ON THIS DAY: February 4, 2019

February 4th is

Homemade Soup Day

Stuffed Mushroom Day

Thank a Mail Carrier Day *

USO Day *

World Cancer Day *


MORE! Virginia Alexander, Purvis Young and Rosa Parks, click



Angola – Liberation Day
(Day of Armed Struggle)

China and Taiwan – Spring Festival
(Chinese New Year’s Eve)

Macau and Mongolia –
Lunar New Year’s Eve/Bituun

New Zealand – Nelson:
Provencial Anniversary

South Korea – Seol-nal
(Lunar New Year)

Sri Lanka – Independence Day

Vietnam – Tet
(Vietnamese New Year)


On This Day in HISTORY

211 – Roman Emperor Septimius Severus falls ill, and dies at Eboracum (now York, England) while preparing a military campaign against the Caledonians (a tribal confederacy in what is now Scotland)

634 – Arab-Byzantine Wars, Battle of Dathin: forces of the Rashidun Caliphate under Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan defeat a heavily outnumbered Byzantine force led by Dux Sergius, near Gaza, Palestina Prima

960 – Zhao Kuangyin becomes Emperor Taizu, the first emperor of the Song dynasty in China; he expanded the imperial examination system so most civil service workers were recruited through the exams, and encouraged education by building academies which were allowed a great deal of freedom of discussion; curtailed the power of the military, ending an era of warlords; the Song dynasty lasted over three centuries

1555 – John Rogers becomes the first Protestant to be burned at the stake during the reign of Mary I of England, after she revived the Heresy Acts and returned the English church to Roman Catholic jurisdiction

1676 – Giacomo Facco born, Italian Baroque composer and violinist

1703 – In Edo (now Tokyo), 46 of the Forty-seven Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master’s death

1758 – Macapá, Brazil is founded by Sebastião Veiga Cabral as São José de Macapá

Fortaleza de Sao Jose de Macapa, built between 1764 and 1782

1775 – Thank a Mail Carrier Day *: The Second Continental Congress establishes the Constitutional Post, the first organized mail service in America; First Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin instituted a standardized rate chart

1789 – George Washington is unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College

1794 – The French legislature abolishes slavery throughout all territories of the French First Republic, but slavery will be reestablished in the French West Indies in 1802

1820 – During the Chilean War of Independence, the Chilean Navy, commanded by former British Naval officer Lord Cochrane, captures Valdivia from the Spanish forces with 300 men and 2 ships

Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald

1825 – The Ohio Legislature authorizes the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal

1846 – The first Mormon pioneers make their exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois, westward towards Salt Lake Valley

1859 – The Codex Sinaiticus, the Sinai Bible, a handwritten copy of the Greek Bible from the 4th century, is discovered in Egypt

1861 – In Montgomery AL, delegates from six Southern states form the Confederate States of America

1868 – Constance Markievicz born in England, Irish revolutionary, nationalist, politician, socialist and suffragette; a founding member of Fianna Éireann, Cumann na mban and the Irish Citizen Army, and a member of Sinn Féin and Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland). She took part in the violent Easter Rising in 1916, when Irish republicans tried to end British rule and establish an Irish Republic. She was sentenced to death but it was commuted to life in prison because she was a woman. She told her captors, “I do wish your lot had the decency to shoot me.” She was released in 1917 as part of a general amnesty, but Markievicz was jailed again in 1918 for anti-conscription activities. In December 1918, she was the first woman elected to the UK House of Commons, but she did not take her seat and, along with the other Sinn Féin members, formed the first Dáil Éireann (Parliament), of which she was a member (1918-1922). She was also one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position, as Minister for Labour (1919-1922)

