ON THIS DAY: February 20, 2019

February 20th is

Cherry Pie Day

Handcuff Day *

Love Your Pet Day

World Day of Social Justice *

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MORE! Jimmy Yancey, Nancy Wilson and Sidney Poitier, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Ukraine – Day of the Heavenly
Hundred (Euromaidan victims)*

Turkey – Cappadocia: St. Basil Day
(Cappadocia’s Patron Saint)

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On This Day in HISTORY

1339 – Italy, Battle of Parabiago: the San Giorgio mercenary army of Lodrisio Visconti attacks one of the two corps of the Milanese Army, led by Luchino Visconti. The Milanese are overwhelmed, but still offer resistance while in retreat. When news of the initial defeat reaches the leader of the rest of the Milanese, Azzone Visconti, he moves his men to besiege Lodrisio’s army, routing the mercenaries and capturing Lodrisio

1472 – Orkney and Shetland are pawned by Norway to Scotland in lieu of a dowry
for Margaret of Denmark, betrothed to James III of Scotland for 12 years before
their wedding in 1469, when she is 13 years old


James III and Margaret, on the 1562 Froman Armorial –
Margaret of Denmark, Queen of Scotland, by Hugo van der Goes

1547 – Edward VI of England is crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey, the first British monarch to be raised as a Protestant

1673 – The first recorded wine auction takes place in London

1763 – Adalbert Gyrowetz born, Bohemian composer; Viennese Vice-kapellmeister of the Court Theatre; a pallbearer at Beethoven’s funeral

1784 – Judith, Lady Montefiore, born Judith Barent Cohen, British linguist, musician, travel writer and philanthropist. Her father was a wealthy Ashkenazi Jew. At the time, marriages between Sephardim and Ashkenazim Jews were not approved, but Sir Moses Montefiore, from an Italian-Jewish family, was a British financier and banker, who thought this caste prejudice was hurtful to Judaism. Both the bride and groom were 28 years old when they married. It was a partnership which lasted 50 years, as Lady Montefiore traveled with her husband on all his foreign missions up to 1859, when her declining health made it impossible for her to continue. It was Lady Montefiore who directed the administration of most of their philanthropic endeavors, and her linguistic abilities were a great asset on their many journeys. She published two of her travel journals anonymously. In September, 1862, three months after celebrating their golden wedding anniversary, she died in her sleep. Sir Moses founded the Judith Lady Montefiore College in her memory. It became a Sephardic seminary for training young men as rabbis and teachers of religion. Shrinking enrollment caused the college to close its doors in the 1980s, but it was re-opened in 2005 as a college to promote advanced Torah study



1792 – U.S. President George Washington signs the Postal Service Act that creates the U.S. Post Office

1805 – Angelina Grimké Weld born, American abolitionist, suffragist and political activist; with her sister Sarah, only known white Southern women to take active part in the abolitionist movement; her essays and speeches are incisive arguments for ending slavery and advancing women’s rights



1809 – U.S. Supreme Court rules that the power of the federal government is greater than that of any individual state

1829 – Eagle Brewery (now D. G. Yuengling & Son) is opened in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, by German immigrant David G. Yuengling. It is the oldest U.S. brewery still operating

1839 – The U.S. Congress prohibits dueling in the District of Columbia

1844 – Joshua Slocum born in Nova Scotia, American sailor, adventurer and author;  first person to sail single-handedly around the world, aboard his sloop, Spray; his book about the voyage, Sailing Alone Around the World, became an international best seller



1869 – The Tennessee legislature gives Governor William G. Brownlow the power to declare martial law in any country necessary to curb the violence of the Ku Klux Klan members, who were terrorizing any black freedmen attempting to vote, and any freed people assuming leadership in their communities, or trying to set up schools; a Cincinnati private detective, hired to infiltrate the Klan and gather names of members, is found murdered on this date, and the governor declares martial law in nine counties, but when he resigns five days later to fill a seat in the U.S. senate, Nathan Bedford Forrest, believing their cause won, tells Klan members to destroy their robes


Upper right insert: Governor William G. Brownlow

1872 – Cyrus W. Baldwin patents an electric elevator, installed in NYC’s Stephens Hotel

1872 – Silas Noble and J.Cooley of Massachusetts patent a toothpick-making machine

1872 – New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art opens



1873 – The University of California got its first Medical School

1890 – Hershel Geguzin, born in Lithuania, Hollywood restaurateur and professional impostor, posing as Russian Prince Michael Alexandrovich Dmitri Oblensky Romanoff; Romanoff’s restaurant in Beverly Hills attracted Hollywood stars and millionaires

1893 – Elizabeth Holloway Marston born, American psychologist, attorney and author; co-developer of the systolic blood-pressure test used to detect deception (predecessor of the polygraph), and one of the inspirations for her husband William Moulton Marston’s comic book character, Wonder Woman


Elizabeth Holloway Marston (yes, those are wings on her hat) –
and on a beach with husband William Moulton Marston

1893 – Gabrielle Petit born, Belgian Red Cross volunteer and spy for the British Secret Service during WWI, arrested by the German military and executed by firing squad



1898 – Jimmy Yancey born, African American blues pianist



1901 – Rene Dubos born in France, American microbiologist, environmentalist and author

1901 – The first territorial legislature of Hawaii convenes

1902 – Katharine Way born,  pioneer in developing techniques for the retrieval, evaluation and dissemination of information on nuclear structure; she earned a Ph.D. in nuclear theory at University of North Carolina (1938), developed Way-Wigner formula for fission produced decay; worked for National Bureau of Standards (1947-1968); her concern for the health of retirees led to Durham Seniors for Better Health in the City of Medicine



