ON THIS DAY: May 4, 2017

May 4th is

Bird Day *

Intergalactic Star Wars Day *

International Firefighters Day *

National Day of Reason *

Respect for Chickens Day *

World Give Day *

World Password Day *

MORE! Horace Mann,  Audrey Hepburn and Ernest Hemingway, click



Afghanistan –
Remembrance Day, Martyrs & Disabled

Austria – Linz: Saint Florian’s Day
(patron saint of Linz)

China – Youth Day

Japan – Greenery Day

Latvia – Independence Day

Namibia – Cassinga Day
(memorial for battle dead)

Netherlands – Remembrance Day


On This Day in HISTORY

1471 – Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Tewkesbury: Edward IV defeats a Lancastrian Army and kills Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales

1493 – Pope Alexander VI divides the ‘New World’ between Spain and Portugal along the Line of Demarcation

1626 –  Dutch explorer Peter Minuit arrives at New Netherland (present day Manhattan Island) aboard the See Meeuw

1655 – Bartolomeo Cristofori born, Italian harpsichord maker; piano pioneer

1675 – King Charles II of England orders the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory

1728 – George Frideric Handel’s opera Tolomeo, re di Egitto premieres in London

1749 – Charlotte Turner Smith born, English poet and novelist, instrumental in a revival of the sonnet and establishing the conventions of Gothic fiction; forced into marriage at 15 by her father, she spent many unhappy years married to a violent drunkard. His extravagance landed them in debtors’ prison, where she began her writing career in order to pay their way out. Eventually she left him, as his increasing rages made her fear for her life.

1776 – Rhode Island becomes the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III

1796 – Horace Mann born, American philanthropist, pioneer in public education

1806 – William Cooke born, English inventor; helped develop electric telegraphy

1814 – Napoleon Bonaparte arrives at Portoferraio on Elba to begin his first exile

1814 – King Ferdinand VII of Spain, returning from exile, signs the Decree of the 4th of May, returning Spain to an absolute monarchy

1825 – T. H. Huxley born,  English biologist and educator

1874 – Frank Conrad born, American electrical engineer and pioneer in wireless telegraphy; developing an early airplane radio and making one of the first radio broadcasts from a “station” he built in his garage

1886 – A labor demonstration for an eight-hour workday at Haymarket Square in Chicago turns into a riot when a bomb explodes

1886 – Chichester Bell and Charles S. Tainter patent an improved gramophone, the first practical phonograph

1894 – Bird Day * is established by school superintendent Charles A. Babcock of Pennsylvania, the first U.S. day dedicated to birds, and their conservation in particular

1898 – Captain Joy Bright Hancock, American naval officer, veteran of both WWI and WWII

1904 – Charles Stewart Rolls meets Frederick Henry Royce at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, England; they would form Rolls-Royce in December of 1904

1907 – Lincoln Kirstein born, American dance impresario; director of the N YC Ballet

1907 – Mary Hallaren born, first woman to officially join the U.S. Army; director of the Women’s Army Corps; recipient of the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal; elected to the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1996

1914 – Emmanuel Robles born, Algerian-French novelist and playwright

1916 – Jane Jacobs born, American-Canadian journalist and activist, pioneer in urban studies and author of  The Death and Life of Great American Cities; Officer of the Order of Canada, and Order of Ontario

1927 – Articles of Incorporation are filed for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the organization is officially incorporated on May 11, 1927

1929 – Audrey Hepburn born in Belgium, international film star and humanitarian, remembered for her tireless efforts to help children; UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree

1930 – Roberta Peters born, American coloratura soprano, associated with the Metropolitan Opera for 35 years, recipient of the National Medal of Arts

1933 – Archibald Macleish is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his narrative poem Conquistador

1942 – WWII: U.S. civilians receive War Ration Book #1, the “Sugar Book,” and a national speed limit of 35 mph is imposed to save fuel and tire rubber

1944 – The suspense film Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer, and featuring Angela Lansbury’s film debut, is released

1953 – The Pulitzer Prize for Literature is awarded to Ernest Hemingway for The Old Man and the Sea

1956 – Gene Vincent records “Be-Bop-A Lula”

1961 – A group of Freedom Riders leave Washington, D.C., for New Orleans to challenge racial segregation on interstate buses and in bus terminals

1970 – Ohio National Guardsmen open fire on anti-war protesters at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.

