ON THIS DAY: February 13, 2019

February 13th is

Galentine’s Day *

Italian Food Day

International Condom Day *

Tortellini Day

World Radio Day *

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MORE! Absalom Jones, Malcolm X and Rita Dove, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Germany – Kolenz: Feast Day of St. Castor
of Karden (Patron saint of Kolenz)

Myanmar – Children’s Day

Philippines – Manila: Feast Day of Blessed
Jordan of Saxony (Patron saint of Manila)

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On This Day in HISTORY

951 – Guo Wei, who had risen from the cavalry to assistant military commissioner, usurps the throne of the Later Han Emperor Yin in a coup, and declares himself the founding Emperor of the Later Zhou Dynasty



1457 – Mary of Burgundy born, Sovereign Duchess regnant of Burgundy, who inherited the Duchy of Burgundy upon the death of her father, and ruled over many of its territories (parts of modern-day France and southern Belgium) from 1477 to her death in 1482. She was compelled to sign the ‘Great Privilege’ in 1477, which restored most of the local communal rights abolished by previous dukes of Burgundy, and obligated her not to declare war, make peace, or raise taxes without first gaining the consent of the provinces and towns, and to only employ native residents in official posts. This smoothed out affairs in the region, French aggression was temporarily checked, and internal peace was in large measure restored. When she married Archduke Maximillian of Austria later that year, he became her co-ruler. In 1508, he would become Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, which would cause contention between France and the Habsburgs, but Mary had already died in 1482, several weeks after she was thrown from her horse during a hunt, suffering internal injuries and a broken back



1462 – The Treaty of Westminster between Edward IV of England and the Scottish Lord of the Isles gives control Scottish lands north of the Firth of Forth to the Lord of the Isles in the event of Scotland being conquered by England, cementing an alliance that reduces the threat to Edward posed by exiled English King Henry VI who was given refuge by Scottish King James III

1542 – Henry VIII executes wife #5, Catherine Howard, for adultery


1633 – Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition



1692 – Mort Ghlinne Comhann: about 78 members of Clan Macdonald of Glen Coe, Scotland, are killed early in the morning, or die of exposure after their homes are burnt, for not promptly pledging allegiance to the new king, William of Orange

1713 – A smallpox epidemic strikes at the refreshment station for sailing vessels at the Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa, killing Company slaves and settlers alike, and spreading to nearby farmers, causing a food shortage. The disease became less of a threat to the white settlers by the end of 1713, but less than 10% of the Khoisan people of the southwestern Cape survived

1818 – Absalom Jones dies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, African-American abolitionist and clergyman. He was born as a slave in Delaware, sold with his mother and siblings to a farmer who sold the rest of his family, but kept the 16-year-old Absalom when he moved to Philadelphia to become a merchant. Absalom was allowed to go to school to learn to read and write, and when he was 23 years old, to marry another slave, Mary King. He got aid and loans to buy his wife’s freedom, because under the law, the status of the mother determined the status of the children. He finally got his own freedom in 1784. In 1792, disappointed by the racial discrimination in a local Methodist Episcopal church, which denied black congregants seating with white church members, he co-founded with Richard Allen the Free African Society, a mutual aid group for African Americans in the city, including those newly-freed from slavery. In 1794, Jones founded the first black Episcopal congregation, and in 1804, was ordained as the first black priest in the U.S. Episcopal Church. He is remembered liturgically on the day of his death, named in the church’s 1979 Book of Common Prayer as Absalom Jones, Priest, 1818.
He became famous for his oratory, and was part of the first group of African Americans to petition the U.S. Congress, protesting the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 for encouraging brutality, and supporting the practice of kidnapping free blacks and selling them into slavery. He drafted a petition on behalf of four freed slaves, asking Congress to adopt “some remedy for an evil of such magnitude.” His petition was presented in January 1797 by Pennsylvania Congressman John Swanwick, who was joined by George Thatcher of Massachusetts in urging the petition be accepted and referred to the Committee on the Fugitive Law, but the vote was 50 to 33 to decline acceptance, and his similar petition two years later was also declined. During the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia, Jones and Richard Allen organized members of the Free African Society to help Dr. Benjamin Rush by nursing those afflicted by the plague. When a city journalist accused poorer blacks of profiting from nursing sick whites, Jones and Allen published a pamphlet rebutting the claim, describing acts of sacrifice the Free African Society made for the health of the city. Almost 20 times more black people helped plague victims than white people. Jones and Allen were recognized by Philadelphia Mayor Matthew Clarkson for their work. The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania honors the memory of Absalom Jones with an annual celebration and an award.



