ON THIS DAY: April 18, 2019

April 18th is

Piñata Day *

Animal Crackers Day

World Heritage Day *

National Columnists’ Day *

World Amateur Radio Day *

Lineman Appreciation Day *

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MORE! Thomas Middleton, Jessie Street and Ernie Pyle, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Iran – Rouz-e Artesh
(Army Day)

Japan – Invention Day

Poland –Dzień Pacjenta w Śpiączce
(Coma Patients’ Day)

Russia – Battle on the Ice Victory Day

Zimbabwe – Independence Day

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On This Day in HISTORY

588 – K’an II (Stormwater Moon) born, Mayan ruler of Caracol (now part of Belize) who reigned from 618 to 658



1506 – The cornerstone of the current St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City is laid



1521 – Day two of Martin Luther’s trial at the Diet of Worms; he refuses to recant his teachings in spite of risking excommunication

1580 – Thomas Middleton born, English Jacobean playwright and poet



1590 – Ahmed I, sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1603-1617); noted for ending the Ottoman tradition of royal fratricide: henceforth Ottoman rulers would no longer execute their brothers upon accession to the throne; also noted for construction of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, between 1609 and 1616

1689 – When news that James II of England had been deposed reaches Boston MA,they revolt against Governor General of New England Sir Edmund Andros, who had alienated Puritans by insisting on Anglican services being held in one of their churches for a year during the building of King’s Chapel; angered farmers by reinstating revenue laws they felt unfairly targeted them, and increased the import duty on alcohol. Officials of towns which resisted the revenue commissioners were arrested; Andros then sought to ban town meetings, other than a single annual meeting solely for the purpose of electing officials – instead of shutting down protest, it increased resistance, especially among those excluded by a charter requirement of Anglican church membership in order to vote, even though they were just as liable for paying taxes. He declared all land titles in Massachusetts issued under the original colonial charter as void, requiring landowners to pay fees and additional taxes to recertify their ownership – though he was acting on authority given him by the British government, with instructions to bring colonial law into alignment with British law, he was seen as acting against British traditions established under the Magna Carta. After holding him prisoner for months, the colonials put him on a ship bound back to England



1775 – Paul Revere begins his ride from Charlestown to Lexington MA, warning American colonists that the British are coming

1813 – James McCune Smith born, African American physician, apothecary, and abolitionist who worked with Frederick Douglass, and author; first black American to hold a medical degree; graduated at the top in his class from the University of Glasgow; first African American to run a pharmacy in the U.S.; a practicing doctor for 20 years at New York’s Colored Orphan Asylum, elected as a member of the New York Statistics Society and the American Geographic Society,  but never admitted to the American Medical Association or local medical associations



1831 – The University of Alabama opens in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; eleven years after the General Assembly of Alabama authorized a “seminary of learning” and appointed a Board of Trustees

1857 – Clarence Darrow born, American defense lawyer and leading ACLU member



1858 – Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve born, Indian social reformer and advocate for women’s education, and uplifting the status of widows; awarded India’s highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, in 1958



1874 – Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić born, Croatian author; Croatian Tales of Long Ago 


1881 – Max Weber born in Poland, American Cubist painter and poet


Chinese Restaurant, by Max Weber


1882 – The St. Andrews Ambulance Association is formed, Scotland’s first and only ambulance service until the reorganization of the National Health Service in 1974

1882 – Leopold Stokowski born, English conductor, long-time music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra

1889 – Jessie Street born, Australian feminist, peace and human rights activist, initiator of the “Aboriginal” amendment of the Australian Constitution; She was Australia’s only woman delegate to the 1945 United Nations Conference on International Organization, where the United Nations Charter was drawn up, and worked with Eleanor Roosevelt and other women delegates to ensure that gender was included with race and religion as a non-discrimination clause in the UN Charter. The Jessie Street National Women’s Library is a unique specialist library dedicated to the preservation of Australian women’s work, words and history, established in 1989, it is named for this lifelong campaigner for women’s rights, the peace movement and the elimination of discrimination against Aboriginal people



1900 – Dame Bertha Isaacs born, Bahamian politician, women’s rights activist, teacher and tennis player; she worked as an elementary school teacher, then played tennis professionally in the 1930s; Isaacs was a founding member of the Women’s Branch of the Progressive Liberal Party in 1953, and worked on the campaign to get women the right to vote, which was finally won in 1962. In 1958, she was a founder of the Bahamas National Council of Women. In 1962, Isaacs was the second woman in the Bahamas to be appointed to the Senate



