ON THIS DAY: October 12, 2018

October 12th is

World Arthritis Day *

Old Farmer’s Day *

Free Thought Day *

Gumbo Day

National Savings Day *

U.N. Spanish Language Day *


MORE! William Phips, Ding Ling and Dick Gregory, click



Brazil – Nossa Senhora de Aparecida
(Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil’s Patron Saint)

Equatorial Guinea – Independence Day

Guatemala – Día de la Raza

Spain – Fiesta Nacional de España

Venezuela – Día de la Resistencia Indigena


On This Day in HISTORY

539 BC (Julian calendar) – Battle of Opis: The army of Cyrus the Great of Persia  takes Babylon, capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. They divert the Euphrates River upstream, then enter the city during a festival through openings in the city walls covered by metal grates where water would otherwise be rushing in

1008 – Atsuhira-shinnō born; he will ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan in 1016 as Emperor Go-Ichijō

1279 (traditional) –Nichiren, Buddhist monk who founded Nichiren Buddhism, is said to have inscribed the Dai-Gohonzon, a calligraphic mandala of essential teachings

1490 – Bernardo Pisano born, Italian Renaissance composer, priest, singer, and scholar; very early madrigalist; first composer to have a secular music collection printed devoted solely to his work

1492 – Columbus mistakenly believes he has reached the Indies when his expedition makes landfall in the Bahamas

1687 – Sylvius Leopold Weiss born, German composer and lutenist; over 850 pieces composed for the lute attributed to him have survived

1692 – Free Thought Day * is founded in Sacramento CA in 2002 to commemorate  Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor William Phips suspending the Salem Witch Trials, and condemning the use of “spectral evidence.” Most of the remaining accused are released from prison. When it was attempted to resume the trials, Governor Phips swiftly pardoned all who were convicted on such “spectral evidence”

Governor William Phips

1773 – America’s first facility constructed solely to house and care for the insane, the Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg VA, opens, long-championed by Francis Fauquier, the Royal Governor of the colony of Virginia

1793 – The cornerstone of Old East, the oldest state university building in the U.S., is laid on the University of North Carolina campus

1799 – Jeanne Geneviève Labrosse becomes the first woman to jump from a balloon with a parachute, from an altitude of 2,953 feet (900 meters)

1808 – Prince Regent John (who will be King John VI of Portugal) founds the Banco do Brasil to finance the kingdom’s public debt

1810 – The first Oktoberfest: Bavarian royalty invites citizens of Munich to the wedding celebration for Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and his bride, Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen

1823 – Charles Macintosh of Scotland, inventor of water-proofing fabric, sells the first raincoat

1840 – Helena Modjeska born, Polish actress who emigrated to the U.S., renowned for her portrayals of Shakespeare’s tragic heroines, also played Nora in the first American production of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

1847 – German inventor Werner von Siemens founds an electrical and communications company which will become Siemens AG

1860 – Elmer A. Sperry Sr. born, American engineer, gyrocompass co-inventor

1871 – The British Governor-General assents to the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871, first of a series of laws enacted in India under British rule in which any ethnic or social communities deemed “addicted to the systematic commission of non-bailable offences”  such as theft, were forced to be registered with the government as “habitually criminal.” Their movements were restricted, and adult male members of such groups required to report weekly to local police. By the time of Indian independence in 1947, 13 million people in 127 communities faced search and arrest if any member of the group was found outside their prescribed area

1872 – Ralph Vaughn Williams born, British composer, noted for his symphonies and incorporation of Tudor period musical themes and English folk music into his works

1975 – Aleister Crowley born, English occultist, magician and author; co-founder of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and founder of quasi-Egyptian religion Thelema; misogynist who believed women to be “moral inferiors”; Diary of a Drug Fiend is his first published novel

1890 – The Uddevalla Suffrage Association is formed to expand voting rights to Swedish men excluded primarily because they didn’t own property

1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance first recited in many U.S. public schools, as part of celebrating the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage

1896 – Eugenio Montale, Italian poet and translator, 1975 Nobel Prize in Literature

1901 – Theodore Roosevelt officially renames the ‘Executive Mansion’ the White House

1904 – Jiang Bigzhi born, pen name Ding Ling, notable 20th century Chinese author and activist, frequently at odds with the Chinese government, her works are banned in 1957 and she spends 5 years in jail during the Cultural Revolution, then is sentenced to 12 years of manual farm labor before “rehabilitation” in 1978; The Sun Shines Over Sanggan River, I Myself Am A Woman: Selected Writings Of Ding Ling

