ON THIS DAY: March 27, 2019

March 27th is

Celebrate Exchange Day *

World Theatre Day *

Spanish Paella Day

Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day

International Whisk(e)y Day *


MORE! Jane Colden, Veronika Tushnova and Julia Alvarez, click



Myanmar – Armed Forces Day

Northern Ireland – Belfast:
Imagine! Festival of Ideas and Politics

Spain – Barcelona: Mecal Pro International
Short and Animation Film Festival


On This Day in HISTORY

1309 – After the city of Venice, Italy, takes over the city of Ferrara, which is a papal fiefdom, Pope Clement V issues an order of excommunication for Venice and all its citizens; not only does it deny all Venetians access to Catholic  sacraments, it declares them outside church law entirely; all contracts and legal agreements are rendered null and void; Venetians abroad could be legally taken prisoner and sold into slavery, the same status as non-Christians

Marco Polo leaving Venice for China, 1338

1513 – Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León sails past the northern end of the Bahamas and sights Florida

1625 – James I dies, and Charles I becomes King of England, Scotland and Ireland as well as claiming the title King of France

1679 – Domenico Lalli born, Italian poet, and librettist for the opera houses of Venice, including Vivaldi’s Ottone in villa and Alessandro Scarlatti’s Tigrane

1702 – Johann Ernst Eberlin born, German composer whose works bridge the Baroque and Classical eras

1724 – Jane Colden, American botanist, called the “first botanist of her sex in her country” by Asa Gray, leading American botanist and Harvard professor; excluded from botanical publications, her untitled manuscript describing the flora of the New York area contains 340 ink drawings of different species, compiled between 1753 and 1758

1734 – Lady Diana Beauclerk born, English artist, illustrator and designer of bas-reliefs for Josiah Wedgwood’s company

1753 – Andrew Bell born, Scottish Episcopal priest, pioneer of the ‘Madras System’ of Education and founder of Madras College; in 1789, appointed as head of an orphan asylum for mixed-race boys, saw some children teaching others the alphabet, and put bright children in charge of teaching others, also eliminating corporal punishment, whole using rewards as encouragement

1794 – U.S. Congress authorizes building six frigates for a newly-formed U.S. Navy

1814 – In Alabama, Andrew Jackson leads an attack on Chief Menewa and the Red Stick Creeks, who had fortified their village with a wooden barricade; after Jackson’s forces set fire to the barricade, all but about 50 of the Red Stick warriors are killed, and about 300 women and children are captured

1814 – Charles Mackay born, Scottish author, journalist and poet; best remembered for his three-volume work Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, first published in 1841, an early study of crowd psychology, including economic bubbles like Tulipomania, the Crusades, witch trials, alchemy, and fortune telling. It is still in print today

1824 – Virginia L. Minor, American suffragist, co-founded the Woman’s Suffrage Association of Missouri; she attempted to register to vote in 1872, basing her claim on the 14th Amendment like Susan B. Anthony and others, which grants citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” including former slaves; when she is turned away, she and her husband, an attorney who completely supports her cause, file suit against the state of Missouri, which they lose,   but the case is widely reported in the newspapers, bringing more attention to the woman’s suffrage campaign

1836 – Acting on a decree passed by the Mexican Congress that all armed foreigners taken in combat are to be treated as pirates and executed, General Antonio López de Santa Anna orders the Mexican army to massacre 342 Texas prisoners of war on the road outside the Presidio La Bahia in Goliad TX.  Thirty-nine others, who are wounded and unable to walk, are killed inside the fort; the Texas commander, James Fannin, is executed last, after witnessing his men being shot, knifed or clubbed to death; only 28 members of the Texas force, who faked death, escaped – “Remember Goliad!” becomes a Texas battle cry

1845 – Wilhelm Röntgen, German physicist and academic, 1901 Nobel Prize in Physics for work on electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range called Röntgen rays

1851 – Ruperto Chapí born, Spanish composer, co-founded Sociedad General de Autores y Editores

1854 – Giovanni Battista Grassi born, Italian physician, zoologist, and entomologist

1862 – Jelena Dimitrijević born, Serbian short story writer, novelist, poet, traveller, social worker, feminist and linguist; novel Nove (New Women), numerous travel books, and studies of Muslim women from 1881-1898, including an account of gaining access to a Turkish harem

1862 – Dorothea Fairbridge born, South African author of histories and novels; co-founder of the Guild of Loyal Women, a charitable organization which made sure relatives of British soldiers killed in South Africa were contacted, and their graves properly marked and recorded

1863 – Henry Royce, English engineer and businessman, founder Rolls-Royce Limited

1866 – Minerva Hamilton Hoyt born, American pioneer in conserving California desert areas, by exhibiting desert plants at lectures she gives across the country, beginning at the 1928 Garden Club of America show in NY City, and lobbying the state of California to create three state parks: Joshua Tree, Death Valley and Anza-Borrego; as the founder of the International Desert Conservation League, she also persuades the Mexican government to set aside 10,000 acres for cactus preservation; in 1936, she moves the Roosevelt administration to designate over 800,000 acres as the Joshua Tree National Park; in 2013, the U.S. Board of Geographic Names designates Mount Minerva Hoyt, which stands within the park, in her honor

