ON THIS DAY: February 7, 2018

February 7th is

World Ballet Day

Math e Day

Fettuccine Alfredo Day

Periodic Table Day

Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Girls & Women in Sports Day *

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MORE! John Deere, Millicent Fawcett and Carter Woodson, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Grenada – Independence Day

Italy – Ivrea:
Storico Carnevale di Ivrea (ongoing)

United Kingdom – Shrewsbury:
Severn Film Festival

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On This Day in HISTORY

457 – Leo I the Thracian becomes Emperor of the Byzantine Empire; the first Eastern Emperor to legislate in Greek instead of Latin

1102 –Matilda born, Holy Roman Empress by marriage; designated by her father, King Henry I of England, as his heir after her brother, William Adelin, dies in the White Ship disaster in 1120

1301 – Edward of Caernarvon (later Edward II of England) becomes the first English Prince of Wales, and Earl of Chester


Edward, Prince of Wales, with his father King Edward I


1497 – Supporters of the anti-luxury Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola light the Bonfire of the Vanities, burning thousands of objects condemned as “occasions of sin” in Florence, Italy. Such bonfires were often the climax of anti-vanity preaching, but this was on a much grander scale. Savonarola would be excommunicated the next year, condemned as a heretic, and burned at the stake



1639 – Academie Francaise begins a Dictionary of French Language

1668 – Dutch Prince William III dances in premiere of “Ballet of Peace”

1758 – Benedikt Schack born, Bohemian composer and tenor, first performer of Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute

1783 – Spanish and French forces finally lift their siege of the British garrison holding Gibraltar, the longest siege endured by the British military, after 3 years and 7 months

1795 – The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, concerning the principle of sovereign immunity as it applies to the individual states of the United States: The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State

1804 – John Deere born, American inventor-manufacturer, developed first steel plow (1838) for mass production, which helped increase farm yields per acre 10-fold within 20 years



1812 – The strongest of a series of earthquakes hits in the area of New Madrid, Missouri, estimated to have been somewhere between magnitudes 7.6 and 8.2, the largest earthquake recorded east of the Rocky Mountains, which causes temporary waterfalls in the Mississippi River as the ground warps and rises

1812 – Charles Dickens born, preeminent English novelist of the Victorian era; David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol



1827 – Ballet (Deserter) introduced to US at Bowery Theater in New York City

1831 – Belgium adopts its Constitution

1854 – A law is approved to found the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and the first lecture is given on October 16, 1855

1856 – The colonial Tasmanian Parliament passes the Electoral Act of 1856, the first piece of known legislation providing for elections by way of secret ballot

1867 – Laura Ingalls Wilder born, American author, Little House on the Prairie series



1889 – The Astronomical Society of the Pacific holds its first meeting in San Francisco CA

1894 – The Cripple Creek Miner’s Strike begins, which will last for 5 months of often violent conflict, ending in a standoff and partial victory for the miners, but followed in 1903 by the Colorado Labor Wars

1885 – Sinclair Lewis born, American author, first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature (1930); Main Street, Babbitt 



1887 –Eubie Blake born, American jazz composer and pianist



1898 – Émile Zola goes on trial for criminal libel for publishing J’accuse, in which he charges highest levels of the French Army with obstruction of justice and antisemitism, wrongfully condemning Alfred Dreyfus to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island

1907 – The ‘Mud March’ is the first large procession organized by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) – more than 3,000 women representing over 40 organizations trudged through  the streets of London from Hyde Park to Exeter. NUWSS leader Millicent Fawcett: “The London weather did its worst against us; mud, mud, mud, was its prominent feature, and it was known among us afterwards as the ‘mud march.'” In spite of the weather, thousands of spectators line the route, and the parade is covered by newspapers and magazines all over Europe and in the U.S.



1910 – Edmond Rostand’s verse play Chantecler, in which all characters are farmyard animals, premieres in Paris

1914 – Charlie Chaplin makes his first screen appearance as the “Little Tramp” in Kid Auto Races at Venice



1915 – First successful wireless message sent from a moving train to a station

1918 – Ruth Sager born, American geneticist, pioneer in cytoplasmic genetics, and originated cancer research on tumor suppressor genes

Black History Month highlight:
1926Dr. Carter G. Woodson founds Negro History Week; a historian and author, he wrote the influential book The Mis-Education of the Negro; and has been called “the father of Black History”



