ON THIS DAY: May 21, 2018

May 21st is

American Red Cross Founder’s Day *

National Memo Day

National Waitstaff Day

Strawberries ‘n Cream Day

World Day for Cultural Diversity, for Dialogue and Development *


MORE! Albrecht Dürer, Clara Barton and Roald Amundsen, click



Christianity – Whit Monday

Belize – Sovereign’s Day Holiday

Cameroon – Sheep Festival

Canada – Victoria Day

Cayman Islands – Discovery Day

Chile – Navy Day

Kabardino-Balkaria –
Circassian Day of Mourning *

Montenegro – Independence Day

Saint Helena – Saint Helena Day


On This Day in HISTORY

1260 – Hao Jing, envoy of Mongol leader Kublai Khan, is imprisoned by order of the high Chancellor of China, Jia Sidao, at the Song Dynasty court of Emperor Lizong while attempting to negotiate with the Song

1471 – Albrecht Dürer born, German Renaissance artist and mathematician; noted for wood-cut prints and engravings, he was also an early landscape artist; he wrote theoretical treatises on mathematics, perspective and proportions

 Self-Portrait by Albrecht Dürer – 1493

1554 – Queen Mary I grants a royal charter to Derby School, as a grammar school for boys in Derby, England; it will last until 1989

Queen Mary I, by Hans Eworth

1688 – Alexander Pope born, English essayist, poet, and translator; best known for his satirical verse, and his translation of Homer

1758 – Ten-year-old Mary Campbell is abducted by a band of Lenape, also known as the Delaware, in Pennsylvania. Increased numbers of British military troops in Pennsylvania and Ohio because of hostilities between Native Americans and settlers eventually led to a meeting of several tribes with Colonel Henry Bouquet in which he demanded return of all known captives, a list of 60 names, including Mary Campbell. She was returned to her family in 1764.

1780 – Elizabeth Fry born, English philanthropist, reformer and Quaker, called “angel of prisons” for her campaigns to improve prison conditions after she made a visit to Newgate Prisons in 1813, and found overcrowded conditions and women who had not even been tried; she later funded a school for the children living in the prisons with their prisoner mothers, and founded the ‘Association for the Reformation of the Female Prisoners in Newgate’ which provided materials for the women to learn sewing and knitting in order to earn money after their release

1799 – Mary Anning born, British fossil collector and paleontologist, made a number of important finds; although widely known for her fossil studies, she wasn’t permitted to join the Geological Society of London because she was a woman, and did not always receive credit for her work

1819 – The first bicycles in the U.S. are seen in New York City, nicknamed “swift walkers” which are imported from London

1832 – The first Democratic Convention is held in Baltimore MD

1832 – Elizabeth Storrs Mead born, American academic, Mount Holyoke College President

1840 – Captain William Hobson R.N. proclaims British sovereignty over New Zealand; the North Island by treaty and the South Island by ‘discovery’

1846 – The first steamship arrives in Hawaii

1851 – Slavery is abolished in Columbia, South America

1856 – Grace Hoadley Dodge born, American philanthropist and organizer, founder of the first Working Girls Society in New York City, the Association of Working Girls’ Societies; she was the main source of funds for the NY College for the Training of Teachers; also founder of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)

1860 – Willem Einthoven born, Dutch physiologist; developer of the electrocardiograph; 1924 Nobel Prize

1864 – Circassian Day of Mourning * commemorates the end of the Russian-Circassian War, when many Circassians are forced into exile

1864 – Princess Stéphanie of Belgium born, Crown Princess of Austria, and inventor;
she took out patents on a combination chafing dish and spirit lamp

1877 – Romania declares itself independent from the Ottoman Empire following its Senate’s adoption of Mihail Kogălniceanu’s Declaration of Independence

1878 – Glenn Curtiss born, American aviation pioneer

Curtiss winning the Scientific American trophy in 1908

1881 – Clara Barton founds the American Red Cross, in Washington DC – celebrated as American Red Cross Founder’s Day *


