ON THIS DAY: December 9, 2018

December 9th is

National Pastry Day

Weary Willie Day *

International Anti-Corruption Day *

International Day of Veterinary Medicine *

International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims *

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MORE! John Milton, Dolores Ibárruri and Lech Walesa, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Antigua & Barbuda: Vere Cornwall Bird Sr Day
(1st Prime Minister after independence)

Maldives –
The Day Maldives Embraced Islam

Tanzania – Republic Day

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On This Day in HISTORY

730 – Second Arab-Khazar War, Battle of Marj Ardabil: in northwestern Iran, a Khazar army led by Barjik defeats the Umayyad forces under General al-Jarrah ibn Abdallah, who is killed during the battle

1447 – The Chenghua Emperor of the Ming dynasty born as Zhu Jianshen, who ascended the throne at age 17, and reigned from 1464 to 1487; it was an autocratic reign which violently suppressed peasant uprisings, curtailed freedom, and saw the institution of the Western Depot, which monitored all civilian actions and words, and meted out punishment to those suspected of treason



1508 –Jemme, aka Gemma, Frisius born, Dutch physician, mathematician, cartographer, astronomer and instrument maker; improved mathematical instruments used in surveying and navigation; created notable globes, terrestrial in 1536, and celestial in 1537


Right: Portrait of Frisius by Maarten van Heemskerck


1531 – The Virgin of Guadalupe first appears at the hill of Tepeyac, Mexico City, to Juan Diego, the first indigenous Catholic saint from the Americas

1608 – John Milton born, major English poet and philosopher



1617 – Richard Lovelace born, English poet and cavalier



1745 – Maddalena Laura Sirmen born in Venice, Italian violinist and composer; noted as one of the finest and most famous violinists and composers ever taught in a Venetian orphanage; married the renowned violinist Ludovico Sirmen, and they toured together, and sometimes composed music together, but she was also a notable composer in her own right



1748 – Claude-Louis Berthollet born, French chemist; first to demonstrate the bleaching action of chlorine gas, and to develop a solution of sodium hypochlorite as a modern bleaching agent

1779 – Tabitha Babbit born, American Shaker toolmaker and inventor who improved the spinning wheel head, and developed refinements of the circular saw

1783 – In London, the first executions at Newgate Prison take place

1793 – New York City’s first daily newspaper, the American Minerva, is established by Noah Webster



1803 – The 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is passed by the U.S. Congress, and sent to the states for ratification. It directs Electors to vote for a President and for a Vice-President rather than for two choices for President

1805 – The first Lost and Found Office opens in Paris in the spring – still looking for connection to December 9th

1848 – Joel Chandler Harris born in Georgia, American writer, Uncle Remus stories



1851 – The first YMCA in North America is established in Montreal, Canada

1854 – Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” is published in England

1870 –Dr. Ida S. Scudder born, third-generation American missionary in India; dedicates her life to fighting bubonic plague, cholera and leprosy, treating India’s women who were not allowed to receive medical treatment from male doctors, and training Indian women as doctors and nurses; founder at the turn of the century of the Christian Medical College and Hospital in Vellore, India, still one of the foremost teaching hospitals in India



1872 – In Louisiana, P. B. S. Pinchback becomes the first African-American governor of a U.S. state



1882 – Joaquín Turina born, Spanish-French composer



1883 – Joseph Pilates born, German-American fitness expert, developed Pilates

1884 – Levant M. Richardson patents the ball-bearing roller skate

1886 – Clarence Birdseye born, American ‘father of the modern frozen food industry

1890 – Laura Salverson (nee Guðmundsdóttir) born, Canadian author and poet whose work reflects her Icelandic heritage; her parents emigrated to Manitoba from Iceland in 1887; her first novel, The Viking Heart, was published in 1923; her novel, The Dark Weaver: Against the Sombre Background of the Old Generations Flame the Scarlet Banners of the New, and her autobiography, Confessions of an Immigrant’s Daughter won the Governor General’s Awards in 1937 and 1939. Immortal Rock: The Saga of the Kensington Stone  won the 1954 Ryerson Fiction Award



