ON THIS DAY: January 7, 2018

January 7th is

Harlem Globetrotters Day *


Bobblehead Day *

Tempura Day

Computer Programmers’ Day *


MORE! Galileo, Butterfly McQueen and Gerald Durrell, click



Many Orthodox Christians, including the Copts, celebrate Christmas on this day; holiday in Abkhazia, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Sudan, Transdniestria, Ukraine, and the West Bank

Australia – Thredbo NSW:
Kosciuszko Craft Beer & Music Festival

Cambodia – Victory Over Genocidal Regime


On This Day in HISTORY

1355 – Thomas of Woodstock born, first Duke of Gloucester, leader of the Lords Appellant whose opposition successfully weakens the power of King Richard II; but Richard manages to dispose of the Lords Appellant in 1397, and Thomas is murdered while awaiting trial for treason, which adds even more to Richard’s unpopularity

Left, the murder of Thomas – Right, portrait of Thomas of Woodstock

1558 – The French take Calais, the last English possession in France

1610 –  Galileo Galilei makes his first observation of the four Galilean moons: Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa, although not able to distinguish the last two until the following day

1618 – Francis Bacon becomes Lord Chancellor of England

1634 – Adam Krieger born, German organist and composer

1782 – Bank of North America opens, first American commercial bank

1785 – Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American John Jeffries travel in a gas balloon from Dover, England, to Calais in France, the first air-crossing of the English Channel

1797 – The modern Italian flag is first used

1827 – Sandford Fleming born, Scottish-Canadian engineer, inventor of  ‘Cosmic Time’ a worldwide standard time system, and time zones

1831 – Heinrich von Stephan born, German Empire general post director who founded the Universal Postal Union, one of the most important but little-known organizations in the world, which oversees international postal regulations that keep mail traveling smoothly between nations

1835 – HMS Beagle drops anchor at the Chonos Archipelago off the Chilean coast

1860 – Emanuil Manolov born, Bulgarian composer

1876 – William Hurlstone born, English pianist and composer

1891 – Zora Neale Hurston born, African American anthropologist and author, Their Eyes Were Watching God

1894 – William Kennedy Dickson patents celluloid motion picture film

1896 – The Fannie Farmer Cookbook is published


1899 – Francis Poulenc born, French pianist and composer

1904 – The distress signal “CQD” is  announced by the Marconi International Marine Communication Company; Land telegraphs traditionally used “CQ”  for sécu from the French word sécurité – Marconi added the “D” for “distress.” Replaced two years later by “SOS”

1906 – Henry “Red” Allen born, American Jazz trumpet player-vocalist

1911 – Thelma “Butterfly” McQueen born, African American actress, best remembered for her first film role, Scarlett O’Hara’s maid Prissy, in Gone With the Wind; she was prevented from appearing at the world premiere of the movie because it was held at a whites-only movie house in Atlanta GA; honored by the Freedom From Religion Foundation with its Freethought Heroine Award in 1989 for her public statements on why she was an atheist

1912 – Charles Addams born, American cartoonist, The Addams Family

1919 – Montenegrin guerrilla fighters rebel against the planned annexation of Montenegro by Serbia, but the uprising fails

1920 – The New York State Assembly suspends five duly elected Socialist assemblymen pending a hearing before a tribunal, by a vote of 140 to 6, with one Democrat supporting the Socialists. Civil libertarians, concerned citizens and the press protest the suspension of the Socialists, arguing that a majority party expelling elected members of minority parties from their councils sets a dangerous precedent in a democracy. The Socialists are expelled April 1, but all five are re-elected in a special election intended to replace them. But legislation written to exclude the Socialist Party from recognition as a political party, and altering the legislature’s oath-taking procedures so elected members could be excluded before being sworn is vetoed by Governor Al Smith

1921 – Esmeralda Arboleda Cadavid born, Columbian politician, ambassador and women’s suffrage movement leader who, with suffragist Josephina Valencia Muñoz, campaigned for legislation which granted universal suffrage to Columbian women in 1954; first woman elected to Columbian Senate (1958-1961); Minister of Communications (1961-1962); Columbia Ambassador to Austria (1966-1968)

1922 – Dáil Éireann ratifies the Anglo-Irish Treaty by a 64–57 vote; it establishes an Irish Free State within a year as a self-governing dominion

1922 – Jean-Pierre Rampal born, French flute player

1924 – George Gershwin completes “Rhapsody in Blue”

1925 – Gerald Durrell born in India, English conservationist, founder of Durrell Wildlife Park; author of My Family and Other Animals, and other biographical works, scientific guides, children’s books, and short stories

1927 – The first transatlantic telephone service is established from New York, New York to London

1927 – The Harlem Globetrotters * founded as the Savoy Big Five by Abe Saperstein – won the World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1940

1929 – Buck Rogers makes his debut in the comic strip

1935 – Benito Mussolini and French Foreign minister Pierre Laval sign the Franco-Italian Agreement, but the French give only a small amount of land in eastern Africa and a desert area in the French Sahara, which increases Italian resentment about the division of German territory by France and England after WWI

