ON THIS DAY: April 9, 2019

April 9th is

Appomattox Day *

Jenkin’s Ear Day *

Winston Churchill Day *

Chinese Almond Cookie Day

Cherish an Antique Day

Chicken Little Awareness Day

National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day *


MORE! Emily Hobhouse, Paul Robeson and Cynthia Nixon, click

Warning –  1835 entry has disturbing pictures from the Congo Free State 



Canada – Vimy Ridge Day
(WWI Battle Memorial for the Dead)

Denmark –
German Invasion Anniversary

Finland –
Day of the Finnish Language

Georgia – National Unity Day

Iraq – Baghdad Liberation Day

Kosovo – Dita e Kushtetutës
(Constitution day)

Philippines – Araw ng Kagitingan
(Day of Valor/Bataan Day)

Tunisia – Martyrs’ Day


On This Day in HISTORY

190 AD – As the coalition against him advances, Chinese Grand Preceptor and general Dong Zhuo (who had seized power after the death of Emperor Ling) orders his soldiers to ransack and raze the capital city of Luoyang as he retreats, moving the court to the more defensible city of Chang’an in western China

1241 – Mongol Invasion of Poland, Battle of Legnica: a Mongol Empire army led by Baidar and Kadan defeat the Polish and Moravian combined forces led by Polish Duke Henry II ‘the Pious’ of Silesia. Henry II is killed in battle

Mongol invaders display Henry II’s head on a pike to lower the defenders’ morale

1285 – Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan born, Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty of China and Khagan of the Mongol Empire, reigned from 1311 to 1320; first Yuan emperor to actively support adoption of Confucian principles into the Mongolian administration system, and re-instituted the civil service examination system

1288 – Mongol Invasions of Đại Việt, Battle of Bạch Đằng: in what is now northern Vietnam, Đại Việt forces under Supreme Commander Trần Hưng Đạo decisively defeat the invading army of the Yuan dynasty of the Mongol Empire, led by General Omar Khan, with a vanguard fleet of 500 ships on the Bạch Đằng River, which was almost entirely captured or destroyed

1336 – Timur born, also known as Tamerlane (Timur the Lame); Turco-Mongol conqueror who founded and was the first Amir of the Timurud Empire in Persia and Central Asia, who reigned from 1370 to 1405. Roughly 5% of the world population (an estimated 17 million people) died during the military campaigns of his armies

1413 – Henry V is crowned King of England at age 27

1634 – Albertine Agnes of Nassau born, after her husband’s death in 1664, she became regent for her son, Henry Casimir II of Nassau-Dietz, then only 7 years old. In 1665, both England and the bishopric of Münster declared war on the Netherlands. Most of the money for defence had been spent the fleet, while the army had been neglected. When Groningen was under siege, Albertine Agnes quickly went to the city to give moral support. Pressure by King Louis XIV of France, then an ally, forced the forces of her enemies to retreat, but six years later the Netherlands were attacked from the south, by the French under Louis XIV and from the north by the bishop of Münster and the archbishop of Cologne. She organized the defence of the stadtholdership and kept morale high. After her son reached his majority, she retired to a country seat, where she died in 1696

1667 – Under  the leadership of painter Charles Le Brun and Louis XIV’s chief minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture holds the first public art exhibition, at the Palais-Royale in Paris

1731 – Jenkin’s Ear Day * commemorates the boarding and plundering of the British ship Rebecca by Spanish guardacosta, who suspected the British were smuggling goods, in the waters off Jamaica. They also cut off an ear of English master mariner Robert Jenkins, frequently cited during debate in the House of Commons in 1738, and used as a pretext for Britain declaring war on Spain in 1739 over a lucrative asiento contract (permission to sell slaves in Spanish-held America); dubbed by Thomas Carlyle as “The War of Jenkin’s Ear”

1768 – Colonial merchant John Hancock refuses to allow two British customs agents to go below deck on his ship, sometimes cited as the first physical act of resistance to British authority in the American colonies. His ship, the Liberty, suspected of smuggling, would be seized the following June, but the case is unproven and dismissed

1770 – Captain James Cook’s Endeavour, sailing north along the Australian coast, enters a large inlet; the voyagers make first landing on the continent, at what is now Botany Bay

1806 – Isambard Brunel born, British engineer; built the first transatlantic steamer and the Clifton Suspension Bridge

1816 – The African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church is organized in Philadelphia by Richard Allen, who becomes its first bishop, because black Methodists are discriminated against by white Methodist churches

1821 – Charles Baudelaire born, French poet, art critic and translator; noted for his book of lyric poetry,  Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil)

Reversibility, poem by Charles Baudelaire

1827 – Maria Susanna Cummins born, American author; The Lamplighter

1830 – Eadweard Muybridge born in England as Edward Muggeridge, emigrated to the U.S. in 1850; photographer and cinematographer; pioneer in the use of photography for studies of motion

1833 – The Peterborough Town Library is founded at a town hall meeting in Peterborough, New Hampshire, the oldest free public library supported by taxes in the U.S.

