ON THIS DAY: August 17, 2017

August 17th is

Black Cat Appreciation Day *

National I Love My Feet Day *

National Non-Profit Day * new!

National Thrift Shop Day

Vanilla Custard Day


MORE! Luigi Boccherini, Hazel Bishop and V.S. Naipaul, click



Belgium – Kiewit-Hasselt:
Pukkelpop Music Fest

Gabon – Fête de l’Indépendance
(National day)

India – Shahenshahi
(Parsi New Year)

Indonesia – Independence Day

United States – Prairie OR:
Oregon Eclipse Festival


On This Day in HISTORY

1498 – Cesare Borgia, illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI and Vannozza dei Cattanei, becomes the first person in history to resign the cardinalate; later that same day, King Louis XII of France names him Duke of Valentinois

1560 – The Scottish ‘Reformation’ Parliament adopts a ‘confession of faith’ based on the theology of John Calvin, effectively making the Reformed faith led by John Knox the state religion. Mary Queen of Scots, a Catholic, refuses to sign it

1585 – Colonists sent by Sir Walter Raleigh to Roanoke Island, land in the ‘New World’

1601 – Pierre de Fermat born, French mathematician, lawyer and politician; known for Fermat’s principle for light propagation and Fermat’s Last Theorem in number theory

1686 – Nicola Antonio Porpora born, Italian composer

1755 – Thomas Stothard born, English painter, designer and illustrator

Canterbury Pilgrims, by Thomas Stothard

1784 – Composer Luigi Boccherini gets a 12000 real pay raise from his employer Infante Luis Antonio, younger brother of Spanish King Charles III

1786 – Davy Crockett born, frontiersman, politician and hero of the Alamo

1790 – The U.S. capital moves from Philadelphia to New York City

1798 – Thomas Hodgkin born, British physician and pathologist, pioneer in preventive medicine; a Quaker, abolitionist, advocate for reduction of the impact of western colonization on indigenous peoples, co-founding the Aborigines Protection Society

1807 – Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat leaves New York City for Albany NY on the Hudson River, launching the first commercial steamboat service in the world

1815 – Napoleon arrives on St Helena to begin in his exile

1834 – Peter Benoit born, Belgian composer

1837 – Charlotte Forten Grimké born, African American abolitionist, and poet, taught South Carolina freedmen; her diaries published as The Journal of Charlotte Forten

1838 – Laura de Force Gordon born, American lawyer, editor and women’s rights activist, editor and manager of the Stockton Daily Leader in 1873, instrumental in obtaining the right for women to practice law in California

1858 – Caroline Bartlett Crane born, American suffragist, educator, journalist and reformer, Unitarian minister, known for public health and sanitation reforms, inspected and wrote sanitary surveys for over 60 cities, campaigned for meat inspection ordinances

1859 – John Wise leaves Lafayette, Indiana in a hot air balloon, attempting to deliver a mail bag of 100 letters to New York City – He had to land after only 27 miles

1863 – Geneva Stratton-Porter born, American author as ‘Gene’ Stratton-Porter, columnist, naturalist, wildlife photographer and best-selling author during her lifetime, known for her novel A Girl of the Limberlost

1887 – Marcus Garvey born in Jamaica, journalist and orator, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association; advocate for a ‘return to Africa’ by African-Americans

1890 – Harry Hopkins born, American social worker, close adviser and a speechwriter for Franklin Roosevelt; involved in developing the Works Progress Administration; Secretary of Commerce (1938-1940); WWII policy maker and troubleshooter on America’s Lend-Lease program that aided the European Allies

1901 – Henri Tomasi born, French composer and conductor

1903 – Joseph Pulitzer donates $1 million to Columbia University, the beginning of the Pulitzer Prizes

1904 – Mary Cain born, American newspaper editor and conservative activist and politician, known for campaigning against the Social Security tax, first woman to run for Governor of Mississippi

1904 – John Hay Whitney born, known as ‘Jock’ Whitney; publisher of the New York Herald Tribune; U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James; president of the NY Museum of Modern Art

