ON THIS DAY: January 31, 2019

January 31st is

Inspire Your Heart with Art Day

Backward Day

Gorilla Suit Day *

Hot Chocolate Day

Social Security Appreciation Day *

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MORE! Alva Myrdal, Leon Trotsky and Ulrica Messing, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Austria – Street Children’s Day

India –Meherabad: Amaritithi
(Eternal day – death of Meher Baba)

Nauru – Independence Day

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On This Day in HISTORY

877 – Taejo of Goryeo born, who unified the Later Three Kingdoms in 936, and founded  the Goryeo dynasty, which ruled Korea from the 10th to the 14th century



1208 – Battle of Lena: Prince Eric of Sweden wins a decisive victory over his rival, Danish-backed King Sverker II of Sweden, and the Prince becomes Eric X, King of Sweden (1208-1216)

1504 – Second Italian War (1499-1504), Treaty of Lyon: France cedes Naples to Spain after losing the Battle of Garigliano


Naples – 1472


1543 – Tokugawa Ieyasu born, founder and first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate, which effectively ruled Japan from the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868

1606 – Guy Fawkes is executed for treason because of his participation in the “Gunpowder Plot” against England’s Parliament and King James I

1675 – Cornelia Olfaarts found not guilty of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials

1747 – London Dock Hospital opens the first clinic to treat venereal diseases

1759 – François Devienne born, French flutist and composer



1785 – Magdalena Dobromila Rettigová born, Czech writer, and activist in the Czech National Revival movement; also helped to found a school for girls; best known for her cookbook, Domácí kuchařka aneb Pojednání o masitých a postních pokrmech pro dcerky české a moravské (Household Cookery Book, or A Treatise on Meat and Fasting Dishes for Bohemian and Moravian Lasses)


Magdalena Dobromila Rettigová – by Jan Vilímek


1797 – Franz Schubert born, Austrian pianist and composer



1801 – John Marshall takes office as the 4th U.S. Chief Justice


1849 – The British Corn Laws are abolished, ending restrictions and steep tariffs on imported grain (“corn” included any grain that required grinding, including wheat); over time, this forces nearly 100,000 agricultural workers into industrial jobs for much lower wages in miserable, crowded urban conditions, while British dependence on imported grain rose to 45% by the 1880s

1858 – The Great Eastern, a five-funneled steamship designed by Isambard Brunel, is launched



1862 – Alvan Graham Clark discovers first known white dwarf star, Sirius B

1865 – The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery in America, is passed by the House of Representatives, and sent to the states for ratification

1872 – Zane Grey born, popular American Western genre novelist



1876 – President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act; all American Indians are ordered to move to reservations

1881 – Anna Pavlova born, Russian prima ballerina, and choreographer



1893 – The Coca-Cola trademark is recorded



1894 – Isham Jones born, American bandleader, saxophonist, and songwriter; “I’ll see You in My Dreams”

1896 – Sofya Yanovskaya born, Russian mathematician and historian, restored mathematical logic research, and influenced studies of non-standard analysis



1900 – Betty Parsons born, American artist and art dealer; opened The Betty Parsons Gallery in 1946, one of the few galleries that exhibited work by Abstract Expressionists like Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Hedda Sterne and Judith Godwin; later exhibited with Agnes Martin, Jasper Johns, and Olive Steindecker

1902 – Tallulah Bankhead born, American actress, known for her flamboyant style, husky voice and razor wit; supporter of liberal causes, from helping Spanish Civil War and WWII refugees to the Civil Rights Movement, which put her at frequent odds with her prominent Alabama family, which boasted two U.S. Senators and a Speaker of the House



1902 – Alva Myrdal born, Swedish sociologist, politician, disarmament movement leader; co-recipient of the 1982 Nobel Peace Prize; Swedish delegate to 1962 UN disarmament conference in Geneva; UNESCO Social Science chair (1950-1955); helped create the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute



1905 – John O’Hara born, American novelist

1915 – Thomas Merton born, American Trappist monk, author and mystic



1915 – Germany fires 18,000 xylyl bromide gas shells, the first large-scale use of poison gas in warfare, against Russia, at the Battle of Bolimów in Poland, but icy temperatures freeze the gas before it causes much damage

1917 – Germany announces its will engage in unrestricted submarine warfare

1919 – After other trades successfully negotiate a 47-hour workweek, 60,000 Scottish workers, angry over their 53-hour workweek in a time of rising unemployment, strike for a 40-hour workweek in Glasgow; they clash with Glasgow police trying to force them to disperse; while strike leaders are meeting with the Lord Provost of Glasgow inside the city chambers, the clashes become a full-scale riot; when the strike leaders come out to try to calm the workers, they are arrested by the police for inciting the riot; the fighting continues throughout the night and expands into other parts of Glasgow; David Lloyd George, hearing the riots described as a “Bolshevist uprising” authorizes the Secretary of State for War, Winston Churchill, to dispatch 10,000 soldiers armed with machine guns, a howitzer and armored tanks to the city; no local troops are used, fearing they would sympathize with the strikers. Although many are injured, including some women and children, no one is killed, and the overwhelming military presence does quell the fighting; the strike leaders are sent to prison, but the workers are guaranteed a 47 hour workweek. In 1922, Scotland elected 29 Labour MPs, including two of the strike leaders who had gone to prison



