ON THIS DAY: April 12, 2017

April 12th is

Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality Monument Day *

D.E.A.R. Day *

Polio Vaccine Day *

National Bookmobile Day *

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

International Day for Street Children *

International Day of Human Space Flight *

MORE! Henry Clay, Imogen Cunningham and Jonas Salk, click



Christianity – Ash Wednesday, day of fasting reflecting Christ’s 40 days of fasting in the wilderness, while tempted by Satan –the ashes are from the burnt palm fronds of Palm Sunday, placed on the forehead as a sign of repentance and “born from dust, to dust returning”

China – Guizhou Province: Sisters’ Meal Festival 
(Miao ethnic people courtship festival)

Russia – Cosmonautics Day
(Gagarin’s first flight anniversary)

Liberia – Redemption Day
(1980 Samuel Doe-led coup d’état)

Nepal – Bisket Jatra (ongoing –
Festival of Nepalese New Year)

On This Day in HISTORY

1065 – Hundreds of pilgrims led by Bishop Gunther of Bamberg, who had left their homes in 1064, and after traveling almost 2,500 miles, finally reach Jerusalem

1204 – During the 4th Crusade, Venetian ships bring crusaders close enough to the walls of Constantinople to knock holes in it and mount scaling ladders; crusaders start fires that burn much of the city, and loot the rest for the next three days, destroying or stealing many Greco-Roman and Byzantine works of art, and burning most of the Imperial Library of Constantinople, the last great library of the ancient world, housing 100,000 ancient Greek and Roman texts since its founding in the 4th century

1545 – After French King François I revokes his pardon of the Protestants of Vaudois for the “Affair of the Placards” in January, he now sends 2,000 men into the Mérindol area in Provence to kill them; 3,000 men, women and children are butchered and 600 men sent to the galleys; crops and cattle are destroyed, leaving the survivors to starve

1550 – Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, born, English poet and patron of the Oxford’s Men acting company

1606 – The ‘Union Jack’ flag is adopted for English and Scottish ships; design uses crosses of Scotland, Ireland and England’s patron saints: Andrew, Patrick and George

1648 – The Academia Gelro-Zutphanica, the University of Harderwijk, is founded; its low tuition rates make it the only university available to poor students in the United Provinces (now the Netherlands), but its less-than-stellar reputation undermines the value of degrees obtained there; it closes in 1811 during the French occupation

1716 – Felice de’ Giardini, Italian compose and violinist

1777 – Henry Clay born, U.S. President John Quincy Adams’ Secretary of State; served as both Representative and Senator for Kentucky, one of the Senate’s three great 19th century orators, along with Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina; the “Great Compromiser” as a major player in Missouri Compromise (1820), Tariff Compromise (1833), and the Compromise of 1850

1820 – Alexander Ypsilantis becomes leader of Filiki Eteria, the secret organization that will coordinate the Greek War of Independence attempting to overthrow Ottoman rule

1831 – Grenville Dodge born, American engineer; Union Pacific Railroad’s chief engineer (1866-70)

1853 – Sir James Mackenzie born, Scottish cardiologist; pioneer in cardiac arrhythmia

1861 – The U.S Civil War begins when Confederate forces fire on Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charlestown, South Carolina

1883 – Imogen Cunningham born, American photographer; famous for botanical photos, nudes and industrial landscapes

1898 – Lily Pons born in France, American coloratura soprano

1903 – Jan Tinbergen born, Dutch economist; works on econometric models; awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize for Economics

1905 – Wanting her library to extend its services county-wide, librarian Mary Lemist Titcomb of the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown MD first sends boxes of books to general stores and post offices in small towns to create tiny lending libraries, than adds a Library Wagon (the first U.S. ‘bookmobile’) driven by the library’s janitor, Joshua Thomas, to increase outreach in rural areas – celebrated annually on April’s 3rd Wednesday as National Bookmobile Day *

1908 – Ida Pollock born, English author of short stories and romance novels; in a 90 year career writing under ten pseudonyms, she sold millions of books

1916 – Beverly Cleary born, American author, 1981 National Book Award for Children’s Books, Ramona and Her Mother, and 3-time ALA Newbery Medal winner

1927 – Chiang Kai-shek orders the execution of Communist Party of China members in Shanghai, ending the First United Front, a Kuomintang-CPC alliance which had formed the National Revolutionary Army, setting off a civil war between the two factions

1927 – The British Parliament comes out in favor of women’s voting rights

1933 – Montserrat Caballé born, Spanish bel canto soprano; her “Barcelona” duet with Queen’s Freddie Mercury later becomes the 1992 Barcelona Olympics’ theme song

1939 – Woody Herman’s orchestra records “Woodchopper’s Ball”

1954 – Bill Haley and the Comets record “Rock Around the Clock” – it  debuts in 1955’s movie Blackboard Jungle

1954 – Big Joe Turner releases “Shake, Rattle and Roll”

1955 –  Polio Vaccine Day * – Announcement that the Salk polio vaccine clinical trials are successfully completed, and the vaccine is safe and effective; over the next two years, polio cases drop by over 85%

1961 – Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man to fly in space, orbiting the Earth before making a safe landing

1981 – Beverly Cleary’s book, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, first mentions D.E.A.R. day *
(Drop Everything And Read)

1981 – NASA’s space shuttle Columbia blasts off on its first test flight.

1983 – Harold Washington is elected Chicago’s first African-American mayor

1989 – Garth Brooks’ self-titled debut album is released

2011 – The UN General assembly declares April 12 as the International Day of Human Space Flight *to celebrate 1st human space flight, by Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin

2011 – The Consortium for Street Children (CSC), an international network of over 80 member groups in 130 countries, launches International Day for Street Children, *  focusing on advocacy, research, shared learning and capacity building

2016 – Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality Monument Day * – the NWP (National Woman’s Party), founded by Alice Paul, bought the Sewall House in 1929 as their Washington DC headquarters, renaming it ‘Alva Belmont House’ in honor of the NWP’s former president – on this day, U.S. President Barack Obama designates establishment of the house as the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, a unit of the National Park System



  • International Day for Street Children poster
  • International flags
  • The 1204 sack of Constantinople
  • The British Union Jack
  • Henry Clay, allegiance quite
  • Judy Dater photo of Imogen Cunnimgham and Twinka Thiebaud
  • Beverly Cleary, children reading quote
  • Ramona D.E.A.R. Day illustration
  • Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality Monument



About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 45 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 and a bewildered Border Collie.
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