Napoleon & Woodstock

Op 15 augustus 1769 werd Napoleon geboren op Corsica
Op 15 augustus 1969 begon Woodstock

Beiden mobiliseerden een volksmassa, maar Napoleon en Woodstock hebben nog meer met elkaar gemeen. Ze zagen allebei het licht op de Ontslaping van de Moeder Gods, traditioneel het feest dat het kerkelijk jaar afsluit. Op de website van de Canadese schrijfster Shannon Selin las ik over de geboorte van Napoleon:

Napoleon Bonaparte was born on Tuesday, August 15, 1769, in Ajaccio, Corsica. France had acquired Corsica from the Italian city-state of Genoa the year before. Napoleon’s parents were Carlo and Letizia (Ramolino) Buonaparte. Their first surviving child, Giuseppe (Joseph), was 19 months old when Napoleon was born. Two older children, born in 1765 and 1767, had died in infancy.
August 15 marks the celebration of the Catholic Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady the Virgin Mary. Letizia was at mass in the Ajaccio cathedral when she felt severe labour pains. She left the service and walked the short distance to her house (Casa Buonaparte, now a museum), aided by Carlo’s sister Gertrude Paravicini.
Napoleon geboortehuis
gevelsteen in het geboortehuis van Napoleon in Ajaccio.
Here, on a couch in the salon – for there was no time to reach her bedroom – with the assistance of Gertrude and a maid-servant, Mammucia Caterina, she was delivered of her fourth child – a boy, with a big head and a very intelligent face, who screamed loudly, and soon began sucking his thumb, which was considered a good augury among the peasants of Corsica.
uit: H. Noel Williams, The Women Bonapartes, Vol. 1 (New York, 1909)
Woodstock ticket
kaartje voor vrijdag 15 augustus 1969
Early estimates of attendance increased from 50,000 to around 200,000, but by the time the gates opened on Friday, August 15, more than 400,000 people were clamoring to get in. Those without tickets simply walked through gaps in the fences, and the organizers were eventually forced to make the event free of charge. Folk singer and guitarist Richie Havens kicked off the event with a long set, and Joan Baez and Arlo Guthrie also performed on Friday night.