ON THIS DAY: May 8, 2017

May 8th is

Animal Disaster Preparedness Day *

Coconut Cream Pie Day

Student Nurse Day *

Time of Remembrance & Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During WWII *

World Ovarian Cancer Day *

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day *

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MORE! Edward Gibbon, Mary Lou Williams and Mahatma Gandhi, click 

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

WWII – the 1945 Armistice is celebrated in most European countries as VE-Day, or Victory/Liberation Day

Belgium – Fête de l’Iris
(Iris Festival)

Czech Republic and Slovakia –
Liberation Day *

France and French overseas collectives –
Victory Day (WWII)

South Korea – Parents’ Day

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On This Day in HISTORY

413 – Emperor Honorius signs an edict providing tax relief for the Italian provinces Tuscia, Campania, Picenum, Samnium, Apulia, Lucania and Calabria, which had been plundered by the Visigoths

589 – Urged by Bishop Leander of Seville, Reccared I, Visigothic King of Hispania and Septimania (the Occitanie region of modern-day France), summons the Third Council of Toledo. He formally accepts a return from Arianism (sect that believes Christ, as the Son of God, is separate and subordinate to God, and allows clergy to marry) to the true faith (Catholicism), making it the state religion. Restrictions are placed on Jews, forbidding them to have Christian wives, concubines or slaves; existing children of such unions must be baptized; Jews are banned from any office in which they might have authority to punish Christians, and Christian slaves whom they had circumcised, or made to share in their rites, are ipso facto freed. Civil authorities are forbidden from “laying burdens” on clerics, or on slaves of the church or clergy. Wailing is banned at funerals, and on the eve of Saint’s days any dancing or songs deemed “indecent” are forbidden

1450 – English King Henry VI is a weak and unpopular ruler; corruption and high taxes to pay for years of warfare with France lead to an unsuccessful uprising by rebels from Kent and the surrounding counties; their undisciplined army, led by Jack Cade, marches on London, but they are forced back by denizens of the city in a bloody battle on London Bridge; considered a precursor to the Wars of the Roses


Jack Cade Rebellion – illustrator uncredited


1516 – Trần Cảo Rebellion: A group of imperial guards, led by Trịnh Duy Sản, murder Emperor Lê Tương Dực and flee, leaving the Vietnamese capital Thăng Long undefended

1541 –Hernando de Soto reaches the Mississippi River, naming Río de Espíritu Santo

1737 – Edward Gibbon born, English historian and politician; The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire



1745 – Carl Stamitz born, German Early Classical composer and violinist



1788 – The French Parlement is suspended, to be replaced by the creation of forty-seven new courts; it will be formally abolished in 1790

1794 – Antoine Lavoisier, ‘father of modern chemistry,’ is executed by guillotine during France’s Reign of Terror

1821 – Greek War of Independence: Odysseas Androutsos, leader of 120 Greek soldiers barricaded in the Gravia Inn,  hold off 9,000 Ottoman Empire troops. After suffering heavy losses, the Turks pause to bring up their artillery, giving the Greeks a chance to slip away, escaping through the Ottoman lines. The Turks are ultimately forced to retreat from the area

1828 – Henry Dunant born, founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize

1829 – Louis Gottschalk born, American composer and pianist; initially, his application to the Paris Conservatoire was rejected without even hearing him play, the head of the piano faculty declaring, “America is a country of steam engines” but family friends aided him in getting an audition, and he was accepted. He traveled extensively in the U.S., the Caribbean, and South America, and his music is full of the melodies and rhythms of his native New Orleans and the countries he visited



1846 –Future U.S. President Zachary Taylor defeats Mexican troops at the Battle of Palo Alto north of the Rio Grande, the first major engagement of the Mexican-American War

1847 – Oscar Hammerstein I, American theatre impresario; father of Oscar Hammerstein II of Rogers and Hammerstein

1865 – Mary Harris Thompson opens the Chicago Hospital for Women and Children. Of the two existing hospitals in Chicago, neither allowed women on staff, and one didn’t allow women patients. Thompson initially opened the hospital to treat widows and orphans of the Civil War

1877 – At NYC’s Gilmore Gardens, the first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show opens

1884 – Harry S. Truman born, 33rd President of the United States



1886 – Atlanta pharmacist John Styth Pemberton invents the flavor syrup for Coca-Cola

