ON THIS DAY: March 23, 2019

March 23rd is

World Meteorological Day *

National Chia Day

Chip and Dip Day

National OK Day *

National Puppy Day *

Near-Miss Day *

National Tamale Day


MORE! Fannie Farmer, ‘Emmy’ Noether and Ahdaf Soueif, click



Azerbaijian – Ministry of Environment
and Natural Resources Day

Bolivia – Día del Mar
(Loss of Bolivian sea coast to Chile)

Hungary and Poland –
Day of Hungarian-Polish Friendship

Pakistan: Pakistan Day *


On This Day in HISTORY

1338 – Japanese Emperor Go-Kōgon born, one of the Emperors of Northern Court, who reigns from 1352 to 1371

1400 – The Trần dynasty of Vietnam is deposed, after one hundred and seventy-five years of rule, by HồQuý Ly, a court official, who founds the Hồ dynasty; the remnants of the citadel he built in Thanh Hóa Province are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site

1540 – Waltham Abbey is surrendered to King Henry VIII of England; the last religious community to be closed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries

1614 – Jahanara Begum born, princess of the Mughal Empire, eldest and favorite daughter of her father, Shah Jahan. She became the Padshah Begum (First Lady) when her mother died, chosen over her father’s three other wives, and has been called “the most powerful woman in the empire” during her father’s reign because of her influence with him. When Shah Jhan became ill in 1657, there was a war of succession between her four brothers. She sided with Dara Shikoh, eldest son and heir-apparent, but he lost to Aurangzeb, who then besieged Shah Jahan in the Agra Fort, cutting off the water supply, which forced the Shah’s surrender, and he was kept imprisoned at the fort, where Jahanara nursed him until his death in 1666. After their father’s death, she reconciled with Aurangzeb, who gave her the title of Empress of Princesses, and she was once again Padshah Begum. She used this privileged position to urge her brother to ease his strict regulation of public life in accordance with his conservative religious beliefs and argued against his decision in 1679 to restore the poll tax on non-Muslims, which she said would alienate his Hindu subjects. Upon her death in 1681, Aurangzeb gave her the posthumous title Sahibat-uz-Zamani (Mistress of the Age)

1699 – John Bartram born, pioneering American botanist, horticulturist and explorer, who traveled eastern American colonies collecting plants, keeping a detailed record of his finds and observations. He sent eagerly awaited seeds and dried specimens to European contacts so regularly that the shipments were called ‘Bartram’s Boxes’

1708 – James Francis Edward Stuart, “The Old Pretender,” attempts land to at the Firth of  Forth, but Admiral Sir George Byng’s English fleet intercepts the French ships carrying James, and combined with bad weather, prevents a landing

James Francis Edward Stuart, by Alexis Simon Belle

1730 – In western North Carolina, Sir Alexander Cuming uses gifts and threats to get the 300 Cherokee Chiefs gathered there to agree that King George II of England is their sovereign

1743 – George Frideric Handel’s oratorio “Messiah” premieres in London

1775 – Patrick Henry delivers his speech – “Give me liberty, or give me death!” – at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia

1801 – Paul I, Emperor of All the Russias, is thoroughly assassinated at newly built St. Michael’s Castle by a band of dismissed officers headed by Generals Bennigsen, Yashvil and Zubov. Drunkenly charging into Paul’s bedroom, they find him hiding behind the draperies. The conspirators pull him out, drag him to a table, attempting to force him to sign an abdication. Paul resists, and Nikolay Zubov strikes him with a sword, then he is strangled, and trampled to death. He is succeeded by his son, 23-year-old Alexander I, who is in the palace, to whom General Zubov announces his accession, accompanied by the admonition, “Time to grow up! Go and rule!” The assassins are not punished by Alexander. Court physician James Wylie declares apoplexy as the official cause of death

Paul I, by Vladimir Borovikovsky – 1796

1806 – After finally reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Lewis and Clark and their “Corps of Discovery” begin their arduous journey home.