1906 – Hazel Bishop born, organic chemist, creator of “kiss-proof” lipstick

1908 –Émile Cohl’s Fantasmagorie, the first animated cartoon, is shown in Paris

1919 – Georgia Gibbs born, American singer, known for jazz, rhythm and blues primarily, but also for versatility and range

1925 – John Hawkes born, American avant-garde novelist; Blood Oranges

1926 – Jean Poiret born, French director, actor and screenwriter-playwright; noted for the play, La Cage Aux Folles

Jean Poiret and Michel Serrault in La Cage Aux Folles

1928 – T.J. Anderson born, American composer, conductor and orchestrator

1932 – V.S. Naipaul born in Trinidad of East Indian parents, British novelist and travel book writer; 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature

1945 – Indonesian nationalists declare their independence from the Netherlands

1945 – George Orwell publishes Animal Farm in the UK

1959 – Miles Davis album Kind of Blue debuts, best-selling Jazz album of all time

1960 – Gabon becomes independent from France

1961 – Construction of the Berlin Wall is completed by East Germany

1970 – NASA’s Venera 7 launches, which becomes the first spacecraft to successfully transmit data from the surface of another planet, Venus

1977 – Soviet icebreaker Arktika becomes the first surface ship to reach the North Pole

1978 – Double Eagle II is the first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean, landing in Miserey, near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Presque Isle, Maine

1982 – U.S. Senate approves an immigration bill granting permanent resident status to illegal aliens who came to the U.S. before 1977

1998 – US President Bill Clinton admits in taped testimony that he had an “improper physical relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky; later that day he admits before the nation that he “misled people” about the relationship.

1998 – Russia devalues the ruble

2002 – The Charles M. Schulz Museum opens in Santa Rosa, CA

2005 – Israeli Gaza Disengagement Plan: first forced evacuation of Israeli settlers who had refused to accept government compensation packages and voluntarily vacate their homes prior to an August 15, 2005 deadline, by Israeli security forces

2008 – U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps becomes first athlete to win 8 gold medals in a single Olympic Games

2011 – Wayne Morris starts Black Cat Appreciation Day * to honor his sister and her special bond with her black cat. She died on this day at the age of 33, just two months after her beloved 20-year-old cat Sinbad had passed away. Their father hadn’t wanted a “bad luck” black cat in house, but Sinbad eventually won him over.

2015 – Carolyn D. Jenkins starts National I Love My Feet Day * to raise awareness of how to prevent long-term foot problems

2017 – National Non-Profit Day * is launched by Sherita J. Herring on the anniversary of the Tariff Act of 1894, which imposes federal income taxes on corporations, but exempts nonprofit organizations and charitable institutions


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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5 Responses to ON THIS DAY: August 17, 2017

  1. Malisha says:

    I am not a cat person. Yet I lived in a house with four cats once (once for 13 years, that is), and the family had a black cat. (Yes, the odds increase as the numbers do.) The cat is still among us although she is now one of those senile felines. (SENILE FELINES is a palindrome.) This is what I discovered about her: (1) She’s a bit clumsy; (2) She whines differently from “meows” offered by other cats; (3) when she hides under furniture she can be mistaken for some kind of black blob that needs to be cleaned, but she resents it; and (4) Up until now she did not realize the importance of August 17.
    I still prefer dogs. My grand-dog used to start every morning by reminding me that the date was “Give your dog a treat Day.”

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Black cats are holes in the universe – sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes not so much.There are all kinds of cats – some are very aloof, and some are totally affectionate, but most fall somewhere in between – independent but affectionate – on their own terms.

      I grew up with cats, but my husband is a dog person, so we have dogs, who I have learned to love just as much as he does, so now I’m a non-sectarian pet person. Having another species as part of your family, especially a fellow mammal, adds immeasurably to your life.

  2. Today is a special day in Australia as well.

    • Terry Welshans says:

      I met a few of them while in country. An Aussie Caribou delivered our mail 3 times a week. Then there was my one week R&R in Sydney………..

      • Our friend Capt. Paul Marschalk, DFC, flew an A-26 Invader with the Nimrods. They were cowboys of the first order. They all wore Aussie “Go To Hell” hats with the turned up brims.

        The ANZACS are forces to be reckoned with.

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