ON THIS DAY: October 17, 2018

October 17th is

Black Poetry Day *

Mulligan Day *

National Fossil Day *

National Pasta Day

Wear Something Gaudy Day *

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty *


MORE! Lý Nam Đế, Elinor Glyn and Luiz Bonfá, click 



Canada – Jasper National Park:
Jasper Dark Sky Festival (til 10-21)

Haiti – Mort de Dessalines Day
(Death of Dessalines day)

Hong Kong & Macau: Chung Yeung Festival
(Ancestors festival)

India – Durga Ashtami/Maha Navami
(Hindu Goddess Durga festival)

Nepal – Maha Nawami (Dashain Festival,
Ramyan victory over evil Mahisasur)

Laos – Vientiane: Boun Xuang Heua
(Dragon Boat Races)

St. Lucia – La Marguerite
(flower festival/Feast of St Margaret Alacoque)


On This Day in HISTORY

503 – Lý Nam Đếborn, Vietnam’s first emperor, Early Lý dynasty

1091 – The earliest reported tornado strikes the heart of London, England; it demolishes the wooden London Bridge; Church of St. Mary-le-Bow badly damaged, and over 600 homes; many people are injured, but only two people are killed

1346 – Battle of Ville’s Cross: King David II of Scotland invades England under the Auld Alliance with France, which was at war with the English in Normandy, but he is wounded, then captured by the English and imprisoned in the Tower of London, then transferred to Windsor Castle, and finally to Oldham Castle, a total of 11 years in captivity, before the Scots’ regency council signs a treaty, agreeing to pay 1oo,ooo marks in ransom, at the rate of 10,000 marks a year

1493 – Bartolommeo Bandinelli born, Italian Renaissance sculptor and painter, jealous rival of Michelangelo

Self-Portrait, by Baccio Bandinelli

1558 – Polish King Sigismund II Augustus had to maintain regular correspondence with Italy to collect his inheritance after his mother died, so he grants to Pospero Provana, an Italian, the right to found a postal service as the first Postmaster of the Royal Mail, which is expanded from deliveries between the King and Venice into the Poczta Polska, the Polish postal service

1577 – Christofano Allori born, Italian portrait painter of the late Florentine Mannerist school; exceptional technical skill; best known for Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Judith with the Head of Holofernes, by Christofano Allori

1587 – Nathan Field born, English dramatist and actor, son of Puritan preacher John Field; plays, A Woman is a Weathercock and co-author of The Honest Man’s Fortune

1604 – German astronomer Johannes Kepler observes a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus, to the northwest of Milky Way’s center

1662 – Charles II of England sells his sovereign rights to Dunkirk to his cousin, King Louis XIV of France, for five million livres (40,000 pounds). At the time, Charles was short of money, having only been restored to the English throne two years earlier

1711 – Jupiter Hammon born, poet and author, first black American writer to be published in the America (poet Phillis Wheatley was first published in England); born in slavery in New York state and never emancipated (see also entry for 1985)

1720 – Maria Teresa Agnesi Pinottini born, Italian composer-harpsichordist-singer; often performed at gatherings for the lectures of her more famous sister, Maria Gaetana Agnesi

1739 – Thomas Coram is granted a Royal Charter from English King George II for a hospital in London to maintain and educate “exposed and deserted young children”

London Foundling Hospital, 1749

1814 – Yakub Holovatsky born, Galician historian, ethnographer, linguist, poet, bibliographer, and lexicographer; leader of Western Ukrainian Russophiles, a cultural and political movement that claimed Eastern Slavic people of Galicia were a branch of the Russian people, and so should not be part of the Austrian empire

1814 – The London Beer Flood: a huge vat containing 135,000 imperial gallons ruptures at the Meux and Company Brewery, setting off a series of vat ruptures. A total of 323,000 imperial gallons burst through the doors and flood Tottenham Court Row, George Street and New Street. Eight people drown, two homes are destroyed, a pub severely damaged, and numerous people injured. The disaster is ruled an Act of God. Suspicions of bribery are never proved

