ON THIS DAY: January 2, 2018

January 2nd is

National Cream Puff Day

National Science Fiction Day *

55 MPH Speed Limit Day *

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MORE! Isaac Asimov, Janet Akyüz Mattei and JFK, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Haiti – Jour des Aïeux
(ancestor/founder’s day)

Liechtenstein – Berchtoldstag
(nut feast/games)

Switzerland –Hallwil: Barzeli
(St. Berchtold, masked figures parade)

Thailand – Surat Thani: Full Moon Party

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On This Day in HISTORY

366 – The Alemanni, a confederation of Upper Rhine Germanic tribes, cross the frozen Rhine River in large numbers to invade Rome’s Gallic provinces, but will lose in 368 to forces led by Emperor Valentinian I at the Battle of Solicinium, after inflicting heavy casualties on the Romans


Emperor Valentinian I


533 – Mercurius becomes Pope John II, the first pope to adopt a new name upon elevation to the papacy

1492 – The leader of the Emirate of Granada, the last Arab stronghold in Spain, surrenders to Spanish forces loyal to King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I


The Alhambra at Granada– by James Cavanah Murphy


1788 – Georgia becomes the fourth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution

1818 – The British Institution of Civil Engineers is founded, both a professional association and a charitable body, which sets professional standards, offers training for qualifications, and liaises with industry, government and academia; it is the world’s first professional civilian engineering body

1837 – Mily Balakirev, Russian pianist-conductor-composer



1842 – In Fairmount PA, the first wire suspension bridge is opened to traffic

1859 – Erastus Beadle publishes The Dime Book of Practical Etiquette

1860 – The discovery of the planet Vulcan is announced at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris, France

1872 – Brigham Young, the 71-year-old leader of the Mormon Church, is arrested on a charge of bigamy. He has 25 wives at the time

1882 – The Standard Oil Trust agreement is completed and dated. The document transfers the stock and property of more than 40 companies into the control of nine trustees led by John D. Rockefeller, the first example of a holding company

1890 – Alice Sanger becomes the first female White House staffer

1898 – Sadie Tanner Mossell born, first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D in Economics in the U.S.; also first woman with a law degree from University of Pennsylvania Law School; first black woman to practice law in Pennsylvania; served on President Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights, and President Kennedy’s Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law



1900 – American statesman and diplomat John Hay announces the Open Door Policy, trade with China on an equal basis for all countries, accepting Chinese authority to collect tariffs, harbor dues and railroad charges

1900 – Una Ledingham born, British physician noted for her studies of diabetes during pregnancy; elected as a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1942

1901 – Bob Marshall, American forester and wilderness activist; co-founder of the Wilderness Society

1905 – Michael Tippett born, English composer and conductor



1910 – The Chicago Canal opens, connecting Chicago River to Des Plaines River

1913 – Juanita Jackson Mitchell, American lawyer and civil rights activist; first African-American woman to practice law in Maryland; president of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP, campaigning for Maryland to be the first southern state to integrate schools, restaurants, parks and public swimming pools, and running highly successful voter registration drives; founder of the NAACP Youth Movement; named by President Kennedy to the White House Conference on “Women and Civil Rights”

1914 – Kenny “Klook” Clarke born, American drummer-bandleader, Modern Jazz Quartet



1914 – Noor Inayat Khan born in Russia to Indian Muslim parents, British WWII heroine who served in the Special Operations Executive (SOE), the first woman wireless operator sent by the British into occupied France to aid the French Resistance – wireless operator was one of the most dangerous jobs –if stopped and searched, the transmitter would be absolutely damning. In 1943, an operator’s life expectancy was six weeks. Khan arrived in June, 1943, and lasted until she was betrayed by a double agent in mid-October and arrested; she stood up to the interrogation, but her notebooks were discovered, and the Germans were able to send false messages using her codes; London initially ignored a message sent by a local SOE-recruited agent to her fiancé in London that Khan had been captured, costing several other agent’s lives; Khan was caught in an escape attempt, but she never broke down during repeated interrogation, and was later transferred to Dachau, where she was executed; posthumously awarded the George Cross, Britain’s highest award for bravery not in the face of the enemy



1918 – Beatrice Hicks born, American engineer; first woman to be hired as an engineer by Western Electric; in 1950, co-founder and first president of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE); developed a gas density switch used in NASA space missions, including the Apollo moon landings

1920 – The second “Palmer Raid” is conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice under Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, using sweeping warrants based on nothing more than Communist Party or Communist Labor Party membership, a series of raids over 30 towns in 23 states, arresting 3,000 persons and seizures without search warrants, detention in overcrowded unsanitary conditions, and what were admitted by members of the department as “clear cases of brutality.”  2,000 warrants from the first and second wave of raids are cancelled as being illegal