1826 – Ludwig Minkus born, Austrian violinist and composer, noted for Ballet scores, like La Bayadére

1838 – Marie Adam-Doerrer born, Swiss women’s rights activist and unionist; trained as a goldsmith but working more often as a washerwoman, she joined the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland after losing her savings in a bank crash; co-founder of the Bernese Women Workers’ Association (Arbeiterinnenverein), and the Bernese Women Day Laborers’ Association (Tagelöhnerinnenverein)

1839 – National OK Day * – Legend has it that OK starts in a Boston newsroom, where some editors joking around come up with OK to symbolize “all correct.” In 1840, during Martin Van Buren’s re-election campaign, OK clubs pick it up, tying it to Van Buren’s nickname Old Kinderhook, coining the slogan O.K. is OK, and making OK a true Americanism  

1842 – Susan Jane Cunningham born, American mathematician and astronomer; one of Maria Mitchell’s students in mathematics and astronomy at Vassar College, she is instrumental in founding of Swarthmore College, and the first professor in its mathematics and astronomy departments,  from 1869 until she retired in 1906, and Chair of the Mathematics Department (1888-1906); one of the first six women to join the New York Mathematical Society; Swarthmore’s Cunningham Observatory, now the Cunningham Building, is named in her honor

1857 – Fannie Farmer born, American culinary expert, author of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, still in print over a hundred years after its first publication under the name Boston Cooking School Cookbook, cited as the first to introduce standard measurements

1857 – Elisha Otis’s first elevator is installed in New York City

1868 – The University of California is founded in Oakland, California when the Organic Act is signed into law

1874 – J. C. Leyendecker born, German-American painter and illustrator

Leyendecker paintings: book illustration and Arrow shirt ad

1876 – Ziya Gökalp born, activist, the ‘founder of Turkish sociology’ and a poet

1876 – Thakin Kodaw Hmaing, notable Burmese poet, writer and political leader

1882 – ‘Emmy’ Noether born in Germany, American mathematician and physicist, made landmark contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics. Noether’s Theorem explains connection between symmetry and conservation laws. Completed her dissertation in 1907, but is excluded from any academic positions because she is a woman, so she works for 7 years without pay at the Mathematical Institute of Erlangen. In 1915, David Hilbert invites her to join the University of Göttingen world-renowned mathematics department, but the philosophical faculty objects, and she spends 4 years lecturing under Hilbert’s name. Her habilitation is finally approved in 1919, as a Privatdozent. In 1933, when the Nazi government dismisses Jews from university positions, she moves to the U.S., taking a position at Bryn Mawr College, funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. She also lectures at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, but comments she is unwelcomed at the “men’s university, where nothing female is admitted.”

1884 – Florence Ellinwood Allen born, American judge; the first woman to serve on a state supreme court and one of the first two women to serve as United States federal judges. In 2005, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame

1889 – President Benjamin Harrison announces that land in the Oklahoma Territory will be opened up for white settlement; nearly two million acres of the coming Oklahoma Land Rush are located in Indian Territory, where Native Americans, including groups of Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek, Cheyenne, Comanche, and Apache, had been forced by the U.S. government to relocate

1895 – Encarnacion A. Alzona born, pioneering Filipino historian, scholar and suffragist; first woman in the Philippines to earn a Ph.D.; in spite of the Philippines being an American colony when U.S. women won the right to vote in 1920, Filipino women were not accorded the vote; Alzona became a leader in the struggle for women’s suffrage, helping to make it a goal of the Philippine Association of University Women when she became the organization’s president in 1928; author of A History of Education in the Philippines 1565-1930, The Filipino Woman: Her Social, Economic and Political Status (1565-1933) and several biographies of notable Filipino women; in 1985, she was honored with the rank of National Scientist of the Philippines, the nation’s highest award to its scientists, because of her achievements in the fields of social science and history

