ON THIS DAY: December 12, 2017

December 12th is

Gingerbread Decorating Day *

National Ambrosia Day

National Ding-a-Ling Day *

National Poinsettia Day *


MORE! John Jay, Helen Frankenthaler and Tony Williams, click



Judaism – First night of Hanukkah begins at sunset

Kenya – Jamhuri Day
(National Day)

Mexico – Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day

Russia – Constitution Commemoration

Turkmenistan – Neutrality Day 
(Permanent neutrality declaration)


On This Day in HISTORY

884 – King Carloman II dies after a hunting accident. He is succeeded by his cousin, emperor Charles the Fat, who for the last time reunites the Frankish Empire

1745 – John Jay born, first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

1787 – Pennsylvania becomes the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution

1800 – Washington, DC, is established as the capital of the United States

1805 – William Lloyd Garrison born, American journalist abolitionist, suffragist and social reformer; co-founder of The Liberator, a weekly abolitionist (and later also women’s rights) newspaper, published from 1831 to 1865

1821 – Gustave Flaubert born, French author and playwright; Madame Bovary

1851 – Joel Roberts Poinsett dies, American physician, diplomat and avid amateur botanist, the first U.S. Minister to Mexico. He sents samples of a Mexican plant to the U. S. which by 1836 is widely known as the “poinsettia” – December 12 becomes National Poinsettia Day * in 2002, to honor both Poinsett, and Paul Ecke, whose development of the Poinsettia plant greatly advances its popularity as an American holiday tradition

1863 – Edvard Munch born, Norwegian painter and illustrator

1870 – Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina takes his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first black congressman

1875 – Gingerbread Decorating Day * – The Gingerbread Man becomes traditional holiday fare when a fairytale is published in Saint Nicholas magazine about him, in which he is eventually eaten by a hungry fox. Making gingerbread houses becomes popular after the Brothers Grimm publish Hansel and Gretel, because the witch’s house they find in the forest is made of sugar, cake and gingerbread

1881 – Arthur Garfield Hays born, American civil liberties lawyer; a co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and its general counsel 1920-1954

1884 – Zinaida Serebriakova born, Russian-French painter who left Russia after the October Revolution and became a French citizen in 1947

1887 – Kurt Atterberg born, Swedish composer and cellist

1897 – Belo Horizonte, the first planned city in Brazil, is founded

Belo Horizonte in 1950

1897 – Rudolf Dirks’ pioneering comic strip, The Katzenjammer Kids, debuts in the New York Journal

1899 – George Grant patents the wooden golf tee

1901 – Guglielmo Marconi receives the first transatlantic radio signal (the letter “S” in Morse Code), at Signal Hill in St John’s, Newfoundland

1911 – Delhi replaces Calcutta as the capital of India; and British King George V and Queen Mary are enthroned as Emperor and Empress of India

1914 – Patrick O’Brian born as Richard Patrick Russ, English novelist; noted for his Aubrey-Maturin series set during the Napoleonic Wars

1914 – The New York Stock Exchange re-opened for the first time since July 30; the market shut down when World War I broke out

1915 – President of the Republic of China, Yuan Shikai, after reinstating many elements of Confucianism so he can performs ritual as de facto head of the old state religion, convenes a hand-picked “Representative Assembly” which votes unanimously to reinstate the monarchy and offers him the throne on November 20, 1915. On December 12, he proclaims himself Emperor of China, which sets off the ‘National Protection War’

1915 – Frank Sinatra born, American singer, one of the most popular and best-selling music artists of the 20th century

1917 – In Nebraska, Father Edward J. Flanagan founds Boys Town as a farm village for wayward boys

1918 – Joe Williams born, American jazz singer and pianist

1925 – The Majlis (parliament) of Iran votes to crown Reza Khan as the new Shah of Iran, starting the Pahlavi dynasty

1925 – The Motel Inn, the first motel, opens in San Luis Obispo, CA

1928 – Helen Frankenthaler born, American abstract expressionist painter

Helen Frankenthaler-sitting-amidst-her-art-in-her-NYC-studio, photo by Gordon Parks for LIFE magazine circa 1956

1929 – John Osborne born, English playwright-screenwriter – Look Back in Anger

1935 – Lebensborn (‘fount of life’) Project is founded by Heinrich Himmler to raise the birth rate of  ‘Aryan’ children through extramarital relations with unmarried women classified as “racially pure and healthy” by the Nazi regime whose children would be put up for adoption by approved families