1920 – Isaac Asimov born, influential American science fiction writer – his birthday has been chosen as National Science Fiction Day *



1921 – The DeYoung Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park opens

1923 – Rachel Waterhouse born, English historian, consumer affairs activist and author; chair of the Consumers’ Association, and a founding member of the Victorian Society

1928 – Kate Molale born, South African political activist; member of the African National Congress; helped mobilize resistance to the forced eviction of black Sophiatown residents, and to the 1953 Bantu Education Act, a segregation law legalizing racially segregated education, denying non-white students access to education which would enable them to become more than unskilled laborers; 25% to 50% of non-white schools had no electricity, running water or plumbing, and only a third of black teachers were qualified

1929 – The U.S. and Canada reach a joint action agreement to preserve Niagara Falls

1935 – Bruno Richard Hauptmann goes on trial for the kidnap-murder of the Lindbergh baby. Hauptmann would be found guilty and executed

1936 – Roger Miller born, American singer-songwriter-musician



1938 – Dana L. Ulery born, American computer scientist, a pioneer in scientific computing applications; first woman engineer to work at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where she designed and developed algorithms to model NASA’s Deep Space Network capabilities and automating real-time tracking systems for the Ranger and Mariner space missions; Chief Scientist of the Computational and Information Sciences Directorate at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory(ARL), one of the first women managers at ARL

1938 – Lynn A. Conway born, American computer scientist, electrical engineer, inventor and transgender activist; a pioneer in generalized dynamic instruction handling, now used by most computers to improve performance, and the Mead & Conway revolution in VLSI design recruited by IBM in 1964 for a team working on advanced supercomputer design, Conway was fired by IBM in 1968 when she revealed her intention to transition to a female gender role

1941 – The Andrews Sisters record “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”



1942 – The F.B.I. convicts 33 members of a German spy ring headed by Fritz Joubert Duquesne in the largest espionage case in U.S. history—the Duquesne Spy Ring

1943 – Janet Akyüz Mattei born in Turkey, American astronomer; director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO – 1973-2004), collecting amateur astronomers observations of variable stars and coordinating them in a program with professional astronomers; the resulting database made available to educators to encourage student science projects; winner of the 1987 Centennial Medal of the Société Astronomique de France 1987;1993 George Van Biesbroeck Prize, American Astronomical Society; in 1995, won the first Giovanni Battista Lacchini Award for collaboration with amateur astronomers, Unione Astrofili Italiani; and the 1995 Jackson-Gwilt Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society



1948 – Joyce Wadler born, American journalist and humorist; reporter and feature writer, first for the New York Post, and then the New York Times; her memoir about breast cancer, My Breast: One Woman’s Cancer Story, was made into an award-winning television movie

1949 – The Jack Benny Show debuts on CBS-TV



1949 – Iris Marion Young born, American political theorist and feminist social theorist; Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, affiliated with its Center for Gender Studies and Human Rights program; author of Justice and the Politics of Difference (1990), where she put forward her model of the Five Faces of Oppression: Exploitation, Marginalization, Powerlessness, Cultural Domination and Violence; in her essay,  “Throwing Like a Girl: A Phenomenology of Feminine Body Comportment Motility and Spatiality,” she discusses the socialization of girls to restrict their body movement and think of their bodies as fragile, and the resulting lessening of their confidence in accomplishing tasks as adults

1956 – Lynda Barry born, American cartoonist and graphic novelist; known for her comic strip, Ernie Pook’s Comeek, and her 1988 novel, The Good Times are Killing Me

1958 – Helen C. Goodman born, British Labour politician, MP for Bishop Auckland since 2005; director of the Commission on the Future for MultiEthnic Britain (1997-2005), and the Head of Strategy at the Children’s Society (1998-2002), lobbying for policies to cut childhood poverty

1959 – Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon and to orbit the Sun, is launched by the Soviet Union

1960 – U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy (D-MA) announces his candidacy for U.S. president



1967 – Ronald Reagan sworn in as Governor of California

1970 – Eric Whitacre born, American composer-conductor



1974 – President Richard Nixon signs a bill lowering the maximum U.S. speed limit to 55 MPH * in order to conserve gasoline during an OPEC embargo

1991 – Sharon Pratt Dixon is sworn in as mayor of Washington DC, the first black woman to head a city of that size



2004 – Stardust successfully flies past Comet Wild 2, collecting samples that are returned to Earth

2008 – The price of a barrel of oil hit $100 for the first time

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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.
This entry was posted in History, Holidays, On This Day, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ON THIS DAY: January 2, 2018

  1. Malisha says:

    I just love that quote by Asimov; it hits the nail right on the head with a clean strike!

    • wordcloud9 says:

      It does indeed – ironically, the respect for education and knowledge that is also present most often comes from immigrants, people coming from countries where public education paid for by universal taxes does not exist.

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