ON THIS DAY: June 23, 2019

June 23th is

National Hydration Day *

Plastic Pink Flamingo Day *

Pecan Sandies Day

UN Public Service Day *

International Widows Day *

International Women in Engineering Day *


MORE! Verena Holmes, Jean Anouilh and Wilma Rudolph, click



France – Nîmes: Festival de Nîmes

Japan – Okinawa Memorial Day

Luxembourg – Grand Duke’s Birthday

Poland – Dzień Ojca (Father’s Day)

Portugal – Porto: Festa do São João do Porto
(Festival of John the Baptist)

Russia – St. Petersburg: The Scarlet Sails
(White Nights: ship with fireworks on the Neva)

Switzerland – Jura:
Jura Independence Day

United Kingdom – Cornwall:
Opening Day of the Golowan Festival


On This Day in HISTORY

47 BC – Caesarion born, son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra VII; the last Pharaoh of Egypt, ruling jointly with his mother from 44 BC to August 12, 30 BC, when Cleopatra committed suicide, and for 11 days as sole ruler, until his death is ordered by Octavian, who will become the Roman Emperor Augustus

222 – Sun Quan declares himself Emperor of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period in China

1314 – The Battle of Bannockburn (south of Stirling) begins

1456 – Margaret of Denmark born, Queen consort of Scotland (1469-1486), by marriage to King James III; her betrothal to James ended a feud between Denmark and Scotland over Scotland’s arrears in taxes owed to Denmark for the Hebrides and Isle of Man. The Scottish debt was cancelled upon their marriage in 1469, when she was only 13 years old, and James was 17 or 18 (the year of his birth was either 1451 of 1452). As Queen, Margaret was given the largest jointure (provision for a wife upon the death of husband) allowed by Scottish law in her marriage settlement. She was an early fashionista, but became popular in Scotland, widely regarded as beautiful, gentle, sensible and intelligent. A number of historians have since called her far better qualified to rule than her husband, who tried to form alliances with the wrong factions at the wrong times, and showed marked favoritism to lesser members of the court, which alienated the more powerful nobles.  Her marriage to James III was not a happy one, in part because she found him unattractive, but also because he favored their second son, confusingly also named James, over their eldest son, James IV. James III’s machinations to wrest the Earldom of Ross from John MacDonald in order to bestow it on his favorite son, even accusing MacDonald of treason, created the crisis of 1482, which was compounded by an English invasion. The King was arrested by his disaffected nobles, imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle, and deprived of his power for several months, until freed by his uncles. Although politically Margaret worked for his reinstatement, she showed far greater interest in the welfare of their three sons instead of his, which led to a permanent estrangement. After James was reinstated, he lived in Edinburgh, while Margaret lived in Stirling Castle with her sons. Margaret didn’t live long enough to make use of her jointure. She fell ill and died in 1486, at the age of 30. There were unsubstantiated rumors that she had been poisoned. James III was killed in 1488, at the Battle of Sauchieburn, which was won by his still disaffected and rebellious nobles, who were championing the heir, James IV, who was their somewhat reluctant “guest.”

1625 – John Fell born, English clergyman, author, and Dean of Christ Church, Oxford as well as Bishop of Oxford. He contributed funds and oversaw several building projects, both restoration and new construction, including the Sheldonian Theatre, original home of the Oxford University Press, to which he devoted much of his energy and attention as curator and editor during its birth and early years

1668 – Giambattista Vico born, Italian political philosopher, historian and jurist during the Age of Enlightenment, noted as a pioneer in social science and semiotics, the study of symbols and signs in communications

1763 – Joséphine (Tascher de la Pagerie) de Beauharnais born, first wife of Napoléon Bonaparte, Empress of the French (1804-1810); her first husband, Alexandre, had been guillotined during the Reign of Terror; her daughter with Alexandre became the mother of Napoléon III

Madame Bonaparte – by Francois Gerard, 1801

1824 – Carl Reinecke born, German pianist, composer-conductor

1826 – Anne McDowell born, American editor, journalist, pioneering advocate for working women’s rights. She was the founder and publisher of the Woman’s Advocate (1855-1860), the first weekly newspaper in the U.S. to be staffed completely by women, including typesetters and printers, and written by and for women. The paper’s stated goal was “the elevation of the female industrial class.” McDowell was not concerned with woman’s suffrage, but instead fought for education, more employment opportunities and equal pay. She put her principles into action, by paying her employees the same wages that men in their jobs earned. When the Advocate went out of business in 1860 because costs were increasing faster than the number of its subscribers could support, McDowell became the editor of the women’s department of the Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch (1860-1871) one of the few women department heads in the newspaper field at the time. She left the Dispatch to become the editor of the Philadelphia Sunday Republic, but at the same time, became more active in labor issues. In 1884, she founded an organization to secure sickness and death benefits for employees of Wanamaker’s department store, and established the McDowell Free Library for Wanamaker’s women employees. She died in 1901  

