ON THIS DAY: March 13, 2019

March 13th is

Chicken Noodle Soup Day

Coconut Torte Day

Good Samaritan Day

K-9 Veterans Day *

National Earmuff Day *

Smart & Sexy Day *

Open an Umbrella Indoors Day *


MORE! La Meri, Sian Elias and  Valerie Amos, click



Africa Scout Day *

Japan – Nara: Kasuga Matsui
(Shinto Monkey Festival)

Thailand – National Elephant Day

Vatican City –
Pope Francis Election Anniversary


On This Day in HISTORY

607 – The 12th recorded passage of what will be called Halley’s Comet

624 – Battle of Badr takes place in the Hejaz region (modern-day Saudi Arabia), a key battle in the infancy of Islam, a turning point in Muhammad’s struggle with his opponents among the Quraish in Mecca; it is reported as the first large-scale engagement between the two forces, and a decisive victory for the Muslims against an army triple their size, fielded by one of the richest and most powerful cities in Arabia – no known contemporary descriptions exist, the first accounts date from the 9th Century

874 – The bones of Saint Nicephorus interred in the Church of the Holy Apostles, Constantinople; a rigid iconodule (supporter of religious images and their veneration), Nicephorus goes in and out of favor as Emperors change; though a layman in charge of the largest home for the destitute in the city, he is appointed Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (806-815); opposed by the Stroufdites (monks of Monastery of Stoufdios, Constantinople’s most important monastery from 462 to about 1204), he is forced to retire to a cloister he founded, revered as a confessor, while writing iconoclastic literary polemics

1519 – Cortez lands in Mexico

1593 – Georges de La Tour born,  French Baroque painter

Cuisine et Service de Table by Georges de La Tour

1639 – New College in Cambridge Massachusetts, is renamed Harvard College, for English clergyman John Harvard, who gives a deathbed bequest to the school, which had been founded just three years before

1660 – Virginia enacts a law on ‘English’ (whites) running away with negroes: “BEE itt enacted That in case any English servant shall run away in company with any negroes who are incapable of makeing satisfaction by addition of time, Bee itt enacted that the English so running away in company with them shall serve for the time of the said negroes absence as they are to do for their owne by a former act.”

1697 – Nojpetén, capital of the last independent Maya kingdom, falls to Spanish conquistadors under Martín de Ursúa y Arismendi , the final step in the Spanish conquest of Guatemala

Nojpetén – Flores Guatemala

1777 – U.S. Congress orders its European envoys to appeal to high-ranking foreign officers to send troops to reinforce the American army

1781 – German-born British astronomer and composer William Herschel discovers that Uranus is not a star, but a planet, which makes him an instant celebrity; George III appoints him as Court Astronomer, and he is elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society

1813 – Lorenzo Delmonico born, in Switzerland, joins his uncles in 1851 their NYC catering and pastry shop, then transforms the business into one of the most famous restaurants in the U.S.

Modern-Day Delmonico’s Restaurant

1852 – The New York Lantern newspaper publishes the first “Uncle Sam” cartoon, drawn by Frank Henry Bellew

1855 – Percival Lowell born, American astronomer and writer, founder and director of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff AZ

1860 – Hugo Wolf born, Austrian composer credited with bringing the 19th-century German lied, or art song, to its highest point of development

1862 – American Civil War: The U.S. federal government forbids all Union army officers from returning fugitive slaves, effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation

1864 – The first Navajos finish the “Long Walk” to Fort Sumner on the Bosque Redondo Reservation, in east-central New Mexico, on this date. During their march, over 300 of the 1,430 who started the trip were kidnapped by slavers or died

Navajo internment, at Fort Sumner Issue House

1865 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis signs a bill authorizing using slaves as soldiers in the rebel army

1877 – Earmuff Day * Chester Greenwood patents the earmuff, which he invented in 1873, when he was only 15 years old

1884 – Standard time is adopted throughout the U.S.

