ON THIS DAY: May 12, 2018

May 12th is

Animal Disaster Preparedness Day *

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Day

Nutty Fudge Day

Odometer Day

International Nurses’ Day

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

National Limerick Day


MORE! Edward Lear, Kate Hepburn and Farley Mowat, click



Georgia – Day of Saint Andrew,
the First Called

Germany – Berlin:
Berlin Beach Festival

Monaco – Monte Carlo: Grimaldi-Sotheby’s
Automobile Auction


Alert: The 1937 entry contains vulgar words – I will not censor George Carlin

On This Day in HISTORY

907 – Military governor Zhu Wen forces Emperor Ai into abdicating, ending the Tang dynasty after nearly 300 years of rule

1215 – English barons, fed up with high-handed “royal justice” and high taxes, have risen in rebellion against King John, and now present him with an ultimatum: sign the Magna Carta, meant to apply only to the King, the Nobles and the Church, but it becomes an inspiration for more extended liberties over time

Royal Mail commemorative stamp for the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta

1777 – Mary H. Reibey born in England, transported to Australia at age 14 under the name James Burrow, because she ran away from service disguised as a boy, on a stolen horse.  At 17, she married Thomas Reibey, who had served as a junior officer aboard the ship that took her Australia, and they farmed land he was granted on the Hawkesbury River, then started a cargo business on the river, acquired more land, and Thomas went into partnership in a trading business; when he died in 1811, Mary took over all the enterprises while continuing to raise their seven children; she expanded her business interests, and helped found the Bank of New South Wales; to further her ambitions for her daughters, she took them to England in 1820, returning the following year; so in the 1828 census, she listed her status as “came free in 1821”; she gradually went into semi-retirement, undertaking  additional charitable works, and serving as one of the Governors of the Free Grammar School; she is featured on the obverse side of the Australian 20 dollar bill

1789 – William Wilberforce makes his first major speech advocating the abolition of slavery in British House of Commons, propounding reasons the slave trade is morally reprehensible and an issue of natural justice

1812 – Edward Lear born, English poet and landscape painter

1820 – Florence Nightingale born, English nurse, social reformer and statistician, known as “The Lady with the Lamp” during the Crimean War, considered the founder of modern nursing

1828 – Dante Gabriel Rossetti born, English painter and poet

 1845 – Gabriel Faure born, influential French composer; Pavane and Requiem

1849 – Matilda Coxe Stevenson born, American ethnologist; the first woman anthropologist hired by the U.S. Government, did substantial field work with the Zunis; first president of the Women’s Anthropological Society of America

1862 – Louise Phelps Kellogg born, American historian, author and educator; a leading authority on the French and British eras in the Great Lakes region; The British Regime in Wisconsin and the Northwest

1870 – Manitoba becomes a province of Canada

1874 – Clemens von Pirquet born, Austrian physician; devised tuberculosis skin test

1898 – Louisiana adopts a new state constitution with a “grandfather clause” designed to eliminate black voters

1900 – Mildred H McAfee born, American educator and first director of the WAVES in the United States Navy, dean of women at Centre College and Oberlin College, president of Wellesley College

1902 – 140,000 miners of anthracite coal in Pennsylvania go out on a strike called by the United Mine Workers after the owners refuse to recognize the UMW, negotiate or submit to arbitration

1903 – Faith Bennett born as Margaret Riddick, British film actress and WWII ATA pilot; while working in motion pictures in the 1930s, she took flying lessons and earned both a British aviator’s certificate and an American flying license; she joined the Air Transport Auxiliary, a civilian group that ferried new, repaired and damaged military aircraft, and ferried service personnel; in 1943, the women began to receive the same pay as the male ATA pilots, a first for the British government; after she was injured in a crash landing made in bad weather with a stalled engine, she was assigned to the Training Ferry Pool, and remained with the ATA until July 1945. The British Women Pilots’ Association, formed in 1955, awards the Faith Bennett Navigation Cup for special merit during a challenging navigation exercise

1907 – Katherine Hepburn born, American movie star, a stage, film and television actress whose career spanned over 60 years, but who was fiercely protective of her life off-camera; during the McCarthy era, she joined the Committee for the First Amendment, but denied being a Communist sympathizer; politically a Democrat, she supported birth control and abortion rights, announced publically  that she was an atheist, and received the 1985 Humanist Arts Award from the American Humanist Association; nominated 12 times for Best Actress Oscars, and won for Morning Glory, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Lion in Winter (tied with Barbra Streisand) and On Golden Pond

Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter – 1968

1910 – Dorothy Hodgkin born, British biochemist; 1964 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, improved X-ray crystallography, confirmed structure of penicillin and discovered the structure of vitamin B12 and insulin

1910 – Gordon Jenkins born, influential American composer, songwriter and arranger of popular music, who did orchestrations for Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra among many others

1918 – Mary Kay Ash born, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, which became a multi-billion dollar business with millions of consultants worldwide

1919 – The Transvaal British Indian Association calls a mass meeting to organize opposition to the proposed Asiatics (Land and Trading) Amendment Act, which will prohibit Transvaal Indians from owning shares in limited companies

1921 – Farley Mowat born, Canadian author and environmentalist; Never Cry Wolf

1926 – Dmitri Shostakovitch’s First Symphony premieres in Leningrad

1928 – Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini ends women’s rights in Italy

1928 – Burt Bacharach born, major American popular music composer and songwriter; multiple Grammy and Academy Award for Best Song winner

1930 – Marc Connelly is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Green Pastures, which is the first play with an all-black cast to be performed on Broadway

1933 – The Federal Emergency Relief Administration and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration are formed to help the needy and struggling farmers

1934 – Duke Ellington’s “Cocktails for Two” is #1 on the charts

1937 – George Carlin born, American comedian, author and social critic

1949 – Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit of India is the first foreign woman ambassador to be received in U.S.

1950 – Helena Kennedy born, Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, British barrister, Labor member of the House of Lords (1997 to the present, noted for rebelling against the party whip more frequently than any other Labour Peer); principal of Mansfield College, Oxford (2011- due to retire in 2018)

1965 – Israel and West Germany exchange letters beginning diplomatic relations

1967 – The Jimi Hendrix Experience release their debut album Are You Experienced

1968 –The “Poor People’s March” led by Reverend Ralph Abernathy reaches Washington DC, a multiracial demonstration for economic and human rights

1982 – Novelist John Updike awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Rabbit is Rich

1999 – Sir David Steel becomes the first Speaker of the modern Scottish Parliament

2002 – Jimmy Carter becomes the first present or former U.S. president to visit Cuba since Fidel Castro seized power in 1959

2008 – The first Public Gardens Day * is sponsored by the American Public Gardens Association

2012 – The discovery of a missing Mayan calendar piece disproves 2012 Armageddon

2016 – The Italian Parliament approves a law recognizing civil unions for same-sex couples, but it does not recognize same-sex marriages, and will not allow couples in these civil unions to legally adopt a partner’s biological children


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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