ON THIS DAY: October 20, 2018

October 20th is

American Rose Day

Brandied Fruit Day

International Sloth Day *

Youth Confidence Day


MORE! Nellie McClung, Art Buchwald and Hilda Solis, click



Canada – Toronto ON:
International Festival of Authors

Guatemala – Revolution Day

Kenya – Mashujaa (National Day)

Suriname – Chinese Arrival Anniversary

Vietnam – Women’s Day


On This Day in HISTORY

1435 – Andrea Della Robbia born, Italian Renaissance sculptor

Madonna and Child, by Andrea Della Robbia

1548 – The city of Nuestra Señora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace) is founded by Alonso de Mendoza in Bolivia

1572 –Eighty Years’ War: The Relief of Goes – the Spanish Netherlands city of Goes is besieged by Dutch forces, supported by English troops sent by Queen Elizabeth I; some 3,000 soldiers of the Spanish Tercios (infantry) under Cristóbal de Mondragón  wade across the river Scheldt at its mouth, walking 15 miles overnight in water up to chest deep. Their surprise arrival forces the withdrawal of the Anglo-Dutch troops from Goes

1620 – Aelbert Cuyp born, Dutch landscape painter

The Maas at Dordrecht, by Aelbert Cuyp circa 1650

1632 – Christopher Wren, English architect, mathematician and physicist; designer of  St Paul’s Cathedral

1720 – Pirate Captain “Calico Jack” Rackham is captured at Bry Harbour Bay, Jamaica; his ship flies a distinctive ‘Jolly Roger’ flag with a skull above crossed swords, and Anne Bonny and Mary Read are among his ship’s crew

1740 – Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, sole surviving male member of the House of Habsburg, had issued an edict, dubbed the Pragmatic Sanction, on 19 April 1713, to ensure that the Habsburg hereditary possessions could be inherited by a daughter. When he dies on October 20, 1740, his daughter, Maria Theresa, ascends the throne of Austria, but France, Prussia,  Bavaria and Saxony refuse to honor the Pragmatic Sanction and the War of the Austrian Succession begins

Empress Maria Theresa, portrait by Martin van Meytens, 1759

1740 – Isabelle de Charrière born, aka Belle van Zuylen, Dutch writer during the Enlightenment; noted for her novels and letters, but she also penned pamphlets, plays and music; corresponded with writers like James Boswell and Benjamin Constant; she published her first novel, Le Noble, a satire against the nobility, anonymously at age 43, but her identity was soon discovered, and her parents withdrew the work from sale

Isabelle de Charrière by Maurice-Quentin de La Tour, 1766

1774 – The new Continental Congress passes an order proclaiming that all citizens of the colonies “discountenance and discourage all horse racing and all kinds of gaming, cock fighting, exhibitions of shows, plays and other expensive diversions and entertainment”

1781 – Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II of Austria issues the Patent of Toleration, an edict extending religious freedom to non-Catholic Christians living in Habsburg lands – an additional edict extends tolerance to Jews the following year

1803 – The U.S. Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase

1818 – The U.S. and Great Britain settle the border between the U.S. and Canada will be on the 40th parallel for most of its length

1819 – The Báb, born as Sayyed ‘Ali Muhammad Shirāzi, Iranian religious leader, founder of Bábism, an Abrahamic monotheistic religion, precursor to the Bahá’í Faith

1827 – The Battle of Navarino during the Greek War of Independence, becomes the last significant battle fought with wooden sailing ships

1832 – Ellen Hardin Walworth born, author, lawyer, historic preservationist, early advocate for the establishment of the U. S. National Archives; one of the first women in New York State to hold a position on a local board of education, a role she used to bolster the call for women’s suffrage

1854 – Arthur Rimbaud born, French poet; his work prefigured surrealism

1859 – John Dewey born, influential American philosopher

1862 – Maud Nathan born, social worker, activist and suffragist, cousin to poet Emma Lazarus and Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo

