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Happy Birthday, Lena Horne

The great Lena Horne would have turned 98 years old today.

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a section of Brooklyn, NY, on June 30th 1917. She performed at the Cotton Club in Harlem by the age of 16. She had substantial parts in the movies “Cable in the Sky” and “Stormy Weather.” Horne’s profile is fascinating. She was an activist, actress and nightclub star for more than seven decades. It definitely is worth reading.

Her heritage was European, Native American and African-American and, surprisingly, is said to have descended from the family of John C. Calhoun. The irony can be seen in this sentence from Calhoun’s profile:

John Caldwell Calhoun (March 18, 1782 – March 31, 1850) was an American politician, political theorist during the first half of the 19th century, and a symbol of the legacy of slavery for generations.

Horne performs the title track from “Stormy Weather” above.