Joshua Tree National Park – inset: Minerva Hamilton Hoyt

1866 – President Andrew Johnson vetoes the Civil Rights Act of 1866, but his veto is overridden by Congress and the bill passes into law on April 9; it is the first U.S. federal law to define citizenship and affirm that all citizens are equally protected by the law, mainly intended to protect the civil rights of persons of African descent born in or brought to America, in the wake of the American Civil War, a precursor to the 14th Amendment – the words ‘persons’ and ‘citizens’ would not include women of any color for some time to come

1868 – Patty Smith Hill born, America composer, teacher and advocate for
nursery schools, co-author, with her sister Mildred Hill, of the tune “Happy Birthday to You”

1878 – Kathleen Bruce Scott born, Baroness Kennet by her second marriage, British sculptor; mostly noted for sculptures of her first husband, arctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott, and Edward Smith, captain of the Titanic

1879 – Edward Steichen born, American photographer, art gallery and museum curator; he and Alfred Stieglitz are leaders in gaining respect for photography as an art form

1883 – Marie Under born, Estonian poet, nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature eight times; a founder of the Estonian Writers’ Union (1922)

1886 – Geronimo, leader and medicine man of the Bedonkohe band of the Chiricahua Apaches, surrenders to the U.S. Army

1886 – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe born in Prussia, American modernist architect, designed IBM Plaza and Seagram Building

1892 – Ferde Grofé born, American composer and arranger; best known for his 1931 Grand Canyon Suite, used in the 1958 Disney short film, Grand Canyon, which won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Subject

1897 – Effa Manley born, co-owner and manager with husband Abe of the Negro League baseball team the Brooklyn Eagles (1935-46); supported integration working with the NAACP; worked hard to get Negro League players included in the Baseball Hall of Fame

1899 – Gloria Swanson born, American silent film star, who also produced her films  The Love of Sunya (1927) and Sadie Thompson (1928). She was one of the actresses who were the first nominees in 1929 for an Academy Award for Best Actress, but lost to Janet Gaynor. Her career declined in the 1930s, and she moved to New York City in 1938, then founded Multiprises, a company to make inventions, but designed to rescue Jewish scientists and inventors, helping many escape from the Nazis. Today, she is most remembered for her performance as Norma Desmond in the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard, for which she won a Golden Globe as Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama and was nominated for another Academy Award  

Gloria Swanson with William Holden in Sunset Boulevard – Swanson as Sadie Thompson

1904 – Union organizer, ‘hell-raiser’ and public speaker “Mother” Jones is ordered by Colorado state authorities to leave the state, accused of stirring up the striking coal miners

1905 – Elsie MacGill born, Canadian engineer, world’s first female aircraft designer; a second-generation feminist, daughter of Helen Gregory McGill, noted women’s rights advocate and one of Canada’s first women judges, she served on the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada (1967-1970)

1911 – Celebrate Exchange Day * Charles A. Berkey founds the first Exchange Club in Detroit Michigan, a group where members could exchange ideas and information on better serving their communities; in 1917, The National Exchange Club becomes a nonprofit educational service organization; in 1979, the prevention of child abuse was adopted as their National Project; current headquarters are in Toledo Ohio

1911 – Veronika Tushnova born, Soviet poet and member of the Soviet Union of Writers, and became a medical doctor at her father’s insistence. She worked in military hospitals during WWII, but found little satisfaction in medicine. Published her first works in 1944 and 1945, but is noted for her later collections, Memory of the Heart and One Hundred Hours of Happiness. Her poem They don’t renounce loving became the lyrics of a song

1912 – The first cherry blossom trees, a gift to the U.S. from Japan, are planted in Washington, D.C.

1914 – Belgian doctor Albert Hustin uses a diluted solution of blood with the anticoagulant sodium citrate to make the first successful non-direct (person-to-person) blood transfusion

1915 – Mary Mallon, ‘Typhoid Mary,’ cook whose employers keep falling ill with Typhoid fever, the first healthy carrier of disease ever identified in the U.S., is put in quarantine for a second time, where she remains until her death, after she refuses to allow removal of her gall bladder, which is the site of live typhoid bacteria in her body

1922 – Margaret (Meg) Stacey, sociologist, pioneer in study of gendered social divisions, University of Warwick Women’s Studies Department Chair;Changing Human Reproduction; won Fawcett Prize as co-author of Women, Power And Politics (1981), active in Women in Black, a peace workers’ movement

1924 – Sara Vaughn born, world renowned American jazz singer and pianist known as the “Divine One”