1892 – Widowers’ Houses, George Bernard Shaw’s first play, opens in London



1895 – Dolores Ibárruri born, known as “La Pasionaria” (the Passionflower), Spanish Republican hero of the Spanish Civil War and communist politician of Basque origin, known for her rallying cry “¡No Pasarán!” (They shall not pass) during the Battle for Madrid in November 1936. She joined the Spanish Communist Party (PCE) when it was founded in 1921, and in the 1930s, became a writer for the PCE periodical Mundo Obrero (Workers World.) In 1936, she was elected to the Cortes Generales (the Spanish legislature) as a PCE deputy for Asturias. She was exiled from Spain at the end of the Civil War in 1939; by 1942 she was appointed as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Spain (1942-1960.) From 1960 to 1977, she traveled extensively, and spent much time in Moscow. But in 1960, she ceded her post as secretary-general and was appointed as honorary president of the PCE. She wrote her first memoir, El Unico Camino (The Only Way), and after the Spanish government lifted the ban on the PCE, she applied for a visa to return to Spain, which was eventually granted in 1977. She ran for and was elected to the Cortes Generales (1977-1979), where she voted with a loud “Yes” for the new Spanish Constitution, but failing health prevented her from running again. She died at the age of 93 in 1987. Thousands of people came to pay homage as her body lay on a catafalque, before a cortege carried her body to the Plaza de Columbus for her eulogy, where a multitude of mourners chanted “¡No Pasarán!” and then to burial in the Almudena Cemetery



1897 – After covering the 1896 Congrès Féministe International (International Feminist Congress) for the leading French newspaper Le Figaro, newly converted women’s rights activist Marguerite Durand founds the feminist daily newspaper La Fronde in Paris


Feminist poster of Marguerite Durand, using a lion’s tail to past up notices



1898 – ‘Weary Willie’ * aka Emmett Kelly born, American circus clown



1900 – Margaret Brundage born, American illustrator and painter, remembered for her illustrations in the pulp magazine, Weird Tales. She created most of the covers for the magazine between 1933 and 1938



1905 – The French Chamber of Deputies passes Concernant la séparation des Églises et de l’État, a law separating church and state

1905 – Dalton Trumbo born, American novelist and screenwriter; one of the Hollywood Ten, blacklisted by the motion picture industry after he refused to testify before the  House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947; he worked clandestinely under other author’s names, winning two Academy Awards for the screenplays for Roman Holiday and The Brave One under fake names

1906 – Esther E. Peterson born, American women’s rights and consumer advocate, teacher, and organizer and lobbyist for labor; in the 1930s, she taught at the innovative Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers in Industry, which brought milliners, telephone operators and garment workers onto the campus; in 1938, Peterson was a paid organizer for the American Federation of Teachers in the New England region. In 1944, Peterson became the first lobbyist for the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. In 1948, the State Department offered Peterson’s husband a position as a diplomat in Sweden. The family returned to Washington in 1957, and Peterson joined the Industrial Union Department of the AFL-CIO, becoming its first woman lobbyist.  She was Assistant Secretary of Labor and Director of the U.S. Women’s Bureau under President John F. Kennedy. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson named her to the newly created post of Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs. She later served as President Jimmy Carter’s Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs



1906 – Grace M. Hopper, American navy officer and computer scientist, developed computer programming language COBOL



1907 – Christmas Seals go on sale for the first time, in a Delaware post office; the proceeds go to fight tuberculosis

1912 – Thomas “Tip” O’Neill born, American politician, U.S. Representative (D-MA 1953-1987), and Speaker of the House (1977-1987)



1915 – Eloise Jarvis McGraw born, American author of books for children and young adults; won the Newbery award for her novels Moccasin Trail (1952), The Golden Goblet (1962), and The Moorchild (1997)



1917 – WWI: British Field Marshal Allenby captures Jerusalem, then in Palestine

1922 – Hydroelectric engineer Gabriel Narutowicz is elected as Poland’s first president

1926 – The United States Golf Association legalizes the use of steel-shafted golf clubs

1928 – Joan W. Blos born, American writer, teacher and advocate for children’s literacy; her historical novel, A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830-32, won the 1980 U.S. National Book Award in Children’s Books, and the 1980 Newbery Medal for the year’s most distinguished contribution to American children’s literature



1933 – Ashleigh Brilliant born, Anglo-American author and cartoonist; I May Not Be Totally Perfect, but Parts of Me Are Excellent, and Other Brilliant Thoughts



1934 – Dame Judi Dench born, highly regarded English theatre and film actress; in companies of the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare; a seven-time Oscar nominee and one-time winner, and six-time British Academy Film Award winner. She is an outspoken critic of prejudice in the movie industry against older actresses. She stated in 2014, “I’m tired of being told I’m too old to try something. I should be able to decide for myself if I can’t do things and not have someone tell me I’ll forget my lines or I’ll trip and fall on the set.” She is an active supporter of the UK disabled people’s charity Revitalise, and Survival International, campaigning in the defence of tribal people – the San of  Botswana and the Arhuaco of Colombia



1937 – Japanese troops under the command of Lt. Gen. Asaka Yasuhiko launch an assault on the Chinese city of Nanjing

1942 – Aram Khachaturian’s ballet “Gayane” is first performed by the Kirov Ballet