1873 – P.T. Barum opens a Hippodrome in New York City

1873 – Nellie McClung born, Canadian politician and activist; Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta (1921-1926); one of Canada’s ‘Famous Five’ in the ‘Persons’ Case

1874 – Charles Ives born, modern American composer

1885 – Jelly Roll Morton born as Ferdinand LaMothe, American ragtime and early jazz bandleader and composer

1891 –Sir James Chawick born, English physicist who discovered the neutron; 1935 Nobel Prize for Physics

1892 – Chicago dedicates the World’s Columbian Exposition

Grand Basin and Court of Honor

1901 – Frank Churchill born, American film music composer and songwriter, notably for Walt Disney productions, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dumbo, Bambi, and The Three Little Pigs cartoon

1904 – Chile and Bolivia sign the Treaty of Peace and Friendship delineating the border between the two countries

1904 – Enolia Pettigen McMillan born, African American high school teacher and principal, civil rights activist and community leader; President of Maryland’s State Colored Teachers’ Association; first woman chair of the Morgan State University Board of Regents; first woman president of the NAACP (1984-1990)

1910 – The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the ill-fated  RMS Titanic, is launched from the Harland and Wolff  shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland

1910 – Chen Liting born, Chinese playwright, screenwriter, and stage and film director; best known for his 1931 play, Put Down Your Whip, and 1949 film, Women Side by Side

1914 – Fayard Nicholas born, American dancer-choreographer, elder of the Nicholas Brothers tap dance duo; performed at the Cotton Club in Harlem, and featured in MGM and 20th Century-Fox musicals of the 1930s and 40s

1920 – Nick Cardy born, American comic book illustrator for DC Comics on Aquaman; inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2005

1920 – Fanny de Sivers born, Estonian-French linguist, literature researcher and essayist; linguist at the French National Centre for Scientific Research

1920 – Siddhartha Shankar Ray, Indian lawyer, politician and diplomat; Indian Ambassador to the United States (1992-1996); Governor of Punjab (1986-1989); Chief Minister of West Bengal (1972-1977)

1924 – Robert Peters born, American scholar, poet, playwright and editor; his first book of poetry, Songs for a Son, published in 1967, is still in print

1925 – Art Buchwald born, American humorist, his Washington Post political satire column was nationally syndicated; 1982 Pulitzer prize for Commentary

1927 – Joyce Brothers born, American psychologist, author, television personality; columnist for Good Housekeeping magazine for almost 40 years

1935 – The Long March of the armed forces of the Chinese Communist Party ends

1936 – Bobby Seale born, American activist, co-founder of the Black Panther Party

1937 – Emma Tennant born, British postmodern novelist; The French Dancer’s Bastard

1939 – Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra made a recording of “All the Things You Are”

1940 – Robert Pinsky born, American poet and translator, Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (1997-2000)

1940 – Jean-Pierre Dikongué Pipa born, Cameroonian director-producer and screenwriter; he wrote and directed Cameroon’s first feature-length film Muna Moto, which was an Official Selection at the 1975 Venice Film Festival

1942 – Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard born, German developmental biologist; co-winner of 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for work on identifying genes involved in embryonic development

1946 – The Democratic Republic of Vietnam sets October 20 as Vietnam Women’s Day *

1946 – Elfriede Jelinek born, Austrian playwright, novelist, feminist and controversial political activist; won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Literature; her novel, The Piano Teacher, inspired the 2001 film

1946 – Diana Gittins born, American author and academic; noted for Madness in Its Place: Narratives of Severalls Hospital 1913-1997

1947 – The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigation into the supposed Communist infiltration of Hollywood – leading to blacklisting over 300 directors, actors and screenwriters – only 10% of them were able to rebuild their careers

1950 – Tom Petty born, American singer-songwriter

1952 – Governor of Kenya Evelyn Baring declares a state of emergency, arresting hundreds of suspected leaders of the Mau Mau Uprising, including Jomo Kenyatta, the future first President of Kenya after the country gains its independence in 1963

