This day in history – December 12

1913:

The Mona Lisa was recovered

Two years after it was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece The Mona Lisa is recovered inside Italian waiter Vincenzo Peruggia’s hotel room in Florence. Peruggia had previously worked at the Louvre and had participated in the heist with a group of accomplices dressed as Louvre janitors on the morning of August 21, 1911.

Leonardo da Vinci, one of the great Italian Renaissance painters, completed The Mona Lisa, a portrait of the wife of wealthy Florentine citizen Francesco del Gioconda, in 1504. The painting, also known as La Gioconda, depicts the figure of a woman with an enigmatic facial expression that is both aloof and alluring, seated before a visionary landscape.

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After the recovery of The Mona Lisa, Peruggia was convicted in Italy of the robbery and spent just 14 months in jail. The Mona Lisa was eventually returned to the Louvre, where it remains today, exhibited behind bulletproof glass. It is arguably the most famous painting in the world and is seen by millions of visitors every year.

1915:

Frank Sinatra was born

Ol’ Blue Eyes whose real name is Francis Albert Sinatra is born in Hoboken, New Jersey on this very day. He is the son of an Italian fireman, Sinatra formed a singing quartet in his teens.

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My father loves his songs especially Strangers in the Night, New York New York and My Way. I still remember when I was still living in the province and younger, every Sunday of every week, he would tune in to this radio program with a segment called “Oldies but Goodies”. Songs from the past would be aired, some I know and some I only heard from there. I’m so amazed of how my father would know almost all of the songs and would sing to the tune. And when My Way (i’ve heard a lot of times that this song caused a lot of fight if not death to singers from videoke bars, hmmm… i wonder why?) would be played, my father with all his might would sing this song up to the very last note.

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