ON THIS DAY: February 23, 2019

February 23rd is

Banana Bread Day

Curling is Cool Day *

Diesel Engine Day *

Dog Biscuit Day

National Tile Day


MORE! W.E.B. Du Bois, Louis Stokes and Constance Baker Motley, click



Bolivia – Oruro: Carnaval de Oruro
(combines Diablada dance with Candalaria)

Brunei – National Day

Guyana – Mashramani
(Republic Day)

Kyrgyzstan – Homeland Defender’s Day

Latvia – Metini
(Spring holiday)

Russia – Fatherland Defender’s Day

Belarus and Tajikistan – Armed Forces Day


On This Day in HISTORY

532 – Byzantine emperor Justinian I orders the building of a new Orthodox Christian basilica in Constantinople, the Hagia Sophia, to replace the church that was burned down during the Nika riots

1455 – Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed with movable type

1574 – France begins the 5th holy war against the Huguenots

1633 – Samuel Pepys born, English diarist and naval administrator

1648 – John Blow born, English Baroque composer, organist at Westminster Abbey

1660 – Karl XI (in English,  Charles IX) becomes King of Sweden at age 17; he  strengthens the military and the navy; oversees a major financial overhaul of the government and improvement of country’s shaky economy; but he also imposes required attendance at Sunday sermons of the Lutheran Church, Sweden’s state religion, and requires all commoners to learn to read Archbishop Svebilius’ catechism; his reign is marked by 20 years of peace

1685 – George Frideric Handel born in Germany, Baroque composer, spent most of his life in England composing and performing, often for British royalty; became a British citizen in 1726; his oratorios made the format very popular in London; he continued to compose and oversee productions of his work right up to his death in 1759, in spite of two strokes, the loss of sight in his left eye in 1750, and total blindness by 1752

1778 – Baron von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge PA to help train the Continental Army during the American Revolution

1792 – The Humane Society of Massachusetts is incorporated

1813 –First U.S. raw cotton-to-cloth mill was founded in Waltham MA

Early manufacturing company in Waltham Massachusetts – engraving by Elijah Smith

1820 – The Cato Street conspiracy is uncovered, an attempt to assassinate all British cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool, because of the Six Acts suppression of all meetings for the purpose of radical reform, and harsh economic times

1821 – The Philadelphia College of Apothecaries establishes the first pharmacy college

1822 – Boston incorporates as a city

Boston Court House, built in 1813, on School Street

1836 – In San Antonio TX the siege of the Alamo begins

The Fall of the Alamo, 1844 by Theodore Gentilz, shows Alamo complex from the south

1839 – In Boston MA, William F. Harnden organizes the first express service between Boston and New York City, the first express service in the U.S.

1847 – Santa Anna, returning from one of several exiles, assumes command of the Mexican army, then is defeated at the Battle of Buena Vista by a smaller force of  U.S. troops under General Zachary Taylor

1850 – Cesar Ritz born, Swiss hotelier, founder of the Hôtel Ritz Paris and Ritz Hotel in London; the slang word “ritzy” was derived from his luxurious hotels

1854 – South Africa: with the signing of the Bloemfontein Convention, the British formally recognize the independence of the Boers, and the Republic of the Orange Free State is established between the Orange and Vaal Rivers. While this maintained an uneasy peace for the next 50 years, ultimately it led to the two Anglo-Boer Wars

1861 – U.S. President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington to take his office after an assassination attempt in Baltimore

1861 – Texas becomes the 7th state to secede from the Union

1868 –  W.E.B. Du Bois born, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist and Pan-Africanist; first black American to earn a doctorate at Harvard; a co-founder of the N.A.A.C.P; leader of the Niagara Movement, which pushed for full civil rights, advanced education and increased political representation for African Americans

1868 – Anna Hofman-Uddgren born, Swedish cabaret and music hall performer who later worked as theatre director, and then became the first woman to direct a film in Sweden, the 1911 silent picture, Stockholmsfrestelser, and made silent film versions of August Strinberg’s Fadren (The Father) and Fröken Julie (Miss Julie) in 1912

1874 – Walter Winfield patents a game called “sphairistike,” aka lawn tennis

1875 – J. Palisa discovers asteroid #143 (aka Adria)

1876 – Wadih Sabra born, Lebanese composer; founder of the National Higher Conservatory of Music; composer of the music for Lebanon’s National Anthem

