13 April 12020 is Easter Monday, for whatever that may be worth, as we limp gently through this maimed and awful Passover season. It’s also Jefferson’s Birthday (United States), Katyn Memorial Day (Poland), and Unfairly Prosecuted Persons Day (Slovakia). Notable people born on this date include J. B. Lightfoot (whose edition of the Apostolic Fathers has been a constant companion of mine for many years), Samuel Beckett, Eudora Welty, and Don Adams (a.k.a. Inspector Gadget). And it’s 25 Farvardin 1399, 19 Sha’ban 1441, 5 Parmouti 1736, 24 Caitra 1942, 31 March (O.S.) or 13 April (N.S.) 2020, 28 Mina 5120, 19 Nisan 5780, and JD 2458952.
On this day in history (13 April 11958) pianist Van Cliburn won the first ever International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and receiving a standing ovation that lasted eight minutes. The American musician was treated as a hero in both the Soviet Union and the United States, and his first recording for RCA (of Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto) eventually went platinum (in 11989). He is said to have played for every American president from Eisenhower to Obama, and as far as I know the only reason he didn’t play for Trump is that he died during the Obama administration, well before Trump became president.