1884 – Mahdist War, Siege of Khartoum: in the Sudan, Sudanese rebels against Egyptian rule led by the Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad, self-proclaimed redeemer of the Islamic nation, begin the first day of their 10-month siege of Khartoum. British forces under General Charles George Gordon, the former Governor-General of Sudan, had been sent to evacuate the Egyptian garrisons from Sudan, but Gordon believed the Mahdi rebellion must be put down or it would otherwise spread to Egypt, as the Egyptian army had already been defeated in several battles with the Madhists. Though he pledged himself to evacuate the Egyptian army from Sudan, when he arrived in Khartoum, he assumed administration of the city. His calls for additional troops were denied by the British government, which did not want to become embroiled in the Sudan. Gordon ordered the strengthening of fortifications around Khartoum. He refused repeated orders to leave, and sealed the fate of the city and his army. The first attempt by the British to send a relieving force ended in their massacre by the Madists. Before a second British relief expedition could reach the city in January 1885, the Madhists made a final push, and overran Khartoum. Almost all the remaining British troops within the city, weakened by hunger and disease, were slaughtered, including General Gordon, as well as many Sudanese civilians

Gordon’s Last Stand at Khartoum, by George W. Joy

1888 – De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd is founded to control diamond production in South Africa

1892 –  Janet Flanner born, American journalist and author, Paris correspondent for The New Yorker for 50 years, using pseudonym “Genêt” except during the Nazi occupation, was made a knight of the Legion d’Honneur (1948)

1893 – The original Waldorf Hotel opens with 450 rooms and almost 1,000 employees

1897 – Yeghishe Charents born in the Russian Empire, Armenian poet, writer and activist, regarded as Armenia’s main poet in the 20th century. He was an early supporter of communism, but became disillusioned during the Stalinist terror in the 1930s, and could publish almost none of his work after 1934. In 1937, he was charged with “counterrevolutionary and nationalist activity” and sent to prison. In poor health already, he died in the prison hospital, and was buried in an unknown grave. Like many others killed during the Great Purge, Charents was ‘rehabilitated’ after Stalin’s death. The Armenian city of Charentsavan is named after him

1898 – La Meri born R. Meriwether Hughes, one of the most notable ethnological dancers from 1924 into the 1970s; danced with Anna Pavlova; learned native dances all over the world, lectured, wrote articles, and founded the Ethnologic Dance Theatre

La Meri in Javanese costume

1900 – Giorgos ‘George’ Seferis born, major Greek poet; also essayist and career  diplomat (Greek Ambassador to the UN 1957-1962), 1963 Nobel Laureate for Literature

1901 – Andrew Carnegie follows up on his 1889 article, “The Gospel of Wealth” by announcing his retirement from business to devote himself to giving away his fortune, an estimated $300 million, to charities, foundations and universities

1902 – In Poland, schools are shut down across the country when students refuse to sing the Russian hymn “God Protect the Czar”

1902 – Andrew Carnegie approves 40 applications from libraries for donations

1908 – Myrtle Bachelder born, American chemist and Women’s Army Corps officer; worked on the WWII Manhattan Project, commanding a WAC detachment of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; she was responsible for analysis of the spectroscopy of uranium isotopes at Los Alamos, to ensure the purity of the sub-critical material in the world’s first atomic bombs; in 1945, she opposed a bill in Congress which would have maintained military control over nuclear research; in 1947, the newly formed Atomic Energy Commission declassified 270 secret documents, including records of Bachelder’s contributions to the success of the Manhattan Project; at the University of Chicago’s Institute for the Study of Metals, she worked as a research chemist, on a wide variety of projects, from developing methods to purify the rare elements tellurium and indium, to analyzing the chemical composition of brass cannons found on sunken ships in the Aegean Sea, and analyzing for NASA the chemistry of Moon rocks brought back from the Apollo missions from 1969 to 1972; in the 1980s, she supported nuclear arms control, but said of the work at Los Alamos during WWII, “One cannot pull that activity out of that time, set it down in the 1980s, and pass judgment.”