1928 – Bert Hinkler takes off on first solo England-to-Australia flight

1940 – British railways are nationalized

1940 – Pinocchio debuts, Disney’s second full-length animated film 



1943 – WWII shoe rationing begins in the US

1944 – Bing Crosby records “Swinging on a Star”



1947 – Arabs and Jews both reject British proposal to split Palestine

1950 – Karen Joy Fowler born, American author of scifi/fantasy/ literary fiction; The Jane Austen Book Club; 2010 World Fantasy Award for What I Didn’t See, and Other Stories

1951 – Sancheong-Hamyang massacre is conducted by South Korean Army troops, slaughtering 705 unarmed civilians, 85% of them women, children and the elderly; followed two days later by the Geichang massacre of 719 unarmed civilians, including 385 children – the victims suspected of being Communist sympathizers. When Assemblyman Shin Chung-mok from Geichang’s district reposted the atrocity to the National Assembly, he is arrested, tried and executed in a military court martial. The two officers who oversaw the massacres are eventually found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment, but their sentences were commuted by ‘strongman’ President Syngman Rhee, who enacted stringent laws against political dissent, enforcing them with arrests and murders of “Communist sympathizers”

1959 – Fidel Castro proclaims a new Cuban constitution

1962 – President Kennedy announces a U.S. ban on all Cuban imports and exports

1962 – Garth Brooks born, American singer-songwriter



1963 – Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper born, American Naval officer and NASA astronaut; recipient of two Navy Commendation Medals

1969 – Diane Crump becomes the first woman jockey at a major U.S. racetrack, Hialeah

1974 – Grenada gains independence from the United Kingdom

1974 – The Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles opens



1979 – Pluto moves inside Neptune’s orbit for the first time since their discoveries

1979 – Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman born, Yemeni journalist and human rights activist; founder-leader of “Women Journalists Without Chains”; co-recipient of 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, the first Arab woman, first person from Yemen, and second-youngest Nobel Laureate 

1983 – Elizabeth Dole sworn in as the first woman secretary of transportation

1984 – Space Shuttle program: STS-41-B Mission: Astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart make the first untethered space walk using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU)

1986 – Twenty-eight years of one-family rule end in Haiti, when President Jean-Claude Duvalier flees the Caribbean nation

1987 – National Girls & Women in Sports Day * is founded in remembrance of Olympic volleyball player, Flo Hyman, who died at age 31 from a dime-sized weak spot in her aorta, not discovered until the autopsy after her sudden death; also celebrates the success of Title IX  in expanding access to sports for girls and women, by the NGWSD coalition: Women’s Sports Foundation; National Women’s Law Center;  The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition; and girls inc.



1987 – Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes team brings America’s Cup back to the U.S.

1990 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: The Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party agrees to give up its monopoly on power

1991 – The Troubles: The Provisional IRA launched a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street in London, the official residence and office for the British Prime Minister

1992 – The Maastricht Treaty is signed, leading to the creation of the European Union

1999 – King Hussein of Jordan dies, and Crown Prince Abdullah ascends the throne

2012 – President Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected president of the Republic of Maldives resigns, possibly at gunpoint, after 23 days of anti-governmental protests which include large numbers of army and police officers, calling for the release of Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed who had been arrested by the military.  Nasheed is tried and convicted under the Anti-Terrorism Act of Maldives, which Amnesty International describes as “politically motivated.” The United Kingdom granted Nasheed political asylum

2013 – Mississippi officially certifies the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery, which it had finally formally ratified in 1995



2016 – North Korea launches Kwangmyŏngsŏng-4 into outer space

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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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2 Responses to ON THIS DAY: February 7, 2018

  1. The recognition of women in sports was overdue. Growing up, I recall the athletic skills of Babe Didrickson Zaharias. She was an incredible athlete, but never got the respect–or pay–she deserved.

    Great effort motivated by the life of Flo Hyman, who died way too young at the age of 31. She died suddenly of a burst aortic aneurysm, probably caused by her undiagnosed Marfan’s Syndrome. She was extremely tall, at 6’5″. She had a spike that had to be seen to be believed.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Title IX has had some remarkable effects, but equal pay is still a big issue. The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team is a glaring example. They had a far better record than the U.S. Men’s Team, and greatly increased their popularity, but their pay sure didn’t reflect it

      The World Cup:
      Players, for making the team: Women $30,000 – Men $68,750
      Team Earnings:
      U.S. Women, for Winning the tournament: $2 million (They’ve won 3 times)
      U.S. Men, for making the round of 16 in 2014: $9 million

      If it’s supposed to be based on performance and games won, shouldn’t these team numbers be reversed?

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