ON THIS DAY: December 2, 2017

December 2nd is

National Fritters Day

National Mutt Day II *

Safety Razor Day *

Special Education Day *

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery *

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MORE!  James Monroe, Maria Callas and David Macaulay, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Cuba – Armed Forces Day

Germany – Rostock:
Electric Sea Dance Festival

Laos –
People’s Republic Day

United Kingdom – London:
Fool’s Gold Day Off

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On This Day in HISTORY

1409 – The University of Leipzig opens

1578 – Agostino Agazzari born, Italian early Baroque composer and music theorist



1697 – St Paul’s Cathedral is consecrated in London

St Paul’s from Bankside, by Frederick E. J. Goff, circa 1920s


1763 – Dedication of the Touro Synagogue, in Newport, Rhode Island, the first synagogue in the American colonies

1775 – The USS Alfred becomes the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag (the precursor to the Stars and Stripes); the flag is hoisted by John Paul Jones

1777 (traditional) – Philadelphia housewife and nurse Lydia Darragh saves the lives of General George Washington and his Continental Army when she overhears the British planning a surprise attack on Washington’s army for the following day

1793 – Fleeing his debtors, 21-year-old Samuel Taylor Coleridge enlists in the Light Dragoons, an English cavalry unit



1804 –Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of the French at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Le Sacre de Napoléon, by Jacques-Louis David (detail)


1816 – The first U.S. savings bank, Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, opens

1823 – Monroe Doctrine: In the State of the Union, U.S. President James Monroe proclaims American neutrality in future European conflicts, and warns European powers not to interfere in the Americas

1845 – Manifest destiny: In the State of the Union, U.S. President James K. Polk proposes that the United States should aggressively expand into the West

1859 – Georges Seurat born, French Pointillist painter


Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte, by Georges Seurat 


1859 – Militant abolitionist leader John Brown is hanged for his October 16 raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

1863 – Charles Edward Ringling, American real estate developer, co-founder of the Ringling Brothers Circus

1867 – At Tremont Temple in Boston, British author Charles Dickens gives his first public reading in the United States



1884 – Ruth Draper born, noted solo performer and dramatist, whose range of original characters were much admired during her 40 years of entertaining audiences all over the world in multiple languages; The Italian Lesson, Three Women and Mr. Clifford, and Doctors and Diets are three of her best-known works

1885 – George R. Minot born, American medical researcher who shared the 1934 Nobel Prize for Medicine, for pioneering work on pernicious anemia

1886 – Josephine Roche born, first female police officer in Denver (1912); gained control of her late father’s Colorado coal mine operation (1927) and invited United Mine Workers to organize workers and negotiate contracts; appointed to supervise Public Health Service as part of FDR’s administration, made recommendations for Social Security and advocated for universal health coverage (1935)



1899 – Sir John Barbirolli born, English cellist and conductor



1900 – Herta Hammersbacher born, German landscape architect and lecturer/professor at TU Berlin (1946-1969); worked on 3,500 private and public projects in Berlin, including gardens at the Waldfriedhof Zehlendorf cemetery

1901 – Safety Razor Day * – King Gillette patents the KC Gillette Razor, first version of the safety razor featuring permanent handle and disposable double-edge razor blades

1906 – Peter C. Goldmark born in Hungary, American engineer who developed the first commercial color television

1908 – Puyi becomes Emperor of China at the age of two



1911 – Harriet Fleischl Pilpel born, lawyer, women’s rights activist, on both Kennedy and Johnson Commissions on Status of Women, chaired Planned Parenthood Law Panel International, first vice chairwoman of ACLU’s National Advisory Council.  In 1961, she argued on behalf of Planned Parenthood in Poe v. Ullman, asking the Supreme Court to reverse a Connecticut law criminalizing birth control. She wrote Planned Parenthood’s amicus curiae brief for that case as well as that for 1965’s Griswold v. Connecticut. Pilpel was convinced that the right to privacy upheld in Griswold could be extended to a woman’s right to abortion. She put abortion on the ACLU Biennial Conference agenda in 1964 (the board did not take up the issue until 1967.) Pilpel wrote Planned Parenthood’s amicus brief for Roe v. Wade, strategizing with Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee

1923 – Maria Callas born, renowned Greek-American bel canto soprano, “La Divina”



1924 – Else Marie Pade born, Danish composer noted for early electronic works; part of the Danish resistance in WWII, she was held in the Frøslev prison camp (1944-1945)

1927 – After 19 years of Ford Model T production, the Ford Motor Company unveils the Ford Model A as its new automobile

1930 – In the State of the Union, U.S. President Herbert Hoover proposes a $150 million (equivalent to $2,128,000,000 in 2015) public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy

1939 – New York City’s LaGuardia Airport opens



1939 – Yaël Dayan born, Israeli politician, peace activist, author and newspaper columnist; member of the Knesset (1992-2003) and chair of the Committee on the Status of Women, campaigning for Israel’s sexual harassment law; chair of Tel Aviv city council (2008-2013); noted for her memoir, Israel Journal: June 1967

