ON THIS DAY: March 18, 2019

March 18th is

Sloppy Joe Day

Awkward Moments Day

Forgive Mom and Dad Day

Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day

National Biodiesel Day

Transit Driver Appreciation Day *


MORE! Janet Soga, Unita Blackwell and Queen Latifah, click



Aruba – National Anthem & Flag Day

Comoros – Sheikh Al Maarouf Day
(Death anniversary of president)

India – Ordnance Factory Day

Mexico – Aniversario de la Expropiación petrolera
(1938 Oil Expropriation Day *)

Mongolia – Soldier’s Day

Republic of the Congo – Marien Ngouabi Day
(president, 1969 to assassination in 1977)

Syria – Teachers Day

Turkey – Gallipoli Memorial Day


On This Day in HISTORY

37 – The Roman Senate annuls Tiberius’ will and proclaims Caligula emperor, whose excesses are so terrible he will be assassinated four years later

633 – Abu Bakr, first Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate, crushes the rebellion of Arab tribes in the Arabian Peninsula during the Ridda Wars, uniting the tribes under his central authority

1075 – Al-Zamakhshari born, Persian medieval Muslim scholar of the Mutazilite School of Islam, and authority on the Arabic language. After losing one of his feet to frostbite, he carried a notarized declaration that his foot was missing due to accident, rather than a legal amputation for any crime. He spent many years in Mecca, where he became known as Jar-Allah (God’s neighbor). The author of over 50 books, he is best known for his commentary on the Qur’an

1123 – The first Latern Council (9th ecumenical council) opens in Rome

1190 – Crusaders kill 57 Jews in Bury St. Edmonds, England

1241 – Mongols overwhelm Kraków and plunder it in Mongol’s 1st invasion of Poland

1314 – Jacques de Molay, 23rd and final Grand Master of the Knights Templar, is burned at the stake, after being tortured into a confession which he retracts

1532 – The English parliament bans payments by the English church to Rome

1541 – Hernando de Soto observes the first recorded flood of the Mississippi River

1608 – Susenyos is formally crowned Emperor of Ethiopia; there is a brief period during his reign that Roman Catholicism becomes the state religion

1634 – Madame de La Fayette born, French author; she published La Princesse de Clèves, her most famous work, anonymously, one of the earliest French novels, and possibly France’s first historical novel

1662 – Blaise Pascal’s Carosses à Cinq Sous in Paris, the first “bus line.”  The coaches, each pulled by four horses, traveled five set routes, and were staffed by a coach driver and a valet. The service was initially very popular, but lost favor when the fare was increased from five sols to six sols. A sol was about equal to five English pennies at the time, so the increase was from about 20 cents to 25 cents (see also 2014 entry)

1673 – Lord Berkley sells his half of New Jersey to the Quakers

1692 – William Penn is deprived of his governing powers

1733 – Friedrich Nicolai born, German author; leader of the German Enlightenment

1813 – David Melville patents the gas streetlight

1818 – The U.S. Congress approves the first pensions for government service

1827 – Janet Burnside Soga born in Glasgow, Scotland, to a family in the weaving and clothing trades who were members of the Hutchesontown Relief Church. She defied convention by marrying Tiyo Soga in 1857, a black South African studying for the ministry at the Presbyterian Church College in Edinburgh, who became the first black minister ordained to the Christian ministry. She went with him to South Africa after their marriage, and they founded a mission at Mgwali, living in poor huts while raising money to build the church. The foundation stone was laid in 1861. Between 1858 and 1870, she gave birth to five sons and three daughters, but their second son was stillborn. After the family moved to a new mission station at Tutura, her husband died in 1871. She first moved with the children to Emgali, where Tiyo’s aged mother was living, then later moved the family to Dollar, Scotland, where the children were educated at the Dollar Academy. All but one daughter returned to South Africa after completing their education. Janet Soga died in Glasgow in 1903

1834 – The first railroad tunnel in the U.S. is completed, in Pennsylvania

1834 – Six farm labourers from Tolpuddle, Dorset, England are sentenced to be transported to Australia for forming a trade union

1835 – Charles Darwin leaves Santiago Chile on his way to Portillo Pass

1846 – Kicking Bear, aka Matȟó Wanáȟtaka, born, a chief of the Miniconjou Lakota Sioux, who fought in several battles with his brother Flying Hawk, and his first cousin Crazy Horse, including the Battle of the Greasy Grass

