ON THIS DAY: April 12, 2018

April 12th is

American Immigration Lawyers Association Day of Action

Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality Monument Day *

D.E.A.R. Day *

Polio Vaccine Day *

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

International Day for Street Children *

International Day of Human Space Flight *

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MORE! Keiko Fukuda, Bill Haley and Lydia Cacho, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Russia – Cosmonautics Day
(Gagarin’s first flight anniversary)

Liberia – Redemption Day
(1980 Samuel Doe-led coup d’état)

Thailand – Songkran Holidays
(Thai New Year)

United States – Mountain View CA:
Women in Tech Festival

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On This Day in HISTORY

1065 – Hundreds of pilgrims led by Bishop Gunther of Bamberg, who had left their homes in 1064, and after traveling almost 2,500 miles, finally reach Jerusalem

1204 – During the Fourth Crusade, Venetian ships bring crusaders close enough to the walls of Constantinople to knock holes in it and mount scaling ladders; the crusaders start fires that burn much of the city, and loot the rest for the next three days, destroying or stealing many Greco-Roman and Byzantine works of art, and burning most of the Imperial Library of Constantinople, the last great library of the ancient world, housing 100,000 ancient Greek and Roman texts since its founding in the 4th century



1545 – After French King François I revokes his pardon of the Protestants of Vaudois for the “Affair of the Placards” in January, he now sends 2,000 men into the Mérindol area in Provence to kill them; 3,000 men, women and children are butchered and 600 men sent to the galleys; crops and cattle are destroyed, leaving the survivors to starve

1550 – Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, born, English poet and patron of the Oxford’s Men acting company, and no, he was NOT the author of Shakespeare’s works

1606 – The ‘Union Jack’ flag is adopted for English and  Scottish ships; design based on crosses of Scotland, Ireland and England’s patron saints: Andrew, Patrick and George



1648 – The Academia Gelro-Zutphanica, the University of Harderwijk, is founded; its low tuition rates make it the only university available to poor students in the United Provinces (now the Netherlands), but its less-than-stellar reputation undermines the value of degrees obtained there; it closes in 1811 during the French occupation

1716 – Felice de’ Giardini, Italian compose and violinist

1777 – Henry Clay born, U.S. President John Quincy Adams’ Secretary of State; served as both Representative and Senator for Kentucky, one of the Senate’s three great 19th century orators, along with Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina; the “Great Compromiser” as a major player in Missouri Compromise (1820), Tariff Compromise (1833), and the Compromise of 1850



1820 – Alexander Ypsilantis becomes leader of Filiki Eteria, the secret organization that will coordinate the Greek War of Independence attempting to overthrow Ottoman rule

1831 – Grenville Dodge born, American engineer; Union Pacific Railroad’s chief engineer (1866-70)

1853 – Sir James Mackenzie born, Scottish cardiologist; pioneer in cardiac arrhythmia

1861 – The U.S Civil War begins when Confederate forces fire on Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charlestown, South Carolina

1883 – Imogen Cunningham born, American photographer; famous for botanical photos, nudes and industrial landscapes

Photo by Judy Dater of Imogen Cunnimgham and Twinka Thiebaud


1898 – Lily Pons born in France, American coloratura soprano

1903 – Jan Tinbergen born, Dutch economist; works on econometric models; awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize for Economics

1908 – Ida Pollock born, English author of short stories and romance novels; in a 90 year career writing under ten pseudonyms, she sold millions of books; she was still writing up to the last year of her life, and was 105 years old at her death



1910 – Irma Rapuzzi born, French politician; the daughter of a miner, she entered politics in 1947 as a municipal councilor in Marseille, then was elected Senator of Bouches-du- Rhône (1955-1989), and served on the Finance Committee (1957-1971) and the Law Commission (1977-1980); she lived to be 107 years old

1913 – Keiko Fukuda born in Japan, Japanese-American pioneering martial artist, the highest-ranking female judoka in Judo history, and the last surviving student of Kanō Jigorō, the founder of Judo

1916 – Beverly Cleary born, American author, 1981 National Book Award for Children’s Books, for Ramona and Her Mother, and 3-time ALA Newbery Medal winner



1925 – Evelyn Berezin born, American computer designer; noted for designing the first computer-driven word processor, the first computer-controlled system for airline reservations, the first computerized banking system, and a system for range calculations for the U.S Army



1927 – Chiang Kai-shek orders the execution of Communist Party of China members in Shanghai, ending the First United Front, a Kuomintang-CPC alliance which had formed the National Revolutionary Army, setting off a civil war between the two factions

1927 – The British Parliament comes out in favor of women’s voting rights

1933 – Montserrat Caballé born, Spanish bel canto soprano; her “Barcelona” duet with Queen’s Freddie Mercury later becomes the 1992 Barcelona Olympics’ theme song

