ON THIS DAY: December 16, 2017

December 16th is

American Pie Day *

Boston Tea Party Day *

Chocolate Covered Anything Day

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MORE!  Zoltán Kodály,  Margaret Mead and Noel Coward, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Bahrain – National Day

Bangladesh – Bijoy Dibosh
(Victory Day)

France – Les Deux Alpes:
Rise Festival

Kazakhstan – Independence Day

Netherlands – Amsterdam:
Jingleball

South Africa – Reconciliation Day

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On This Day in HISTORY

1431 – Henry VI of England is crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris; Charles VII contests his right to the French throne

1485 – Catherine of Aragon born, Queen consort of England as Henry VIII’s first wife


Catherine of Aragon, painted by Lucas Horenbout 


1630 – Mary Somerset, Duchess of Beaufort born, English gardener and botanist, whose collection of plant specimens and seeds numbered in the thousands; published a 12-volume herbarium

1653 – Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland

1689 – After the Convention Parliament is convened to form an interim government and transfer the crowns of England, Scotland and Ireland from James II to William III and Mary II as co-regents, the Bill of Rights 1689 is enacted, limiting the powers of the monarch, and giving rights and powers to Parliament, as well as individual rights


William II, Prince of Orange, and his wife Mary Stuart by Gerard van Honthorst 


1717 – Elizabeth Carter born, English poet, classicist and translator; a member of the Bluestocking Circle; first to translate into English the extant works of Epictetus, the Greek stoic philosopher

1770 – Ludwig Van Beethoven born, famous and influential German composer



1773 – Boston Tea Party Day * – In the Massachusetts colony, members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawk Indians board three British teas ships, and dump 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor. They are protesting the British Parliament’s Tea Act of 1773, which gives a virtual monopoly on the American tea trade to the East India Company

1775 – Jane Austen born, influential English novelist; Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma are her best-known works



1775 – François-Adrien Boieldieu born, French opéra comique composer; Le calife de Bagdad, La dame blanche



1787 – Mary Russell Mitford born, English author, poet and dramatist; noted for her five-volume Our Village, a collection of short stories and sketches

1809 – By act of the French Senate, Napoleon Bonaparte divorces Josephine

1811 – The first of the powerful New Madrid earthquakes strikes the central Mississippi Valley

1843 – Josephine Shaw Lowell born, American charity worker and social reformer; first woman appointed to the New York State Board of Charities (1876-1889); founder of the New York Consumers League (1890) which advocated for better wages and working conditions for women, publishing a “White List” of retail stores which treated their women clerks well (which initially had few stores on it), and inspired chapters in other cities across the nation, becoming the National Consumers League, a powerful lobbying group

1850 – The first immigrant ships, Charlotte Jane and Randolph, arrive at Lyttleton, New Zealand

1863 – George Santayana born in Spain as Jorge Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, American philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist



1867 – Amy W. Carmichael born, Irish Protestant missionary and author, founder of a mission and orphanage in the Tamil Nadu state in India, where she served for 55 years; her work with girls and young women saved many of them from forced prostitution; Things as They Are: Mission Work in Southern India, and Gold Cord



1869 – Bertha Lamme Feicht born, American mechanical engineer with a specialty in electricity; in 1893, she was the first U.S. woman to earn an engineering degree other than in civil engineering, and the first woman graduate in engineering from Ohio State University; first woman engineer hired by Westinghouse; her daughter Florence became a physicist for the U.S. Bureau of Mines

1882 – Zoltán Kodály born, Hungarian composer



1893 – World premiere of Anton Dvorak’s New World Symphony at New York’s Carnegie Hall



1895 –Marie Hall Ets born, American illustrator and children’s author; won the 1960 Caldecott Medal for her illustrations in Nine Days to Christmas, which she co-authored

1899 – Sir Noel Coward born, British playwright, noted wit, song lyricist and actor



1900 – Lucile Lortel born, American theatrical producer/co-producer/artistic director  of nearly 500 plays, five of which were nominated for Tony Awards; noted for producing  Marc Blitzstein’s adaptation of the Bertolt Brecht-Kurt Weill Threepenny Opera, which ran Off Broadway for seven years, and the New York Times said “put Off Broadway on the map”

1901 – The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter, is published



1901 – Margaret Mead born, American cultural anthropologist and author; Coming of Age in Samoa, Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies



1905 – Sime Silverman publishes the first issue of the entertainment trade magazine Variety in New York