1837 – Riot in New York City over the high price of flour

1869 – Edward T. Demby born, ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1899; a leading spokesperson for desegregation of the church, he became the first African American elected as an Episcopal bishop in the U.S. in 1918



1870 – Leopold Godowsky born in Russia, American pianist and composer

1879 – Sarojini Naidu born, Indian author-poet/activist-politician, first woman to be President of the Indian National Congress, first woman to be Governor of Uttar Pradesh



1881 – Eleanor Farjeon born, English author, poet and biographer; noted for lyrics to the hymn “Morning Has Broken” and the Martin Pippin series for children

1889 – Leontine Sagan born, Austrian-Hungarian film director and theatre producer; her family moved to South Africa when she was ten, but she worked in Germany in the 1920s as an actress, but first became notable for her film directing debut, the 1931 film, Mädchen in Uniform, which featured an all-woman cast, and a ground-breaking portrayal of lesbianism. The production was also one of the earliest films to use co-operative and profit-sharing financing. After its success, she moved to England, where she directed Men of Tomorrow, and worked in Alexander Korda’s film studio. Later she was a theatre producer in Manchester, then became the first woman producer at London’s Drury Lane, producing a series of Ivor Novello musicals in the West End. In the 1940s, she returned to South Africa, and co-founded the National Theatre in Johannesburg



1891 – Kate Roberts born, one of the foremost Welsh-language authors, and a leading Welsh Nationalist; with her husband, founded and ran the Welsh-language weekly Y Faner (The Banner – from 1935 to 1956)

1892 – Grant Wood born, American painter



1900 – The Anglo-German accord of 1899 is ratified by Reichstag; Britain renounces claims to Samoa in favor of Germany and the U.S.

1903 – Georges Simenon, Belgian novelist, noted for his Maigret mystery series

1906 – Pauline Frederick born, American television news correspondent



1908 – Malvin R. Goode born; worked for the YMCA in Pittsburgh, leading the fight against discrimination with the organization; worked for the Pittsburg Courier (1948-1962); became first African American TV news correspondent, covering the UN for ABC television, beginning his assignment during the Cuban Missile Crisis



1911 – Jean Muir born, American actress, first victim of Hollywood blacklisting. She debuted on Broadway in 1930, then was signed by Warner Brothers in 1933, and made 14 films for the studio before returning to Broadway in 1937. She appeared in a few films after that, and had been considered for the role of Melanie in Gone With the Wind, but displeased the studio executives because of her involvement in the formation of the Screen Actors Guild, her questioning of the way the film business operated, and her resistance to posing for publicity photos. In 1950, Muir was named as a Communist sympathizer in the notorious Red Channels pamphlet, and was immediately removed from her role in the television series The Aldrich Family, in spite of thousands of phone calls protesting the decision, and only a few calls complaining about her appearance on the show, because General Foods, the primary sponsor of the program, threatened to pull their ads if she stayed. Muir was the first performer to be deprived of employment because of the Red Channels pamphlet. The ‘sympathizer’ label was apparently based on her six-month membership in the Congress of American Women, a women’s rights organization founded in 1946 by Elinor Gimbel, widow of a member of the department store family, following a feminist conference in Paris. The CAW became affiliated with the Women’s International Democratic Federation, which had the stated goal of working for women’s rights, but was widely believed to be a pro-Soviet communist front organization, and later did support the East German communist regime. Muir began teaching drama and directing plays at community theatres in New York, then moved to Missouri in 1968 to be the Master Acting Teacher at Stephens College, until she reached the college’s mandatory retirement age



1911 – Faiz Ahmad Faiz born, Pakistani poet and author, one of the most celebrated writers of the Urdu language. He was the first Asian to be honored with the Lenin Peace Prize, in 1962

1914 – The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (known as ASCAP) is formed in NYC, to protect copyrighted musical compositions of its members

1916 – Dorothy Bliss born, American carcinologist (study of crustaceans), Curator of Invertebrates (1967-1980) at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and editor-in-chief of the 10 volume series The Biology of Crustacea. Bliss was a pioneer in the study of hormonal control in crustaceans, and was president of the American Society of Zoologists

1919 – Evelyn Freeman Roberts born, Black American bandleader and composer

1920 – The League of Nations recognizes the continued neutrality of Switzerland

1921 – Jeanne Demessieux born, French organist, composer and pianist

1923 – Chuck Yeager born, USAF General, the first test pilot to break the sound barrier



1926 – Fay Ajzenberg-Selove born, American nuclear physicist, known for experimental work on nuclear spectroscopy of light elements; recipient of the National Medal of Science in 2007



1933 – The House of Commons defeats a bill that would have prohibited the sale of alcohol in the U.K.