1835 – The infamous Leopold II born, King of the Belgians (1865-1909), who made himself the sole owner of the Congo Free State, and was responsible for the forced labor and enslavement, mutilation, torture, starvation and death of millions of Congolese men, women and children, while his ruthless henchmen extracted the maximum amount of ivory and rubber from the state. He amassed a huge personal fortune while remaining safely in Europe, styling himself as the saintly benefactor of the Congolese people, bringing them the ‘advantages’ of civilization. When stories began to surface of the atrocities being committed, Leopold went to great lengths to conceal evidence of wrongdoing during his rule. He had the entire archive of the Congo Free State burned. In 1908, the Belgium parliament compelled the King to cede the Congo Free State to Belgium, and it became the Belgian Congo. Leopold told his aide that even though the Congo had been taken from him, “they have no right to know what I did there.” Neither the Belgian monarchy nor the Belgian state has ever apologised for the atrocities

1837 – Florence Smith Price born, African-American classical composer, possibly the first black woman recognized as a symphonic composer in the United States; she left a large body of work, including compositions for orchestra, pianoforte and organ, chamber music, choral and solo vocal pieces and arrangements of spirituals

1838 – The British National Gallery re-opens in its new dedicated building in London’s Trafalgar Square; it was originally founded in 1724 when the British government bought 38 paintings and his townhouse from the heirs of John Julius Angerstein, and expanded its collection with additional purchases and private donations, quickly outgrowing the cramped quarters of Angerstein’s former home

Paintings displayed in Angerstein’s home

1860 – Emily Hobhouse born, English reformer and social worker; founder of the Distress Fund for South African Women and Children; notable for reports she sent home exposing to the British public the appalling conditions in British-run concentration camps for Boer women and children and separate camps for Black South Africans during and after the Second Boer War. Almost 27,000 women and children, and over 20,000 Black noncombatants, died of disease and starvation

1860 – On his phonautograph machine, Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville makes the oldest known audible recording of a human voice

1865 – Appomattox Day * – Surrounded at Appomattox Court House, with no escape, Confederate General Robert E. Lee, in spotless full dress uniform, surrenders to rumpled and mud-scattered Union General Ulysses S. Grant, who silences his men’s victory celebration, saying, “The war is over. The Rebels are our countrymen again.”

1866 – U.S. Congress overturns President Andrew Johnson’s veto of the Civil Rights Bill

1869 – The Hudson Bay Company cedes its territory to Canada

1870 – The American Anti-Slavery Society dissolves

1872 – Leon Blum born, French politician; first Socialist and Jewish premier of France

1888 – Sol Hurok born in Russia, American impresario; helped to popularize classical music and ballet in the U.S.

1894 – First performance of Anton Bruckner’s 5th Symphony in B, in Graz, Austria

1898 – Paul Robeson born, American singer, actor and Civil Rights and trade union activist; founder of the American Crusade Against Lynching in 1946, launched on the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation; blacklisted during the McCarthy era for being a communist sympathizer because of his membership in two organizations which were on the Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations – when questioned by the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, he answered, “Some of the most brilliant and distinguished Americans are about to go to jail for the failure to answer that question, and I am going to join them, if necessary.”

1903 – Gregory Pincus born, American scientist, makes discoveries that lead to developing the first birth-control pills

1905 – J. William Fulbright born, U.S. Senator (Democrat-Arkansas); inspired by his own experiences as a Rhodes scholar, he introduced legislation in 1946 establishing the Fulbright Program, merit scholarships for international educational exchange, now operating in over 160 countries

1909 – U.S. Congress passes Payne-Aldrich Act, raising some tariffs on imported goods

1909 – Robert Helpman CBE born, Australian ballet dancer, choreographer and theatre director; co-director of the Australian Ballet (1965-1976)

1914 – The World, the Flesh and the Devil, the first color film, is shown in London

1921 – Mary Jackson born, African American mathematician and aerospace engineer; NASA’s first black woman engineer

1923 – Sean O’Casey’s play Shadow of a Gunman premieres at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre

1923 – U.S. Supreme Court rules in Adkins v Children’s Hospital that the minimum wage law for women and children in the District of Columbia is unconstitutional