1943 – Joanna Trollope born, English historical and romance novelist (sometimes under pen name Caroline Harvey), playwright, and author of the non-fiction Britannia’s Daughters: Women of the British Empire

1944 – Ki Longfellow born, American novelist, playwright, theatrical producer and director, with dual citizenship in Britain; best known in the U.S. for her novel The Secret Magdalene, the first of her works to explore the divine feminine. Some of her other books are mysteries, including her Sam Russo noir series set in the late 1940s



1946 – The “Subsequent Nuremberg trials” begin with the “Doctors’ trial” prosecuting physicians and officers alleged to be involved in Nazi human experimentation  and mass murder under the guise of euthanasia

1946 – Sonia Maino Gandhi born in Italy, Indian politician; Member of the Indian Parliament 1999 to present; Leader of the Opposition 1998-2004; President of the Indian National Congress 1998-2004

1948 – The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, currently ratified by 143 countries – naming December 9 the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims *



1948 – Marleen Gorris born, Dutch writer-director and outspoken feminist and LGBT rights supporter; became the first woman director whose film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1995 for Antonia’s Line

1950 – Joan Armatrading born, British singer-songwriter



1953 – General Electric announces that all communist employees will be discharged from the company

1958 – The extreme anti-communist John Birch Society is founded in Indianapolis IN

1959 – International Day of Veterinary Medicine * – although the first international meeting of veterinarians took place in 1863, there wasn’t a formal international organization until 1959, when the World Veterinary Association was formed. This day is a salute to all the organizations like the WVA that provide connections and support for veterinarians, and to all the wonderful vets who care for our animal friends



1960 – Sperry Rand Corporation unveils the Univac 1107 computer

1960 – Caroline Lucas born, British politician, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, and her party’s first elected MP, for Brighton Pavilion since 2010

1961 – Tanganyika becomes independent from Britain

1962 – The Petrified Forest National Park is established in Arizona

1962 – Roxanne Swentzell born, Santa Clara Pueblo sculptor and ceramicist who studied at the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Portland Museum Art School in Oregon. Her first public exhibit was at the annual Santa Fe Indian Market in 1984; in 1986, she won eight awards for her sculpture at the Market. In 1994, she won the Market’s Creative Excellence in Sculpture award. Some of her work is displayed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian


Roxanne Swentzell and ‘The Making of Oneself’


1962 – David Lean’s film of Lawrence of Arabia starring Peter O’Toole has its world premiere in London



1964 – The John Coltrane Quartet records “A Love Supreme”



1965 – A Charlie Brown Christmas, first in a series of Peanuts television specials, debuts on CBS



1966 – Kirsten Gillibrand born, American attorney and Democratic politician; U.S. Senator from New York since 2009; member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York (2007-2009); outspoken on the issues of sexual harassment, and on sexual assault in the military; member of the Senate Women’s Caucus, and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee

1968 – Douglas Engelbart gave what became known as “The Mother of All Demos” publicly debuting the computer mouse, hypertext, and the bit-mapped graphical user interface using the oN-Line System (NLS)

1972 – Saima Wazed Hossain born, Bangladesh Autism activist; member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Advisory Panel on mental health. Organized the first South Asia conference on Autism in 2011 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and successfully campaigned for the “Comprehensive and Coordinated Efforts for the Management of Autism Spectrum Disorders” resolution adopted by the World Health Assembly. In 2016, she was elected as chair of the International Jury Board of UNESCO for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, and 2017 became the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for autism in the South-East Asia region, and was honored with the International Champion Award for her outstanding contributions



1975 – President Gerald Ford signs a $2.3 billion seasonal loan authorization to prevent New York City from defaulting

1979 – The eradication of the smallpox virus is certified, making smallpox the first human disease driven to extinction

1990 – Lech Walesa wins Poland’s first direct presidential election in the country’s history



1990 – Slobodan Milosovic is elected president in Serbia’s first free elections in 50 years

1991 – European Community leaders agree to begin using a single currency in 1999

1992 – American troops land in Somalia for Operation Restore Hope

1993 – The U.S. Air Force destroys the first of 500 Minuteman II missile silos that were marked for elimination under an arms control treaty

1993 – Astronauts aboard the NASA space shuttle Endeavor complete repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope



2000 – The U.S. Supreme Court, with a 5-4 vote split on strictly party lines, stops the presidential election vote-counting in Florida, handing the election to George W. Bush

2002 – United Airlines files the biggest bankruptcy in aviation history after losing $4 billion in the previous two years

2003 – The UN General Assembly adopts the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), and declares December 9 is International Anti-Corruption Day *



2004 – Canada’s Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is constitutional

2017 – Australia becomes the 26th country to legalize same-sex marriage

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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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