ON THIS DAY: June 13, 2019

June 13th is

International Albinism Awareness Day *

Cupcake Lover’s Day

Random Acts of Light Day *

Kitchen Klutzes of America Day

Sewing Machine Day

Weed Your Garden Day


MORE! Ibn Battuta, Karin Swanström and Reginald September, click



France – Cognac: The Cognac Festival

Hungary – Inventors’ Day

Portugal – Lisbon: Santo António
(patron saint) Sardine Festival (2nd Day)

Netherlands – Amsterdam: Holland
Festival at Stedelijk Museum (though July 2)

Spain – Ceuta: Día de San Antonio Fiesta

South Africa – Cape Town: Encounters SA
International Documentary Fest (through June 16)

United Kingdom – Newport:
Isle of Wight Festival (through June 17)


On This Day in HISTORY

313 – The Edict of Milan, signed by Constantine the Great and co-Emperor Valerius Licinius granting religious freedom through the Roman Empire, is posted in Nicomedia

1325 – Ibn Battuta sets off from his home in Tangiers on a hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca, a journey that would ordinarily take sixteen months. He will not see Morocco again for twenty-four years

1374 – John of Gaunt awards author Geoffrey Chaucer an annual pension of £10

1381 – During the English Peasants’ Revolt, sparked by a poll tax of 12 pence from every adult and a growing demand for an end to serfdom, rebels led by Wat Tyler on a march from Canterbury arrive at London Bridge and pass over it into the capital. They begin attacking civil targets: destroying legal records, opening prisons, sacking homes, and killing individuals they think are associated with the royal government. Their rebellion will end two days later when Wat Tyler is killed

1514 – Henry Grace à Dieu is dedicated; at over 1,000 tons it’s the largest warship in the world at the time. It was built at the new Woolwich Dockyard in England


1525 – Martin Luther marries Katharina von Bora, against the celibacy rule decreed by the Roman Catholic Church for priests and nuns

1740 – The War of Jenkin’s Ear: forces led by Georgia provincial governor James Oglethorpe begin an unsuccessful siege of  St. Augustine

1752 – Fanny Burney born, became Madame d’Arblay, English author of journals, diaries, and novels; Evelina is a landmark in development of the novel of manners;  she wrote first person account of undergoing a mastectomy without anesthesia

1774 – Rhode Island becomes the first of Britain’s North American colonies to ban the importation of slaves

1777 – The Marquis de Lafayette, aged 19, lands near Charleston SC, to offer his services to the Americans in the Revolutionary War

1789 – Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, wife of Alexander Hamilton, serves ice cream at a dinner party to General George Washington

1790 – Sewing Machine Day * – Thomas Saint, cabinet-maker and inventor, receives the first patent for the design of a sewing machine, but never produces one. In 1874, William Newton Wilson finds Saint’s drawings in the London Patent Office, and builds a model

1805 – During the Lewis and Clark Expedition, a scouting party led by Meriwether Lewis sights the Great Falls of the Missouri River

Lewis & Clark – Great Falls of the Missouri – DeVoto (1997)

1808 – The Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden is founded in Brazil by King John VI of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves

1825 – Walter Hunt patents the safety pin, but sells the rights for $400

1840 – Augusta Lundin born, the first international Swedish fashion designer, who introduced Parisian clothing construction methods to Sweden. In 1886, she was commissioned by the Reformed Dress Society to design a more healthful form of dress for women. Lundin designed a loose dress without a corset of bustle. She employed only women until 1910, and instituted a 12-hour work shift, with a two-week summer vacation, the first Swedish employer to do so

Augusta Lundin Fashion House Workroom 1900

1859 – Christine Terhune Herrick born, American author and journalist; published many books on cooking and household management; noted contributor to Harper’s Bazaar

1865 – W. B. Yeats, Irish poet and playwright, major figure in the Irish Literary Revival and the founding of the Abbey Theatre, 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature

1866 – The U.S. House agrees to the changes made by the Senate in the proposed 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and a joint resolution on June 18th requests that the President transmit the proposal to the states for ratification. The amendment grants citizenship and protection of civil liberties to recently freed male slaves

