ON THIS DAY: April 8, 2017

April 8th is

Draw A Bird Day *

Dog Fighting Awareness Day *

Empanada Day

International Roma Day *

Slow Art Day *

Zoo Lovers Day *

MORE! Barbara Bodichon, “Yip” Harburg and Barbara Kingsolver, click



Canada –
Brechin ON: Ramara Maple Celebration
Holstein ON: Maplefest
St-Pierre-Jolys MB: Sugaring Off Festival

Japan – Kyoto and Osaka: Cherry Blossom Festivals

Nicaragua – Semana Santa (Holy Week)

Taiwan – Taoyuan City: Looptopia Music Festival

Vanuatu – Tansip: Naghol Land Diving

On This Day in HISTORY

876 – The Battle of Dayr al-‘Aqul is fought between the forces of the Abbaside Calphate of Baghdad, and the Saffarid ruler and military leader Ya’qūb ibn al-Layth al-Saffār; a decisive victory for the Abbasids, halting Ya’qub’s invasion of Iraq and saving Baghdad from being ransacked

1093 – Winchester Cathedral, one of Europe’s largest cathedrals, is dedicated by Bishop Walkelin on the Feast of St. Swithin

1271 – Krak des Chevaliers, a Crusader stronghold in Syria, falls to Baibars, Sultan of Egypt and Syria

1513 – Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon claims Florida for Spain

1582 – Phineas Fletcher, English poet

1664 – Zoo Lovers Day * – this is the Opening Day of the Season for many zoos in the northern U.S.  Exotic animals have a long history of being collected and exhibited by humans.  The Royal Menagerie of Louis XL, is founded in 1664 at Versailles, one of the earliest menageries open to scientists and the public; the animals are sent to the Jardin des Plantes after the French Revolution, becoming a model for combining botanical and zoological exhibition and scientific study in zoological gardens in Europe and America. The first ‘modern Zoo’ is established in 1752 by order of Emperor Francis I in Vienna as a private zoo for the royal family, but later opens to the public.  The London Zoo (1829) claims the title of ‘the world’s oldest scientific zoo’ – originally, access is only granted to fellows of the Zoological Society of London, but it is opened to the public in 1847

1654 – The oldest Jewish congregation in the U.S., ‘Shearith Israel’ arrive in New York City, and after lengthy negotiations with Governor Peter Stuyvesant, get official permission to settle there on 1655, but are banned from building a synagogue until 1730, sometimes called the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue

1766 – The first fire escape is patented, a wicker basket on a pulley & chain

1781 – Mozart’s Violin Sonata No. 27 premieres at the home of Prince Rudolph Joseph Colloredo, brother of Mozart’s patron, Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo of Salzburg, shortly before the Archbishop dismissed Mozart, annoyed by his frequent absences for performances of his work elsewhere

1796 – Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician, proves the quadratic reciprocity law (ability to determine solvability of any quadratic equation in modular arithmetic)

1820 – The Greek statue known as the ‘Venus de Milo’ but sculpted by Alexandros of Antioch as Aphrodite, is discovered on the Aegean island of Melos by Yorgos Kentrotas, a farmer; two French naval officers on the island arrange for the French ambassador to Turkey, Charles-François de Riffardeau, marquis, to purchase the statue, now in the Louvre in Paris

1827 – Barbara Bodichon born, British artist, and women’s rights activist, helped found the English Women’s Journal, co-founder of Girton College for women

1865 – Albion Fellows Bacon born, American author and social reformer, known for her work to improve public housing

1869 – The American Museum of Natural History opens in New York City

1886 – British Prime Minister William Gladstone introduces the first Irish Home Rule bill to the House of Commons

1892 – Mary Pickford born, American actor, screenwriter and producer, co-founder of the film studio United Artists and one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

1896 – Edgar “Yip” Harburg born, song lyricist; lyrics for all the songs in The Wizard of Oz, including “Over the Rainbow”

1902 – A Demonstration organized by socialists in Belgium to demand better education, living conditions, right to strike and universal male suffrage turns into a riot; several people are killed

1904 –Great Britain and France establish their Entente Cordiale, a technical treaty settling long-standing disagreements over Morocco, Egypt, Africa, and the Pacific

1904 – British mystic Aleister Crowley claims to ‘transcribe’ the first chapter of the Book of the Law, part of his ‘Holy Books of Thelema’ a mystical path to ‘True Will’ and enlightenment

1905 – Helen Joseph born in Britain, South African author, social worker and activist, one of the founders of  the Federation of South African Women and in the march on August 9, 1956 to protest pass laws; arrested and banned for protesting apartheid multiple times; Side by Side

1913 – The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified; it requires direct election of U.S. senators

1913 – The opening of China’s 1st parliament in Peking (Beijing)

1924 – South African State passes the Industrial Conciliation Act No 11: the act provides for job reservation, excluding blacks from membership of registered trade unions, and banning registration of black trade unions

1920 – Carmen McRae born, American jazz singer, composer and pianist

1927 – Tilly Armstrong born, popular British author of romance novels, also used pseudonyms Tania Langley and Kate Alexander; as Alexander wrote historical romances

1929 – Jacques Brel born, Belgian singer-songwriter

1931 – Dmitri Shostakovitch’s ballet “The Arrow” premieres

1935 –Béla Bartók’s Fifth String Quartet premieres in Washington, D.C.