1919 – Jackie Robinson born, first African American player to break the “color line” in Major League Baseball



1929 – Leon Trotsky is exiled by the USSR, and given asylum in Mexico; as the head of the Fourth International, he continued from exile to oppose the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union. In August 1940, Trotsky is assassinated by a Soviet agent



1929 –Irma M. Wyman born, pioneer in computer engineering; first woman Vice President, and first woman CIO, of Honeywell Inc



1930 – Scotch tape, developed by Richard Drew of the 3M Company, goes on the market

1935 – Kenzaburō Ōe born, Japanese novelist, 1994 Nobel Prize in Literature, The Silent Cry, An Echo of Heaven



1936 – The Green Hornet debuts on the radio

1937 – Andrée P. Boucher born, Canadian politician, first woman to lead a municipal political party in the province of Quebec; mayor of Quebec City (2005-2007); mayor of Sainte-Foy (1985-2001)



1937 – Philip Glass born, American minimalist composer



1940 – Social Security Appreciation Day * – the first Social Security check is issued by the U.S. Government

1941 – Gerald McDermott born, children’s book author-illustrator, Arrow to the Sun

1944 – Connie Booth born in the U.S.; after her marriage to John Cleese in 1968, she moved to Great Britain; co-author and co-star with Cleese of the British TV series Fawlty Towers. They divorced in 1978. In 1995, she ended her acting career, and spent five years studying psychology at London University, then became a psychotherapist, registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council



1945 – Private Eddie Slovik becomes the only American soldier executed for desertion since U.S. Civil War

1945 – Brenda M. Hale born, Baroness Hale of Richmond, British judge; since 2017, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom; the first woman appointed as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary when she joined the House of Lords in 2004



1946 – Yugoslavia’s new constitution, modeled after the Soviet Union’s, establishes six constituent republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia

1946 – The Democratic Republic of Vietnam introduces the đồng to replace the French Indochinese piastre at par

1950 – Janice Rebibo born in the U.S., Israeli poet, short story writer and translator who began writing in Hebrew while studying the language in college, and later immigrated to Israel



1950 – Denise Fleming born, American children’s picture book author and illustrator; best known for In the Small, Small Pond, which was a runner-up for the 1994 Caldecott Medal, and also for the Phoenix Picture Book Award

1950 – U.S. President Truman announces a program to develop the hydrogen bomb

1958 – Explorer 1, first successful American satellite detects the Van Allen radiation belt

1961 – Elizabeth Barker born, Baroness Barker, British Liberal Democrat politician; became a Life Peer in 1999; Liberal Democrat spokesperson on the Voluntary Sector and Social Enterprise, and a Patron of Opening Doors London, a charity providing support for older LGBT people

1961 – Project Mercury’s Redstone 2 takes Ham the Chimp into outer space

1963 – Gwen Graham born, American Democratic politician; U.S. Representative from Florida’s 2nd District (2015-2017); lost to Republican Neal Dunn after redistricting reassigned most of her African American constituents to another district

1963 – Gorilla Suit Day * created by Don Martin for a Mad Magazine comic strip

1964 – In South Africa, the University of Port Elizabeth is founded by an act of Parliament. The first academic year begins on March 1, 1965. It merges with two other schools in January 2005, becoming the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

1966 – The Soviet Union launches the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft

1968 – Nauru gains independence from Australia

1968 – Ulrica Messing born, Swedish Social Democratic politician; Minister for Communications and Regional Policy (2000-2006); member of the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament, 1991-2007), chair of the Riksdag Committee for Defence (2006-2007)



1971 – NASA’s Apollo 14 mission, with Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell aboard a Saturn V, lifts off for the Fra Mauro Highlands on the Moon

1980 – Due to record high sugar prices, Coca Cola substitutes high fructose corn syrup for half of the sugar in Coke, changing its taste

1986 – Megan Ellison born, American film producer, and founder in 2011 of Anapurna Pictures; producer of  Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Her (2013), American Hustle (2013), and Phantom Thread (2017), all of which have earned Oscar nominations



1990 – The first McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow, Russia opens

2001 – Germany announces plans to destroy 400k cattle due to Mad Cow Disease

2003 – In Mozambique, six men are convicted and given long prison sentences for the murder of investigative journalist Carlos Cardoso, who was gunned down in November, 2000, apparently because of his investigation of a corruption scandal involving $14 million USD which disappeared from the state-controlled Commercial Bank of Mozambique

2010 – Avatar becomes the first film to gross over $2 billion worldwide

2011 – Myanmar opens its first parliament in more than two decades


Myanmar Parliament building


2018 – A Blue Moon coincides with a total lunar eclipse


Picture by Greg Hogan

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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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