ON THIS DAY: August 7, 2018

August 7th is

National Lighthouse Day *

National Purple Heart Day *

Professional Speakers Day

Raspberries n’ Cream Day

Sea Serpent Day *

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MORE! Simón Bolívar, Mata Hari and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Carnival Tuesday/August Festival – Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Domenica, Grenada, Saints Kitts and Nevis

Columbia – Battle of Boyacá Day

Cote d’Ivoire – Independence Day

Sweden – Visby: Medeltidsveckan
(Middle Ages Festival)

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On This Day in HISTORY

322 BC – Athenian coalition forces lose to the Macedonians at the Battle of Crannon, effectively ending their rebellion against Macedonian hegemony, which they attempt to overthrow after the death of Alexander the Great in June

1420 – Construction of Santa Maria del Fiore dome begins in Florence, Italy

1461 – Ming Dynasty Tianshun Emperor has a ‘to-be-purged’ list of any who didn’t support him against his half-brother, the Jingtai Emperor, so General Cao Qin and his Mongol and Han troops attempt to overthrow him, but their plot is exposed and fails. Cao Qin commits suicide at the end of a last stand against imperial troops

1533 – Don Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga born, Spanish noble, soldier and epic poet; his octava real poem La Araucana depicts the courageous insurrection of the Araucanians and the Spanish conquest of Chile



1560 –Elizabeth Báthory born, the “Blood Countess,” Hungarian torturer and killer of hundreds of young women over a 24-year period

1751 – Wilhelmina of Prussia, Princess of Orange born, leader of the dynastic stadtholder party and the counter revolution while married to William V of Orange


Wilhelmina of Prussia, Princess of Orange by Johann Georg Ziesenis


1779 – Carl Ritter born, German geographer, a pioneer of modern geography

1783 – John Heathcote born, English inventor of lace-making machinery

1782 – General George Washington designates the first American military decoration,
the Badge of Military Merit, for “any singularly meritorious action” now known as the Purple Heart for its shape and color



1789 – U.S. Congress approves an act for “establishment and support of Lighthouse, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers” – Two hundred years later, Congress designated August 7th as National Lighthouse Day *



1789 – U.S. Department of War established, later becomes Department of Defense

1813 – Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis born, American abolitionist, feminist and educator, founder of the pioneering U.S. women’s rights newspaper, The Una; co-founder of the New England Woman Suffrage Association; published The History of the National Woman’s Rights Movement (1870)



1819 – Simón Bolívar defeats the Spanish in the Battle of Boyacá *



1848 – Sea Serpent Day *- The crew of the HMS Daedalus, voyaging to Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, sight a 60-foot-long sea creature with a strange maned head



1848 – Alice James born, American diarist, chronicled her life and struggles with mental illness, sister of psychologist William James and novelist Henry James

1857 – Cecile Chaminade born, French late-Romantic composer and pianist



1864 – Ellen Fitz Pendleton born, American academic and administrator; Wellesley College president (1911-1936); acting president in 1910; Wellesley College dean (1902-1910); associate professor of mathematics and in charge of College Hall (1901-1902)

1876 – Mata Hari born, Dutch exotic dancer; executed as a WWI German spy, but was probably a double-agent for the French and the Germans



1886 – Pietro Yon born in Italy, American composer and organist



1887 – Anna Elisabet Weirauch born, German author and screenwriter; actor with the German State Theatre under Max Reinhardt; notable for Der Skorpion, a pioneering novel of lesbian literature



1888 – Theophilus Van Kannel patents the revolving door

1890 – Elizabeth Gurley Flynn born, American author, feminist, Labor activist and orator with the IWW, Chair of the National Committee of the Communist Party USA – the song “The Rebel Girl” was written for her by Joe Hill; founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a principal activist for their International Labor Defense (ILD), formed in 1925



1903 – Louis Leakey born, Kenyan-English paleontologist and archaeologist



1904 – Ralph Bunche born, African American political scientist, pioneering UN diplomat who negotiates the 1949 armistice between newly-born Israel and the Arab states, for which he wins the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize



1909 – Alice Huyler Ramsey becomes first to complete a cross-country automobile trip, traveling with three friends (none of whom could drive) for 59 days from New York, NY to San Francisco, CA


Alice Huyler Ramsey changing a tire


1911 – Nicholas Ray born, influential American filmmaker-screenwriter



1921 – Ricardo Baliardo born, AKA Manitas de Plata, flamenco guitarist



1925 – Felice Bryant born, American songwriter; teamed with her husband for such hits as “All I Have to Do Is Dream” and “Bye, Bye Love”

