ON THIS DAY: May 6, 2018

May 6th is

National Nurses Day *

Beverage Day

Crepe Suzette Day

Joseph Brackett Day *

No Homework Day


MORE! Joseph Brackett, Phebe Hanaford and Keith Richards, click



Bulgaria – Gergyovden/St. George’s Day
(also Army Day – St. George was a soldier)

Lebanon and Syria – Martyrs’ Day *

Lithuania – Mothers’ Day

Serbia – Đurđevdan (St. George’s Day)

Switzerland – Martigny: Combat des Reines
(battle of the queens – cow fighting)

Vatican City – Swearing-in Day for Swiss Guard recruits *


On This Day in HISTORY

1312 – Pope Clement V closes the Council of Vienna, where papal support of the Knights Templar is formally withdrawn at the instigation of King Philip IV of France, who had arrested Templar leaders in France and had them tortured until they allegedly confessed to heresy; this ended his obligation to repay the substantial loans the Templars had made to him, and allowed him to confiscate their assets in France

Knights Templar

1527 – Pope Clement VII has allied the Papal States with the French against the Hapsburgs’ Holy Roman Empire, but 34,000 troops of Emperor Charles V have defeated the French army in Italy. His imperial troops, tired of waiting for their long overdue pay, mutiny and forcibly persuade their commanders to march toward Rome, sacking smaller cities along the way. Only 5,000 militiamen and 189 Papal Swiss Guards are defending Rome, but even the city’s thick walls and artillery are only a temporary obstacle for the mutineers. First they capture the walls, then swarm the city. All of the Swiss Guards delaying them are massacred; only the 42 guards actually with Pope Clement as he makes his escape down the Passetto di Borgo, a secret corridor which still links the Vatican City to Castel Sant’Angelo. A thousand defenders are brutally executed, and the city is pillaged. Many shrines and churches are desecrated or destroyed; the Vatican Library is only saved because Philibert, Prince of Orange, one of the imperial commanders, set up his headquarters there; estimates place the number of dead Roman civilians and defenders between 7,000 and 12,000. The sack of Rome only ended eight months later, when the food runs out, and many Imperial soldiers have died of diseases caused by the great numbers of unburied dead. In commemoration of the bravery of the Swiss Guards, all recruits since then have been sworn in on May 6 *

1536 – Incan forces begin a siege of Cuzco, attempting to retake it from the Spanish

1659 – A faction of the British Army removes Richard Cromwell as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth and reinstalls the Rump Parliament

1682 – Louis XIV of France moves his court to the Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles – Hall of Mirrors

1757 – English poet Christopher Smart is locked away at St Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics in London at the instigation of his wife’s stepfather, John Newbery, who’s also his publisher, for “religious mania,” beginning his six-years confined to mental asylums

1758 – Maximilien Robespierre born, French revolutionary

1782 – Construction begins on the Grand Palace, the royal residence of the King of Siam in Bangkok, at the command of King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke

The Grand Palace today, lighting the night in Bangkok

1797 – Joseph Brackett Day * American songwriter Joseph Brackett born; he was an elder of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Coming, better known as the Shakers; his most famous song is “Simple Gifts”

1829 – Phebe Hanaford born, American minister, abolitionist, feminist, and author of Life of Abraham Lincoln, first biography of the president published after his death


1831 – Mary Clemmer Ames born, American journalist and author; Ten Years in Washington and A Memorial of Alice and Phoebe Cary

1835 – James Gordon Bennett, Sr. publishes the first issue of the New York Herald

1856 – Sigmund Freud born, Austrian psychiatrist, ‘father of psychoanalysis’

1857 – The British East India Company disbands the 34th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry whose sepoy Mangal Pandey had earlier revolted against the British; he is considered the First Martyr in the War of Indian Independence

1861 – Arkansas secedes from the Union

1861 – Rabindranath Tagore born in British India, Hindu poet, composer, polymath

1877 – Chief Crazy Horse of the Oglala Lakota surrenders to United States troops in Nebraska