1899 – The Irish Literary Theatre in Dublin produces its first play

1901 – The Australian Labor Party is established

1905 – Red Nichols born, American cornet player, composer, and bandleader



1910 – Mary Lou Williams born, American Jazz pianist and composer



1912 – Paramount Pictures is founded

1914 – Romain Gary born in Lithuania, French novelist, war hero and diplomat; Les Racines du ciel  (The Roots of Heaven)



1919 – Edward George Honey, an Australian journalist using the pen name ‘Warren Foster,’ sends a letter to the London Evening News suggesting as a commemoration of the first anniversary of WWI Armistice Treaty, signed November 11, 1918: “Five silent minutes of national remembrance. A very sacred intercession. Communion with the Glorious Dead who won us peace, and from the communion new strength, hope and faith in the morrow…” at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”

1927 – Attempting to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight from Paris to New York, French war heroes Charles Nungesser and François Coli disappear after taking off aboard L’Oiseau Blanc (The White Bird) biplane. They have never been found. Twelve days later, Charles Lindbergh takes off, flying solo in the Spirit of Saint Louis

1929 – Girija Devi born, Indian classical singer, known for the genre thumri, on the faculty of ITC Sangeet Research Academy and Banaras Hindu University



1933 – Mohandas Gandhi begins a 21-day fast of self-purification and launched a one-year campaign to help the Harijan movement, his name for the Dalits (‘Untouchables’)



1944 – The first “eye bank” is established, in New York City

1945 – The Sétif massacre, a series of killings of Muslims around this Algerian market town by French authorities and European settlers. The death toll is much disputed – the French claim a total of 1,020, while Radio Cairo reports 45,000 people killed

1945 – V-E Day, Victory in Europe, the end of WWII in the Europe

1945 – End of the Prague uprising, celebrated as Liberation Day * in the Czech Republic

1946 –Estonian schoolgirls Aili Jõgi (age14) and Ageeda Paavel (age 15) blow up a wooden Soviet memorial erected in front of the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn, protesting the Soviet occupation authorities’ systematic destruction of memorials to the fallen in the 1918-1920 Estonian War of Independence, even the gravestones of the Tallinn Military Cemetery; they are later apprehended, and sent to forced-labor camps in the USSR, but are finally released after years of hardship and able to return home. In 1998, they become the only women awarded the Order of the Cross of the Eagle, as “freedom fighters of military merit”

1948 – The first World Red Cross Day celebrated on the anniversary of the birth of founder Henry Dunant – the name was changed in 1984 to World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day *

1958 – U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon is booed, shoved, stoned, and spat upon by anti-American protesters in Lima, Peru

1962 –Rabindra Bharati University, a prominent University in India, is founded in Kolkata (Calcutta), in Western Bengal, on the centenary of poet Rabindranath Tagore


Original building of Rabindra Bharati University, now a museum


1963 – South Vietnamese soldiers under the Roman Catholic President Ngo Dinh Diem open fire on Buddhists defying a ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on Vesak, the day honoring the birth and enlightenment of Buddha, killing nine unarmed civilians, and sparking the Buddhist crisis, a civil resistance by Buddhist monks, including sit-ins, hunger strikes and self-immolation. The majority of Vietnamese are Buddhists, and this led to the November 1, 1963, coup by Vietnamese Army generals overthrowing Diem

1970 – Construction workers break up an anti-war protest on NYC’s Wall Street

1970 – The Beatles release the album Let It Be



1972 – U.S. President Nixon announces his order to place mines in major North Vietnamese ports in order to stem the flow of weapons and other goods to that nation

1973 – A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and the American Indian Movement (AIM) members occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, ends with the surrender of the militants

1980 – The World Health Organization (WHO) confirms the eradication of smallpox

1984 – The River Thames Flood Barrier opens, a moveable barrier in the river east of Central London



1998 – Student Nurse Day * becomes part of National Nurses Week, initiated by the National Student Nurses Association. National Nurses Week has been sponsored by the American Nurses Association (ANA) since 1954, and now proclaimed by U.S. Congress

1999 – Nancy Macy becomes the first female cadet to graduate from The Citadel, the formerly all-male military school in South Carolina

2004 –  May 8 and 9 are declared a Time of Remembrance & Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War * by the United Nations

2010 (year uncertain) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launches Animal Disaster Preparedness Day * to remind us that our furry, finned, four-footed and feathered family members need emergency supplies and safety plans too

2013 – The first World Ovarian Cancer Day * – Ovarian cancer is responsible for  140,000 deaths each year;  Statistics show that 45% of women with ovarian cancer are likely to survive for five years compared to about 89% of women with breast cancer



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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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