ON THIS DAY: December 18, 2018

December 18th is

Arabic Language Day *

Bake Cookies Day

International Migrants Day *

Roast Suckling Pig Day

Save the Brazilian Rainforests Day *


MORE! Kublai Khan, Henrietta Muir Edwards and Saki, click



India – Chhattisgarh:
Guru Ghasidas Jayanti

Niger – Republic Day

Qatar – Founder’s Day


On This Day in HISTORY

218 BC – Second Punic War: At the Battle of the Trebia, Hannibal’s Carthaginian forces defeat the army of the Roman Republic under Tiberius Sempronius Longus

1271 – Kublai Khan renames his empire “Yuan” (元 yuán), marking the start of the Yuan dynasty of Mongolia and China, even though his conquest of northern China was not complete until 1279

1552 – Ahmad ibn al-Qadi born, (full name: Shihab al-Din abu l-‘Abbas Ahmad ibn Mohammed ibn Mohammed ibn Ahmed ibn Ali ibn ‘Abd er-Rahman ibn Abi’l-‘ Afiyya el-Miknasi ez-Zanati), a leading writer from the court of Ahmad al-Mansur, renowned judge and mathematician; primarily remembered for a meditation on the character qualities of Ahmad al-Mansur which showed him to the rightful caliph of Islam, andn two collections of biographies, Jadwat al Iqtibas Fi-man halla min al’alam madinata fas (The Torch of learning, a recollection of the most influential notables of the city of Fez) and Durrat al-hidjāl fī asmā’ al-ridjāl, both of which have become primary sources for the period

1622 – Kongo-Portuguese War, Battle of Mbumbi: Portuguese Angolan forces under Captain Major Pedro de Sousa Coelho score a victory over troops of Duke of Mbamba Dom Paulo Alfonso of the Kingdom of the Kongo. The Portuguese colony had first invaded Kazanze, a Kongo vassal state, on the pretext of recovering runaway slaves

Kongo bowmen, who made up the majority of the Kongo forces

1655 – The Whitehall Conference, convened by Oliver Cromwell, ends with the determination that there was no law preventing Jews from re-entering England after the Edict of Expulsion of 1290

1707 – Charles Wesley born, English missionary-hymn lyricist, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

1787 – New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution

1847 – Augusta Holmès born, Irish-French composer, whose early works were published under the pseudonym Hermann Zenta; she also wrote the libretto for her opera La Montagne Noire (The Black Mountain)

1849 – Henrietta Muir Edwards born, one of Canada’s “Famous Five” who fought and won the battle for legal recognition of women as ‘persons’; also co-founded a Working Girl’s Association in Montreal to provide reading rooms and study classes, which became one of the first YWCAs in Canada; she founded and published the periodical Working Women of Canada; author of Legal Status of Canadian Women (1908)

1856 – Sir J.J. Thomson born, English physicist whose discovery of the electron revolutionized the understanding of atomic structure; 1906 Nobel Prize in Physics

1862 – Hospital for Ruptured and Crippled, the first orthopedic hospital, is organized in New York City

1863 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire is born

1865 – US Secretary of State William Seward proclaims the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment, prohibiting slavery throughout the U.S.

1870 – Saki (H.H. Munro) born, Burmese-English author and playwright

1879 – Paul Klee born, Swiss-German painter, noted for single-line drawings;  author, Schriften zur Form und Gestaltungslehre (Writings on Form and Design Theory)


Katze Lauert, by Paul Klee – 1939

1888 – Robert Moses born, American public official, the “master builder” who was appointed to a dozen commissions, oversaw development of New York City and its surrounding area, from the Triborough Bridge to Lincoln Center

A motorcade led by President Franklin D. Roosevelt opens the Harlem River
lift span of the Triborough Bridge in this 1936 photo – New Deal Network photo archive

1898 – A new automobile speed record is set at 39 mph (63 kph)

1903 – The Panama Canal Zone is acquired ‘in perpetuity’ by the U.S. for an annual rent

1913 – Willy Brandt born, Chancellor of West Germany (1969-1974); awarded the 1971 Nobel Peace Prize

1920 – Conductor Arturo Toscanini makes his first recording for Victor Records

1922 – Esther Lederberg born, American microbiologist; pioneer in bacterial genetics

1927 – Ramsey Clark born, American lawyer; U.S Attorney General (1966-1969) opponent of the death penalty, strong supporter of civil liberties, civil rights, and anti-trust laws; supervised the drafting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Civil Rights Act of 1968


1931 – Alison Plowden born, English historian, biographer, BCC scriptwriter and non-fiction author of works on the Tudor, English Civil War and Victorian periods

1935 – Jacques Pépin born, French-American chef and author

1937 – Nancy A. Ryles born, American politician; Oregon State Senator (1983-1987)  first woman to serve on the Oregon Public Utilities Commission, from 1987 until her death from cancer at age 52; the Nancy Ryles Scholarship Fund was set up to honor her at Portland State University