1899 – Virginia M. Alexander born, African-American physician, obstetrician and gynecologist; in spite of financial hardship, graduated in three years from the University of Pennsylvania; applied to the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, with the second highest application score, and received a scholarship from a WWI veteran’s mother which helped with her expenses; although she faced racial prejudice and discrimination, she graduated, but had a very difficult time getting an internship, turned away by many hospitals because of her race and gender, but Kansas City General Hospital reversed their policy of not allowing women, so she and another woman were accepted there; after completing her internship, she went back to Philadelphia, and began a private practice, opening the Aspirant Health Home in 1931, which provided health services to poor members of the black community in North Philadelphia, offsetting the costs with income from her private practice, and sharing medical responsibilities with her colleague Helen O. Davis; in 1937, she got a master’s degree in Public Health, the first black student to attend the Yale School of Public Health; during WWII worked for the U.S. Department of Health; after the war, worked at local Philadelphia hospitals, taught classes at Howard University, and later at the Women’s Medical College Hospital

1899 – The Philippine-American War begins with its largest battle at Manila

1902 – Charles Lindbergh born, American pilot and explorer

1906 – Letitia Dunbar-Harrison born, a Protestant graduate of Trinity College in Dublin. While Catholics were admitted to Trinity from 1793 on, professorships, fellowships and scholarships were reserved for Protestants. These restrictions were lifted by Act of Parliament in 1873. However, from 1871 to 1970, the Catholic Church in Ireland forbade its members from attending Trinity College without permission. Women were first admitted to the college as full members in January 1904. In 1930, a vacancy opened for county librarian in County Mayo, a Catholic stronghold with the smallest Protestant minority of any county in Ireland. Letitia Dunbar-Harrison was recommended for the job by the Local Appointments Commission. The Library Committee of Mayo County Council, mostly consisting of prominent local Catholics including a bishop, refused to endorse the recommendation, claiming her grasp of Irish was inadequate. During the debate, it was asked “could a Protestant be trusted to hand out books to Catholics?” The government, dominated by Protestants, dissolved the County Council, and replaced it with a Commissioner who appointed Dunbar-Harrison to the position. This move was roundly condemned by prominent Catholic clerics and politicians, including Opposition leader Éamon de Valera, and locals began a boycott of the library. W. T. Cosgrave, President of the Executive Council, and Catholic Archbishop of Tuam, Dr. Thomas Gilmartin, came to an agreement to transfer Dunbar-Harrison from Mayo to Dublin, for a Department of Defence post, in January 1932

1906 – Clyde W. Tombaugh born, American astronomer, discoverer Pluto in 1930; he makes his first telescopes from old farm equipment parts

1913 – Rosa Parks born, American civil rights activist; her refusal to give up her seat on a segregated bus to a white person led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956), and to the federal ruling in Browder v. Gayle, which led to a United States Supreme Court decision declaring the Alabama and Montgomery laws that segregated buses were unconstitutional. Many leaders and soon-to-be leaders in the civil rights movement took part in the boycott, including Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.and Ralph Abernathy

1915 – Norman Wisdom born, English comedian-songwriter

1918 – Ida Lupino born, actress, director and producer; first woman to direct a film noir, The Hitch-Hiker, in 1953; and the only woman to direct episodes (one uncredited) of the original Twilight Zone series; one of the first producers to use product placement to help offset the cost of her movies

1920 – The first non-military attempt to fly from London to Cape Town, South Africa, by four aircraft, which all suffer crashes. Two South African pilots, Lt-Col Pierre van Ryneveld and Capt. C.J.Q. Brand, are part of the expedition that makes it to Cape Town, by first replacing one of the downed aircraft, and then after a further crash, borrowing an aircraft from the South African Air Force

1921 – Betty Friedan born, American feminist leader and author; noted for The Feminine Mystique; co-founder and first President of the National Organization for Women (NOW)


1930 – Mars Candy launches Snickers, named for Frank Mars’ prized racehorse

1931 – Isabel Martínez de Perón born as María Estela Martínez Cartas; in 1961, she became the third wife of Juan Perón (his second wife, Eva “Evita” Perón, died in 1952). First Lady of Argentina (1973-1974); Vice President of Argentina (1973-1974); President of Argentina (1974-1976), the first woman leader to be a “President” rather than a queen or prime minister. Her tenure as President was a time of  increasing violence by leftist extremists and escalating brutality by law enforcement and the military. She was deposed and arrested in March, 1976, by a military junta

