Five People Born on Mother’s Day in 2010

Raquel Welch

Today is May 9, 2010 and the 129th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 236 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 957 days till the end of the current cycle. Today is Mother’s Day in the United States. We celebrate this day the second Sunday in May.  Here are five people born on this day.
 
 

J.M. BARRIE

This Scottish writer and playwright is probably best known by children around the world as the creator of Peter Pan and Neverland.  After graduating from Edinburgh University in 1882, Barrie worked as a journalist. He published his first novel, Better Dead, in 1887. Barrie soon had a string of popular novels set in Scotland, including A Window in Thrums (1889).  After having some success with fiction, Barrie began writing plays in 1890s. His play, Walker London, was warmly received. The comedy poked fun at the institution of marriage. He got married himself in 1894 to actress Mary Ansell, but it didn’t turn out to be a happy union. (The couple later divorced.) Perhaps to escape his difficult home life, Barrie took to going out for long walks in London’s Kensington Gardens where he met the five Llewelyn Davies brothers in the late 1890s. He found inspiration for his best-known work—Peter Pan—in his friendship with the Davies family. (Barrie would later become the boys’ guardian after the death of their parents.)  The famous character of Peter Pan first appeared in the 1902 book The Little White Bird. Two years later, his play Peter Pan premiered on the London stage and became a great success. Audiences were drawn in the fantastical tale of the flying boy who never grew up and his adventures in Neverland with the Darling children. Barrie also wrote a book based on the play called Peter and Wendy, which was published in 1911. The book earned raves from critics.  “Wendy” was a name that Barrie created for his stories.  Prior to this series, there was no such name.  After Peter Pan, Barrie continued writing, mostly plays aimed at adults. Several of his later works had a dark element to them. The Twelve-Pound Look (1910) offers a glimpse inside an unhappy marriage and Half an Hour (1913) follows a woman who plans on leaving her husband for another man, but she decides she must stay when her husband severely injured in a bus accident. His last major play, Mary Rose, was produced in 1920 and centered on a son visited by his mother’s ghost.  J. M. Barrie died on June 19, 1937, in London, England. As a part of his will, he gave the copyright to Peter Pan to a children’s hospital in London. After his death, Barrie’s beloved characters were transformed into animated figures in the Disney classic Peter Pan (1953). The story was also the basis for the 1991 film Hook. And a live-action version of the story, Peter Pan, was released in 2003.  It has never been revealed about the relationship Barrie had with the Davies boys.  However, the rumor that he w as romantically involved with them was widespread, even during his life.
 
 

JOHN BROWN

Hey Tea Party members, do you know this man?  John Brown was an American Abolitionist, who grew up in Hudson, Ohio and advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to end all slavery. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas and made his name in the unsuccessful raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859.  President Abraham Lincoln said he was a “misguided fanatic” and Brown has been called “the most controversial of all 19th-century Americans.”  Brown’s actions are often referred to as “patriotic treason”, depicting both sides of the argument.  ohn Brown’s attempt in 1859 to start a liberation movement among enslaved African Americans in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) electrified the nation. He was tried for treason against the state of Virginia, the murder of five proslavery Southerners, and inciting a slave insurrection and was subsequently hanged. Southerners alleged that his rebellion was the tip of the abolitionist iceberg and represented the wishes of the Republican Party. Historians agree that the Harpers Ferry raid in 1859 escalated tensions that, a year later, led to secession and the American Civil War.  Brown first gained attention when he led small groups of volunteers during the Bleeding Kansas crisis. Unlike most other Northerners, who advocated peaceful resistance to the pro-slavery faction, Brown demanded violent action in response to Southern aggression. Dissatisfied with the pacifism encouraged by the organized abolitionist movement, he reportedly said “These men are all talk. What we need is action—action!”  During the raid, he seized the armory; seven people (including a free African American) were killed, and ten or more were injured. He intended to arm slaves with weapons from the arsenal, but the attack failed. Within 36 hours, Brown’s men had fled or been killed or captured by local farmers, militiamen, and U.S. Marines led by Robert E. Lee. Brown’s subsequent capture by federal forces, his trial for treason by the state of Virginia, and his execution by hanging in Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia) were an important part of the origins of the American Civil War, which followed sixteen months later.When Brown was hanged after his attempt to start a slave rebellion in 1859, church bells rang, minute guns were fired, large memorial meetings took place throughout the North, and famous writers such as Emerson and Thoreau joined many Northerners in praising Brown.  The song “John Brown’s Body” (the original title of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”) became a Union marching song during the Civil War.