1940 – Dionne Warwick born, American singer, U.N. Goodwill Ambassador (2002)

1941 – Adolf Hitler declares the imminent extermination of the Jews at a meeting with the highest-ranking officials of the Nazi party in his private rooms in the Reich Chancellery – no official record was kept, but Joseph Goebbels and Hans Frank both wrote about it in their diaries

1945 – Portia Simpson-Miller born, Jamaican politician, leader of the People’s National Party 2006-2017; Prime Minister of Jamaica 2006-2007 and 2013-2016

1945 – Tony Williams born, American Jazz drummer, a pioneer in jazz fusion

1946 – A United Nations committee votes to accept a six-block tract of Manhattan real estate to be the site of the UN’s headquarters, offered as a gift by John D. Rockefeller Jr.

1947 – The United Mine Workers withdraw from the American Federation of Labor

1951 – Paula Ackerman, the first woman appointed to perform rabbinical functions in the U.S., leads services for the Temple Beth Israel congregation in Meridian, Mississippi

1955 – Bill Haley and the Comets record “See You Later Alligator”

1956 – Beginning of the Irish Republican Army’s “Border Campaign” of guerrilla warfare against targets in Northern Ireland, aimed at overthrowing British rule

1957 – Sheila E. born, American singer-songwriter-drummer; The Glamorous Life

1962 – Ulrike Tillmann born, German mathematician and algebraic topologist; has made important contributions to study of moduli space of algebraic curves

1963 – Kenya gains its independence from the United Kingdom

1964 – Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta becomes first President of the Republic of Kenya

1964 – The Righteous Brothers release “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”

1964 – Reeta Chakrabarti born, English journalist, political correspondent and presenter for the BBC; patron of the National Mentoring Consortium, which links ethnic minority undergraduates with employers

1970 – Steven Stills releases “Love the One You’re With”

1971 –National Ding-A-Ling Day * is started by the Ding-A-Ling clubs as a day to rekindle old friendships by calling people not seen or heard from in years

1975 – Sara Jane Moore pleads guilty to trying to assassinate U.S. President Ford

1979 – The unrecognized state of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia returns to British control and resumes using the name Southern Rhodesia

1982 – Protesting against proposed placing U.S. Cruise missiles at the base, 20,000 women encircle Greenham Common air base in Britain

1989 – Leona Helmsley, ‘the Queen of Mean’ is fined $7 million and sentenced to four years in prison for tax evasion

1991 – The Russian Federation gains independence from the USSR

1992 – Nirvana releases their album “Incesticide”

1995 – The U.S. Senate stopped a constitutional amendment giving Congress authority to outlaw flag burning and other forms of desecration against the American flag

1997 – The U.S. Justice Department orders Microsoft to sell its Internet browser separately from the Windows OS to prevent a monopoly of Web access programs

2000 – The Republican-appointed majority on the U.S. Supreme Court releases its decision in Bush v. Gore, halting the vote recount in Florida, and giving the election to George W. Bush

2001 – The U.S. House of Representatives passes legislation to implement minimum federal election standards and provide funding to help states modernize voting systems

2009 – Houston becomes the largest U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor, with voters handing a solid victory to City Controller Annise Parker


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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5 Responses to ON THIS DAY: December 12, 2017

  1. Malisha says:

    Wow, I had never heard of “Ding-a-ling” day but early this year I re-established contact (by e-mail without any ringtone!) with two friends from 52 years ago.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      When Ding-A-Ling Day was established in 1971, personal computers were just coming off the drawing boards – the first PCs to be introduced with big advertising campaigns (and pretty big price tags) didn’t go on the market until 1975.

      On the plus side, the PC and the Internet have certainly made finding and contacting long-lost friends so much easier.

  2. pete says:

    They banned this song from the radio when It came out

  3. Went to Google Maps and looked up the first motel. It is at 2223 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, CA. The street view showed it to be under restoration in 2012 with plastic and boards over the windows and doors. The 2015 street view shows it to still be under restoration, but there was still a construction fence and looked as if work was still going on. The land adjoining has been cleared. From the street view, it looked almost as if it is a home, or possibly an office. I could not find details online. It should be restored and made into a museum, certainly worthy of being on the National Register.

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