ON THIS DAY: April 15, 2019

April 15th is

Glazed Ham Day

Jackie Robinson Day *

Rubber Eraser Day *

World Art Day *

U.S. Income Tax Day

Universal Day of Culture

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MORE! Bliss Carman, Bessie Smith and Suresh Bhat, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Bosnia-Herzegovina –
Armed Forces Day

Japan –
Fuji: Shibazakura Festival
(pink phlox moss viewing)
Ashikaga: Great Wisteria Festival

Laos – Pi Mai
(Laotian New Year celebration)

North Korea – Day of the Sun
(Kim Il-sun’s Birthday)

Poland – Kraków: Misteria Paschalia
(Early Music festival)

Peru – Pachacámac:
National El Paso Horse Competition

United Kingdom – Liverpool:
Hillsborough Disaster Memorial

United States –
Boston: One Boston Day *
Hawaii: Father Damien Day

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On This Day in HISTORY

769 – In Rome, the Lateran Council’s concluding session; earlier, the synod sentences antipope Constantine, who had been elevated to the papal see by his brother and a group of Tuscan nobles in spite of being a layman, to be beaten, have his tongue torn out, and excommunicated from the Church, then they burned all his acts and rulings; next, they revised the rules by which papal elections are held to prevent a recurrence, stipulating that no lay person could become Pope, only cardinals, deacons and priests would be eligible, the laity would have no part in the election, and no armed men would be allowed during the deliberations; they also collected texts in support of the veneration of icons

1395 – Battle of the Terek River: Timur (also known as Tamerlane) defeats Tokhtamysh, a khan of the Golden Horde. Sarai Berke, the capital city of Tokhtamysh, is razed to the ground, its artisans and craftsmen are captured, and Timur installs Koirichak as a puppet ruler on the throne



1452 – Leonardo da Vinci born, Italian Renaissance polymath, painter, sculptor, and architect



1563 – Guru Arjan born, the fifth Sikh Guru, and the first of two Gurus martyred in the Sikh faith. He compiled the first official edition of the Sikh scripture called the Adi Granth. Guru Arjan was arrested under the orders of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir and asked to convert to Islam. When he refused, he was tortured and executed in 1606 CE

1688 – Johann Friedrich Fasch born, German composer and violinist

1741 – Charles Willson Peale born, American portrait painter of the American Revolution’s leading figures


Portrait of Benjamin Franklin by Charles Willson Peale, 1789

1755 – Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language is published in London



1770 – Rubber Eraser Day * – Edward Nairne’s natural gum cubes for erasing mistakes made with a pencil is noted by Joseph Priestly. The word rubber, in general use for any object used for rubbing, becomes the name for the newly discovered substance



1817 – Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc founded the American School for the Deaf, the first American school for deaf students, in Hartford, Connecticut

1843 – Henry James born, American author



1850 – The city of San Francisco, California, is incorporated

1861 – Bliss Carman born, Canadian poet, recognized as a ‘Person of National Historic Significance’ by the Canadian government and acclaimed as Canada’s poet laureate



1861 – President Lincoln declares a state of insurrection, calls out Union trips, and asks for 75,000 Volunteers

1865 – After President Lincoln dies, nine hours after being shot; Vice President Andrew Johnson is sworn in as the 17th U.S. President

1880 – Max Wertheimer born in Prague, American psychologist; founder of Gestalt psychology

1892 – Corrie ten Boom born, Dutch watchmaker; after the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands, she and her family began helping Jews escape the Nazi holocaust, starting with their neighbors; betrayed in 1944 by a Dutch informant, the family was arrested and sent to prison, but the six people in hiding at their house were undiscovered, and managed to escape undetected; many of her family members died in prison, but she survived, and wrote the best-selling book The Hiding Place, helped set up refugee housing for holocaust survivors, and became a public speaker



1894 – Bessie Smith born, notable American blues singer, “Empress of the Blues”



