ON THIS DAY: February 11, 2019

February 11th is

Get Out Your Guitar Day

Make a Friend Day

National Inventors’ Day

Peppermint Patty Day

Shut-In Visitation Day

White Shirt Day *

International Day of Women and Girls in Science


MORE!  Josh White, Hazel Johnson and Cliff Alexander, click



Azerbaijan –
Day of Revenue Service

Cameroon – Youth Day

European Union –
European 112 Day

Iran –
Islamic Revolution Anniversary

Japan – Kenkokukinen no Hi
(National Foundation day *)

Liberia – Armed Forces Day

Philippines – Panay Island:
Evelio Javier Day

Vatican City – Lateran Treaty Day


On This Day in HISTORY

660 BC (traditional) – Founding of Japan by first Emperor Jimmu, who launches a military expedition from Hyuga near the Inland Sea, and captures Yamato (now modern-day Nara Prefecture)

AD 55 – Death of Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus (called Britannicus), son of Claudius and Messalina, and heir-designate until the disgrace of his mother. Claudius marries Agrippina, and adopts her son Nero, who is older and a direct descendant of Augustus. When Nero in turn marries Claudia Octavia, sister of Britannicus, he is named joint-heir until Britannicus comes of age, but Claudius dies, quite possibly murdered, just months before his son assumes the toga virilis, symbol of adult male citizenship. Nero speaks the eulogy at the funeral of Claudius, and assumes sole power. Claudius’ new will, which either granted joint-rule to Britannicus and Nero or just Britannicus, is suppressed by the new emperor’s men in the senate. According to Tacitus, Agrippina falls out with Nero, threatening to take Britannicus to the Praetorian camp and declare that Claudius was murdered, so the Praetorians would proclaim Britannicus emperor. After a first attempt at poisoning Britannicus isn’t fatal, he is slipped a bigger dose at a dinner party, and dies on the spot. Nero dismisses the murder by declaring that Britannicus suffered from epilepsy.  Britannicus is dead one day before his 14th birthday, less than a month before his adulthood ceremony. Claudius had been dead four months


244 – Roman Emperor Gordian III, who at age 13 became the youngest sole Roman Emperor, is killed at age 19. The identity of his murderers, and even the location of his death, is disputed, some scholars saying that the official report that he died in at Zaitha in northern Mesopotamia in battle (but possibly killed by his frustrated army), is unlikely, and other information seems to indicate that he was killed in the battle of Misiche, near modern-day Fallujah in Iraq. The army of the Sasanian Empire, led by Shapur the Great, scored a decisive victory at Misiche, and Marcus Julius Philippus had to pay 500,000 denarii, as well as ceding Armenia and Mesopotamia to Shapur, in order to make peace

1534 – Henry VIII of England is declared supreme head of the Church of England

1626 – Emperor Susenyos I of Ethiopia and Patriarch Afonso Mendes declare the primacy of the Roman See over the Ethiopian Church, and Catholicism to be the state religion of Ethiopia, which resulted in a series of revolts by adherents of the traditional Ethiopian Church. In June, 1632, Susenyos had declare an act of toleration, that those who would follow the Catholic faith were allowed to do so, but no one would be forced to follow the Catholic faith, ending Roman Catholicism’s six years as the Ethiopian state religion. Susenyos abdicated to his son, Fasilides, immediately after his declaration, and died three months later

1657 – Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle, French poet, essayist and playwright; a notable figure during the Age of Enlightenment in France, he wrote works on theology, philosophy and science, and extensively on the nature of the universe

1764 – Joseph Chénier born, poet, dramatist and politician of French and Greek origin


1790 – The Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, petitions U.S. Congress for the abolition of slavery, becoming the first organization in America to take a collective stand against slavery and the slave trade

1794 – The first session of United States Senate that was open to the public. Prior to this, the House of Representatives was the only Congressional body holding open sessions. Most Americans began using “Congress” interchangeably with “House of Representatives” and the Senate was becoming a forgotten chamber. During a dispute over the seating of Pennsylvania’s controversial Senator-elect Albert Gallatin, the Senate, at that time meeting in Philadelphia in the building next door to the Pennsylvania legislature, found it extremely awkward to hold closed hearings which questioned the action of the near-by state legislature. Wishing to avoid charges of acting as a “Star Chamber” if they held a secret vote to reject Gallatin, the Federalist majority agreed, on February 11, 1794, to open the Senate’s doors just for that occasion. Several days later, on February 20, the Senate decided to open itself permanently to the public as soon as a suitable gallery could be constructed.  Press and the public overflowed the new gallery when it opened in December, 1795, but soon lost interest in Senate proceedings, which were much less lively than the fire and drama of debate in the House

1800 – Henry Fox Talbot, English photographer and politician, invented the calotype photographic process

1802 – Lydia Maria Child, abolitionist, women’s rights and Native American rights activist, novelist, journalist, and opponent of American expansionism; remembered for her poem, “Over the River and Through the Wood” which became the lyrics for the song

1805 – Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, American explorer, military scout and gold prospector

1808 – Jesse Fell becomes the first to successfully burn anthracite on an open grate, opening the way for the widespread use of coal as an energy source

