ON THIS DAY: February 12, 2019

February 12th is

International Darwin Day *

Abe Lincoln’s Birthday *

Biscotti Day

Freedom to Marry Day

Lost Penny Day *


UN Red Hand Day *


MORE! Henry Garnet, Olivia Hooker and Isaac Woodard, click



Myanmar – Union Day

Qatar – National Sports Day

Venezuela – Youth Day

Wales – Cardiff:
St. David’s Hall Film Fest


On This Day in HISTORY

881 – Pope John VIII crowns Charles the Fat, great-grandson of Charlemagne, as the King of Italy: Holy Roman Emperor

1429 – English forces under Sir John Fastolf defend a convoy carrying rations to the army besieging Orléans – “some 300 carts and wagons, carrying crossbow shafts, cannons and cannonballs but also barrels of herring” – in the ‘Battle of the Herrings’ – And yes, this Sir John is one of Shakespeare’s inspirations for his immortal rogue, Sir John Falstaff

Sir John Fastolf and his coat-of-arms

1502 – Vasco da Gama sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal, on his second voyage to India

1541 – Santiago is founded by Spanish conquistador and first royal governor of Chile Pedro de Valdivia

1554 – A year after claiming the throne of England for nine days, Lady Jane Grey is beheaded for treason

1567 – Thomas Campion born, English poet, composer and musical theorist

1593 – Approximately 3,000 Korean Kingdom of Joseon defenders led by General Kwon Yul successfully repel more than 10,000 Japanese forces in the Siege of Haengju

General Kwon Yul

1689 – The Convention Parliament declares that the flight to France in 1688 by James II, the last Roman Catholic British monarch, constitutes an abdication

1733 – Englishman James Oglethorpe founds Georgia, the 13th colony of the Thirteen Colonies, and its first city at Savannah

1791 – Peter Cooper born, American inventor, patents formula for”quick setting powder gelatin” which he calls Portable Gelatin (he was trying to make glue at the time):  he later sells the formula, and the flavored version is created by Pearle Wait

1793 – The first Fugitive Slave Act is approved, allowing a master to go before a magistrate and provide written or oral proof of ownership, and the magistrate would then issue an order for arrest; alleged slaves were not given a trial in court, or allowed to present evidence of having earned their freedom

1809 – Charles Darwin is born, English naturalist who developed the ‘theory of evolution,’ inspired by visit to the isolated Galapagos Islands; Origin of Species, The Descent of Man

1809 – Abraham Lincoln born, 16th U.S. President (1861-1865)

1817 – An Argentine/Chilean patriotic army, after crossing the Andes, defeats Spanish troops on the Battle of Chacabuco

1818 – Bernardo O’Higgins formally approves the Chilean Declaration of Independence near Concepción, Chile

1824 – Dayanand Saraswati born, Indian Hindu social reform leader, author, and founder of Arya Samaj, a revival and reform movement of the Vedic dharma. He was the first to call for Swaraj, “India for the Indians.” His book Satyarth Prakash (Light of Truth) which contributed to the Indian independence movement

1825 –The last of the Creek/Muscogee lands in Georgia and Alabama are ceded to the United States government by the Treaty of Indian Springs, but it is signed by only six chiefs; the Creek National Council denounces it, ordering the execution of the splinter group’s leader, William McIntosh, and the other Muscogee signatories, for the capital crime of alienating tribal land. On April 29, the Upper Creek chief Menawa takes 200 warriors to attack McIntosh at his plantation on the Ocmulgee River, killing him and two other signatories, and setting fire to the house; his son-in-law Samuel Hawkins is hanged, but Samuel’s brother Benjamin escapes. The treaty is ratified the U.S. Senate by a margin of one vote, but a delegation from the Creek National Council sent with a petition to President John Adams negotiates the 1826 Treaty of Washington; the tribes surrender most of the land sought by Georgia, but under more generous terms, while keeping a small section of land on the Georgia-Alabama border. Georgia Governor George Troop refuses to recognize the new treaty, and backs up his position by mobilizing the Georgia militia

Upper Creek chief Menawa

1831 – Myra Colby Bradwell born, editor, publisher and suffragist-political activist; founder of the Chicago Legal News; after studying law in her husband’s law office, she was denied admission to the Illinois bar because she’s a woman, and as a married woman, she wasn’t legally allowed to enter into contacts; her case goes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justice’s decision is 8-1 in favor of the state of Illinois; eventually she is granted a state license to practice law, after she worked tirelessly to change the laws that discriminate against women

1832 – Ecuador annexes the Galápagos Islands

1851 – Edward Hargraves announces he has found gold in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia, starting the Australian gold rushes

1855 – Fannie Barrier Williams born, African American educator and women’s rights advocate

1865 – Reverend Henry Highland Garnet, a former slave, who became the pastor of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington DC, becomes the first African American to speak in the Capitol Building, invited by Republican leaders to deliver a sermon just days after Congress adopts the 13thAmendment banning slavery; the title of his sermon: “Let the Monster Perish”

1870 – Women in the Utah Territory gain the right to vote

1872 – Silas Noble and James P. Cooley patent a toothpick-making machine

1880 – John L. Lewis born, American labor leader; founder of the C.I.O.

