ON THIS DAY: February 3, 2019

February 3rd is

Carrot Cake Day

The Day the Music Died *

Women Physicians Day *

Four Chaplains Memorial Day *

National Missing Persons Day *


MORE! Elizabeth Blackwell, Percival Prattis and Eric Holder, click



Honduras – Our Lady of Suyapa
(Virgin of Suyapa statue paraded)

Japan – Setsubun
(Shinto/day before spring)

Mozambique – Heroes’ Day

Paraguay – San Blaise Day
(Paraguay’s patron saint)

São Tomé and Príncipe – Dia de Mártires da Liberdade,
aka Batepá Martyr’s Day *

Thailand – Veterans’ Day

Vietnam –Communist Party Founding Day


On This Day in HISTORY

1377 – ‘The Cesena Bloodbath’ – During the War of the Eight Saints, between a coalition of Italian city-states led by Florence and the Papal states, over 2000 civilians in the coalition city of  Cesena are massacred by the Papal Condottieri

1451 – Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, also called Mehmed the Conqueror, resumes his reign as head of the Ottoman Empire, which had been interrupted from 1446 until this date by the crusade of Hungarian leader János Hunyadi

1468 – Johannes Gutenberg dies, revolutionary inventor of moveable type printing, inspired by the screw presses used in winemaking

Reproduction of a Gutenberg press

1488 –  Bartolomeu Dias of Portugal lands in Mossel Bay after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, the first known European to travel so far south

1690 – Massachusetts colony issues first paper money in the Americas to pay soldiers

1736 – Johann Georg Albrechtsberger born, Austrian composer

1763 – Caroline von Wolzogen born, German author of the novels  Agnes von Lilien, originally published anonymously, and Cordelia. She also wrote the first published biography of Friedrich Schiller, who was her brother-in-law. It is still regarded as the primary source for most biographical work on Schiller

Caroline von Wolzogen, by Carl von Ambère, 1808

1783 – Spain recognizes U.S. independence from Britain

1787 – A militia army, funded by Massachusetts merchants and led by American Revolution Major General Benjamin Lincoln, surprises the remaining insurgents of Shay’s Rebellion, protesters against high taxes, aggressive debt collection and political corruption, at the last real engagement of the rebellion

1795 – Antonio José de Sucre born, Venezuelan independence leader who was one of Simón Bolivar’s most trusted associates and generals; second President of Bolivia (1825-1828) succeeding Bolivar in the office; and President of Peru (1823)

1809 – Felix Mendelssohn born, German Romantic composer

1811 – Horace Greeley born, American founder and editor of the New York Tribune

1816 – Ram Singh Kuka born, Indian Sikh philosopher and reformer from the Punjab. He founded Namdhari Sikkism in 1857, introducing a simplified form of marriage, eliminating Vedic rituals, dowries, and ostentation, making it easier for poor people to marry. He also banned the practice of killing girl babies and girl children. Ram Singh Kuka is credited as the first Indian to use noncooperation and boycott as political weapons against British rule over India. He spent his later years in prison, and then in exile, as a state prisoner in Rangoon

1821 – Elizabeth Blackwell born in Bristol England; the first woman in the United States to graduate from medical school and earn a medical degree, abolitionist and women’s rights activist; founds the N.Y. Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children, which also serves as a nursing training facility, sending a number of nurses to Dorothea Dix while Dix was Superintendent of Army Nurses during the Civil War (see 2016 entry)

1842 – Sydney Lanier born, American composer and poet

1869 – Edwin Booth opens his new theatre in New York City, with a production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet 

1874 – Gertrude Stein born, expat American literary stylist, and modern art collector in Paris

1894 – Norman Rockwell born, American painter and illustrator; famed for his covers painted for the Saturday Evening Post

Self-Portrait, by Norman Rockwell

1900 – Mabel Mercer born, influential English-American cabaret singer

1901 – The U.S. Army Nurse Corps becomes a permanent organization

1909 – Simone Weil born, French labor organizer and philosopher-mystic

1907 – James Mitchener born; wins the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for Literature for Tales of the South Pacific

1911 – Jehan Alain born, French composer and organist; his sister, Marie-Claire, was a renowned organist

1913 – 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified, giving Congress the power to levy taxes on income.  In 1913 less than 1% of the population paid income tax at the rate of 1%. Before this taxes were mostly on food and merchandise sales

1916 – Cafe Voltaire opens in Zurich, Switzerland, a meeting place for a group that started the Dada movement

1917 – The U.S. breaks off diplomatic relations with Germany, after it announces a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare

1918 – San Francisco’s Twin Peaks Tunnel, the longest streetcar tunnel in the world at 11,920 feet, begins service

1924 –E.P. Thompson born, British historian, author and biographer; The Making of the English Working Class, biographies of William Morris and William Blake

1927 – President Coolidge signs a bill to authorize the Federal Radio Commission

1930 – Gillian Ayres born, English abstract painter

Anthony and Cleopatra by Gillian Ayres

1931 – The Arkansas state legislature passes a motion to pray for the soul of H.L. Menken after he calls the state the apex of moronia

