ON THIS DAY: December 15, 2017

December 15th is

Bill of Rights Day *

Cat Herders Day

National Cupcake Day

International Tea Day *

National Gingerbread Latte Day


MORE! Jane Austen, Gustave Eiffel and Julie Taymor, click



Alderney – Homecoming Day

Bonaire – Kingdom Day

Netherlands – Koninkrijksdag
(Kingdom charter day)


On This Day in HISTORY

37 – Nero born, last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty

1567 – Christoph Demantius born, German composer and music theorist

1654 – A meteorological office in Tuscany begins taking daily temperature readings

1657 – Michel Richard Delalande born, French organist-composer in service to King Louis XIV, know for grands motets requiring large choral and orchestral groups

1734 – George Romney born, English portrait painter

Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante (1785) – by George Romney 

1791 – Bill of Rights Day * – The Virginia General Assembly ratifies the U.S. Bill of Rights, the last state needed to become law  

1812 – Joseph N. Levy born, English newspaper editor-publisher; founder of the London Daily Telegraph

1831 – Franklin B. Sanborn born, American journalist, and biographer who wrote biographies of many of the Transcendentalist movement’s key figures; founder of the American Social Science Association; also a radical abolitionist, one of the ‘Secret Six’ who supplied funds to John Brown for his raid on Harper’s Ferry

1832 – Gustave Eiffel born, French architect-civil engineer, designer of the Eiffel Tower

1840 – Napoleon Bonaparte’s remains are interred in Les Invalides in Paris, returned from St. Helena, where he died in exile

1854 – In Philadelphia, the first street cleaning machine goes into service

1860 – Niels Ryberg Finsen born, Faroese physician and scientist; 1903 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for his development of phototherapy, the first Scandinavian to win a Nobel Prize in this category

1888 – Maxwell Anderson born, American playwright; Key Largo, Anne of the Thousand Days, The Bad Seed 

1890 – Hunkpapa Lakota leader Sitting Bull is killed on the Standing Rock Reservation by reservation police ordered to arrest him; his son, other tribe members and several of the police are also killed, leading to the Wounded Knee Massacre

1896 – Betty Smith born, American author; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Joy in the Morning

1905 – The Pushkin House is proposed by a non-governmental organization in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to preserve the cultural heritage of Alexander Pushkin, but they also begin acquiring manuscripts and libraries of other Russian authors. When the Russian Revolution shuts down all non-governmental institutions, Pushkin House is put under the umbrella of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1918), with Maxim Gorky as one of its “honorary” directors. As it expands its collections, the official name is changed to the Institute of New Russian Literature (1920)

1906 – The London Underground’s Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway opens

1907 – Oscar Niemeyer born, Brazilian architect, designer of UN Headquarters in NY

1911 – Stan Kenton born, American jazz pianist-composer

1913 – Nicaragua becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires Convention, a mutual recognition of copyrights by nations in Central and South America, plus the U.S.

1913 – Muriel Rukeyser born, American poet, social justice and feminist activist

1916 – The WWI Battle of Verdun ends with the French defeating the Germans

1925 – The third Madison Square Gardens opens

1930 – Edna O’Brien born, Irish novelist, poet and short story writer

1933 – The Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution officially becomes effective, repealing the Eighteenth Amendment that prohibited the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol

1938 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt presides over ground-breaking ceremonies for the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC

1939 – Gone with the Wind (highest grossing film, adjusted for inflation) premieres at Loew’s Grand Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia

1939 – Cindy Birdsong born, American singer-songwriter; The Supremes

1941 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaims Bill of Rights Day *

1942 – Kathleen Blanco born, American Democrat politician, first woman elected as governor of Louisiana

1942 – Dave Clark born, English drummer-songwriter-producer

1944 – A single-engine plane carrying Big Band leader-composer/U.S. Army Major Glenn Miller disappears in thick fog over the English Channel while en route to Paris – declared a death in absentia

1945 – During the Post-WWII  U.S. Occupation of Japan, General Douglas MacArthur orders that Shinto be abolished as the state religion of Japan

1952 – Julie Taymor born, American theatre, opera and film director; the first woman to win a Tony for directing a Broadway musical, for the stage version of The Lion King, and also won an Original Costume Design Tony for the show’s costumes

1959 – The Everly Brothers record “Let It Be Me”

1961 – Adolf Eichmann is sentenced to death after being found guilty by an Israeli court of 15 criminal charges, including crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and membership in an outlawed organization

1965 – NASA’s Gemini 6A, crewed by Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford, is launched from Cape Kennedy FL.  After four orbits, it achieves the first space rendezvous, with Gemini 7

1970 – Soviet spacecraft Venera 7 lands on Venus, the first successful soft landing on another planet

1973 – American Psychiatric Association votes 13–0 to remove homosexuality from an official list of psychiatric disorders, the DSM-II

1978 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter announces that the U.S. will recognize the People’s Republic of China and sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan

1989 – Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is created, with the goal of abolition of the death penalty, though Article 2.1 permits parties to make a reservation allowing execution “in time of war pursuant to a conviction for a most serious crime of a military nature committed during wartime”

1989 – An uprising in Romania, sparked by a government attempt to evict Pastor László Tőkés, a leader among the Hungarian minority, from his church, will lead to the violent overthrow of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu

1993 – The Downing Street Declaration, jointly issued by British Prime Minister John Major and Irish Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, affirms both the right of the Irish people to self-determination, and that Northern Ireland would be transferred to the Republic of Ireland from the United Kingdom only if a majority of its population was in favor of the change, a major step toward the Good Friday Agreement in 1998

2001 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years and $27,000,000 spent to fortify it, without fixing its famous lean

2004 – American telecommunications giants Sprint Corp. and Nextel Communications Inc. announce they will merge in a $35 billion deal

2005 – Introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor into USAF active service

2005 – International Tea Day * is launched by the world’s tea-producing countries

2009 – Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner makes its maiden flight from Seattle WA; and the Washington, D.C. City Council voted to legalize same-sex marriage

2010 – U.N. Security Council unanimously votes to lift 19-year-old sanctions on weapons and civilian nuclear power of confidence against the government of Iraq


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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4 Responses to ON THIS DAY: December 15, 2017

  1. Malisha says:

    That quote by Muriel Rukeyser is the one I have most quoted, probably, about the “status of women” issue, in any context, in any conversation, especially when women are being blamed for not functioning perfectly when they are being publicly attacked. It made me remember an old TV show called “Queen for a Day” when women were brought on the show and a big sob story was told about them and then they were called up on stage and given flowers and presents and a crown and they cried with gratefulness and it was a most peculiar and cringe-worthy ceremony, filled with oohs and aaahs and applause and sniffles. I used to watch it (very occasionally) with a neighbor because her mother loved it and if I was over there playing we were required to sit and oooh and aaah with her mom. Secretly I wanted to scream, but never knew why.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      I remember “Queen for a Day” – I felt so bad for the contestants who didn’t win – as if having your hard luck and personal tragedies exposed on national television weren’t humiliating enough, you get slapped down because you hadn’t suffered as much as the “winner”

      People think “reality shows” are a new thing, but fake charity and faux life shows have just evolved to suit the change in venue – the art of the con, humiliate the guest, and making the poor jump through hoops for a reward have always been with us – all part of the mean and ugly side of humanity.

  2. pete says:

    “1854 – In Philadelphia, the first street cleaning machine goes into service”

    Considering the year I’m guessing it was a really more of a large pooper scooper.

    I’ve heard of Wounded Knee but I don’t recall ever reading much about it. Have to change that.

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