1908 – Paul Engle born, American author, poet and playwright; long-time director of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and the University of Iowa’ s International Writing Program co-founder/co- director with his wife, author Hualing Neil Engle

1908 – Ann Petry born, American novelist, short story and children’s book writer; her 1946 novel, The Street, is the first novel by an African American women to sell over a million copies

1915 – WWI British nurse Edith Clavell is executed by a German firing squad for aiding Allied soldiers to escape from Belgium

Edith Clavell’s execution on a French propaganda postcard

1916 – Alice Childress born, African American playwright, author and actress; Gold Through the Trees (her first professionally-produced play), Trouble in Mind, which won an Obie for Best Off-Broadway Play of 1955-56, the first Obie given to a black woman playwright; her YA book, A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich won several awards

1921 – Art Clokey born, American animator-producer-screenwriter, and voice actor, creator of Gumby

1923 – Jean Nidetch born, American entrepreneur, founder of Weight Watchers

1928 – First use of an iron lung respirator at Children’s Hospital, Boston MA

1928 – Domna Samiou born, Greek singer and musicologist, collects and records demotika, traditional Greek songs; in 1981  the Domna Samiou Greek Folk Music Association is founded to preserve and promote Greek traditional music

1929 – Magnus Magnusson born, Icelandic journalist, writer and TV presenter who spent most of his working life in the UK; presenter for the BBC quiz programme Mastermind for 25 years

1930 – Milica Kacin Wohinz born, Slovenian historian, noted for her seminal study of the forceful Italianization of the Slovene minority in Italy between 1918 and 1943, and the anti-Fascist resistance of the Slovenian and Croatian people from the 1920s into the 1940s

1931 – In Brazil, the landmark statue of Christ the Redeemer is consecrated.  It stands at the peak of Corcovado Mountain overlooking the city and harbor of Rio de Janeiro

1932 – Dick Gregory born, African-American comedian, social critic, author and civil rights activist

1935 – Luciano Pavarotti born, Italian operatic tenor, regarded as one of the 20th century’s finest tenors; popularized opera in televised performances of ‘The Three Tenors’ with Placido Domingo and José Carreras

1941 – The Soviet government moves from Moscow to Volga as Nazi forces close in on Moscow

1944 – Angela Rippon born, English broadcast journalist and writer; the first woman journalist who became a permanent presenter on the BBC national television news – there were several other women who appeared on newscasts earlier but she was the first with a long-term position, working for the BBC from 1974 to 2002 on several different programmes

1953 – The U.S. and Greece sign a treaty to allow U.S. military installations in Greece at Hellenikon, Herakleion and Nea Makri

1956 – Catherine Holmes born, Australian judge; current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland since 2015, the first woman to hold the position; appointed to the court in 2000; a founding member of Queensland’s Women’s Legal Service in 1984


1958 – Maria de Fátima Silva de Sequeira Dias born, Azorean author historian and professor in the Department of Management and Economics at the University of the Azores; authority on the history of the Azores, an  autonomous region of Portugal, and of the history of Judaism in the Azores

1960 – Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a desk at the U.N. General Assembly in protest of Philippine delegate Lorenzo Sumulong’s assertion that “the peoples of Eastern Europe and elsewhere which have been deprived of the free exercise of their civil and political rights and which have been swallowed up, so to speak, by the Soviet Union.”

1968 – Equatorial Guinea gains its independence from Spain

1971 – The Lloyd Webber- Rice musical Jesus Christ Superstar opens on Broadway

1973 – The first Old Farmer’s Day * in Loranger, Louisiana – a re-enactment of the way farmers lived, worked and enjoyed life in the days before mechanization

1978 – The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) holds its first General Assembly in Oxford UK – 44 nations send representatives. IAPB is the sponsor of World Vision Day, * held annually on the 2nd Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment

1979 – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams, is published

1994 – NASA space probe Magellan ends successful four-year mission to Venus, burning up in its atmosphere

1996 – The first World Arthritis Day,* sponsored by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR)

1999 – Original observance of U.N. Spanish Language Day, * part of the U.N.’s International Mother Language events, annual celebration of the official languages of the United Nations

2017 – National Savings Day * launched to help people learn which options are best for them to put money away for college, for retirement, or a “rainy day”


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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