ON THIS DAY: April 15, 2017

April 15th is

Glazed Ham Day

Jackie Robinson Day *

Rubber Eraser Day  *

World Art Day *

Auctioneers Day

U.S. Income Tax Day (but due on Monday this year)

MORE! Leonardo da Vinci, Bessie Smith and Jackie Robinson, click



Christianity – Holy Saturday

Bosnia-Herzegovina – Army Day

Japan –
Fuji: Shibazakura Festival
(pink phlox moss viewing)
Ashikaga: Great Wisteria Festival

Laos – Pi Mai
(Laotian New Year celebration)

North Korea – Kim Il-sun’s Birthday

Peru – Pachacámac:
National El Paso Horse Competition

United States – Boston:
One Boston Day *

On This Day in HISTORY

April 15, 769 – In Rome, the Lateran Council’s concluding session; earlier, the synod sentences antipope Constantine, who had been elevated to the papal see by his brother and a group of Tuscan nobles in spite of being a layman, to be beaten, have his tongue torn out, and excommunicated from the Church, then they burned all his acts and rulings; next, they revised the rules by which papal elections are held to prevent a recurrence, stipulating that no lay person could become Pope, only cardinals, deacons and priests would be eligible, the laity would have no part in the election, and no armed men would be allowed during the deliberations; they also collected texts in support of the veneration of icons

1452 – Leonardo da Vinci born, Italian painter, sculptor, and architect

1684 – Catherine I,  Empress of Russia, born

1688 – Johann Friedrich Fasch born, German composer and violinist

1738 – Serse, an opera in Italian by George Frideric Handel premieres in London

1741 – Charles Willson Peale born, American portrait painter of the American Revolution’s leading figures

1755 – Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language is published in London

1770 – Rubber Eraser Day * – Edward Nairne’s natural gum cubes for erasing mistakes made with a pencil is noted by Joseph Priestly. The word rubber, in general use for any object used for rubbing, becomes the name for the newly discovered substance.

1817 – Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc founded the American School for the Deaf, the first American school for deaf students, in Hartford, Connecticut

1843 – Henry James born, American author

1850 – The city of San Francisco is incorporated

1861 – Bliss Carman born, Canadian poet, recognized as a ‘Person of National Historic Significance’ by the Canadian government and acclaimed as Canada’s poet laureate

1861 – President Lincoln declares a state of insurrection, calls out Union trips, and asks for 75,000 Volunteers

1865 – After President Lincoln dies, nine hours from when he is shot, Vice President Andrew Johnson is sworn in as the 17th U.S. President

1880 – Max Wertheimer born in Prague, American psychologist; founder of Gestalt psychology

1889 – Thomas Harte Benton born, American painter

1889 – Philip Randolph born, American civil rights leader and trade unionist

1896 – Closing Ceremonies at first games of the modern Olympiad in Athens, Greece

1892 – Corrie Ten Boom born, Dutch watchmaker who, with her family, helped many Jews escape from the WWII Holocaust; author of The Hiding Place

1894 – Bessie Smith born, American blues singer, “Empress of the Blues”

1904 – Arshile Gorky born in Turkey, American postsurrealist abstract painter

1912 – The “unsinkable” RMS Titanic sinks, 2 hours 40 minutes after hitting an iceberg; only 710 of the 2,227 passengers and crew survive

1915 – Elizabeth Catlett born, black American sculptor and illustrator

1916 – Helene Hanff born, American author-screenwriter; 84 Charing Cross Road

1920 – Two employees are killed during a robbery in South Braintree MA. Anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti will be arrested, tried and convicted (July 14, 1921), then executed (August 23, 1927), on questionable evidence, in spite of worldwide protests and appeals for a new trial

1921 – Albert Einstein lectures on his new “Theory of Relativity” in NYC

1922 – Hasrat Jaipuri born, Indian poet and songwriter

1922 – U.S. Senator John B. Kendrick (D-WY), Committee on Public Lands and Surveys chairman, introduces a resolution calling for investigation of the Teapot Dome scandal

1923 – Insulin (originally a fetal calf pancreas extraction), developed by Frederick Banting and Charles Best, with help and financial support from J.J.R. Macleod,  becomes generally available for patients suffering from diabetes; prior to its introduction, a diagnosis of diabetes meant certain death within 3 to 4 years

1924 – Neville Marriner barn, English conductor and violinist

1924 – Rand McNally publishes its first road atlas

1928 – Norma Merrick Sklarek born, American architect, first African American female architect licensed in New York and California, first to be elected Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, first to form her own architectural firm

1930 – Vigdís Finnbogadóttir born, world’s first democratically elected and longest-serving female president, 4th President of Iceland (1980-1996)

1931 – Tomas Tranströmer born, Swedish poet, and psychologist;  2011 Nobel Prize in Literature

1932 – Suresh Bhat born, Indian poet and songwriter

1936 – Aer Lingus is founded as the Republic of Ireland’s national airline

1942 – The George Cross is awarded “to the island fortress of Malta: Its people and defenders” by King George VI

