ON THIS DAY: October 16, 2017

October 16th is

National Dictionary Day *

National Ether Day *

National Feral Cat Day *

National Liqueur Day

World Food Day *

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MORE! Oscar Wilde, Margaret Sanger and Bibliotheca Alexandrina, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Argentina – Día del Respeto a la Diversidad

Columbia – Día de la Raza

Costa Rica – Feriado del Encuentro de las Culturas
(Encounter of cultures celebration)

Jamaica – National Heroes’ Day

Switzerland – St. Gallus Day

Uruguay – Día de la Raza/Sarandi Battle

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On This Day in HISTORY

690 – Wu Zetian ascends to the throne of the Tang dynasty, proclaiming herself ruler of the Chinese Empire; she is the sole officially recognized Empress Regnant of China in over two millennia



1384 – Jadwiga is crowned “King” of Poland, the first female monarch of the Kingdom of Poland, and rules from 1384 until her death in 1399; after her marriage, she is co-King with her husband, Jogaila, Grand Duke of Lithuania, a heathen who converted to Catholicism in order to marry her; she becomes a very successful mediator between his quarreling kinsmen, and uses her persuasive skills to convince the people of Ruthenia to switch their loyalty from Hungary to Poland

1678 – Anna Waser born, Swiss painter; her promising career was interrupted by caring for her ailing parents


Self-Portrait, by Anna Waser – 1691


1708 – Albrecht von Haller born, Swiss anatomist, physiologist and naturalist

1758 – Noah Webster, ‘Father of the American Dictionary’ is born – National Dictionary Day * – You can put in the modern spelling of a word, and see the listing in Noah Webster’s 1828 edition online here: http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/



1793 – Marie Antoinette is guillotined in Paris

1829 – Tremont Hotel opens in Boston, a modern hotel where rooms cost $2 a day, meals included

1834 – Much of the Houses of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London burns to the ground, leaving only a few of the medieval portions of the palace intact

1841 – Queen’s University is founded by royal charter issued by Queen Victoria in Kingston, Ontario, Canada


Queen’s University, Canada – from the air in 1919


1843 – Sir William Rowan Hamilton, Irish physicist, astronomer and mathematician, develops quaternions, a complex numbers system applied to mechanics in three-dimensional space

1846 – National Ether Day * commemorates this epic breakthrough in surgery: Boston dentist William T.G. Morton uses ether to anesthetize Gilbert Abbott before a tumor is removed by surgeon John Collins Warren, MD.  

1854 – Oscar Wilde born, Irish playwright and author; noted for plays like The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Windermere’s Fan; his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray and his poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol



1859 – John Brown leads a raid the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, in West Virginia

1875 – The building for Brigham Young Academy is purchased by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) president Brigham Young, which will become Brigham Young University

1882 – The ‘Nickel Plate Road’ railroad from Buffalo, New York, to Chicago and St. Louis, begins service

1886 – David Ben-Gurion born, first Prime Minister of Israel (1948-1953)

1888 – Eugene O’Neill born, one of the foremost American playwright, winner of the Nobel for Literature, and three Pulitzer Prizes for Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Strange Interlude and Anna Christie



1898 – William O. Douglas born, U.S. Supreme Court (1939-1975)



1890 – Michael Collins born, Irish revolutionary leader and statesman

1895 – Marguerite Rawalt born, lawyer, president of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women (1954-56), supporter of the ERA and entire feminist agenda, particularly including the word “sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964



1903 – Ford Lee “Buck” Washington born, American Jazz pianist; teamed with John “Bubbles” Sublett as ‘Buck and Bubbles’

1903 – Cecile de Brunhoff born, French author and classical pianist, creator of the original Babar story, as a bedtime story for her children

1905 – The Indian state of Bengal is partitioned by order of Lord Curzon, British Viceroy of India, into East Bengal, a largely Muslim area, and West Bengal, a mostly Hindu area, a “divide and rule” policy which outraged both groups, and led to Bengal’s reunification in 1911

1909 – At the first summit meeting between the leaders of the U.S. and Mexico,  Presidents Porfirio Díaz and William Howard Taft ( the first serving U.S. President to cross the border into Mexico) are nearly assassinated by a man holding a concealed pistol, who was apprehended only a few feet from the presidents as their procession was passing by the celebrated scout and adventurer, Frederick Russell Burham, and Texas Ranger Private C. T. Moore

1916 – Margaret Sanger opens the first U.S. birth control clinic in Brooklyn, N Y. Nine days later she is arrested. When she is convicted of illegally distributing contraceptives, the trial judge holds that women do not have “the right to copulate with a feeling of security that there will be no resulting conception.”



