ON THIS DAY: February 19, 2018

February 19th is

Presidents’ Day *

Chocolate Mint Day

Iwo Jima Day *


MORE! Lugenia B. Hope, W.E.B Du Bois and the Tuskegee Airmen, click



Canada – Alberta, New Brunswick,
Ontario & Saskatchewan: Family Day

Nepal – Democracy Day

Turkmenistan – Flag Day


On This Day in HISTORY

356 – Emperor Constantius II issues a decree closing all pagan temples in the Roman Empire

1473 – Nicolaus Copernicus born, Polish mathematician and astronomer who formulates a model of the universe with the Sun instead of the Earth at the center; his book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), triggered the Copernican Revolution which culminated with Isaac Newton’s laws of motion and universal gravitation

1674 – England and the Netherlands sign the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War; a provision of the agreement transfers the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England, and it is renamed New York

1717 – David Garrick born, English actor-manager and producer; promoted realistic acting over the declamatory style prevailing when he began his career; a notable Shakespearean, Garrick staged the Shakespeare Jubilee in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1769 that played a major part in cementing Shakespeare’s status as England’s national poet

1743 – Composer Luigi Boccherini born, Italian cellist and composer

1764 – Gottlieb Sigismund Kirchhof born; develops vegetable oil reefing method, and improves brewing & fermentation

1807 – Former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr is arrested in Alabama, charged with plotting to annex Spanish territory to establish an independent republic; tried but acquitted on charges of treason, he was nevertheless condemned by public opinion

1833 – Elie Ducommun born, Swiss writer and peace activist; director of the Bureau International de la Paix (International Peace Bureau) from 1891 to 1906; 1902 co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

1846 – The formal transfer of government between Texas and the United States takes place; Texas had officially become a U.S. state on December 29, 1845

1855 – Bread riots in Liverpool, England, the result of high unemployment among corn porters and dock labourers after there was widespread frost damage to crops

1856 – Professor Hamilton L. Smith patents the tintype camera

1859 – Daniel E. Sickles, a New York Congressman, is acquitted of murder on grounds of temporary insanity for killing his wife’s lover, Philip Barton Key II, son of Francis Scott Key, the first time the temporary insanity defense is successfully used in the U.S.; his military career ends at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, after he moves his III Corps (without orders) to an untenable position where it is virtually destroyed, and he is wounded by cannon fire, and his leg is amputated; eventually awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions

1864 – The Knights of Pythias founded in Washington, DC. A dozen members formed what became Lodge No. 1

1869 – Hovhannes Tumanyan born, Armenian author, national poet of Armenia

1871 – Lugenia Burns Hope born, American social reformer, founder of the Neighborhood Union, the first woman-run social welfare agency for African Americans in Atlanta GA

1877 – Gabriele Münter born, German expressionist painter; a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter, a short-lived but influential group of Russian émigrés and native Germans like Wassily Kandinsky and Franc Marc

Self-Portrait by Gabriele Münter, 1909

1878 – Thomas Alva Edison patents a music player (the phonograph)

1881 – Kansas becomes the first U.S. state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages

1902 – Kay Boyle born, writer, political activist; her involvement in anti-Vietnam war demonstrations leads to a jail sentence in Oakland, CA

1912 – Stan Kenton born, the American bandleader who was an innovator in the progressive jazz style of the 1950s

1913 – Cracker Jack begins putting prizes in every box

1917 – Carson McCullers born, American author: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and The Member of the Wedding

1919 – The Pan-African Congress, organized by W.E.B Du Bois, held in Paris, to discuss ending colonial rule and racial discrimination; 57 delegates representing fifteen countries attended

W.E.B. DuBois – 1919 Pan African Congress

1922 – Ed Wynn becomes the first big-name, vaudeville talent to sign on as a radio performer

1942 – U.S. President Roosevelt signed an executive order giving the military the authority to relocate and intern Japanese-Americans

1942 – The Tuskegee Airmen are initiated into the U.S. Army Air Corps; by the end of WWII, 992 graduates from the Tuskegee Institute carry out 200 bomber escort mission, damage 409 German planes, 950 ground units and sink a battleship

Some of the Tuskegee Airmen, photo taken sometime between May 1942 and August 1943 

1945 – The WWII battle of Iwo Jima * begins as U.S. Marines land on the island

1949 – Bollingen Foundation and Yale University awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry ($5,000) to Ezra Pound

1950 – Bebe Moore Campbell born, African American novelist, non-fiction writer and journalist; Singing in the Comeback Choir, What You Owe Me and Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine, which won a 1992 NAACP Image Award for Literature

1952 – Amy Tan born, American novelist, essayist, and short story writer

1953 – The State of Georgia approved the first literature censorship board in the U.S. Newspapers were excluded from the new legislation

1956 – The Platters recorded “Magic Touch”

1959 – Cyprus granted its independence with the signing of an agreement with Britain, Turkey and Greece

1963 – The Soviet Union informed U.S. President Kennedy it would withdraw “several thousand” of its troops from Cuba

1963 – The publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique reawakens the Feminist Movement in the United States as women’s organizations and consciousness raising groups spread

1971 – Washington’s Birthday becomes Presidents’ Day *, moved from February 22 to the third Monday in the month as part of the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act, designed to create more three-day weekends for the U.S. workforce

1976 – Iceland breaks off diplomatic relations with Great Britain when the two can’t settle their disagreement on the ‘cod war’ fishing rights issue

1981 – U.S. State Department calls El Savador a “textbook case” of a Communist plot

1981 – Ford Motor Company announced its loss of $1.5 billion

1985 – Mickey Mouse was welcomed to China as part of the 30th anniversary of Disneyland; the touring mouse played 30 cities in 30 days

1985 – William Schroeder became the first artificial-heart patient to leave the confines of the hospital

1985 – Mick Jagger releases his first solo album, “She’s The Boss,” in the U.S.