1879 – Huda Sha’arawi born, pioneering Egyptian feminist leader and nationalist; she spent her childhood secluded in a harem, then at age thirteen was given in marriage to her cousin, but they separated, and she had the opportunity to learn from female teachers to read the Quran, and studied Islamic subjects. She wrote poetry in Arabic and French. Sha’arawi resented the restriction of women to the house or harem, and organized lectures for women-only audiences. Many of the women from wealthy families who attended were in a public place for the first time in their lives. Sha’arawi raised money to help poor Egyptian women, and founded a school for girls, where the emphasis was on academic subjects. After WWI, she helped organize the largest demonstration by women against British rule. Sha-awarwi decided to stop wearing her veil in public after her husband’s death in 1922. By the 1930s, most of the women in Egypt had followed her example. She was one of the founders of Mubarrat Muhammad Ali, a women’s social service organization in 1909, and the Union of Educated Egyptian Women in 1914. In 1923, she founded and was the first president of the Egyptian Feminist Union, publishing the feminist magazine L’Egyptienne

1889 – Anna Akhmatova born, pseudonym for Russian poet Anna Andreyevna Gorenko, one of the most acclaimed writers in Russian literature, noted for remaining in the Soviet Union and writing about the terrors of living under Stalinism

1889 – Verena Holmes born, English mechanical engineer and inventor, specializing in marine and locomotive engines, and both diesel and internal combustion engines; in 1924, she became first woman elected to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (but wasn’t made a full member until the 1940s), and an associate member of the Institution of Marine Engineers; a strong supporter of women in engineering, she was an early member of the Women’s Engineering Society, and its president in 1931, the same year she was admitted to the Institution of  Locomotive Engineers; her patents include the Holmes and Wingfield pneumo-thorax apparatus for treating patients with tuberculosis, a surgeon’s headlamp, a poppet valve for steam locomotives, and rotary valves for internal combustion engines, and several other patents medical devices and engine components; during WWII, she worked on navel weaponry and trained women for munitions work, serving as headquarter technical officer with the Ministry of Labour (1940-1944). In 1946, founded the firm of Holmes and Leather, which employed only women, and published a booklet, Training and Opportunities for Women in Engineering.  International Women in Engineering Day * coincides with her birthday  (see 2013 entry)

1894 – Edward VIII/Duke of Windsor born, the British monarch who abdicates the throne in 1936 before his coronation, so he can marry the twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson

1898 – Winifred Holtby born, English novelist, poet, and journalist. She was also an  ardent feminist, socialist, and pacifist. Holtby was a prolific writer for over 20 newspapers and magazines, including the Manchester Guardian, and the feminist journal Time and Tide (she also served on the journal’s board). She is now best remembered for her novel, South Riding, published in 1936, the year after her death at age 37 from kidney disease

Winifred Holtby 2

1900 – Blanche W. Noyes born, American pioneering woman aviator, one of the first ten women to earn a pilot’s license (1929), and the first woman licensed pilot in Ohio; two months after she got her license, she entered the inaugural Women’s Air Derby, one of 20 competitors vying to fly from Santa Monica CA to Cleveland OH; her plane caught fire in mid-air near Pecos TX, and she damaged her landing gear when she set down, but put out the fire, made repairs, and continued to race, coming in fourth in the heavy class; in 1936, the first year women were allowed to compete against men, she was co-pilot to Louise Thaden, and they won the Bendix Trophy Race, setting a world record of 14 hours, 55 minutes flying from New York City to Los Angeles CA in a Beechwood C17R Staggerwing plane. Also in 1936, she became part of a team of women pilots working on a WPA project to aid aerial navigation by painting the name of the nearest town at 15-mile intervals on prominent buildings or clear ground, but with the U.S. entry into WWII in 1941, they had to black out the roughly 13,000 sites they had marked. After the war, she became head of the air marking division of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, and oversaw restoring and adding navigational aids, the only woman for several years who was allowed to fly a government plane

1910 – Jean Anouilh born, French playwright; adaptation of Antigone, Ring Round the MoonThe Waltz of the Toreadors, Becket

1912 – Alan Turing born, English mathematician, cryptanalyst, pioneer in theoretical computer science; leader of WWII team that broke the German Naval Enigma code

1915 – Frances Gabe born, American artist and inventor, noted for designing and building the ‘Self-Cleaning House’ for which she was granted a patent for the overall concept, and 25 additional patents for individual inventions she incorporated into the design; Erma Bombeck jestingly declared in her column that Gabe’s likeness should be added to Mount Rushmore

1918 – Madeleine Parent born, Canadian Labour leader and feminist, advocate for aboriginal rights, known for work in establishing the Canadian Textile and Chemical Union and the Confederation of Canadian Unions

1923 – Bob Fosse born, American choreographer-director, winner of a record 8 Tony awards for choreography, and a Best Director Oscar for the film version of Cabaret

Bob Fosse in Damn Yankees 1958

Bob Fosse in Damn Yankees in 1958

1923 – Giuseppina Tuissi born, Italian communist and WWII partisan, part of the 52ndBrigata Garibaldi “Luigi Clerici.” Worked with ‘Captain Neri’ (Luigi Canali). She was arrested and tortured during interrogation by the Gestapo in January 1945, but released in March, and stayed in the partisan struggle. Both she and ‘Neri’ were there for the arrest and execution of Benito Mussolini in April. She was accused by a regional commander of the Garibaldi Brigades of revealing names of partisans during torture, and detained, told that Luigi Canali had been executed by a partisan tribunal, but she was released. She went to Milan in May 1945, with Canali’s sister, to find out more about Luigi’s death. Unable to get answers to her questions, she continued to investigate, even after she was threatened. She disappeared on June 23, 1945, her 22nd birthday. Her presumed murder is still unsolved

