ON THIS DAY: February 22, 2018

February 22nd is

Cook a Sweet Potato Day

National Margarita Day

Walking the Dog Day

World Thinking Day *

George Washington’s Birthday


MORE! Frazier Baker, Willa Chapell and Frank Peterson click



Saint Lucia – Independence Day

United Kingdom – Harrogate YK:
Lighthouse Theatre Film Festival


On This Day in HISTORY

705 – Empress Wu Zeitan, who became the de facto ruler of China after her husband Emperor Gaizong’s debilitating stroke and his later death, from 690 to 705, is forced to abdicate after a successful coup. Wu Zeitan is the only woman in Chinese history to wear the yellow robes as monarch which had been reserved for the sole use of emperors

1371 – Robert Stewart, grandson of Robert the Bruce on his mother’s side, becomes Robert II, King of Scots, the founding monarch of the House of Stewart

1630 – Quadequine, brother of Massasoit, Wampanoag tribal leader, offers popcorn to English colonists as a token of goodwill during peace negotiations. While popcorn had long been well-known in North America – ears of popcorn about 4,000 years old have been found in caves in New Mexico – it was a new treat for the colonists

1632 – Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems is published

1778 – Rembrandt Peale born, American artist who painted portraits of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson; son of artist Charles Peale, who also painted George Washington; opened the Peale Museum in 1814 in Baltimore, the first building designed and built as a museum in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the first museums to use gas lighting


George Washington, by Rembrandt Peale

1784 – The U.S. sailing vessel, Empress of China, leaves New York harbor, in a voyage to become the first merchant ship of a newly independent America to enter Chinese waters; the Empress returned to New York May 11, 1785. Samuel Shaw was aboard, who would become America’s first consul in China, and the success of the voyage marked a major step in opening U.S trade with China

1788 – Arthur Schopenhauer born, German philosopher

1817 – Niels Wilhelm Gade born, Danish composer

1819 – James Russell Lowell born, American poet, editor, and U.S. ambassador to Spain (1877-1879) and the British Court of St. James (1880-1885)

1819 – The Adams-Onís Treaty between the U.S. and Spain is signed: Spain cedes Florida to America because it had become more expensive than profitable, and its loss allows them to settle boundary disputes between the U.S. lands acquired in the Louisiana Purchase from France, and the New Spain territories, especially in Texas

1822 – Isabella Beecher Hooker, suffragist, lecturer, wrote and presented a bill to the Connecticut General Assembly that gave married women property rights; she presented it every year until it passed in 1877

1834 – Albert Heinrich Zabel born, German harp virtuoso and composer

1855 – After donations raised by the Washington National Monument Society run out, U.S. Congress votes to appropriate $200,000 for continuing work on the monument. But the American Party, dubbed the “Know Nothing Party,” a rabidly anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic political party, seizes control of the WNM Society, and the next morning Congress tables the resolution. The Know Nothings only add about four feet to the height of the structure, and they lose control of the WNM society in 1858

1857 – Robert Baden-Powell born, British founder and first Chief Scout of The Boy Scouts Association (1909), and co-founder with his sister Agnes of the Girl Guides (1910); author of Scouting for Boys (1908) 

1859 – To prevent another takeover of the Washington National Monument Society, President Buchanan signs into law the Act of February 22, 1859, to incorporate the society “for the purpose of completing the erection now in progress of a great National Monument to the memory of Washington at the seat of the Federal Government.”

1865 – U.S. state Tennessee adopts a new constitution that abolishes slavery

1876– Gertrude Bonnin (Zitkala-Sha) born, writer and Sioux Indian activist; founded National Council of American Indians (1926)

1878 – Frank Woolworth opens his first store in Utica NY, “Woolworth’s Great Five Cent Store” which quickly failed because of a poor location. He took his sign, found a better location in Lancaster PA, and it grew into a chain of over 1,000 stores by 1919, when Frank Woolworth died

1885 – The Washington Monument is finally dedicated, 37 years after the cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848, but it is not opened to the public until 1889

1892 – Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan, debuts at London’s St. James Theatre; the character of Lord Darlington delivers the play’s famous line: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

1892 – Edna St. Vincent Millay born, American poet and playwright; 1923, first woman to win Pulitzer Poetry Prize for The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver and Other Poems

1898 – Thillaiaadi Valliammai born, South African Tamil activist, worked with Gandhi during protests in South Africa; she fell ill soon after being sentenced to three months hard labor and refused early release, then died soon after serving her term

1898 – Frazier Baker, the first African American appointed as postmaster of Lake City, South Carolina, is murdered. Whites in the city had carried out a hate and intimidation campaign since his appointment in 1897 to force him to leave his post. This time they set Baker’s home (which also served as the post office) on fire at 1 a.m. while he, his wife and six children are sleeping. When the family tries to escape, Baker is killed in a hail of bullets, and their two-year-old daughter is shot and killed in her mother’s arms; the same bullet broke the mother’s arm. His wife and remaining children, two of them also wounded, survive by running across the street to hide in the woods. They are all denied medical attention, but still survive

Baker family, and fire, drawing from the Boston Post 

1900 – Luis Buñuel born, influential surrealist Spanish filmmaker, Ese oscuro objeto del deseo (That Obscure Object of Desire)

