Many lesser known (to the world at large) died on that same day. How many? What do demographers tell us? 100,000? 1,000,000?
Death, the great equalizer. "Unto dust." Call it Jacksonian democracy, if you will.
When Jackson was reported to be ill (first at the reportedly rather disreputable TMZ.com), I went over to the Los Angeles Times website. It was slow; learned later it almost crashed.
L.A. Times columnist Tim Rutten has a thoughtful piece on Jackson, fame, and media coverage (excessive).
Rutten's column has a memorable and jolting line about those who die young. The line is by William Butler Yeats, in his poem "In Memory of Major Robert Gregory":
"What made us dream that he could comb grey hair?"