ON THIS DAY: March 4, 2019

March 4th is

Pound Cake Day

Marching Band Day

National Grammar Day *

Toy Soldier Day *


MORE! Pearl White, Miriam Makeba and Jean O’Leary, click



Carnival Monday/Shrove Monday – Andorra, Argentina, Aruba, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil, Curaçao, Domenica, Ecuador,  French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Luxenbourg, Martinique, Panama, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela

Argentina – Mendoza: Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia
(Grape harvest festival – ongoing until March 11)

Guam – Chamorro Heritage Day

Iceland: Bun Day

India, Nepal, Sri Lanka – Maha Shivratri
(Night of Shiva)

Lithuania and Poland –
St. Casimir’s Day

Malaysia – Kuala Terengganu: Anniversary
of Installation of Sultan of  Terengganu


On This Day in HISTORY

AD 51 – Nero, future Roman emperor, is given the title princeps iuventutis (first of the equestrian order)

1351 – Ramathibodi becomes the first king of Ayutthaya (now part of Thailand)

1394 – Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal is born

1493 – Christopher Columbus arrives back in Lisbon, Portugal, aboard his ship Niña

1519 – Hernán Cortés arrives in Mexico

1628 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a Royal charter

1675 – John Flamsteed is appointed as the first Astronomer Royal of England

1678 – Antonio Vivaldi born, major Italian Baroque composer

1681 – England’s King Charles II grants William Penn’s charter to (future) Pennsylvania

1766 – British Parliament repeals the Stamp Act, which faced bitter and violent opposition in the American colonies

1778 – Continental Congress votes to ratify Treaty of Amity and Commerce and Treaty of Alliance, the first treaties entered into by the U.S. government

1781 – Rebecca Gratz born, Jewish American educator and philanthropist; co-founder of the Female Association for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances in 1801, which aided widows and orphans after the American Revolutionary War; also helped found the Philadelphia Orphan Asylum in 1815, and served on its board for the next 40 years; Superintendent and president of the first Hebrew Sunday School in America (1838-1864); co-founder in 1819 of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society; her advocacy helped establish a Jewish foster home, the Fuel Society, and the Sewing Society; Gratz College is founded in her memory

Rebecca Gratz, by Thomas Sully – 1831

1789 – U.S. Congress: first meeting in New York declares the Constitution is in effect

1791 – Vermont is admitted as the 14th U.S. state, the first addition to the original 13 American states

1794 – The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is passed by the Congress, which limits the jurisdiction of the federal courts to automatically hear cases brought against a state by the citizens of another state; later interpretations expand this to include citizens of the state being sued

1815 – Myrtilla Miner born, American educator and abolitionist, establishes the Normal School for Colored Girls in Washington DC, which will merge with other schools to become the University of the District of Columbia

1826 – The first U.S. railroad is chartered, the Granite Railway in Quincy MA

1837 – The state of Illinois grants a city charter to Chicago

1861 – The Confederacy adopts the “Stars and Bars” flag

1875 – Enrique Larreta born, Argentine modernist novelist, La gloria de don Ramiro; also Argentine Ambassador to France (1910-1919)

1877 – Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake premieres at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow

1880 – Halftone engraving is used for the first time as the “Daily Graphic” begins publishing in New York City

1881 – Eliza Ballou Garfield becomes the first mother of a U.S. President to live in the executive mansion

1891 –  Lois W. born, American activist, co-founder of Al-Anon

1889 – Pearl White born, American silent film star; a former circus bareback rider, she was one of the first women of “action” in the movies, who did the majority of her own stunts in serial films, most notably in The Perils of Pauline; unlike the usual screaming-in-terror-and-fainting heroines, she was plucky and resourceful; but a spinal injury’s constant pain from a stunt gone wrong led to drug and alcohol abuse, and her career plummeted; she died of a “liver ailment” at age 49

1893 – George Washington Murray is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina, the only African American Congressman during his tenure (1893-1895)