1897 – Margaret Farrar born, American journalist and first crossword puzzle editor joined the New York World newspaper in 1921 with responsibility to get the crossword puzzle mistake-free, also edited Simon & Schuster puzzle books for 60 years, became crossword editor for the New York Times in February 1942

1900 – Eric Fromm born, German psychologist and sociologist

1905 – Joan Crawford born, American film star, from 1928’s “Our Dancing Daughters,” to “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” in 1962. She was Pepsi-Cola’s spokesperson and the first woman appointed to Pepsi-Cola’s board of directors (1959-1973), when her husband, board chair Alfred Steele, died

1908 – Dominique De Menil born, collector of modern art, medieval art and tribal artifacts, escaped Paris with her children and settled in Houston around 1942, strong supporter of civil rights, created Carter-Menil Human Rights Foundation with former President Jimmy Carter

Dominique De Menil preparing Max Ernst exhibition

1909 – Theodore Roosevelt leaves New York for a post-presidency safari in Africa, a trip sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society

1910 – Akira Kurosawa born, influential and innovative Japanese director, producer and screenwriter; when his film Rashomon won the Golden Lion at the 1952 Venice Film Festival, it opened Western film markets to Japanese filmmakers; honored with an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1990

1912 – Eleanor F. Cameron born in Canada, Canadian-American children’s author; The Court of the Stone Children won the 1974 National Book Award for Children’s Literature

1917 – Virginia Woolf establishes the Hogarth Press with her husband, Leonard Woolf — early publisher of translations of Freud and Russian authors like Dostoyevsky

1918 – Helene Hale born, Hawaii politician, first woman in Hawaii elected as an Executive Officer (forerunner of mayor); at age 82, she won a seat as a Democrat in the Hawaii House of Representatives, and served six years representing the 4th district in the legislature before retiring in 2006 following a stroke. Ralph Bunche was her uncle

1919 – In Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini founds his Fascist political movement

1924 – Bette Nesmith Graham born, American inventor of Liquid Paper, which became an office staple; created two foundations to support women’s businesses and art; mother of Michael Nesmith of The Monkees

1924 – Olga Kennard born, British scientist in crystallography; Director of the Cambridge Chrystallographic Data Centre (1965-1997); Fellow of the Royal Society since 1987

1933 – The German Reichstag passes the Enabling Act of 1933, granting Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers

1940 – The Lahore Resolution is adopted by the All-India Muslim League, calling for independent Muslim states in areas of British India where Muslims are in the majority

1940 – John Wesley Blassingame born, African American historian, one of the foremost scholars of Black American history; professor at Yale University (1970-2000); author of The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South and Frederick Douglass, the Clarion Voice

1942 – The first Japanese-Americans rounded up by the U.S. Army during World War II arrive at the Manzanar internment camp in California

1947 – Elizabeth Ann Scarborough born, American scifi/fantasy author; The Healer’s War won a 1989 Nebula Ward; co-author with Anne McCaffrey of the Petaybee, Acorna and Barque Cat series

1948 – Marie Malavoy born, French Canadian politician; Member of the National Assembly of Quebec (1994-1998 and 2006-2014); Minister of Education (2012-2014)

1950 – The UN Convention establishing the World Meteorological Organization comes into force – the original multinational weather cooperative was the International Meteorological Organization, founded in 1873 – see also 1961

1950 – Ahdaf Soueif born, Egyptian novelist, political and cultural commentator; most of her work is written in English, noted for her novels In the Eye of the Sun, and The Map of Love, and her non-fiction writing about Egyptian history and politics, and the Palestinians. Soueif is a contributor to the British newspaper, The Guardian. She founded and was first chair of the Palestine Festival of Literature in 2008. Her sister is the mathematician and human/women’s rights activist, Laila Soueif

1956 – Pakistan Day * – Pakistan becomes the first Islamic Republic in the World

1961 – The first World Meteorological Day * is proclaimed on the anniversary of the founding of  the World Meteorological Organization by the UN

