ON THIS DAY: July 4, 2018

July 4th is

Happy Fourth of July

Barbecued Spareribs Day

Sidewalk Egg Frying Day

Caesar Salad Day

National Country Music Day

Independence from Meat Day

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MORE! Walt Whitman, Gloria Stuart, and Neil Simon, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Norway – Queen Sonja’s Birthday

Philippines – Philippine Republic Day

Rwanda – Liberation Day

Tonga –
Birth of His Majesty King Tupou VI

United States and U.S. territories –
4th of July/Independence Day

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On This Day in HISTORY

68 BC – Salonia Matidia born; her maternal uncle was Trajan, who thought highly of her intelligence and listened to her opinions; her daughter married Hadrian, who became Roman Emperor after Trajan; when Matidia died in 119, Hadrian delivered her funeral oration, deified her, and granted her a temple and altar in Rome itself, making her the first divinized Roman woman with a full-scale temple of her own, not shared with her husband



362 BC – The Thebans, led by Epaminondas, defeat the Spartans at the Second Battle of Mantinea, but Epaminondas is hit in the chest with a spear, which broke, leaving its iron
point in his body, and he collapses. The Thebans fight fiercely to keep their wounded ruler from falling into Spartan hands, but he dies of the wound just after hearing that the Thebans are victorious. The loss of Epaminindas far outweighs the value of the victory – neither side can create a strong enough collation to unite the city-states, which eases the way for Philip II of Macedon’s conquest much of Greece by 346 BC

1054 – Chinese of the Song dynasty and Arab observers record supernova – remnants form the Crab Nebula


The Crab Nebula


1636 – The City of Providence, Rhode Island, is founded

1776 – The Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence



1789 – The Tariff Act of 1789, the first substantial Congressional legislation, is signed into law by President George Washington; together with the Collection Act of 1789, they protect American trade and raise revenues for the federal government

1802 – The U.S. Military Academy opens at West Point NY

1803 – President Jefferson announces the Louisiana Purchase to the American people

1804 – Nathaniel Hawthorne born, major 19th century American author; House of the Seven Gables, The Scarlet Letter



1807 – Giuseppe Garibaldi born, Italian nationalist, military leader of the unification of Italy, a founding father with Camillo Cavour, Victor Emmanuel II, and Giuseppe Mazzini of the Kingdom of Italy



1817 – Erie Canal Construction begins, to connect Lake Erie with the Hudson River

1826 – Thomas Jefferson and John Adams die on the same day, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence

1826 – Stephen Foster born, American songwriter of over 200 songs



1827 – Slavery is abolished in New York state

1845 – Henry David Thoreau begins his two-year experiment in simple living at Walden Pond near Concord MA




1855 – Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass is published



1863 – American Civil War: After 47 days of siege, Vicksburg, Mississippi, surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia is retreating after devastating losses at the Battle of Gettysburg: almost one-third of his army and his general officers were killed, wounded, captured or missing

1868 – Henrietta Swan Leavitt born, American astronomer; discoverer of relationship between luminosity and variables associated with Cepheid stars, allowing astronomers to measure the distance between Earth and other galaxies



1883 – Reuben ‘Rube’ Goldberg born, American engineer, sculptor and cartoonist, won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning for his work at the New York Sun; a founding member and the first president of the National Cartoonists Society; their Reuben Award is named for him, and is given to the Cartoonist of the Year



1898 – Dr. Pilar Barbosa de Rosario born, Puerto Rican historian, educator and political activist; daughter of Puerto Rican Senator Jose Barbosa, often called “the Father of the Puerto Rican Statehood Movement; got her Doctorate in History at Clark University in Massachusetts, and returned home to become the first woman hired as a professor at University of Puerto Rico’s College of Liberal Arts; in 1929, she established the Department of History and Social Sciences, and was its director until 1943, but continued to teach until her retirement in 1967; she was very active in the statehood movement, following in her father’s footsteps, and served as a political advisor to members of the New Progressive Party, including Resident Commissioner and Governor Luis Fortuño (2009-2013); named by the Legislative Assembly as Official Historian of Puerto Rice in 1993; she lived to be 98 years old

1898 – Gertrude Lawrence born, British actress, singer and dancer, international theatrical and film star; during WWI, she traveled under grueling conditions to entertain troops in both Europe and the Pacific


Gertrude Lawrence on the cover of LIFE, November 27, 1944


1900 – Belinda Boyd Dann, Australian born as Quinlyn Warrakoo to a Nykina mother and an Irish cattle station manager; one of the “stolen generations,” when she was 8 years old, she was taken away from her mother and sent to Beagle Bay Mission in Western Australia, where her name was changed to Belinda Boyd. She married Mathias Dann in 1918. Although she remembered Warrakoo was her name, she did not know who she was or where she came from. One of her grandsons told her story and her original name to a friend who was connected to the Nykina people, and in 2007, Warrakoo met her 97-year-old brother for the first time, just weeks before he died, and spoke the Nykina language for the first time in almost a century. She died a few months later at age 107

1900 – Nellie Mae Rowe born, Africa-American self-taught artist, now considered an important folk artist; her home and yard were her primary canvas, which she referred to as her ‘playhouse’; it was dismantled and torn down after her death in 1982, replaced by a hotel, which has a plaque identifying the site’s previous inhabitant