1895 – Abigaíl Mejía Soliére born, Dominican Republic teacher, pioneering feminist activist and nationalist; co-founder with Delia Weber of the Acción Feminista movement in 1927 to gain educational opportunities for poor Dominican women, campaign for women’s suffrage (achieved in 1942), and work for social issues such as penal reform, and against drug and alcohol abuse and forced prostitution



1889 – Philip Randolph born, American civil rights leader and trade unionist



1889 – Father Damien Day * – Father Damien born, a Catholic priest who cared for people suffering from Leprosy quarantined on the island of Moloka’i in Hawaii, then died of the disease himself

1896 – Closing Ceremonies at first games of the modern Olympiad in Athens, Greece



1912 – The “unsinkable” RMS Titanic sinks, 2 hours 40 minutes after hitting an iceberg; only 710 of the 2,227 passengers and crew survive

1915 – Elizabeth Catlett born, black American sculptor and illustrator



1916 – Helene Hanff born, American author and screenwriter; best known for her book 84, Charing Cross Road



1920 – Two employees are killed during a robbery in South Braintree MA. Anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti will be arrested, tried and convicted (July 14, 1921), then executed (August 23, 1927), on questionable evidence, in spite of worldwide protests and appeals for a new trial

1921 – Albert Einstein lectures on his new “Theory of Relativity” in New York City


Albert Einstein in 1921

1922 – U.S. Senator John B. Kendrick (D-WY), Committee on Public Lands and Surveys chairman, introduces a resolution calling for investigation of the Teapot Dome scandal

1923 – Insulin (originally a fetal calf pancreas extraction), developed by Frederick Banting and Charles Best, with help and financial support from J.J.R. Macleod, becomes generally available for patients suffering from diabetes; prior to its introduction, a diagnosis of diabetes meant certain death within 3 to 4 years

1924 – Neville Marriner born, English conductor and violinist; long-time leader of the orchestra of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields



1924 – Rand McNally publishes its first road atlas

1928 – Norma Merrick Sklarek born, American architect, first African American female architect licensed in New York and California, first to be elected Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, first to form her own architectural firm



1930 – Vigdís Finnbogadóttir born, world’s first democratically elected and longest-serving female president, 4th President of Iceland (1980-1996)



1931 – Tomas Tranströmer born, Swedish poet, and psychologist;  2011 Nobel Prize in Literature



1932 – Suresh Bhat born, Indian Marathi poet and songwriter; he has been called Ghazal Samrat (Emperor of Ghazals), an ancient Arabic poetic form, which has since been adapted by poets writing in several other languages



1936 – Aer Lingus is founded as the Republic of Ireland’s national airline

1939 – Désiré Ecaré born, Ivorian (Côte d’Ivoire) film director, noted for his 1985 film, Faces of Women, which won the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes Film Festival


Faces of Women

1942 – The George Cross is awarded “to the island fortress of Malta: Its people and defenders” by King George VI

1943 – P1nar Kür born, Turkish author and dramatist; she also teaches at Bilgo University in Istanbul

1943 – Veronica Linklater born, Baroness Linklater of Butterstone; Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, advocate for children’s welfare and prison reform



1945 – Bergen-Belsen concentration camp is liberated by British and Canadian troops

1947 – Jackie Robinson makes his major league debut;  commemorated as Jackie Robinson Day * since 2004



1947 – Linda Bloodworth-Thomason born, American screenwriter and television producer; co-founder of Mozark Productions; notable for creating, writing and producing the hit series Designing Women (1986-1993); produced and directed campaign films for both Bill and Hillary Clinton



1951 – Heloise born as Ponce Heloise Evans, American newspaper columnist and radio show host; took over “Hints from Heloise” from her mother, Heloise Bowles, in 1977; also contributing editor/columnist for Good Housekeeping, and author of almost a dozen books

1951 – Marsha Ivins born, American aerospace engineer and NASA Astronaut, a veteran of five space shuttle missions