1965 – NASA launches Gemini 3, the first American two-man space flight, with Gus Grissom and John Young

1970 – South Africa is banned from competing in the Davis Cup, the premier international team event in men’s tennis, because of South Africa’s apartheid policy of racially segregated sports teams

1976 – Smiriti Malhotra born, Indian politician, former actress and television producer. Minister for Textiles since 2016; Minister of Information and Broadcasting (2017-2018); Minister of Human Resource Development (2014-2016); Member of Rajya Sabha (Parliament) for Gujarat since 2011; Vice President of Bharatiya Janata Party since 2011

1977 – The first of the ‘Nixon Interviews’ are videotaped; British journalist David Frost interviews disgraced former U.S. President Richard Nixon about the Watergate scandal and the Nixon tapes

1978 – The first UNIFIL troops arrive in Lebanon on a peacekeeping mission along the Blue Line

1980 – Archbishop Óscar Romero of El Salvador gives his famous speech appealing to men of the El Salvadoran armed forces to stop killing the Salvadorans

1981 – U.S. Supreme Court rules that states can require, with some exceptions, parental notification when teenage girls seek abortions

1983 – Strategic Defense Initiative, instantly dubbed ‘Star Wars’: President Ronald Reagan makes his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles

1984 – In South Africa, Dorothy Nomzansi Nyembe, ANC Women’s League activist and member of the Federation of South African Women, is released from prison, after serving a 15 year sentence for harbouring members of the military wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation)

1989 – Near-Miss Day * commemorates Asclepius, a mountain-sized asteroid, coming within 430,000 miles (700,000 kilometers) of colliding with Earth, passing us just six hours after we had been where it crossed our orbit

1989 – Ayesha Curry born, Canadian-American television cooking show host and cookbook author; in 2016, she became host of Ayesha’s Home Kitchen on the Food Network, and published The Seasoned Life. Her company, Little Lights of Mine, has its own brand of olive oil, and donates 10% of the oil’s sales to the charity No Kid Hungry

1996 – Taiwan holds its first direct elections and chooses Lee Teng-hui as President

1998 – The movie Titanic wins 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture

2001 – The Russian Mir space station breaks up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean near Fiji

2006 – National Puppy Day * is launched by Coleen Paige to encourage pet adoption in the U.S.

2010 – U.S. President Barack Obama signs into law the Affordable Care Act, the most sweeping piece of federal legislation since Medicare passed in 1965

2011 – U.S. Ambassador to the UN Eileen Chamberlain calls on the UN Human Rights Council to fight discrimination against gays and lesbians: “Human rights are the inalienable right of every person, no matter who they are or who they love”

2016 – The International Criminal Tribunal convicts former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of genocide for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. The United Nations judges sentenced Karadzic to 40 years in prison. Karadzic, 70, served as president of the breakaway Bosnian Serb Republic during the massacre. Eight thousand people were killed in what has been called the worst war crime in Europe since World War II. Presiding Judge O-Gon Kwok said Karadzic was the only person who had the power to halt the killing of Bosnian Muslims


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 23, 2019

  1. Malisha says:

    Hanh! Waddayanoe? I thought OK was from the Greek “ola kala,” meaning “all good.” But I probably thought that from working in Greek diners when I was young, and the Greeks I knew in the diners liked to claim that all things good originated from Greek. But the expression that was the most a revelation to me was the New Yorkism “copasetik,” which I always thought was Italian (because of the way it was pronounced in the Italian restaurant I worked in in NY) but it turns out it comes from the Hebrew “Kol ba-sedek” for “all is in order.”
    Here’s some more speculation from the Oxford guys:

    • wordcloud9 says:

      The Greeks may be right – there are several different versions of how we got OK, but this story tied it to the ‘OK is OK’ political slogan rather neatly, so I went with it.

      And I also thought that ‘copasetik’ was Italian.

      Thanks for the link – Always something new to learn!

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