ON THIS DAY: July 18, 2017

July 18th is

Caviar Day

Sour Candy Day

World Listening Day

Nelson Mandela International Day

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MORE! Robert Hooke, Molly Brown and Nelson Mandela, click

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World Festivals and National Holidays

Croatia – Dubrovnik:
Dubrovnik Summer Festival (ongoing)

South Africa – Nelson Mandela Day

Uruguay – Constitution Day

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On This Day in HISTORY

64 – The Great Fire of Rome during Emperor Nero’s reign



452 – Attila leads the Huns on an invasion of Italy, passing through Pannonia, then laying a year-long siege against Aquielia, at the head of the Adriatic, at the time an important city in Roman commerce; on July 17, Aquielia falls, and the Huns sack the city, and raze it

1013 – Hermann Von Reichenau born, German poet, astronomer and mathematician

1290 – King Edward I of England issues the Edict of Expulsion, banishing all Jews (numbering about 16,000) from England; on Tisha B’Av, a day on the Hebrew calendar that commemorates many Jewish calamities, especially the destruction in Jerusalem of the First Temple by the Babylonians and the Second Temple by the Romans

1334 – The bishop of Florence blesses the first foundation stone for the new campanile (bell tower) of the Florence Cathedral, a design of artist Giotto di Bondone


Campanile on the left


1536 – Parliament passes an act declaring the authority of the pope void in England

1635 – Robert Hooke born, English polymath, physicist and architect, called “England’s Leonardo”



1670 – Giovanni Bononcini born, Italian Baroque composer, cellist and singer in a family of composers and musicians



1702 – Maria Clementina Sobieska born, granddaughter of King John III of Poland; arrested by King George I of Great Britain on the way to her wedding in an attempt to prevent her marriage to James Francis Edward Stuart (the ‘Old Pretender’), but she escapes and they are quickly married by proxy. Their eldest son, Charles Edward Stuart (‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’) will fail, as his father did before him, to reclaim the thrones of Scotland and England, and their younger son, Henry Benedict Stuart, will become a Roman Catholic Cardinal

1724 – Duchess Maria Antonia of Bavaria born, Electress of Saxony, singer, composer and harpsichordist; her operas are well received, and her harpsichord performances admired



1757 – Royall Tyler born, American jurist and playwright; Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court (1807-1812); in 1787 his play, The Contrast, was the first American comedy to be performed by professional actors, in New York City; its premiere was attended by newly-elected President George Washington

1811 – William Makepeace Thackeray born, English novelist; The Luck of Barry Lyndon, Vanity Fair



1821 – Pauline Viardot born, French mezzo-soprano, pianist, educator and composer; Franz Liszt considered her a “woman composer of genius”

1850 – Rose Hartwick Thorpe born, American author and poet, known for her poem  Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight

1867 – Margaret Brown born, American philanthropist and activist, RMS Titanic survivor, known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”

1870 – First Vatican Council decrees papal infallibility ex cathedra

1872 – Britain enacts voting by secret ballot

1877 – Thomas Edison records the human voice for the first time

1895 – Olga Spessivtseva, Russian ballerina, considered one of the outstanding ballerinas of the 20th century; partnered with Nijinsky at the Ballet Russes 1916-1918 and on tours in 1921 and 1923; étoile (prima ballerina) at the Paris Opera 1924-1932, but still performed occasionally with the Ballet Russes; her mental health and career began a long decline 1934-1943; her last performance was in 1939; beginning in 1943, she spent years in mental hospitals



1900 – Nathalie Sarraute born, French lawyer and author; of Russian Jewish origin, she was forced to quit practicing law in 1941, and dedicated herself to writing; recipient of the Prix international de littérature for her novel The Golden Fruits

1902 – Jessamyn West born, American novelist; The Friendly Persuasion



1908 – Mildred L. Norman born, American mystic, pacifist activist and vegetarian, the ‘Peace Pilgrim’; between 1953 and 1981, she walked across the United States at least six times, and died on her seventh cross-country journey at age 72

1918 – Nelson Mandela born, leader in struggle against apartheid, future President of South Africa



1925 – Adolf Hitler publishes Mein Kampf

1926 – Margaret Laurence born, Canadian author, founder of the Writers’ Trust of Canada; The Stone Angel and The Diviners; recipient of two Governor General’s Awards, and Companion of the Order of Canada

1932 – U.S. and Canada sign treaty to develop the St. Lawrence Seaway

1936 – The first Oscar Meyer Wienermobile rolls off the assembly line



1942 – First flight of the German Me-262, the first jet-propelled combat plane

1947 – President Truman signs Presidential Succession Act: Speaker of the House, then Senate President Pro Tempore are next in line after the Vice President

1960 – Elvis Presley releases “It’s Now or Never”



1968 – The Grateful Dead release their Anthem of the Sun album



1969 – Ted Kennedy’s car goes off bridge at Chappaquiddick, Mary Jo Kopechne dies

1976 – Nadia Comăneci is first person to score a perfect 10 in Olympic gymnastics

1988 – The Beach Boys release “Kokomo” (used in the movie soundtrack for Cocktail)



1989 – The shooting death of actress Rebecca Schaeffer by an obsessed fan prompts the California legislature to pass the first anti-stalking law in the U.S. in 1990)

1994 – Comet Shoemaker-Levy’s largest collision with Jupiter leaves a black spot over 7,456 miles (12,000 km) across



1995 – Oldest known musical instrument, made from 45,000 year old bear bone, found in Indrijca River Valley, Slovenia



2005 – Anti-Abortion fanatic and domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph is sentenced to life in prison for the bombing of an abortion clinic in Birmingham AL which killed a police officer and gravely injured a nurse

2012 – Kim Jong-un is officially appointed Supreme Leader of North Korea

2013 – Detroit MI files for bankruptcy, becoming the largest US municipal bankruptcy ever at $18.5 billion

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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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