ON THIS DAY: February 18, 2018

February 18th is

Battery Day *

National Drink Wine Day

Pluto Day *

World Whale Day

Crab Stuffed Flounder Day

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MORE! Max Klinger, Toni Morrison and Ray Charles, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Gambia – Independence Day

Mexico – Tlaltizapán:
Carnaval de Bahidorá (music fest)

Netherlands – Utrecht: Dancefair

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On This Day in HISTORY

1229 – Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, had married Yolande of Jerusalem, daughter of John of Brienne, nominal ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1225, giving him a claim to the truncated kingdom; the ‘Sixth Crusade’ is a diplomatic mission, and on this date he signs a 10-year truce with al-Kamil, regaining Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem with neither military engagements nor support from the papacy



1332 – Amda Syon I, Emperor of Ethiopia, begins his campaign against Sultan ad-Din I, of the neighboring Islamic Sultanate of Ifat, and King Haydara of Dawaro, who were allies in a war against the Christian Abyssinians

1478 – George, Duke of Clarence, convicted of treason against his older brother Edward IV of England, is executed in private at the Tower of London

1516 – Mary Tudor born, would be Queen Mary I of England, aka“Bloody” Mary



1632 – Giovanni Battista Vitali born, Italian violinist and composer



1685 – Robert Cavelier, sieur de LaSalle, establishes Fort St. Louis at Matagorda Bay, which forms the basis for France’s claim to Texas

1688 – In Pennsylvania, a protest against slavery is organized by Germantown Quakers at their monthly meeting

1745 – Battery Day * – Alessandro Volta born, Italian physicist and inventor 



1791 – Congress passes a law admitting the state of Vermont to the Union, effective March 4, 1791; Vermont was a de facto independent but unrecognized state for 14 years

1830 – Pluto Day * Clyde W. Tombaugh discovers photographic evidence of Pluto at Lowell Observatory, in Flagstaff AZ

1848 – Louis Comfort Tiffany born, Tiffany & Co, American craftsman- designer; made significant advancements in the art of glassmaking


Tiffany stained glass – ‘Wisteria’


1851 – Ida Husted Harper born, American author, educator, journalist and suffragist

1857 – Max Klinger born, German symbolist painter, sculptor, and writer; Paraphrase on the Finding of a Glove



1861 – Jefferson Davis was sworn in as president of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery,  Alabama

1865 – The Confederates abandon Charleston, South Carolina; among the first Union troops to enter the city are the 21st U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment, and two companies of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers, one of the first black units in the Union Army

1871 – Harry Brearley is born, English metallurgist who invented stainless steel (1912)

1883 – Nikos Kazantzakis born, major Greek author and playwright; best known outside Greece for his novels Zorba the Greek, and The Last Temptation of Christ



1885 – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is published



1892 – Wendell Willkie born, American Republican presidential candidate

1898 – Enzo Ferrari born, Italian automobile manufacturer- designer- race-car driver

1901 – Hubert Cecil Booth patents the vacuum cleaner, but it is so large, he has to mount the machine on a horse-drawn carriage, with a long hose to reach inside a house

1909 – Wallace Stegner born, American author, historian, environmentalist; “Dean of Western Writers” won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Angle of Repose;  1977  National Book Award for Fiction, The Spectator Bird



1918 – Jane Loevinger born, American psychologist, pioneer in ego development theory and women’s psychological issues

1921 – Mary Amdur born, American toxicologist and public health researcher who worked primarily on the effects of smog, beginning with the air inversion in the mill town of Donora PA, which killed 20 people and sickened 7,000 others; her findings led to her being threatened, the loss of her funding, and losing her job at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1953; she carried on her research in a different role at Harvard, and later at MIT and New York University; she was vindicated when her studies became the basis for the first standards in air pollution monitoring, leading to the Clean Air Act in 1970

Pittsburgh air pollution in the 1940s – Dr. Mary Amdur


1922 – Helen Gurley Brown born, American author, publisher and businesswoman, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine

1929 – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces the winners of the first Academy Awards; Oscars to Best Actress: Janet Gaynor, Best Actor: Emil Jannings, and Best Film: Wings

1931 – Toni Morrison born, American author, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize in Literature, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom



1934 – Audre Lorde born, American poet-author and activist



1941 – Irma Thomas born, American singer-songwriter, “The Soul Queen of New Orleans”



1952 – Greece and Turkey become members of NATO

1959 – Ray Charles records “What’d I Say”



1964 – “Any Wednesday” opens at NYC’s Music Box Theatre

1970 – Five of the Chicago Seven defendants found guilty of intent to incite a riot at 1968’s Democratic national convention; their convictions are later overturned

1972 – The California Supreme Court strikes down the state’s death penalty in People v. Anderson; overruled by Proposition 17 in the same year

1977 – The space shuttle Enterprise makes its maiden “flight” atop a Boeing 747

1987 – Girl Scout executives change the scout uniform color from the traditional Girl Scout green to the newer Girl Scout blue

Note the white gloves and heels on the older girl scouts – were they being to trained to be stewardesses? At least the new uniform has a pants option, and no afternoon tea party gloves.


