ON THIS DAY: March 25, 2019

March 25th is

Mount Vernon Pecan Day *

Tolkien Reading Day *

National Medal of Honor Day *

National Day of Celebration of Greek
and American Democracy *

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members

International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and
the Transatlantic Slave Trade

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MORE! Usha Mehta, Gloria Steinem and Sisy Chen, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Christianity – Feast of the Annunciation (Archangel Gabriel tells Mary she will be the mother of the Son of God), also known as Lady Day

Belarus – Freedom Day

Cyprus and Greece – Independence Day *

Latvia – 1949 Deportations Commemoration
(over 42,000 Latvians sent to Siberia) *

Russia –Cultural Worker Day

San Marino – Arengo Anniversary

Slovakia –
Struggle for Human Rights Day

Slovenia – Mothers Day

Sweden – Våffeldagen (Waffles Day)

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On This Day in HISTORY

717 – Leo the Isaurian joins forces with Artabasdus, and they lay siege to Constantinople; when they enter the city, Theodosius III abdicates as ruler of the Byzantine Empire, freeing his son who had been captured by Leo, and they both enter the clergy

Leo the Isaurian – Byzantine coin

1000 – Caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah of the Fatamid dynasty, who is only 11 when his father dies in 996, assassinates the eunuch chief minister Barjawan, who was attempting to get rid of him, and assumes control of the government



1199 – Richard I aka Richard the Lionheart, is wounded by a crossbow bolt while fighting France, leading to his death on April 6

1306 – Robert the Bruce becomes King of Scots, six weeks after murdering one of his rivals, John Comyn

1347 – Catherine of Siena born, Italian tertiary (associate) of the Dominican Order, Scholastic philosopher, theologian and mystic; canonized in 1461, declared the patron saint of Rome in 1866; one of the most influential writers in Catholicism, the first of only four women to be honored as a doctor of the Church



1409 – The Council of Pisa opens an informal Catholic ecumenical council which attempts but fails to end the Papal Schism which split the Western Church between rival claimants to the papacy

1555 – The city of Valencia is founded in present-day Venezuela

1576 – After the Mayor and the Corporation of London ban plays and expel players from the city, as a measure against the plague, Jerome Savage takes out a sub-lease to start the Newington Butts Theatre outside London, one of the earliest Elizabethan theatres



1584 – Sir Walter Raleigh is granted a royal charter to colonize Virginia, giving him seven years to establish a settlement or lose the rights

1634 – English colonists sent by the second Lord Baltimore arrive in what’s now Maryland to found a colony with religious tolerance for followers of Jesus, both Protestant and Catholic, but the Puritans take over in 1654, revoking religious freedom

1655 – Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is discovered by Dutch mathematician and astronomer Christiaan Huygens



1760 – Louisa Finch born, Countess of Aylesford, English naturalist and botanical illustrator, noted for studies and paintings of plants, algae, and fungi. She painted over 2,800 botanical watercolours for correspondence with botanists like Englishman William Withering and the Scot George Don. She made the first records of about 30 plants in Warwickshire, and amassed an extensive collection of minerals, now part of the collection at the Natural History Museum in London


Louisa Finch and her 1792 Watercolour of Touch-me-not

1775 – Pecan Day *  – Pecan trees (some still surviving) are planted at Mount Vernon; one of pecan trees, planted around 1860, is removed in 2014 from George Washington’s home, after being deemed a threat to the structure



1802 – The Treaty of Amiens is signed as a “Definitive Treaty of Peace” between France and the United Kingdom, but which only halted hostilities until May 1803

1807 – The Slave Trade Act becomes law, abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire, but does not abolish slavery, which is not ended until 26 years later


British Anti-Slavery Society medallion designed by Josiah Wedgwood

1807 – The Swansea and Mumbles Railway, then known as the Oystermouth Railway, becomes the first passenger-carrying railway in the world

1811 – Percy Bysshe Shelley is expelled from the University of Oxford for publishing the pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism

1821 – (Julian calendar) Traditional date of the start of the Greek War of Independence. The war had actually begun on 23 February 1821; this date chosen in the early years of the Greek state so that it falls on the day of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, strengthening the ties between the Greek Orthodox Church and the newly founded state

1848 – William Keith Brooks born, American zoologist, champion for conservation of the Chesapeake Bay oyster