1952 – Avital Ronell born in Czechoslovakia, American philosopher and academic whose work explores a wide range, spanning literary studies, feminist philosophy, addiction, psychoanalysis, ethics and legal issues, trauma, war and technology; a founding editor of the journal Qui Parle

1952 – Maiden flight of the B-52 Stratofortress



1959 – Emma Thompson born, British actor, author, screenwriter; nominated for five Academy Awards, and won Best Actress for Howard’s End and Best Adapted Screenplay for Sense and Sensibility; human rights and environmental activist, who has traveled in Africa as an ambassador for the charity Action Aid, and is chair of the Helen Bamber Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, and a patron of the Refugee Council



1960 – Ella Baker leads a conference at Shaw University in North Carolina where SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee is founded, a principal organization of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s



1960 – Susanne Bier born, Danish film director; best known for her feature films Brothers, After the Wedding, In a Better World, and Bird Box, and the British television series, The Night Manager

1961 – Carol W. Greider born, American molecular biologist; Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Daniel Nathans Professor, and Director of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins University. Greider discovered the enzyme telomerase in 1984. Awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize, with Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack W. Szostak, for their discovery that telomeres (the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes) are protected from progressive shortening through wear by the enzyme telomerase



1961 – Dawn J. Wright born, American geographer and oceanographer, a leading authority in the application of geographic information system (GIS) technology to the field of ocean and coastal science, and played a key role in creating the first GIS data model for the oceans. Wright is Chief Scientist of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (aka Esri); professor of geography and oceanography at Oregon State University since 1995. First African American woman to dive to the ocean floor in the deep submersible ALVIN



1962 – Nawal El Moutawakel born, Moroccan politician and Olympian; Moroccan Minister of  Sports (2007-2009) Secretary for Youth and Sport (1997-1998); won the inaugural women’s 400 metres hurdles at the 1984 Summer Olympics, becoming the first Muslim woman born on the continent of Africa to be an Olympic champion, and the first Moroccan to win an Olympic gold medal. Founding member and president of the Moroccan Sport and Development Association since 2002



1964 – The first Ford Mustang rolls off the show room floor, two days before it is set to go on sale nationwide



1969 – North Korea shoots down a U.S. Navy EC-121 over the Sea of Japan, killing all 31 on board

1969 – Kaisa Roose born, Estonian conductor and pianist; noted for conducting all of the Danish regional orchestras, and orchestras in Sweden, Finland, Italy and Costa Rica

1975 – Sarah Teichmann born, German biophysicist and immunologist; Head of Cellular Genetics at the Wellcome Sanger Institute; visiting research group leader at the  European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI); a Director of Research (equivalent to Professor) in the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, and a Senior  Research Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge. Noted for her studies of  gene expression, protein complex assembly, patterns in protein interactions and  transcriptional regulatory networks. Teichmann has received a number of awards, including the 2010 Colworth Medal from the Biochemical Society, and in 2012, the  Francis Crick Medal and Lecture, membership inthe European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and the Lister Prize from the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine. In 2015, she won the Michael and Kate Bárány Award, presented by the Biophysical Society, and was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences



1989 – After suffering a heart attack, former General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Hu Yaobang who had been forced into semi-retirement, dies; the line of public mourners at his funeral is 10 miles long; a spontaneous outpouring of grief turns into six weeks of unprecedented, nationwide pro-democracy protests; 50,000 students will march in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on April 22 to petition the government to reverse the verdict that led to his “resignation”



1989 – The city of Malacca, in the Malaysian state of Malacca, is declared an historical city; it becomes a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008



2011 – First World Art Day * launched on the anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s birth

2013 – Boston Marathon bombing: two bombs near the finish line kill 3 people and injure hundreds of others, including 16 who lost limbs. In 2015, One Boston Day * is launched as an annual celebration of the resilient, generous people of Boston; events and collection centers citywide for volunteer projects and charitable donations



2017 – Thousands of marchers in dozens of U.S. cities and at the Trump Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach FL demand that Trump release his tax returns

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About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 45 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 and a bewildered Border Collie.
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