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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 12, 1994

Hello, everyone!  Welcome to another Tuesday Timeline entry, where we go back in time in pop culture history to talk about a particular subject.

This week, we're going to be talking about an interesting topic.  We'll be talking about the anniversary of the anniversary of a particular event that took place years ago. 

I know, I just confused you.  I'm sorry.  Believe me, everything will fall into place very shortly.  But we have got some other business to take care of first, so let's get right on it.

So, what happened on August 12 throughout history?

1624 - The president of Louis XIII of France's royal council is arrested, which left Cardinal Richelieu in the role of the King's principal minister

1687 - Charles of Lorraine defeats the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Mohacs

1851 - Isaac Singer is granted a patent for his newest invention - the sewing machine

1881 - American director Cecil B. DeMille (d. 1959) is born in Ashfield, Massachusetts

1898 - The Spanish-American War officially ends

1914 - The United Kingdom officially declares war on Austria-Hungary

1944 - Nazi German troops end the week-long Wola massacre, which saw 40,000 people killed in mass executions

1952 - Thirteen prominent Jewish intellectuals are murdered in Moscow on the night that will come to be known as "The Night of the Murdered Poets"

1958 - Photographer Art Kane takes his famous "A Great Day in Harlem" photo

1960 - NASA's first successful communications satellite - Echo 1A - is launched

1964 - Due to the country's Apartheid policies, South Africa is banned from participating in the Olympic Games

1969 - The Battle of the Bogside commences when the Apprentice Boys of Derry march in Derry, Northern Ireland, causing riots and violence

1976 - Between a thousand and 3,500 Palestinians are killed in the Tel al-Zaatar massacre

1981 - IBM releases its very first personal computer

1982 - Actor Henry Fonda passes away at the age of 77

1990 - Sue Hendrickson discovers the most complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex to date

1992 - Canada, Mexico, and the United States announce the completion of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement

1994 - Major League Baseball players go on strike, leading to the cancellation of the '94 World Series

2007 - Television and game show legend Merv Griffin dies at the age of 82

2012 - American comic book artist Joe Kubert passes away at age 85

And, the following people are celebrating birthdays today.  Happy birthday to William Goldman, George Hamilton, Dana Ivey, Sam Rosen, Mark Knopfler, Jim Beaver, Sam J. Jones, Ann M. Martin, Bruce Greenwood, Amanda Redman, Roy Hay, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Peter Krause, Michael Ian Black, Yvette Nicole Brown, Rebecca Gayheart, Pete Sampras, Todd Marchant, Casey Affleck, Wednesday 13, Brad Lukowich, Hayley Wickenheiser, Cindy Klassen, Maggie Lawson, Dominique Swain, Justin Gaston, and Torri Webster.

Okay, now comes the fun part.  What date will we go back in time to this week?

Well, let's go back to the same day that the baseball strike began.  August 12, 1994.

Only this blog won't be about the strike.  If memory serves me, I've already wrote a blog entry about the strike.  I can't remember when it was, but you should be able to find it if you use the search bar at the top of the blog.

No, this blog is all about celebration.  A celebration that involved a lot of music, a lot of happiness...and surprisingly enough, a lot of mud.

And this celebration was in fact a celebration of another event that had taken place twenty-five years earlier, in the summer of '69.  Consider it a bit on an anniversary party, so to speak.

Of course, the original event that I am talking about is the famous Woodstock Music & Art Fair, which took place over a four day period in August 1969.  The event was the quintessential celebration of peace, love, and music, as the event attracted dozens of musical artists to Bethel, New York for a concert event unlike any other.  Artists such as Ravi Shankar, Melanie, Joan Baez, Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Jefferson Airplane, Sly and the Family Stone, The Who, and many others lent their talents to the event, and I'm sure that those people who were lucky enough to have attended the festival can vouch that it was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

I know that I would have loved to have been a part of that culture.  I think Woodstock '69 would have been a fantastic experience.  And those who were either too young to remember 1969, or who were born after 1969 probably wanted to have that same experience too.

And in 1994 - on the 25th anniversary of the iconic festival - they decided to do it again!