1881 – Béla Bartók born, major Hungarian pianist and composer

1881 – Mary G. Webb born, English Romantic novelist and poet, most of her is set in Shropshire, where she was born and grew up; Gone to Earth, Precious Bane, and Armour Wherein He Trusted



1888 – Gerald Murphy born, American well-to-do expatriate and artist; he and his wife are friends of many prominent writers and artists in France in the 1920’s


Wasp and Pear by Gerald Murphy – 1929

1894 – Coxey’s Army, the first significant American protest march, departs Massillon, Ohio for Washington, D.C.; the protesters are workers who became unemployed because of the Panic of 1893, an economic depression triggered by railroad over-extensions, a wheat price crash, and a run on the banks



1911 – In New York City, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire kills 146 garment workers, 123 of them women and girls. On the 8th through the 10th floors of the building, the doors to the exits and stairwells had been locked by the employers to prevent workers taking unauthorized breaks or stealing. Frances Perkins, who would become the first woman appointed to the U.S. Cabinet as Secretary of Labor, was a witness: “People had just begun to jump as we got there. They had been holding on until that time, standing in the windowsills, being crowded by others behind them, the fire pressing closer and closer, the smoke closer and closer. They began to jump. The window was too crowded and they would jump and they hit the sidewalk. Every one of them was killed, everybody who jumped was killed.” Already an advocate for women’s rights and ending child labor, Perkins dedicated herself from that day forward to the enacting of expanded factory investigations, reducing the work week for women to 48 hours and championing minimum wage and unemployment insurance laws. She works tirelessly to put an end to child labor and to provide safety for women workers



1914 – Norman Ernest Borlaug born, American agronomist; Nobel Peace Prize winner for efforts to overcome world hunger; developed triticale, wheat/rye hybrid, with higher yield and protein content

1918 – The Belarusian People’s Republic is established

1920 – Usha Mehta born, Indian freedom fighter and follower of Gandhi, noted for organizing the Congress Radio, and underground radio station, which moved constantly during the Quit India Movement in 1942; she spoke the first words broadcast: “This is the Congress radio calling on 42.34 meters from somewhere in India.” The Indian Government conferred the Padma Vibhushan on her in 1998, the nation’s second-highest civilian award



1920 – Paul Scott born, English author, poet and playwright; best known for his novels, The Raj Quartet (The Jewel in the Crown, The Day of the Scorpion, The Towers of Silence, and A Division of Spoils), and Staying On, which won the 1977 Booker Prize

1925 – Flannery O’Connor born, American author, won the 1972 National Book Award for Fiction for her short story collection



1925 – Kishori Sinha born, Indian politician, social activist and advocate for women’s empowerment. Member of Parliament for Vaishali (1980-1989), the first woman elected to represent this district; member of the All India Women’s Council, and active in Upliftment of Women. She had a special interest in the rights of minorities and the poor



1931 – The Scottsboro Boys, nine black teenagers, are arrested in Alabama and charged with raping two white women on a train; convicted by an all-white jury, the appeals went all the way to the Supreme Court – twice. Regarded as a major example of miscarriage of justice

1932 – Penelope Gilliatt born, British author, screenwriter, and critic; won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for 1971’s Sunday Bloody Sunday



1934 – Gloria Steinem born, American journalist, feminist and women’s rights activist: the founding editor of Ms. Magazine, helped found National Women’s Political Caucus, the Women’s Action Alliance, and the Coalition of Labor Union Women



1939 – Toni Cade Bambara born, challenged masculine assumptions in the black radical discourse of the Sixties; her short fiction “Gorilla, My Love” (1972) won the Black Rose Award, and “The Salt Eaters” (1981) won the Langston Hughes Society Award



1939 – Pius Nkonzo Langa born, South African jurist; Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa (2005-2009); Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa (2001-2005); Deputy President of the Constitutional Court of South Africa (1997-2001); Judge of the Constitutional Court (1994-1997)



1939 – D.C. (Dorothy) Fontana born, American TV script writer, story editor and author, notable for her work on original Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but also wrote episodes for several TV Westerns, including Bonanza and The Big Valley



1941 – The Kingdom of Yugoslavia joins the Axis powers with the signing of the Tripartite Pact