1941 – Iona Brown born, British violinist and conductor with Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; as conductor, associated with Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and City of Birmingham Symphony

1949 – (Martha) Marshall Chapman born, American singer-songwriter

1953 – U.S. President Truman announces hydrogen bomb development

1954 – The first public demonstration of a machine translation system developed jointly by Georgetown University and IBM, is held in the IBM New York head office

1955 – Contralto Marian Anderson is the first person of color to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera

1957 – Katie Couric born, American television journalist and author; co-host of the Today show (1991-2006), CBS Evening News anchor (2006-2011); 60 Minutes (2006-2011), CBS Reports (2009-2011), ABC News (2011-2013); children’s author and essayist

1958 – Ant Farms go on sale; Milton Levine got the idea at a July 4th family picnic

1959 – Angela Evans Smith born, Baroness Smith of Basildon since 2010; British Labour Co-operative politician, Member of Parliament for Basildon (1997-2010); Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords since May 2015

1959 – Kathy Valentine born, American bass player-songwriter, The Go-Go’s

1968 – The unmanned lunar lander Surveyor 7 lifts off from Cape Canaveral on a mission to transmit photographs from the Moon’s surface

1977 – Sofi Oksanen born, Finish novelist and playwright; noted for her novel Purge, the first Finnish work to win the Prix Femina Étranger award (2010)

1979 – Vietnamese forces capture Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government

1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter authorizes legislation giving $1.5 billion in loans to bail out the Chrysler Corporation

1984 – Brunei becomes the sixth member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

1985 – Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launches Japan’s first interplanetary spacecraft, Sakigake, the first deep space probe launched by a country other than the U.S. or the Soviet Union

1990 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa’s accelerated rate of leaning causes safety concerns, and it is closed to the public

1997 – The Spice Girls debut single “Wannabe” is released in the U.S.

1999 – Senate impeachment trial of U.S. President Bill Clinton begins

2007 – The first Computer Programmers’ Day * – International Programmers’ Day is celebrated in September

2015 – The first Bobblehead Day * celebrated at the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame


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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9 Responses to ON THIS DAY: January 7, 2018

  1. Malisha says:

    One of my favorite (true) stories:
    The linguists working on the initial translation machines were testing the English-Russian and Russian-English machine by inputting English proverbs and sayings, and translating them into Russian, then putting that Russian translation back into the machine in the other direction to see what the results said in English. They put in a saying and retrieved (after it went from English to Russian and back again): INVISIBLE IDIOT.
    The original English saying? “Out of sight, out of mind.”

    • wordcloud9 says:

      LOL – Perfect!

      From my computer programming husband:
      “The vodka’s alright, but the steak is underdone”
      “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

  2. Malisha says:

    I LOVE the Harlem Globetrotters! I am mesmerized by them!

    • wordcloud9 says:

      I’m no fan of basketball, but I did get to see the Globetrotters in action once – what performers!

    • I’m not a particular basketball fan either, but I saw them when I was a kid with the Meadowlark Lemon/Curly Neal lineup. I remember feeling really sorry for the Washington Generals having to play those guys all the time.

    • Not a basketball fan either; however,I have seen the Globetrotters a couple of times. My son got everyone’s autograph on a program, including Meadowlark Lemon’s.

      I have no idea what became of that program.

  3. On this date in 1998, our county was hit by an epic flash flood. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch at 3:31 p.m. It began to rain, and rained hard on into the night. The flooding continued on into the next day, January 8.

    The flood of 1998 arrived with little warning. There had been a blizzard, which dumped a huge amount of snow and ice on the area, especially Roan Mountain, which sits on the Tennessee-North Carolina border. The 6,285′ mountain has a 150 square mile footprint, so when snow is several feet deep on the mountain, that is a LOT of stored water. As the cold wave moved on it was followed by unusually warm temperatures. Warming temperatures and warm rain melted the snow and ice from the blizzard far faster than normal snow melt. The melted snow, coupled with steady rain, caused every stream and creek in the area to flood. Waters reached as high as five or six feet in some areas.

    Water racing down mountain streams hurled boulders the size of automobiles down the mountain creek channels. Seven people died. One of them was a first responder, killed trying to effect a rescue.

    Here are photos from that awful week.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      That’s horrible – so sorry people died. I lived for a time in a flash flood area – they are terrifying.

      • A van with a family of four was found in the Doe River about a half mile from my house the next morning. They had tried to cross a low bridge as fast-moving water had begun to cross the bridge.

        If they had made a U-turn and gone the other way to higher ground, the parents and their two children would not have perished. Despite repeated warnings on the news, people do not seem to realize six inches of fast-moving water can sweep a car or truck off the road, to float downstream. Their van was found four or five miles downstream from where they were swept away.

        The first responder died when his rescue boat capsized. In the mountains, water can rise with incredible speed, but also subsides almost as quickly, due to steep terrain.

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