37 AD Nero was born. (See July 18th entry.)
1939 The motion picture Gone With the Wind premiered in Atlanta. (See June 30th entry.)
1986 Carnegie Hall reopened.
On any list of bad kings, Nero’s name is pretty prominent. The emperor who fiddled while Rome burned was born in Antium on this day in 37 ad. Four years after Rome’s slums went up in flames, Nero went down in disgrace and was branded by the Senate as a public enemy. He committed suicide—which may have been the only thing he really did well.
Rome may have gone up in flames in a day with Nero as its emporer. But he shares his birthday with the anniversary of the rebirth of house that every fiddle player—or rather classical musician—aspires to. New York’s Carnegie Hall opened in 1891, and quickly became a living monument to music. Carnegie Hall’s $50 million renovation, which was completed in 1986, ensured that it will stand proud as it enters another century.