ON THIS DAY: May 13, 2019

May 13th is

Apple Pie Day

Fruit Cocktail Day

Frog Jumping Day *

Hummus Day

Children of Fallen Patriots Day

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May 13 to 19 is National Public Gardens Week in the U.S.

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MORE! Inge Lehmann, Bruce Chatwin and  Sharon Belton, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Bulgaria – Sofia: Webit Festival Europe

Cambodia – King Norodom Sihamoni
(King’s birthday celebration)

Fiji – Rotuma Island: Rotuma Day

Germany – Göhlen: Psychedelic Circus

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On This Day in HISTORY

609 – Pope Boniface I consecrates the Pantheon in Rome as St. Mary and the Martyrs Church, the first known conversion of a pagan temple in Rome into a church



1373 – English anchoress Julian of Norwich has visions which are later transcribed in her Revelations of Divine Love (circa 1395), the first book in English known to be written by a woman



1568 – Battle of Langside: the army of James Stewart, Earl of Moray and Regent for his infant nephew James VI, wins a decisive victory over the supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots. She flees to Dundrennan Abbey, where she spends her final night in Scotland before crossing the Scottish border at Solway Firth into England. She moved on to Carlisle Castle, where she was put under armed guard. As a Catholic with a claim to the English throne, she became the focus for several attempts at launching a Catholic rebellion against protestant Queen Elizabeth I of England, and Elizabeth’s advisors feared that she could be used as an excuse for a French or Spanish invasion to put Mary on Elizabeth’s throne. Mary remained a prisoner, moved from castle to manor to castle under house arrest, until her 1587 execution for her alleged involvement in a Catholic plot to assassinate Elizabeth

Romanticized Georgian painting: Mary, Queen of Scots, escaping from Lochleven Castle
by William Craig Shirreff (1805)


1637 (traditional) – Cardinal Richelieu is credited with inventing the table knife, with a rounded end, to prevent guests from picking their teeth with a knife point; in 1669, French King Louis XIV banned pointed knives in the street and at his table, hoping to curb violence



1639 – Construction under the aegis of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan of Lal Qila, the Red Fort, begins at Delhi; it will take almost 9 years to complete



1717 – Maria Theresa born, only woman to rule over the Habsburg dominions, and the last of the House of Habsburg. Her father, Emperor Charles VI, paved the way for her succession with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1723, bypassing the prevailing Salic law, which precluded female inheritance.  Her ascension to the throne after her father’s death in 1740, caused an immediate invasion by Frederick II of Prussia, who took the affluent Habsburg province of Silesia, but Maria Theresa managed to secure the support of the Hungarians and held him off. Meanwhile, Saxony, Prussia, Bavaria, and France all repudiated their recognition of the Pragmatic Sanction which they had agreed to during her father’s lifetime, and the War of the Austrian Succession began. She was crowned Holy Roman Empress in 1745, and reigned until her death in 1780. She and her husband, Francis I, had eleven daughters and five sons, and but only ten of them survived to adulthood


Empress Maria Theresa – by van Meytens (1759)

1767 – Mozart’s opera Apollo et Hyacinthus premieres in Salzburg

1777 – The University Library of Vienna is re-opened after being closed since 1756, available for the first time to the general public

1830 – Ecuador gains its independence from Gran Columbia, a state that briefly unified Columbia, Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador 

1842 – Sir Arthur Sullivan born, English composer, partnered with W.S. Gilbert on 14 light operas, including The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado



1847 – Linda Gilbert, American prison reformer; her family home was opposite the Cook County jail in Chicago – when she was 11, she gave some books to a prisoner at the jail; she spent most of an inheritance on philanthropy; incorporated the Gilbert Library and Prisoners’ Aid Society, and succeeded in placing libraries in 22 prisons in six states, and procured employment for 6,000 ex-convicts



1850 – Ellen Spencer Mussey born, American lawyer, educator and women’s rights advocate, she and Emma Gillett started the Women’s Law Class, which grew in two years to be the Washington College of Law, the first law school founded by women



1857 – Sir Ronald Ross born in India, British physician who discovered the malaria mosquito; he joined the Indian medical service in 1881, and began his study of malaria in 1892.  Ross discovered the transmission of malaria in humans through the Anopheles mosquito in 1897, and was honored with the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1902



