ON THIS DAY: February 11, 2018

February 11th is

Shut-In Visitation Day

Make a Friend Day

Peppermint Patty Day

White Shirt Day *

Get Out Your Guitar Day


MORE! Lydia Child, Robert Weaver and Clifford Alexander, click



Buddhism – Māgha Pūjā/Makha Bucha/Meaka Bochea: 1,250 monks gathered to hear Buddha preach; celebrated in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Sri Lanka (and on a different date in Myanmar)

Australia – Melbourne VIC:
St. Kilda Festival

Cameroon – Youth Day

Iran –
Islamic Revolution Anniversary

Japan – Kenkokukinen no Hi
(Foundation day *)

Liberia – Armed Forces Day

Vatican City – Lateran Treaty Day *


On This Day in HISTORY

660 BC (traditional) – Founding of Japan by first Emperor Jimmu, who launches a military expedition from Hyuga near the Inland Sea, and captures Yamato (now modern-day Nara Prefecture)

AD 55 – Death of Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus (called Britannicus), son of Claudius and Messalina, and heir-designate until the disgrace of his mother. Claudius marries Agrippina, and adopts her son Nero, who is older and a direct descendant of Augustus. When Nero in turn marries Claudia Octavia, sister of Britannicus, he is named joint-heir until Britannicus comes of age, but Claudius dies, quite possibly murdered, just months before his son assumes the toga virilis, symbol of adult male citizenship. Nero speaks the eulogy at the funeral of Claudius, and assumes sole power. Claudius’ new will, which either granted joint-rule to Britannicus and Nero or just Britannicus, is suppressed by the new emperor’s men in the senate. According to Tacitus, Agrippina falls out with Nero, threatening to take Britannicus to the Praetorian camp and declare that Claudius was murdered, so the Praetorians would proclaim Britannicus emperor. After a first attempt at poisoning Britannicus isn’t fatal, he is slipped a bigger dose at a dinner party, and dies on the spot. Nero dismisses the murder by declaring that Britannicus suffered from epilepsy.  Britannicus is dead one day before his 14th birthday, less than a month before his adulthood ceremony. Claudius had been dead four months

1534 – Henry VIII of England is declared supreme head of the Church of England

1657 – Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle, French poet, author and playwright; Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes (1686). He wrote extensively on the nature of the universe

1708 –  Egidio Duni born, Italian composer of both Italian and French operas

1764 – Joseph Chénier born, poet, dramatist and politician of French and Greek origin

1790 – The Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, petitions U.S. Congress for the abolition of slavery, becoming the first organization in America to take a collective stand against slavery and the slave trade

1794 – First session of United States Senate opens to the public.

1800 – Henry Fox Talbot, English photographer and politician, invented the calotype photographic process

1802 – Lydia Maria Child, abolitionist, women’s rights and Native American rights activist, novelist, journalist, and opponent of American expansionism; remembered for her poem, “Over the River and Through the Wood” which became the lyrics for the song

1805 – Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, American explorer, military scout and gold prospector

1808 – Jesse Fell becomes the first to successfully burn anthracite on an open grate, opening the way for the widespread use of coal as an energy source

1812 – Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry is accused of colluding with his Republican-controlled state senate to re-draw voting district boundaries to favor their party; “gerrymander” is later coined as a verb in a Boston Gazette political cartoon printed March 26, 1812

1813 – Otto Ludwig, German author and pioneering modernist playwright

1821 – Auguste Mariette, French archaeologist; founder of the Egyptian Department of Antiquities

1826 – University College London is founded as University of London

1840 – Gaetano Donizetti’s opera La fille du régiment  (Daughter of the Regiment) debuts in Paris at the Opéra-Comique

1847 – Thomas Alva Edison born, American inventor, holder/co-holder of 1,093 patents

1855 – Ellen Day Hale born, American Impressionist painter, printmaker and author of  History of Art: A Study of the Lives of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, and Albrecht Dürer; mentored the next generation of New England women artists

1855 – Kassa Hailu is crowned Tewodros II, Emperor of Ethiopia, by Abuna Salama III in a ceremony at the church of Derasge Maryam, ending the Era of Princes

1856 – The Kingdom of Awadh is annexed by the British East India Company and Wajid Ali Shah, the king of Awadh, is imprisoned and later exiled to Calcutta

1858 – Bernadette Soubirous’s first vision of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France

1860 – Rachilde born as Marguerite Vallette-Eymery,  French symbolist novelist and playwright, the most prominent literary woman associated with the French Decadent Movement; Monsieur Vénus

1861 – In a desperate attempt to coax the Southern states to stay in the Union, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passes the proposed Corwin amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state: “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.” It is never ratified.

