ON THIS DAY: April 28, 2019

April 28th is

Biological Clock Day

Blueberry Pie Day

Great Poetry Reading Day

Workers’ Memorial Day *

National Brave Hearts Day *

Occupational Safety & Health Day


MORE! Na Hye-sok, Terry Prachett and Elena Kagan, click



Afghanistan – Victory Day

Barbados – National Heroes’ Day

Canada – National Day of Mourning
(Canadian Workers’ Memorial Day)

Japan – Restoration of Sovereignty Day

Gibraltar – Workers’ Memorial Day

Sardinia – Sardinia Day

Wallis and Futuna – Saint Pierre-Chanel Day
(French Catholic missionary)


On This Day in HISTORY

1192 – Hashshashin kill Conrad of Montferrat, aka Conrad I, King of Jerusalem, in Tyre, two days after his election; Hashshashin, a splinter group of Nizaris Ismails, a Persian sect which split from a branch of Shia Islam in the 11th century; English word is assassin

1253 – Nichiren, Japanese Buddhist monk, declares Nam u Myōhō Renge Kyō to be the essence of Buddhism; the foundation of Nichiren Buddhism

1402 – Nezahualcoyotl born, Mesoamerican tlatoani (ruler) of the city-state of Texcoco in pre-Columbian Mexico. He was also a philosopher, warrior, architect, and poet. His people were the Acolhua, not Mexica. They were Nahuans who settled in the eastern part of the Valley of Mexico, near Lake Texcoco. When Nezahualcoyotl  was 15, his father was assassinated during a war with the more powerful city of Azcapotzalco, of the Tepanec people, and when they won the war in 1422, he had to flee into exile.  He was able to get a partial education among Mexicas, so their culture and politics would influence him later in life. He joined a collation of several other city states to fight the Tepanecs, becoming one of the leaders of the huge combined army, which succeeded in defeating the Tepanecs and destroying the kingdom of Azcapotzalco. He regained his throne, but in addition, he was much respected for his military ideas, which contributed to the victory, so the city-states of Texcoco, Tenochtitlan and Tlacopan formed the Aztec Triple Alliance. He made Texcoco the intellectual and artistic center of the Alliance, creating a court that drew philosophers, artists, musicians, artisans and builders to his city. After the Spanish conquest, the Spanish followed the same route to build a new aqueduct over the remains of the massive Chapultepec aqueduct built during Nezahualcoyotl’s rule

Artist’s conception of Texcoco

1758 – James Monroe born, 5th U.S. President

1761 – Marie Harel born, French cheesemaker; legend says she invented Camembert cheese, but her real contribution was to begin innovations which enabled her grandson Cyrille to greatly increase cheese production

1764 – Marie-Joseph Chenier born, French poet, dramatist, politician and revolutionary

1788 – Maryland becomes the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution

1789 – Lieutenant William Bligh and 18 sailors are set adrift and the rebel crew returns to Tahiti briefly and then sets sail for Pitcairn Island

1838 – Tobias Asser born, Dutch jurist; 1911 Nobel Prize for Peace, for his role in The Hague treaties

1854 – Hertha Marks Ayrton born, British pioneering engineer, mathematician, physicist, inventor and advocate for woman suffrage; she patented an engineering drawing instrument called a line-divider, useful to artists and architects as well as engineers, the first of 26 patents she would register. In 1899, her paper on a solution to the flickering and hissing of arc lighting was the first one read by a woman at the Institution of Electrical Engineers, who afterwards made her their first woman member. In 1901, her petition to read one of her papers before the Royal Society was refused because of her sex, but her paper was allowed to be read by Fellow John Perry, who proposed her for a Fellowship, which the society refused on the grounds that married women were not allowed to become Fellows; but in 1904, she became the first woman to read her  paper at the Society; in 1906, the Royal Society awarded the Hughes Medal to Ayrton for her work on electric arcs, and ripples in sand and water, another first. As of 2015, only one other woman, Michele Dougherty in 2008, has been awarded the Hughes Medal