1812 – Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry is accused of colluding with his Republican-controlled state senate to re-draw voting district boundaries to favor their party; “gerrymander” is coined in a Boston Gazette political cartoon published March 26, 1812

1813 – Otto Ludwig, German author and pioneering modernist playwright

1821 – Auguste Mariette born, French archaeologist; discoverer of the ruins of Serapeum, a temple at Ṣaqqārah, part of the necropolis of the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis;  founder of the Egyptian Department of Antiquities, and the moving force in 1859 behind the Egyptian Museum at Būlāq, the beginning of what has become the world’s most valuable collection of Egyptian antiquities

1826 – University College London is founded as University of London

1840 – Gaetano Donizetti’s opera La fille du régiment  (Daughter of the Regiment) debuts in Paris at the Opéra-Comique

1845 – Ahmet Tevfik Pasha born, Turkish statesman of ethnic Crimean Tatar origin; he was the last Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire; he resigned his office three days after the abolition of the Ottoman Sultanate in November 1922

1847 – Thomas Alva Edison born, American inventor, holder/co-holder of 1,093 patents

1855 – Ellen Day Hale born, American Impressionist painter, printmaker and author of  History of Art: A Study of the Lives of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, and Albrecht Dürer; mentored the next generation of New England women artists

1855 – Kassa Hailu is crowned Tewodros II, Emperor of Ethiopia, by Abuna Salama III in a ceremony at the church of Derasge Maryam, ending the Era of Princes

1856 – The Kingdom of Awadh is annexed by the British East India Company and Wajid Ali Shah, the king of Awadh, is imprisoned and later exiled to Calcutta

1858 – Bernadette Soubirous’s first vision of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France

1860 – Rachilde born as Marguerite Vallette-Eymery, French symbolist novelist and playwright, the most prominent literary woman associated with the French Decadent Movement; noted for Monsieur Vénus, and The Juggler

1861 – In a desperate attempt to coax the Southern states to stay in the Union, the U.S. House of Representatives, after several tries, passes by a vote of 133-65 (just one vote more than the required 2/3 majority), the proposed Corwin amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state: “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.” The Senate just barely passes it. Only 5 states vote to ratify it, and 2 of those later attempt to rescind their ratification.

1869 – Else Lasker-Schüler born, Jewish German poet and playwright, one of the few women affiliated with the Expressionist movement; she fled Nazi Germany. living the rest of her life in Jerusalem

1872 – Hannah Mitchell born, English suffragette, socialist, worker’s rights activist  and pacifist. Although both her parents could read and write, she only had two weeks of formal schooling, and endured corporal punishment for trying to learn on her own. Education was considered unnecessary by her hard-pressed farming family, especially for a girl. She left in 1885, and became a factory worker. Later in life, she was elected to the Manchester City Council and worked as a magistrate

1873 – Amid growing unrest, Italian-born King Amadeo I of Spain abdicates, returning to Italy, and the First Spanish Republic is declared

1874 – Elsa Beskow born, Swedish children’s book author and illustrator; she is the best-known Swedish children’s book illustrator. The Elsa Beskow Award was created in 1958 to recognize the year’s best Swedish picture book illustrator

Children of the Forest, by Elsa Beskow

1889 – Meiji Constitution of Japan is adopted; the first National Diet convenes in 1890.

1900 – Ellen J. Broe born, Danish nurse and administrator; after many years of education and experience abroad, she returned to Denmark and helped establish educational and training initiatives, including drafting minimum curriculum requirements for nursing students; member of the International Council of Nurses (CCN); received the 1961 Florence Nightingale Medal

1902 – Arne Jacobsen, Danish Functionalist architect and designer of comfortable chairs

1903 – Anton Bruckner’s 9th Symphony premieres in Vienna, Austria

1906 – Pope Pius X publishes the encyclical Vehementer Nos to denounce the French law of 1905 separating church and state as a unilateral break of Napoleon’s 1801 Concordat, re-establishing Catholicism as the state religion after the French Revolution

1908 – Vivian Ernest Fuchs, English geologist-explorer; he led the expeditionary team on the first overland crossing of Antarctica (1958)

1914 – Josh White born, American blues singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist

1916 – Emma Goldman is arrested for lecturing on birth control

1918 – Anne Stine Ingstad born, Norwegian archaeologist who, with her husband, explorer Helge Ingstad, discovered the remains of a Viking (Norse) settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1960. She led an excavation of the settlement (1962-1968), which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Site of Canada

1920 – King Farouk of Egypt born, reigned 1936-1952

1920 – Dorothea Krook-Gilead born in Latvia; her family moved to South Africa when she was 8 years old, and she earned a degree in English literature at the University of Cape Town. In 1946, she was awarded a scholarship to Newnham College, University of Cambridge, and spent the next 14 years in England as a research fellow and assistant lecturer; one of her students was Sylvia Plath. In 1960, she immigrated to Israel, becoming an Israeli literary scholar and translator, teaching at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University. In 1974, she became a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities

1925 – Virginia E. Johnson, American psychologist-sexologist, Masters and Johnson

