ON THIS DAY: December 27, 2016

December 27th is


Fruitcake Day


Visit the Zoo Day


Howdy Doody Day *


MORE! Charles Darwin, Marlene Dietrich and Benazir Bhutto, click



Bulgaria – St. Stephen’s Holidayinternational Flags
(patron saint of Bulgaria)

Cayman Islands – Public Holiday

Niue – Commission Day

North Korea – Constitution Anniversary

Vanuatu – Family Day


On This Day in HISTORY

537 – The Hagia Sophia (‘holy wisdom’), ordered by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I,  is completed in Constantinople – now Istanbul – in Turkey. It was the world’s largest cathedral until the completion of the Seville Cathedral in 1520


1512 – The Spanish Crown issues the Leyes de Burgos (laws of Burgos) which forbid maltreatment of indigenous people in the ‘New World’ while endorsing converting them to Catholicism, and laying out the system of Encomiendas – employing Indians in groups of 40-150 as workers under heads of estates, with a list of regulations for work, pay, provisioning, living quarters, hygiene, and care, including exempting women more than 4 months pregnant from work. The encomenderos (bosses) were prohibited from directly punishing workers – offenders were to be bound over to civil officials instead

1571 – Johannes Kepler born, German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer

1657 – The Flushing Remonstrance is signed, a petition to Director-General of New Netherland Peter Stuyvesant  by residents of the small settlement at Vlishing requesting an exemption to his ban on Quaker worship (he banned all public religious worship other than the Dutch Reformed Church.)  None of the signers were Quakers. It is considered a precursor to the U.S. Constitution’s provision on freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights

1821 – Lady Jane Wilde born, Irish poet, essayist, and women’s rights advocate, supporter of the nationalist movement writing under the pseudonym Speranza, known for collections of folktales, mother of Oscar Wilde

1822 – Louis Pasteur born, French chemist and microbiologist, developed Pasteurization process to kill microorganisms responsible for food spoilage and disease transmission, also developed vaccines for anthrax, cholera and rabies


1831 – Charles Darwin embarks on his five year journey aboard the HMS Beagle from Barn Pool, near Plymouth, England

1845 – Ether anesthetic is used for childbirth for the first time by Dr. Crawford Long in Jefferson, Georgia

1845 – Journalist John L. O’Sullivan, writing in his newspaper the New York Morning News, argues that the United States has the right to claim the entire Oregon Country “by the right of our manifest destiny”

1901 – Marlene Dietrich born, legendary actor-singer, early opponent of Nazism, financed escape of several Jewish friends before WWII. In 1937, Hitler’s agents offered her an almost blank check to return home to star in movies of her choice – she angrily rejected the offer, and her films were banned in Germany. She became an American citizen in 1939. During World War II, she made anti-Nazi broadcasts in German, took part in war-bond drives and tirelessly entertained half a million Allied troops and war prisoners across North Africa and Western Europe


1911 – The national anthem of India,  Jana Gana Mana, with lyrics by Rabindranath Tagore, is first sung in the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress

1918 – The ‘Great Poland Uprising’ against the Germans begins

1922 – Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō becomes the first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world

1927 – Show Boat, considered the first true American musical, opens at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Broadway

1927 – Anne Armstrong born, American diplomat and politician, first woman Counselor to the President, first woman United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient


1929 – Soviet Secretary Joseph Stalin orders “liquidation of the kulaks as a class”

1930 – Meg Greenfield born, named editorial editor at “Washington Post” in 1979 after winning a Pulitzer Prize, penned commentaries on civil rights, integration, nuclear arms and the military establishment

1932 – Radio City Music Hall “Showplace of the Nation” opens in New York City


1935 – Regina Jonas receives her semicha and is ordained as a rabbi, becoming the first woman to officially serve in that role

1943 – Joan Manuel Serrat born, Spanish singer-songwriter and guitarist

1943 – Peter Sinfield born, English songwriter and producer

1945 – The International Monetary Fund is created with the signing of an agreement by 29 nations