1928 – Eugene O’Neill’s play Lazarus Laughed premieres at the Pasadena Community Playhouse in Pasadena CA, one of the play’s few productions, since it calls for 151 actors

1928 – Tom Lehrer born, American singer-songwriter, pianist and mathematician; notable for clever satirical lyrics in songs like “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park,” “The Masochism Tango,” and “The Vatican Rag”

1928 – Mae West opens in the play she wrote for herself,  Diamond Lil, her first Broadway success. Some of her previous plays had been shut down because her bawdy sensuality was too racy for the censors

1928 – The Turkish National Assembly passes an amendment to the Turkish Republic’s Constitution to omit all references to religion, including proclaiming Islam as the national religion, and changing the oath sworn by deputies of parliament to “in honor” instead of “before God”

1929 – Sharan Rani Backliwal born, Indian classical musician and scholar, known for her expertise on the sarod and her collection of over 300 15th to 19th century musical instruments

1929 – Paule Marshall born Valenza Pauline Burke, American author and poet, best known for her novel Brown Girl, Brownstones; went with Langston Hughes on a State Department-sponsored world cultural tour in 1965

1939 – On Easter Sunday, over 75,000 people gather on the Mall in Washington DC to hear famed contralto Marian Anderson give a free concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Anderson had originally been engaged to give a concert at Washington DC’s Constitution Hall, managed by the Daughters of the American Revolution. When the DAR refuses to allow a black woman to perform there, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigns her DAR membership in protest, and writes about it on her newspaper column. Thousands more hear Anderson’s concert in a live national radio broadcast, and the story raises awareness of racial discrimination in America

1937 – Valerie Singleton born, English broadcast presenter; she was a continuity announcer for the BBC beginning in 1961, and also worked on several BBC radio programmes; in 1962, she joined Blue Peter, a popular BBCC children’s programme, and was a regular on the show until 1972, then played a part-time role on the show until 1975, while working from 1973 until 1978 on the current affairs programme Nationwide

1940 – Nazi Germany invades Denmark and Norway

1940 – Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra record “Six Lessons from Madame La Zonga”

1946 – Sara Parkin born, Scottish politician, originally with the UK Green Party (1976-1992), a savvy policy instigator and frequent spokesperson for the party, but resigned in 1992 over leadership issues within the party; co-founded the Forum for the Future, a sustainable development charity, currently involved with spreading sustainability education and literacy

1948 – Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan born, Indian actress and Samajwadi (Socialist Party) politician, member of  India’s upper house of Parliament since 2004. In 1992, she was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honor

1949 – The UN International Court of Justice holds Albania responsible for incidents in the Corfu Channel, awarding damages to Great Britain

1950 – Bob Hope makes his first national TV appearance in a Bob Hope special on NBC

1953 – TV Guide publishes its first issue

1953 – First 3-D movie opens, Warner Brothers’ House of Wax

1955 – Yamina Benguigui born, French film director and Socialist Party politician of Algerian descent; her father, a leader in the Algerian National Movement, became a political prisoner, but his opposition to her chosen profession led to an estrangement; she is known for films on gender issues in the North African immigrant community in France; Femmes d’Islam,  Mémoires d’immigrés, l’héritage maghrébin; elected to the Paris city council representing the 20th arrondissement in 2008, and appointed as Junior Minister for French Nationals Abroad and Relations with La Francophonie  (French-speaking countries worldwide) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2012; appointed as the French President’s representative for the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF)

1955 – Joolz Denby born, British spoken-word artist, poet, novelist and tattoo artist; former punk scene bouncer; she organized Poetry in Motion, a local poetry out loud group, and originally gained attention as a touring punk performance poet

1957 – Composer Howard Hanson’s Song of Democracy debuts in Washington DC

1959 – NASA announces the first seven astronauts for Project Mercury

1963 – Winston Churchill Day * – By Act of Congress, Winston Churchill becomes the second foreign national to be granted Honorary United States Citizenship, bestowed by President Kennedy, represented at the ceremony by his son and grandson as he watched on television – he was 90 years old, had suffered multiple strokes and nearly deaf. The only previous recipient of this honor was the Marquis de Lafayette, and to date, there have been only eight honorees

1964 – Margaret Peterson Haddix born, American author of over 30 books for children and young adults; noted for her series, The Missing, and Shadow Children

1965 – The Beatles “Ticket to Ride” is released in the UK

1965 – The Peanuts comic strip characters make the cover of TIME magazine

1966 – Cynthia Nixon born, American stage, film and television actress, activist and candidate for public office; best known for the television series, Sex and the City (1998-2004); advocate for LGBT rights, especially same-sex marriage; ran in the 2018 Democratic primaries for Governor of New York, on a platform which addressed income inequality, establishing universal health care, renewable energy, and stopping mass incarceration. She lost to incumbent Andrew Cuomo, getting 34% of the vote to his 66%

