the night that inspired Salman Rushdie and the one in which Et- “spoke”

from Culture editorial staff

The recurrences on the date of August 15th: the independence of India in 47 (told by the writer stabbed on August 12 in the USA); the signal Wow! 1977 which made one think of an alien message; the birth of Carlo M. Cipolla one hundred years ago

L’independence of Indiabut also thereat first registration sound of Edison. The nineteenth-century suppression of religious entities, but also the discovery of one of the most famous signals from space. Or, again, the birth, one hundred years ago, of an intellectual like Carlo M. Cipolla. All in one date: August 15th. Here are some of the anniversaries and anniversaries of August.

Independent India

The Indian Independence Act of 1947 came into effect on August 15, 1947: at the stroke of midnight. Since that moment 75 years ago, the measure sanctioned by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, r

that India independent of the British Empire, as well as Pakistan
. Swatantrata Divas or Independence Day is one of the most heartfelt celebrations in the Asian giant: this year the government has decided to distribute an Indian flag in every home to celebrate the three-quarter century anniversary.

And just that moment at the center of the novel The children of midnight (Midnight’s Children) written in 1981 by Salman Rushdiethe Indian-born writer who was stabbed on August 12 or in Chautauqua, New York, an assault linked to the fatwa, the death sentence, which hangs on his head for Satanic verses of 88. But of it The children of midnight (which has also become a film) protagonist in some way of its own that historic junction of 15 August 1947. With his magical realism, Rushdie, he imagines that the children born in those moments of passage are endowed with super powers: among them the protagonist, Saleem Sinai, endowed with telepathy. The novel (in Italy for Mondadori) won the 1981 Booker Prize.

The rigor of Carlo M. Cipolla

There are many personalities born on August 15th (including Napoleon, in 1769). This year is happening the centenary of the birth of Carlo M. Cipolla (1922-2000, M. was an added habit to distinguish from homonyms and had no correspondence with a real name), economic historian in Pavia, at the Normale di Pisa and then at Berkeley. His research fields include the history of money and the economic history of the population. Collaborator of various newspapers, including Corriere, in 1995 he received the Balzan prize for economic history. In the reasons for the recognition, his greatness: Carlo M. Cipolla considered by his contemporaries as the leader of economic history who was most able to instill an innovative spirit in this discipline. Thanks to his intellectual curiosity, dominated by rigor of thought and method, and by virtue of a meticulous research of sources, he has combined the macro-historical approach with micro-history studies in works of great originality and solidity, ranging in very extensive economic-cultural fields.

Religious entities suppressed

Perhaps it was no coincidence that the Italian law that sanctioned lto suppression of 25 thousand ecclesiastical bodies bear the date – August 15 – of a religious feast, that of the Assumption. The suppression was decreed in 1867, 155 years ago. The Kingdom of Italy canceled a series of religious bodies considered superfluous chapters of collegiate churches, reception churches, municipalities, choral chaplaincies, canonies and benefices of the cathedrals chapters of royal or lay patronage, institutions with a perpetual character qualified as foundations or pious legacies by object. of worship and the assets were attributed to the State Property, or to the State. Standard not modified until the Concordat of 11 February 1929.

The first registration

Another important anniversary that falls on August 15th is that of first audio recording in history. He performed it on this day in 1877 Thomas Alva Edison, inventor, among other things, of the phonograph, a device whose heart was a brass roller covered with a foil film on which a needle made an engraving. Edison’s first recording of him reading the popular nursery rhyme for children Mary had a little lamb, Mary had a little lamb. Music (and its diffusion) would never be the same again.

The alien signal

When American astronomer Jerry R. Ehman, who worked at Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio telescope, discovered u

n strong signal 72 seconds long
which came from the constellation of Sagittarius, on the printout marked in red wow !. It was August 15, 1977, 45 years ago and the one that went down in history just like signal Wow!. A narrow band radio signal that seemed to have the perfect characteristics to be a message from an extraterrestrial intelligence and on which there are still no univocal answers. Between skeptics, enthusiasts and inevitable conspiracy theorists.

August 15, 2022 (change August 15, 2022 | 15:10)


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