ON THIS DAY: July 31, 2018

July 31 is

Avocado Day

National Mutt Day *

Raspberry Cake Day

World Ranger Day *

Jump for Jelly Beans Day

Uncommon Musical Instruments Day

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MORE! Daniel Defoe, Marion Talbot and Whitney Young, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

India – Punjab:
Martyrdom of Shahid Udham Singh

Peru – Día de San Ignacio de Loyola

United States – Hawaii:
La Hae Hawai’i (Hawaiian flag day)

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On This Day in HISTORY

30 BC – Mark Anthony’s army deserts after the Battle of Alexandria

781 – The oldest recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan



1492 – Alhambra decree takes effect and the Jews are expelled from Spain

1703 – Daniel Defoe, in pillory for a ‘seditious’ pamphlet, is pelted by the crowd – with flowers



1777 – The Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French nobleman, is made a major-general in the American Continental Army



1790 – The first U.S. patent is issued to Samuel Hopkins for a potash process; it is signed by President George Washington, Attorney General Edmund Randolph, and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson

1792 – Cornerstone for the U.S. Mint laid in Philadelphia PA

1804 – George Baxter born, English engraver and printer, pioneer in color printing


New York Crystal Palace, color print by George Baxter – 1853


1811 – Jane Currie Blaikie Hoge born, American nurse, welfare worker; fundraiser for the Union war effort; Chicago Home for the Friendless founder; Chicago Sanitary Commission co-administrator during U.S. Civil War; her Civil War memoir is The Boys in Blue



1816 – Lydia Moss Bradley born, American businesswoman and philanthropist, managed her own fortune after her husband’s death, successful in real estate, first woman member of a national banking board; endowed the Bradley Polytechnic Institute: first American woman known to draw up a prenuptial agreement to protect her assets

1828 – François-Auguste Gevaert born, Belgian composer and musicologist; Chef de Chant at the Académie Royale de Musique (Paris Opera)



1831 – Sarah J. Thompson Garnet, American suffragist and educator, first African American woman school principal in the New York City public schools, founder of the Equal Suffrage League in Brooklyn



1833 – Amelia Stone Quinton born, American social activist, advocate for Native American rights, helped found the Women’s National Indian Association



1845 – French Army adds the saxophone, invented by Adolphe Sax, to its military band

Early saxophone made by Adolphe Sax


1847 – Ignacio Cervantes born, Cuban pianist and composer



1856 – Christchurch, New Zealand, is chartered as a city

1858 – Marion Talbot born; when she had difficulty gaining admission to Boston University in spite of her father being the dean of its School of Medicine, she became a tenacious supporter of higher learning for women, and campaigned against efforts to restrict equal educational opportunities; Dean of Women at the University of Chicago (1895-1925); established the first Midwestern regional meetings of college deans in 1902, and then Midwestern regional meetings for deans of women, beginning in 1911; co-founder of what became the American Association of University Women, and served as the organization’s president (1895-1897)



1858 – Richard Dixon Oldham born, English geologist; discoverer of evidence of the Earth’s Core

1860 – Mary Vaux Walcott born, American painter and naturalist, known for her watercolors of wildflowers, president of the Society of Women Geographers; her illustrations often published by the Smithsonian


Delphiniums – Mary Vaux Walcott, 1914 – Monkeyflower


1865 – World’s first narrow-gauge mainline railway opens in Queensland, Australia

1874 – Dr. Patrick Francis Healy becomes president of Georgetown University, the first mixed-race male president of a mostly white U.S. university

1900 – Elmo Roper born, American developer of political forecasting by polls



1904 – Davis Dresser born, American author who wrote novels under several pen names; noted for originating the Michael Shayne mystery series under the pen name Brett Halliday, which he later commissioned others to write under the same pen name

1912 – Milton Friedman born, American economist; head cheerleader for Capitalism; recipient of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on consumption analysis,  monetary history and theory, and the complexity of stabilization policy; awarded the National Medal of Science in 1988; author of Capitalism and Freedom

1913 – The Balkan States sign an armistice in Bucharest, ending the first Balkan War

1914 – The New York Stock Exchange closes at the outbreak of WWI; trading doesn’t resume until December

1919 – Weimar Constitution adopted by German national assembly

1919 – Primo Levi born, Italian chemist and author whose writings drew on his experiences as an Auschwitz survivor

1921 – Whitney Young born, American civil rights leader; National Urban League head



1923 – Ahmet Ertegun born in Turkey, co-founder and president of Atlantic Records, who discovered many rhythm and blues and rock musicians, and fostered their careers; his father was a Turkish diplomat who served as the Turkish Ambassador to the U.S. (1934-1944); while in Washington DC, young Ahmet and his older brother frequently went to the city’s black district see top acts like Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong; when his father died, he was taking graduate courses at Georgetown University. The rest of their family moved back to Turkey, but he and his brother decided to stay in America