1901 – Al Lewis born, American songwriter/lyricist; “Blueberry Hill”

1906 – The San Francisco earthquake hits at 5:12 a.m., collapsing buildings and starting fires which destroy most of the city; over 3,000 people are killed

1907 – Miklós Rózsa born in Austria-Hungary, American composer and conductor; notable for his film scores, nominated 28 times and won 12 Academy Awards



1909 – Joan d’Arc is beatified by Pope Pius X at Notre Dame de Paris

1912 – The Cunard liner RMS Carpathia arrives in New York harbor, carrying 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic

1905 – Baroness Bertha von Suttner becomes the first woman to receive a Nobel Peace Prize and the second woman to receive a Nobel Prize



1914 – Claire Martin, pen name of French Canadian author Claire Montreuil; noted for her biography, in two volumes, Dans un gant de fer (In an Iron Glove), and La joue droite (The Right Cheek), which won the 1966 Governor General’s Award



1915 – Joy Davidman born, American author and poet; Smoke on the Mountain: An Interpretation of the Ten Commandments; her marriage to C.S. Lewis inspired the play and film Shadowlands



1919 – Esther Afua Ocloo born in British Togoland (now Ghana), Ghanaian entrepreneur and pioneer of microlending – giving very small loans to help women start their own businesses. She organized the first “Made in Ghana” goods exhibition in 1958, and was the first president of the Federation of Ghana Industries (1959-1961). In 1964, Ocloo was the first woman appointed as Executive Chair of the National Food and Nutrition Board of Ghana; served as adviser to the Council of Women and Development (1976-1986), on the Economic Advisory Committee of Ghana (1978-1979), and as a member of the Council of State (1979-1981) In 1975, she was an adviser to the First World Conference in Women in Mexico City. She was a founding member and first Chair of the Board of Directors of Women’s World Banking (1979-1985)



1923 – Beryl Platt born, Baroness Platt of Writtle, British aeronautical engineer and Conservative politician. During WWII, she worked for the Hawker Aircraft Company, one of only three women in the Experimental Flight Test Department on the testing and production of fighter planes: the Hurricane, the Typhoon and the Tempest V. After the war, she worked for British European Airways investigating air safety, such as charting procedures to ensure safe landings if an engine failed on take-off or over mountains. Her work helped establish standards of investigation and safety procedures. She left the industry when she married, but after her children began at school, she became a member of the parochial church council, then was nominated to fill a sudden vacancy on the Chelmsford Rural District Council in 1956, and was later appointed as Alderman of the Essex County Council (1969-1974). She was created a Life Peer and joined the House of Lords in 1981, and served as chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission in 1983,  spearheading a joint initiative with the Engineering Council to create Women into Science and Engineering (WISE), to encourage more girls and women entering science and engineering careers



1924 – Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown born, American blues and fusion musician; Grammy winner in 1983 for Best Traditional Blues Album



1925 – The International Amateur Radio Union founded in Paris, IARU is the sponsor of World Amateur Radio Day *

1942 – In the WWII Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe and Nagoya are bombed, the first U.S. air strike directly on Japan

1942 – Pierre Laval becomes Prime Minister of the Vichy government of France; after WWII he is tried and executed for treason

1944 – Frances D’Souza born, Baroness D’Souza of Wychwood, British scientist, life peer, and cross bencher. She worked for the Nuffield Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition (1973–1977), Oxford Polytechnic (1977–1980), and as an independent research consultant for the United Nations (1985-1988). She was the director of Article 19, a human rights organization (1989-2002). D’Souza was created a Lord Temporal in 2004, and 2was the Convenor of the Crossbench Peers (2007-2011), then was elected Lord Speaker of the House of Lords (2011-2016)



1945 – Ernie Pyle, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and war correspondent, is killed by WWII Japanese sniper fire on Okinawa – National Columnists’ Day * is founded in his honor on the date of his death by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, which organized in 1977



1946 – International Court of Justice holds its first meeting in The Hague, Netherlands

1947 – Kathy Acker born, American experimental novelist, playwright, poet, essayist and sex-positive feminist writer; listening to the stories of women whose lives were completely different from her own during her brief stint as a stripper in the mid-1970s had a profound impact her understanding of gender and power relationships and on her early work. She had several long-term relationships with men and was married twice, but was openly bisexual. In 1979, she won the Pushcart Prize for her short story “New York City in 1979.” She wrote some of her most critically acclaimed works while in living in England in the 1980s, then returned to the U.S. as a visiting professor at several universities and colleges. In 1996, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and lost her faith in conventional medicine after an unsuccessful surgery. In 1997, she died in a Tijuana Mexico alternative cancer treatment clinic



