ON THIS DAY: April 2, 2019

April 2nd is

World Autism Day

National Ferret Day

Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

National Reconciliation Day *

International Children’s Book Day


MORE! Francisco Balagtas, Anne Waldman and Charlie Chaplin, click



Argentina – Malvinas Day *

Belarus – Unity Day
(of the People of Russia and Belarus)

Iran – Sizdah Bedar
(Nature Day)

Peru – Lawyer Day
(honors President Francisco Garcia)

Thailand –
Thai Heritage Conservation Day


On This Day in HISTORY

742 – Charlemagne born, King of the Franks and Lombards, Carolus Magnus, Karl Der Grosse, Emperor; it’s rumored that knives are first used to eat food, rather than just fingers, at his gatherings

1513 – Explorer Juan Ponce de León claims Florida for Spain as the first known European to reach Florida

1550 – Genoa Italy expels Jews for the second time, many of them families of refugees from the Spanish expulsion in 1492, including Joseph ha-Kohen, physician and historian; his success as a doctor arouses envy among his non- Jewish rivals

1647 – Maria Sibylla Merian born in Germany, naturalist and scientific illustrator who spent years in Amsterdam, and traveled to Surinam in South America to study its flora and fauna; she was one of the first naturalists to observe insects directly; her major work is Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium (1705)

1725 – Giovanni Casanova born, Italian writer, womanizer and adventurer

1731 – Catharine Macaulay born, English historian and radical political writer. She had regular correspondence with such figures involved in the American Revolution as Mercy Otis Warren, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Ezra Stiles, and George Washington. As an author, she is noted for The History of England from the Accession of James I to the Revolution;Treatise on the Immutability of Moral Truth; and Letters on Education

Catherine Macaulay by Robert Edge Pine

1739 – George Frideric Handel finishes “The Cuckoo and the Nightingale”

1788 –  Wilhelmine Reichard born, first German woman to solo in a balloon ascension

1788 – Francisco Balagtas born, major Filipino poet. His epic Florante at Laura is considered a masterpiece of Filipino literature

1792 – The Coinage Act establishes the U.S. Mint, and authorizes the $10 Eagle, $5 half-Eagle and $2.50 quarter-Eagle gold coins, plus silver coins of a dollar, ½ dollar, quarter, dime and half-dime

1800 – Ludwig van Beethoven’s 1st Symphony in C debuts in Vienna

1805 – Hans Christian Andersen born, Danish author best remembered for his fairy tales, like The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling

1814 – Erastus B. Bigelow born, American industrialist; founder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

1819 – American Farmer, the first successful agricultural journal, begins publication

1827 – Joseph Dixon begins manufacturing ‘lead’ (graphite) pencils

1834 – Frederic Auguste Bartholdi born, French sculptor of Statue of Liberty

1840 – Emile Zola born, French author; Thérèse Raquin, L’Assommoir

1845 – French physicists H.L.Fizeau and Leon Foucault take the first photo of the Sun

1863 – The Richmond Bread Riots: Civil War food shortages in Richmond VA cause hundreds of angry women to march to the governor’s office, and then on to the government commissary, where they break in, taking everything they can carry; shops and even a hospital are also looted; a few arrests are made, but authorities pressure newspapers to downplay the story; official records are destroyed in 1865 when the Confederate government flees, leaving much of Richmond burning in their wake

1865 – Evacuation Sunday: Confederate President Jefferson Davis, his cabinet and the Confederate army defenders abandon Richmond, fleeing south on the last open railroad line; the soldiers, under orders, set fires to bridges, the armory and supply warehouses as they leave, destroying much of the city as fires spread out of control

1872 – George B. Brayton patents a gasoline-powered engine

1877 – The first Easter Egg Roll is held on the White House lawn

1879 – Anglo-Zulu War, Battle of Gingindlovu: King Cetshwayo’s army of 10,000 was defeated by two divisions of British troops supported by Zulu troops, and his military kraal is destroyed

1891 – Max Ernst born, German Surrealist painter and sculptor

The Stolen Mirror, painted by Max Ernst

1900 – Het Volk, the Social Democratic Worker’s Party newspaper, begins publication in Amsterdam

1902 – Thomas L. Tally opens Tally’s Electric Theatre in Los Angeles CA, the first U.S. full-time movie theater; he would later start the First National Exhibitors Circuit, the first exhibitor’s organization which gives them more clout and flexibility, with John D. Williams of West Virginia

1905 – Cecil Rhodes’ ambitious Cape-to-Cairo railway opens the section from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, with the completion of the Victoria Falls Bridge; the full project is never finished, but local railways, roads and water transport eventually provide links for passengers

1912 – RMS Titanic undergoes sea trials to test handling characteristics in the Belfast Lough and the open waters of the Irish Sea, reaching speeds up to 21 knots