1895 – Margaret D. Foster born, American chemist who joined the U.S. Geological Survey three days after graduation in 1918, the first woman hired by the Survey as a chemist. She focused on analysis of natural waters: surface waters, hot springs and ground waters. Foster wrote papers on new methods for quantitative analysis of manganese, boron, sulphate and fluoride in water, and also studied the ground waters of the South Atlantic Coastal Plain and in the Houston-Galveston area in Texas. She was recruited during WWII for the Manhattan Project, and worked on a new quantitative methods of analysis for uranium and for thorium. After the war, she studied the geochemistry of the platy minerals: clays, micas, chlorites and glauconites

1899 – Elizabeth Wood born, taught English at Vassar (1922-26); involved in social welfare in FDR’s Public Works Administration in 1934, where her plans to create housing that included play areas and racial diversity were undercut when residents were not involved in planning; the first executive secretary of the newly created Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) in 1937

Elizabeth Wood at 1945 dedication of Altgeld Gardens

1902 – The American Automobile Association is founded in Chicago

1902 – On this date, the British House of Commons finally takes up the report of the Ladies Commission, headed by Millicent Fawcett, concerning the appalling conditions which caused the deaths of thousands from illness and starvation in the concentration camps holding Boer women and children during and after the Second Anglo-Boer War. While the commission’s report had been finished since December 12, 1901, it was not published in Britain until February, 1902. The Opposition party makes the following motion: “This House deplores the great mortality in the concentration camps formed in the execution of the policy of clearing the country.” In his reply to them, Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain states that it was the Boers who forced the British ‘scorched earth’ policy on them. and the camps are actually an effort to minimize the horrors of war. The Opposition motion is defeated by 230 votes to 119. The Ladies Commission was formed because of the outcry caused when Emily Hobhouse, founder of the Distress Fund for South African Women and Children, came back from South Africa in 1900 and went to the newspapers with her story of the overcrowding, inadequate sanitation, food and potable water shortages, and lack of medical aid in the concentration camps. The Ladies Commission did not address issue of the horrifying plight of the non-combatant black Africans forced into separate concentration camps. When Emily Hobhouse points this out to Mr. H.R. Fox, secretary of the Aborigines Protection Society, he writes on March 24 to Colonial Secretary Chamberlain, requesting the government institute an additional inquiry into the conditions in these camps. Sir Montague Ommaney, permanent under-secretary at the Colonial Office, records later that it seemed undesirable “to trouble Lord Milner . . . merely to satisfy this busybody.” Lord Milner was the British Administrator (1901-1902) and then first Governor (1902-1905) of the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony

Emily Hobhouse quote

1908 – The New York board of education bans whipping students in school

1913 – Marguerite Taos Amrouche born, Algerian author and singer, one of the first Algerian women to publish a novel in French; she also collected and interpreted Kabylie Berber songs

1914 – Doctor Le Fillatre, dean of the French Academy of Medicine, successfully separates Siamese twins Susanna and Madeline, born conjoined facing each other

1914 – Barbara Newhall Follett born, American child prodigy who began composing poetry at age five, published her first novel, The House Without Windows, when she was 12, and The Voyage of the Norman D. when she was 14; but when her father abandoned the family for younger woman, she was devastated, unable to write for some time; she and her mother fell on hard times during the Depression; at 16, she was working as a secretary, but she began writing again, including the novel Lost Island, and a travelogue called Travel Without a Donkey; she married at 19, but six years later, she discovered her husband was unfaithful; according to a statement made by the husband, after a quarrel she left their apartment with $30 in her pocket, but he didn’t report her missing for two weeks, because he was “waiting for her to return”; though suspicious of foul play, the police turned up no evidence in their investigation, and what happened to her is still a mystery

1917 – Jeanette Rankin of Montana takes her seat as the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; an avowed Pacifist, she would vote against both World Wars, and years later, march against the Vietnam War

1925 – Calvin Coolidge takes the oath of office in Washington, DC., the first presidential inauguration broadcast on radio

1931 – Alice Rivlin born, American economist and politician: Congressional Budget Office Director (1975-1983); White House Office of Management and Budget Director (1994-1996); Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve System (1996-1999)

1932 – Miriam Makeba born, South African singer, civil rights and anti-apartheid activist, who helped popularize African music around the world

1933 – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt gives his inaugural address: “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself”

1933 –Frances Perkins is appointed as Secretary of Labor, the first woman to serve in a U.S. Presidential cabinet