1935 – Congress approves the Works Progress Administration (WPA)

1936 – Fred Ebb born, American lyricist, collaborator with composer John Kander; Cabaret, Liza with a Z 

1943 – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt attempts to check inflation by freezing wages and prices, banning workers from changing jobs unless it would aid the war effort, and bars rate increases for common carriers and public utilities

1943 – Dorie Cooper, aged seven, goes with her mother to hospital in Britain to visit her uncle, who had lost his right leg to a mine in the war, and is very depressed. Dorie, trying to cheer him up, asked, “Draw a bird for me, please.” Her uncle looked out the window, and saw a robin, and tried to draw it. When Dorie saw his picture, she laughed, telling him he wasn’t a very good artist, but she would hang up the picture in her room anyway. His spirits were lifted by the visit, and so were the spirits of the nearby wounded men who overheard Dorie. So every time she came to visit after that, they held contests to see who could draw the best bird pictures. Soon the ward’s walls were covered in bird drawings. Three years later, Dorie was killed when she was struck by a car. At her funeral, her coffin was filled with bird images made by soldiers, nurses and doctors from the ward she had visited so often. Draw a Bird Day * is celebrated on Dorie’s birthday in memory of a little girl who found such a simple way to bring hope and cheer to wounded men

1946 – The League of Nations assembles for last time

1952 – U.S. President Harry Truman seizes steel mills to avert a strike

1953 – In Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta is convicted of involvement with the Mau Mau rebellion and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment

1955 – Barbara Kingsolver born, American writer

1960 – US Senate passes Civil Rights Bill, which includes prohibiting discriminatory voting practices

1964 – The Supremes record their first #1 single, “Where Did Our Love Go”

1966 –OAO 1, 1st orbiting astronomical observatory, launched

1966 –Time publishes its “Is God Dead” issue – its first issue without an image

1968 – 40th Academy Awards postponed to Apr 10th due Martin Luther King death

1970 – The Senate votes on President Richard Nixon’s nomination of G. Harrold Carswell to the Supreme Court; a combination of the high-reversal rate (58%) of his decisions on appeal, his support decades earlier of racial segregation and white supremacy, and his poor record on women’s rights cause his nomination to be rejected 51-45; 38 Democrats and 13 Republicans vote against him – Nixon then nominates Judge Harry Blackmun, who will author the decision in Roe v. Wade, who is confirmed in a 94-0 vote

1975 – Aerosmith releases their album Toys in the Attic

1979 – The Clash release their self-titled debut album

1986 – Clint Eastwood is elected mayor of Carmel, CA

1990 – King Birenda of Nepal lifts a 30-year ban on political parties

1990 – International Roma Day * is declared in Poland at the 4th World Congress of the International Romani Union (IRU) in honor of the 1st International meeting in April, 1971, to celebrate Romani culture and raise awareness of issues they face

1992 – After 151 years of publication, Britain’s Punch magazine prints its last issue

1994 – Western nations begin evacuation of foreigners as Hutu extremists in Rwanda massacre ethnic Tutsis in a genocidal tribal bloodletting that brings the death toll of
civilians, Government ministers and soldiers – including at least ten United Nations peacekeeping troops – into the thousands

1994 – Smoking is banned at the Pentagon and on all U.S. military bases

2004 – The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement is signed by the Sudanese  government and two rebel groups in the Darfur conflict

2008 – Yi So-yeon becomes the first Korean in space aboard Soyuz TMA-12 with two Russian cosmonauts, carrying out scientific experiments during the mission

2009 – Slow Art Day * is founded by art enthusiasts, and is now a global grassroots volunteer movement to encourage people go with a friend or loved one to visit an art museum in their area, and view just 3 or 4 works of art for 5 to 20 minutes each, and then talk about them – taking it slowly and concentrating on just a few artworks might inspire you to visit museums more often, to look at less, but see more

2014 – The ASPCA declares April 8 as Dog Fighting Awareness Day * to call for the elimination of this brutal blood sport, which continues despite laws in all 50 states making it a felony. President Obama signed a bill in 2014 that makes attending an animal fight a federal crime, with additional penalties for bringing a minor to a fight


  • Empanadas
  • Draw a Bird Day – ‘full bird colonel’
  • International flags
  • Phineas Fletcher, stanza from poem
  • National Zoo Lovers Day banner
  • ‘Venus de Milo’ postage stamp
  • Barbara Bodichon, brave ridicule quote
  • Jomo Kenyatta, bibles and land quote
  • Barbara Kingsolver, hope quote
  • Time magazine ‘Is God Dead?’ cover
  • International Roma Day header with Rom flag
  • Punch magazine last cover
  • Yi So-yeon
  • Slow Art Day sticker


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 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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