1879 – Agnes Arber born, British botanist and author; noted for her studies of comparative anatomy of plants, especially monocotyledons (flowering plants with embryos bearing a single seed leaf, called a cotyledon); her first book, Herbals: Their Origin and Evolution, became a standard text. She was the first woman botanist to be made a member of the Royal Society. Included among her later works are Water Plants: A Study of Aquatic Angiosperms, Monocotyledons, and The Gramineae: A Study of Cereal, Bamboo and Grass

1883 – Alabama is the first U.S. state to enact an antitrust law

1886 – Charles M. Hall completes his invention of aluminum

1889 – Jeanne Roques born, known by her stage name Musidora, French actress, silent film director and writer; she became a silent film star playing a vampire in the 10-part film serial, Les Vampires (1915-1916). She produced and directed ten films, but only Soleil et Ombre (Sun and Shadow – 1922) and La Terre des Taureaux (The Land of Bulls -1924) have survived. One of her lost films was La vagabonda (The Vagabond – 1924), which she co-wrote with Colette, based on the author’s novel of the same name

1893 – Diesel Engine Day * – Rudolf Diesel patents his diesel engine

1896 – The Tootsie Roll is introduced by Leo Hirshfield

1898 – In France, Emile Zola is imprisoned for his letter, “J’accuse,” which accuses the government of anti-Semitism and wrongly jailing Alfred Dreyfus

1901 – Ruth Rowland Nichols born, American aviation pioneer; the only woman pilot to simultaneously hold speed, altitude, and distance world records

Ruth Rowland Nichols and Crosley Radio Lockheed Vega, 1930

1904 – The U.S. acquires control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million

1905 – The Rotary Club founded in Chicago IL by Paul Harris, and 3 others

1910 – In Philadelphia PA the first radio contest is held

1915 – Nevada Bill AB-11, returning the state’s residency requirements for divorce from 1 year back to six months, is signed into law by Governor Emmet Boyle, paving the way for Reno to become the “Divorce Capital of America,” a $5 million-a-year industry in the 1930s, after the residency requirement is lowered again in 1931, to a mere 6 weeks

1916 – U.S. Congress authorizes a McKinley Memorial $1 gold coin

1919 – The Fascist Party is formed in Italy by Benito Mussolini

1923 – Mary Francis Shura born, American author of over 50 novels; children’s books like her Kids of the Neighborhood series; and gothic, romance and suspense novels, mainly for teen readers. She used several pen names, including M.F Craig, Alexis Hill, and Mary S. Craig. Elected President of the Mystery Writers of America in 1990

1924 – Allan MacLeod Cormack born, South African physicist; he met an American woman physics student while he was a doctoral student at Cambridge University (1947-1949), they were married, and after a year at the University of Cape Town, he went with her to America; co-winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Medicine for work on X-ray computed tomography

1925 – Louis Stokes born, lawyer and politician, the first African American to represent Ohio in the U.S. Congress (Democrat for Cleveland district, 1968-1998)

1927 – Federal Radio Commission begins assigning frequencies, hours of operation and power allocations for radio broadcasters; on July 1, 1934, the commission’s name is changed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

1937 – Bing Crosby  records “Sweet Leilani” with Lani McIntyre’s band

1938 – Sylvia Chaise born, American broadcast journalist; correspondent (1979-1985)  for ABC’s 20/20; after working as a news anchor at KRON in San Francisco (1985- 1990), she co-anchored Prime Time Live (1991-2001), then moved to PBS, working on Now with Bill Moyers (2002-2004)

1942 – Haki R. Madhubuti born as Don Luther Lee, African American author, poet, published and bookseller; founder and publisher of Third World Press in 1967, now the largest independent black-owned press in the U.S.

1945 – The 28th Regiment of the Fifth Marine Division of the U.S. Marines reaches the top of Mount Surabachi, where a photograph is taken raising the American flag

1945 – Alan Boesak born, Black South African clergyman, politician and anti-apartheid leader. In 1982, he became President of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. He was a founding member of the United Democratic front in 1983, and was elected chair in the Western Cape of the African National Congress (ANC), but in 1985 he was investigated for misappropriation of funds intended to aid children, and in 1999, he was convicted and sent to prison for fraud

1947 – Pia Kjærsgaard born, Danish politician; leader of the right-centrist Danish People’s Party (1995-2012); Member of Parliament since 1984, and first woman Speaker of the Danish Parliament, from 2015 to the present

1950 – Rebecca Newberger Goldstein born, American philosopher and author; noted for the “mattering theory” introduced in her novel The Mind-Body Problem

