ON THIS DAY: April 23, 2019

April 23rd is

UN English Language Day *

Lost Dog Awareness Day *

Talk Like Shakespeare Day *

World Book and Copyright Day *

Impossible Astronaut Day (Dr. Who) *


MORE! William Shakespeare, Unity Dow and John Oliver, click



 Christianity/Vatican City – Feast of Saint George

England – St. George’s Day
(Patron Saint)

India – Manipur: Khongjom Day
(Patriots Day/Battle of Khongjom)

New Zealand – Southland:
Provincial Anniversary Day

North Cyprus – Children’s Day

Spain – Castile and León: Community Day

Turkey – National Sovereignty/Children’s Day


On This Day in HISTORY

599 – Maya king Uneh Chan of Calakmul attacks rival city-state Palenque in southern Mexico, defeating queen Yohl Ik’nal and sacking the city

Yohl Ik’nal and Palenque

1014 – Battle of Clontarf: The forces of High King of Ireland Brian Boru defeat Vikings led by Sigtrygg Silkbeard, but Brian Boru is killed in the battle

1348 – The founding of the Order of the Garter by King Edward III is announced on St. George’s Day

1564 – William Shakespeare born, English playwright and poet, the ‘Bard of Avon,’ considered the greatest writer in the English language, and world’s greatest dramatist

1635 – The first public school in the U.S., Boston Latin School, is founded in Boston MA

1772 – Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle writes “La Marseillaise” which becomes the French national anthem

1775 – J.M.W. Turner born, English master landscape painter

A landscape of the Jurassic coastline looking towards Lyme Regis
– by J.M.W. Turner

1789 – President-elect George Washington and his wife move into the first executive mansion, the Franklin House in New York City

1794 – Wei Yuan born, Chinese scholar and civil servant; author of A Military History of the Holy Dynasty, and an Illustrated Treatise on the Maritime Kingdoms

1813 – Stephen A. Douglas born, American Democratic politician; U.S. Senator from Illinois (1847-1861); U.S. Congressman (1843-1847); noted for running against Abraham Lincoln in 1860

1852 – Edwin Markham born, American poet and lecturer

1858 – Pandita Ramabai Sarasvati born, Indian social reformer and pioneer in women’s emancipation and education. First woman accorded the titles of Pandita as a Sanskrit scholar and Sarasvati after being examined by the faculty of the University of Calcutta. Founder of the Arya Mahila Samaj (Arya Woman’s Society) to promote women’s education and to bring an end to child marriage. She gave evidence in 1882 before Lord Ripon’s Education Commission: “In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred the educated men of this country are opposed to female education and the proper position of women. If they observe the slightest fault, they magnify the grain of mustard-seed into a mountain, and try to ruin the character of a woman.” She suggested that women be trained as teachers and school inspectors, and further, that women be admitted to medical colleges, since Indian women could not be treated by male doctors. Her evidence caused a sensation, and was one of the inspirations of the Women’s Medical Movement started by Lord Dufferin.  Ramabai went to Britain in 1883 to start medical training. During her stay she converted to Christianity. From Britain she traveled to the United States in 1886 to attend the graduation of the first female Indian doctor,  Anandibai Joshi, staying for two years. During this time she also translated textbooks and gave lectures throughout the United States and Canada. She also published one of her most important books, The High-Caste Hindu Woman, the first book that she wrote in English

1867 –  Johannes Fibiger born, Danish Nobel Prize-winning pathologist

1858 –Dame Ethel Smyth born, British composer, women’s suffrage activist, composed Women’s Social and Political Union’s anthem “The March of the Women”

1858 – Max Planck born, German theoretical physicist; quantum theory; 1918 Nobel Prize for Physics

1861 – Viscount Edmund Allenby born, British officer in the Second Boer War and WWI; after his successful campaign to take Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire, he was made a Field Marshall and appointed as Special High Commissioner of Egypt

1872 – Violet Gordon-Woodhouse born, British pianist and harpsichordist, first to record and broadcast harpsichord music for 20th century audiences

1879 – Fire burns down the second main building and dome of the University of Notre Dame; it is replaced with the third, and current, Main Building with its golden dome.

