ON THIS DAY: August 20, 2017

August 20th is

National Honey Bee Day *

Chocolate Pecan Pie Day

National Lemonade Day *

National Radio Day

International Homeless Animals Day *

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MORE! Bernardo O’Higgins, Connie Chung and Akira Kurosawa, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Canada – Regina SK:
Great Saskatchewan Mustard Festival

Denmark – Frederiksberg:
Kizomba Performance Festival

Estonia – Iseseisvuspäec
(Restored Independence Day)

Germany – Bad Aibling:
ECHELON Open Air Music Festival

Hungary – Saint Stephen’s/National Day *

Japan – Chiba: Summer Sonic Festival

Morocco & Western Sahara – Revolution Day

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On This Day in HISTORY

636 – The Battle of Yarmouk, fought near today’s Syrian-Jordanian border, is won decisively by the Rashidumn Caliphate over the Byzantine Empire, ending the empire’s control of Syria, and the beginning of the first great wave of early Muslin conquests of the Christian Levant

1000 – The Hungarian state is founded by Stephen I; celebrated as National Day *


1083 – First Hungarian King Stephen I and his son Emeric are canonized


1561 – Jacopo Peri born, Italian composer



1630 – Maria van Oosterwijck born, Dutch ‘Golden Age’ painter


Vanitas, a still-life, by Maria van Oosterwijck


1719 – Christian Mayer born in Moravia, German astronomer, Court Astronomer at Mannheim, a pioneer in the study of binary stars

1741 – Danish navigator Vitus Jonas Bering reaches Alaska

1775 – The Spanish establish Presidio San Augustin del Tucson, now in Arizona



1778 – Bernardo O’Higgins born, Chilean independence leader, general and Supreme Director of Chile (1817-1823)



1841 – Maria Louise Pool, American author, noted for sketches of New England life; published in periodicals like the New York Evening Post and the New York Tribune, then collected in book form

1866 – The National Labor Union campaigns for an 8-hour workday in the U.S.

1881 – Edgar Guest born in England, American poet and author



1882 – Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” debuts in Moscow



1885 – American premiere of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado in NYC



1890 – H. P. Lovecraft born, American horror fiction, short stories and novels



1901 – Salvatore Quasimodo born, Italian novelist and poet, 1959 Nobel Prize

1905 – Jack Teagarden born, American singer-songwriter and trombonist



1910 – The “Big Burn” destroys 3 million acres of Washington, Idaho and Montana

1910 – Eero Saarinen born in Finland, American architect and industrial designer


Eero Saarinen, Tulip Chair, and TWA Flight Center at JFK International


1913 – Roger Wolcott Sperry born, American neurobiologist, co-winner of 1981 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine

1920 – First commercial radio station, 8MK (now WWJ) goes on the air in Detroit MI

1927 – John Boardman born, English archaeologist and Ancient Greek art historian



1937 – Stelvio Cipriani born, Italian composer



1940 – Exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky attacked with an ice ax by a KGB agent, and dies the following day

1940 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivers wartime speech on Battle of Britain, praises the RAF airmen



1946 – Connie Chung born, American television journalist, second woman co-anchor of network evening news

1948 – Robert Plant born, English singer-songwriter, lead singer for Led Zeppelin



1951 – Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon wins the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival



1958 – Patricia Rozema born, Canadian film director-producer-writer (I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, Mansfield Park, When Night Is Falling, Into the Forest)

1960 – Senegal breaks from the Mali Federation, declaring its independence

1964 – LBJ signs $1 billion “war on poverty” Economic Opportunity Act

1965 – The Rolling Stones release single “Satisfaction” in the U.S.



1967 – NY Times reviews Dolby noise reduction process for record and tape recording

1968 – Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact invades Czechoslovakia, crushing Prague Spring

1977 – NASA launches Voyager 2 spacecraft, carrying a 12 inch copper phonograph record with greetings in dozens of languages, music and sounds of nature


The Sounds of Earth record cover


1980 – The UN Security Council condemns Israel’s declaration that all of Jerusalem is its capital – the U.S. abstains from voting

1988 – Peru adds its name to the Berne Convention copyright treaty

1992 – Helen Jones founds the International Society for Animal Rights, which sponsors International Homeless Animals Day *



1994 – Archbishop Antonio Quarracino of Buenos Aires, speaking on television declares that all lesbians and gay men should be “locked up in a ghetto” after earlier comparing homosexuality to bestiality

1998 – Canada’s Supreme Court rules Quebec can’t secede without federal consent

2007 – Michael Holthouse starts National Lemonade Day * in Houston, Texas, to celebrate the enterprise of America’s youth



2009 – First National Honey Bee Day * launched by coalition of beekeepers to spread awareness of importance of bees and beekeeping. Proclaimed by U.S. Department of Agriculture, now occurs annually on the 3rd Saturday in August



2015 – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigns over latest German economic bailout plan for the country.  Thanou-Christophilou, Court of Cassation president and Greece’s most senior judge, becomes the nation’s first female prime minister

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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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4 Responses to ON THIS DAY: August 20, 2017

  1. Malisha says:

    The movie Rashomon fascinated me. I watched it perhaps 10 times — as often as I could, in the days before you purchased or rented movies. There was no overt recognition in the film of the husband’s criminal behavior in first deciding to neglect his noble responsibility towards his unarmed, dependent wife so he could reap a windfall of stolen goods hidden by the bandit! Nobody could have been stupid enough to think that the bandit was the “proper owner” of the bounty; the husband’s greed overwhelmed his responsibility and he threw himself and his wife into perdition.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      It’s a masterwork,

      Kurosawa is one of the all-time great filmmakers. I also love his 1960s morality play “High and Low” and “Throne of Blood” – Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” reimagined in feudal Japan.

  2. Eero Saarinen was one of the great architectural designers of all time. He designed the St. Louis Gateway Arch, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.

    Here is a list of fifteen of his most famous designs, with photographs.

    • The Gateway Arch is unique. It gets both its stark beauty, as well as immense strength from the fact Saarinen used a catenary curve for its shape.

      Catenary curves are the shape taken on by a completely flexible chain or cord, when suspended by the ends. The word “catenary” is derived from the Latin word for chain, “catena.” It looks like a parabola, but is not. Even the great Galileo thought a hanging chain formed a parabolic curve.

      Saarinen chose a geometry for the Arch that made it exactly as wide as it is high.

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