ON THIS DAY: May 15, 2017

May 15th is

International Families Day *

Chocolate Chip Day

National Straw Hat Day

Nylon Stockings Day *

Peace Officer Memorial Day *

International MPS Awareness Day *

TSC Global Awareness Day *
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MORE! Johannes Kepler, Katherine Anne Porter and Madeleine Albright, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Cayman Islands – Discovery Day

Italy – Gubbio: Festa dei Ceri
(races with giant wood ‘candles’)

Paraguay – Día de la Madre

Samoa – Mothers’ Day

Spain – Madrid: San Isidro
(Madrid’s patron saint) 

Tokelau – Mothers’ Day

Tuvalu – Gospel Day

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On This Day in HISTORY

495 BC – A newly constructed temple in honor of the god Mercury is dedicated in ancient Rome on the Circus Maximus, between the Aventine and Palatine hills



221 – Liu Bei, Chinese warlord, proclaims himself emperor of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period, the successor of the Han dynasty

1252 –After the murder of Peter of Verona, the papal inquisitor of Lombardy, Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull ad extirpanda, which calls heretics “murderers of souls as well as robbers of God’s sacraments and of the Christian faith …”, they are “to be coerced—as are thieves and bandits—into confessing their errors and accusing others…” The bull states the limits of torture: that it is not to cause loss of life or limb (citra membri diminutionem et mortis periculum); that it is to be used only once; and that the Inquisitor deems the evidence against the accused to be virtually certain

1536 – Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, stands trial in London on charges of high treason, adultery and incest; she is condemned to death by a specially-selected jury

1567 – Claudio Monteverdi born, Italian composer, musician and Catholic priest; transitional composer between the Renaissance and Baroque periods



1618 – Johannes Kepler confirms his previously rejected discovery of the Third Law of Planetary Motion (which he first discovers on March 8 but rejects after his initial calculations are made)

1718 – James Puckle, a London lawyer, patents the Defense Gun, a tripod-mounted, multi-shot weapon capable of firing up to 9 rounds per minute – it resembles a large revolver, and is meant for shipboard use to repel boarders



1776 – The Fifth Virginia Convention instructs its Continental Congress delegation to propose a resolution of independence from Great Britain, paving the way for the U. S. Declaration of Independence

1791 – Maximilien Robespierre proposes the Self-denying Ordinance, to bar any member of the Constituent Assembly, elected in 1789, from sitting in the Legislative Assembly convened in 1791 to replace it

1793 – Spanish inventor Diego Marín Aguilera flies a glider for “about 360 meters” at a height of 5–6 meters, one of the first attempted manned flights

1808 – Michael Balfe born, Irish singer and composer; The Bohemian Girl



1817 – The first private U.S. mental health hospital opens, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital, Philadelphia PA)

1836 – Francis Baily observes “Baily’s beads” during an annular eclipse, as the moon’s edge aligns with the sun, the rugged topography of its surface allows sunlight to shine through in depressed areas while higher features block the light, creating the bead effect

1845 – Élie Metchnikoff born, Russian zoologist-microbiologist; won 1908 Nobel Prize for Physiology for his discovery of phagocytosis, a fundamental immune response

1856 – L. Frank Baum born, American writer; wrote Wizard of Oz books



1857 – Williamina Fleming born, Scottish astronomer, catalogued thousands of stars, discovered the Horsehead Nebula



1858 – The opening of the present Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London

1859 – Pierre Curie born, French chemist; shared 1903 Nobel Prize for Physics with his wife, and Henri Becquerel, discoverer of radioactvity

1862 – President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law creating the U.S. Bureau of Agriculture, later renamed the U.S. Department of Agriculture

1862 – Arthur Schnitzler born, Austrian playwright and novelist; La Ronde, The Green Cockatoo, None But the Brave



1869 – In New York, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman Suffrage Association


Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton – NWSA supporters 


1879 – The first group of 463 Indian indentured laborers arrive in Fiji on the Leonidas

1887 – Edwin Muir born, Scottish poet, literary critic; his translations of Kafka into English established Kafka’s reputation in Britain



1890 – Katherine Anne Porter born, American journalist, author and leftist political activist, recipient of the both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for The Collected Stories in 1965; Ship of Fools



1901 – Dorothy Hansine Andersen born, American physician and educator, first person to identify cystic fibrosis, first American physician to describe it, inductee into the National Women’s Hall of Fame