1884 – Alice Roosevelt Longworth born, American writer, eldest child of Theodore Roosevelt and his first wife, Alice Lee, who died two days after her birth; fiercely independent, non-conformist who smoked in public, rode unchaperoned in cars with men, stayed out late, placed bets with bookies, and kept a pet snake; noted for her autobiography, Crowded Hours, and her sharp wit

1884 – Marie Vassilieff born, Russian Empire painter who moved to Paris and became part of the Montparnasse artistic community

1893 – Omar Bradley born, American general, the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

1898 – Roy Harris born, American composer

1898 – Booker T. Washington gives his “Madison Square Garden Address” on anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, advocating for black educational and employment opportunities

1909 – NAACP Day * – The NAACP is formed when a group of white liberals, among them descendants of abolitionists Mary White Ovington and Oswald Garrison Villard, and black leaders, including  W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett,and Mary Church Terrell, issue a call for a discussion of racial justice, which they release on the centennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth; their principle objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of United States and eliminate racial prejudice. The NAACP is now the oldest and largest grassroots-based civil rights organization in the U.S.

1912 – The Xuantong Emperor, Pu Yi, the last Emperor of China, abdicates

1914 – In Washington, D.C., the first stone of the Lincoln Memorial is put into place

1915 – Olivia Hooker born; after her application to join the U.S. Navy’s WAVES was rejected because she was black, she became the first African American woman to join the Coast Guard, becoming a SPAR, the Coast Guard’s Women’s Reserve during WWII (1945-1946), and a Yeoman, Second Class; after the war, she earned her degree as a psychologist, and was an associate professor at Fordham University; a founding member of the American Psychological Association’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Division

1920 – Raymond Mphakamisi Mhlaba born, anti-apartheid activist, trade unionist, and a leader of the African National Congress (ANC), as well as the first premier of the Eastern Cape (1994-2001). Mhlaba spent 25 years of his life in prison, sentenced along with Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu and others in the Rivonia Trial. His kindly manner brought him the nickname “Oom Ray”

1921 – Bolsheviks launch a revolt in Georgia preliminary to the Red Army invading

1924 – George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue premieres in a concert titled “An Experiment in Modern Music” in Aeolian Hall NY, by Paul Whiteman and his band, with Gershwin playing the piano

1925 – Joan Mitchell born, American abstract expressionist painter and printmaker

1930 – Tshikudo Tavhana born, South African carver and sculptor

1934 – The Austrian Civil War begins, after a series of clashes between the paramilitary forces of the Christian Social Party (conservative coalition of the rural population, most of the upper-classes and the Catholic Church) and the Social Democratic Party (socialists and trade unionists)

1934 – In Spain the national council of Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista decides to merge the movement with the Falange Española to become Falange Española de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista – “Spanish Phalanx of the Councils of the National-Syndicalist Offensive” (Researching the Spanish Civil War always gives me a headache)

1934 – Anne Krueger born, American economist, former World Bank Chief Economist, first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, currently professor of international economics at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

1938 – Judy Blume born, award-winning American author of primarily Young Adult books; Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

1938 – Augustus N. Lushington is the first African American to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), earning his degree at the University of Pennsylvania

1940 – First radio broadcast of The Adventures of Superman

1942 – Mildred Bailey records “More Than You Know”

1946 – African American Sgt. Isaac Woodard, hours after being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army after serving in WWII and still wearing his uniform, gets into a dispute with a bus driver over the use of the restroom; a South Carolina sheriff arrests him, and Woodard is beaten so badly in jail that he becomes totally blind. When South Carolina doesn’t pursue the case, President Harry S. Truman orders a federal investigation leading to the sheriff’s indictment and trial in federal court in South Carolina, where he is acquitted by an all-white jury. Woodard’s case and others galvanize the civil rights movement, and influence a shift to civil rights initiatives at the federal level. Truman establishes a national interracial commission, makes a historic speech to the NAACP and the nation in June 1947, describing civil rights as a moral priority, sends a civil rights bill to Congress in February 1948, and issues Executive Orders 9980 and 9981 on June 26, 1948, desegregating the armed forces and the federal government

 Sgt. Isaac Woodard after being beaten and blinded in South Carolina

1947 – The largest observed iron meteorite until that time creates an impact crater in Sikhote-Alin, in the Soviet Union

1948 – Nancy Leftenant-Colon becomes the first black woman accepted in the regular U.S. Army nursing corps