1926 – Magda Herzberger born, Romanian Jewish author, poet, composer and Holocaust survivor, noted for her autobiography, Survival, and her composition, Requiem, in honor of the victims of the Holocaust

1926 – Annette Mbaye d’Erneville born, Senegalese writer, poet, teacher and radio programme director for Radio Senegal.  As a journalist, she has specialized in women’s issues, and launched Awa magazine in 1963, the first francophone publication for African women. She writes children’s literature and poetry. Noted for  Poèmes africains,
and La Bague de cuivre et d’argent (The Copper and Silver Ring), which won prix Jeune Afrique in 1961

1930 – Marie-Thérèse Houphouët-Boigny born, First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire (1962-1993), and philanthropist; in 1987, she founded the N’Daya International Foundation, dedicated to improving the health, welfare and education of the children of Africa. In 1990, she helped create and produce a cartoon, Kimboo, to offer cartoon heroes for African children

1931 – Aviators Wiley Post and Harold Gatty take off from New York on the first round-the-world flight in a single-engine plane

1940 – Wilma Rudolph born, African American sprinter, Olympic world-record-holder  and track and field icon. She won three gold medals and a bronze in two different Olympics, the 1956 Melbourne games, and the 1960 games in Rome. Because of the intense coverage of the Summer Olympics, she became one of the highest-profile black women in the world, elevating women’s track and field in America, and becoming a role model for African American women and Olympic women athletes. She was a pioneer in civil rights and women’s rights. She retired from sports in 1962, and became a teacher and a coach. She died from cancer in 1994

1941 – Lena Horne records “St. Louis Blues”


1943 – Ellyn Kaschak born, American clinical psychologist, a founder of the field of feminist psychology; author of Engendered Lives: A New Psychology of Women’s Experience, and editor of the academic journal, Women & Therapy. Honored with the 2004 Distinguished Leadership Award by the Committee on Women in Psychology of the American Psychological Association

1947 – U.S. Senate joins the House in overriding President Truman’s veto of the Taft-Hartley Act, which amends much of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, and discontinues parts of the Federal Anti-Injunction Act of 1932. It strikes a major blow against Organized Labor: closed shops are declared illegal, the beginning of the so-called “right to work” laws; permits union shops only after the majority of employees vote for them; bans jurisdictional strikes and secondary boycotts, and empowers the President to intervene in labor disputes; ends the check-off system whereby the employer collects union dues; forbids unions from making contributions to political campaigns; and requires union leaders to take an oath they are not communists. In spite of several campaigns to repeal it, the Taft-Hartley Act stays in effect until 1959 when the Landrum-Griffin Act partially amends it

1951 – Michèle Mouton born, French Group B Rally driver who competed in the World Rally Championship for the Audi factory team, winning four victories. She was runner-up in the Drivers’ World Championship in 1982; first president of the Women and Motor Sport Commission of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)

1955 – Disney’s animated film Lady and the Tramp is released

1957 – Frances McDormand born, American actress who has achieved two distinctions: she has won two Academy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award, one of the few performers to have won the “Triple Crown” of acting. She is also one of the few women to have actually played God, in the 2019 television miniseries Good Omens, based on the novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman


1960 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves use of Searle’s combined oral contraceptive pill, Enovid, for use as a contraceptive. It was previously approved for treatment of menstrual disorders in 1957

1965 – The Miracles release “Tracks of My Tears”

1969 – Warren E. Burger is sworn in as chief justice of the United States

1972 – President Nixon signs Title IX into law: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”

1980 – Becky Cloonan born, American comic book creator; noted as the first woman to draw the main Batman title for DC Comics

1992 – John Gotti, head of the Gambino crime syndicate in New York, is convicted of racketeering charges, and sentenced to life in prison

2003 – The UN General Assembly designates June 23 as UN Public Service Day *

2005 – Former Ku Klux Klansman Edgar Ray Killen is sentenced to 60 years in prison for his part in the 1964 Mississippi slayings of three civil rights workers

2007 – Plastic Pink Flamingo Day * is declared by Mayor Dean Mazzaralla of Leominster, Massachusetts to honor the creator of the lawn ornament, Don Featherstone

2013 – The first International Women in Engineering Day. In 2019, the 100th Anniversary of the Women’s Engineering Society is also being celebrated in the UK  (see 1889 entry) 

2016 – U.K. voters vote 52% to 48% to leave the European Union in a referendum

2016 – National Hydration Day * is founded in honor of Coach Victor Hawkins, who invented a mouthguard that releases electrolytes to keep his players hydrated during games and practices; in hot summer weather, it critical to keep your body hydrated, especially when engaged in physical activities


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.
This entry was posted in History, Holidays, On This Day and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.