1880 – Michel Fokine born, Russian ballet dancer and choreographer

1891 – Sergei Prokofiev born, Russian composer and conductor

1896 – Dame Ngaio Marsh born, New Zealand author and director; mystery novels featuring detective Roderick Alleyn, one of the “Queens of Crime”

1899 – Vladimir Nabokov born in Russia, American novelist and critic

1908 – President Theodore Roosevelt signs act creating the U.S. Army Reserve

1916 – Sinah Estelle Kelley born, African-American chemist who worked on the mass production of penicillin for the U.S. Department of Agriculture after WWII. Her name was listed with her colleagues as co-author on several scientific papers during this time, even though she did not hold an advanced degree. In 1958, she moved to New York, where she worked on the effects of strontium 90 at an Atomic Energy Commission Laboratory until her retirement in late 1970s

Unconfirmed snapshot of Kelley – no other photo found

1924 – The U.S. Senate passed the Soldiers Bonus Bill, a $4 Billion program giving “adjusted service certificates” to WWI veterans

1928 – Shirley Temple born, American child star who later served as U.S. Ambassador to Ghana (1974-1977) and Czechoslovakia (1989-1992); U.S. Chief of Protocol (1976-1977)

1933 – Annie Easley born, African-American computer scientist, mathematician, and engineer who worked for both the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics  (NACA) and NASA; a leading member of the team which developed software for the Centaur rocket stage, and one of the first African-American computer scientists to work for NASA

1937 – Victoria Glendinning born, British biographer, critic, novelist and broadcaster; winner of the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Biography Prize for Edith Sitwell: Unicorn Among Lions

1947 – Bernadette Devlin born, Irish civil rights leader and Irish Republican Socialist politician; Member of Parliament for Mid Ulster (1969-1974); she was one of the founders in 1997 of STEP (South Tyrone Empowerment Programme), and serves as its chief executive. STEP provides services and advocacy for community development, and community-based enterprise

1950 – Barbara McIlvaine Smith born, enrolled member of the Sac and Fox Nation, and Democratic politician; Member of the Pennsylvania House pf Representatives from the 156th district (2007-2010); Member of the West Chester Borough Council from the 5th Ward (2002-2006)

1955 – Canadian Labour Congress is formed by the merger of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada and the Canadian Congress of Labour

1959 – Unity Dow born, Botswana judge, lawyer, human rights activist, writer and government minister; Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation since 2018; Member of Parliament since 2014; Botswana’s first woman High Court judge; she is the author of five novels, including Saturday is for Funerals, describing the AIDS problem in Africa. Since 2005, she has been a member of the UN mission to Sierra Leone to review the application of international women’s human rights norms. In December 2006, she was one of three judges ruling on the Kgalagadi (San, Bushmen or Basarwa) court decision, concerning the rights of the San to return to their ancestral lands

1965 – Leni Robredo born Filipina lawyer, social activist and Liberal politician; elected in 2016 as Vice President of the Philippines (the President and Vice President are elected separately; she and President Rodrigo Duterte have frequent clashes, and he has banned her from Cabinet meetings); Chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (2016); Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Camarines Sur’s 3rd District (2013-2016)

1967 – Soviet Soyuz 1, a manned spaceflight carrying cosmonaut Colonel Vladimir Komarov, is launched into orbit

1968 – 300 Columbia students barricaded the office of the college dean, charging the university with supporting the Vietnam War and violating Harlem residents’ civil rights

1976 – The Rolling Stones release their album Black and Blue

1977 – John Oliver born, English comedian, political and social commentator, television host and producer

1984 – Alexandra Kosteniuk born, Russian chess grandmaster; Women’s World Chess Champion (2008-2010)

1993 – Eritreans vote overwhelmingly for independence from Ethiopia in a United Nations-monitored referendum

1995 – World Book and Copyright Day * is launched by UNESCO

2009 – Talk Like Shakespeare Day * is started by the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and proclaimed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn – Huzzah! (We already talk a lot like Shakespeare. Just watch this video!) 

2010 – UNESCO sets the traditional date of Shakespeare’s birth, as well as the day of his death, as UN English Language Day * – part of the celebration of the six official working languages of the United Nations

2011 – “The Impossible Astronaut” is the first episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, first broadcast on 23 April 2011 in the UK, Canada and the U.S.

2014 – The first Lost Dog Awareness Day * is launched by Lost Dogs of America, a volunteer organization which helps reunite families with their missing dogs


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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2 Responses to ON THIS DAY: April 23, 2019

  1. Malisha says:

    My favorite Shakespearism is “doth protest too much.”
    Second best is “though ’tis madness yet there is method in’t.”
    And I may have them a bit misquoted.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” is from Hamlet – spoken by Gertrude. It is almost always misquoted, because “methinks” at the end of the phrase seems very awkward for modern English speakers.

      “Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.” is also from Hamlet, spoken by Polonius

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