ON THIS DAY: October 12, 2017

October 12th is

ER Nurses Day *

World Arthritis Day *

World Vision Day *

Old Farmer’s Day *

Gumbo Day

Free Thought Day *

National Fossil Day *

UN Spanish Language Day *

National Savings Day * – new!


MORE!  Charles Macintosh, Ding Ling and Douglas Adams, click



Brazil – Nossa Senhora de Aparecida
(Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil’s Patron Saint)

Equatorial Guinea – Independence Day

India – Radha Kunda Snan
(Goddess Radha Rani festival)

Spain – Fiesta Nacional de España

Venezuela – Día de la Resistencia Indigena


On This Day in HISTORY

539 BC (Julian calendar) – Battle of Opis: The army of Cyrus the Great of Persia
takes Babylon, capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. They divert the Euphrates River upstream, then enter the city during a festival through openings in the city
walls covered by metal grates where water would otherwise be rushing in

1279 (traditional) –Nichiren, Buddhist monk who founded Nichiren Buddhism, is said to have inscribed the Dai-Gohonzon, a calligraphic mandala of essential teachings

1490 – Bernardo Pisano born, Italian Renaissance composer, priest, singer, and scholar; very early madrigalist; first composer to have a secular music collection printed devoted solely to his work

1492 – Columbus mistakenly believes he has reached the Indies when his expedition makes landfall in the Bahamas

1687 – Sylvius Leopold Weiss born, German composer and lutenist; over 850 pieces composed for the lute attributed to him have survived

1692 – Free Thought Day * is founded in Sacramento CA in 2002 to commemorate  Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor William Phips suspending the Salem Witch Trials, and condemning the use of “spectral evidence.” Most of the remaining accused are released from prison. When it was attempted to resume the trials, Governor Phips swiftly pardoned all who were convicted on such “spectral evidence”

Governor William Phips

1773 – America’s first facility constructed solely to house and care for the insane, the Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg VA, opens, long-championed by Francis Fauquier, the Royal Governor of the colony of Virginia

1793 – The cornerstone of Old East, the oldest state university building in the U.S., is laid on the University of North Carolina campus

1799 – Jeanne Geneviève Labrosse becomes the first woman to jump from a balloon with a parachute, from an altitude of 2,953 feet (900 meters)

1810 – The first Oktoberfest: Bavarian royalty invites citizens of Munich to the wedding celebration for Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and his bride, Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen

1823 – Charles Macintosh of Scotland, inventor of water-proofing fabric, sells the first raincoat

1840 – Helena Modjeska born, Polish actress who emigrated to the U.S., renowned for her portrayals of Shakespeare’s tragic heroines, also played Nora in the first American production of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

1847 – German inventor Werner von Siemens founds an electrical and communications company which will become Siemens AG

1860 – Elmer A. Sperry Sr. born, American engineer, gyrocompass co-inventor

1871 – The British Governor-General assents to the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871, first of a series of laws enacted in India under British rule in which any ethnic or social communities deemed “addicted to the systematic commission of non-bailable offences”  such as theft, were forced to be registered with the government as “habitually criminal.” Their movements were restricted, and adult male members of such groups required to report weekly to local police. By the time of Indian independence in 1947, 13 million people in 127 communities faced search and arrest if any member of the group was found outside their prescribed area

1872 – Ralph Vaughn Williams born, British composer, noted for his symphonies and incorporation of Tudor period musical themes and English folk music into his works

1975 – Aleister Crowley born, English occultist, magician and author; co-founder of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and founder of quasi-Egyptian religion Thelema; misogynist who believed women to be “moral inferiors”; Diary of a Drug Fiend is his first published novel

1890 – The Uddevalla Suffrage Association is formed to expand voting rights to Swedish men excluded primarily because they didn’t own property

1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance first recited in many U.S. public schools, as part of celebrating the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage

1896 – Eugenio Montale, Italian poet and translator, 1975 Nobel Prize in Literature

1901 – Theodore Roosevelt officially renames the ‘Executive Mansion’ the White House

1904 – Jiang Bigzhi born, pen name Ding Ling, notable 20th century Chinese author and activist, frequently at odds with the Chinese government, her works are banned in 1957 and she spends 5 years in jail during the Cultural Revolution, then is sentenced to 12 years of manual farm labor before “rehabilitation” in 1978; The Sun Shines Over Sanggan River, I Myself Am A Woman: Selected Writings Of Ding Ling

1908 – Paul Engle born, American author, poet and playwright; long-time director of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and the University of Iowa’ s International Writing Program co-founder/co- director with his wife, author Hualing Neil Engle

