ON THIS DAY: July 20, 2019

July 20th is

National Lollipop Day

National Moon Day *

Space Exploration Day

Ugly Truck Day

World Jump Day

International Chess Day *


MORE! Petrarch, Simin Behbahani and Cormac McCarthy, click



Argentina and Brazil –
Día del Amigo (Friends Day)

Central African Republic –
Tree Planting Day

Columbia – Independence Day

Costa Rica – Engineer’s Day

Honduras – Lempira Day
 (Chief Lempira led uprising against Spanish)

Italy – Venice: Festa del Redentore (Festival of
the Redeemer, thanks for 1577 Plague end)

Laos – Lao Women’s Union Day

North Cyprus – Peace and Freedom Day

United States – Key West, Florida:
Hemingway Days


On This Day in HISTORY

AD 70 –  Siege of Jerusalem: Titus, son of Roman Emperor Vespasian, storms the Fortress of Antonia north of the Temple Mount; his army is drawn into street fights with the Zealots

1248 – The University of Oxford receives its Royal Charter

1304 – Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca) born, Italian Renaissance poet, scholar and pioneering humanist

1304 – Wars of Scottish Independence: King Edward I of England takes Stirling Castle, the last Scottish stronghold of resistance to English rule, using the Warwolf, the largest trebuchet ever built. It took five master carpenters, and 49 laborers three months to complete, and 30 wagons to move the Warwolf when it was disassembled

Full-Size Riding Lawnmower with 1/20th scale model of the Warwolf

1591 – Anne Hutchinson baptized (birthdate not noted) in England; American colonial preacher, midwife, and notable figure in American colonial religious freedom. Her father, an Anglican cleric and teacher, gave her a far better education than most girls and even many boys received. She and her husband William became followers of the Puritan John Cotton, who preached simplicity, and doing away with ceremony and vestments of the Church of England; Cotton and his wife fled England for the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1633. Anne and William Hutchinson with their 11 children followed the Cottons to Boston in 1634. She was greatly in demand as a midwife, and soon began having weekly women’s meetings in her home, commenting on recent sermons. Men started coming to the meetings as well. Then she accused local ministers, other than Cotton and her brother-in-law Reverend John Wheelwright, of preaching a “covenant of works” rather than a “covenant of grace,” and made other accusations against them, leading to increasing tensions between the minority Free Grace adherents and the majority of the colony’s ministers and magistrates. Hutchinson and others, including John Wheelwright, were put on trial. Hutchinson was banished from the colony when she claimed she possessed direct personal revelation from God. She and her remaining supporters founded the settlement of Portsmouth on Narragansett Bay in Providence Plantations (now Rhode Island), which was founded by Roger Williams, a staunch advocate for religious freedom

Anne Hutchinson (uncredited artist’s conception)

1756 – British POWs interned in the “Black Hole of Calcutta”

1782 – U.S. Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States

The 1782 Great Seal of the United States

1815 – Giuseppe La Farina born, influential leader of the Italian  Risorgimento (‘resurgence’/the Italian Unification movement)

1837 – Queen Victoria succeeds to the throne of the British Empire

1837 – Euston railway station opens in London as the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR), the city’s first intercity railway station

Euston Station in 1937 showing wrought iron roof

1840 – Samuel Morse gets the patent for the telegraph

1847 – Max Liebermann born, German painter and etcher

Self-Portrait by Max Liebermann (Tate Gallery)

1848 – The second and concluding day of the Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls NY.  The only resolution that day which required a great deal of discussion before passing was: “ResolvedThat it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.” It took 72 years for American women to finally get the right to vote passed as the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, although some voting rights had been won before that, beginning with the Wyoming territory in 1869

1854 – Philomène Belliveau born, Canadian artist of Acadian descent. She took courses in painting and drawing in Boston, Massachusetts, then returned to Canada, where her portraits in pastel became popular

Reverend Father Camille Lefebvre, by Philomène Belliveau

1871 – British Columbia becomes a Canadian province

1872 – Deodat de Severac born, French composer, noted for vocal and choral music

1873 – Alberto Santos-Dumont born, Brazilian inventor and aviation pioneer who contributed to both lighter-than-air and heavier-than-air aircraft

1877 – First commercial telephone service is installed in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

1881 – Sitting Bull surrenders to federal troops in Montana

1882 – Olga Hahn-Neurath born, Austrian mathematician and philosopher; she enrolled as a student for math and philosophy studies at the University of Vienna in 1902. She became blind in 1904, when she was 22. In 1911, she became the third ever female graduate in philosophy at Vienna University. Her doctoral thesis, published at 1911, received great compliments from her instructor, Adolf Stöhr, the successor to the chair of Ludwig Boltzmann. Her main interest in math was in the field of Boolean algebra. In 1912, she married Otto Neurath, a fellow student. Olga became a regular participant in the discussions of the Vienna Circle of Logical Empiricism, a group of philosophers and scientists drawn from the natural and social sciences, logic and  mathematics, who met regularly from 1924 to 1936 at the University of Vienna, chaired by Moritz Schlick.  Following the defeat of Red Vienna in the Austrian Civil War (February 1934), she fled, through Poland and Denmark to the Netherlands, where she joined her husband. Following an operation three years later, she died on her 55th birthday, in The Hague