1942 – During the Manhattan Project, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiates the first artificial self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction

1942 – Anna G. Jónasdóttir born, Icelandic political scientist, social theorist and gender studies academic at GEXcel International Collegium for Advanced Transdisciplinary Gender Studies; author of Why Women Are Oppressed

1943 – The musical Carmen Jones opens on Broadway

1945 – Penelope Spheeris born, American film director-producer and screenwriter, primarily of documentaries, including her trilogy, The Decline of Western Civilization; has also directed feature films, including Wayne’s World

1946 – David Macaulay born, English-American author and illustrator; 1991 Caldecott Medal for Black and White; also noted for Cathedral and The Way Things Work


illustration from Cathedral, by David Macaulay


1947 – Riots break out in Jerusalem over the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine

1948 – Elizabeth Berg born, American nurse-turned-novelist; Durable Goods, a 1993 ALA Best Book of the Year, Talk Before Sleep, The Last Time I Saw You

1948 – T. Coraghessan Boyle born, American novelist and short story writer; World’s End, The Road to Wellville

1948 – Patricia Hewitt born in Australia, British Labour politician; after nine years as General Secretary of the National Council for Civil Liberties, she was elected as the first woman MP for Leicester West (1997-2010); Minister for Women (2001-2005), Secretary of State for Health (2005-2007)

1949 – The U.N. General Assembly adopts December 2nd as International Day for the Abolition of Slavery * – the full name of the resolution is ‘the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949)’  There are currently an estimated 21 million forced labor victims worldwide

1952 – Carol Shea-Porter born, U.S. Representative (D-New Hampshire 2007-2011, 2013-2015, and the current incumbent)

1954 – The U.S. Senate votes 67 to 22 to censure Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) for “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute” for contempt of a Senate Elections subcommittee that investigated his conduct and financial affairs, for abuse of its members, and for his insults to the Senate itself during the censure proceedings – he is stripped of his chairmanship, and discredits his witch hunt for communists and communist “sympathizers,” but an executive order signed by President Eisenhower, which sanctioned tracking down gay and lesbian government employees and firing them for “sexual perversion,” part of McCarthy’s ever-growing list of “undesirables,”  was not officially lifted until President Bill Clinton signed new executive orders in 1995 and 1998; President Barak Obama explicitly repealed Eisenhower’s order in 2017, the final executive order of his administration

1956 – The Granma reaches Cuba’s Oriente Province. Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 80 other members of the ‘26th of July Movement’ go ashore to start the Cuban Revolution

1961 – In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares that he is a Marxist–Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt Communism

1962 – After a trip to Vietnam at the request of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield becomes the first American official to comment adversely on the Vietnam War’s progress

1963 – Ann Patchett born, American author; her novel Bel Canto won the 2002 PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction; also noted for The Patron Saint of Liars, and her non-fiction work, The Mercies, featured in The Pushcart Prize XXXVII: Best of the Small Presses 2013



1970 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency begins operations

1971 – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm al-Quwain form the United Arab Emirates

1972 – The Temptations “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” reaches #1 on Billboard Hot 100



1975 – The first U.S. federal special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, is signed into law – Special Education Day * is started in 2005 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of  I.D.E.A.

1976 – Fidel Castro replaces Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado as President of Cuba

1980 – A Salvadoran death squad rapes and murders four American Catholic missionaries, three nuns and lay missionary Jean Donovan, who wrote to a friend shortly before they were murdered: “The Peace Corps left today and my heart sank low. The danger is extreme and they were right to leave. … Now I must assess my own position, because I am not up for suicide. Several times I have decided to leave El Salvador. I almost could, except for the children, the poor, bruised victims of this insanity. Who would care for them? Whose heart could be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and loneliness? Not mine, dear friend, not mine.”

1981 – Britney Spears is born, American singer-songwriter, dancer, and actress



1982 – Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart

1988 – Benazir Bhutto is sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan, the first woman head of state of an Islamic state



1990 – Chancellor Kohl’s coalition wins first free all-German elections since 1932

1993 – NASA launches Space Shuttle Endeavour to repair the Hubble Space Telescope

1997 – The movie Good Will Hunting premieres in Los Angeles



1999 – The United Kingdom devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive following the Good Friday Agreement

2001 – Energy-trading company Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy – its collapse costs investors billions, and 5,600 jobs plus over $2 billion in pension plans are lost

2002 – Toyota delivers its first two “market-ready” hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to researchers at the University of California

2005 – Good Dogs are worth celebrating more than once a year, so this day is launched as National Mutt Day II * – the other National Mutt Day is July 31. If you have room in your heart and home, rescue a mutt from an Animal Shelter – love and gratitude wrapped in fur!



2010 – The U.S. House votes to censure Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) for financial and fundraising misconduct

2010 – NASA announces the discovery of a new arsenic-based life form, a microorganism in California’s Mono Lake

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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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