1939 – Woody Herman’s orchestra records “Woodchopper’s Ball”

1944 – Lisa Jardine born, British historian; studied both Mathematics and English at university; fluent in eight languages including Ancient Greek and Latin, and wrote on everything from Shakespeare and Francis Bacon to feminist theory and the history of science; Professor of Renaissance Studies at University College, London (1990-2011), also Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Humanities and Director of the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters; Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; Fellow and Honorary Fellow of King’s College and Jesus College, Cambridge; President of the Antiquarian Horological Society; publications include Francis Bacon: Discovery and the Art of Discourse and Still Harping on Daughters: Women and Drama in the Age of Shakespeare; her book Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland’s Glory, about how Dutch thinkers and scientists influenced England’s intellectual landscape in the 17th century, won 2009 Cundill International Prize in History



1950 –Joyce Banda born, Malawian politician and grassroots women’s rights activist; Minister of Foreign Affairs (2006-2009); first woman Vice-President of Malawi (2009-2012) founder and leader of the People’s Party in 2011; first female President of Malawi (2012-2014), taking over after the sudden death of President Bingu wa Mutharika; she was succeeded by his younger brother Peter Mutharika

1954 – Bill Haley and the Comets record “Rock Around the Clock” – it debuts in 1955’s movie Blackboard Jungle



1955 –  Polio Vaccine Day * – The announcement is made that the Salk polio vaccine clinical trials are successfully completed, and the vaccine is safe and effective; over the next two years, polio cases drop by over 85%

1961 – Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man to fly in space, orbiting the Earth before making a safe landing (see also 2011 entry)



1963 – Lydia Cacho born, Mexican investigative journalist, feminist and human rights activist; her 2004 book, Los Demonios del Edén (Demons of Eden), alleging that prominent businessmen in Puebla conspired to protect a pedophilia ring, caused a national scandal. After publication, she was arrested in Cancun by Puebla police and driven back to Puebla, 900 miles away, verbally abused and threatened with rape en route, but later released on bail; in 2006, a tape came to light of telephone conversations from shortly before her arrest between the governor of Puebla, Mario Marin, and businessman Kamel Borge about having Cacho beaten and raped to silence her. She took the case of her arrest all the way to the Supreme Court of Mexico, the first woman to testify before the court, but the justices ruled 6-4 in 2007 that there was no case for Governor Marin to answer. In 2008, she was almost killed a few days before the trial of the central figure in the pedophile ring, Jean Succar Kuri, when the lugnuts on one of her car’s wheels were loosened. Kuri was convicted, and sentenced to 112 years in prison. Cacho also reported in 2006 on hundreds of women missing or murdered in Ciudad Juarez. She is the winner of the Civil Courage Prize, the Wallenberg Medal, and the Olof Palme Prize, and named a 2010 World Press Freedom Hero by the International Press Institute



1981 – Beverly Cleary’s book, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, first mentions D.E.A.R. day * (Drop Everything And Read)



1981 – NASA’s space shuttle Columbia blasts off on its first test flight

1983 – Harold Washington is elected Chicago’s first African-American mayor

1989 – Garth Brooks’ self-titled debut album is released

1990 – The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History opens Jim Gary’s “20th Century Dinosaurs” exhibition; the museum’s first solo exhibit of work by a sculptor

2011 – The UN General assembly declares April 12 as the International Day of Human Space Flight * to celebrate 1st human space flight, by Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin
(see also 1961 entry)

2011 – The Consortium for Street Children (CSC), an international network of over 80 member groups in 130 countries, launches International Day for Street Children, *  focusing on advocacy, research, shared learning and capacity building

2016 – Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality Monument Day * – the National Woman’s Party (NWP), founded by Alice Paul, bought the Sewall House in 1929 as their Washington DC headquarters, renaming it the Alva Belmont House in honor of the NWP former president – on this day, U.S. President Barack Obama designates the establishment of the house as the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, a unit of the National Park System


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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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3 Responses to ON THIS DAY: April 12, 2018

  1. Malisha says:

    My brother got polio right before the vaccine came out. What a strange world that epidemic brought with it…everyone petrified in fear. I remember certain small clips of what was going on, viewed from my three-year-old point of view. And that was our “normal.”

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Sorry about your brother.

      The oldest son of my mom’s best friend nearly died as a toddler about eight years before the vaccine was available – he had to wear a heavy metal brace on his right leg to be able to walk.

      I always think of the Salk vaccine as “a miracle of science.” The people who refuse to get their kids vaccinated these days have no idea the harm they are doing.

  2. pete says:

    My daughter just sent me a message about grilled cheese day. Said I had been making it wrong all those years because the best way to make them is with mayo.

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