March 5, 1953: Joseph (or Josef) Stalin died four days after what was considered to be a stroke, at the age of 74. Officially, the cause of death was listed as a cerebral hemorrhage… It has been suggested that Stalin was assassinated…In 2003, a joint group of Russian and American historians announced their view that Stalin ingested warfarin, a powerful rat poison that inhibits coagulation of the blood and so predisposes the victim to hemorrhagic stroke (cerebral hemorrhage). Since it is flavorless, warfarin is a plausible weapon of murder. The facts surrounding Stalin’s death will probably never be known with certainty.
(For a long time, I used to wonder about the correlation between Stalin’s death and my birth, two days later.)
March 5, 1965: A milestone in Elvis’ personal life. While driving to Los Angeles to begin work on his latest film, the singer tells Larry Geller that he feels their recent religious studies haven’t produced a bonafide religious “experience.” Not long after, Elvis pulls over and runs into the middle of the desert when he sees a cloud formation that looks like Russian dictator Josef Stalin.
As he watches, it turns into a face Elvis interprets as that of Jesus Christ. As Geller recalls it in Peter Guralnick’s acclaimed book Careless Love:
“It’s God!” Elvis cried. “It’s God!” Tears streamed down his face as he hugged me tightly and said, “…I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You got me here. I’ll never forget, never, man. It really happened. I saw the face of Stalin and I thought to myself, Why Stalin? Is it a projection of something that’s inside of me? Is God trying to show me what he thinks of me? And then it happened! The face of Stalin turned right into the face of Jesus, and he smiled at me, and every fiber of my being felt it… Oh, God. Oh, God,” Elvis kept saying. Then he paused and added a peculiar aside. “Can you imagine what the fans would think if they saw me like this?”
“They’d only love you all the more,” Geller said.
“Yeah,” he said, “Well, I hope that’s true.”
Visibly shaken, he resumes the trip, although most of the Memphis Mafia are skeptical about the validity of this “sign.”
There’s probably something pithy to say, but I don’t know what.
You may have seen this, but Pete Seeger slammed Joe Stalin last year.