1908 – The people of Jerusalem see an automobile for the first time, owned by Charles Glidden of Boston

1911 – In Flint v. Stone Tracy, the U.S. Supreme Court rules 7-2 that the privilege of operating in corporate form is valuable and justifies imposition of a federal corporate income tax, which had been challenged by Stella P. Flint, as guardian of the property of Samuel N. Stone Jr., a Minor, arguing that it is actually an excise tax on corporations, which can be imposed by the states, but not the federal government

1911 – Dorothy M. Tangney born, Australian teacher and Labor Party politician; first woman member of the Australian Senate (1943-1968), the longest serving woman until Kathy Sullivan surpassed her record in 2001; she was an advocate for social reform, federal support for education, and establishing Australian National University, as a research university

1911 – Composer Ivan Caryll’s musical, The Pink Lady, premieres on Broadway, and runs for an initial 312 performances, with book and lyrics by C.M.S. McLellan, then returns to Broadway in 1912 after a successful tour. Noted for its integration of the show’s songs into the plot, advancing the story instead of halting it

1916 – Lindy Boggs born, American Democratic politician, first woman elected to the US House of Representatives from Louisiana (1973-1991); noted for her work on the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, adding the provision banning discrimination due to sex or marital status. First woman to preside over a major party convention (1976 Democratic National Convention). U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican (1997-2001)

1918 – Women are scheduled to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York for the first time because of a shortage of men due to wartime

1925 – A law in Tennessee prohibits the teaching of the theory of evolution

1928 – Ellen Raskin born, American children’s author-illustrator; won the 1979 Newbery Medal for The Westing Game

1930 – Announcement the planet Pluto has been discovered by scientist Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory – it will be downgraded to a dwarf planet

1933 – U.S. banks begin to re-open after FDR’s imposed bank holiday stems panic

1933 – Solomon K. Sedibane, South African sculptor known for his wood carvings, is born in Sekhukhuneland, Transvaal

1935 – 3,000-year-old archives are found in Jerusalem confirming some biblical history

1941 – Adolf Hitler issues an edict calling for an invasion of the U.S.S.R.

1941 – Mahmoud Darwish born, poet and author, regarded as the Palestinian national poet; won the 2001 Lannan Foundation Prize for Cultural Freedom

1941 – Donella Meadows born, pioneering American environmental scientist, teacher and writer, lead author of The Limits to Growth and Thinking in Systems: a Primer

1942 – Julia Flikke of the Nurse Corps becomes the first woman colonel in the U.S. Army

1944 – Susan Gerbi born, American biochemist, helped devise a method to map the start site of DNA replication, researched the role of hormones in certain cancers

1946 – Premier Tito seizes wartime collaborator General Draja Mikhailovich in a Yugoslavian cave

1947 – The musical Brigadoon opens on Broadway

1947 –Lesley Collier born, English principal dancer with the Royal Ballet

1949 – Sian Elias born in London, New Zealand jurist; Chief Justice of New Zealand (1999-2019); Administrator of the Government (for short periods in 2001, 2006, 2001 and 2016), a duty of the Chief Justice in times when the Governor-General is unable to fulfill his or her duties; became a High Court judge in 1995; was one of the first two women to become Queens Counsel in New Zealand in 1988; Law Commissioner (1984-1988); she began as a barrister in 1975, and also served as a member of the Motor Spirits Licensing Appeal Authority and of the Working Party on the Environment. She is noted as a champion of legal justice for Maori people

1951 – Israel demands $1.5 billion in German reparations for the cost of caring for war refugees

1951 – The comic strip Dennis the Menace first appears in U.S. newspapers nationwide

1953 – Dame Nicola V. Davies born in Wales, became a Queen’s Counsel in 1992; served as Presiding Judge of the Wales Circuit(2014-2017); judge of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales

1954 – Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos, born in British Guiana (now Guyana), British Labour politician; United Nations Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (2010-2015); British High Commissioner to Australia (2009-2010); Leader of the House of Lords/Lord President of the Council (2003-2007); Member of the House of Lords (1997-2010)

1954 – Robin Duke born, Canadian comedian, voice actress and comedy writer, noted for her work on SCTV (1980-1981) and Saturday Night Live (1981-1984); in 2004, she co-founded Women Fully Clothed, a sketch comedy troupe which toured in Canada, the U.S. and appeared at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland 

1956 – Dana Delany, American actress, producer and activist; best known for her roles in TV series, China Beach (1988-1991), Desperate Housewives (2004-2012) and Body of Proof (2011-2013), and the films Housesitter and Tombstone. She has served on the board of the Scleroderma Research Foundation since the 1990s, and campaigned for funding to find a cure for the disease, and is a board member and former co-president of Creative Coalition, an arts advocacy group; also a supporter of Planned Parenthood, and of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation 

1957 – Jimmy Hoffa is arrested by the FBI on bribery charges

1957 – Cuba Revolutionary student groups attacked the Presidential Palace in an assassination attempt on Fulgencio Batista; 40 of the attackers are killed, only a few of the attackers escaped. The failed attack provoked brutal reprisals – even leaders of political opposition groups not involved in the attack are rounded up

1963 – China invited Soviet President Khrushchev to visit Peking.