1945 – Bergen-Belsen concentration camp is liberated by British and Canadian troops

1947 – Jackie Robinson makes his major league debut – commemorated as Jackie Robinson Day * since 2004

1952 – Maiden flight of the B-52 Stratofortress

1960 – Ella Baker leads a conference at Shaw University in North Carolina where SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee is founded, a principal organization of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s

1964 – The first Ford Mustang rolls off the show room floor, two days before it is set to go on sale nationwide

1969 – North Korea shoots down a U.S. Navy EC-121 over the Sea of Japan, killing all 31 on board

1989 – After suffering a heart attack, former General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Hu Yaobang, who had been forced into semi-retirement, dies; the line of public mourners at his funeral is 10 miles long; 50,000 students will march in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on April 22 to petition the government to reverse the verdict that led to his “resignation”

1989 – The city of Malacca, in the Malaysian state of Malacca, is declared an historical city; becomes a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008

2011 – First World Art Day * launched on the anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s birth

2013 – Boston Marathon bombing: two bombs near the finish line kill 3 people and injure hundreds of others, including 16 who lost limbs. In 2015, One Boston Day * is launched as an annual celebration of the resilient, generous people of Boston; events and collection centers citywide for volunteer projects and charitable donations


  • Rubber eraser
  • World Art Day logo
  • International flags
  • Detail from Leonardo da Vinci self-portrait
  • Henry James – rich quote
  • From Bliss Carman’s poem, “At Sunrise”
  • Philip Randolph – freedom quote
  • Corrie Ten Boom – worry quote
  • Elizabeth Carlett poster – Sharecropper
  • Helene Hanff – at peace quote
  • “Face to Face,” by Tomas Tranströmer
  • Ford Mustang
  • City of Malacca, in Malaysia


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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4 Responses to ON THIS DAY: April 15, 2017

  1. Terry Welshans says:

    A. Phillip Randolph was a sleeping car porter for the Pullman Company, the operator of sleeping cars on most long distance passenger trains. His job was to make the traveler’s trip as comfortable as possible, a job that required him and his co-workers to be up at every station stop. This was, and remains today as a most grueling job. Today, “Sleeping Car Attendants” are up for every other stop with the attendant on an adjacent car covering for the attendant who is off duty. That was not possible in Randolph’s day. His unionism created the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1925. Railroaders hold Randolph in great respect, leading the way for the eventual unionization of all American railroads (I worked for three railroads, retired after 34 years.)

    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman_porter for the whole story.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Thanks Terry –

      The early Trade Unionists were an astounding bunch of people – courage and persistence in the face of completely uncaring Bosses who hired thugs without blinking a eye to break up the strikes without any limits placed on their methods – it was a real war, with real people dying. That federal and state governments turned a blind eye at best,and actually colluded with the owners in killing workers at worst, are bloody marks on American history that have been carefully left out of the textbooks, or turned into propaganda for the Bosses.

      • Terry Welshans says:

        People born after the 1960s do not have a clue what unions in general have done for them. On railroads, as an example, locomotive engineers were ordered to continue moving trains to a destination, no matter how long it took. This was back when an engineer got a day’s pay for going 100 miles. That takes a couple of hours today, but a hundred years ago, a hundred miles could take sixteen to twenty hours with breakdowns, waiting for other trains, signals and who knows what else. Ironically, a day’s pay is still based on the 100 or in some cases 150 mile per day rate. An engineer can make three day’s pay in one day, but then is off for a few days before the next trip.
        On the other hand, some of the older rules are still enforced and stifle productivity. Back in the day when I was an engine shop foreman I had to pay an engineer an extra day’s pay when he had to move a locomotive out of the shop yard limits to a switch to another track, giving the engineer a day’s pay for two minutes of work for going one hundred feet outside of his work area.

  2. wordcloud9 says:

    I remember when 9 to 5 was the standard day in an office, and your half-hour lunch was included and paid for. Now you’re lucky if you get a lunch break, let alone two 15 minute breaks, which were also included. Study after study shows people are more productive when they have regular breaks, but most Bosses just think they’re paying people for goofing off if they aren’t working all the time.

    All the Supreme Court cases from the early 1900s until the early thirties where the Justices kept ruling against labor laws because they”interfered”with the “right to free contract” between a worker and an employer – like a single worker is ever in a position to get a fair deal from a Boss that only cares about maximum profits as fast as possible. If that Boss is the only one hiring, or the other Bosses in town are just as bad, what a myth that “free contract” is! Glad the “right to work” laws have finally been declared unconstitutional.

    I do know what you mean about some rules being counter-productive – it’s really prevalent in theatre and movie-making. I was so used to doing everything myself in all the non-paying theatre productions you do to keep your skills sharp and maybe get seen, I was really uncomfortable with all the restrictions on who does what on a movie or TV set. I got the fish-eye a couple of times asking the wrong person to do something, so then I’d have to start with “Who do I ask about…?” to get referred to the right person, and not step on any toes.

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