1872 – Chrystal MacMillan born, Scottish women’s rights activist, pacifist and one of the first British women called to the Bar, in 1924; member of the Scottish Federation of Women’s Suffrage Societies, campaigning for women’s suffrage, and organizer and delegate to the pro-peace 1914 Women’s Congress in The Hague, and a delegate to the International Congress of Women in Zürich in 1919, which issued a strong condemnation of the harsh terms imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. She was also the second woman member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society. In her will, she left bequests for the Open Door International for the Economic Emancipation of the Woman Worker, and to the Association for Moral and Social Hygiene

1873 – Karin Swanström born, Swedish actress, theatre company founder, silent film producer and director.  She founded and ran the Karin Swanström Theater Company (1904-1921), then began acting in silent films. In 1923, she became head of production at Bonnierfilm, and directed her first film, for AB Svensk Filmindustri.  She starred in several silent films, and directed three more films between 1923 and 1926, then returned to the stage (1926-1931), but still appeared in silent films. 1934 to 1941, she again worked for AB Svensk Filmindustri, this time as producer, artistic adviser, and then as production manager and co-head of production with her husband, Stellan Claësson. In 1942, Swanström died in Stockholm. Noted for her direction of Flickan i frack (Girls in Tails)

1875 – Miriam “Ma” Ferguson born, American politician, first woman Governor of Texas serving from 1925-1927 and 1933-1935. During her first term in office, she followed through on her campaign promise to pass a law forbidding anyone to participate in public activity while wearing a mask. Although the courts eventually overturned the anti-mask law, it did accomplish Ferguson’s goal of undermining the political power of the Ku Klux Klan in Texas

1879 – Lois Weber born, American silent film director, actress, screenwriter, and producer; an important and prolific director of the silent film era; pioneer of the split screen technique in her 1913 film Suspense; early experimenter with sound; first woman to direct a full-length feature film, The Merchant of Venice (1914); in 1917, the first woman director to own a film studio, Lois Weber Productions (1917-1921), and the only woman member of the Motion Picture Directions Association

1881 – Mary Antin born, American author and immigration rights activist, known for her autobiography The Promised Land about her life in Czarist Russia, immigration and assimilation into American culture

1893 – Dorothy L. Sayers born, British author, poet and playwright; noted for the Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane mystery novel series

1898 – Canada organizes the Yukon Territory, with Dawson as its capital

1899 – Carlos Chávez born, Mexican composer, conductor, and journalist, founder of the Mexican Symphonic Orchestra

1902 – Carolyn Eisele born, American mathematician and historian of mathematics, professor of mathematics at Hunter College for almost 50 years

1905 – Xian Xinghai born, Chinese composer

1908 – Maria Elena Vieira da Silva born, Portuguese-French abstract artist

1913 – The U.S. Post Office Department’s new Parcel Post service begins without specifying exactly what could and could not be mailed via Parcel Post. After several children are “mailed” via Parcel Post (their parents paid for stamps, and in at least once case, postal insurance, and they were safely delivered by postal workers to visit their relatives), Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson announces a new rule in 1914 that all human beings are barred from being mailed, but a few children are still sent, until postal inspectors begin investigating violations of the rule. Today, you can mail live chickens and other poultry, assorted reptiles and bees, but not children

1923 – Reginald September born, South African trade unionist, African National Congress (ANC) executive committee member,  founding member of the South African Coloured People’s Congress, and executive member of the South African Communist Party. In 1960, the apartheid regime detained him for five months without charge, and repeatedly harassed and detained him after that as it cracked down on internal resistance. He fled the country in 1963 and served as the African National Congress’ Chief Representative for the United Kingdom and Western Europe until 1978, and as member of the ANC’s Revolutionary Council in Lusaka. September returned to South Africa in 1991 after the unbanning of the ANC, and was elected as a member of parliament in 1994 in South Africa’s first democratic elections, serving from 1994 to 2004, when he retired

1928 – Renée Morisset born, Canadian pianist, piano duo with her husband Victor Bouchard, recipients of the Prix Calixa-Lavallée and Members of the Order of Canada

1931 – Nora Kovach born, Hungarian-American ballerina; she and her husband were the first highly publicized dancers who defected from the Soviet bloc to the West

1935 – Jeanne-Claude born as Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon in Morocco, where her father, a French general, was stationed. French artist, and collaborator with her husband, Christo Javacheff, better known as Christo, from 1961 on

1937 – Eleanor Holmes Norton born, civil rights activist, feminist and politician; Since 1991, U.S.  Representative for the District of Columbia (a non-voting, at-large position because Congress maintains supreme authority over the city, and may even overturn local laws); Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (1977-1981); Assistant Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (1965-1970); in 1970, Norton represented sixty female employees of Newsweek who filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission because Newsweek only allowed men to be reporters, and won the case