1919 – Kathleen Winsor born, American journalist and author; Forever Amber

1923 – The Walt Disney Company is founded by brothers Walt and Roy Disney

1925 – Angela Lansbury born, actress with an 70+-year career in theatre, film and television from Gaslight (1944) to Driving Miss Daisy (2014 Broadway production), involved with Abused Wives in Crisis, which combats domestic abuse, and with other organizations that rehabilitate drug users, or help those with HIV/AIDS

1934 – Chinese Communists begin the Long March, actually a series of marches, which lasted a year and four days

1939 – The Man Who Came to Dinner opens on Broadway

1941– Emma Harriet Nicholson born, British politician; originally a Conservative, switched to Liberal Democrat as a Member of the European Parliament for South East England (1999-2009); in 2016, switched back to Conservative Party; Executive Chairman of the AMAR Foundation, which works to rebuild and improve the lives of disadvantaged communities in war-torn areas

1944 – Wally Walrus debuts in the Woody Woodpecker cartoon The Beach Nut



1945 – United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) is founded. World Food Day * commemorates its founding, and highlights steps to end world hunger



1946 – Ten of the Nazi leaders convicted at the Nuremberg Trials of war crimes are hung in the gymnasium of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice complex, which also housed a large prison facility

1950 – C.S. Lewis publishes The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, starting The Chronicles of Narnia series



1962 – The Cuban missile crisis begins as President John F. Kennedy is informed that reconnaissance photographs reveal the presence of Russian-built missile bases in Cuba

1964 – China detonates its first nuclear weapon

1968 – Gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos are kicked off the U.S. Olympic track and field team at the Mexico City games for wearing Olympic Project for Human Rights badges and raising their fists in the Black Power salute on the medals podium. Peter Norman, the white Australian silver medalist, wore an OPHR badge in solidarity with Smith and Carlos



1970 – Anwar Sadat is elected president of Egypt, succeeding Gamal Abdel Nasser

1973 – Henry Kissenger and Lê Đức Thọ are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize,  prompting two dissenting Nobel Committee members to resign. Thọ refuses to accept the prize, on the grounds that peace has not actually been achieved in Vietnam

1975 – Rahima Banu, a two-year-old girl from the village of Kuralia in Bangladesh, is the last known person to be infected with naturally occurring smallpox.

1978 – Karol Wojtyla becomes Pope John Paul II, the first non-Italian Pope since 1523

1978 – Wanda Rutkiewicz is the first Pole and the first European woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest

1984 – Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize



1989 – Prince and Sheena Easton release their single, “Arms of Orion”



1995 – The Skye Bridge is opened, connecting the Isle of Skye to the island of Eilean Bàn, which is connected to the Scottish mainland by the Skye Crossing



1995 – The “Million Man March” on Washington, led by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan – actual attendance is estimated between 700,000 and 850,000

1998 – Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is arrested in London on a Spanish warrant requesting his extradition on murder charges

1998 – David Trimble and John Hume are named as co-recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize for brokering the Northern Ireland peace accord

2001 – National Feral Cat Day * is launched by Alley Cat Allies to promote the Trap-Neuter-Return program to stabilize the cat population


2002 – President George W. Bush signs a congressional resolution authorizing war against Iraq

2002 –  Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a library and cultural center in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was destroyed in antiquity, is officially inaugurated.  Alexandria University and UNESCO were key supporters of the project



2011 – The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.

2012 – Existence of exoplanet Alpha Centauri Bb confirmed by European observers

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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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