December 4, 1975 – Philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt dies in New York City, aged 69. Raised in a family of secular, assimilated Jews, Arendt (who claimed â€œno religious affiliationâ€) fled Europe for the United States during World War II. She is best known for her booksÂ The Origins of Totalitarianism,Â The Human ConditionÂ andÂ Eichmann in JerusalemÂ (in which she reported onÂ the 1961 war crimes trial of Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann and coined the term â€œthe banality of evilâ€).
December 4, 1993 – Musician Frank Zappa dies in Los Angeles, aged 52. His musical output was eccentric, eclectic and prolific: he released nearly 60 albums in his lifetime in genres ranging from jazz to classical. He was an outspoken libertarian, appearing on television and before the US Senate to oppose censorship in the music industry. He was also understandably skeptical about entanglement of church and state. In 1986 he appeared on CCN’s Crossfire and said, “The biggest threat to America today is not communism–itâ€™s moving America toward a fascist theocracy. And everything thatâ€™s happened during the Reagan administration is steering us right down that pipe.”
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