1935 – Johnny “Guitar” Watson born, American blues and funk singer-songwriter

1936 – Elizabeth Peer born, American pioneering journalist; worked for Newsweek from 1958 to 1984, starting as a copy girl, promoted to writer in 1962, then dispatched to Paris in 1964 as the magazine’s first female foreign correspondent; later worked in their Washington DC bureau, then as Paris bureau chief, and in 1977, as Newsweek’s first woman war correspondent, covering the Ethio-Solmali War, but was seriously injured there, and never fully recovered, leaving her in constant pain; after Newsweek notified her in 1984 that she was being fired, she committed suicide

1941 – Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra record “Amapola”

1943 – Four Chaplains Memorial Day * When U.S. troop transport ship Dorchester was torpedoed by a German submarine in the icy waters between Newfoundland and Greenland, the four chaplains aboard, Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed, gave their own life jackets to save four soldiers, and went down with the ship, standing together offering prayers

1946 – The first issue of Holiday magazine is published

1946 – In South Africa, the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) calls a mass meeting in Durban to protest against the proposed Asiatic Land Tenure and Representation Bill announced by Prime Minister J.C. Smuts as a replacement for the Trading and Occupation of Land Act. The new bill would prohibit Indians from purchasing land from non-Indians. It would also entitle Indians to elect three Whites to the House of Assembly, two Whites to the Senate, and three members to the Natal Provincial Council on a communal franchise with educational and property qualifications. At the NIC meeting, a resolution passes condemning the bill, rejecting communal franchise, proposing a round table conference of South Africa with India, and advocating effective mass resistance against the Bill. Over 2000 protesters risk incarceration. In spite of widespread opposition, the Bill becomes law as the Asiatic Land Tenure and Representation Act (“Ghetto Act”) in March 1946. In June, 1946, the Indian Government arraigns South Africa before the United Nations. In December, the UN General Assembly expresses the opinion that the treatment of Indian residents in South Africa should be in conformity with the international obligations under the agreements concluded between the Indian and South African governments, and the relevant provisions of the United Nations Charter. However, by the end of 1947, the General Assembly is still unable to pass a resolution for lack of a two-thirds majority, voting 31 in favour of the Indian contention, 19 against, and 6 abstentions

1947 – Percival L. Prattis is the first black news correspondent admitted to the House and Senate press gallery in Washington DC; he was an editor, and later, executive editor of the influential black newspaper, The Pittsburgh Courier (1936-1965)

1951 – The Rose Tattoo, by Tennessee Williams, opens on Broadway

The Rose Tattoo, 1951 Broadway Production, Maureen Stapleton and Eli Wallach

1953 – Batepá Massacre *: In São Tomé, Portuguese colonial authorities and landowners try to impress into forced labor the native creoles known as forros, who are descendants of freed slaves. When they resist, hundreds are killed, giving rise to the São Tomé and Príncipe independence movement

1959 – The Day the Music Died *  Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) are killed in a plane crash near Mason City, Iowa

Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson

1960 – Frank Sinatra garners the nickname “ The Chairman of the Board” when he forms Reprise Records, and serves as its CEO

1969 – At the Palestinian National Congress in Cairo, Yasser Arafat is appointed leader of the P.L.O.

1971 – Apollo 14 astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr. and Edgar D. Mitchell land on the lunar surface during the third successful manned mission to the moon

1972 – The Winter Olympics open in Sapporo, Japan

1973 – Ilana Sod born, Mexican multimedia journalist and producer; noted for her work on social issues and youth-oriented programming; co-producer of the 2014 TV news special, Hecho en America; MTV Latin America’s newscaster and Editor-in-Chief for Public Affairs Programming (2004-2012); host and producer of MTV’s Agentes de Cambio/Agents of Change (2005-), which was initially sponsored by the government of Finland; columnist for the Mexican newspaper Excélsior

1988 – U.S. House of Representatives rejects President Ronald Reagan’s request for more than $36 million in aid to the Nicaraguan Contras

1989 – South African State President P.W. Botha suffers a stroke, forcing him to resign leadership of the ruling National Party, and as president; succeeded by F.W. de Klerk

1995 – Space shuttle Discovery blasts off with a woman, USAF Lt. Col. Eileen Collins, in the pilot’s seat for the first time

2003 – The first National Wear Red Day * started by the American Heart Association as part of its ongoing educational efforts about the risks of heart disease and stroke facing American women

2003 – Give Kids a Smile Day * is launched by the American Dental Association Foundation, which funds giving dental services to underserved children at no cost to their families

2009 – Eric Holder is sworn in as the first African American U.S. Attorney General (2009-2015). He had previously served as U.S. Deputy Attorney General (1997-2001)

2010 – The Alberto Giacometti sculpture L’Homme qui marche sells for $103.7 million

2015 – The British House of Commons votes to approve scientists creating babies from the DNA of three people

2016 – National Woman Physician Day * is launched on Elizabeth Blackwell’s birthday by the Physician Moms Group (PMG) a support group for women doctors to collaborate and support each other as they face the challenge of balancing their medical and family commitments (see 1821 entry)

2017 – National Missing Persons Day *is started by Jo Ann Lowitzer, whose daughter Alexandra went missing in 2010




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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