1848 – Nathanael Herreshoff born, American naval architect, innovative sailboat and racing yacht designer; his America’s Cup defenders are unbeaten between 1893-1920

Up left: Constitution  Right: Grayling  Left: Nathanael Herreshoff

1850 – Henry Wells and William Fargo found American Express

1858 – Rudolf Diesel born, German thermal engineer, inventor of the internal combustion engine

1863 – Women riot in Salisbury North Carolina, protesting lack of flour and salt in the Confederacy during the American Civil War

1865 – The Congress of the Confederate States of America adjourns for the last time

1869 – Neville Chamberlain born, British Conservative Prime Minister (1937-1940)

1870 – Agnes Sime Baxter born, Canadian mathematician; in 1891, along with her bachelor’s degree from Dalhousie University, she received the Sir William Young Medal for highest standing in mathematics and mathematical physics; and completed her master’s degree in 1892, then held a fellowship at Cornell University (1892-1894); she became the second Canadian woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics

1875 – Margaret Foley born, labor organizer, suffragist, and social worker, she was an out-spoken suffrage activist who would loudly confront anti-suffrage speakers. She made a solo balloon flight over Lawrence, Massachusetts, tossing suffrage literature from the basket in 1910

1881 – Barnum and Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth opens in Madison Square Gardens

1891 – Britain is linked to the continent of Europe by telephone

1891 – Margaret Culkin Banning born, besting-selling novelist, Catholic moralist, but advocate for women to have work of their own in addition to their family responsibilities.  Author of The First Woman, Women for Defense and The Women of the Family

1891 – Alice Cullen born, Scottish Labour Party MP; first Roman Catholic woman MP in the UK (1948-1969), for Glasgow Gorbals

1899 – Phoebe, a moon of the planet Saturn, is discovered

1902 – In Turkey, the Sultan grants a German syndicate the first concession to access Baghdad by rail

1903 – France dissolves all French Catholic religious orders after the Pope refuses to accept bishops appointed by the Republic, and excommunicates all  French deputies when France threatens to break off relations with the Vatican (In 1901, France passed the Associations Act, outlawing religious orders or any of their members from teaching anywhere in France without government permission. Most French towns had only Catholic schools. The Republic also dissolved the Assumptionists in 1901, a vocally anti-Republican order)

1904 – Margaret Tucker born, Aboriginal rights activist, a founding member of the Australian Aborigines’ League, founder of the United Council of Aboriginal and Islander Women; first indigenous appointee to the Victorian Aborigines Welfare Board; author of If Everybody Cared

1906 – In Morocco, France and Germany are in a deadlock at the Algeciras Conference

1909 – Einar Dessau of Denmark uses a short wave transmitter to become the first person to broadcast as a “ham” radio operator

1910 – The Pipe of Desire, by composer Frederick Shepherd Converse and librettist George Edward Barton, becomes the first opera by Americans to be performed at New York’s Metropolitan Opera

1911 – Theodore Roosevelt opens the Roosevelt Dam in Arizona, the largest dam in the U.S. at the time

1911 – North Dakota enacts a hail insurance law

1913 – Greek King George I is killed by an assassin; Constantine I succeeds him

1917 – The Germans sink the U.S. ships, City of MemphisVigilante and the Illinois, without any warning

1919 – The Order of DeMolay is established in Kansas City, a fraternal organization for men ages 12 to 21

1920 – Greece adopts the Gregorian calendar

1921 – Poland is enlarged with the second Peace of Riga

1922 – Mohandas K. Gandhi is sentenced to six years in prison for civil disobedience in India, but serves only 2 years of the sentence

1922 – The first Bat Mitzvah is held in the United States for Judith Kaplan, daughter of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan

1925 – “Tea for Two” is recorded by Binnie Hale and the Palace Theater Orchestra

1927 – Lillian Vernon born as Lili Menasche in the Weimar Republic, American businesswoman and philanthropist after her Jewish family fled from Nazi Germany in 1937. She became an American citizen in 1942, and took her new last name from Mount Vernon; at age 24, she founded the Vernon Specialities Company in 1951, a mail order service, which started with personalized handbags and belts, which became the Lillian Vernon Catalog in 1956, and then the Lillian Vernon Corporation in 1965. When her company went public in 1987, it was the first company founded by a woman to be traded on the American Stock Exchange. In 1997, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton as chair of the White House National Business Women’s Council. Vernon sold her company in 2003. She was a strong supporter of the Democratic Party, Emily’s List, and the Women’s Campaign Fund. Vernon also made a donation to New York University to fund the Lillian Vernon Writers House in West Village, known for its readings and salons, and for hosting classes, workshops, and master classes with visiting writers. She has also been a major donor for many civic organizations and charities, through the Lillian Vernon Foundation, which has continued after her death in 2015