1942 – Aretha Franklin born, American singer-songwriter, pianist, , civil rights and Native American rights activist; one of the best selling female artists of all time (over 75 million records), won 18 Grammy Awards, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the UK Music Hall of Fame and the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame



1949 – Lillian Elaine Fishburne born, first African American woman become a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy



1949 – An extensive deportation campaign, the March Deportation is conducted in Estonia, Latvia * and Lithuania to force collectivization by way of terror;  Soviet authorities deport more than 92,000 people from the Baltics to remote areas of the USSR

1953 – Vesna Pusić born, Croatian sociologist and politician; President of the Croatian People’s Party (2000-2008 and 2013-2016); First Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia (2012-2016), Minister of Foreign and European Affairs (2011-2016); advocate for women’s and LGBT rights; Croatia nominated her as the official Croatian candidate for UN Secretary-General in 2016, but she withdrew her nomination after receiving 11 ‘discourage’ votes in the first informal straw poll of the 15-member UN Security Council; all of the UN Secretary-Generals to date have been men



1957 – United States Customs seizes copies of Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” on the grounds that it is ‘obscene.’  Publishers Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his partner, Shigeyosi Murao, are arrested by San Francisco police on obscenity charges. Supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, Ferlinghetti won the case when California State Superior Court Judge Clayton Horn decided that the poem was of “redeeming social importance.” This helped other works like Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover to win their court battles



1957 – The European Economic Community is established with West Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg as the first members

1958 – Lorna Brown born, Canadian artist, former director and curator of Artspeak, an artist-run centre in Vancouver, and author of essays, reviews and exhibition catalogs


Napanangka, Lorna Brown

1958 – Susie Bright born, American feminist author, journalist, editor, publisher; “sex-positive” feminist (runs counter to anti- pornography/prostitution feminism, advocating sexual freedom as essential to women’s freedom); co-founder/editor of the first woman-produced sex-magazine On Our Backs,“entertainment for the adventurous lesbian” (1984-1991); founded the women’s erotica book series, Herotica



1958 – Sisy Chen born, Taiwanese politician and TV political commentator; worked for  the Taiwan Relations Center’s office of the UN in the early 1990s; independent member of the Legislative Yuan (2002-2005); host of Qie Ma Chen Wen Qian, which focuses on exposing problems with Taiwan’s democratic system



1958 – Åsa-Britt Torstensson born, Swedish Centre Party politician; member of the Riksdag (Swedish legislature) for  Västra Götaland from 1998-2002, Minister for Infrastructure (2006-2010), the returned to the Riksdag (2010-2014)



1960 –  A New York court rules that D.H. Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover is not obscene



1963 – Karen Bruce born, British choreographer and director in theatre and television; won an Olivier Choreography Award for a 2004 London production of Pacific Overtures


Still from musical Love Me Tender – director choreographer Karen Bruce

1965 – Civil rights activists led by Martin Luther King Jr. complete their 4-day 50-mile march from Selma to the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama

1979 – The first fully functional Space Shuttle orbiter, Columbia, is delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch

1985 – Natalia Anciso born, American Chincana-Tejana contemporary artist noted for visual and installation art



1988 – The Candle Demonstration in Bratislava is the first mass demonstration of the 1980s against the communist regime in Czechoslovakia

1989 – National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy * is designated in a joint resolution by both houses of Congress as an annual ‘national day’

1990 – U.S. Congress designates March 25th as National Medal of Honor Day *


1994 – American troops complete their withdrawal from Somalia

1996 – The European Union’s Veterinarian Committee bans the export of British beef and its by-products as a result of mad cow disease (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy)

1996 – The redesigned U.S. $100 bill goes into circulation



1998 – President Bill Clinton acknowledges during his Africa tour that “we did not act quickly enough” to stop the slaughter of one million Rwandans four years earlier

2003 – Tolkien Reading Day * is organized by the Tolkien Society, held annually on March 25, the day of the downfall of Sauron



2006 – Protesters demanding a new election in Belarus, following the rigged Belarusian presidential election, 2006, clash with riot police. Opposition leader Aleksander Kozulin is among several protesters arrested

2012 – The Hunger Games takes in $155 million in the U.S. box office its opening weekend, a record opening for the first film in a new series. Suzanne Collin’s trilogy of novels sold 15 million print books and 12.7 million e-books in 2017, after selling a total of 13.5 million copies in the previous two years


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About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 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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