1924 – Margaret K. Butler born, American mathematician and early computer software programmer. Principle creator, then director (1972-1991) of the National Energy Software Center at the Argonne National Laboratory, and the first woman fellow of the American Nuclear Society. She began her career in 1944 as a statistician at the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, and also taught math at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School, then joined the U.S. Army Air Force. After the war, she worked in the Naval Reactors Division of Argonne National Laboratory, making calculations for physicists designing a prototype submarine reactor, then later worked on AVIDAC, an early computer developed at the Reactor Engineering Division. In the 1950s Butler wrote software, reactor applications, mathematical subroutines, and utilities for three other Argonne computers, the ORACLE, GEORGE, and UNIVAC. From the late 1950s to early 1960s she led Argonne’s Applied Mathematics Division’s Application Programming

1927 – Mstislav Leopold Rostropovich born, Russian cellist and conductor, outspoken champion of artistic freedom in the Soviet Union

1927 – Sylvia Thomas Anderson born, English producer and screenwriter, best known for her collaboration with her husband Gerry Anderson on their 1950s and 1960s television series,  Stingray, Fireball XL5 and Thunderbirds

1933 – U.S. Farm Credit Administration is established by Executive Order 6084, to regulate the Farm Credit System, a network of borrower-owned financial institutions and cooperatives

1940 – Rebecca, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine, based on Daphne du Maurier’s novel, premieres in Los Angeles (1941 Oscar for Best Picture)

1945 – Ella Fitzgerald & Delta Rhythm Boys record “It’s Only a Paper Moon”

1946 – Four-month long strikes at both General Electric and General Motors ended with a wage increases

1948 – Billie Holiday appears at a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall, just 11 days after she leaves prison, sentenced on drug charges

1950 – Julia Alvarez born, Dominican-American poet, novelist and essayist; known for her novels, How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies, her poetry collections Homecoming and The Woman I Kept to Myself, and her essay compilation, Something to Declare. Honored with many awards, including 1974’s Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets, the 1991 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, and the 2009 Fitzgerald Award for Achievement in American Literature

1952 – Singin’ in the Rain opens, starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds

1955 – Susan Neiman born, American philosopher, academic, cultural commentator and essayist; anti-war activist during the Vietnam War before earning her Ph.D. from Harvard, and studied at the Free University of Berlin. Noted for her memoir Slow Fire: Jewish Notes from Berlin, and The Unity of Reason: Rereading Kant

1958 – Nikita Khrushchev becomes Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR

1958 – Sheb Wooley records “Purple People Eater”

1962 – World Theatre Day * – The International Theatre Institute begins the celebration of live theatre, its creators and its audiences, and those who call for governments and institutions to recognize its importance to global culture and economic growth

1964 – The Good Friday Earthquake, at magnitude 9.2 the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the U.S., strikes South-Central Alaska, killing 125 people and inflicting massive damage to the city of Anchorage

1975 – Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System begins

1975 – South African Minister of Defence P.W. Botha presents a White Paper outlining defence policy and justifying the increased expenditure which now accounts for one-fifth of the country’s total revenue budget

1976 – Roberta Anastase born, Romanian Democratic Liberal Party politician; President of Chamber of Deputies of Romania (2008-2012); became a member of  EU Parliament (2007-2009) with the accession of Romania to the European Union

1980 – Silver Thursday: Lamar Hunt and his brother Nelson Bunker Hunt try to corner the world market in silver, resulting in panic on commodity and futures exchanges

1981 – The Solidarity movement in Poland stages a warning strike, in which at least 12 million Poles walk off their jobs for four hours

1990 – The United States begins broadcasting TV Martí, an anti-Castro propaganda network, to Cuba

1993 – Jiang Zemin is appointed as People’s Republic of China President

1993 – Italian former minister and Christian Democracy leader Giulio Andreotti is accused of Mafia allegiance by the tribunal of Palermo

1998 – The USDA approves use of Sildenafil, trade name Viagra, for erectile dysfunction

2000 – A Phillips Petroleum plant explosion in Pasadena TX kills one person and injures 71 others; OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) launches a six-month investigation and concludes failure to train workers properly is a key factor in the explosion and fire; this is the third accident with fatalities resulting from safety violations at the plant, but it remains in operation

2001 – China reports its population has reached 1.26 Billion

2004 – HMS Scylla, a decommissioned Leander-class frigate, is sunk as an artificial reef off Cornwall, the first of its kind in Europe

2009 – International Whisk(e)y Day * is launched at a whiskey festival in the Netherlands, to honor Michael J. Jackson, the English journalist and author of many influential books on beer and whisky, including Michael Jackson’s Malt Whisky Companion; he was the host of the popular UK television series, The Beer Hunter. Jackson was born on March 27, 1942, and died in 2007 after a decade suffering from Parkinson’s disease, so this day also supports research on Parkinsons

2009 – President Barak Obama orders 4,000 more U.S. troops into Afghanistan and Pakistan to go after al-Qaida

2014 – The Philippine government signs a peace accord with the largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, ending decades of conflict

2016 – Syrian government forces supported by Russian air power drive the Islamic State out of the ancient city of Palmyra, which ISIS had been using as a base to launch its attacks. Clashes continue on the edge of the city. ISIS will return again and again, but will finally be driven out in March, 2017. Since then, their deliberate destruction of the culturally significant temples and works of art that are part of the UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site are still being assessed, and when feasible, painstakingly restored

Palmyra before



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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