1931 – Schick Inc. markets the first electric shaver

1933 – Unita Z. Blackwell born, civil rights activist and politician; project director for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) for voter registration drives; in 1965, she filed suit, Blackwell v. Issaquena County Board of Education, after the principal suspended over 300 black children, including her son, for wearing SNCC pins which showed black and white hands clasping; in the suit, she also asked the school district to desegregate their schools per Brown v. Board of Education in 1954; the U.S. District Court ruled that students wearing the pins was disruptive, but the school district must desegregate, and the ruling was upheld on appeal, leading to one of the first desegregation plans in Mississippi; in 1976, she was elected mayor of Mayerville, Mississippi, and held the office until 2001, the first African American woman to be a mayor in the state of Mississippi

1935 – Frances Luella Welsing born, American Afrocentrist psychiatrist; her 1970 essay,  The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy) was her analysis of the origins of what she called white supremacy culture. Author of The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors, in which her contention that homosexuality among African Americans was a ploy by white males to decrease the black population, her description of white people as genetically defective descendants of albino mutants, and her attribution of AIDS and crack cocaine as “chemical and biological warfare” by whites were highly controversial

1938 – Oil Expropriation Day * – Mexico takes control of all foreign-owned oil properties on its soil

1938 – Because of growing national concern over the spread of syphilis, New York state begins requiring serological blood tests of pregnant women – but not the fathers

1940 – Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini hold a meeting at the Brenner Pass; the Italian dictator agrees to join in Germany’s war against France and Britain

1942 – The third military draft begins in the U.S. because of World War II

1942 – Kathleen Collins born, African American playwright, civil rights activist, and pioneering director of films centered on black stories, including Losing Ground, the first feature-length drama directed by a black American woman, which won First Prize at the Figueroa International Film Festival in Portugal, but was unable to get large-scale exhibition in the U.S.; thanks to the efforts of her daughter, Collins’ Losing Ground was restored and re-issued in 2015, and had its first theatrical release at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in NY City

1942 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs an executive order authorizing the War Relocation Authority, which is in charge of interning Japanese-Americans

1947 – Deborah Lipstadt born, American historian; Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, and a consultant to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Lipstadt is the author of Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory; History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier; and The Eichmann Trial

1948 – France, Great Britain, and Benelux sign the Treaty of Brussels

1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is ratified

1950 – Linda Partridge born, British geneticist whose field is the biology and genetics of aging and age-related diseases; founding director of the Max Planck Institute for the Biology of Aging; a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1996, and elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2004

1952 – In Philadelphia PA, the first plastic lenses are fitted for a cataract patient

1954 – RKO Pictures is sold for $23,489,478, becoming the first motion picture studio to be owned by a single individual, Howard Hughes

1959 – U.S. President Eisenhower signs the Hawaii statehood bill

1962 – France and Algerian rebels agree to a truce

1963 – France performs an underground nuclear test in Algeria

1963 – The U.S. Supreme Court hands down the Miranda decision concerning legal counsel for defendants

1964 – Bonnie Blair born, speed skater, one of the most successful Winter Olympians in U.S. history, 5 time gold medalist

1965 – Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov becomes the first man to spacewalk when he left the Voskhod II space capsule while in orbit around the Earth; he is outside the spacecraft for about 20 minutes

1966 – The government of Indonesia is formed by General Suharto

1968 – The U.S. Congress repeals the requirement for a gold reserve

1969 – U.S. President Nixon authorizes Operation Menue, the ‘secret’ bombing of Cambodia

1970 – The U.S. Postal Service has its first strike by postal workers

1970 – Queen Latifah born as Dana Owens, American rapper, singer-songwriter, actress and producer, long considered one of hip-hops pioneering feminists, and recipient of two NAACP Image Awards