1952 – Wilma Salgado born, Ecuadorian politician and economist; Minister of the Interior (2008); member of the Andean Parliament (2007-2008); appointed as Manager of the Deposit Guarantee Agency (AGD) in 2003, she ordered seizures of goods from dozens of companies and individuals owing money to banks that had been bankrupted in the 1999 financial crisis. National Congress  former President Juan José Pons filed a lawsuit against Salgado for seizing a house belonging to him, accusing her of perverting the course of justice, but she was acquitted of the charges

1954 – The musical Peter Pan premieres on Broadway

1955 – No Time for Sergeants opens on Broadway

1955 – Thomas Newman born, American composer-conductor; nominated 14 times for Academy Awards for his films scores, and winner of six Grammy Awards

1957 – Jan Bonham Carter born, Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury; British Liberal Democrat politician and member of the House of Lords since 2004; Liberal Democrat’s Director of Communications (1996-1997); previously, she was a television news programme producer for the BBC and Channel 4

1957 – Valerie Faris born, American film and video director with partner Jonathan Dayton; noted for co-directing the feature film Little Miss Sunshine, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture; writer Michael Arndt won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and Alan Arkin won Best Supporting Actor for the film

1957 – Hilda Solis born, American Democratic politician; on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors since 2014. She was U.S. Secretary of Labor (2009-2013); U.S. Representative from California (2001-2009); first Hispanic woman elected to the California State Senate (1994-2001); California State Assembly (1992-1994); daughter of immigrants from Nicaragua and Mexico

1958 – Lyn Flewelling born, American fantasy fiction author, noted for The Nightrunner Series, and Tamir Triad

1961 – Kate Mosse born, English novelist and non-fiction author; her novel, Labyrinth,has been translated into 37 languages

1962 – The Four Seasons release “Big Girls Don’t Cry”

1963 – Julie Payette born, Canadian politician, astronaut and engineer; Governor General of Canada since 2017; COO for the Montreal Science Centre (21013-2017); chief astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency (2000-2007), she completed two spaceflights STS-96 (1999) and STS-127 (2009), logging more than 25 says in space, and served as a capsule communicator at NASA Mission Control in Houston

1964 – Kamala Harris born, American lawyer and Democratic politician; currently running in the Democrat primaries for President of the United States.  U.S. Senator from California since 2017, the third woman to serve as a California U.S. Senator, and the first of Jamaican or Sub-continental Indian descent; Attorney General of California (2011-2017); District Attorney of San Francisco (2004-2011)

1973 – In President Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” he fires U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy A.G. William Rucklehouse after the refuse to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox – Robert Bork finally fires Cox

1977 – Led Zeppelin’s film The Song Remains the Same premieres in London

1994 – The website WhiteHouse.gov is launched

2010 – International Sloth Day * is launched by the AIUNAU Foundation to highlight their work rescuing and rehabilitating sloths that have been illegally trafficked, mistreated or injured, and returning them to the wild

2011 –  Libyan National Transitional Council rebel forces capture oust Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in Sirte, and kill him

2013 – Australia declares a state of emergency in New South Wales as firefighters continue to battle bushfires which had already destroyed over 200 homes. Higher temperatures and strong winds make conditions even more hazardous

2015 – City council members in Oslo, Norway, announced plans to permanently ban automobiles from the city center, building additional bicycle lanes to encourage cycling. Busses and trams would continue service to the city center. When businesses protested, the city modified its original plan to a more gradual model, aiming first for the fewest possible vehicles by banning street parking in three phases through 2018



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.
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2 Responses to ON THIS DAY: October 20, 2018

  1. Malisha says:

    Did anybody here see “Jelly’s Last Jam” when it was on Broadway in the early 1990s? With Gregory Hines and Tonya Pinkins?

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Hi Malisha –
      I didn’t, but I heard it was really great. Jelly Roll Morton is certainly a wonderful subject!

Comments are closed.