ON THIS DAY: August 12, 2018

August 12th is

International Youth Day *

Julienne Fries Day

Middle Child Day

Personal Computer Day *

Vinyl Record Day *

World Elephant Day *

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MORE!   Cleopatra, Isaac Singer and Sue Hendrickson, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Canada – Perth ONT:
Perth Garlic Festival

Germany – Heldesheim:
M’era Luna Music Festival

Romania – Buftea:
Summer Well Music Festival

Thailand – The Queen’s Birthday *

Turkmenistan – Melon Day
(muskmelon holiday)

United Kingdom – Penrith:
Lowther Country Living Showcase

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On This Day in HISTORY

30 BC – Egyptian Queen Cleopatra VII, last ruler of the Ptolemaic Dynasty, commits suicide rather than be displayed in Rome as prisoner of Octavian



1099 – Crusaders under Godfrey of Boullion defeat Al-afal Shahanshah’s Fatimid forces at the Battle of Ascalon, the last major engagement of the First Crusade

1323 – The Treaty of Nöteborg, known as the “permanent peace,” settles the border between Sweden and Novgorod (Russia) for the first time

1624 – Cardinal Richelieu becomes Louis XIII of France’s principal minister



1626 – Giovanni Legrenzi born, Italian Baroque composer



1687 – Holy Roman Empire forces under Charles of Lorraine soundly defeat the Ottoman Empire army under Sultan Mehmed IV at the Second Battle of Mohács, resulting in unification of Hungary under Habsburg rule

1696 – Maurice Greene born, English composer; organist at the Chapel Royal, then Master of the King’s Musick



1765 – The Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II signs the Treaty of Allahabad with the East India Company, granting Robert Clive “Diwani rights of Bengal, Behar and Odisha” in return for the annexed territories of the Nawab of Awadh after the Battle of Buxar,  marking the beginning of British rule in India


Shah’Alam conveying the grant of the Diwani to Lord Clive, by Benjamin West


1774 – Robert Southey born, English Romantic poet, essayist, historian and biographer; Poet Laureate of England (1813-1843)



1781 – Robert Mills born, American architect who designed the Washington Monument, U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Patent Office buildings; an early advocate of fire-resistant constitution methods

1806 – Elizabeth Oakes Smith born, American poet, author, lecturer and women’s rights activist; notable for poem “The Sinless Child” and series of feminist essays published in the New York Tribune circa 1850



1831 – Helena Blavatsky born, Russian author and theosophist, co-founder of the Theosophical Society, noted for Isis Unveiled, and The Key to Theosophy

1833 – Lillie Devereux Blake born, American author, suffragist and reformer, Civil War correspondent for the New York Evening PostNew York World and Philadelphia Press;  wrote successful novels Southwold and Rockford



1851 – Isaac Singer patents the double-headed sewing machine

1857 – Ernestine von Kirchberg born, Austrian landscape painter


Waldbach im Sonnenschein, by Ernestine von Kirchsberg


1859 – Katharine Lee Bates born, American writer, poet, academic, and social activist; her poem “America the Beautiful” became the lyrics for the song; she was one of the pioneers in creating American Literature as a field of study, teaching one of the first college courses, and writing one of the first textbooks on the subject; She co-founded Denison House, a settlement house in Boston, and worked for the rights of women, workers, people of color, immigrants, and slum dwellers; after WWI, she was active in the peace movement, and the attempts to establish the League of Nations, and she opposed American isolationism



1865 – Joseph Lister uses disinfectant during surgery for the first time

1866 – Jacinto Benavente y Martínez born, Spanish playwright who wrote 172 works; 1922 Nobel Prize for Literature; his most famous and performed work is Los intereses creados (The Bonds of Interest)

1867 – Edith Hamilton born in Germany, American author and educator, known for her books The Greek Way and Mythology



1875 – Ettore Panizza born, Argentine composer and a leading early 20thcentury conductor; most noted as a composer for his opera, Aurora, and its aria “Alta en el cielo” (High in the Sky) about the Argentine flag



1876 – Mary Roberts Rinehart born, American author and playwright, known for mystery and suspense novels, best remembered for The Circular Staircase

1877 – Thomas Edison, working on transcribing telegraphic messages, discovers recording sound directly onto cylinders to play it back, leading to the phonograph (see 2002 entry)

1879 – U.S. National Archery Association holds its first tournament in Chicago IL

1880 – Radcliffe Hall born, English poet and author; best known for her groundbreaking 1928 novel of lesbian literature, The Well of Loneliness. Though not sexually explicit, it became the subject of an obscenity trial in the United Kingdom which resulted in a ruling that all copies of the book be destroyed. Its U.S. publication is allowed only after an extended court battle



1881 – Vincent H. Bendix born, American pioneer in automotive and aviation inventor and industrialist; developer of the Bendix gear drive, leading to the electric starter

1882 – George W. Bellows born, American ‘Ashcan’ and realist painter, noted for depicting NYC urban life


Cliff Dwellers, by George Bellows – 1913


1883 – Quaggas, a subspecies of plains zebra, becomes extinct when the last one dies at the Natura Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam



