May 29, 1844 — James K. Polk wins the Democratic Party’s Candidacy for U.S. President

This time around, there’s no better way to tell it than with the actual lyrics. All you need is a little scene setting – it’s the Democratic Party’s National Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, in the year 1844:

In 1844, the Democrats were split.
The three nominees for the presidential candidate
Were Martin Van Buren, a former president and an abolitionist
James Buchanan, a moderate
Louis Cass, a general and expansionist.
From Nashville came a dark horse riding up:
He was James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

Austere, severe, he held few people dear
His oratory filled his foes with fear.
The factions soon agreed:
He’s just the man we need
To bring about victory,
Fulfil our manifest destiny,
And annex the land the Mexicans command.
And when the votes were cast the winner was:
Mister James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

And there you have it 🙂

James Polk restored.jpg
By James_Polk.jpg: Brady, Mathew B., 1823 (ca.)-1896, photographer.
derivative work: Superwikifan (talk) – James_Polk.jpg, Public Domain, Link

As mentioned in:

James K. Polk — They Might Be Giants

I don’t intend to make a habit of simply quoting large slabs of lyrics here – it’s lazy, for one thing – but on this occasion, I felt an exception had to be made. There’s no way I could have summarised the same information as lucidly or as elegantly as this.

May 29, 1997 — Jeff Buckley dies

Jeff Buckley’s career was really only just starting at the point where he died. He’d released one album, which had done well for him, especially his cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (although ironically, it was not released as a single until long after his death, it’s probably still Buckley’s best known work).

Despite the inevitable rumours in such cases, an autopsy showed that Buckley was not drunk or on drugs at the time of his death, and he had not seemed to be suffering any unusual stress or depression. He simply drowned by accident while swimming in a quiet bay of the Mississippi near Memphis, Tennessee. His body was not recovered until June 4, however, which left plenty of time to speculate before the truth could be discovered.