1951 – Ghanaian Kwame Nkrumah, jailed for leading a “positive action” campaign against British rule the year before, is released from prison to lead the newly formed government after his party, the Convention People’s Party (CPP), wins the 1951 elections. As leader of the new government, Nkrumah made unifying the four territories of the Gold Coast a priority (The country became the Republic of Ghana in 1957)

1954 – J. Lyons & Co, a large British food and catering concern, hires first-class mathematicians to improve efficiency in dealing with their very high number of transactions, differing payrolls for their numerous subsidiaries, and accurate inventory reports; their experts learn about the number-crunching capabilities of early computers, and see the possibilities for Lyons; the company forms a partnership with Cambridge University, which was developing their own first computer, the EDSAC.  Using elements of the EDSAC, the Lyons team, now expanded by hiring engineers, develops the LEO (Lyons Electronic Office), and it produces a payroll report on this day, the first time a computer is used in business

1956 – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins records “I Put a Spell On You”

1961 – Soviet Union launches Venera 1 towards Venus

1961 – Di Farmer born, Australian Labor politician; Deputy Speaker of the Queensland Legislative Assembly (2015-2018); Minister for Child Safety (2017-2018); Member of the Queensland Parliament for Bulimba (2015 to present, previously 2009-2012)

1961 – The Miracles’ “Shop Around” becomes Motown’s first million-selling single record

1963 – Construction begins on the Gateway Arch in St. Louis MO

1974 – The USSR exiles Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature winner

1976 – Food coloring Red Dye No. 2, is banned by the FDA because studies show it might cause cancer; red M&Ms disappear for the next 11 years

1977 – The Police record “Fall Out,” their first single

1982 – In South Africa, journalist Thami Mazwai, who worked for The Sowetan, is sentenced to two years in jail for refusing to reveal information given to him ‘off the record’ by a student-leader now charged under the Terrorism Act 

1983 – Two hundred women protest in Lahore, Pakistan, against the proposed Law of Evidence of military dictator Zia-ul-Haq, which declares that the testimony of two women in a lawsuit is equal to the testimony of one man; the women, carrying only petitions to the Lahore High Court, are tear-gassed, baton-charged and thrown into jail. In 2006, the women are successful in getting the Women’s Protection Bill passed. It repeals the Law of Evidence and the infamous Hudood Ordinance (which brought back stoning, lashing and amputation as punishments, and made adultery and fornication criminal offences, with no distinction between rape and consensual sex, so rape victims could be tried for fornication or adultery)

1990 – Carmen Lawrence becomes Premier of Western Australia, the first woman premier of an Australian state

1993 – International Darwin Day * is founded by Dr. Robert Stephens to honor the accomplishments of Charles Darwin on the anniversary of his birth, now a project of the American Humanist Association

1995 – Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith launches Lost Penny Day * as a reminder that finding the pennies lost in places like your sofa cushions, coat pockets or the bottom of your purse, then donating them to charity, can make a real difference for someone in need – seems especially appropriate on Lincoln’s birthday, since he’s been on our pennies since 1909, when the Lincoln penny was first issued to commemorate his birth

1998 – U.S. federal judge Thomas Hogan declares the presidential line-item veto is unconstitutional; 4 months later, the Supreme Court concurs in a 6-3 decision

1999 – The U.S. Senate acquits President Bill Clinton on two articles of impeachment: perjury and obstruction of justice

2007 – Red Hand Day * is an international day against the use of children as soldiers, comes out of the Free Children from War Conference co-hosted by the French Government and UNICEF, attended by 59 countries, and supported by a number of world-wide organizations, including Amnesty International, Child Soldiers International, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement,  and Terre des Hommes

2010 – Israeli military begins rerouting a disputed section of the West Bank security barrier, a partial victory for Palestinians fighting a 5-year legal battle to get back access to their land, lost when the Palestinian village of Bil’in was cut in half by the fence in order to enlarge a Jewish settlement; the new placement returns 170 acres of agricultural land to the villagers, but 400 acres they once held are still occupied by Jewish settlements

The Bil’in wall

2016 –For the first time since the Great Schism of 1054, Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church met with Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church. They issue a Joint Declaration, touching on points of agreement rather than differences


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.
This entry was posted in History, Holidays, On This Day and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to ON THIS DAY: February 12, 2019

  1. Malisha says:

    Sometimes when I contemplate our leadership, I begin to doubt some of Darwin’s theories.
    But he does seem to be right abut the fruit flies and dung beetles.

  2. wordcloud9 says:

    So many people assume survival of the fittest means the strongest, but it means those that best adapt to their environment, and especially to changes in their habitat, as well as the species which has the most reproductive success.

    We’ve sure gone overboard on the second criteria, since the current human population is estimated at 7.7 billion, and we’re dangerously close to causing our own extinction. It stands to reason that since we’ve made so many life-threatening choices about the environment that we’re not doing real well in picking our leaders either. Our giant brains are worthless if we don’t actually use them.

Comments are closed.