1942 – The Stage Door Canteen opens in the basement of  44th Street Theatre in New York City. Gertrude Lawrence, Tallulah Bankhead and Walter Pidgeon were among the entertainers that night. It was run by members of the American Theatre Wing and volunteers to offer American servicemen dancing, entertainment, nonalcoholic drinks and food at no cost to the GIs

1942 – Lynn Sherr born, American broadcast journalist, correspondent for the TV news magazine 20/20; feminist activist, honored in 1989 and again in 1992 with the Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger Award “for exceptional coverage of reproductive rights and healthcare”

1946 – Patricia Kennealy-Morrison born, American scifi/fantasy and mystery author of The Keltiad, and the Rennie Stride mystery series; as editor-in-chief of Jazz & Popmagazine in the late 1960s, she was one of the first women rock critics

1947 – France and Britain sign an alliance treaty

1948 – Jean O’Leary born, lesbian and gay rights activist, founder of Lesbian Feminist Liberation, one of the first lesbian activist groups in the women’s movement, was an early member and co-director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, co-founded National Coming Out Day

1950 – Walt Disney’s animated Cinderella released across the U.S.

Mary Robinson-Blair and her original concept drawing for Cinderella’s coach

1952 – U.S. President Harry Truman dedicates the Courier, the first seagoing radio broadcasting station

1954 – In Boston, the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (now part of Brigham and Women’s Hospital)  reports Dr. Joseph E. Murray performs the first successful kidney transplant

1954 – Irina Ratushinskaya born, Russian writer and poet, Soviet dissident who was sent first to a labor camp in 1983, then prison, including a year in solitary confinement, before her release in 1986; Grey is the Colour of Hope is a memoir of her incarceration

1963 – Walter Sisulu, former secretary-general of the African National Congress, is convicted of inciting African workers to strike in protest against the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act of 1961, and having furthered the aims of the ANC, which had been banned in South Africa since 1960. He is sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. The Constitution Act was the fundamental law of the South Africa until 1983, and ended the Union of South Africa, founded in 1910, which was a self-governing autonomous dominion of the British Empire

1974 – People magazine’s first issue goes on the newsstands

1975 – Queen Elizabeth knights Charlie Chaplin

1977 – The first Freon-cooled Cray-1 supercomputer, costing $19,000,000 USD, is shipped to Los Alamos Laboratories, New Mexico, and used to help the U.S. defense industry create sophisticated weapons systems. This system’s peak performance reached 133 megaflops, with the newest technology, integrated circuits and vector register technology. The Cray-1 looked like no other computer before or since. A giant cylindrical machine, 7 feet tall and 9 feet in diameter, weighing 30 tons, it required its own electrical substation to provide it with power (the electric bill alone was about $35,000 a month)

1983 – Bertha Wilson is appointed as the first woman judge on Canada’s Supreme Court

1986 – Today debuts as England’s newest, national daily newspaper

1987 – Ronald Reagan addresses the nation on the Iran-Contra scandal, acknowledging his overtures to Iran “deteriorated” into an arms-for-hostages deal

1989 – Time, Inc. and Warner Communications Inc. announce their merger plans

1994 – Bosnia’s Croats and Muslims sign an agreement to form a federation in a loose economic union with Croatia

1997 – U.S. President Clinton bars federal spending on human cloning

1998 – In Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the federal law banning on-the-job sexual harassment still applies when both parties are the same sex

1999 – Toy Soldier Day * is started by The Army of Toy Soldiers fan club, whose members hold events dressed in their “uniforms,” and volunteer for charity work in costume, such as toys drives for disadvantaged and sick children

2002 – Canada bans human embryo cloning but permits government-funded scientists to use embryos left over from fertility treatment or abortions

2008 – National Grammar Day * launched by Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar

2012 – Vladimir Putin is reelected in Russia’s presidential election

2014 – Italy releases 2 million Euros to save the ancient city of Pompeii after flooding causes some walls to collapse

Flood-damaged Temple of Venus at Pompeii


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: March 4, 2019

  1. Malisha says:

    My favorite Makeba song: “They call it the click click song because they cannot say ‘*X!'”

    • wordcloud9 says:

      There are just some sounds you have to start making with your tongue as a toddler or you’ll never be able to make them at all.

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