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Diving back into history may be delightful or dismaying. KNKX's Nick Morrison delivers a daily dose of it with his signature humor and skepticism. Here's what happened on this day.

March 29: A U.S. president and a jazz saxophonist are born, Seattle annexes Georgetown

Georgetown Brewing Company, located at 5200 Denver Avenue South, photographed Monday, April 28, 2014, in Seattle, Wash.
Jordan Stead
/ via AP
Georgetown Brewing Company, located at 5200 Denver Avenue South, photographed Monday, April 28, 2014, in Seattle, Wash.


U.S. President John Tyler is born — 1790

Our ninth president of the United States, William Henry Harrison was, upon his election, the oldest president we’d ever chosen. And just to prove it, he keeled over dead after 32 days in office. Which set another record—he was the first American president to die in office.

And that brings us to his hard-headed successor and today’s birthday boy; Vice President, John Tyler (b. 1790). I say "hard-headed" because there was no precedent for what to do when a president dies in office—it hadn’t ever happened—and our Constitution was no help. So imagine the bickering: “Is this guy the President or just a VP standing in for President? Or what.” And so on. As the debaters nattered, Tyler just put his head down and moved into The White House and that was that. So, there…

John was a one-termer. It seems that neither the Whigs or the Democrats wanted much to do with him, so when re-election time rolled around he created a small "party" for himself, campaigned and lost to James Polk.

There were, however, a couple more "firsts" in the Tyler presidency, both involving First Ladies. Tyler’s wife, Latetia, died in ’42, making her the first First Lady to die in the White House. He remarried in ’44, thus becoming the first president to marry while in office. But the county was still young and "firsts" were being racked up left and right.

Seattle annexes Georgetown — 1910

Congratulations, hipsters. A hundred and thirteen years ago a bunch of people interested mainly in deforestation and fermented beverages voted to make Georgetown a part of Seattle, thus planting the seeds for a very interesting community and a lot of picky beer drinkers.

Beer, in fact, is a through-line in Georgetown’s history. The main reason it originally incorporated as its own town was too keep it from being annexed by Seattle. G-town was a mecca of breweries and bars. Merchants and workers were afraid that if Seattle annexed them and then instituted a local Prohibition, a lot of livelihoods would go down the drain. Time proved them right. Seattle swept them up and when statewide Prohibition came along, followed by national Prohibition…well…bye-bye breweries. Until national Prohibition ended, anyway.

Around the turn of the 21st century, beer came back with a vengeance and Georgetown became a home for artisanal beers, the local artisans and artists who drank them and the visitors who volunteered to help the locals hold down the bar.

For decades, driving down that strip of Airport Way could feel so desolate it was almost post-apocalyptic. Now it’s a vibrant neighborhood filled with interesting people and all their interesting stuff.

Michael Brecker's birthday — 1949

Today’s the birthday of jazz saxophonist, Michael Brecker, one of the most gifted and respected musicians of his generation. Born in Philly, his father was lawyer and jazz pianist and his mother was a visual artist. His older brother, Randy, is a jazz trumpeter.

In fact, Michael started making a name for himself in the mid-70s through his collaboration with Randy in their jazz/funk fusion band, which they called, straightforwardly enough, The Brecker Brothers. As they moved toward more straight-ahead acoustic jazz their collaboration continued with their band, Steps (later Steps Ahead).

The 1980s were a busy decade for Michael Brecker. Leading Steps Ahead, working in the Saturday Night Live Band and moonlighting as a studio session player, he didn’t get a chance to put out a solo album until 1987.

Between 1987 and his death from cancer in early 2007, he was the leader or co-leader, with brother Randy on 12 releases. He played on hundreds of albums as a sideman, won 15 Grammy Awards and was posthumously inducted into the Downbeat Jazz Hall Of Fame.

Here are a couple of Brecker performances—one from early in his recording career and one from the later part of his career. We begin with the later Brecker doing a gorgeous ballad called "Midnight Mood," featuring a lovely piano solo by Herbie Hancock. The selection from his early work with his brother is a ripsnorter called "Some Skunk Funk."

Nick began working at KNKX as a program host in the late 1980’s and, with the exception of a relatively brief hiatus, has been with the station ever since. Along with his work as a Midday Jazz host, Nick worked for several years as KNKX’s Music Director. He is now the station’s Production Manager and also serves as a fill-in host on KNKX’s jazz and blues programs.