1967 – The first Boeing 737-100 series makes its maiden flight

1967 – Natascha Engel born in West Germany, British Labour politican and linguist; first UK Commissioner for Shale Gas (Fracking), appointed in 2018 by the Conservative government; Deputy Chair of Ways and Means (2015-2017); Member of Parliament for North East Derbyshire (2005-2017)

1968 – Ralph Abernathy is elected head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

1969 – Bob Dylan’s album Nashville Skyline is released

1971 – Elton John’s album 11-17-70 is released

1972 – Siiri Vallner born, Estonian architect; noted for the Museum of Occupations in Tallinn, the sports hall of Lasnamäe, and the central sports hall of Pärnu. Member of the Union of Estonian Architects

1977 – The Spanish Cabinet allows legalization of the Communist Party after it had been banned for 40 years

1980 – Sarah Ayton born, English sailor; she won gold medals in the Yngling sailing class in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, and won the Ynling World Championships in 2007 and 2008. At age 14, in 1995she battled meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia. Ayton is a patron of Meningitis Now UK, funding medical research and public awareness 

1981 – Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands, aged 27,  imprisoned for an IRA bombing and shoot-out which wounded two police officers, wins a bi-election as a British Member of Parliament; he dies of starvation the following month, and the law is later changed to prevent prisoners from standing for election

1988 – President Reagan imposes harsher economic sanctions in Panama, attempting to oust Manuel Noriega from power, freezing Panamanian assets in the U.S. and prohibiting payments by all U.S. organizations to the Panamanian government

1987 – National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day * is first proclaimed to honor all American POWs. This date was chosen in commemoration of the U.S. forces captured by the Japanese in 1942 who were subjected to the 65-mile Bataan Death March without medical attention, food or water, and then spent two years in jungle compounds under brutal conditions

1989 – The March for Women’s Lives, a march initiated by the National Organization for Women, assembles 500,000 women in the nation’s capital to protest anti-abortion law cases pending in the Supreme Court which threaten reversal of the landmark Roe v Wade decision that legalized abortion

1990 – Billy Idol releases his single “Cradle of Love”

1992 – John Major becomes the UK’s Prime Minister after the Conservative party wins the most votes in British electoral history

1992 – U.S. Federal court finds Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega guilty of eight out of ten drug and racketeering charges

1996 – Americans and foreign dependents are evacuated from Liberia by U.S. helicopters after thousands flock to the American diplomatic compound for safety

2003 – Baghdad falls to U.S. forces, ending the invasion of Iraq, but the city suffers serious damage to its infrastructure.  There is widespread looting by Iraqi civilians, and arson destroys the National Library and the National Archives, which housed thousands of historic manuscripts, some dating back 7,000 years. Most of the animals in the Baghdad Zoo are killed and eaten, or die from lack of food or water, in spite of efforts by some zookeepers to save them

2006 – National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day * is proclaimed as an annual national day in the U.S.

2012 – The Lion King becomes the highest grossing Broadway show, overtaking The Phantom of the Opera

2013 – The French Senate approves a same-sex marriage bill

2013 – Global Day to End Child Sexual Abuse * launched by The Innocence Revolution to focus on uniting organizations worldwide in a commitment to end child sexual abuse

2014 – Stuart Parkin is awarded the Millennium Technology Prize for his work on magnetic storage


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.
This entry was posted in History, Holidays, On This Day and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to ON THIS DAY: April 9, 2019

  1. Tom Lehrer had some pretty funny stuff!!

    • Malisha says:

      My all-time Lehrer favorite: Lobachevsky!!!

    • wordcloud9 says:

      A truly gifted lyricist in the tradition of W.S. Gilbert – inspired doggerel, which is much more difficult to do so well than mere lyrics.

      • Indeed! I have all of his albums. A long time ago, I was lucky enough to get the 10 inch vinyl records of his early recordings.

        • wordcloud9 says:

          My parents were given “An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer” as a gift when I was about 11 years old. They played it several times, but I was the one who wore out the LP.

          • My first exposure to him was as a child. Of course, I had no idea who he was at the time. He did a couple songs (Silent E and LY) for the Electric Company show. In the 80’s I found an album of novelty Christmas songs, which included his Christmas Carol. Then a radio station started playing the Dr. Demento Show and I heard more of his stuff and began a search for the albums. He is alive and well at 91, and I still wish he had recorded more music!

Comments are closed.