ON THIS DAY: July 24, 2018

July 24 is

Cousins Day

Drive-Thru Day

Tell an Old Joke Day

National Tequila Day

Thermal Engineer Day *


MORE! Alexander Dumas, Amelia Earhart and Hiram Bingham, click


World Festivals and National Holidays

Ecuador and Venezuela – Simón Bolívar Birthday

Greece – Restoration of Democracy Day

Spain – Sant Antoni de Portmany:
Resistance Music Festival

Vanuatu – Children’s Day


On This Day in HISTORY

1148 – French King Louis VII’s troops lay siege to Damascus during Second Crusade

1487 – Citizens of Leeuwarden, in the Netherlands, go on strike protesting a ban on imported beer

1505 – Portuguese explorers under the command of Dom Francisco de Almeida besiege the city-state of Kilwa Kisiwani, on the eastern coast of Africa, and kill the king, for failing to pay them tribute. Vasco da Gama had previously extorted tribute, claiming Portuguese hegemony. Portuguese control was short-lived; they abandoned their outpost in 1512

1567 – Mary, Queen of Scots, is forced to abdicate in favor of her year-old son, James VI

1783 – Simón Bolívar born, “El Liberatador,” Venezuelan military leader who was instrumental in the revolts against the Spanish empire in Venezuela, Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru, leading to the founding of the short-lived Gran Columbia federation (1821-1830)

1802 – Alexander Dumas père born, French author and dramatist; best known for The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo

1803 – Adolphe Adam born, French composer, noted for the ballets Giselle (1841) and Le corsair (1856)

1823 – Slavery is abolished in Chile

1847 – Brigham Young and his followers arrive at the Great Salt Lake in Utah

1847 – Richard M. Hoe patents rotary-type printing press

1853 – William Gillette born, American playwright and actor; Sherlock Holmes was his signature role

1866 – Tennessee is the first state readmitted to the Union after the Civil War

1868 – Marie Goegg-Pouchoulin founds the Association Internationale des Femmes, the first women’s organization in Switzerland, advocating for women’s rights, education and peace; leads a successful campaign for women’s admission to University of Geneva in 1872

1880 – Ernest Bloch born in Switzerland, American composer, many of his works inspired by his Jewish heritage

1889 – Agnes Meyer Driscoll born, American cryptanalyst, mathematician and physicist, who was fluent in French, German, Latin, Japanese and English; she enlisted in the U.S. Navy during WWI as a chief yeoman (highest rank available to women then) in the Postal Cable and Censorship Office, then was reassigned to the Code and Signal section of the Director of Naval Communications, where she became a leading cryptanalyst, and stayed on as a civilian, except for a two year stint working for the Hebern Electric Code Company on developing an early cipher machine. She returned to the Navy in 1924, where she was an early supporter of machine support to code cracking. Driscoll was a major player in breaking the Japanese Navy manual codes – the Red Book Code in 1926, and the Blue Book Code in 1930; early in 1935, she was a leading member of the team cracking the Japanese M-1 cipher machine used by the Japanese Navy for encrypting messages to their naval attachés in embassies around the world. In 1940, she was doing critical preliminary work on JN-25, the Japanese fleet’s operational code, before she was transferred to a U.S. team working on the German Enigma cipher, but their approach proved fruitless. She was reassigned in 1943 to a team already working on the Japanese Coral cipher, however, the code was broken by others shortly after her arrival. Driscoll was in the U.S. Navy contingent which joined the Armed Forces Security Agency in 1949, and then the National Security Agency in 1952. She retired in 1959

1895 – Robert Graves born, English novelist, poet and classical scholar; I, Claudius


1892 – Icie Hoobler born, biochemist and physiologist; first woman to head a local section of the American Chemical Society and to serve as its national president; Director of the Research Laboratory of the Children’s Fund of Michigan

1897 – Amelia Earhart born, American aviator; first woman pilot to fly solo across the American continent (1928) and across the Atlantic (1932); in 1931, became an official of the National Aeronautic Association, promoted the establishment of separate women’s records; member of the Ninety-Nines (named for the number of charter members), a women pilots organization which promoted women in aviation; her plane went missing in the Pacific en route to Howland Island during an attempt to fly around the world in 1937; there have been numerous searches and theories about what happened, but no trace of the plane, Earhart or her navigator Fred Noonan has been found