1868 – Lucy Booth born, English composer and Salvation Army territorial co-commander with her husband in India, and after his death, a commander in Denmark, Norway and South America; noted for the Salvation Army song Keep On Believing

1886 – Erich Salomon born, German photographer; a pioneer of photojournalism

1896 – Na Hye-sok born, pioneering Korean feminist, author, poet, journalist and first professional woman painter in Korea, who used the pseudonym Jeongwol; her short story, Kyonghul (1918), about a woman’s self-discovery, is considered the first feminist work in Korean literature. After her husband divorced her for infidelity while they were living in Paris, her reputation was ruined when she published A Divorce Confession, which challenged male dominance and repression of women’s sexuality in Korean society. Unable to sell her writing or her paintings, she spent her last years living on the charity of Buddhist monasteries. Her paintings are now highly regarded and sell for thousands of dollars, but it is difficult to authenticate her later work, and a number of fakes have appeared on the market

1900 – Alice Berry born, Australian activist for the welfare of women and children. She was an active member of the Country Women’s Association of Australia (CWAA), which was founded in 1922, to “improve conditions for women and children and make life better for families, especially those living in rural and remote Australia.”  Berry also did work for the international organization, the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW).  She was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1960 for “services to country women”

1900 – Jan Oort born, Dutch astronomer; noted for his contributions to understanding  the Milky Way, and as a pioneer in radio astronomy. He postulated the existence of dark matter in 1932, and theorized that the Solar System is surrounded by a massive cloud consisting of billions of comets, many of them “long-period” comets that originate in a cloud far beyond the orbits of Neptune and Pluto, now known as the Oort Cloud 

1902 – Johan Borgen born, Norwegian author, dramatist, and essayist

1906 – Bart Jan Bok born in Holland, American astronomer; expert on the Milky Way

1906 – Kurt Godel born in Austria, American mathematician and logician

1910 – Frenchman Louis Paulhan wins the 1910 London-to-Manchester Air Race, the first long-distance aeroplane race in England

1911 – Lee Falk born, American creator of the comic strips The Phantom (1936 to present) and Mandrake the Magician (1934-2013); he was also a playwright, and theatrical producer-director

1912 – Odette Sansom born, French Allied intelligence officer during WWII. She married an Englishman in 1931, and moved to England. They had three daughters. In 1942, the British Admiralty appealed for postcards or family photographs taken on the French coastline for possible war use. Hearing the radio broadcast, she wrote that she had photographs taken around Boulogne, but she mistakenly sent her letter to the War Office instead of the Admiralty. That brought her to the attention of Colonel Maurice Buckmaster’s  Special Operations Executive. As a cover for her secret work, Sansom was enrolled in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY), which supplied SOE with support personnel. She left her daughters in a convent school, and was trained to be sent into Nazi-occupied France to work with the French Resistance. A bad fall during training ruled out a parachute entry into France, so she made a landing on a beach near Cassis at night in November, 1942, and made contact with Captain Peter Churchill, head of  SPINDLE, the SOE network in Cannes. Her code name was “Lise.” The timing was poor; a list of potential resistance supporters had fallen into German hands, then Churchill’s operation was infiltrated by a German counterintelligence officer pretending to be one of the people on the list. He arrested Sansom and Churchill in April 1943, and they were sent to Fresnes Prison. There, she was interrogated by the Gestapo 14 times, and subjected to torture. She stuck to her fabricated story that Peter Churchill was Winston Churchill’s nephew, she was his wife, and he knew nothing of her activities.  She hoped this would keep them both alive as bargaining tools. Sansom did succeed in protecting Churchill, who was only interrogated twice, and she also protected the identities of two officers whose location was known only to her. She was condemned to death in 1943, and sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp. She barely survived there, but when the Allies came to a few miles of Ravensbrück, the camp commandant took her with him, and drove to an American base to surrender. He hoped to use her supposed connection to the Churchills to negotiate his way out of execution. She testified at the 1946 Hamburg Ravensbrück Trials against the prison guards. The commandant was executed in 1950. She and her husband divorced in 1946, and she married Peter Churchill in 1947. But their marriage didn’t last. They divorced in 1956, and she married Geoffrey Hallowes, another former SOE officer, and they were married until her death in 1995