1964 – Kitty Genovesse is raped and stabbed to death in New York City; neighbors hear her screams for help, but no one calls the police

1969 – The Apollo 9 astronauts return to Earth after a mission that includes the successful testing of the Lunar Module

1970 – Cambodia ordered Hanoi and Viet Cong troops to leave

1970 – Digital Equipment Corp. introduced the PDP-11 minicomputer

1970 – A legal inquiry begins into the boundaries of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota for the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara, called the Three Affiliated Tribes; much reservation land was lost in the 1950s when the Missouri river was dammed by the Garrison Dam to create a lake named after Sakakawea, the Shoshone-Hidatsa woman who helped guide the Lewis and Clark Expedition. 90% of the reservation inhabitants had to be moved to accommodate the dam project

1974 – The U.S. Senate votes 54-33 to restore the death penalty

1974 – An embargo on Arab oil-producing countries is lifted 

1978 – Former South African Prime Minister and President John Vorster makes a speech in Bloemfontein, questioning P.W. Botha’s policy initiatives to allow greater “self-rule” for the Bantustans (black “homelands”) and more civil rights for Coloureds (mixed racial ancestry). Vorster backs the hard-line against any changes, claiming “separate development” is the salvation of South Africa

1980 – A  jury in Winamac, IN, finds Ford Motor Company innocent of reckless homicide in the fiery deaths of 3 young women while riding in a Ford Pinto

1986 – Susan Butcher wins the first of three consecutive, and four total, Alaskan Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Races

Susan Butcher with her dog Granite

1990 – The U.S. lifts economic sanctions against Nicaragua

1991 – Exxon is to pay $1 billion in fines and clean-up costs for the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska – they will get tax deductions for the clean-up costs, but there are still 330 separate lawsuits pending filed by residents, fishermen and environmentalists; actual clean-up costs will exceed $7 billion

1992 – Swaziland and South Africa sign treaties to establish a joint Water Commission, and for the development and utilization of the waters of the Komati River Basin

1995 – The first United Nations World Summit on Social Development concluded in Copenhagen, Denmark

1995 – Africa Scout Day * – March 13 chosen by the OAU (now the African Union) as an annual day to recognize Scouting in Africa

2002 – The Angolan government announces a unilateral ceasefire in its 27-year war against Unita, effective the next day

2003 – The journal Nature reports that scientists have found 350,000-year-old human footprints in Italy; 56 prints made by three early, upright-walking humans that are descending the side of a volcano

2003 – Open Umbrellas Indoors Day * is invented by Thomas Knibb to encourage people to abandon silly superstitions

2004 – Luciano Pavarotti gives his final performance in an opera at NY’s Metropolitan Opera, planning only to sing in concerts until October 2005

2006 – Construction of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum begins in NYC

2008 – K-9 Veterans Day * is the idea of  Joseph White, retired military dog trainer, to honor the day the U.S. Army K9 Corps was formed in 1942

2008 – The first time gold prices on the NY Mercantile Exchange hit $1,000 per ounce

2012 – After 244 years of publication, Encyclopædia Britannica announces it is discontinuing its print edition

2012 – Smart and Sexy Day * is sponsored by Smart & Sexy lingerie in collaboration with The Women’s Alliance, founded in 1999, which expanded and became the Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits (ACDN), to assist women in finding and maintaining employment by providing interview and work clothes, as well as offering training and support groups, for women transitioning from welfare to work, and families of military personnel serving overseas

2015 – WHO (World Health Organization) releases new figures showing over 10,000 people have died from the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. More than 24,000 people were infected, but the number of new cases declined, especially in Liberia


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 13, 2019

  1. Malisha says:

    Searching around Youtube for ethnological dance, I just found this hysterical clip of Filipino Tinikling:

  2. wordcloud9 says:

    I bet that smarts when you misstep!

Comments are closed.