ON THIS DAY: October 17, 2017

October 17th is

Black Poetry Day *

Mulligan Day *

Wear Something Gaudy Day *

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty *


MORE!  Jupiter Hammon, Elinor Glyn and Guglielmo Marconi, click



Canada – Jasper National Park:
Jasper Dark Sky Festival (til 10-22)

Haiti – Mort de Dessalines Day

Kenya – General Election Holiday

Laos – Vientiane: Boun Xuang Heua
(Dragon Boat Races)

St. Lucia – La Marguerite
(flower festival/Feast of St Margaret Alacoque)


On This Day in HISTORY

503 – Lý Nam Đếborn, first emperor of Vietnam, founder of the Early Lý dynasty

1091 – The earliest reported tornado strikes the heart of London, England; it demolishes the wooden London Bridge; Church of St. Mary-le-Bow badly damaged, and over 600 homes; many people are injured, but only two people are killed

1493 – Bartolommeo Bandinelli born, Italian Renaissance sculptor and painter, jealous rival of Michelangelo

Self-Portrait, by Baccio Bandinelli 

1558 – Polish King Sigismund II Augustus had to maintain regular correspondence with Italy to collect his inheritance after his mother died, so he grants to Pospero Provana, an Italian, the right to found a postal service as the first Postmaster of the Royal Mail, which is expanded from deliveries between the King and Venice into the Poczta Polska, the Polish postal service

1577 – Christofano Allori born, Italian portrait painter of the late Florentine Mannerist school; exceptional technical skill; best known for Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Judith with the Head of Holofernes, by Christofano Allori

1587 – Nathan Field born, English dramatist and actor, son of Puritan preacher John Field; plays, A Woman is a Weathercock and co-author of The Honest Man’s Fortune

1604 – German astronomer Johannes Kepler observes a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus, to the northwest of Milky Way’s center

1711 – Jupiter Hammon born, poet and author, first black American writer to be published in the America; born in slavery in New York state and never emancipated (see also entry for 1985)

1720 – Maria Teresa Agnesi Pinottini born, Italian composer-harpsichordist-singer; often performed at gatherings for the lectures of her more famous sister, Maria Gaetana Agnesi

1739 – Thomas Coram is granted a Royal Charter from English King George II for a hospital in London to maintain and educate “exposed and deserted young children”

London Foundling Hospital, 1749

1814 – Yakub Holovatsky born, Galician historian, ethnographer, linguist, poet, bibliographer, and lexicographer; leader of Western Ukrainian Russophiles, a cultural and political movement that claimed Eastern Slavic people of Galicia were a branch of the Russian people, and so should not be part of the Austrian empire

1859 – Childe Hassam born, American Impressionist painter and illustrator

1864 – Elinor Glyn born, provocative English author, screenwriter, and producer-director; her novels It and Three Weeks were scandalous at the time; wrote screenplays for Hollywood silent films for Gloria Swanson and Clara Bow – Glyn gave Bow her ‘It Girl’ title; briefly had her own production company in Britain, Elinor Glyn Ltd, but it failed, and she went back to writing novels

1868 – Sophia Hayden Bennett born, American architect, first woman to receive an architecture degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, designed the Woman’s Building at the World Columbian Exposition in 1893, Chicago IL

Woman’s Building, World Columbian Exposition, designed by Sophie Hayden Bennett

1888 – First issue of National Geographic Magazine appears on newsstands

1892 – Hebert Howells born, English composer and organist

1903 – Nathanael West born, American author and screenwriter; remembered for Miss Lonelyhearts, and The Day of the Locust

1907 – Guglielmo Marconi’s company begins commercial transatlantic wireless service between Nova Scotia and Ireland

1912 – Jack Owens born, American singer-songwriter; star of the radio show, Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club

1914 – Jerry Siegel born, co-creator of comic book superhero Superman

 Superman comic book #1

1915 – Arthur Miller born, American playwright whose play Death of a Salesman won the Pulitzer Prize (1949)

1917 – Adele Stimmel Chase born, American painter, sculptor and ceramicist; noted for faience figures and ceramic tiles

1917 – Norman Leyden born, American composer and conductor

1921 – George Mackay Brown born, Scottish poet, writer and playwright; Beside the Ocean of Time

1922 – Luiz Bonfá born, Brazilian guitarist and composer;;some of his music used in the film Black Orpheus, directed by Marcel Camus

1930 – Jimmy Breslin born, American journalist and author

1931 – Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion, and sentenced to 11 years in prison

1933 – After fleeing Nazi Germany, Albert Einstein moves to Princeton NJ

1936 – Sathima Bea Benjamin born, South African singer-songwriter; received Order of Ikhamanga Silver Award from South African president Thabo Mbeki for “excellent contribution as a jazz artist” and “contribution to the struggle against apartheid”

1939 – Mr. Smith Goes to Washington premieres

1940s – The term ‘Mulligan’ is in widespread use on golf courses, meaning a “do over.”  its origins are disputed, but Mulligan Day * is a second chance to get something right

1943 – Vilma Socorro Martinez born, lawyer, first female U.S. Ambassador to Argentina (2009), civil rights crusader, one of first women on the board of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)

1946 – Drusilla Modjeska born in England, Australian author and anthology editor; novels Poppy and Stravinsky’s Lunch

1956 – Bobby Fischer defeats Donald Byrne in ‘The Game of the Century’

1956 – Mae Jemison born, American physician, academic, and astronaut

1957 – The Elvis Presley movie, Jail House Rock, premieres in Memphis TN

1965 – The New York World’s Fair closes after two years and 51 million visitors

1967 – The musical Hair opens at New York’s Public Theatre

1970s – On the TV sitcom Three’s Company, Larry (played by Richard Kline) declared a Wear Something Gaudy Day * – good practice for Halloween!

1973 – OPEC begins an oil-embargo against western nations which supported Israel, including U.S. and Great Britain, when Egypt and Syria attacked Israel 11 days earlier

1979 – The U.S. Department of Education Organization Act becomes law, creating the Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services

1985 – The first Black Poetry Day,* set on the anniversary of the birth of Jupiter Hammon (born October 17, 1711), a slave who spent his life on the estate of the Lloyd family of Long Island NY, whose poetry was the first by an African-American to be published in the U.S. – Phyllis Wheatley, the first African-American woman poet, was published earlier, but in England (see also entry for 1711)

1993 – The first United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty * to commemorate the October 17, 1987, vigil by 100,000 people in Paris honoring the victims of poverty, violence and hunger

2003 – The pinnacle fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, allows it to surpass the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur by 184 feet (56 metres),  becoming the world’s tallest highrise

2007 – President George W. Bush presents the Dalai Lama with the Congressional Gold Medal, and infuriates the Chinese by urging them to welcome him to Beijing



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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