1903 – Maria Reiche born, German mathematician and archaeologist, known for her research into the Nazca Lines in Peru, helping to gain recognition for the site and its classification as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995

1905 – The city of Las Vegas NV is founded when 110 acres of what will be downtown are auctioned off

1909 – Clara Solovera born, Chilean folk musician and composer



1911 – In Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court declares Standard Oil to be an “unreasonable” monopoly under the Sherman Antitrust Act and orders the company to be broken up

1915 – Hilda Bernstein born, British-born South African author, artist and activist against apartheid and for women’s rights; The World that was Ours

1916 – Catherine East born, American feminist, worker for Civil Service Commission, and the first Presidential Advisory Commission on the Status of Women; uses her access to official data to disprove claims of opponents to feminist-advocated legislation, and helps reconcile differences between labor activists and feminists; Legislative Director of the National Women’s Political Caucus; Betty Friedan calls her “the midwife of the contemporary women’s movement”

1924 – Maria Koepcke born, German-born Peruvian ornithologist; three species of birds are named in her honor

1930 – Grace Ogot born, Kenyan nurse, author, journalist, politician and diplomat, delegate to the United Nations and UNESCO, helped found the Writers’ Association of Kenya, Member of Parliament and cabinet minister; writes in both English and her native language of Luo



1936 – Anna Maria Alberghetti born, Italian-American actress and operatic singer, Tony Award winner



1937 – Madeleine Albright born in Czechoslovakia, American politician, diplomat and academic, first woman to serve as United States Secretary of State, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom



1938 – Diane Nash born, American activist and strategist in the civil rights movement, involved in the Freedom riders, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the Selma Voting Rights movement

1940 – Nylon Stockings Day * – Nylon fabric and nylon stockings had first been introduced to the public at the New York World’s Fair by DuPont; the first full-scale nylon manufacturing plant went into production at the end of 1939, and nylon stockings are offered for sale on this day; 64 million pairs of nylons are sold the first year

1948 – Hours after declaring its independence, the new state of Israel was attacked by Transjordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon

1958 – The musical film Gigi, based on a story by Colette, premieres, starring Leslie Caron; 1959 Academy Awards for Best Picture, Director Vincent Minnelli , Screenwriter Alan Jay Lerner, and Score Composer André Previn



1963 – The first Peace Officer Memorial Day * proclaimed to pay tribute to law enforcement officers who have sacrificed their lives in service to their communities, and to voice appreciation for all those who currently protect and serve the American people

1969 – Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas resigned amid a controversy over his past legal fees

1970 – Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington, nominated by President Nixon, become the first female U.S. Army Generals



1974 – The National MPS Society is founded, a support group for families of children with MPS, Mucopolysaccharidoses: over a dozen related genetic diseases, caused by the body’s inability to produce specific enzymes either at all or in sufficient quantities to enable the breaking down and recycling of cell materials needed for healthy cells; the society has expanded its programs to include help for adults with MPS, and fundraising for research seeking new treatments and a cure for MPS; they also sponsor International MPS Awareness Day * coordinating with support groups in several other countries

1985 – Prince releases his single “Raspberry Beret”



1988 – The Soviet Union begins withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan

1991 – Édith Cresson becomes France’s first female prime minister



1993 – International Day of Families * is acclaimed by the UN General Assembly as an opportunity for nations and civil society to consider what measures might support and enrich families, especially those mired in poverty

2006 – Saddam Hussein refuses to enter a plea at his trial in Iraq for crimes against humanity, insisting he was still the country’s president.

2008 – California’s Supreme Court declared gay couples in the state can marry – a temporary victory for the gay rights movement that is overturned by the backlash passage of Proposition 8 the following November

2010 – Jessica Watson unofficially becomes the youngest person to sail, non-stop and unassisted around the world solo. (Her route didn’t meet the criteria for circumnavigation of the globe set by the World Sailing Speed Record Council)



2011 – The first TSC Global Awareness Day * is launched by the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance (TS Alliance) and other TSC groups to bring attention to Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), a rare genetic disorder that affects over a million people worldwide, causing tumors to form in many different organs, primarily in the brain, eyes, heart, kidney, skin and lungs, which can result in seizures, developmental delay, intellectual disability or autism. Though a child with a parent who has TSC has a 50 % chance of inheriting TSC, two-thirds of the children with the disease have no history of TSC in their family
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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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