1900 – Meridal LeSueur born, poet, short fiction writer, essayist on unfair labor conditions and land rights of Southwest and Minnesota Native American tribes

1900 – Seán Ó Faoláin born, Irish short story writer, Arts Council of Ireland director (1956- 1959), co-founder, first editor of the literary periodical The Bell (1940-1946)

1906 – Willa Brown Chapell born, African American aviator, civil rights activist and lobbyist; first black woman officer in the U.S Civil Air Patrol; co-founder with Cornelius Coffey of a school of aeronautics, the first private flight training academy owned and operated by African Americans


1917 – Jane Bowles born, American playwright-novelist, In the Summer House

1920 – The first dog race track to use an imitation rabbit opened in Emeryville CA

1923 – The first chinchilla farm in the U.S. opens in Los Angeles CA

1924 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge delivers first presidential radio broadcast from the White House

1926 – World Thinking Day * is launched by the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, now 10 million strong, as a day of international friendship, speaking out  on issues affecting girls and young women, and fundraising projects

1935 – It becomes illegal for airplanes to fly over the White House

1936 – Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy born, U.S. Senator (D-MA) from 1962 to 2009

1937 – Joanna Russ, American sci-fi/fantasy author, feminist essayist; Picnic on Paradise, The Female Man, The Zanzibar Cat

1945 – The Arab League is formed in Cairo

1965 – Filming begins in the Bahamas for the Beatle’s second movie, Help!

1967 – Playwright Barbara Garson’s satire MacBird premieres in NYC

1969 – Barbara Jo Rubin is the first woman jockey to win a U.S. thoroughbred horse race, riding Cohesian in the 9th race at the Charles Town Race Track in West Virginia

1973 – Communist China and the U.S. agree to establish liaison offices

1979 – Frank E. Peterson Jr. becomes the first black general in the Marine Corps

U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen Jr.

1984 – U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that Alaska is the fastest growing state of the decade with an increase in population of 19.2 percent

1994 – U.S. Justice Department charges Aldrich Ames and his wife with selling national secrets to the Soviet Union; Ames is convicted and sentence to life in prison and his wife to a 5-year prison term

1997 – Scottish scientist Ian Wilmut and his colleagues announce the first successful cloning of an adult mammal, a sheep named Dolly, born in 1996

Dolly the sheep and Ian Wilmut

2001 – A U.N. war crimes tribunal convicts three Bosnian Serbs charged with rape and torture, in the first wartime sexual enslavement case to go before an international court

2006 – Insurgents destroy the golden dome of Iraq’s holy Shiite shrine, the Askariya mosque in Samarra, setting off a spasm of sectarian violence

2010 – A copy of Action Comics #1, which introduces Superman, auctions for $1 million


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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10 Responses to ON THIS DAY: February 22, 2018

  1. Malisha says:

    So … know nothings who cannot get an erection have always been a problem for our national government.

    • Terry Welshans says:

      Malisha, you are very bad. But funny. Don’t stop.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      The word “erection” is still used in Britain to mean the act of building a structure, or the structure itself – a source of endless puns and smutty jokes from American tourists.

  2. I had a first edition of the Superman comic. Also got the first Batman and the first Captain Marvel. My mom threw them away. That is a story that has been repeated thousands of times, which is why they are so valuable now.

    Hindsight is always 20/20.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Sigh – all the stories like yours could make people afraid to throw ANYTHING away – then we’d really be a nation of hoarders and pack rats, and it would be unsafe for anyone to try to get out of their house, but also unsafe to stay!

      • Malisha says:

        In recent years I have had several jobs that involved trying to liberate hoards.
        Only this last one was successful because the hoarder had actually died before I cleaned up the hoard. It was very difficult, even so.

      • Terry Welshans says:

        I don’t want to do it. I have items that I will never use that are impossible to replace. I just can’t bear throwing away what I consider a priceless relic. Not exactly Rosetta Stone quality, but to me, I prefer mine over some old rock with chisel marks. How do you go about putting a value on a 1960 Harley Davidson golf cart? Then, where is a buyer?

        • Malisha says:

          The hoards I cleaned were not full of items with meaning or even sentimental value. At one hoard I cleaned in 2015 there were 28 pot lids … NO POTS, NOT ONE POT! There were approximately 115 pair of glasses (sunglasses, prescription glasses, reading glasses, novelty glasses) in states of disrepair that could never be worn and even “Eyes for the Blind” would not accept them as donations. There were three boxes full of used emory boards. FULL. I could go on and on but I will spare you.

        • Terry Welshans says:

          Oh, my. I have seen such shows on TV. I worked with a guy a long time ago who had filled his van from end to end with old newspapers. There was barely room for him to drive it.

        • My son is friends with the guys on American Pickers. Maybe them?

          Rule of thumb if you have not used it in a year, and it is not a collector’s item, then it should go.

          About forty years ago, I had a chance to buy a Colt Walker revolver in a presentation case. The seller was a reputable and knowledgeable dealer, and it came with the provenance of previous owners. The price on it was $1,600. I did not have $1,600 laying around.

          I saw a story recently where one sold at auction for $920,000.

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