ON THIS DAY: October 25, 2018

October 25th is

Greasy Food Day

Sourest Day

World Pasta Day *

International Artists Day *

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MORE! Henry V, Elif Shafak and J.M. Coetzee, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Austria – Sankt Pölten:
Beatpatrol Music Festival

Grenada – Thanksgiving Day

Laos – Ventiane:
Boat Racing Festival

Lithuania – Constitution Day

Taiwan – Retrocession Day *

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On This Day in HISTORY

285 or 286 (traditional) – Saints Crispin and Crispinian, believed to be twin brothers, in a possibly apocryphal story, preach Christianity by day to the Gauls and make shoes at night to earn a living and raise alms for the poor. Their success causes Rictus Varus, governor of Belgic Gaul, to have them arrested, tortured and thrown into the river with millstones around their necks – when they survive this treatment, he has them beheaded – Patron saints of  leather workers and shoe makers, their Saints Day is famously mentioned in Shakespeare’s Henry V, Act IV, scene 3  (see entry for 1415)



840 – Ya’qūb-i Layth-i Saffārī born, a Persian Sunni Muslim coppersmith who joined the ayyars (soldiers) under Salih ibn al-Nadr, and rose to power, reigning (861-879) as the founder of the Saffarid dynasty of Sistan. Under his military leadership, lands that are now Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and part of western Pakistan were conquered

1147 – Second Crusade, Second Battle of Dorylaeum: German crusaders led by Conrad III, headed for the overland route through Anatolia from Constaninople to the Holy Land, come under relentless harrassing attacks by Turkish horseback archers of Sultan Mesud I of the Seljuks of Rum in the borderlands between the Byzantines and the Seljuk Empire. The crusaders, running out of supplies in the parched and barren land, begin to retreat. On this day, the Turks increase their attacks, and the retreat turns into a rout. Conrad III is wounded by arrows. When the crusaders reach land under Byzantine control, the Turkish attacks cease



1415 – Henry V of England’s lightly armored infantry and archers with longbows defeat the heavily armored French cavalry at the Battle of Agincourt in France on Saint Crispin’s Day



1760 – British King George II dies; his grandson becomes King George III, who will rule for 59 years, suffering months-long bouts of violent insanity in 1778 and 1804, finally sinking in 1810 completely into madness for his last ten years, while also blind and deaf

1783 – Deborah Sampson receives an honorable discharge from the Continental army after serving 1 ½ years disguised as her deceased brother, Robert Shurtlieff Sampson

1789 – Samuel Heinrich Schwabe born, German astronomer; his work on sunspots greatly influenced Rudolf Wolf of the Bern Observatory, and Alexander von Humbolt



1800 – Maria J. Jewsbury born, English writer poet and literary reviewer; when her mother died in 1819, Maria took over running the household and raising her younger siblings. In spite of her many duties, she began contributing poems to the Manchester Gazette in 1821. Noted for Phantasmagoria, or Sketches of Life and LiteratureLetters to the YoungLays for Leisure Hours; and The Three Histories. Her first book, Phantasmagoria, a mix of poetry and prose, was published in 1825, and attracted the attention of William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, with whom she became friends. Jewsbury became part of the literary scene, and was courted as a guest as much for her brilliant conversation as for her growing reputation as a writer. Making the acquaintance of Charles Wentworth Dilke, editor of the literary magazine The Athenaeum, led to her becoming a contributor in 1830. Against her father’s wishes, she married Reverend William Kew Fletcher in 1832, and she went with him to India. When they arrived at Sholapoor where Reverend Fletcher was assigned, it was in the midst of a drought and famine. He fell ill from overwork and anxiety, and she nursed him back to health. A medical certificate that his health could not bear the climate allowed them to leave, but she succumbed to cholera in Poona on October 4, 1833, and was buried there

1825 – Johann Strauss II, Austrian composer of over 500 waltzes and other types of dance music, including “The Blue Danube” and “Tales from the Vienna Woods,” as well as the operetta Die Fledermaus (The Bat)



1838 – Georges Bizet, French composer, is born – remembered for his opera, Carmen



1840 – Helen Blanchard born, American inventor who received 28 patents, including the Blanchard over-seaming machine (which both sewed and trimmed knitted fabrics), zigzag stitching, a pencil sharpener, and a machine to sew hats

1854 – Charge of the Light Brigade – during the Crimean War, the French and British were winning the Battle of Balaclava when Lord James Cardigan received a vague and confusing order to attack the Russians, which was further muddled when passed on by his aide-de-camp to Lord Lucan, whose troops charged straight into the Russian battery guarding the Russian cavalry in the North Valley and suffered 40 percent casualties. This military disaster was given a heroic spin by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in his poem The Charge of the Light Brigade


Charge of the Light Brigade –painting by John Bampfield (1947)


1870 – The first U.S. trademark is given to the Averill Chemical Paint Company of NY