1859 – Kate Marsden born, British missionary, explorer, writer and nurse; she became a nurse at 16, and later was matron as Wellington Hospital. She went with other nurses to Bulgaria in 1877 to nurse Russian soldiers during Russia’s war with Turkey, and was given an award by Empress Maria Fedorovna for her devotion to her patients. It was here that she first encountered lepers. She and her mother traveled to New Zealand when her sister became ill, but arrived just days before she died. She set up a St. John’s Ambulance group and gave ambulance lectures while she was there. Wanting to treat leprosy, she obtained help from Queen Victoria and the Russian Royal family, and traveled to Egypt, Palestine, Cyprus and Turkey. In Constantinople (now Istanbul), she met a British doctor who told her about the curative properties of an herb found in Siberia. She next went to Moscow, where she obtained a letter of introduction from the Tsarina, and began an 11,000-mile round trip from Moscow to Siberia seeking the herb, with her assistant and translator, Ada Field.  They found the herb, but it was not the cure for leprosy she had hoped. She did set up a leper treatment centre in Siberia. When she returned to England, she faced derision, disbelief in her journey, questions about her finances, and accusations of “immoral behavior” with other women. Marsden was one of the founders of the Bexhill Museum, but was forced to resign before the museum opened in 1914 because the Mayor of Bexhill contacted the museum’s committee and revealed the controversies about her. She died in 1931, after suffering from dropsy and ‘senile decay’



1861 – Queen Victoria announces British neutrality in the American Civil War

1861 – Farmer and amateur observer John Tebbutt of Windsor, New South Wales, in Australia, is the first to report sighting the Great Comet of 1861 (C/1861 J1)

1865 – Private John Jefferson Williams of B Company, 34th Regiment Indiana Infantry is last man killed in the Civil War, at the Battle of Palmito Ranch, near Brownsville TX

1876 – The Amersfoort-Zutphen railway line opens between Amsterdam and Zutphen

1882 – Georges Braque born, French Cubist painter


Landscape at L’Estaque Merzbacher0 – Georges Braque

1884 – Institute for Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) forms in New York

1887 – Lorna Hodgkinson born, Australian educational phychologist who worked with intellectually disabled children; first woman to receive a Doctor of Education degree from Harvard University – her thesis was entitled A State Program for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Atypical Children in Public School Systems; she was appointed as the first Superintendent of the Education of Mental Defectives for the New South Wales Department of Education, but her testimony before the Royal Commission on Lunancy Law and Administration that the care for intellectually disabled children was mismanaged sparked public protests and a ministerial inquiry, which accused her of falsifying her educational record to gain admission to Harvard  which resulted in her suspension for “disgraceful and improper conduct in making false statements and pretences (sic), and was demoted, but refused to take the new position and was dismissed. The dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education wrote a statement confirming her abilities and achievements. She founded the Sunshine Institute in 1924, a residential school for intellectually disabled children in Sydney, and ran the school until her death in 1951, and gave lectures on mental hygiene on the radio


Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Home


1888 – The Lei Áurea (golden law), abolishing all slavery in Brazil, is signed by Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil (1846–1921), an opponent of slavery, acting as regent to Emperor Dom Pedro II; previous laws had freed all children born to slave parents; and all slaves who reached the age of 60

1888 – Inge Lehmann born, Danish seismologist and geophysicist; discovered the Earth’s inner core, and studied the Earth’s mantle. She studied mathematics at the University of Copenhagen and University of Cambridge. In 1925, she became an assistant to the geodesist Niels Erik Nørlund, who assigned her the task of setting up seismological observatories in Denmark and Greenland. In 1936, after analysing the seismic wave measurements, Lehmann concluded that Earth must have a solid inner core and a molten outer core to produce seismic waves that matched the measurements.  Before that, seismologists believed Earth’s core was a single molten sphere, and could not explain why careful measurements of seismic waves from earthquakes were inconsistent with this theory. Other seismologists tested and then accepted her explanation.  She headed the Seismological Department of the Royal Danish Geodetic Institute (1928-1953). Lehmann was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1969, was the first woman to win the William Bowie Medal in 1971, and was honored with the Medal of the Seismological Society of America in 1977. She lived over 104 years



1907 – Daphne du Maurier, British novelist, short-story writer and playwright; RebeccaJamaica Inn



1912 – The Royal Flying Corps forms in Great Britain

1913 – Maiden flight of S-21 Russky Vityaz,  the first four-engine aircraft, built by Igor Sikorsky of Russia



1914 – Antonia Ferrín Moreiras born in Galacia, an autonomous community in Spain; mathematician, professor and the first Galacian woman astronomer; worked on stellar occulations by the moon, measurements, including those of double stars; in 1963, she was the first Spanish woman to defend an astronomy thesis,  Observaciones de pasos por dos verticales (Observations of passages of stars through two verticals)



1918 – The first U.S. Air Mail stamps are issued

1918 – Balasaraswati born, celebrated Indian dancer in the classical South Indian dance form Bharatanatyam



1923 – Ruth Adler Schnee born in Germany; she fled with her Jewish family from Germany in 1938; American textile and interior designer, a pioneer in modern abstract textile design



1938 – Louis Armstrong and his orchestra record “When the Saints Go Marching In”

1938 – Francine Pascal born, American young adult author, noted for the Sweet Valley series and The Ruling Class

1940 – Winston Churchill makes his first speech to the House of Commons as British Prime Minister: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat”



1940 – Bruce Chatwin born, British travel writer and novelist; In Patagonia, The Songlines, and Utz