1988 – Anthony M. Kennedy is sworn in as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

1998 – In Russia, money shortages result in the shutting down of three plants that produced nuclear weapons

2000 – The U.S. Commerce Department reports a deficit in trade goods and services of $271.3 billion for 1999, the largest calendar-year trade gap in U.S. history.

2001 – FBI agent Robert Philip Hanssen is arrested, accused of spying for Russia for over 15 years; later pleads guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole

2006 – A Hamas-dominated Palestinian parliament is sworn in

2010 – Bibliothèque nationale de France buys Giacomo Casanova’s memoirs for 7,000,000 Euros (about $10,085,000 in U.S. dollars) 


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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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14 Responses to ON THIS DAY: February 18, 2018

  1. Battery Day? Who would have thought there was such an important day. Speaking of which, Burns Lass called to say the battery in the truck was dead, and she is on top of Mt. Mitchell, NC, the highest peak east of the Rockies. Not the place to have a dead battery. She said they had been having arctic weather, with winds over 60 mph. She was going to have one of the Park Rangers give her a lift when he went into town so they could pick up a new battery. In the meantime, they were able to get the truck battery charged. Seems there was a light in the truck that stayed on all night. She still needs a new battery. That one has been in the truck several years. It is better to replace a vehicle battery before it dies completely. A bad battery can kill an alternator, which is not cheap to replace.

    Reminder to everyone, check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. They should be replaced at least once every year. Then, dispose of old batteries in an environmentally responsible way.

    • Terry Welshans says:

      Don’t get me started on batteries. The Weasel has a large ‘4DTL’ 12-volt battery with 1000 cold cranking amps that is heavier than I can lift alone. It is 4 years old and won’t hold a charge more than a few days so it is time to replace it. The ‘Duce and a half’ has two brand new batteries that I just bought and installed. Those batteries are military grade 1010 cold cranking amps ‘6TL’ batteries and a hefty $800 price tag each.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      It is important, both historically, and as a reminder to check all the batteries in our lives – an ever-growing number for most of the world.

  2. pete says:

    ” air inversion in the mill town of Donora PA, which killed 20 people and sickened 7,000 others; her findings led to her being threatened, the loss of her funding, and losing her job at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1953″

    Smog is natural and cyclic. It fluctuates, it doesn’t mean smog is caused by humans.

    (sound familiar)

    • wordcloud9 says:

      I was shocked that I had never heard of Dr. Amdur – I’ve been doing a twice-monthly Women’s History blog on another site for over two years, and had never run across her until now.

      Air pollution should be our Number One Priority – you can go a few days without water, two or three weeks without food, but it takes only a few minutes to die without oxygen.

      She should be a national hero, and a Major Hollywood Movie!

  3. pete says:

    What struck me was the reaction to her research. They didn’t question whether she was correct or not, just shut it down as though ignoring it will make it go away.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      I think they knew damn well it was correct – not the first time, or the last, that corporations have quashed research that revealed the hazardous conditions they created.

    • Pete, I believe you have noticed a pattern here. I recall working in St. Louis in the 1960. Many smokestacks at Monsanto and other companies belching odd pastel colored smoke as dove to work in I-70. You could tell by looking that whatever was coming from those stacks could not be healthy for both animal and plant life. At times the air was not fit to breathe.

      On December 11, 1990, the worst automobile accident in the United States happened just a few miles from where I sit typing this. McMinn County TN woke up to a nice day. Traffic was flowing on Interstate 75, near Cleveland, Tennessee. A pea-soup fog suddenly appeared on a short stretch of Interstate where it crosses the Hiwassee River. Not coincidentally, there is a paper mill nearby. I will leave it to our readier’s imagination as to who owns it. There are several settling basins near the bridge over the river. Scientists thought the culprit may have been Settling Basin #4, which added many square yards of surface water to evaporate. The paper mill and other industries were emitting fine particulates into the air which combined with water, created fog.

      That December morning, as the fog appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, 99 vehicles were involved in a chain reaction crash as visibility suddenly went from unlimited to zero.

      When the crashing stopped, 12 people were dead and 42 injured, many critical.

      First responders to the scene are still suffering from symptoms of PTSD, as are local residents who heard the screams of dying victims, but were helpless to intervene.
      Guess what, the paper mill continues to deny having any responsibility whatever. However, Settling Basis #4 has been closed. There have been no similar wrecks since 1990.

      The full story of that accident, with links to previous accidents at this link.

      • wordcloud9 says:

        It’s sickening how often corporations get away with pollution and unsafe work practices – they seldom have to pay the full cost of cleaning up their messes, so they just keep making more.

        • Terry Welshans says:

          What they are forced to pay, they get to write off the expense as a ‘cost of doing business.’

          • wordcloud9 says:

            When there are no consequences, why would they ever change what they’re doing?

          • Terry Welshans says:

            That was why the EPA was created in the first place, to create a financial incentive to keep the air and water clean. With the gutting of the EPA, we are backtracking.

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