partners again in the R&B/blues/ jazz group The Graham Bond Organisation.

Baker began his musical career In 1966 When he co-founded the band Cream with guitarist Eric Clapton Jack Bruce. Cream played A fusion of blues, psychedelic rock and hard rock, Baker’s drumming attracted attention for his style, showmanship, and use of two bass drums instead of the conventional one. In his early days, he performed lengthy drum solos, most notably in the Cream song “Toad”, one of the earliest recorded examples in rock music. Cream released four albums in a little over two years before breaking up in 1968.

After Cream Split Baker then joined the short-lived “supergroup” Blind Faith, composed of Clapton, bassist Ric Grech, and Steve Winwood, who was nine years younger than Baker, on keyboards and vocals. They only released one album before breaking up. In 1970 Baker formed, toured and recorded with fusion rock group Ginger Baker’s Air Force. Ginger Baker’s Air Force, Baker also spent several years in the 1970s living and recording in Africa, often with Fela Kuti, in pursuit of his long-time interest in African music. Baker lived in Nigeria from 1970 until 1976. He sat in for Fela Kuti during recording sessions in 1971 released by Regal Zonophone as Live! (1971) Fela also appeared with Ginger Baker on Stratavarious (1972) alongside Bobby Gass, a pseudonym for Bobby Tench from the Jeff Beck Group. Stratavarious was later re-issued as part of the compilation Do What You Like.

In 1974 Baker formed Baker Gurvitz Army in 1974 and recorded three albums with them before the band broke up in 1976. In the early 1980s, Baker joined Hawkwind for an album and tour, and in the mid-1980s was part of John Lydon’s Public Image Ltd., the latter leading to occasional collaborations with bassist/producer Bill Laswell. In 1992 Baker played with the hard-rock group Masters of Reality with bassist Googe and singer/guitarist Chris Goss on the album Sunrise on the Sufferbus. In 1994, he formed The Ginger Baker Trio with bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Bill Frisell. He also joined BBM, a short-lived power trio with the line-up of Baker, Jack Bruce and Irish blues rock guitarist Gary Moore. In 2005, Baker reunited with Eric Clapton and Bruce for a series of Cream concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Madison Square Garden. The London concerts were recorded and released as Royal Albert Hall London May 2–3–5–6 2005. Baker’s autobiography Hellraiser was published in 2009 and Throughout 2013 and 2014, Baker toured with the Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion, a quartet comprising Baker, saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, bassist Alec Dankworth and percussionist Abass Dodoo.In 2014, Baker released a new jazz album. Why?, featuring the Ginger Baker Jazz Baker

In 2016, Baker was diagnosed with “serious heart issues” and cancelled all future gigs until further notice. In 2016, Baker underwent pioneering treatment for his heart condition. A heart operation was done in July 2016 with Baker reported to be on the road to recovery. In 2012, the documentary film Beware of Mr. Baker of Ginger Baker’s life by Jay Bulger had its world premiere at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas where it won the grand jury award for best documentary feature. It received its UK premiere on BBC One on 7 July 2015 as part of the channel’s Imagine series. Among Baker’s other collaborations are his work with Gary Moore, Masters of Reality, Public Image Ltd, Atomic Rooster, Bill Laswell, jazz bassist Charlie Haden, jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, and another personally led effort, Ginger Baker’s Energy.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Poet Laureate Alfred, lord Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS sadly died on 6 October 1892 at Aldworth, aged 83. He was born 6 August 1809 in Somersby, Lincolnshire. He was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom during much of Queen Victoria’s reign and remains one of the most popular poets in the English language. Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as “In the Valley of Cauteretz”, “Break, Break, Break”, “The Charge of the Light Brigade”, “Tears, Idle Tears” and “Crossing the Bar”. Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, such as Ulysses, although In Memoriam A.H.H. was written to commemorate his best friend Arthur Hallam, a fellow poet and fellow student at Trinity College, Cambridge, who was engaged to Tennyson’s sister, but died from a brain haemorrhage before they could marry. Tennyson also wrote some notable verse including Idylls of the King, “Ulysses,” and “Tithonus.” During his career, Tennyson attempted drama, but his plays enjoyed little success.

He was appointed Poet Laureate After Wordsworth’s death in 1850, and Samuel Rogers’ refusal, and held the position until his own death in 1892, by far the longest tenure of any laureate before or since. Queen Victoria was an ardent admirer of Tennyson’s work, and in 1884 created him Baron Tennyson, of Aldworth in the County of Sussex and of Freshwater in the Isle of Wight. Tennyson initially declined a baronetcy in 1865 and 1868 (when tendered by Disraeli), finally accepting a peerage in 1883 at Gladstone’s earnest solicitation. He took his seat in the House of Lords on 11 March 1884 and became the first person to be raised to a British Peerage for his writing. Thomas Edison also made sound recordings of Tennyson reading his own poetry, late in his life. They include recordings of The Charge of the Light Brigade, and excerpts from “The splendour falls” (from The Princess), “Come into the garden” (from Maud), “Ask me no more”, “Ode on the death of the Duke of Wellington”, “Charge of the Heavy Brigade”, and “Lancelot and Elaine”.

Towards the end of his life Tennyson revealed that his “religious beliefs also defied convention, leaning towards agnosticism and pandeism” Tennyson recorded in his Diary “I believe in Pantheism of a sort.” His son’s biography confirms that Tennyson was not an orthodox Christian, noting that Tennyson praised Giordano Bruno and Spinoza on his deathbed, saying of Bruno, “His view of God is in some ways mine,” in 1892.Tennyson continued writing into his eighties. He was buried at Westminster Abbey. A memorial was erected in All Saints’ Church, Freshwater. His last words were; “Oh that press will have me now!”.He was succeeded as 2nd Baron Tennyson by his son, Hallam, who produced an authorised biography of his father in 1897, and was later the second Governor-General of Australia.