1889 – Zerna Sharp born, American author and educator, creator of the Dick and Jane series for beginning readers



1898 – The Hawaiian flag is lowered from Iolani Palace in an elaborate annexation ceremony and replaced with the flag of the United States to signify the transfer of sovereignty from the Republic of Hawaii to the United States; six years after American planters had overthrown Queen Liliʻuokalani

1898 – The peace protocol to end the Spanish-American War is signed

1914 – Ruth Lowe born, Canadian songwriter; “I’ll Never Smile Again” and “Put Your Dreams Away”



1914 – Great Britain declares war on Austria-Hungary, continuing the escalation of WWI

1915 – W. Somerset Maugham publishes his novel Of Human Bondage



1918 – Regular airmail service begins between New York City and Washington DC

1919 – Margaret Burbidge born in England, British-American astrophysicist; did her undergraduate and graduate studies in astronomy at University College, London (1936-1939, Ph.D. 1943), then returned down for a Carnegie Fellowship in 1945 for the Mount Wilson Observatory because only men were allowed there at the time. She did come to the U.S. in 1951 on a grant for the Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin, focusing on the chemical abundances in stars. Returning to England in 1953, she collaborated with her husband and others on the stellar nuceleosynthesis theory, that all the chemical elements could be synthesized within stars by nuclear reaction. In 1955, she finally made it to Mount Wilson, posing as her husband’s assistant. When management found out, they agreed to let her stay on condition that the couple live in a cottage on the grounds instead of in the segregated dormitory.  In 1972, for the first time in 300 years, the directorship of the Royal Greenwich Observatory was not combined with the post of the Astronomer Royal, but was given to Margaret Burbidge, while Martin Ryle got the more prestigious post of Astronomer Royal. Her appointment was short-lived. In 1974, she left after controversy broke out over moving the Isaac Newton Telescope from its place in the observatory to a more useful location. Burbidge became one of the foremost and most influential advocates for ending discrimination against women in the field of astronomy.  In 1972 she turned down the Annie J. Cannon Award of the American Astronomical Society because it was awarded to women only. In 1984, the Society awarded her its highest honor, regardless of gender, the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship.  Burbidge was the first director of the Center for Astrophysics and Space Science at the University of California San Diego (1979-1988). In 1976, she became the first woman president of the American Astronomy Society. In 1977, she became a U. S.  citizen. Elected president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1981. In 1983, she was awarded the National Medal of Science. Also received the 1988 Albert Einstein World Award of Science



1932 – Sirikit, current Queen mother of Thailand, born; the world’s longest-serving consort to a reigning head of state; took on duties as queen regent in 1956, when the king entered the Buddhist monkhood for a time



1939 –First showing of The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland, in Oconomowoc WI



1945 – Dorothy E. Denning born, American computer scientist, software engineer and information security researcher, innovator in lattice-based access control (LBAC) and intrusion detection systems (IDS); inducted into the National Cyber Security Hall of Fame in 2012; now Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School; author of Cryptography and Data Security; named a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery in 1995; recipient of the 2001 Augusta Ada Lovelace Award from the Association for Women in Computing



1952 – The Night of the Murdered Poets: 13 Soviet Jews, five of them Yiddish writers, are executed by the USSR, after being imprisoned in Lubyanka Prison without formal charges for three years

1953 – The Soviet Union secretly tests its first thermonuclear bomb

1955 – The U.S. Minimum Wage is raised from 75 cents an hour to $1.00 an hour

1960 – First balloon communication satellite, Echo One, is launched

1964 – The IOC bars South Africa from the Tokyo Olympics because of Apartheid

1966 – John Lennon apologizes at a Chicago press conference for saying the Beatles are more popular than Jesus

1970 – The Hollywood Bowl holds a Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert in Los Angeles



1977 – The space shuttle Enterprise passes its first solo flight test, taking off atop a Boeing 747, separating and then touching down in California’s Mojave Desert



1981 – Personal Computer Day * – IBM introduces the first Personal Computer, IBM PC Model 5150. Retailing at $1,565, the basic unit had 16 kB of memory.  One Megabyte is about 1,024 Kilobytes – most of today’s tablets have 256 MB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal memory



1990 – American paleontologist Sue Hendrickson discovers the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton yet found, in South Dakota. It is dubbed “Sue” in her honor, displayed at the Field Museum in Chicago IL



1998 – Swiss banks agree to pay $1.25 billion in restitution to Holocaust survivors to settle claims for their assets

1999 – The UN General Assembly designates August 12 as International Youth Day *, to recognize and celebrate young people’s contributions to ecological, social justice and peace movements world-wide

2002 – Vinyl Record Day * is proclaimed in San Luis Obispo County CA; now sponsored by Vinyl Record Day, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the cultural influences, cover art of vinyl records, and records themselves (see 1877 entry)



2007 – Archaeologists find 8 million-year-old cypress trees preserved in Hungarian open coal mine

2012 – The first World Elephant Day *- founded by Canadian Patricia Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand, now sponsored in partnership with 100 other elephant conservation organizations across the globe



2014 – Robin Williams is found dead at age 63; Marin County officials rule it a suicide

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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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