1880 – Winifred Brunton born, British Egyptologist, painter-illustrator; her portraits of Egyptian pharaohs were published in Kings and Queens of Ancient Egypt (1926)

1882 – Ann Haven Morgan born, American zoologist and ecologist, Ph.D. from Cornell University; chair of the Mount Holyoke College Zoology Department (1916-1947)

1910 – George V becomes King of the United Kingdom upon the death of his father, Edward VII

1915 – Orson Welles born, director-producer, writer and actor; founder of the Mercury Theatre, which broadcasts a version of H.G. Wells The War of the Worlds  on the radio in 1938 that gained national attention; co-wrote, produced, directed, and starred in his first film, Citizen Kane; served as a Goodwill Ambassador to Latin America in 1941-1942 to help counter the growing influence of the Axis powers during WWII

1915 – Theodore H. White born, American journalist, historian and novelist; noted for his The Making of the President series

1916 – Thirty-three leaders of the Separatist Nationalists of Lebanon and Syria are hanged simultaneously in Beirut and Damascus. They had written secret appeals to François Georges Picot, the French consul in Beirut, asking for help in gaining independence from the Ottoman Empire, or at least French protection. These letters are then left behind, hidden at the abandoned consulate, when the French break off relations with the Turks at the beginning of WWI, and move their staff to Egypt.  A consulate interpreter, imprisoned in Damascus, barters the location of the letters for his freedom with Ahmed Jemal Pasha, commander of the Turkish Fourth Army in Syria. Ottoman security agents break into the consulate — supposedly under the protection of the still-neutral U.S. — and find the incriminating letters. The authors are dragged from their homes, tortured, sentenced by a drum-head military court, and summarily executed. Three days later, François Georges Picot signs his infamous secret agreement with Sir Mark Sykes to divide up the Middle East, marking Syria and Lebanon for France, and Palestine for the British

1926 – Marguerite Piazza born, American operatic soprano and philanthropist; long-time supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and several other charities

1929 – Dame Rosemary Cramp born, British archaeologist and specialist in Anglo-Saxon history; her Bachelor of Letters thesis concerned the relevance of archaeological evidence in relation to Old English poetry; fellow and tutor of English at St. Anne’s College, Oxford (1950-1955); became a lecturer in archaeology at Durham University in 1955, then Durham’s first woman professor, appointed to the Archaeology department (1971-1990); President of the Society of Antiquaries of London (2001-2004); appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE – 2011)

1933 – The Deutsche Studentenschaft (a German national student union which was subverted to play a large part in the Nazi book burnings) attack Magnus Hirschfeld’s Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (a sexual research institute which pioneered the study of transsexualism and championed gay rights), destroying the institute and its extensive collection of books, journals and images on same-sex love and eroticism; its lists of names and addresses were confiscated; Hirschfield was on a lecture-tour in the U.S., and died two years later in Paris, after failing to re-establish his institute there. It is believed the confiscated lists of names at addresses were used by the Nazis in 1934 when thousands of gay men were rounded up

1935 – Executive Order 7034 creates the Works Progress Administration, which oversaw public works projects, including construction of public buildings and roads, which employed millions of people during the Depression

1937 – Hindenburg disaster: The German zeppelin Hindenburg catches fire and is destroyed within a minute while attempting to dock at Lakehurst, New Jersey. 36 of the 97 people on board are killed

1940 – Novelist John Steinbeck receives the Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath

1942 – About 15,000 Americans and Filipinos on Corregidor surrender to the Japanese

1947 – Martha Nussbaum born, American philosopher, author, feminist and Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago; The Fragility of Goodness, Cultivating Humanity, and Sex and Social Justice are among her notable publications

1949 – EDSAC, the first practical electronic digital stored-program computer, runs its first operation

1953 – Michelle Courchesne born, Canadian Quebec Liberal Party politician; National Assembly of Quebec Member (2003-2012); Deputy Premier of Quebec (2012)