1902 – Ansel Adams born, noted photographer of the American West


Moonrise, one of the most famous Ansel Adams photographs

1903 – Aniela Jaffé born, Swiss psychoanalyst and author; worked with Carl Jung. She was the author of several books, including The Myth of Meaning, and Parapsychology, Individuation, Nazism. She also recorded and edited Jung’s semi-autobiographical book Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Some experts believe that Jung only wrote the first three chapters, and it was Jaffé who actually wrote most of the rest of the book, from recordings and her notes on conversations with Jung



1910 – Konstantin Sergeyev born, Russian ballet dancer, director, and choreographer



1912 – Handcuff  Day * – George Carney patents a new type of handcuff, now standard police issue

1921 – The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is released starring Rudolph Valentino

1926 – Dame Gillian Lynne born, British ballerina, choreographer and theatre-television director; choreographer for Cats and The Phantom of the Opera



1925 – (Justin) Alex La Guma born, South African author and political activist whose father was of Cuban descent, so under apartheid he was considered mixed race and classified as Coloured. He wrote for the leftist newspaper New Age, as well as writing short stories and novels, often depicting the plight of Black people under Apartheid. La Guma was arrested several times for his activities, including organizing a bus boycott, and drafting the Freedom Charter, a rights declaration. He used the time in jail to write, but after he was banned from publishing his work in South Africa, in 1966, he went into exile in England, and later moved to Cuba, where he served as a representative of the African National Congress (ANC)



1927 – Sidney Poitier born in the Bahamas, American actor and motion picture star, film director and author; the first black actor to win an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role, for Lilies in the Field


A Raisin in the Sun (1961) – Claudia MacNeil with Sidney Poitier

1928 – Jean Kennedy Smith born, American diplomat, U.S. Ambassador to Ireland (1993-1998), made on honorary citizen of Ireland in 1998 in recognition of her aid in the Northern Ireland peace process; founder of Very Special Arts; received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011



1931 – The U.S. Congress grants California the right to build the Oakland Bay Bridge as a toll-bridge as part of Interstate 80

1933 – The U.S. House of Representatives completes congressional action on the amendment to repeal Prohibition

1935 – Caroline Mikkelsen, Danish explorer, with her husband on a Norwegian expedition, becomes the first woman to stand on an Antarctic island, five miles off the coast of Antarctica



1935 – Ellen Gilchrist born, American author and poet; winner of the 1984 National Book Award for her short story collection, Victory Over Japan



1937 – Nancy Wilson born, versatile African American singer whose career spanned over five decades; she won Grammy Awards in 2005 and 2007 for Best Jazz Vocal Album, and a Grammy in 1965 for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording



1938 – British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden resigned in protest over Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s decision to negotiate with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini

1941 – Buffy Sainte-Marie born, Canadian-American Cree singer-songwriter, producer, and social activist, founder of the Cradleboard Teaching Project



1952 – The African Queen starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn opens in New York City

1958 – Buddy Holly’s first official solo album “Buddy Holly” is released by Coral Records

1962 – John Glenn makes space history, the first American to orbit the world, three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes aboard the Friendship 7 Mercury capsule; he sees the Devil’s Cigarette Lighter, a natural gas well fire in the Sahara, while in flight

1963 – Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou born, Greek lawyer and politician; Member of Greek Parliament (2004-2007); Minister for Health and Social solidarity (2009-2010)



1964 – The Sand War: Morocco and Algeria sign an accord to end troop clashes caused by a border dispute in which the Moroccan government tried to claim portions of Algeria’s Tindouf and Béchar provinces

1965 – Ranger 8 crashes on the moon after sending back thousands of pictures of its surface

1971 – Calpurnia Addams born, American author, performer and activist for transgender fights; co-founder of Deep Stealth Productions in Hollywood

1988 – Rihanna born, R&B singer from Barbados, more than 20 million albums sold, Billboard record for youngest solo artist with eleven #1 singles



1992 – Ross Perot announces he is running for U.S. President

2005 – Spain becomes the first country to hold a referendum on ratifying the proposed Constitution of the European Union; it is approved by the majority of voters

2007 – World Day of Social Justice * is proclaimed by the UN General Assembly



2009 – Hershey’s, the largest U.S. candy maker, closes its candy factory in Reading PA, which produced Zagnut, York Peppermint Pattie, and 5th Avenue candy bars, among others. The Hershey’s factory in Monterey, Mexico is now producing these products; many of them are no longer made with real chocolate



2012 – Scientists report regenerating specimens of Silene stenophylla from a 31,800 year old piece of fruit, greatly surpassing the previous record for oldest plant successfully regenerated



2014 – Day of the Heavenly Hundred * – When the Ukrainian government suspended negotiations with the European Union, supporters of association with the EU, many of them college students, held protests in Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square). The police, using batons and tear gas, injured several protesters and some bystanders on November 30, 2013.  There were riots in early December in response to the violent crackdown, and the mass protests grow even larger, sometimes as many as 200,000 people involved. Anti-protest laws were passed by the government. Police killed three protesters. One injured activist leader was kidnapped from the hospital by masked men, and later found dead. The government blocked roads and sent in tanks, trying to prevent the protesters from gathering. Then snipers began shooting at protesters. The deaths and police brutality sparked even larger protests across the country. The government denied any involvement with the sniper shootings, and said the shootings were done by extremists. More deaths occurred. After a brief truce, the clashes were renewed on this date, and special forces shot both protesters and snipers on the rooftops. February 20 was the bloodiest day during the protests, leaving 21 protesters dead. In all, 103 protesters and 13 police officers were killed


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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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