1941 – Esther Ofarim born, Israeli musician, singer, and songwriter

1944 – Dame Christine Beasley born, British nurse and National Health Service (NHS) administrator; held a range of senior posts with broad experience if policy development and leadership, including  Head of Development with the Directorate of Health and Social Care and Director of Nursing,  and NHS Human Resources & Organisational Development; established the London Standing Conference, contributing to improvements in service and clinical practice; appointed Chief Nursing Office for England in 2004; became Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2008 Birthday Honours

1949 – Ann Druyan born, American documentary screenwriter and producer, co-author of the 1980 documentary series Cosmos; Creative Director of NASA’s Voyager Interstellar Message Project, the golden discs affixed to both the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft

1949 – Ulla Schmidt born, Social Democratic Party of Germany politician; Vice-President of the German Bundestag (2013-2017); Federal Minister of Health (2005-2009); Federal Minister of Health and Social Security (2001-2002); Federal Minister of Health and Social Security (2002-2005); North Rhine-Westphalia Member of the Bundestag since 2009

1954 – Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala born, Nigerian economist; first woman Minister of Finance in Nigeria (2011-2015); Managing Director of the World Bank (2007-2011); Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs (2006-2006); current chair of the board for Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), and for African Risk Capacity (ARC)

1955 – Leah W. Sears born in Heidelberg Germany to a U.S Army family; American jurist; Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court (2005-2009), the first African-American woman Chief Justice in the U.S.; Associate Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court (1992-2005), the first woman and youngest person to sit on Georgia’s Supreme Court; first black woman Superior Court judge (1988-1992) in Georgia

1963 – Audrey Niffenegger born, American writer, artist and academic; professor of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago; best known for her novel, The Time Traveler’s Wife

1964 – In South Africa, Nelson Mandela arrives on Robben Island to begin serving his life sentence

1964 – Kathy Burke born, English comedian, playwright, theatre director and actress; she directed her first play, Mr. Thomas, at the Old Red Lion Theatre in 1990; known for playing the semi-regular role of Magda in the BBC series Absolutely Fabulous

1966 – U.S. Supreme Court rules 5-4 in the landmark case  Miranda v. Arizona that Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination requires that police inform suspects of their rights before questioning them

1967 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson nominates Solicitor-General Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court

1969 – Virginie Despentes born, French author, screenwriter, and director; member of the Société littéraire des Goncourt (Goncourt Literary Society) since 2016; her novel  Apocalypse bébé won the 2010 Renaudot prize; she made her directorial debut in 2000 with the film, Baise-moi, adapted from her novel, a crime thriller with elements of the rape and revenge genre, considered an example of the ‘New French Extremity’ because of its graphic violence and explicit sex scenes

1969 – Laura Kightlinger born, American comedian and writer; consulting producer and writing on the TV series Will & Grace; created, wrote, directed, produced and starred in TV series The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman (2006-2007)

1970 – The Beatles song, “The Long and Winding Road” is #1 on the U.S. charts

1971 – The New York Times begins publication of the Pentagon Papers, a study prepared by the Department of Defense of U.S political and military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967; Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst at the RAND Corporation, who worked on the top-secret study, releases a copy of the papers, which prove “that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance”

1983 – Pioneer 10 becomes the first man-made object to leave the central Solar System when it passes beyond the orbit of Neptune

1994 – A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, blames recklessness by Exxon and Captain Joseph Hazelwood for the Exxon Valdez disaster, allowing victims of the oil spill to seek $15 billion in damages

2000 – President Kim Dae-jung of South Korea meets Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea, for the beginning of the first ever inter-Korea summit, in the northern capital of Pyongyang

2002 – The George W. Bush administration withdraws the U.S from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, signed with the USSR, ten years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and creates the U.S. Missile Defense Agency in 2002; the appropriation for the agency passed by Congress for 2017 is $8.2 billion

2010 – A capsule of the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa, containing particles of the asteroid 25143 Itokawa, returns to Earth

2015 – The UN General Assembly establishes International Albinism Awareness Day * in cooperation with the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH) and Under the Same Sun, an Africa-based organization. Albinism is a congenital disorder causing a lack of pigment in skin, hair and eyes. It affects one in every 20,000 people

2017 – The first Random Acts of Light Day * is sponsored by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS), the largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer research and patient support


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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