1912 – George Mnyaluza Pemba born, South African artist and playwright; in 1944, he was commissioned by the Bantu Welfare trust to paint scenes of Black tribal life; also noted for his play Nonqause

Bearded Man at the Kraal, by George Mnyaluza Pemba

1916 – In New Zealand, 57 armed police invade the remote Ngāi Tūhoe settlement of Maungapōhatu in the Urewera Ranges to arrest the Māori prophet Rua Kēnana

1917 – Jeannette Rankin (R-Montana) begins the first day of her term as the first woman member of U.S. House of Representatives, on the same day that President Woodrow Wilson asks Congress to declare war on Germany: “The world must be made safe for democracy.” Rankin, an avowed pacifist, will be one of the few to vote against declaring war, which will cost her re-election; later, she is elected again, just in time to cast the only dissenting vote against WWII after Pearl Harbor

1921 – The Autonomous Government of Khorasan, a military government encompassing the modern state of Iran, is established, but collapses by October the same year

1930 – Haile Selassie is proclaimed emperor of Ethiopia

1939 – Marvin Gaye born, singer-songwriter; “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”

1941 – Leon Russell born, singer-songwriter; “Delta Lady”

1942 – Glenn Miller and his orchestra record “American Patrol”

1945 – Linda Hunt born, American actress; won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her break-through role as Billy Kwan in The Year of Living Dangerously, the first person to win an Oscar for playing a character of the opposite sex

1945 – Anne Waldman born, American poet, performer scholar and cultural/political activist; recipient of the Poetry Society of America’s 1996 Shelley Memorial Award

1946 – Sue Townsend born, English playwright, screenwriter, humorist and novelist; best known for creating the character Adrian Mole, first noted in the radio drama, The Diary of Nigel Mole, Aged 13¼, but he became the main character in her Adrian Mole series of novels, after the publisher insisted on changing his first name because of the character Nigel Molesworth created by Ronald Searle and Geoffrey Willans

1947 – Tua Forsström born, Finnish writer and poet who writes in Swedish; her poetry collection  Efter att ha tillbringat en natt bland hästar (After Spending a Night Among Horses) won the Nordic Council’s 1998 Literature Prize. Snöleopard (Snow Leopard) was translated into English by David McDuff, for which he won the Poetry Book Society’s 1990 Translation Award

1947 – Emmylou Harris born, American country singer; six-time Grammy winner

1948 – Joan D. Vinge born, American Science Fiction author and poet; noted for her novel, The Snow Queen, won the 1981 Hugo Award for Best Novel, which was followed by sequels The Summer Queen, World’s End and Tangled Up in Blue

1953 – Rosemary Bryant Mariner born, American aviator; she joined the U.S. Navy in  1973, and was one of the first six women to earn their wings as U.S. Navy Aviators in 1974. She was the first woman military aviator to fly a tactical jet, the first woman aviator assigned to an aircraft carrier, and the first to command an operational aviation squadron, Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron Thirty Four (VAQ-34) during Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991). Mariner was president of the Women Military Aviators (1991-1993). In 1993, when restrictions were removed on women pilots flying combat missions, she was one of four women aviators promoted to captain. She retired from the Navy in 1997, and was a resident scholar in the Center for the Study of War and Society and a lecturer in the Department of History from 2002 to 2016 at the University of Tennessee. She died of ovarian cancer in 2019. The Navy conducted the first all-woman pilot nine-aircraft ‘Missing Man Flyover’ for her funeral

1953 – Malika Oufkir born, Moroccan Berber writer; when her father, General Mohamed Oufkir, was executed for his part in an attempted coup d’état in 1972, her family were first confined to house arrest in southern Morocco (1973-1977). Then they were sent to a secret prison in the Sahara desert for 15 years, then kept under house arrest. In 1991, they were among a small group of political prisoners to be released. Malika Oufkir moved to Paris with her brother Raouf and sister Soukaina in 1996. Her book, Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail, the story of their ordeal, was written in French with Tunisian author Michèle Fitoussi

1956 – The soap opera As the World Turns debuts on CBS-TV

1957 – Caroline Dean born, British biologist and plant scientist; her work focuses on the molecular controls used by plants to seasonally determine when to flower, with a particular interest in vernalisation – the acceleration of flowering in plants by exposure to periods of prolonged cold. She has been honored with the 2007 Genetics Society Medal, the 2015 FEBS (Federation of European Biochemical Societies) EMBO Women in Science Award, and is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)

1960 – Pascale Nadeau born, news presenter for Télévision de Radio-Canada from Quebec on the network’s flagship newscast Le Téléjournal since September 2008. She began her career in journalism at the news radio station CKAC in Montreal

1964 – The Beach Boys record “I Get Around”

1968 – The film 2001: A Space Odyssey premieres in Washington DC

1972 – Actor Charlie Chaplin returns to the United States for the first time since being labeled a communist during the Red Scare in the early 1950s