1875 – Carolyn Sherwin Bailey born, American children’s author; books include Boys and Girls of Colonial Days, and Miss Hickory, which won the 1947 Newbery Medal

1881 – Pablo Picasso, artist considered by many the most influential of the 20th century, is born in Malaga, Spain


Girl Before a Mirror, and The Old Guitarist – both by Pablo Picasso


1877 – Henry Norris Russell born, American astronomer and theoretical astrophysicist; the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram shows the absolute magnitudes of stars plotted against their spectral types

1884 – Maria Czaplicka born, Polish cultural anthropologist known for her ethnography of Siberian shamanism; her studies were published in Aboriginal Siberia (1914); she also published a travelogue, My Siberian Year (1916); and a set of lectures as The Turks of Central Asia (1919); in 1916, she became the first woman lecturer in anthropology at Oxford University, and she received a Murchison Grant from the Royal Geographical Society in 1920. It was not enough to offset the loss of income from the three-year fellowship at Oxford, which had expired in 1919, then a travelling fellowship she applied for didn’t come through, and she was only able to find a temporary teaching position. She poisoned herself in 1921, leaving all her papers to her colleague, Henry Usher Hall, who was on the 1914-1915 expedition to Siberia with her and ornithologist Maud Doria Haviland. There has been speculation about her relationship with Hall, especially since he was being married in the U.S. around the time of her suicide



1892 – Nelle Shipman born, Canadian producer-director, actress, author-screenwriter, animal trainer, and pioneer in silent films; co-head of Canadian Photoplays Ltd

1892 – Margaret Ingels born, American mechanical engineer; first female graduate in engineering at the University of Kentucky in 1916; worked on air conditioning, developing an “effective temperature” scale which incorporated humidity and air movement in the equation for comfort level

1894 – Marjorie Phillips born, artist, embraced techniques of Van Gogh and Cezanne, introduced modern art to the Phillips Gallery as associate director of her husband’s Washington D.C. museum

1889 – Abel Gance born, French producer-director, actor and screenwriter

1900 – The United Kingdom annexes the Transvaal

1900 – Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti born, Nigerian women’s rights and political activist who founded the Abeokuta Women’s Union, which grew to 20,000 members, and launched successful campaigns against price controls which were hurting the women merchants of the Abeokuta markets, and against tax collection abuses. Ransome-Kuti also campaigned for Nigerian women’s right to vote. In the 1950s, she was one of the few women elected to the house of chiefs, serving as Oloye of the Yoruba people. Her three sons were also political activists. In 1978, Ransome-Kuti was thrown out of a third floor window by military personnel who invaded the compound of her son Fela. She went into a coma and died two months later. In 2012, the government proposed putting Ransome-Kuti’s picture on a N5000 note. Her grandson, Fela’s son Seun Kuti, a popular musician, said on television that his grandmother was murdered by the Federal Government, and asked the government to apologise to his family for her death before considering immortalizing her on the nation’s money. The government did not respond in spite of protest groups adding pressure on social media. The N5000 proposal was withdrawn



1902 – Henry Steele Commager born, American historian and liberal activist; campaigned against McCarthyism and against the Vietnam War; author of a biography of Theodore Parker, and The American Mind: An Interpretation of American Thought and Character since the 1880s



 

1903 – Katherine E. Byron born, American politician; first woman elected to U.S. Congress from Maryland (D-MD, 1941-1943)

1912 – Minnie Pearl, born as Sarah Coley, American comedian who appeared at the Grand Ole Opry from 1940 to 1991; after battling breast cancer, she became a spokeswoman and benefactor for cancer research, founding the Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation, and the Sarah Cannon (her married name) Cancer Research Institute

1914 – John Berryman born, American poet and scholar; noted for his “dream song” poetic form, eighteen-line lyric poems in three stanzas



1917 – The Bolsheviks, under Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, seize power in Russia

1920 – After a 74-day hunger strike in Brixton Prison, England, the Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney dies

1923 – Beate Sirota Gordon born in Austria; her family emigrated to Japan in 1929, where her father was a professor at the Imperial Academy of Music; she came to America in 1939 as a student at Mills College in California, and completely cut off from her family during WWII. In 1940 she was one of only 65 Caucasians fluent in Japanese in the U.S., and worked for the Foreign Broadcast Information Service of the FCC; becoming an American citizen in 1945. In December, 1945, she was the first civilian American woman to arrive in Japan, working for the Political Affairs staff, and reunited with her parents, who survived the war in an internment camp. She worked for the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) as a translator – in addition to Japanese, she was fluent in English, German, French, and Russian – and worked on the civil rights section of the new constitution for Japan, drafting the language on legal equality for Japanese women; one of only two women involved in this work – the other was economist Eleanor Hadley. After the war, she was a career counselor for Japanese students in New York City, including Yoko Ono, and then became an impresario, introducing Japanese performing artists to the NY public



1938 – The Archbishop of Dubuque, Francis J. L. Beckman, denounces swing music as “a degenerated musical system … turned loose to gnaw away at the moral fiber of young people”, warning that it leads down a “primrose path to hell.”

