January 31st is
Gorilla Suit Day *
Hot Chocolate Day
Inspire Your Heart with Art Day
Social Security Appreciation Day *
MORE! Zane Grey, Anna Pavlova and Kenzaburō Ōe, click
WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS
Cambodia – Meaka Bochea Day
India – Guru Ravidas Jayanti
Malayasia – Thaipusam
Mauritius – Thaipoosam Cavadee
Nauru – Independence Day
Sri Lanka –Navam Full Moon Poya
Thailand – Bangkok: Full Moon Party
On This Day in HISTORY
1504 – France cedes Naples to Spain after losing the Battle of Garigliano
Naples – 1472
1606 – Guy Fawkes is executed for treason because of his participation in the “Gunpowder Plot” against England’s Parliament and King James I
1675 – Cornelia Olfaarts found not guilty of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials
1747 – London Dock Hospital opens the first clinic to treat venereal diseases
1759 – François Devienne born, French flutist and composer
1797 – Franz Schubert born, Austrian pianist and composer
1801 – John Marshall takes office as the 4th U.S. Chief Justice
1849 – British Corn Laws are abolished, ending restrictions and steep tariffs on imported grain (“corn” included any grain that required grinding, including wheat); over time, forcing nearly 100,000 agricultural workers into industrial jobs for much lower wages in miserable, crowded urban conditions, while British dependence on imported grain rose to 45% by the 1880s
1858 – The Great Eastern, a five-funneled steamship designed by Isambard Brunel, is launched
1862 – Alvan Graham Clark discovers first known white dwarf star, Sirius B
1865 – The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery in America, is passed by the House of Representatives, and sent to the states for ratification
1872 – Zane Grey born, popular American Western genre novelist
1876 – President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act; all American Indians are ordered to move to reservations
1881 – Anna Pavlova born, Russian prima ballerina, and choreographer
1893 – The Coca-Cola trademark is recorded
1894 – Isham Jones born, American bandleader, saxophonist, and songwriter
1896 – Sofya Yanovskaya born, Russian mathematician and historian, restored mathematical logic research, and influenced studies of non-standard analysis
1900 – Betty Parsons born, American artist and art dealer; opened The Betty Parsons Gallery in 1946, one of the few galleries that exhibited work by Abstract Expressionists like Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Hedda Sterne and Judith Godwin; later exhibited with Agnes Martin, Jasper Johns, and Olive Steindecker
1902 – Tallulah Bankhead born, American actress, known for her flamboyant style, husky voice and razor wit; supporter of liberal causes, from helping Spanish Civil War and WWII refugees to the Civil Rights Movement, which put her at frequent odds with her prominent Alabama family, which boasted two U.S. Senators and a Speaker of the House
1902 – Alva Myrdal born, Swedish sociologist, politician, disarmament movement leader; co-recipient of the 1982 Nobel Peace Prize; Swedish delegate to 1962 UN disarmament conference in Geneva; UNESCO Social Science chair (1950-1955); helped create the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
1905 – John O’Hara born, American novelist
1915 – Thomas Merton born, American Trappist monk, author and mystic
1915 – Germany fires 18,000 xylyl bromide gas shells, the first large-scale use of poison gas in warfare, against Russia, at the Battle of Bolimów in Poland, but icy temperatures freeze the gas before it causes much damage
1917 – Germany announces its will engage in unrestricted submarine warfare
1919 – After other trades successfully negotiate a 47-hour workweek, 60,000 Scottish workers, angry over their 53-hour workweek in a time of rising unemployment, strike for a 40-hour workweek in Glasgow; they clash with Glasgow police trying to force them to disperse; while strike leaders are meeting with the Lord Provost of Glasgow inside the city chambers, the clashes become a full-scale riot; when the strike leaders come out to try to calm the workers, they are arrested by the police for inciting the riot; the fighting continues throughout the night and expands into other parts of Glasgow; David Lloyd George, hearing the riots described as a “Bolshevist uprising” authorizes the Secretary of State for War, Winston Churchill, to dispatch 10,000 soldiers armed with machine guns, a howitzer and armored tanks to the city; no local troops are used, fearing they would sympathize with the strikers. Although many are injured, including some women and children, no one is killed, and the overwhelming military presence does quell the fighting; the strike leaders are sent to prison, but the workers are guaranteed a 47 hour workweek. In 1922, Scotland elected 29 Labour MPs, including two of the strike leaders who had gone to prison
1919 – Jackie Robinson born, first African American player to break the “color line” in Major League Baseball
1929 – Leon Trotsky is exiled by the USSR, and given asylum in Mexico; as the head of the Fourth International, he continued from exile to oppose the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union. In August 1940, Trotsky is assassinated by a Soviet agent
1929 –Irma M. Wyman born, pioneer in computer engineering; first woman Vice President, and first woman CIO, of Honeywell Inc
1930 – Scotch tape, developed by Richard Drew of the 3M Company, goes on the market
1935 – Kenzaburō Ōe born, Japanese novelist, 1994 Nobel Prize in Literature, The Silent Cry, An Echo of Heaven
1936 – The Green Hornet debuts on the radio
1937 – Andrée P. Boucher born, Canadian politician, first woman to lead a municipal political party in the province of Quebec; mayor of Quebec City (2005-2007); mayor of Sainte-Foy (1985-2001)
1937 – Philip Glass born, American minimalist composer
1940 – Social Security Appreciation Day * – the first Social Security check is issued by the U.S. Government
1941 – Gerald McDermott born, children’s book author-illustrator, Arrow to the Sun
1945 – Private Eddie Slovik becomes the only American soldier executed for desertion since U.S. Civil War
1945 – Brenda M. Hale born, Baroness Hale of Richmond, British judge; since 2017, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom; the first woman appointed as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary when she joined the House of Lords in 2004
1946 – Yugoslavia’s new constitution, modeled after the Soviet Union’s, establishes six constituent republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia
1946 – The Democratic Republic of Vietnam introduces the đồng to replace the French Indochinese piastre at par
1950 – Janice Rebibo born in the U.S., Israeli poet, short story writer and translator who began writing in Hebrew while studying the language in college, and later immigrated to Israel
1950 – U.S. President Truman announces a program to develop the hydrogen bomb
1951 – “K.C.” Casey born, American singer-songwriter, K.C. and the Sunshine Band
1958 – Explorer 1, first successful American satellite detects the Van Allen radiation belt
1961 – Project Mercury’s Redstone 2 takes Ham the Chimp into outer space
1963 – Gwen Graham born, American Democratic politician; U.S. Representative from Florida’s 2nd District (2015-2017); lost to Republican Neal Dunn after redistricting reassigned most of her African American constituents to another district
1963 – Gorilla Suit Day * created by Don Martin for a Mad Magazine comic strip
1966 – The Soviet Union launches the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft
1968 – Nauru gains independence from Australia
1968 – Ulrica Messing born, Swedish Social Democratic politician; Minister for Communications and Regional Policy (2000-2006); member of the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament, 1991-2007), chair of the Riksdag Committee for Defence (2006-2007)
1971 – NASA’s Apollo 14 mission, with Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell aboard a Saturn V, lifts off for the Fra Mauro Highlands on the Moon
1980 – Due to record high sugar prices, Coca Cola substitutes high fructose corn syrup for half of the sugar in Coke, changing its taste
1990 – The first McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow, Russia opens
2001 – Germany announces plans to destroy 400k cattle due to Mad Cow Disease
2010 – Avatar becomes the first film to gross over $2 billion worldwide
2011 – Myanmar opens its first parliament in more than two decades
Myanmar Parliament building
In 1848 monks from Melleray Abbey in France founded Gethsemani in the rolling hills of Kentucky, south of Louisville near Bardstown. Set in the rolling hills of central Kentucky, Gethsemani Abbey was the monastic home of Thomas Merton. You can learn more about Thomas Merton at http://www.monks.org.
Trappists, more formally known as the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, are a Roman Catholic contemplative order with a history that stretches back hundreds of years and roots long before that.
The monasteries of Trappist monks and nuns are affiliated with the larger Cistercian family, which traces its origin back to the late 11th century. In 1098, Saints Robert, Alberic, and Stephen founded the monastery of Citeaux outside of Dijon, France with the purpose of refreshing the institutional forms of monastic life and returning to a stricter following of the Rule of Saint Benedict.
The monks at Gethsemani Abbey have a gift store that provides funds to operate the Abbey. The best selling items include Kentucky Bourbon as an ingrediant . Among those items, you will find fruitcake and fudge. They also sell items from other Abbys including honey and a variety of preserves. Their gift shop is here: https://www.gethsemanifarms.org.
Beer is among one of the most well-known Trappist-produced goods used to support the monastery producing the beer and fund its charitable endeavors. In 530, the rule of Saint Benedict was written and to this day remains the reason why monks brew and sell beer. In 2013, Saint Joseph’s Abbey in Massachusetts opens Spencer Trappist Brewery, marking the first American Trappist brewery.
It’s important to note that the beer and food products are not intended to turn a profit, but rather to generate income that can be used to fund the monastery and the local community. Gethsemani Abbey does not sell beer or any bottled alcoholic beverages.
Good Morning, and thank you for the additional information Terry
Good morning to you as well. We live about 20 miles from the Abbey. Their Bourbon Chocolate Fudge is delicious. The Fruit Cake is Bourbon infused and will last through the century if not eaten.
I was wondering why they didn’t make alcoholic beverages – Kentucky is certainly not a dry state – not with all those Mint Juleps at the Kentucky Derby.
The fudge does sound sublime.
Beer is a big item with the Monks, but their first brewery just opened in America, They have been in the beer business for about 1500 years, I live in Nelson County, 45 miles south of Louisville. We are the ‘Bourbon Capital of the World’ according to our chamber of commerce. There are a half-dozen distilleries within 40 miles of here. Jim Beam has two, Heaven Hill, Barton, Maker’s Mark, Willets and two new ones, Bardstown Bourbon and Lux Row are just completed and operating. Heaven Hill just built four warehouses that hold 54,000 barrels, each. On up the road, you have Wild Turkey, Buffalo Trace, Weller and several more. The Whisky tourists keep the town thriving as we are definitely a tourist destination, and the Abbey is a part of that.
The fudge comes in several flavors. Original chocolate, Bourbon chocolate, walnut, and peanut butter. All but the walnut are also available with pecans. All of them are delightful.
Terry keeps giving me reasons to come up there for a visit.
Getting there will be no problem. The problem is, who will pour me back home?
We will find a way…..
I saw Philip Glass’ tone poem, Koyaanisqatsi, on public television when it was first released in 1982. The whole thing runs about an hour and twenty minutes. The images are mesmerizing.
The title is the Hopi word that, roughly translated, means, “Life out of balance.”
I am not sure, but I think the short clip embedded in this diary is a mashup. This short clip below is from the ending of the original film.
I picked that clip because the music is helped by the images – easier for people unfamiliar with Glass – a lot of his music is hard to get. I also look for clips that aren’t too long, preferably under 5 minutes (not always available but I try), figuring most people don’t have a lot of extra time in the morning.
True, I understand.
The whole thing is worth viewing if you can find it. It is not a good piece for meditation, as one might expect. That was the genius of Glass in his minimalist composition. He manages to capture the spirit of life being out of balance.
I did see it when it first came out, but only some of the images have stuck with me after all these years.