1859 – Childe Hassam born, American Impressionist painter and illustrator

The South Gorge, Appledore, Isles of Shoals – by Childe Hassam

1864 – Elinor Glyn born, provocative English author, screenwriter, and producer-director; her novels It and Three Weeks were scandalous at the time; wrote screenplays for Hollywood silent films for Gloria Swanson and Clara Bow – Glyn gave Bow her ‘It Girl’ title; briefly had her own production company in Britain, Elinor Glyn Ltd, but it failed, and she went back to writing novels

1868 – Sophia Hayden Bennett born, American architect, first woman to receive an architecture degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, designed the Woman’s Building at the World Columbian Exposition in 1893, Chicago IL

Woman’s Building, World Columbian Exposition,
designed by Sophie Hayden Bennett

1888 – First issue of National Geographic Magazine appears on newsstands

1892 – Hebert Howells born, English composer and organist

1900 – C. C. “Cox” van Asch van Wijck born, Dutch artist and sculptor; after schooling in American, she studied with sculptor Toom Dupuis, who was the docent of Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten (Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the Hague). She was married in 1930, and set up her atelier in the gatehouse of her new home. In 1932, she died in childbirth, a month before her 32nd birthday

1903 – Nathanael West born, American author and screenwriter; remembered for Miss Lonelyhearts, and The Day of the Locust

1907 – Guglielmo Marconi’s company begins commercial transatlantic wireless service between Nova Scotia and Ireland

1908 – The Congo Free State is annexed by Belgium, after forcing Leopold II to relinquish control when the truth about forced labor, starvation, deaths and mutilations of millions of Congolese under his regime causes a huge international scandal

1910 – Esther Wier born, American novelist and children’s author; noted for The Loner, which win the 1964 Newbery Award for young adult fiction

1914 – Jerry Siegel born, co-creator of comic book superhero Superman

 Superman comic book #1

1915 – Arthur Miller born, American playwright whose play Death of a Salesman won the Pulitzer Prize (1949)

1917 – Adele Stimmel Chase born, American painter, sculptor and ceramicist; noted for faience figures and ceramic tiles

1917 – Norman Leyden born, American composer and conductor

1919 – Violet “Vi” Milstead Warren born, Canadian aviator, she earned her private and commercial aviation licenses early in 1940; noted for being the first Canadian woman bush pilot, and one of four Canadian women who served in the British Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) during WWII. With over 600 hours of flight time in 47 different types of aircraft during the war, she was also the longest-serving Canadian woman. After the war, she returned home and worked as a flight instructor and bush pilot. She was a member of the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame, the Order of Canada, and the Bush Pilots Hall of Fame

Vi Milstead Warren with Fairchild Husky

1921 – George Mackay Brown born, Scottish poet, writer and playwright; Beside the Ocean of Time

1922 – Luiz Bonfá born, Brazilian guitarist and composer; some of his music used in the film Black Orpheus, directed by Marcel Camus

1930 – Jimmy Breslin born, American journalist and author

1931 – Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion, and sentenced to 11 years in prison

1933 – After fleeing Nazi Germany, Albert Einstein moves to Princeton NJ

1936 – Sathima Bea Benjamin born, South African singer-songwriter and record producer; sang with Duke Ellington’s  orchestra at the 1965 Newport Jazz Festival; founded her record label, ekapa, in 1979;  received the Order of Ikhamanga Silver Award from South African president Thabo Mbeki for “excellent contribution as a jazz artist” and “contribution to the struggle against apartheid”

1939 – Mr. Smith Goes to Washington premieres

1940s – The term ‘Mulligan’ is in widespread use on golf courses, meaning a “do over.”  its origins are disputed, but Mulligan Day * is a second chance to get something right

1943 – Vilma Socorro Martinez born, lawyer, first female U.S. Ambassador to Argentina (2009), civil rights crusader, one of first women on the board of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)

1946 – Drusilla Modjeska born in England, Australian author and anthology editor; novels Poppy and Stravinsky’s Lunch

1956 – Bobby Fischer defeats Donald Byrne in ‘The Game of the Century’

