ON THIS DAY: February 16, 2018

February 16th is

Do a Grouch a Favor Day

Kyoto Protocol Day *

National Almond Day

National Innovation Day


MORE! Isaiah Mays, Bessie Smith and Otis Blackwell, click



Year of the Male Earth Dog in Chinese Five Element Astrology

Lunar/Chinese New Year/Spring Festival/Tet in: Bhutan,
Brunei, China, Christmas Island Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macao, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Suriname, Taiwan, Thailand, Viet Nam

Lithuania – Independence Day

North Korea – Day of the Shining Star
(Kim Jong-il birthday anniversary)

Uganda –
Archbishop Janani Luwum Memorial Day
(Leading critic of Idi Amin, murdered by the regime)


On This Day in HISTORY

116 – Emperor Trajan sends laureatae (laurel letters, the laurel being the symbol of victory) to the Senate in Rome as conqueror of Parthia, declaring the war over and bemoaning being too old to go further and repeat the conquests of Alexander the Great

1249 – Dominican missionary and diplomat André de Longjumeau is sent by Louis IX of France as his ambassador Güyük Khan of the Mongol Empire; Longjumeau speaks Arabic and “Chaldean” (probably either Syriac or Persian) and had previously been to the Mongols as the Pope’s emissary

1709 – Charles Avison born, English composer, author of Essay on Musical Expression, the first music criticism published in English

1740 – Giambattista Bodoni born, Italian printer, designer of typefaces

1741 – Benjamin Franklin publishes The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle 

1804 – Lt. Stephen Decatur leads a successful raid into Tripoli harbor to burn the U.S. Navy frigate Philadelphia, which had fallen into the hands of pirates

1831 – Nikolay Semyonovich Leskov born, Russian novelist and short-story writer

1838 – Henry Brooks Adams born, American historian, author of The History of the United States of America (1801 to 1817)

1843 – Henry M. Leland born, American inventor, engineer and automotive entrepreneur; founder of American luxury automotive marques, Cadillac and Lincoln

1852 – Studebaker Brothers wagon company, which will become the automobile manufacturer, is established

1852 – William Sanders Scarborough born enslaved, one of the first African American classical scholars and author of First Lessons in Greek and Birds of Aristophanes; freed after the Civil War, he earned a bachelor’s degree, with honors, in classics in 1875 and his Master of Arts degree from Oberlin College; classics professor at Wilberforce University (1877-1908); first black member of the Modern Language Association

1857 – The National Deaf Mute College is incorporated in Washington DC, the first school in the world for advanced education of the deaf; renamed Gallaudet College

1858 – William Vandenburg and James Harvey patent the first ironing board

1858 – Isaiah Mays born enslaved, while serving as a corporal in Company B of the 24th Infantry Regiment, he fought robbers trying to take the company’s payroll, then walked and crawled two miles to a ranch to get help, and was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1890; he left the army in 1893; his application in 1922 for a federal pension was denied, and he died penniless in 1925; in 2009, his remains were disinterred, cremated, and interred in an urn at Arlington National Cemetery

1868 – The NYC group, The Jolly Corks, changes its name to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE)

1874 – The Silver Dollar becomes legal US tender

1878 – Pamela Colman Smith born, British artist and illustrator, best known for Waite-Smith deck of tarot cards

1881 – The Canadian Pacific Railway is incorporated by Act of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa

1883 – The Ladies Home Journal begins publication

1893 – Katharine Cornell born, American stage actress, writer, theater owner and producer, “First Lady of the American Theatre,” one of the first winners of the Tony Award, given by the American Theatre Wing; among first  American Theatre Hall of Fame inductees (opened in 1972)

1900 – Mary Elizabeth Switzer, American public administrator and social reformer, advocate for increasing government’s role in assisting people with disabilities; worked on the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1954, a major expansion of federal funding and services for the physically and mentally disabled, also authorized grants to fund research and rehabilitation programs

1906 – Vera Menchik born, Russian-Czechoslovak-British chess player; the first, and longest reigning, Women’s World Chess Champion, from 1927 to 1944

1909 – Richard McDonald born, McDonald’s brother, the ‘golden arches’ designer

1914 – The first airplane flight between Los Angeles and San Francisco

1918 – Lithuania proclaims its independence from the Russian Empire

1920 – Anna Mae Hays born, chief of U.S. Army Nurse Corps, promoted on the same day as Elizabeth Hoisington, the first two women Brigadier Generals in the U.S. Military

1923 – Howard Carter unseals the burial chamber of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen

1923 – Bessie Smith makes her first recording, “Down Hearted Blues” which sells 800,000 copies for Columbia Records

1931 – Otis Blackwell born, hall of fame songwriter-singer and pianist; composed over 1,000 songs, including “Fever” “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Great Balls of Fire”

1932 – James E. Markham receives the first patent for a fruit tree, for a peach tree with fruit which ripens later than other varieties

1937 – Research chemist Wallace H. Carothers patents Nylon; one of its first uses was as a replacement for hog bristles in toothbrushes

1938 – The U.S. Federal Crop Insurance program is authorized

1946 – Prototype of the Sikorsky S-51 helicopter makes its first test flight

1951 – The New York City Council passes a bill prohibiting racial discrimination in city-assisted housing developments

1953 – Roberta Williams born, American video game designer and co-founder of Sierra Entertainment; King’s Quest and Phantasmagoria are two of her better-known adventure games

1958 – Natalie Angier born, American nonfiction writer, New York Times science journalist and outspoken atheist; won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting

1959 – Fidel Castro seizes power in Cuba after overthrow of President Batista

1960 – The U.S.S. Triton begins the first underwater circumnavigation of the globe, completed on May 10

1968 – The first U.S. 911 emergency telephone system is inaugurated in Haleyville AL

1971 – Aretha Franklin records “Spanish Harlem”

1975 – Cher, her weekly variety show after the Sonny break-up, premieres on CBS-TV

1985 – Hezbollah emerges as a Shi’ite Islamic organization in Lebanon

1988 – First documented combat action by US military “advisors” in El Salvador

1989 – Egypt, Iraq, Jordan & North Yemen form a common market

1999 – O.J. Simpson’s 1968 Heisman Trophy is sold for $230,000 to help settle a $33.5 million civil judgment for the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and Ron Goldman

2005  – The date when the Kyoto Protocol * entered into force, an international treaty extending the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, committing to greenhouse gas emissions reduction, signed by 140 nations. Implementation rules of the Protocol adopted in 2001, in the Marrakesh Accords, for 2008 through 2012

2006 – The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) is decommissioned by the U.S. Army, and is succeeded by the Combat Support Hospital (CSH)


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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