1900 – Zelda Fitzgerald born, American author, poet and socialite; she and her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald became symbols of the Jazz Age in the 1920s. Her only published novel, the semi-autobiographical Save Me the Waltz (1932), was poorly received, but F. Scott Fitzgerald had insisted she make major alternations prior to publication, as much of what she had written overlapped events he was using in his as-yet unfinished novel Tender is the Night. It has since been reevaluated somewhat more favorably.  She spent much of her life from the mid-1930s until her death in and out of sanitoriums. In 1948, she was locked in a room awaiting electroshock therapy when a fire engulfed the Highland Hospital’s main building in Asheville NC, killing her and eight other women

1904 – James Rhyne Killian born, American academic; president of M.I.T. (1948-59); as Special Assistant for Science and Technology to President Eisenhower, he oversees creation of the President’s Science Advisory Committee (PSAC), which helps create NASA after the USSR launches Sputniks 1 and 2

1908 – Cootie Williams born, American Jazz musician

1911 – Hiram Bingham finds the ruins of Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes

1916 – John D. MacDonald born, American mystery and science fiction writer; Travis McGee mystery series

1920 – Bella Abzug born, politician, lawyer, and outspoken feminist; Congresswoman (D-NY 1971-1977); co-founder in 1971 of the National Women’s Political Caucus, and wearer of hats

1922 – Draft of British Mandate of Palestine confirmed by League of Nations Council

1929 – Kellogg-Briand Act, renouncing war as instrument of foreign policy, goes into effect (first signed in Paris in August, 1928, by most leading world powers)

1937 – The state of Alabama drops charges against four of the nine black teenaged males accused of raping two white women on a train – the infamous ‘Scottsboro Boys’ case; others spend years in prison even after the women recant, admitting their story is false

1938 – Artie Shaw records “Begin the Beguine”

1950 – Cape Canaveral begins operations, launching a Bumper rocket

1953 – Claire McCaskill born, American Democratic politician; regarded as a “moderate,” she has frequently voted against her party’s positions, but has received a 100% favorable rating from Planned Parenthood on healthcare and abortion rights, and an “F” rating from the National Rifle Association; U.S. Senator from Missouri since 2007, and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee since 2017; served as Auditor of Missouri (1999-2007), Prosecutor of Jackson County (1993-1998),and in the Missouri House of Representatives (1983-1988)

1959 – The “kitchen debate” between U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev takes place at the American National Exhibition opening in Moscow, in the exhibition’s model kitchen; they discuss washing machines, capitalism, the free exchange of ideas, summit meetings, rockets and ultimatums

1960 – Catherine Destivelle born, French mountaineer; first woman to complete a solo ascent of the Eiger’s north face (1992)

1965 –The Byrds’ cover of Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” is the #1 single in the UK

1966 – Aminatou Haidar born, Sahrawi (nomadic tribe of Berber-Arab heritage) human rights activist and advocate for the independence of Western Sahara, noted for non-violent protests; president of the Collective of Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders (CODESA); imprisoned by Moroccan authorities in 1987-1991 and 2005-2006. In 2009, she was returning from a trip to the U.S. when her passport was confiscated, and she was expelled by Morocco for refusing to state her nationality as “Moroccan” which a Moroccan official called an “act of treason.” She staged a hunger strike after being forced back to her previous stop, the airport in the Canary Islands. The UN, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International all called on Morocco to allow her to return to her home, resulting in global headlines. After over four weeks, she was near death, and Moroccan authorities finally allowed her return, but she was placed under house arrest, and blocked from speaking to journalists. A month later, she returned to Spain for medical treatment, and was found to still be in poor health. Amnesty International reported that Haidar and her family were under constant surveillance by Moroccan security forces and were being harassed and intimidated. She has continued her non-violent struggle for the rights of the Sharawi people in spite of death threats and even physical attacks on herself and members of her family

1969 – NASA’s returning Apollo 11 splashes down safely in the Pacific after its manned moon mission

1974 – U.S. Supreme Court rules 9-0 that President Nixon must turn over subpoenaed White House tapes to Watergate special prosecutor

1979 – Ted Bundy is convicted of first-degree murder by a Miami jury for killing two women college students

1987 – Hulda Crooks, 91-years-old, becomes oldest person to climb Japan’s Mount Fuji

1990 – Iraq masses huge numbers of troops and tanks on its border with Kuwait

1995 – Three-night celebration of Frank Sinatra’s 80th birthday begins at Carnegie Hall

2001 – Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the last Tsar of Bulgaria when he was a child, is sworn in as Prime Minister of Bulgaria, becoming the first monarch in history to regain political power through democratic election to a different office

2002 – U.S. House of Representatives expels Representative James Traficant (D-OH) after he is convicted in federal court of bribery, tax evasion and racketeering

2014 – The first Thermal Engineer Day, fittingly occurring on July 24, a day often ranked as one of the hottest of the year


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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