1956 – Mae Jemison born, American physician, academic, and astronaut; first African American woman in space, aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992; served in the Peace Corps (1985-1987)

1957 – Elvis Presley movie, Jail House Rock, premieres in Memphis, Tennessee

1961 – Walter Sisulu, African National Congress (ANC) leader, is arrested, charged with not having a reference (pass) book, which under apartheid was required to be carried at all times by all Black South Africans over the age of 16; he is sentenced to house arrest


1965 – New York World’s Fair closes after two years and 51 million visitors

1967 – The musical Hair opens at New York’s Public Theatre

1970s – On the TV sitcom Three’s Company, Larry (played by Richard Kline) declared Wear Something Gaudy Day * – practice for Halloween!

1973 – OPEC begins an oil-embargo against western nations which supported Israel, including U.S. and Great Britain, when Egypt and Syria attacked Israel 11 days earlier

1979 – The U.S. Department of Education Organization Act becomes law, creating the Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services

1985 – The first Black Poetry Day,* set on the anniversary of the birth of Jupiter Hammon (born October 17, 1711), a slave who spent his life on the estate of the Lloyd family of Long Island NY, whose poetry was the first by an African-American to be published in the U.S. – Phyllis Wheatley, the first African-American woman poet, was published earlier, but in England (see also entry for 1711)

1993 – The first United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty * to commemorate the October 17, 1987, vigil by 100,000 people in Paris honoring the victims of poverty, violence and hunger

2003 – The pinnacle fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, allows it to surpass the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur by 184 feet (56 metres),  becoming the world’s tallest highrise

2007 – President George W. Bush presents the Dalai Lama with the Congressional Gold Medal, and infuriates the Chinese by urging them to welcome him to Beijing

2016 – The Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-11 is launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northern China


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 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.
This entry was posted in History, Holidays, On This Day and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to ON THIS DAY: October 17, 2018

  1. Malisha says:

    I find it astonishing every single time I hear someone who was born with privilege (ANY degree of privilege, such as their parents owning their own home and a working car) rail against the poor for somehow making THEIR lives uncomfortable. It is a common enough phenomenon, in my experience, that I’ve nearly stopped trying to engage these fools in a conversation about the persistent malevolent idiocy. It is not just a political problem for us; to me it seems like an ineradicable sign of the failure of our education system. It seems like ideas that have no logical basis whatsoever can live healthy and strong and assume the status of “opinions” or “arguments” that people can support with “alternate facts” and mangled statistical claims. People are poor who have been systematically denied access to resources. PERIOD.

  2. wordcloud9 says:

    So true.

    What a person who was born poor is lacking is OPPORTUNITY. It’s a lot easier to be “successful” if you’re born into a rich family. Especially in our so-called “classless” society where being poor is regarded as a crime.

    So few Americans understand that Capitalism is anti-democratic, and has to be caged by strict regulations, or it will destroy any democracy. Left unchained, it is a ravening beast of Greed.

    • Malisha says:

      I know someone who rails against the poor “trying to take away” what he has. When I point out that what he has is what his parents (yes, only one generation back in his case to slumlords) was taken FROM the poor, he wants to “not be blamed” for what others have done. It’s like trying to argue with a two-year-old in the middle of a tantrum.

      • wordcloud9 says:

        Yes, I’ve never understood the attitude that the Robber Barons were “self-made” men – they got their fortunes by exploiting the people who actually did the work that created their wealth – they lived in mansions while their workers could barely make ends meet. And when the workers rebelled, and tried to unionize and go on strike, the bosses paid for thugs and strikebreakers to beat them up. They also called on all levels of government to send law enforcement to arrest the workers, or troops to help the thugs break up the strikes.

        I’ve only found ONE instance in U.S. Labor history where the government sent troops to aid the WORKERS – which forced more equitable negotiations between the workers and the owners, and ended the strike quickly and with almost no bloodshed. But over and over again, local, state and federal forces were sent to aid the owners, even in Colorado, where the workers were on strike because the owners were VIOLATING Colorado state law. Not only were the striking men fired upon, but their wives and children were too.

        It has been a crime to be poor in this country for a very long time.

Comments are closed.