1901 – Baroness Suzanne Lilar born, Belgian journalist, author and playwright, member of the Royal Academy of French Language and Literature; Le Divertissement portugais

1904 – Fats Waller born, American pianist and composer

1914 – The Greyhound Bus Company begins in Minnesota

1918 – US House of Representatives passes amendment allowing women to vote by 274 to 136. Jeannette Rankin, the first woman to serve in Congress, spoke: “How shall we answer their challenge, gentlemen: how shall we explain to them the meaning of democracy if the same Congress that voted for war to make the world safe for democracy refuses to give this small measure of democracy to the women of our country?”  The amendment fails to pass in the Senate, and has to be introduced all over again 1919

1921 – Andrei Sakharov born, Soviet scientist and dissident, 1975 Nobel Peace Prize

1922 – The Pulitzer Prize for Drama awarded to Eugene O’Neill for Anna Christie

1923 – Dorothy Hewitt born, Australian poet, novelist, playwright and feminist; while working under pen names for the Communist paper, The Tribune, she also working in a clothing factory, so her first novel, Bobbin Up, is semi-autographical; she became disillusioned with the Communist Party in the 1960s, and renounced her membership after the Soviet Army’s brutal suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968; her collection of poems, Rapunzel in Suburbia, was published in 1975, and Virago Press published her autobiography Wild Card

1925 – Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen leaves Spitsbergen with two seaplanes for the North Pole

Roald Amundsen in 1925

1927 – Aviator Charles Lindbergh, in the Spirit of St Louis, lands in Paris after the first solo air crossing of Atlantic

1929 – Sergei Prokoviev’s ballet Prodigal Son premieres in Paris

1944 – Mary Robinson born, first woman President of Ireland (1990-1997); UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002)

1944 – Haleh Afshar born in Iran, Baroness Afshar, British academic and life peer in the House of Lords; prominent Shi’a Muslim feminist; educated in England, earning a PhD from New Hall, Cambridge; in Iran, she worked as a civil servant in land reform, and as a journalist, one of the first cohort of Iranian women to vote, but left during the Iranian Revolution; professor of women’s studies at the University of York; appointed to the board of the Women’s National Commission in 2008, and is a founding member of the Muslim Women’s Network

1947 – Linda Laubenstein born, American physician, specialist in hematology and oncology, and early HIV/AIDS researcher and activist, one of the first U.S. doctors to recognize the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s; co-author of the first article linking AIDS with Kaposi’s sarcoma; a childhood bout of polio left her paraplegic, and in a wheelchair for the remainder of her life; she died suddenly at age 45 of a heart attack

1958 – Muffy Thomas Calder born in Canada, Scottish computer scientist and academic; since 2005, Vice-Principal and Head of College of Science and Engineering, as well as Professor of Formal Methods at the University of Glasgow; Chief Scientific Advisor to the Scottish Government (2012-2015)

1959 – The musical Gypsy opens on Broadway

1966 –Mamas and the Papas album If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears is #1

1970 – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young record “Ohio”

1979 – Former San Francisco City Supervisor Dan White is convicted of voluntary manslaughter for killing Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk

1980 – The Empire Strikes Back, the second Star Wars movie, is released

1985 – Marvin Gaye’s last album, Dream of a Lifetime, is released

1994 – Tim McGraw’s album Not a Moment Too Soon is #1

2001 – France’s Taubira law, named for French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira, officially recognizes the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity

Christiane Taubira

2002 – The first World Day for Cultural Diversity, for Dialogue and Development * following UNESCO’s adoption of the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity

2011 – Evangelist Harold Camping gets it wrong again; he was predicting that the Rapture, the day when all good Christians, alive or dead, will meet Jesus in the sky, would occur on this date; previously, he had claimed that Judgment Day and the Rapture would happen in the middle of September, 1994



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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