Charlie Chaplin at the 1972 Oscars

1975 – A three-day National Conference on Indian Water Rights convenes in Washington DC; representatives from almost 200 tribes attend

1977 – Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumours hits #1 on the U.S. charts

1979 – Soviet bio-warfare laboratory at Sverdlovsk accidentally releases airborne anthrax spores, killing 66 people, plus an unknown number of livestock

1980 –  U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs the Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act

1982 – Argentina, which calls the islands the Malvinas,* seizes the disputed Falkland Islands from Great Britain, setting off the Falklands War

1987 – Nnoseng Ellen Kuzwayo (1914-2006) becomes the first Black woman to receive an honorary degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, the third oldest university in South Africa. She was a teacher (1938-1952) until the Apartheid regime introduced Bantu education. She next became a social worker. After the 1976 Soweto uprising, she was the only woman on a committee of ten created to organize civic affairs in Soweto, and was detained for five months under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for her activism. Kuzwayo was elected as a Member of Parliament (1994-1999) in the nation’s first democratic election, and wrote several books, including her autobiography, Call Me Woman, which highlights her struggle with domestic violence during her first marriage, and won the South African Central News Agency Literary Award

1989 – National Reconciliation Day * is promoted by Ann Landers in response to a reader’s letter, and annually in her column each year after

1991 – Rita Johnson becomes the first woman Premier of a Canadian province, British Columbia, when she succeeds William Vander Zalm after his resignation

1992 – Mob boss John Gotti is convicted of murder and racketeering in New York

2002 – Israel seizes control of Bethlehem, after Palestinian gunmen force their way into the Church of the Nativity, traditional birthplace of Jesus, beginning a 39-day standoff

2007 – The Supreme Court rules 5-4 that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are air pollutants under the Clean Air Act

2008 – Leader of the British House of Commons Harriet Harman becomes the first Labour woman MP to answer the Prime Minister’s questions

2013 – Uruguay passes legislation to legalize same-sex marriage

2014 – Iran and six world powers agree to a framework for a deal to curb the country’s nuclear program. The tentative accord came after eight days of marathon talks in Switzerland, and two extensions of the deadline. The deal includes concrete steps to ensure Iran won’t build a nuclear weapon, in exchange for the other nations lifting sanctions against Iran


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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5 Responses to ON THIS DAY: April 2, 2019

  1. Malisha says:

    During 2017 I had to be in Miami, unfortunately, for several months at a time for a job. when I was there I traveled around on buses, and most often on their free “trolleys” to the extent possible. And I would wait at bus stops a lot. Often, since it was “Trump o’clock” in Miami in 2017, I would be at a bus stop and someone would identify me as “white” and decide I was like-minded and start to rant about people speaking Spanish. This could happen at any time and seemed to be a preoccupation for English-speaking Miamians who might have considered themselves inappropriately disadvantaged by not having air conditioned cars to drive around. Anyway, I finally figured out a way to stop these boring and idiotic diatribes so as to sit in peace in the broiling sun waiting for the bus: “Florida IS of course Spanish; it was settled by the Spanish about 50 years after Columbus arrived in the New World. So if your not a Native American, a real Floridian is Spanish-speaking and the English didn’t get down here until much later. If you lived in Massachusetts, it would be different. But HERE, YOU’RE speaking the second language. So maybe you should learn Spanish.” They glare, silent. I never once heard a response to that one.

    • Totally appropriate response. More folks should try that. Around where I live, Cherokee, Gaelic, or German appear to be the first languages.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Good for you!

      I was usually the only kid in my classes who had been born in Arizona. The vast majority of my classmates were from the East Coast or the Midwest. I got a lot of laughs out of the attempts of newly-arrived students to pronounce the Spanish and Native American names of local streets, rivers, geographic features, plants, animals and food. Most of them weren’t disdainful of the multi-cultural names, just ignorant. As is often the case, it was the adults who were the problem.

      Wouldn’t it be great if our schools started teaching languages at the elementary level, instead of waiting until high school? All the studies show over and over again, the younger you are, the easier it is to learn a language. My parents really struggled when they decided to learn Spanish after their retirement, but I admired them for sticking with it. Their accents remained purely Americano, but their willingness to laugh at their own mistakes got them through most of the awkwardness, and most people were willing to help them with the words they didn’t know or couldn’t remember when they traveled in Mexico.

      • Malisha says:

        My mother was a kindergarten teacher and she used to teach songs in various languages (Spanish, French, Creole, Italian, one in Latin [“Dona nobis pacem”]) and the kids had no trouble at all learning them, and used good accents, because it is easier to learn things with music.

        • wordcloud9 says:

          That’s such a great idea.

          At the very least, we should be able to be polite in other languages. I learned how to say at ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and a few other words (usually yes – no – where is – and names of local food) in the language(s) of every country in which I traveled, and it made such a difference. People are so much more willing to help you if they see you’re trying, even a little bit.

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