1926 – Paul Bocuse born, French chef, a leading pioneer of nouvelle cuisine

1929 – The Lateran Treaty * is signed by the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See; Italy recognizes Vatican City’s independent sovereignty

1934 – Mary Quant, English-Welsh fashion designer and ‘Mod’ icon of the 1960s

1937 – White Shirt Day * marks the end of a union sit-down strike when General Motors recognizes the United Auto Workers

1938 – BBC Television produces the world’s first ever science fiction television  program, an adaptation of a section of the Karel Čapek play R.U.R., that coined the term “robot”

1939 –Lockheed P-38 Lightning flies from California to New York in 7 hours 2 minutes

1939 – Jane Yolen born, American author, sci-fi/fantasy; The Devil’s Arithmetic

1941 – Sérgio Mendes born, Brazilian pianist and composer, Brasil ‘66

1943 – General Dwight D. Eisenhower assumes command of the allied armies in Europe

1944 – Joy Williams born, American author and essayist; The Quick and the Dead, The Changeling

1945 – President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin sign the Yalta Agreement

1953 – U.S.President Eisenhower denies appeals for clemency for the Rosenbergs

1953 – The Soviet Union breaks off diplomatic relations with Israel

1959 – The Federation of Arab Emirates of the South, which will later become South Yemen, is created as a protectorate of the United Kingdom

1962 – Sheryl Crow, American singer-songwriter, guitarist

1961 – Robert Weaver sworn in as administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency, the highest federal post held by a black American up to that time

Robert Weaver shaking hands with President Johnson

1962 – Tammy Baldwin born, American politician; U.S. Senator (Democrat-Wisconsin, since 2013); U.S. Representative (D-WI, 1999-2013); first woman elected to Congress from Wisconsin, and first openly gay U.S. Senator in history; member of Congressional Progressive Caucus; outspoken advocate of single-payer universal healthcare

1963 – Julia Child’s The French Chef premieres on TV

1964 – Greeks and Turks begin fighting in Limassol, Cyprus

1966 – South Africa: District Six, a multiracial area, is declared a “White area” under the 1950 Group Areas Act of the Apartheid regime. The property of District Six, also known as Kanaladorp (kanala is a Malay word meaning “help one another”), was at that time 56%  white-owned, 26% owned by ‘Coloureds’ and 18% Indian-owned. There were wide-spread protests, which increased as non-whites were forceably removed, but demolition of non-white properties began in 1968. Most of the people were taken to the Cape Flats, east of the suburbs of Cape Town, where ‘Coloured’ ghettos, Black Townships, and shantytowns came to house most of Cape Town’s non-white population

1971 – Eighty-seven countries, including the U.S., the United Kingdom, and the U.S.S.R. sign the Seabed Arms Control Treaty outlawing nuclear weapons on the ocean floor in international waters

1973 – First release of American prisoners of war from Vietnam takes place

1975 – Margaret Thatcher is elected leader of the opposition Conservative Party, the first woman to head a major party in Britain

1976 – Clifford Alexander confirmed as the first black Secretary of the U.S. Army

Clifford Alexander with Hazel Johnson, the
first black chief of U.S. Army Nurse Corps

1978 – China lifts its ban on works by Aristotle, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens

1979 – The Iranian Revolution establishes an Islamic theocracy under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, nine days after he returns from 15 years of exile

1981 – 100,000 US gallons (380 m3) of radioactive coolant leak into a TVA Sequoyah 1 nuclear plant containment building in Tennessee, contaminating 8 workers

1989 – Barbara Harris is ordained as the first woman Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts

1990 – Nelson Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa after 27 years as a political prisoner

1997 – Space Shuttle Discovery launches to service the Hubble Space Telescope

2004 – The city of San Francisco, California begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in response to a directive from Mayor Gavin Newsom. The first license is for lesbian activists Del Martin, 83, and Phyllis Lyon, 79

2009 – John Dingell (Democrat-Michigan) became the longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives after more than 53 years of service. Known for his wit, he retired from the House in 2015, but maintained an outspoken twitter account, lambasting the Trump administration, until shortly before he died, February 7, 2019, at the age of 92

2011 – Arab Spring: The first wave of the Egyptian revolution culminates in the resignation of Hosni Mubarak and the transfer of power to the Supreme Military Council after 18 days of protests

Egyptian protesters in Cairo – February 11, 2011

2015 – Özgecan Aslan, a 19-year-old Turkish university student is murdered when she tries to use pepper spray fend off an attempted rape by three men, including the bus driver, aboard a minibus in Mersin, Turkey. When her burnt body, with its hands cut off, is found on February 13, it sparks days of nationwide protests and public outcry over violence against women. The three perpetrators are convicted of a “monstrous and torturous homicide” and sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole

2016 – A news release announces that Gravitational Waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime, predicted by Albert Einstein in 1915, were observed for the first time by scientists at LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) in September, 2015. The waves were produced during the final fraction of a second of a merger of two black holes, producing a single, more massive spinning black hole, an event which the scientists estimate took place 1.3 billion years ago



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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