ON THIS DAY: January 16, 2018

January 16th is

Appreciate a Dragon Day *

Civil Service Day *

Fig Newton Day

Hot and Spicy Food Day

National Religious Freedom Day *

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MORE! Siyai K’ak’, Dian Fossey and Little Richard, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Benin – Martyr’s Day

Democratic Republic of the Congo –
Laurent Kabila Memorial *

India – TN: Thiruvalluvar Day

Russia – Moscow:
Kuzminki Russian Winter Exhibition

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On This Day in HISTORY

27 BC – The Roman Republic ends as Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus is granted the title Augustus by the Roman Senate, considered first Emperor of the Roman Empire

378 – General Siyai K’ak’(‘Fire is Born’), Mayan warlord, conquers Tikal, enlarging the domain of Atlati Cauac of  Teotihuacán (dubbed ‘King Spearthrower Owl’ by archaeologists because of the Mayan glyphs used for his name)


Warrior or priest dancing – from Teotihuacán


550 – During the Gothic War between the Byzantine Empire under Justinian I and the Ostrogothic Kings, King Totila’s troops conquer the city of Rome after a long siege by bribing the Isaurian garrison

929 –  Emir Abd-ar-Rahman III becomes Caliph of Córdoba (912–961)


Abd-ar-Rahman III and his court in Medina Azahara, by Dionisio Baixeras Verdaguer


1412 – The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy

1492 – The first grammar of the Spanish language is presented to Queen Isabella I

1547 –  Ivan IV, better known as Ivan the Terrible, becomes Czar of Russia

1556 – Philip II (‘the Prudent’) becomes King of Spain

1572 – Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk is tried for treason for his part in the Ridolfi plot to restore Catholicism in England, by assassinating Queen Elisabeth I and putting Mary Queen of Scots on the throne

1605 – The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid



1634 – Dorothe Engelbretsdotter born, Norway’s first recognized woman poet whose pen name was “Bergens Debora” considered a proto-feminist for her defense of female creative power; her first book, a collection of verses, hymns and devotional pieces, Siælens Sang-Offer, was her most successful

1707 – The Scottish Parliament ratifies the Act of Union, paving the way for the creation of Great Britain

1728 – Niccolò Piccinni born, Italian composer



1786 – The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was signed January 16, 1786, and is commemorated each year on National Religious Freedom Day *. Thomas Jefferson’s landmark statute became the basis for Congressman Fisher Ames’ establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”



1862 – John C. Frémont is appointed Governor of the new California Territory

1866 – Everet Barney patents the metal screw clamp skate

1868 – William Davis patents a refrigerated railway car, designed for shipping fish

1872 – Henri Büsser born, French composer



1874 – Robert W. Service born, English-Canadian poet

1883 – Civil Service Day * – The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act becomes law, creating the U.S. Civil Service Commission to oversee and enforce regulation of competitive exams for non-appointed federal positions, and protection of workers from being fired or demoted for political reasons

1898 – Margaret Booth born, American film editor and executive producer, whose career stretched from editing silent films for D.W. Griffith beginning in 1915, to editing Greta Garbo pictures, including Camille, at MGM, to executive producer on The Slugger’s Wife in 1985 at age 87; received an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Editing in 1978, and lived to be 104 years old



1905 – Ernesto Halffter born,  Spanish composer



1909 – Ernest Shackleton’s expedition finds the magnetic South Pole

1919 – The U.S. ratifies the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorizing Prohibition in the United States one year after ratification

1920 – The League of Nations holds its first council meeting in Paris

1932 – Dian Fossey born, American zoologist and primatologist, notable for extensive study of mountain gorilla groups in Rwanda; author of Gorillas in the Mist



1933 – Susan Sontag born, American author and essayist; Against Interpretation



1938 – Benny Goodman and his orchestra perform at NY’s Carnegie Hall



1944 – General Eisenhower takes command of the Allied invasion force in London

1945 –  Adolf Hitler moves into his underground bunker in Berlin, the so-called Führerbunker

1948 – Ruth Reichl born, American chef, food writer, television series host, and former editor of Gourmet magazine

1952 – Julie Anne Peters born, American author of young adult fiction, often featuring LGBT characters; Luna (2004) was the first mainstream release YA novel with a transgender character

1957 – Little Richard records “Lucille”



1959 – Lisa Milroy born, Canadian artist; won the 1989 John Moores Painting Prize



1964 – Hello, Dolly! opens on Broadway, beginning a run of 2,844 performances

1969 – Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 perform the first-ever docking of manned spacecraft in orbit, which is also a first in-space transfer of crew between space vehicles

1970 – Buckminster Fuller receives the Gold Medal award from the American Institute of Architects in recognition of a significant body of work of lasting influence



1979 – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Iranian Shah flees the country with his family,  relocating to Egypt

1991 – Coalition Forces go to war with Iraq, beginning the Gulf War

1992 – El Salvador officials and rebel leaders sign the Chapultepec Peace Accords in  Mexico City, ending the 12-year Salvadoran Civil War that claimed at least 75,000 lives

1998 – Researchers announce an altered gene has helped defend against HIV

2001 – Laurent Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since he overthrew Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997, is assassinated by one of his bodyguards

2002 – UN Security Council unanimously institutes an arms embargo and freezes  assets of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and the remaining members of the Taliban

2004 – Appreciate a Dragon Day * is launched by retired schoolteacher Mrs. Paul, to celebrate dragons and dragon lore, so read your favorite dragon book or create some dragon art



2006 – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is sworn in as Liberia’s first woman president, and Africa’s first female elected head of state


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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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