ON THIS DAY: May 14, 2017

May 14th is

Buttermilk Biscuit Day

Lewis and Clark Day *

The Stars and Stripes Forever Day *

Underground America Day *
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MORE! Felix Mendelssohn, Patrice Munsel and Harry A. Blackmun, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Judaism – Lag b’Omer (begins at sundown) a celebration of a break in a plague said to have occurred during the days of Rabbi Akiva; now symbolizing the resilience of the Jewish people 

Lebanon –
Resistance and Liberation Day

Liberia – Unification Day

Malawi –
President Banda’s Birthday

Paraguay –
Día de la Independencia

Puerto Rico –
Día de las Madres

United States: Mothers’ Day
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On This Day in HISTORY

1264 – In the Second Barons’ War, Henry III is defeated at the Battle of Lewes by Simon de Monfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, who becomes the “uncrowned King of  England” when Henry is forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, ceding most of his powers to the Earl, and his son Prince Edward is held hostage by the barons

1607 – Jamestown VA becomes the first permanent English settlement on the American continent

1643 – The ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV becomes king at age 4 when his father dies


Louis XIV at age 5, painted by Philippe de Champaigne


1771 – Robert Owen born, Welsh manufacturer-turned-utopian socialist reformer; founds a cooperative shop that sells good quality goods and food to his workers at low cost, is a pioneer in British infant child care, vocal advocate for the 1819 Cotton Mills and Factories Act, and institutes an 8-hour workday; then gives most of his fortune to utopia scheme in America

1787 – Delegates gather in Philadelphia PA to draw up the U.S. Constitution

1796 – Dr. Edward Jenner administers the first smallpox inoculation, in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England

1804 – Lewis & Clark Day * celebrates the day that Meriwether Lewis & William Clark’s expedition, commissioned by Thomas Jefferson, sets out from St Louis MO

1832 – Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides (aka Fingal’s Cave) premieres



1842 – The Illustrated London News begins publication; the world’s first illustrated weekly newspaper

1852 – Gail Borden patents his process for condensed milk

1861 – The Canellas meteorite, an 859-gram chondrite-type meteorite (around 285 pounds), strikes the earth near Barcelona, Spain

1862 – Adolphe Nicole of Switzerland patents chronograph, a very accurate time recorder

1878 – Mary Wilhelmine Williams born, American historian, educator, feminist and pacifist, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom member, founder of the California chapter of the National Women’s Party, specialized in Latin America, honored for her work to promote understanding between countries


Mary Wilhelmine Williams – left, circa 1898 – right, 1940


1884 – The national Anti-Monopoly Party is founded at a convention in Chicago IL, as several state-level parties join together; their platform called for direct election of senators, a graduated income tax, industrial arbitration, establishment of labor bureaus to protect the legal rights of organized labor, and strong antitrust legislation; they opposed tariffs and the granting of public land to railroads and other corporations

1885 – Otto Klemperer born, one of the foremost German conductors

1889 – The London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children becomes the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)

1897 – “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Day * commemorates the first public performance of John Philip Sousa’s stirring march. It is so popular that Congress has declared it the National March of the United States



1902 – Helen Flanders Dunbar born, American psychobiologist, advocate of cooperation between physicians and clergy in treating the sick

1904 – The first Olympic Games to be held in the United States open in St. Louis MO

1907 – Sweden adopts universal suffrage for elections to its lower house and proportional representation for both houses

1908 – Charley Furnas, a 28-year-old mechanic who sometimes did odd jobs for the Wright Brothers, becomes the first airplane passenger, in their two-seater Flyer, during its test flight at Kitty Hawk NC

1908 – Betty Jeffrey born, Australian nurse and author, prisoner of war during WWII, wrote a book about her experiences called White Coolies

1913 – The Frans Hals museum opens in Haarlem, Netherlands


Frans Hals Museum with ‘The Lute Player’ by Frans Hals – circa 1624


1921 – Florence Allen becomes the first woman judge to sentence a man to death, in Ohio: gangster Frank Motto, convicted of murdering two men during a robbery – she went on to be the first woman to serve on a state supreme court, and one of the first two women appointed as U.S. federal judges

1925 – Patrice Munsel born, American coloratura soprano, youngest singer to star at the Metropolitan Opera at age 17



1925 – Virginia Woolf’s novel “Mrs. Dalloway” is published



1927 – Ben Bernie’s recording of “Ain’t She Sweet?” reaches #1 on the singles chart



1935 – In Los Angeles CA, the Griffith Park Planetarium opens, the third one in the U.S.

1935 – The Plebiscite in Philippines ratifies independence agreement

1938 – The premiere of The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland



1939 – Lina Medina de Jurado of Peru becomes the youngest confirmed mother in medical history, giving birth by caesarean section at age five years, seven months and 21 days, to a son. She never reveals the circumstances of her impregnation or the identity of the father of her child

1942 – Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait is first performed, by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra



1942 – U.S. Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) forms

1943 – Tania León born, Cuban-born American composer, conductor and educator, recipient of awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Endowment for the Arts among others



1945 – Physician Joseph G. Hamilton injects Albert Stevens (patient CAL-1), who had been misdiagnosed as having stomach cancer, with 131 kBq (3.55 µCi) of plutonium without his knowledge. Stevens lives another 20 years, surviving  to age 79 after receiving the highest known accumulated radiation dose in any human; Hamilton himself dies of leukemia at age 49

1948 – Israel declares its independence from British administration

1949 – U.S. President Harry Truman signs a bill establishing Cape Canaveral as a rocket test range

1955 – The Warsaw Pact is signed by the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania

1961 – The bus which carries the first Freedom Riders is bombed and burned in Alabama

1969 – Contraception and abortion are legalized in Canada

1970 – Harry A. Blackmun is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court



1973 – Skylab 1, the first manned U.S. space station, is launched

1974 – Underground America Day * is founded by Malcolm Wells to advocate for earth-sheltered architecture. There are about 6,000 people in North America who are living in some form of underground dwelling

1980 – The Department of Health & Human Services begins operation

1986 – Netherlands Institute for War Documentation publishes Anne Frank’s complete diary

1998 – The final episode of Seinfeld airs



2001 – The Supreme Court rules there is no exception in federal law for people to use marijuana to ease their pain from cancer, AIDS or other illnesses

2008 – The Interior Department declares the polar bear a threatened species because of the loss of Arctic sea ice


photo – eric-lefranc/solent


2011 – Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund and potential candidate for president of France, is charged with sexually assaulting a Manhattan hotel maid; he resigns from the IMF; charges against him are dropped

2012 – Stanford University scientists develop prototype bionic eye
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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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