1939 –William Saroyan’s play, The Time of Your Life, opens on Broadway



1940 – Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. is the first African American general in the U. S. Army

1941 – Anne Tyler born, American novelist; notable for The Accidental Tourist, and Breathing Lessons, winner of a 1989 Pulitzer Prize



1941 – Lynda Benglis born, American sculptor and visual artist, noted for wax paintings and poured latex sculptures

1942 – Gloria Katz born, American screenwriter and film producer; co-writer of the screenplays for American Graffiti, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

1944 – Heinrich Himmler orders a crackdown on the Edelweiss Pirates, a loosely organized group of mostly 14 to 17 year olds who rebelled against the Hitler Youth regimentation of Nazi Germany, and sometimes assisted army deserters and others to hide from the Third Reich. By November, thirteen of their leaders had been rounded up, and then publicly hanged in Cologne

1945 – Formosa Island, now called Taiwan, is ceded by Japan under the terms of the Potsdam Treaty back to the Chinese people, and the Republic of China takes over administration, now marked as Retrocession Day *

1946 – Yazzie Johnson born, Navajo artist; with his partner Gail Bird, has created innovative jewelry and belts, combining modern and prehistoric motifs



1952 –Wendy Hall, English computer scientist, mathematician and academic; Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton. Her team invented the Microcosm hypermedia system in 1984, before the World Wide Web was launched. She became the school’s first woman professor of engineering in 1994. She was Head of the School of electronics and Computer Science (2002-2007.) Founding Director of the Web Science Research Initiative in 2006

1954 – U.S. cabinet meeting is televised for the first time

1955 – A microwave oven designed for home use is introduced by the Tappan Company

1955 – Gale Anne Hurd born, American film producer and screenwriter; founder of Pacific Western Productions and Valhalla Entertainment; produced the movies The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Tremors and Dante’s Peak, and the TV series, The Walking Dead



1958 – U.S. Marines withdraw from Beirut, Lebanon, after being sent in July to protect the nation’s pro-Western government

1962 – U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson presents photographic evidence of Soviet missile bases in Cuba to the United Nations Security Council, and John Steinbeck is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature

1962 – American author John Steinbeck is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature



1964 – The Rolling Stones make their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show

1966 – Zana Briski born, British photographer and documentary filmmaker; she directed Born into Brothels, the 2004 winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature; and is the founder of Kids with Cameras, a non-profit that teaches photography to marginalized children



1969 – Samantha Bee born, Canadian-American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, and host of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee since 2015



1971 – The U.N. General Assembly votes to expel Taiwan and admit mainland China

1971 – Elif Shafak born, Turkish-British novelist, essayist, academic, women’s and minorities rights activist, and advocate for freedom of speech. She writes in English and Turkish, and is a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. She was awarded the 1988 Rumi Prize for her first novel, Pinhan (The Hidden), and won the 2000 Turkish Writers’ Union Prize for Mahrem (The Gaze). Her first novel written in English was The Bastard of Istanbul (2006), in which she addresses the Armenian genocide, still denied by the Turkish government. She was charged with “insulting Turkishness” (Article 301 0f the Turkish Penal Code) for writing about the genocide. She has also addressed honor killings in her book Honour (2012)



1975 – Zadie Smith born, British novelist, essayist and short story writer; noted for her novel White Teeth, winner of the 2000 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and a collection of essays, Feel Free (2018)

1980 – The Hague International Child Abduction Convention concludes, after developing a multilateral treaty to provide for quick return of a child under age 16 abducted or detained by a non-custodial parent from one member country to another – as of March 2016, a total of 94 countries are party to the treaty

1982 – Victoria Francés born, Spanish illustrator, noted for her Dark Romanticism

1983 – Operation Urgent Fury: The U. S. and its Caribbean allies invade Grenada, a nation of 91,000 people, with a force of 7,600 troops, six days after Prime Minister  Maurice Bishop and several of his supporters are executed in a coup d’état – they are met with little resistance

1995 – First World Pasta Day, * is launched at the World Pasta Congress in Rome



1999 – J.M. Coetzee wins the Man Booker Prize for fiction for his novel Disgrace. It is the second Booker Award which Coetzee has won

2001 – Microsoft releases the Windows XP operating system

2004 – The first International Artist Day * is held to honor the contributions of artists to humanity – Celebrate! Do something creative today, or take an artist to lunch, buy an artist’s work or a ticket for a performance



2005 – U.S. military deaths in Iraq reach 2,000

2011 – The last U.S. nine-megaton B53 warhead, formerly the most powerful nuclear weapon in the country’s arsenal, is disassembled near Amarillo, Texas. The B53 warheads had been in service since 1962

2016 – Paul Beatty becomes the first American to win the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sellout. The book also won the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award


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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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