1941 – Richie Valens born, American singer-songwriter, pioneer of Chicano rock



1942 – The Sikorsky R-4 two-seat helicopter makes its first cross-country flight



1944 – Armistead Maupin born, American author and screenwriter; Tales of the City

1948 – Sheila Jeffreys born in England, Australian professor of political science at the University of Melbourne until her retirement in 2015; radical lesbian feminist and author;  The Spinster and Her Enemies, Anticlimax: A Feminist Perspective on the Sexual Revolution and The Industrial Vagina: The Political Economy of the Global Sex Trade



1950 – Premiere production of Lukas Foss’ mini-opera, The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, based on Mark Twain’s short story, is in the final week of rehearsals – the only connection I could find between the short-story which inspired somebody to start , Frog Jumping Day * and the date of May 13. The opera actually opened on May 18



1950 – Stevie Wonder born, American singer-songwriter, record producer

1951 – Sharon Sayles Belton born, African American community leader,  Democratic politician, civil rights and anti-violence against women activist; senior fellow at the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice (2001-2006); first African American and first woman to be elected as Mayor of Minneapolis (1994-2001); Minneapolis City Council President (1990-1993), and City Council Member (1983-1993); co-founder in 1978 of the Harriet Tubman Shelter for Battered Women, and a founding member of the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault



1951 – The first Armed Forces Day Crossband Military/Amateur Radio Communications Test * to test two-way communication between radio amateurs and military stations

1951 – Rosie Boycott born, British journalist and feminist; co-founder of the feminist magazine Spare Rib; one of the directors of Virago Press; presenter for the BBC Radio 4 programme A Good Read



1952 – Pandit Nehru becomes premier of India

1952 – Londa Schiebinger born, American academic; John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science at Stanford University; international authority on the theory, practice and history of gender in science; currently Director of the Gendered Innovations in Science Medicine, Engineering and Environment Project; member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Has Feminism Changed Science?



1953 – Ruth A. David born, American electrical engineer; while working at the CIA, she reorganized the agency’s intelligence technology system, and designed a proposal to procure technology at the stage of development from the private sector; awarded the National Security Agency Distinguished Service Medal



1954 – The musical Pajama Game opens on Broadway

1958 – The trademark ‘Velcro’ is registered

 1966 – US Federal education funding is denied to 12 school districts in the South because of violations of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

1970 – The Beatles movie Let it Be premieres

1981 – Luciana Berger born, British politician; Change UK Spokesperson for Home Affairs, Health, Digital and Culture since 2019; Member of Parliament for Liverpool Wavertree since 2010; originally a member of the Labour Party, she resigned to help form the Independent Group in 2019, after being extremely critical of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for his handling of an antisemitism scandal, which led to her receiving death threats while she was pregnant, and the party’s stance on Brexit, which she views as a disaster for her constituents and the country as a whole



1986 – Lena Dunham born, American writer, actress, and producer-director; best known for creating, writing and starring in the HBO series Girls. She also directed several episodes. In 2012, she was the first woman to win a Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing–Comedy Series



1987 – In solidarity with the anti-apartheid movement, the Smithsonian Institution in the U.S., the world’s largest museum and research complex, announces it will sell all its holdings in U.S. firms with ties to South Africa, worth an estimated $27 million USD

1995 – Alison Hargreaves becomes the first woman to reach the summit of Everest without oxygen or the help of sherpas

1996 – Thousands of Liberian refugees, fleeing from the bloody civil war in Liberia, many ill after a week at sea, are refused admission to the Ghanaian port of Takoradi. On May 14, Ghana relents and is joined by Sierra Leone in allowing the refuges to come ashore. About 3,000 refugees are accepted by Ghana, and an additional 1,000 are admitted by Sierra Leone

1998 – Race riots break out in Jakarta, Indonesia, where shops owned by Indonesians of Chinese descent are looted and women raped

2003 – The U.S. government unveils the colorized $20 bill, to thwart counterfeiters

2004 – The final episode of the TV series Frasier is watched by 33 million people

2015 – Steven Tyler’s single “Love is Your Name” is released to all digital platforms

2017 – The ransomware cyberattack using tools developed by the NSA (the U.S. National Security Agency) continues to infect thousands of computers in over 100 countries. The attack takes over a computer system and requires the owner to pay a ransom to regain control. Most of the attack targets are located in Russia, Ukraine, and Taiwan, but large systems have been taken down in Europe, too, including FedEx, Germany’s national railways, and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. The EU’s police agency Europol is responding, but the perpetrator of the attacks has not been discovered

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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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2 Responses to ON THIS DAY: May 13, 2019

  1. Malisha says:

    When I looked at the photograph of Rosie Boycott, it strongly reminded me of photographs I have seen of Anne Frank. Is it just me, or do you also see a resemblance?

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Hi Malisha –

      I added their pictures side by side at the end of the today’s post – see above –
      It’s their smiles.

Comments are closed.