1916 – Ferruccio Lamborghini born, Italian car manufacturer

1918 – Mildred Persinger born, American international activist for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and a women’s rights supporter. She served as a public member of the U.S. Presidential Commission on the Status of Women, and on the ACLU Committee Against Discrimination. Persinger chaired the U.S. Conference of NGOs (1969-1972), and was the U.S. World YWCA observer at the UN (1968-2018). She also headed the planning and management of the first NGO Forum in Mexico City in 1975. She lived to age 100

1920 – Azerbaijan becomes part of the Soviet Union

1926 – Harper Lee born, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom

1932 – Brownie Ledbetter born, became politically active in 1957, during Little Rock Integration Crisis, joined Women’s Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools (WEC), then Little Rock Panel of American Women, which organized discussion groups and developed programs to help students and train teachers. National Women’s Political Caucus (Political Action Chair 1973), worked for E.R.A., co-founder with Bella Abzug of Women’s Environment and Development Organization

1940 – Glenn Miller and his orchestra record “Pennsylvania 6-5000”

1945 – Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, are captured and executed by Italian partisans when they attempt to flee to Switzerland

1947 – A six-man expedition ser sail from Peru aboard a balsa wood raft named the Kon-Tiki on a 101-day journey across the Pacific Ocean to Polynesia

1948 – Terry Prachett born, bestselling English author of comic fantasy novels, best known for his Discworld series; World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2010

1952 – The Treaty of San Francisco comes into effect, restoring Japanese sovereignty and ending its state of war with most of the Allies of World War II                                                     

1952 – The Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty (Treaty of Taipei) is signed in Taipei, Taiwan  between Japan and the Republic of China; formally ends the Second Sino-Japanese War

1960 – Elena Kagan born, American judge, attorney and fourth woman Supreme Court Justice (since 2010); first woman U.S. Solicitor General (2009-2010); first woman Dean of Harvard Law School (2003-2009); Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy (1997-2000)

1967 – Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali refuses to be inducted into the Army, citing religious reasons – he is a convert to the Islamic faith – “I ain’t got no quarrel with those Vietcong.” – he is stripped of his title, banned from boxing for 3 years, convicted of draft evasion, fined and sentenced to 5 years in prison, but appeals and his sentence is later overturned by the U.S Supreme Court

1971 – Workers’ Memorial Day * sponsored by the AFL-CIO, honors union workers who died in accidents or from work-related illnesses, and all those who fought for safer working conditions, on the day that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) opens its doors; OSHA was a provision of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, passed in 1970

1973 – The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, recorded in Abbey Road Studios, goes to number one on the US charts, beginning a record-breaking 741-week chart run

1980 – Secretary of State Cyrus Vance resigned over his opposition to the failed rescue mission aimed at freeing American hostages in Iran

1990 – The musical “A Chorus Line” closes after 6,137 performances on Broadway

1993 – First Take Our Daughters to Work Day, sponsored by the Ms. Foundation; it became Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day * in 2003

1994 – Former CIA official Aldrich Ames, who betrayed U.S. secrets to the Soviet Union and then Russia, pleads guilty to espionage and tax evasion and is sentenced to life in prison without parole

1996 – President Bill Clinton gives over 4 hours of videotaped testimony as a defense witness in the criminal trial of his former Whitewater business partners

2001 – A Russian rocket lifted off from Central Asia bearing the first space tourist, California businessman Dennis Tito

2004 – The first photos of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal were shown on CBS’ 60 Minutes II

2007 – National Brave Hearts Day * – on this day, Jeremy and Amy Jacobs were told their 13-month-old daughter Ava had a massive brain tumor; by chance, Jeremy overheard someone talking about a new treatment, Proton Therapy, which saved their daughter’s life; the Jacobs created BraveHearts for Kids to give information and support to families with a child suffering from pediatric cancer

2009 – U.S. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party

2015 – In the U.S., the National Football League announces it is giving up its tax-exempt status


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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