To the readers of "Today in History" -- the following article is an item taken right from today's headlines and is related to a previous posting on this Blog called : "Anschluss, The Sound of Music + 50" The article below is not written by me, but is taken directly from another on-line source by the author Steven Weber, and can be found at the following web address:
Maria von Trapp, the Last Surviving Member of the von Trapp Family Dies at 99
Von Trapp was the last surviving member of the Austrian family of seven brothers and sisters and died in her sleep at her Vermont home (on Tuesday, Feb. 18). "It was a surprise that she was the one in the family to live the longest because ever since she was a child she suffered from a weak heart," family friend Marianne Dorfer told the Austrian Times.
Indeed, as the second-eldest daughter, Von Trapp and her family famously escaped the Nazis in the 1930s for a better life in the states. Their journey was the inspiration for Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1959 broadway hit, and in 1965, Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer then starred in its film adaptation. Actress Heather Menzies-Urich portrayed her as the character Louisa. (According to the Times, Von Trapp's first visit back to Austria after escaping was in 2008.)