1869 – Else Lasker-Schüler born, Jewish German poet and playwright, one of the few women affiliated with the Expressionist movement; fled Nazi Germany. living the rest of her life in Jerusalem

1872 – Hannah Mitchell born, English suffragette, socialist and pacifist. After WWII, elected to Manchester City Council and worked as a magistrate

1873 – Amid growing unrest, Italian-born King Amadeo I of Spain abdicates, returning to Italy, and the First Spanish Republic is declared

1889 – Meiji Constitution of Japan is adopted; the first National Diet convenes in 1890.

1900 – Ellen J. Broe born, Danish nurse and administrator; after many years of education and experience abroad, she returned to Denmark and helped establish educational and training initiatives, including drafting minimum curriculum requirements for nursing students; member of the International Council of Nurses (CCN); received the 1961 Florence Nightingale Medal

1902 – Arne Jacobsen, Danish Functionalist architect and comfortable chair designer

1903 – Anton Bruckner’s 9th Symphony premiere performance in Vienna, Austria

1906 – Pope Pius X publishes the encyclical Vehementer Nos to denounce the French law of 1905 separating church and state as a unilateral break of Napoleon’s 1801 Concordat, re-establishing Catholicism as the state religion after the French Revolution

1908 – Vivian Ernest Fuchs, English geologist-explorer; led expeditionary team on first overland crossing of Antarctica (1958)

1914 – Josh White born, American blues singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist

1916 – Emma Goldman is arrested for lecturing on birth control

1920 – King Farouk of Egypt born

1925 – Virginia E. Johnson, American psychologist-sexologist, Masters and Johnson

1926 – Paul Bocuse born, French chef, a leading pioneer of nouvelle cuisine

1929 – The Lateran Treaty * is signed by the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See; Italy recognizes Vatican City’s independent sovereignty 

1934 – Mary Quant, English-Welsh fashion designer and ‘Mod’ icon of the 1960s


1937 – White Shirt Day * marks the end of a union sit-down strike when General Motors recognizes the United Auto Workers

1938 – BBC Television produces the world’s first ever science fiction television program, an adaptation of a section of the Karel Čapek play R.U.R., that coined the term “robot”

1939 –Lockheed P-38 Lightning flies from California to New York in 7 hours 2 minutes

1939 – Jane Yolen born, American author, sci-fi/fantasy; The Devil’s Arithmetic

1941 – Sérgio Mendes born, Brazilian pianist and composer, Brasil ‘66

1943 – General Dwight D. Eisenhower assumes command of the allied armies in Europe

1944 – Joy Williams born, American author and essayist; The Quick and the Dead, The Changeling

1945 – President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin sign the Yalta Agreement

1953 – U.S.President Eisenhower denies appeals for clemency for the Rosenbergs

1953 – The Soviet Union breaks off diplomatic relations with Israel

1959 – The Federation of Arab Emirates of the South, which will later become South Yemen, is created as a protectorate of the United Kingdom

1962 – Sheryl Crow, American singer-songwriter, guitarist

1961 – Robert Weaver sworn in as administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency, the highest federal post held by a black American up to that time

Robert Weaver shaking hands with President Johnson

1962 – Tammy Baldwin born, American politician; U.S. Senator (D-WI, since 2013); U.S. Representative (D-WI, 1999-2013); first woman elected to Congress from Wisconsin, and first openly gay U.S. Senator in history; member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; outspoken advocate of single-payer, government-run universal healthcare

1963 – Julia Child’s The French Chef premieres on TV

1964 – Greeks and Turks begin fighting in Limassol, Cyprus

1971 – Eighty-seven countries, including the U.S., the United Kingdom, and the U.S.S.R. sign the Seabed Arms Control Treaty outlawing nuclear weapons on the ocean floor in international waters

1973 – First release of American prisoners of war from Vietnam takes place

1975 – Margaret Thatcher is elected leader of the opposition Conservative Party, the first woman to head a major party in Britain

1976 – Clifford Alexander is confirmed as the first black Secretary of the U.S. Army

Clifford Alexander with Hazel Johnson, the
first black chief of U.S. Army Nurse Corps

1978 – China lifts its ban on works by Aristotle, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens

1979 – The Iranian Revolution establishes an Islamic theocracy under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, nine days after he returns from 15 years of exile

1981 – 100,000 US gallons (380 m3) of radioactive coolant leak into a TVA Sequoyah 1 nuclear plant containment building in Tennessee, contaminating 8 workers

1989 – Barbara Harris is ordained as the first woman Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts

1990 – Nelson Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa after 27 years as a political prisoner

1997 – Space Shuttle Discovery launches to service the Hubble Space Telescope 

2004 – The city of San Francisco, California begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in response to a directive from Mayor Gavin Newsom. The first license is for lesbian activists Del Martin, 83, and Phyllis Lyon, 79

2009 – John Dingell (D-MI) becomes the longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives after more than 53 years of service; known for his outspoken wit

2015 – In Turkey, a university student is murdered – stabbed, bludgeoned, and her body partially burned – after she uses pepper spray to resist an attempted rape by a bus driver, sparking nationwide protests and public outcry over violence against women


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 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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