1949 – The Irish Republic is proclaimed

1954 – Gamal Abdel Nasser seizes power in Egypt

1955 – Twenty-nine nations meet at Bandung, Indonesia, for the first Asian-African Conference

1959 – Susan Faludi born, American journalist, author and feminist; noted for her 1991 book, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, which warned that women of every generation should not take gains for granted, because progress made will be followed by a negative counter-reaction. In her 1999 book, Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man, she argues that many American men, trying to live up to the expectations of masculinity, find themselves unemployed or underpaid, because of rapid shifts in business attitudes, causing mass layoffs, automation, and devaluation of skills which were previously in demand



1960 – Phambili Ka Ntloko born, South African human rights activist and organizer for AZAPO (Azanian People’s Organization); as a high school student, he was part of the South African Students’ Movement (SASM). In 1978, he was one of seven people sentenced to 5 years imprisonment on Robben Island for taking part in boycotts and burning of structures after Steve Biko’s death



1965 – American contralto Marian Anderson ends her 54-city farewell tour with a concert at Carnegie Hall – her first tour stop had been Constitution Hall, where the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1939 had refused to allow her to sing because of her race – she gave a concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial instead, attended by thousands, and heard by thousands more on a national radio broadcast



1972 – Rosa Clemente born, American community organizer, independent journalist, hip hop activist. In 2008, she was the Green Party running mate of the party’s Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney. Clemente is the founder and president of Know Thyself Productions, which produces community activism tours



1978 – The U.S. Senate approves the Panama Canal Treaty, providing for the complete turnover of control of the waterway to Panama on the last day of 1999

1980 – Rhodesia becomes the Republic of Zimbabwe

1982 – World Heritage Day * is launched at the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) symposium in Tunisia, and approved by UNESCO since 1983

1983 – A suicide bomber in Lebanon destroys the U. S. embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people, after the U.S. and other Western nations intervene in the Lebanese Civil War. Secretary of State George P. Schultz is not called before Congress to defend himself against any charges of culpability or wrongdoing

1984 – America Ferrera born in Los Angeles to Honduran parents, actress, producer and author; known for the television series Ugly Betty and her voice work on the How to Train Your Dragon animated film series; co-producer and co-star with Amy Dubanowski of the NBC series Superstore since 2015. Her book, American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures, was a bestseller. She has been a participant in the #MeToo campaign since 2017, is a founding member of the Time’s Up legal defense fund, and campaigned in 2016 for Hillary Clinton, and for Voto Latino, working to get out the Latino vote



1988 – The U.S. Navy launches Operation Praying Mantis against Iranian naval forces in the largest naval battle since World War II

1989 – Thousands of Chinese students take to the streets in Beijing to protest government policies, calling for greater democracy in the People’s Republic of China



1992 – General Abdul Rashid Dostum revolts against Democratic Republic of Afghanistan President Mohammad Najibullah, becoming allies with Ahmad Shah Massoud to capture Kabul

1996 – In Lebanon, at least 106 civilians are killed when the Israel Defense Forces shell the UN compound at Quana where more than 800 civilians had taken refuge

2007 – U.S. Supreme Court rules 5-4 to uphold a federal ban on the so-called “partial-birth abortion” – a misnomer invented by anti-abortionists – a term which was rejected by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

2011 – Standard & Poor’s lowers its long-term outlook for the U.S. government’s fiscal health from “stable” to “negative”

2013 – National (Electrical) Lineman Appreciation Day * is confirmed by a U.S. Senate resolution



2015 – Almost every examiner in the FBI’s hair analysis unit repeatedly overhyped evidence to aid prosecutors over a two-decade period ending in 2000, according to an ongoing review of cases conducted by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Innocence Project, in conjunction with the federal government. The review found that 26 of 28 forensic hair analysts overstated evidence in 95 percent of the 268 trials examined so far. The FBI and Justice Department acknowledged the errors, saying in a statement they were “committed to ensuring that affected defendants are notified of past errors and that justice is done in every instance.”

2016 – The first Piñata Day *

2018 – King Mswati III of Swaziland announces that the name of his country is changed to the Kingdom of Eswatini


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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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