On this day in 1982, “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor hit the top of the U.S. pop charts. This hit from the third of five “Rocky” films (actor/director Sylvester Stallone) held top billing on the chart for 6 weeks. The first hit from the boxing series was “Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky).”
Anna Lee Girard of West Virginia, hand appliqued, pieced and quilted this Tiger Lily (alternately named Meadow or Wood Lily) quilt in 1881. Anna Lee was a housewife in rural Mason county in the central part of the state, and purchased new fabric to create this quilt. The lucky family member who inherited the quilt documented it during the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search in 1992.
On this day in 1885, Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant) died of throat cancer at the age of 63. Grant, born in Point Pleasant, Ohio, served as the 18th President of the United States (1869-1877) and was commanding general of the Union army during the Civil War.
This Courthouse Steps quilt was made by an unknown quilter in nearby Cincinnati, Ohio in 1885. It was documented in the North Carolina Quilt Project by a relative of the quiltmaker.
On this day in 1848, Lester Aglar Walton was appointed as U.S. minister to Liberia. Walton was mainly known as a diplomat and a journalist. He was the first African American to write for a daily paper, the St. Louis Star, from 1902 to 1906. He was also active in the late twentieth century entertainment world as a songwriter and an advocate for other African American artists.
Leona Johnson of Monrovia, Liberia hand pieced and hand appliqued this Zinnia Variation quilt in 1992. From this Quilt Index record:
The quilt was brought to Flint, Michigan by the maker’s sister’s son, Rev. Emmanuel Bailey. Emmanual goes to Monrovia, Liberia about every 6 months to see his relatives and to work on the building of an orphanage for the victims of war. He put his order in for these quilts last January and then picked them up in August. He brought back 12 quilts this time, took them in mid October to the International Institute of Flint’s fall sale and sold four. We purchased two at $250 each for the MSU Museum. The remaining quilts will be shown Brethren United Methodist Quilt Show in mid-November. Many Liberian quilters are decendents of American Slaves. Popular patterns include the Lone Star and Wig Rose (or Zinnia variation).
On this day in 1918, Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist was born in village of Mvezo in Umtata. Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and died in December 2013.
Carolyn Crump made this quilt, titled “Courageous,” around 2011 in Houston, Texas. The piece is 43 1/2″ x 56″ and features machine piecing and applique, ink drawing, and painting. Text inscriptions on the quilt include: “Votes for All” “Freedom in Our Lifetime” “Equal Pay For All” “Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela” “A Long Walk To Freedom” “Away with Passes” “Post Mandela Life or Death Trial” “Apartheid Unjust 1963 1990” “46664.” The quilt is now in the collection of Michigan State University Museum.
On this day in 1955, Walt Disney’s first theme park, Disneyland, opened in Anaheim, California, built for $17 million on 160 acres of former orange groves. Today more than 14 million people visit Disneyland and spend close to $3 billion.
Ellen (or Mary) Cline White hand pieced and hand quilted this Sunflower and Orange Peel quilt around 1840. The quilt was made in California but ended up in Tennessee, where it was documented by the Quilts of Tennessee project.
On this day in 1967, comedian and actor Will Ferrell was born in Irvine, California, the son of Betty Kay, a teacher, and Roy Lee Ferrell Jr., a musician with The Righteous Brothers. His parents were both natives of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, and moved to California in 1964.
Emma Hotchkiss Irvine of Kentucky made this exciting Crazy Quilt in 1883. Emma was a direct descendent, through her father Benoni Hotchkiss, of Ambrose Doolittle, a private from Connecticut during the Revolutionary War. The quilt is now part of the permanent collection of the DAR Museum.
On this day in 1606, Dutch master painter Rembrandt van Rijn was born in Leiden, South Holland, the son of a miller. Rembrandt, who painted more than 100 self-portraits during his lifetime, lost favor as a fashionable portrait artist, and was bankrupt by 1656. However, after this financial downfall, Rembrandt produced some of his most celebrated works.
South African artist Phina Nkosi of Soweto, South Africa, made this quilt, titled “Anti-Apartheid Portraits.” It features portraits of women important in the anti-apartheid struggle. This quilt was included in a national exhibition of crafts shown at the Craft Council of South, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2004. It was acquired by the MSU Museum during a bi-national South African Cultural Heritage Project, for which the museum was a lead US partner.
On this day in 1968, Henry “Hank” Aaron, age 34, hit the 500th home run of this career, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 4-1 win over the San Franciso Giants. Aaron was born in 1934 in Mobile, Alabama and was a star player in both football and baseball in high school. He was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.
An unknown quiltmaker machine and hand pieced and hand appliqued this now fragile Baseball quilt between 1901-1929. It was documented in 1993 as part of the Connecticut Quilt Search Project.
On this day in 1656, Ann Austin and Mary Fisher, two English missionaries traveling from a Quaker center in Barbados, became the first Quakers to immigrate to the American colonies when their ship landed in Boston. Shortly after arriving in Puritan-controlled Massachusetts, Austin and Fisher were arrested and jailed for their liberal teachings and after five years in jail, were deported back to Barbados.
Philena Cooper Hambleton’s Quaker Friendship Quilt was made in New Garden, Hanover Township, Columbiana, Ohio in 1853. Lynda Salter Chenoweth has done extensive research on the quilt and documented it in The Quilt Index as part of the Signature Quilt Pilot Project.
From this Quilt Index record:
This quilt is a single-pattern friendship quilt comprised of twenty five 12″ X 12″ blocks, a border, and a folded, front to back edging. The quilt was made by Philena Cooper Hambleton’s female relatives and friends to take with her to Iowa when she and her husband migrated there from Ohio in 1854. The quilt passed from Philena to her daughter, Angelina Craver, then to Angelina’s son, Arthur Hambleton Craver, then to Arthur’s daughter, Florence Philena Oberholtzer. It became part of an estate sale in Danville, CA in 1995 when Florence died and was purchased from an antique shop in Petaluma, CA in 2001.
On this day in 1958, American banjo player Béla Anton Leoš Fleck was born in New York City. “Widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most innovative and technically proficient banjo players,he is best known for his work with the bands New Grass Revival and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones.” (Wikepedia)
Belah Beatrice Sumrell of Ayden, North Carolina, finished this Dresden Plate quilt in 1952. From this Quilt Index record:
Mother had given the unquilted top to a cousin and she gave it to me; Finished in 1952, probably was in the making for a few years, Scraps from making clothing, feed sacks, Made other quilts, VA, DC, GA and WA; Children: Reginald, Marion, Winifred, Alene, Billy, Grace.
Sumrell’s daughter documented the quilt in 1985 as part of the North Carolina Quilt Project.