1941 – Joan Wallach Scott born, American historian and author, authority on modern French history, but has also made contributions in gender history and intellectual history; Professor Emerita in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Her 1986 foundational article “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis” was published in the American Historical Review, is one of the most widely read and cited articles by English-speaking historians in the field of gender history; her books include Gender and the Politics of History, Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Men, and The Glassworkers of Carmaux: French Craftsmen and Political Action in a Nineteenth Century City. She is a founding editor of the journal History of the Present, and has been honored with several awards, including the American Historical Association’s Herbert Baxter Adams Prize, and the Hans Sigrist Award for Outstanding Research in Gender Studies

1942 – Lenore Blum born, American mathematician; founding head of the Mills College Mathematics and Computer Science Department; awarded the first Letts-Villard Chair at Mills in 1979; currently at Carnegie Mellon; Blum Blum Shub Pseudorandom number generator

1943 – Keith Richards born, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, The Rolling Stones

1944 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans, but states undeniably loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry could not be detained

1946 – Steve Biko born as Bantu Stephen Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist, African socialist, and a leading figure in the Black Consciousness Movement during the 1960s and 1970s. He published a series of articles about his ideas under the pseudonym Frank Talk.  In 1966, he began studying medicine at the University of Natal, where he joined the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS). Strongly opposed to the apartheid system of racial segregation and white-minority rule in South Africa, Biko was frustrated that NUSAS and other anti-apartheid groups were dominated by white liberals, rather than by the blacks who were most affected by apartheid. He believed that even when well-intentioned, white liberals failed to comprehend the black experience and often acted in a paternalistic manner. He developed the view that to avoid white domination, black people had to organise independently, and to this end he became a leading figure in the creation of the South African Students’ Organisation  (SASO) in 1968, for non-white students only.  The white-minority National Party government saw SASO’s creation as a victory for apartheid’s ethos of racial separatism, and was initially supportive, but as the SASO’s Black Consciousness ideology and campaign to an end to apartheid, and for universal suffrage and a socialist economy became more widely known, the government saw Biko as a sunbersive threat, and place him under a banning order in 1973, severely restricting his activities, and was detained by state security services several times. He was arrested in 1977, and died in custody after being severely beaten by state security officers, then left without medical help. Over 20,000 people attended his funeral

1946 – Steven Spielberg born, American filmmaker, considered a pioneer of the ‘New Hollywood’ as one of the post successful producers and directors in Hollywood history; winner of two Oscars for Best Director for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, and Schindler’s List also won for Best Picture. He was also honored with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for his work as a creative producer, and the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award; co-founder of Amblin Entertainment and DreamWorks Studios

1950 – Gillian Armstrong born, Australian director-producer-screenwriter, My Brilliant Career, Mrs. Soffel

1956 – To Tell the Truth debuts on CBS-TV

1957 – The Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania is the first U.S. civilian nuclear facility to go online

1958 – Julia Wolfe born, American composer; won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Music for Anthracite Fields

1958 – The world’s first communications satellite is launched by the U.S.

1961 – Leila Steinberg born, American music manager and marketer, writer, poet, and founder of AIM4TheHeART, a non-profit helping at-risk youth with literacy curriculum and writing workshops

1965 – ‘Taste of Honey’ by Herb Alpert & Tijuana Brass is #1 on the charts

1966 – Saturn’s moon Epimetheus is discovered by astronomer Richard Walker

1968 – Alejandro Sanz, AKA Sánchez Pizarro born, Spanish singer-songwriter

1969 – The British Parliament abolishes the death penalty for murder

1970 – Divorce becomes legal in Italy

1972 – Vietnam War: U.S. begins its heaviest bombing of North Vietnam

1973 – The Islamic Development Bank is founded in Saudi Arabia

1980 – Christina Aguilera born, American singer-songwriter- producer

1981 – First flight of the Russian heavy strategic bomber Tu-160, the world’s largest combat aircraft

1984 – Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” was the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit

1987 – Ivan F. Boesky is sentenced to three years in prison for plotting Wall Street’s biggest insider-trading scandal

1991 – Save the Brazilian Rainforests Day * – The International Project to Save the Brazilian Rainforests is launched

2000 – International Migrants Day * is designated by the UN General Assembly

2002 – California Governor Gray Davis announces that the state  faces a record budget deficit of $35 billion, roughly double the figure reported during his reelection campaign one month earlier

2006 – United Arab Emirates holds its first-ever elections

2010 – UNESCO starts Arabic Language Day * to promote cultural understanding and highlight the importance of the Arabic language to world culture

2015 – The last deep coal mine in Britain, Kellingley Colliery, is closed

2016 – The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the November 10th lower court order that Michigan must deliver bottled water or provide in-home filtration to all qualified residents affected by lead contamination in the city of Flint. This was the third ruling by a federal court that the state must begin water deliveries


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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