1927 – The Peace Bridge opens between Fort Erie ONT Canada and Buffalo NY

1928 – Betsy Byars born, American children’s book author; Newbery Medal for Summer of the Swans; National Book Award and Edgar Award winner


Illustration from Summer of the Swans


1932 – Abebe Bikila born, Ethiopian Olympic marathon winner and first East African medal winner, who set a world record at the 1960 Rome Olympics running barefoot to win the gold, then became the first athlete to successfully defend an Olympic marathon title, at the 1964 Tokyo games

1933 – Elinor Ostrom born, American political economist; shares 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences with Oliver Williamson; first woman Nobel Laureate in Economics; elected to U.S. National Academy of Science in 2001; noted for Ostrom’s Law: A shared resource arrangement that works in practice can work in theory



1934 – U.S. Court of Appeals upholds lower court ruling in United States v. One Book Called ‘Ulysses’ against the banning of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses, declaring that “offensive language in a literary work is not obscene where it does not promote lust”

1938 – Helen Caldicott born, Australian physician, author and activist; outspoken opponent of nuclear power and weapons; radio host of If You Love This Planet; now campaigning against climate changed deniers



1938 – Construction on the Nazi concentration camp at Mauthausen-Gusen begins, after the Third Reich annexes Austria in May, 1938

1942 – Garrison Keillor born, author, humorist and radio star



1942 – U.S. forces land at Guadalcanal, the opening of a major WWII Allied offensive in the Pacific

1944 – IBM dedicates Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (Harvard Mark I)

1947 – Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki reaches Tuamotu Islands after 101 day voyage across Pacific, proving pre-historic peoples could have traveled from South America



1953 – Anne Fadiman born, American journalist and essayist; won the 1997 National Book Critics Circle Award for her non-fiction book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down; a founding editor of the Library of Congress magazine Civilization

1955 – Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering, precursor to Sony, sells first transistor radio in Japan

1957 – Daire Brehan born, Irish stage and television actress, barrister and BBC radio presenter; co-founder in 1985 of the theatre company Theatre Unlimited; was called to the Bar in 2002, practicing in criminal defense and prosecutor; in 2005, became a member of the Inner Temple; elected in 2012 a Bencher of the Honorable Society of the Inner Temple

1959 – Caroline Ansink born, Dutch composer and flautist



1959 – The “Lincoln Memorial” penny goes into circulation, replacing “sheaves of wheat” design

1960 – Ivory Coast becomes independent from France

1962 – Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey receives U.S. President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service for refusing to authorize thalidomide



1964 – U.S. Congress passes Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving LBJ the broad powers he requests to strengthen his hand in dealing with “Communist aggression” in SE Asia

1968 – Francesca Gregorini born in Italy, Italian-American film director, scriptwriter and musician; made her directing debut on Tanner Hall, for which she also co-authored the screenplay; her film The Truth About Emanuel was selected for the dramatic competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival

1971 – NASA Apollo 15 returns to Earth from its manned mission to the moon

1976 – NASA Viking 2 enters orbit around Mars

1979 – Birgit Zotz born, Austrian cultural anthropologist and writer; noted for her knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism, and studies of cross-cultural hospitality management; president of Komyoji, an intercultural institution



1985 – Takao Doi, Mamoru Mohri and Chiaki Mukai become Japan’s first astronauts

1987 – Lynne Cox becomes first person to swim from the United States to the USSR, crossing from Little Diomede Island in Alaska to Big Diomede in the Soviet Union

1990 – President George H.W. Bush orders U.S. military to Saudi Arabia, anticipating possible invasion by Iraq

1998 – Bombings at the U.S. embassies at Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Nairobi in Kenya kill over 210 people

2000 – Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore chooses Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman as his running mate, the first Jewish candidate on a major party ticket

2003 – Arnold Schwarzenegger announces his candidacy for California governor

2007 – International Assistance Dog Week * is launched by Marcie Davis,  a paraplegic who has never let that slow her down; author of Working Like Dogs: The Service Dog Guidebook

2010 – Elena Kagan is sworn in as the fourth woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court

Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Elena Kagan – 2010


2012 – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a guest of honor at a dinner hosted by South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in Johannesburg, was one of the first people out on the dance floor, laughing with jazz singer Judith Sephuma as they tried to outdo each other in dance moves. This was a break from serious business; Clinton was attending a conference on stopping the spread of AIDS in South Africa, which has the highest HIV infection rate in the world


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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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