1907 – President Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘Great White Fleet’ a U.S. Navy battle fleet, begins its circumnavigation of the world

1912 – The first postage stamp with an airplane is issued, a 20-cent parcel-post stamp



1916 – Grigori Rasputin, a self-proclaimed holy man who wields great influence over Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra, is murdered by a group of Russian nobles

1916 – Ruth Johnson Colvin born, founder of the non-profit Literacy Volunteers of America (now ProLiterarcy Worldwide) who worked with literacy specialists to develop training materials for volunteer tutors, now considered authoritative sources for basic literacy and ESL tutor training courses; awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006, the same year she turned 100

1917 – Arthur C. Clarke born, influential British SciFi author


1927 – Peter Dickinson born, English author of children’s books and detective fiction; won Carnegie Medals for Tulku and City of Gold

1928 – Philip K. Dick born, American SciFi author



1936 – Morris Dees born, Civil Rights attorney and activist; co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center



1941 – Leslie Stahl born, American television journalist; recounts that on the night of the 1972 Nixon-McGovern election, her on-air studio chair was labeled “Female” in masking tape, instead of with her name as her colleagues chairs were; noted for her coverage of Watergate, which earned her a promotion to CBS White House Correspondent; since 1991, she has reported for 60 Minutes; when Katie Couric was hired in 2006, CBS news asked Stahl to take a $500,000 cut in salary to accommodate Couric’s salary; author of the memoir, Reporting Live

1944 – WWII: The Battle of the Bulge begins as German troops launch a surprise counterattack against the Allied forces in Belgium

1946 – Thailand joins the United Nations

1947 – William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain build the first practical point-contact transistor

1949 – Dame Heather Hallett born, English judge; as a Bencher of the Inner Temple, she became the first woman to chair the Bar Counsel in 1998; appointed in 2005 as the fifth woman to sit in the Court of Appeal; since 2013, Vice-President of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal

1950 – U.S. President Truman proclaims a national state of emergency in order to fight “Communist imperialism” after Chinese troops arrive to support North Korea

1951 – Debut of Dragnet on NBC TV



1955 – Carol Browner born, American lawyer and environmentalist; Director of the Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy (2009-2011), a position abolished by the Trump administration; Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA – 1993-2001)

1962 – Lawrence of Arabia is released in the U.S.



1965 – Melanie Sloan born, served as Minority Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, working on criminal justice issues for Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), and as Counsel for the Crime Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, drafting portions of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act; District of Columbia Assistant U.S. Attorney (1998-2003); co-founder in 2003, and first Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) which publishes a “Most Corrupt Members of Congress” list; in November 2017, Sloan publicly accused John Conyers of harassment and verbal abuse when she worked for the House Judiciary Committee, and several other woman also came forward; Conyers has denied all the allegations, but recently announced his resignation

1967 – The Lemon Pipers release their single “Green Tambourine”



1968 – Second Vatican Council officially revokes the 1492 Edict of Expulsion of Jews from Spain

1971 – American Pie Day * – Don McLean’s eight-minute-plus version of “American Pie” is released



1990 – Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a leftist priest, is elected president in Haiti’s first democratic elections

1991 – Kazakhstan declares independence from the Soviet Union

1993 – The United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution calling for negotiations on a comprehensive test ban

1994 – The ‘Day of Reconciliation’ is inaugurated in South Africa

1995 – Many U.S. government functions are again closed as a temporary finance provision expires and the budget dispute between President Clinton and Republicans in Congress continues

1996 – Britain’s agriculture minister announces the slaughter of an additional 100,000 cows thought to be at risk of contracting BSE (‘mad cow disease’)

1998 – Eric Michelman files the earliest patent for a scroll wheel on a computer mouse

2000 – Researchers announce information from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft indicating that Ganymede appeared to have a liquid saltwater ocean beneath a surface of solid ice. Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter, is the solar system’s largest moon



2001 – Cuba receives the first commercial food shipment from the United States in nearly 40 years, was sent to help Cuba in the aftermath of Hurricane Michelle

2009 – Astronomers announce discovery of  GJ1214b, the first-known exoplanet on which water could exist



2012 – The gang rape and fatal torture of a woman on a Delhi bus sparks international outrage, and protests demanding tougher penalties for rape and sexual violence in India

2016 – Beijing issues a five-day red alert for air pollution; China’s ministry of environmental protection reports 21 other Chinese cities also declared red alerts, the highest level of warning, requiring the closing of preschool and primary schools, road work suspension and the halting or slowing of operations at heavily polluting industries


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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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