Happy Days – (1981) crayon and pencil, by Nellie Mae Rowe


1903 – Dorothy Levitt becomes first English woman to compete in a ‘motor race.’ She would go on to hold the world’s first water speed record and the women’s world land speed record. Author of The Woman and the Car: A Chatty Little Handbook for all Women who Motor or Who Want to Motor, published in 1909, in which she told  women to “carry a little hand-mirror in a convenient place when driving” so they may “hold the mirror aloft from time to time in order to see behind while driving in traffic,” inventing the rear view mirror before it was introduced by manufacturers in 1914


photo of Dorothy Levitt from the cover of her book


1905 – Lionel Trilling born, American author and major literary critic

1910 – “America the Beautiful” is published; lyrics from the poem “America” (title changed from “Pikes Peak” for publication) by Katherine Lee Bates, and music by Samuel A. Ward, originally written for a hymn called “O Mother Dear, Jerusalem” published in 1895



1910 – Gloria Stuart born, American film and stage actress, visual artist and political and environmental activist; she made her first appearance in movies in 1932, and played her last role in 2004, with a gap from 1945 to 1975, in which she left acting, and became an artist working in several mediums, including painting, making fine prints and miniature books, and shaping Bonsai. In 1975, she started doing small parts on television and in movies, then was cast in 1996 as the older Rose in Titianic, five days after her 86th birthday, for which she was nominated in 1997 for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She was campaigned for an actors’ union, and was a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild. Stuart helped form the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League in 1936, and was co-founder with Dorothy Parker of the League to Support the Spanish War Orphans. She was also a long-time environmentalist: “I belong to every organization that has to do with saving the environment.”  She lived to the age of 100


Idiot’s Bouquet – Hand, by Gloria Stuart


1917 – Manuel Laureano Rodríguez Sánchez born, known as Manolete, one of the greatest Spanish bullfighters

1918 – Esther and Pauline Friedman born, twin sisters better known as Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren, American syndicated advice columnists



1927 – First Flight of the Lockheed Vega 1, at Mines Field



1927 – Neil Simon born, American playwright; has more combined Tony and Oscar nominations than any other writer, and only playwright ever to have four plays running on Broadway at the same time



1934 – Yvonne B. Miller born, American Democratic politician, civil rights activist and teacher; first African American woman to serve in both houses of the Virginia state legislature; first woman to chair a Virginia Senate committee; she died while in office as the longest-serving woman in the Virginia Senate at that time

1936 – Zdzisława Donat born, Polish coloratura soprano, notable as the Queen of Night in Die Zauberflöte, Professor Emeritus at Frédéric Chopin University of Music



1937 – Queen Sonja of Norway born as a commoner; noted as a humanitarian activist, involved in Princess Märtha Louise’s Fund, which provides assistance to disabled children in Norway, and active in large-scale initiatives to raise funds for international refugees. Served as Vice President (1987-1990) of the Norwegian Red Cross, traveling with delegations to Botswana and Zimbabwe in 1989; Queen Sonja’s School Award, started in 2006, honors schools demonstrating “excellence in efforts to promote inclusion and equality”

1938 – Bill Withers born, American singer-songwriter; Three Grammy wins, and four additional nominations; inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015



1942 – Irving Berlin’s musical This is the Army opens on Broadway



1946 – The Philippines becomes independent

1950 – The first program is aired by U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe, an anti-communist propaganda broadcast aimed at Central Europe and the Soviet Union

1951 – Kathleen Kennedy Townsend born, American attorney, Democratic politician; since 2010, chair of American Bridge, a non-profit which raises funds for Democratic candidates and causes; Lieutenant Governor of Maryland (1995-2003)

1958 – Vera Leth born, Greenlandic civil servant, County Council Ombudsman for the Parliament of Green land since 1997

1959 – The new 49-star U.S. flag honoring Alaska statehood is unfurled

1963 – Sonia Pierre born, Dominican human rights advocate, worked to end  Antihaitianismo, discrimination against persons of Haitian origin in the Dominican Republic; recipient of Amnesty International’s 2003 Human Rights Ginetta Sagan Fund Award and the 2006 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award; she grew up in a migrant workers’ camp, one of 12 children, whose father was an undocumented worker from Haiti. Her mother came with a temporary work permit in 1957. Pierre’s nationality was disputed by the Junta Central Electoral, which said her birth certificate was forged. She began her political activism at age 14, organizing a five-day protest by sugar cane workers for better living conditions and wages. She was arrested, but the workers’ demands were met. She became director of the Movement for Dominican Women of Haitian Descent (MUDHA). In 2005, she petitioned the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to hear the case of two ethnic Haitian children who were denied Dominican birth certificates, Yean and Bosico v. Dominican Republic, “upheld human rights laws prohibiting racial discrimination in access to nationality and citizenship.”  The court also ordered the Dominican government to provide the birth certificates, but the Dominican Supreme Court later ruled that “Haitian workers were considered ‘in transit,’ and that their children were therefore not entitled to citizenship.”


Sonia Pierre, center, with Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama – 2010


1966 – President Lyndon Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act into law

1966 – The Lovin’ Spoonful release “Summer In The City”



1973 – Keiko Ihara born, Japanese race car driver

1976 – The U.S. celebrates its Bicentennial – in New York, 225 sailing ships under 31 flags parade up the Hudson River

1997 – The Mars Pathfinder deploys Sojourner on Mars



2005 – A NASA space probe, Deep Impact, hits its comet target as planned in a mission to learn how the solar system formed

2010 – General David Petraeus formally assumes command of the 130,000 troops of the international force in Afghanistan

2012 – The discovery of particles consistent with the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider is announced at CERN

2013 – Because Hurricane Sandy severely damaged the Liberty Island dock and knocked out power in 2012, the Statue of Liberty had been closed while repairs were made; it reopens to the public on this day


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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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