1953 – Ülle Rajasalu born, Estonian politician; Elder of the Pirita District, Tallin (1999-2004); governor of Harju County since 2009

1954 – Roger Bannister is the first person to run the mile in under 4 minutes

1954 – Dora Bakoyannis born, Greek Democratic Alliance/New Democracy politician; member of Parliament (1989-2002); Minister for Culture (1992-1993); first woman Mayor of Athens (2003-2006); first woman Minister for Foreign Affairs (2006-2009); Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (2009); member of the Greek delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since 2012

1954 – National Nurses Day * becomes the first day of National Nurses Week, a celebration of nursing and the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth year

1954 – Angela Hernández Nuñez born, Dominican author, poet and feminist; active member of Circulo de Mujeres Poetas (Circle of Women poets) and a founding member of the Grupo de Mujeres Creadoras (Group of Creative Women); awarded the Dominican National Literary Award in 1998

1960 – More than 20 million viewers watch the first televised royal wedding when Princess Margaret marries Anthony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey

1965 – Keith Richards writes the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” in a Florida hotel room

1975 – 100,000 Armenians gather in Beirut to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, in which an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were trapped in churches and barns and burned to death; drowned in the sea; shot to death; poisoned with morphine or ‘inoculated’ with active blood from typhus victims, or force-marched into the Syrian desert

1981 – Maya Ying Lin’s design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is selected from 1,421 other entries

1994 – Queen Elizabeth II of the UK and French President François Mitterrand officiate at the opening of the Channel Tunnel

1997 – The Bank of England is given independence from political control, the most significant change in the bank’s 300-year history

1999 – First elections held for the devolved Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly

2002 – Spider-Man is the first movie to gross over $100 million its opening weekend

2004 – The concluding episode of the series Friends airs on NBC

2013 – Amanda Berry escapes from the home of the man who kidnapped, imprisoned and raped her and two other victims, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus, for years. The perpetrator, after begin found guilty of 937 criminal counts, is sentenced to life plus 1,000 years, without possibility of parole, but he commits suicide by hanging himself with bedsheets after only one month in prison

2017 – France bans too-thin fashion models and requires that digitally enhanced photos be labeled as enhanced


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 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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3 Responses to ON THIS DAY: May 6, 2018

  1. Malisha says:

    Long about the late 1980s or early 1990s I was asked to go to Versailles, Kentucky to do a small job. I flew in to some airport and the woman picked me up to drive me to her house in the town of Versailles, Kentucky (which a journalist later that day informed me was pronounced “Ver-sails, not Ver-sigh…That Ver-sigh, that’s a CAR; the town is called Ver-sails”). I had never been in Kentucky before. I saw the famed rolling green lawns and white fences and beautiful horse country. Then we passed by a huge estate with some kind of enormous structure on it that looked vaguely familiar. “What’s that building?” I asked. She answered, “Oh there’s a big story that goes with that house. This guy who was just as rich as a king was engaged and he built that as the home for his new wife and they say he copied some big palace in Europe. He spent millions of dollars on it but then she jilted him. He tried to sell it but nobody would pay his price so he closed it up and nobody ever saw it again and it’s empty.” Oh — that same journalist informed me, “You New Yorkers [I’m not one] also mispronounce Ay-thins Georgia. Y’all say ‘Ah-thens Georgia.'”

  2. Malisha says:

    The Orson Welles quote and Theodore White quote have a lot to say to us today, especially taken together. Wow, what a day this is turning out to be.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Hi Malisha –

      Thank you for your Ver-sails story. I didn’t recall the Lincoln Ver-sigh, had to google it – not only way out of my price range, but too much in keeping with the vulgarities of the disco era.

      Then there’s the Midwestern “KAY-row” pronunciation of Cairo, and the Southern “thee-A-tur” for Theatre.

      I don’t think even Orson Welles could have imagined that we would have someone so much worse than Donald Duck in the White House, and that the Muppets would be much better choices than several of our current senators.

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