1954 – The first mass vaccination of children against polio begins in Pittsburgh, PA

1954 – Rajani Thiranagama born, Tamil physician, human rights activist and feminist; she and her sister Nirmala became involved as students with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE). In 1982, while Rajani was in Britain at the Liverpool Medical School for postgraduate studies in anatomy, Nirmala was arrested under Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act during the civil war in which the Tamil insurgents were fighting for an independent Tamil state. Rajani launched an international campaign for her sister’s release. She joined human rights groups that were exposing the atrocities in Sri Lanka, and grassroots organizations campaigning for women’s rights and ending discrimination against Black people in Britain. Returning to Sri Lanka, she began to feel that all the violence was wrong, and began criticizing the narrow nationalism of the LTTE, and started collecting evidence of human rights violation and atrocities committed by the LTTE, the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front, the Indian Peace Keeping Force and the Sri Lankan government forces. She co-authored a book, The Broken Palmyra, documenting the violence in 1989. A few weeks after its publication, she was shot to death by a gunman while cycling home from work. The LTTE and the EPRLF have both been suspected of the killing

1955 – The French government is formed by Edgar Faure

1955 – Rodney E. Slater born, lawyer; became the first African American Director of the Federal Highway Administration (1993-1997); U.S Secretary of Transportation (1997-2001); brokered the 1998 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), to invest $200 billion in surface transportation

1956 – Sandra Osborne born, Scottish Labour politician; Member of Parliament for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock (1997-2015); on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee (2005–2010 and 2013-2015); member of the Defence Select Committee (2010-2013); and  member of the Council of Europe

1957 – U.S. Supreme Court rules that NFL operations did fall under antitrust laws

1958 – Juan Fangio, five-time world driving champion, is kidnapped by Cuban rebels during the practice runs for the Cuban Grand Prix; Castro wanted to embarrass the Batista regime by forcing cancellation of the race, but it goes on as scheduled; Fangio is allowed to hear it on his captors’ radio. He is released unharmed after 29 hours

1963 – The 24th Constitutional Amendment is ratified, prohibiting poll taxes in U.S. federal elections

1965 – Constance Baker Motley is elected Manhattan Borough president, the highest elective office held by a black woman in a major American city up to that time. She later became the first African-American woman appointed to the federal judiciary

1966 – The Bitar government in Syria ends with a military coup

1969 – Martine Croxall born, British media journalist; she began her career at BBC radio in 1991, and became one of BBC television’s news presenters. She was the main BBC World News presenter on-camera continuously for two and half hours during the Paris attacks in November 2015 in which 130 people were killed, and 413 people were injured. Croxall was highly praised for her professionalism, and skillful coordination of reports coming in live from correspondents at the scenes of the attacks, sorting through conflicting reports, and clarifying what was unsubstantiated, and what was confirmed 

1970 – Guyana becomes a republic

1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army demands $4 million more for the release of Patty Hearst, who had been kidnapped on February 4th

1980 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declares that Iran’s new parliament will decide the fate of the hostages taken on November 4, 1979, at the U.S. embassy in Tehran

1979 Iran hostage crisis – gates of U.S. embassy in Tehran

1991 – During the Persian Gulf War, ground forces cross the border of Saudi Arabia into  Iraq; less than four days later, the war is over as Iraqi forces surrender or withdraw

1993 – Gary Coleman wins a $1,280,000 lawsuit against his parents

1998 – Curling is Cool * – Curling returns to the Winter Olympics. It had been part of the inaugural 1924 Winter Olympics, but was discontinued, then appeared only as a demonstration sport

1999 – White supremacist John William King is found guilty of kidnapping and murdering African American James Byrd Jr. by dragging him behind a truck for two miles on a country road in Texas

2000 – Carlos Santana wins eight Grammy Awards for his album Supernatural, tying the record set by Michael Jackson in 1983 for Thriller

2003 – Norah Jones wins 5 Grammy Awards for her album Come Away With Me

2005 – The New York City medical examiner’s office announces it has exhausted all efforts to identify the remains of the people killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, due to the limits of DNA technology; about 1,600 people have been identified, leaving more than 1,100 not identified

2011 – The Obama administration announces it will no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage

2012 –Digital Learning Day * launched by education leaders to encourage teachers to take advantage of technological innovation as an additional resource


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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2 Responses to ON THIS DAY: February 23, 2019

  1. Malisha says:

    Handel’s Sarabande in D Minor:

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