1974 – An all-female Japanese team led by Kyoko Sato reaches the summit of Manaslu, becoming the first women to climb an 8,000-meter peak

1994 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat sign an accord on Palestinian autonomy that grants self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho

1998 – Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski is given four life sentences plus 30 years by a federal judge in Sacramento, Calif., under a plea agreement that spares his life

1999 – The first International Firefighters Day * instituted to honor all firefighters everywhere, proposed by JJ Edmondson, after the terrible loss of five firefighters answering a call for mutual aid to fight a huge brush fire in Linton, Australia. May 4 was chosen because it is the feast day of St. Florian, the patron saint of firefighters, already a day for honoring firefighters in several European cities

2000 – Londoners cast their first direct votes for the Mayor of London,  which had been the only Western capital without an elected city government after the Greater London Council was abolished in 1986

2003 – National Day of Reason * is launched by the American Humanist Society and the Washington Area Secular Humanists as an alternative to the National Day of Prayer proclaimed by the U.S. Congress, which Humanists believe infringes on the Separation of  Church and State doctrine of the First Amendment, and lends government support to religion over no religion

2005 – International Respect for Chickens Day * is started by United Poultry Concerns to protest the bleakness of chickens’ lives in farming operations

2010 – World Give Day * is first celebrated, a day to highlight donating to whatever cause or charity is important to you – many small gifts add up to big funding

2011 – Intergalactic Star Wars Day * is launched at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Canada – “May the Fourth Be With You!” – since 2013, after Disney Studios purchased Lucasfilm, the day has been observed at Disney theme parks

2013 – The first World Password Day * is inspired by Mark Burnett’s book, Perfect Passwords, to encourage people to update and strengthen their passwords and better protect their online data


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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8 Responses to ON THIS DAY: May 4, 2017

  1. Terry Welshans says:

    I absolutely adore chickens, so my respect for them is extreme. Once properly cooked, there is nothing better, except perhaps a pig that has been slowly smoked.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Our Border Collie is also a major chicken enthusiast.

      But I think the original intent of the Judaic Kosher laws, that animals raised to feed us should be treated humanely and killed with the absolute minimum of pain, is what the United Poultry Concerns folks are trying to bring to our attention.

      I’m all for free range chickens, pigs being raised in enough space that they can move around, and cattle that haven’t been overdosed with feed laced with antibiotics. Better for them, but also better for us, body and soul.

      • Terry Welshans says:

        Yes, I am sure that was what they meant. And I agree. When I was a farm kid, the free-range grown chickens did not know what was in store for them until the last minute. Chickens are not very smart. I have paralyzed more than a few by holding them down with a water hose under their beaks, extending away from them. After a minute or so they could be released and they just stay there, staring at the hose.

        • wordcloud9 says:

          I heard a story about sheep, claiming that they drowned, staring up at the rain with their mouths open – surely not true?!

          But I have seen other more likely stories told to illustrate that they are not as smart as goats.

  2. Here is a greeting from our Scottish friend Will McLeod, aka “Ollie Garkey”

  3. For Netherlands Remembrance Day.

    The Dutch commissioned Italian trumpeter Nini Rosso to compose a special tune to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi occupation. “Il Silenzio” is the memorial piece first played in 1965 on the 20th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands.

    This is Dutch trumpeter Melissa Venema, who was playing with Andre Rieu and his orchestra when she was still a pre-teen. She was 17 years old when she recorded this version of Il Silenzo (The Silence):

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