 

 

ALBERT FINNEY

This British actor established himself as a Shakespearean actor in the late 1950s. In 1960 he won praise as a working-class rebel in the play Billy Liar and the film Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. He played the lead in Luther on Broadway and became an international star in the film Tom Jones (1963). He later starred in films such as Two for the Road (1967), The Dresser (1983), Under the Volcano (1984), Miller’s Crossing (1990), and Erin Brockovich (2000).

 

RAQUEL WELCH

A classic sexy bombshell and actress is a Chicago native.  She entered beauty contests as a teenager, and worked as a model, waitress, and television weather-girl before making her film debut in 1964.  Launched as a sex symbol after her scantily clad appearance in One Million Years BC (1966), she was rarely challenged by later roles, though for her role in The Three Musketeers (1973) she received a Best Actress Golden Globe Award. During the 1980s she appeared in a number of television series, and her later feature films include Legally Blonde (2001) and Forget About It (2005). She continues to be regarded as one of the world’s great beauties, and her career has included nightclub entertaining, the Broadway musical Woman of the Year (1982), and the publication of a Total Beauty and Fitness Program (1984).

 

 

BILLY JOEL

This American singer, pianist, and songwriter is the son of a German-Jewish Holocaust survivor but raised as a Roman Catholic in Hicksville, a middle-class suburb on Long Island, N.Y., Joel was steered toward classical music by his parents and began piano lessons at age 4. At age 14, enamoured of the British Invasion and soul music, he began playing in bands. With the Hassels, he recorded two albums in the late 1960s, and a stint in the heavy metal duo Attila followed.  In 1971, recast as a singer-songwriter, Joel recorded the poorly produced Cold Spring Harbor for Family Productions, which locked him into an exploitative long-term contract. Seeking refuge in Los Angeles, he performed under a pseudonym in a local piano bar. Meanwhile, a live recording of Joel’s song “Captain Jack” caught the attention of Columbia Records executives, who extricated him from his contract. His first album for Columbia, Piano Man (1973), featured a hit single of the same name; based on his piano bar experience, it became his signature song. Mixtures of soul, pop, and rock, Piano Man and Joel’s subsequent albums—Streetlife Serenade (1974) and Turnstiles (1976)—earned praise from critics and set the stage for The Stranger (1977). Featuring four U.S. hit singles (one of which, “Just the Way You Are,” won Grammy Awards for song of the year and record of the year), it sold five million copies, surpassing Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water to become Columbia’s best-selling album to date.  Joel’s string of hit-producing, award-winning platinum albums continued with 52nd Street (1979), Glass Houses (1980), and The Nylon Curtain (1982). On the last, Joel, whose lyrics had previously dealt primarily with romance and slices of life, introduced his first socially conscious songs, “Allentown” and “Goodnight Saigon” (about unemployed steel workers and Vietnam War veterans, respectively). In the early 1980s Joel was among the first established rock performers to make music videos. During this period he married supermodel Christie Brinkley (the second of his three marriages). From An Innocent Man (1983), his tribute to his doo-wop and vocal group influences, through Storm Front (1989) and River of Dreams (1993), Joel continued to produce well-received albums. In 1999 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fantasies and Delusions, featuring classical compositions by Joel, was released in 2001. Movin’ Out, a dance-focused musical based on two dozen songs by Joel and conceived, choreographed, and directed by Twyla Tharp, premiered in 2002. In 2006, having earlier undergone treatment for alcohol abuse, Joel released 12 Gardens Live, a concert album.