1937 – The comic strip Prince Valiant appears for the first time

1940 – Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines and his orchestra record “Boogie Woogie on St. Louis Blues”

1943 – Elaine Pagels born, biblical scholar, Princeton professor of religion, known for her work on Nag Hammadi manuscripts, and her book Adam, Eve and the Serpent: Sex and Politics in Early Christianity



1943 – First women to sign up for non-clerical duties enlist in Marine Corps Women’s Reserve at Camp Lejune, North Carolina, inducted into specialties ranging from cooks to transport personnel and mechanics. One-third of the women served in aviation-related fields. Almost 18,000 women went through training at Camp Lejune, but the entire women’s reserve was discharged in March 1946

1945 – Marian Dawkins born, British biologist, professor of Animal Behavior, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford; noted for research in animal signaling, vision in birds, behavioural synchrony, animal consciousness and animal welfare. Dawkins was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014, for her substantial contributions to natural knowledge

1946 – Dame Janet V. Finch born, British sociologist and academic administrator; Vice Chancellor and Professor of Social Relations at Keele University; named DBE in 2008 Birthday Honours for services to social science

1950 – Dame Vera Baird born, British Labour politician and barrister; Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner since 2012; Solicitor General for England and Wales (2007-2010); Member of Parliament for Redcar (2001-2010); noted for her advocacy of neighbourhood policing and making ending violence against women a priority

1955 – Israel acquires 4 of the 7 Dead Sea scrolls

1957 – At a meeting in New Orleans LA, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is organized, with Martin Luther King Jr as its first president



1960 – France detonates its first atomic bomb

1961 – Patrice Lumumba, who became Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1960, was ousted in a coup led by Mobutu Sese Seko, who took over as a military dictator. Lumumba was imprisoned in December, and in January flown to Elisabethville in Katanga, a region which was trying to secede from the Congo. On February 13, 1961, it was announced that he had been shot and killed while trying to escape

1964 – Ylva Johannson born, Swedish politician; Swedish Minister for Employment since 2014



1965 – The home of Malcolm X in NY City is bombed; no one is hurt, and he flies to Detroit the next day to give what would be his last public address, at Ford Auditorium; on February 21, he is assassinated as he begins a speech in Harlem



1967 – The Beatles release their single ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’

1970 – The New York Stock Exchange admits Joseph Searles III, its first Black member


The Wall Street bull and Robert Newburger on the left, with Joseph Searles

1972 – Led Zeppelin has to cancel a concert in Singapore when officials won’t let them off the plane because of their long hair



1979 – Rachel Reeves born, British economist and Labour politician; Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee since 2017; Member of Parliament for Leeds West since 2010

1990 – In Ottawa, the U.S. and its European allies forge an agreement with the USSR and East Germany on a two-stage formula to reunite Germany

1997 – Astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery bring the Hubble Space Telescope aboard for a tune up, allowing the telescope to see further into the universe.

2000 – The last original ‘Peanuts’ comic strip is published



2008 – The Writer’s Guild of America  ends a 100-day strike in Hollywood

2010 – Galentine’s Day * coined for the February episode before Valentine’s Day of Parks and Recreation – Leslie (Amy Poehler) throws her annual Galantine’s Day party for her women friends the day before Valentine’s Day

2011 – Egypt’s military leaders dissolve parliament, suspend the constitution and promise elections in moves cautiously welcomed by protesters who’d helped topple President Hosni Mubarak

2011 – AIDS Healthcare Foundation launches International Condom Day * with condom distribution and safer sex awareness events



2012 – Rita Dove, poet and author, who had been the second African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1987), receives the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama



2012 – UNESCO starts World Radio Day * coordinated by UNESCO’s International Radio Committee, on the anniversary of the founding of United Nations Radio in 1946

2014 – The journal Nature reports a milestone in nuclear fusion at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where scientists used 192 lasers and a building larger than three football fields to produce a pair of nuclear fusion reactions that created more energy than would have been produced by the initial fuel. The reactions lasted less than a billionth of a second, and only released enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb for less than three minutes. The Scientists pointed out that this was only a first step, a promising sign they are finally on the right path, but significant hurdles remain before their goal of ignition, where the reactions can be sustained

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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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