1971 – Kitty Ussher born, British economist, Labour politician, and current Managing Director of Tooley Street Research since 2013. She is also an associate with several London-based think tanks. During her political career, she was: Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (2009); Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2008-2009); Economic Secretary to the Treasury (2007-2008); Member of Parliament for Burnley (2005-2010). In 2009, she resigned her ministerial position after allegations surfaced that she changed the designation of her “main” home for capital gains tax purposes to reduce her tax bill, voluntarily paying the £3,420 in question to HM Revenue and Customs

1973 – Luci Christian born, American ADR script writer and voice actress for English versions of Japanese anime series and movies

1974 – Most of the Arab oil-producing nations end their five-month embargo against the United States, Europe and Japan

1975 – Saigon abandons most of the Central Highlands of Vietnam to Hanoi

1975 – The Kurds end their fight against Iraq

1977 – Vietnam turns over an MIA to a U.S. delegation

1979 – American feminist Kate Millet travels in Iran with Canadian journalist Sophie Keir, under the auspices of the Committee for Artistic and Intellectual Freedom, an organization Millet helped found seven years earlier, concerned for the rights of Iranian women. Under the Ayatollah Khomeini, the government had abolished coeducational schools, revoked a law allowing wives to divorce their husbands, and warned working women to return to the veil in public or lose their jobs. “I was there as a friend,” Millet explains. “There was never a question of me organizing anything. I don’t even speak Farsi.” On March 8, a small rally planned for International Women’s Day at the gates of Tehran University, unexpectedly attracts thousands of women, surging into the streets. More demonstrations follow, one filling Tehran’s Freedom Square with 20,000 women; some men tried to attack the women with knives and acid, while other men linked arms struggling to form a protective barrier. Iranian authorities arrest Millet and Keir on March 17, refusing to say what charges against them are, and holding them overnight under armed guard at the immigration center, awaiting deportation. The next day, they are put on a plane, but not told where they were going. After takeoff, their passports are returned, but stamped as barred from entering Iran again. The flight’s destination turned out to be Paris. This was the largest women’s uprising in Iran’s history, but it was swiftly crushed by the new regime

1979 – The government of South Africa admits responsibility for the death of African National Congress member Joseph Mduli, and agrees to pay damages to his family. Mduli died on March 19, 1976, from an injury to his neck while being detained in Durban security headquarters, just a day after his arrest in connection with the 1976 treason trial of ANC leader Harry Gwala. Four security policemen charged with culpable homicide claimed Mduli fell over a chair and injured himself while trying to escape, but a pathologist presented evidence that contradicted their testimony. Though the four accused were acquitted when the presiding judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to connect them directly to Mduli’s death, the judge did call for further investigation

1981 – The U.S. discloses that biological weapons were tested in Texas in 1966

1985 – ‘Bia’ Ana Beatriz born, Brazilian racing driver; first woman to win a race in the Indy Lights series, at Nashville Superspeedway in 2008, then won her second Indy Lights race in 2009 at Iowa Speedway

1986 – The U.S. Treasury Department announces that a clear, polyester thread will be woven into bills in an effort to thwart counterfeiters

1987 – The U.S. performs nuclear tests at a Nevada test site

1990 – Thirteen paintings, valued at $100 million, are stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the largest art robbery in history

1989 – A 4,400-year-old mummy is discovered at the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt

1990 – The first free elections take place in East Germany

1992 – The ‘Queen of Mean’ hotelier Leona Hemsley, is sentenced to a 4-year prison term for tax evasion

2000 – Taiwan ends more than a half century of Nationalist Party rule by electing opposition leader Chen Shui-bian president

2003 – China’s new president, Hu Jintao, says his country must deepen reforms and raise living standards of workers and farmers

2010 – President Barack Obama signs into law a $38 billion jobs bill containing a modest mix of tax breaks and spending to encourage private sector hiring

2011 – President Obama says that unless Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi halts all military attacks on civilians, the U.S. will join other nations in launching military action against him

2014 – Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a treaty of accession with the “Republic of Crimea” which took over the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, after initiating a referendum which was claimed to show majority support for joining Russia; the referendum results are disputed by Ukraine and most of the international community

2014 – Transit Driver Appreciation Day * was originally Bus Driver Appreciation Day, started in 2009 by Hans Gerwitz and Shannon E. Thomas on the anniversary of the first “bus” line, started in Paris (see 1662 entry), but the name was changed in 2014 to include rail operators, now observed by Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) in U.S. and Canada


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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