1936 – At UC Berkeley, Dr. John Jacob Livingood bombards elements with 5-MEV, and  discovers irradiated bismuth emits fast electrons with a 5-day half-life, which is the behavior of Radium E, leading to making the first synthetic Radium

1938 – Our Town by Thornton Wilder opens in Broadway

1941 – USO Day * – the USO is formed by volunteers to entertain American troops (see also 1971 entry)

1941 – Roy J. Plunkett patents Teflon, which he discovers accidentally in 1938

1943 – Wanda Rutkiewicz born, Polish mountain climber; first woman to successful climb K2; she had reached the summit on eight of the fourteen ‘eight-thousanders’ on her list of mountains to conquer before she went missing on Kanchenjunga; there is no evidence to show whether she reached the summit or not; her body hasn’t been found

1943 – Purvis Young born, self-taught black artist whose work depicts poverty, crime, and other social issues; painted on discarded objects, like doors, cardboard, or pieces of wood; his works are in the collections the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Bass Museum of Art, and Virginia Museum of Fine Art

1945 – The Yalta Conference of Churchill, FDR and Stalin begins in the Crimea

1948 – Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) becomes independent within the British Commonwealth

1948 – Alice Cooper is born as Vincent Damon Furnier, American singer-songwriter-rocker – and golf enthusiast

1952 – Jenny Shipley born, New Zealand’s first woman Prime Minister (1997-1999); Leader of the Opposition for the National Party (1999-2001); New Zealand Parliament member for two different constituencies, Rakaia (1990-2002) and Ashburton (1987-1990)

1953 – Kitarō born, Japanese keyboard player, New Age composer

1954 – Vincent Baloyi born, South African artist, sculptor and teacher; member of the National Arts Society; 1986 Guest Artist of FUBA (Federated Union of Black Artists)

Orphan – Vincent Baloyi

1957 – Smith-Corona Manufacturing Inc., of New York, begins selling a portable electric typewriter, which weighs 19 pounds

1957 – Don Davis born, composer-orchestrator, composed the film score for The Matrix movies

1960 – Siobhan Dowd born, British writer; died of breast cancer in 2007, but her last completed book, Bog Child, won the 2009 Carnegie Medal for best British juvenile book posthumously

1961 – Angolan War of Independence begins

1966 – The Rolling Stones release “19th Nervous Breakdown” in the U.K.

1971 – USO Day * is proclaimed by President Nixon on the 30th anniversary of the founding of the United Service Organizations: thousands of USO volunteers have boosted morale and brought entertainment to the U.S. Armed Forces in war and peace since before WWII (see also 1941 entry)

1976 – The Fleetwood Mac single “Rhiannon” is released

1983 – Rebecca White born, Australian Labor politician; Member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly for Lyons since 2010; Leader of the Opposition in Tasmania since 2017; she’s campaigned for restoring funding for abortion clinics which the Liberal government cut

1985 – Ronald Reagan’s defense budget calls for a tripling of expenditure on the “Star Wars” research program

1993 – Russian scientists unfurl a giant mirror in orbit and flash a beam of sunlight across Europe during the night, which observers saw as a momentary flash

2000 – World Cancer Day * is established by the Paris Charter adopted at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millenium to highlight new developments in cancer research, and educate the public on prevention and treatment

2003 – The Bengali Hindus declare the independence of the Republic of Bangabhumi from Bangladesh

2003 – The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is officially renamed Serbia and Montenegro and adopts a new constitution

2004 – Mark Zuckerberg founds Facebook, for better or for worse

2012 – Thousands are stranded by severe flooding in the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland

2013 – French Minister of Women’s Rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem announces that a law passed on November 17, 1800, which banned women in Paris from wearing trousers unless they had the permission of local police to “dress like a man” has finally been formally rescinded. The law had been modified in 1892 and 1909 to allow women to wear trousers if they were “holding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse”

2017: Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, who went on to
Minister of Higher Education (2014-2017), seen in
Paris, wearing “trousers” without bicycle or horse



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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