ON THIS DAY: January 31, 2018

January 31st is

Backward Day

Gorilla Suit Day *

Hot Chocolate Day

Inspire Your Heart with Art Day

Social Security Appreciation Day *

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MORE! Zane Grey, Anna Pavlova and Kenzaburō Ōe, click

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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

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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

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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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12 Responses to ON THIS DAY: January 31, 2018

  1. Terry Welshans says:

    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.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Good Morning, and thank you for the additional information Terry

      • Terry Welshans says:

        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.

        • wordcloud9 says:

          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.

          • Terry Welshans says:

            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.

          • Terry Welshans says:

            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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      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.

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