Beginning on August 12, 1994, and running until August 14, 1994, Woodstock '94 was the 1990s answer to the original 1969 festival.  It was originally scheduled to be a two-day festival that was to begin on August 13, but the Friday was thrown in extra when the festival organizers realized just how many people would be attending.

Would you like to know how many people attended Woodstock '94?  How about 350,000 people!  That's a lot of people!  Of course, just to put it into perspective, it was estimated that at the peak of Woodstock '69, an estimated 400,000 people were in attendance.  But still, that's quite a lot of people.

And, unlike the original Woodstock festival, Woodstock '94 was actually held not far from Woodstock, New York.  You see, back in 1969, the festival organizers were not given permission to hold the festival near Woodstock, so they had to settle for Rome, New York instead.  But things change over a quarter of a century, and the new owners of the property which denied Woodstock '69 were more than willing to rent it out for Woodstock '94.

Of course, the conditions of Woodstock '94 weren't exactly the most ideal.  For one, the weather was anything but co-operative.  The weekend of August 12-14 had lots of rainy periods, which made the festival incredibly wet and muddy.  It wasn't uncommon to see footage of people at Woodstock '94 covered entirely in mud.  But, looked like a lot of them were having a lot of fun, so I guess they didn't mind too much.

Oh, and because the crowd that eventually arrived at Woodstock '94 was much larger than expected, it became a logistical and security nightmare to keep things organized and in check.  It became nearly impossible to prevent people from smuggling in alcoholic beverages. 

But, you know...despite all that, I would hazard a guess that the festival was a huge hit.  It successfully blended the warm feelings of the 1960s with the admittedly cynical grunge movement of the 1990s, and it became quite the harmonious event.  And despite the logistical problems, I'd like to think that those people who did attend were glad they did.  It wasn't exactly like Woodstock '69...but it was a nice anniversary tribute.

At least it was a lot better than the farce that was Woodstock '99.

So, I suppose you're wondering what bands played at the event, huh?  Well, I have a full list, and it's colour coded!  The green bands are ones that played exclusively at Woodstock '94.  The ones in orange, are the ones who played at both Woodstock '69 and Woodstock '94!  Have a look!

Friday, August 12, 1994

Blues Traveler

Collective Soul
King's X

Sheryl Crow
Violent Femmes
Del Amitri
Futu Futu
The Goats
Lunch Meat
The Paul Luke Band
Roguish Armament
Aphex Twin

DJ Spooky
Doc Martin
Frankie Bones
Kevin Saunderson
Little Louie Vega
The Orb
Soul Slinger

Saturday, August 13, 1994

Joe Cocker

Blind Melon
Cypress Hill
Rollins Band

Melissa Etheridge
Crosby, Stills, & Nash featuring John Sebastian

Nine Inch Nails
Nenad Bach
The Cranberries
Yousson N'Dour
The Band featuring Hot Tuna, Bruce Hornsby, Roger McGuinn, Rob Wasserman, and Bob Weir
Primus featuring Jerry Cantwell
 Salt 'N Pepa

Sunday, August 14, 1994

Country Joe McDonald
Sisters of Glory featuring Thelma Houston, CeCe Peniston, Phoebe Snow, Mavis Staples, and Lois Walden
Arrested Development
Allman Brothers Band
Spin Doctors
Porno for Pyros

Bob Dylan
Red Hot Chili Peppers

Peter Gabriel
John Sebastian and the J-Band
Gil Scott-Heron

Green Day
Paul Rodgers Rock and Blues Revue
Neville Brothers

Jimmy Cliff's All-Star Reggae Jam featuring Rita Marley, Eek A Mouse, and Shabba Ranks

And, that's my look back on Woodstock '94, which began twenty years ago today.

But before I end off this longer than normal Tuesday Timeline, I want to pay my respects to the loved ones of actor Robin Williams who died yesterday at the age of 63.  He was a legend in the world of comedy, and he starred in a lot of films that I loved from "Good Morning Vietnam", to "Aladdin", to "Mrs. Doubtfire", to "Good Will Hunting".

Rest in peace, Robin.

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