1915 – WWI British nurse Edith Clavell is executed by a German firing squad for aiding Allied soldiers to escape from Belgium

Edith Clavell’s execution on a French propaganda postcard

1916 – Alice Childress born, African American playwright, author and actress; Gold Through the Trees (her first professionally-produced play), Trouble in Mind, which won an Obie for Best Off-Broadway Play of 1955-56, the first Obie given to a black woman playwright; her YA book, A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich won several awards

1921 – Art Clokey born, American animator-producer-screenwriter, and voice actor, creator of Gumby

1928 – First use of an iron lung respirator at Children’s Hospital, Boston MA

1928 – Domna Samiou born, Greek singer and musicologist, collects and records demotika, traditional Greek songs; in 1981  the Domna Samiou Greek Folk Music Association is founded to preserve and promote Greek traditional music

1929 – “Nappy” Napoleon Brown born, American R&B singer-songwriter

1929 – Magnus Magnusson born, Icelandic journalist, writer and TV presenter who spent most of his working life in the UK; presenter for the BBC quiz programme Mastermind for 25 years

1932 – Dick Gregory born, African-American comedian, social critic, author and civil rights activist

1935 – Luciano Pavarotti born, Italian operatic tenor, regarded as one of the 20th century’s finest tenors; popularized opera in televised performances of ‘The Three Tenors’ with Placido Domingo and José Carreras

1941 – The Soviet government moves from Moscow to Volga as Nazi forces close in on Moscow

1953 – The U.S. and Greece sign a treaty to allow U.S. military installations in Greece at Hellenikon, Herakleion and Nea Makri

1960 – Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a desk at the U.N. General Assembly in protest of Philippine delegate Lorenzo Sumulong’s assertion that “the peoples of Eastern Europe and elsewhere which have been deprived of the free exercise of their civil and political rights and which have been swallowed up, so to speak, by the Soviet Union.”

1971 – The Lloyd Webber- Rice musical Jesus Christ Superstar opens on Broadway

1973 – The first Old Farmer’s Day * in Loranger, Louisiana – a re-enactment of the way farmers lived, worked and enjoyed life in the days before mechanization

1978 – The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) holds its first General Assembly in Oxford UK – 44 nations send representatives. IAPB is the sponsor of World Vision Day, * held annually on the 2nd Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment

1979 – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams, is published

1988 – Poison single “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” is released

1989 – Australian Emergency Nurses inaugurate Emergency Nurses Day * held annually on the 2nd Wednesday of October, U.S. sponsor: Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)

1994 – NASA space probe Magellan ends successful four-year mission to Venus, burning up in its atmosphere

1996 – The first World Arthritis Day,* sponsored by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR)

1999 – Original observance of U.N. Spanish Language Day, * part of the U.N.’s International Mother Language events, annual celebration of the official languages of the United Nations

2010 – National Fossil Day * started by a coalition headed by the U.S. National Parks Service to promote the scientific and educational value of fossils, celebrated annually on the 2nd Wednesday in October  (artwork at the head of this post is from the annual Fossil Art Contest sponsored by the NPS)  

2017 – National Savings Day * is launched to inspire people to learn which options are best for them to put money away for college, retirement or a “rainy day”


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 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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6 Responses to ON THIS DAY: October 12, 2017

  1. Malisha says:

    Wordcloud9, where did you find that strange and wonderful orange picture at the top of today’s post? I usually detest orange but that picture seems beautiful to me; I don’t know why!

    • wordcloud9 says:

      The National Parks Service holds an annual art contest for Fossil Day, and this was one of the winners, but they didn’t provide any information on the talented artist, so I was unable to credit them.

      There were other very good entries, but this one was the stand-out for me. Delighted you like it too, especially if orange is not a favored color for you – this is closer to a burnt orange, which may be why you like it better.

  2. 1965 – My birthday. Okay, that may be of limited world significance.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Happy Birthday Donald! –

      How lovely for you that you share it with the first ‘Macs’ – Scotsman Charles Macintosh’s oh-so-useful raincoats.

      And as a food-loving blogger, sharing with ‘Gumbo Day’ should be a plus too. If you have never had Gumbo, it is a wonderful spicy seafood stew which reflects the multi-cultural heritage of New Orleans. My Southern mother had a recipe from her Louisiana cousins which was delicious, but alas, the ingredients are far too costly here in California, so I have been unable to make it myself.

    • World is a relative term. Measured by the scope of the universe itself, you may be right. If if is the world of your home, it’s a Big Deal Indeed. Thanks for stopping in and sharing this day with our blogoverse world. Ceud mìle fàilte dhut.

      Happy birthday and congratulations on surviving. Let’s keep our fingers crossed we will survive another year.

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