1947 – Howdy Doody Day * – The Howdy Doody Show for children debuts on NBC

1949 – The Netherlands recognizes Indonesian independence; end of Dutch East Indies

1950 – Terry Bozzio born, American drummer and songwriter

1960 – Ray Charles records “One Mint Julep”

1966 – The Cave of Swallows, the largest known cave shaft in the world, is discovered in Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

1968 – NASA’s Apollo 8 splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first orbital manned mission to the Moon

1969 – Sarah Vowell born, American author and journalist

1978 – Spain becomes a democracy after 40 years of fascist dictatorship

1989 – The Romanian Revolution concludes, as minor street confrontations and stray shootings abruptly end in the country’s capital, Bucharest

1996 – Taliban forces retake the strategic Bagram Airfield which solidifies their buffer zone around Kabul, Afghanistan

2001 – China is granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States

2004 – Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reaches Earth, the brightest extrasolar event recorded on the planet

2007 – Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated



2007 – Riots erupt in Mombasa, Kenya, after Mwai Kibaki is declared the winner of the presidential election amid charges of election irregularities, triggering a political, economic, and humanitarian crisis.


  • Fruitcake
  • Zoo Day illustration by Lizzie Rockwell
  • Howdy Doody with Buffalo Bob
  • International flags
  • Hagia Sophia mosaic
  • Louis Pasteur with science quote
  • Marlene Dietrich, on USO tour in 1945
  • Anne Armstrong, U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • Benazir Bhutto with quote on women leaders


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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7 Responses to ON THIS DAY: December 27, 2016

  1. bron98 says:

    Neural correlates of maintaining one’s political beliefs in the face of counterevidence

    Jonas T. Kaplan, Sarah I. Gimbel & Sam Harris
    Nature: Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 39589 (2016)
    People often discount evidence that contradicts their firmly held beliefs. However, little is known about the neural mechanisms that govern this behavior. We used neuroimaging to investigate the neural systems involved in maintaining belief in the face of counterevidence, presenting 40 liberals with arguments that contradicted their strongly held political and non-political views. Challenges to political beliefs produced increased activity in the default mode network—a set of interconnected structures associated with self-representation and disengagement from the external world. Trials with greater belief resistance showed increased response in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and decreased activity in the orbitofrontal cortex. We also found that participants who changed their minds more showed less BOLD signal in the insula and the amygdala when evaluating counterevidence. These results highlight the role of emotion in belief-change resistance and offer insight into the neural systems involved in belief maintenance, motivated reasoning, and related phenomena.

    Maybe a reason why liberals are so emotional?

  2. Bron,
    That study was of forty subjects who self-identified as liberals. There were no persons of other convictions in the study. From my reading of it, I don’t see how it got past peer review, unless it is the first part of a multiple-segmented study. I am reasonably certain they will find the same phenomenon in self-identified conservatives. We see that on a daily basis when conservatives are presented with facts that contradict what they believe. Climate change is one of the big ones. 99 scientists say one thing, but the one who disagrees is the one who gets quoted as the “expert.” Confirmation bias is a built in human trait.

    This is actually not a new phenomenon. There were studies out of McGill University four decades ago, as well as Jerome Bruner’s studies at Yale in the 1960s. Bruner found that if people committed to a belief about a simple stimulus item without knowing the full context of the stimulus item, the belief was amazingly hard to dislodge.

    BTW, have you seen the 1956 Young Republicans publicity poster for Labor Day in 1956?

  3. Also, here is a summary of the 1956 Republican platform for the 1956 election. Eisenhower and Nixon were running.

  4. pete says:

    “Maybe a reason why liberals are so emotional?”


    • wordcloud9 says:

      Thanks pete –

      While few people would call Donald Trump a liberal, a great many people would call him emotional.

      • ann summers says:

        interesting, was there a counter-study for “conservatives”
        “….presenting 40 liberals with arguments that contradicted their strongly held political and non-political views”

Comments are closed.