On this day: Isadora Duncan was born in 1877

Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan in 1899

American dancer Isadora Duncan was born on the 27th of May, 1877.

As a former dancer, I grew up being taught to admire her. However, I strongly disagree with quite a lot about her, including her pro-Communist, pro-Soviet views. These views led to her exile from the United States.

Duncan revolutionised dance, creating contemporary styles before her time, dancing barefoot and showing a preference for performing in flowing fabrics. She had a preference for scarves.

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In the early 20th century.

This love of scarves was to be her downfall; in September, 1927 – at age fifty – her scarf became entangled in the automobile she was travelling in, breaking her neck and causing her death.

On this day: Mary of Teck was born in 1867

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In Ottawa in 1901.

Mary of Teck was born on the 26th of May, 1867 at Kensington Palace in London. Though technically a German princess, her life was in England, where she would go on to marry the future King George the Fifth.

Mary of Teck as an infant with her parents.

With her parents.

Today she is probably best-known as the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth the Second.

Victoria_Mary_of_Teck.jpgPrincess Victoria Mary shortly before her marriage to the Duke of York in 1893

Soon before her wedding in 1893.

Her life very nearly took a different path, as she was originally engaged to the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, who died six weeks after the engagement was announced.

Her full name was Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes, and she held many titles, including Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India.

She died in March, 1953.

On this day: Heinrich Himmler committed suicide in 1945

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Heinrich Himmler, leading member of the Nazi Party, committed suicide on the 23rd of May, 1945.

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By this time he was already in captivity, and bit into a cyanide capsule when, after searching his body, a doctor attempted to inspect his mouth. He took less than fifteen minutes to die.