1923 – Stephanie Kwolek born, American chemist whose career at the Dupont company lasted over forty years; best known as the inventor of Kevlar, for which she was awarded the company’s Lavoisier Medal for outstanding technical achievement, the first woman employee to receive this honor; also won numerous awards for her work in polymer chemistry, including the National Medal of Technology, and the Perkin Medal, given by the Society of Chemical Industry “for innovation in applied chemistry resulting in outstanding commercial development”



1928 – First roar of the MGM Lion for talking picture White Shadows on the South Seas

1929 – Lynne Reid Banks born, British author, known for books for both children and adults; The Indian in the Cupboard and The L-Shaped Room

1930 – First radio broadcast of mystery program The Shadow

1938 – Archaeologists in Persepolis discover gold and silver plates of Darius the Great

1940 – Carol J. Clover born, American academic and author, authority on gender in films; author of Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film



1944 – Sherry Lansing born, American film studio executive; she went from mathematics teacher to actress (in two films) to head script reader at MGM; worked on The China Syndrome and Kramer vs. Kramer; moved to Columbia Pictures; partner with Stanley R. Jaffe in 1979 in Jaffe/Lansing Productions; in 1980, appointed as the first woman president of 20th Century Fox; in 1992, she became chair of Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group, but left in 2004 when Viacom, after taking over Paramount, decided to split the company into two parts

1952 – Faye Kellerman born, American author of mystery novels; noted for her Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series, especially its first book, The Ritual Bath, which won the 1987 Macavity Award for Best First Novel



1954 – First ascent of K2, by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio

1956 – Lynne Rae Perkins born, American author and illustrator of books for children and young adults; her novel Criss Cross won the 2006 Newberry Medal

1958 – Suzanne Giraud born, French contemporary music composer and academic; recipient of the Prix Georges Enesco, and the Prix Georges Bizet; her work is often inspired by poetry, paintings, or architecture



1964 –JPL conference displays the first of space probe Ranger 7’s transmissions of 4,000 pictures of the moon’s surface, hundreds of times clearer than any views through earth-bound telescopes

1965 – J.K. Rowling born as Joanne Rowling, British author of the best-selling book series in publishing history, the Harry Potter fantasy series; film and television producer; and philanthropist; in 1990, she was a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International, and the Harry Potter concept was born while she was stuck on a train which was delayed for four hours; during the next seven years, she persisted in writing through the death of her mother, birth of her first child, divorce from her first husband and surviving on state benefits, before the runaway success of the first Harry Potter book in 1997; the series made her the world’s first billionaire author, a status she quickly gave up, donating much of her fortune to charity, including  Comic Relief, One Parent Families,  Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain, the Shannon Trust, the English PEN Charity auction, and her own charity, the Lumos Foundation, which rescues children in orphanages separated from a living parent because of poverty or discrimination, and enables them to be reunited



1969 – Soviet thieves steal phone parts from thousands of Moscow phone booths to convert acoustic guitars to electric, causing a city-wide communication snafu

1970 – Black Tot Day in the British Royal Navy, the final ration of rum issued

1971 – Apollo 15 astronauts get first ride on the moon’s surface in a lunar rover vehicle

1972 – Democratic vice-presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton withdraws from the ticket with George McGovern following disclosures that Eagleton had once undergone psychiatric treatment

1975 – U.S. labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa disappears, still not found

1981 – Arnette Hybbard is the first woman president of U.S. National Bar Association

1991 – U.S. and Soviet Union leaders sign Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

1995 – Selena’s debut English album, “Dreaming of You” hits #1, a first for Latin artists



2005 – The first National Mutt Day * is launched by animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige to encourage adoption of mixed-breed dogs – also celebrated in December

2006 – In Cuba, Fidel Castro hands over power to his brother, Raúl

2007 – The U.N. Security Council unanimously approves a 26,000-strong peacekeeping force for Sudan’s Darfur region

2007 – The first World Ranger Day * to honor park rangers killed or injured protecting the world’s cultural and natural treasures, promoted by the 63 member associations of the International Ranger Federation, which was founded on this day in 1992


World Ranger Conference 2016


2008 – Principal Investigator Peter Smith announces confirmation of the NASA Phoenix Mars Lander’s detection of frozen water in Martian soil

2012 – U.S. Swimmer Michael Phelps breaks Larisa Latynina’s 1964 record for the most medals won at the Olympics, winning the most medals at four consecutive Olympics

2014 – A New York federal judge orders Bank of America to pay $1.3 billion USD in civil fraud penalties for “the hustle” – the fast-tracking by Countrywide Financial of high-risk mortgage applications in 2007-2008 to inflate its financial profile just before BofA bought Countrywide, leaving Bank of America responsible for the fallout

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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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