1986 – The U.S. Senate approves a treaty outlawing genocide; the pact had been submitted 37 years earlier for ratification

1986 – The Soviet Union launches the Mir Space Station

1987 – A controversial, anti-smoking public service announcement aired for the first time on television, made by Yul Brynner shortly before his death from lung cancer. Brynner makes it clear in the ad that he will have died from cigarette smoking before the PSA airs

1992 – John Singleton is the first African American direction to be nominated for an Academy Award, for Boyz n the Hood

1997 – Deng Xiaoping of China dies at the age of 92, the last of China’s major revolutionaries

1999 – The world’s largest strawberry shortcake was created in McCall Park, Plant City, Florida, the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, the Guinness record for the world’s largest strawberry shortcake, over 6,000 pounds

2001 – The museum at the Oklahoma City National Memorial Center is dedicated

2002 – NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft begins using its thermal emission imaging system to map Mars

2004 – Former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeffrey Skilling is charged with fraud, insider trading and other crimes in connection with the energy trader’s collapse; he is later convicted and sentenced to more than 24 years in prison

2005 – The USS Jimmy Carter is commissioned at Groton, CT, the last of the Seawolf class of attack submarines

2007 – New Jersey becomes the third U.S. state to offer civil unions to same-sex couples

2008 – Fidel Castro resigns the Cuban presidency, and his brother Raul is later named as his successor

2013 – NASA temporarily loses direct contact with the International Space Station due to equipment failure, but communications are restored within three hours


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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6 Responses to ON THIS DAY: February 19, 2018

  1. Terry Welshans says:

    Regarding the Tuskegee Airmen, I knew a fellow named Frank Mann who was a civilian instructor there. Prior to that, he flew fighter aircraft in Ethiopia against the Italians. His home-built 1/8th full size 2-10-2 ‘Texan’ live steam locomotive is on display at the Smithsonian. We were members of a Los Angeles live steam railroad club at the time I knew him.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      I wonder if he knew John C. Robinson (November 26, 1903 – March 26, 1954) ?

      He “was an American aviator and activist who was hailed as the “Brown Condor” for his brief service in the Imperial Ethiopian Air Force against Fascist Italy. Robinson pushed for equal opportunities for African-Americans during his early career, and was able to open his own aviation school in addition to initiating a program for black pilots at his college, the Tuskegee Institute. Robinson’s achievements as an aviator were in stark contrast to the limited opportunities for most African-Americans in aviation careers, and were an important factor in reducing racially based prohibitions in the United States. Robinson is sometimes referred to as the “Father of the Tuskegee Airmen” for inspiring this all-black set of pilots who served during the United States’ entry into World War II.”
      – from Wikipedia

      • Terry Welshans says:

        I do not know for sure, but my best guess is yes. Frank was way ahead of his time in so many ways. We parted ways when I moved from LA to Seattle. He moved to Texas, where he called his home until he passed away. We talked about flying and steam engines. His accomplishments are listed at Wikipedia, if you have not read that, please do so.

  2. Back in the early 1990s, I kept my Cessna airplane at Hawkins Field in Jackson, MS. Parked next to my spot was a pretty little Cessna 140. It only had decorative stripe trim on it, and the rest polished aluminum. That little C-140 looked like a newly minted silver dollar. I had never met the owner, but one sunny afternoon I went out to clean the bug juice and bird ‘marks’ off my plane. I had my spray cleaner and wax and started rubbing. The owner of the C-140 was there; it was the first time I had seen him. He was an older African American gentleman. He finished his polishing and strolled over to my plane. I nodded and he nodded also. Without even speaking, he started rubbing wax on the other side of the engine cowling. Just two guys, polishing an airplane on a warm summer afternoon in Mississippi. One a sunburned pink and the other gleaming copper skin.

    Finally we started chatting. He asked me when and where I had learned to fly. I told him, and asked him the same question. He looked thoughtful for a moment, hesitating before replying, “I learned to fly in 1943.”

    I knew instantly. “You were a Tuskegee airman.” Not a question, it was a statement. He nodded, but volunteered little more. He said he noticed I did not have the serial number of my plane on the outside, as was recently required by the FAA. I told him I had not gotten around to it. He said he owned a trophy and engraving shop, and would take care of it for me. After more conversation about movies and airplanes, we went our separate ways. The next time I went out to go somewhere in the plane, it had a shiny new serial number plate attached just above the door.

    Life is full of regrets. I still regret that I did not go over to his shop and visit with him. I think he would have opened up to me if I had been patient. The last time I flew over the Tuskegee, Alabama airfield, I dipped a wing in salute.

    Blue skies and tailwinds, Mr. Turner.

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