1887 – Victoria Terminus, the busiest railway station in India, opens in Bombay

1890 – Julie Vinter Hansen born, Danish astronomer; in 1915, she was the first woman to hold an appointment at the University of Copenhagen, as a ‘computer’ at the University’s observatory, then became an observatory assistant, and in 1922, she was promoted to observer. Editor of the Nordisk Astronomisk Tidsskrift (Nordic Astronomy Review), then Director of the International Astronomical Union’s telegram bureau. By 1939, she was the First Astronomer of the University of Copenhagen observatory, well-known for her accurate computation of orbits of minor planets and comets. She was awarded the 1939 Tagea Brandt Rejselegat Award, which enabled her to travel, and the 1940 Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy. In 1956, Vinter Hansen was appointed a knight in the Order of the Danneborg

1894 – Errett Lobban Cord born, American automobile manufacturer

1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet

1900 – Imperial Chinese forces begin a 55-day siege of the Beijing Legation Quarter

1914 – The South African Native Congress petitions King George V of the UK, protesting the Native Lands Act of 1913, which allocated less than 10% of arable land to Africans, turning over most of the fertile land to white settlers, and legalizing territorial segregation for the first time. This leads to widespread overcrowding, poverty and overfarming of the limited land available to Africans, who were almost 68% of the population, while whites were only 22%, the rest of the population being mixed race or of Indian subcontinent heritage. The  were vested in African chiefs as communal land that could not be bought, sold or used as surety. This deprived black South Africans of the right to own land. The act also banned black tenant farming on white-owned land

1917 – WWI draft lottery becomes operational

1918 – Cindy Walker born, American singer-songwriter; “You Don’t Know Me”

1919 – Jacquemine Charrott Lodwidge born to a British father and a French mother; English writer on crime and magic, TV and film art director, and bookseller. Her father died when she was nine, so she was raised primarily speaking French. During WWII, she served for two years with the Free French forces among the Bedouins in the Syrian desert.  After the war, she studied architectural history and spent several years in Greece, then worked as a researcher for BBC television, and worked her way up to art director; in between film assignments, she started selling books to supplement her income, beginning in a gazebo, and calling the enterprise Pelekas Books. It was described by R. H. Lewis: “There are herons at the bottom of the terraced garden, and a river from which excellent rough fishing can be had; accompanying husbands or wives not interested in books are invited to bring fishing rods. The building has been redesigned with film-set type features such as a spiral staircase and a gazebo, where the books are now housed . . . Normal hours, when Jacquemine is not on location, so strictly by appointment.”

1921 – Congresswoman Alice Mary Robertson (R-OK) becomes the first woman to preside over the U.S. House of Representatives – surprisingly, not a fan of feminists, considering she couldn’t have been a member of Congress without their untiring efforts to secure women’s rights

1924 – International Chess Day * – The international chess federation, Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE), is founded in Paris. International Chess Day was launched jointly in 1966 by FIDE and UNESCO

1927 – Simin Behbahani born as Simin Khalili, Iranian icon of contemporary Persian poetry, lyricist and activist, dubbed “the lioness of Iran.” She became a major force in bringing the ghazal, a traditional Persian verse form somewhat like an ode, into modern usage; President of the Iranian Writers Association; honored with awards for both her poetry and her humanitarian and civil rights advocacy

1927 – Barbara Bergmann born, notable feminist economist whose work covered a range of issues from childcare to poverty and Social Security, using microsimulations and macrovariables; she showed that discrimination is a pervasive characteristic of labor markets, and argued against traditional economic methodology as fraught with unrealistic assumptions leading to faulty conclusions. Co-founder and president of the International Association for Feminist Economics, and a trustee of Economists for Peace and Security; honored with the 2004 Carolyn Shaw Bell Award for increasing the status of women in economics and showing how women can advance in the academic field

1933 – Under German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, 200 Jewish merchants from Nuremberg are arrested and paraded through the streets

1933 – Cormac McCarthy born, American novelist, playwright and screenwriter; his 1992 novel  All the Pretty Horses won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award

1936 – Barbara Mikulski born, American politician, U.S. Senator (D-Maryland 1987-2017); U.S.House of Representatives (D-Maryland 1977-1987); the longest-serving woman in the history of the U.S. Congress, and longest-serving Senator from Maryland. She announced her retirement in 2017

1938 – Dame Diana Rigg born, British stage, television and screen actor; former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company; memorable as Mrs. Emma Peele in the British television series The Avengers, and as Olenna Tyrrell in Game of Thrones. When she discovered after making 12 episodes of The Avengers that the cameraman was earning more money than she was, “I made a bit of a stink. At the time, it was considered very bad form.” She claimed not to be a feminist because she enjoys a man being courteous

1939 – Judy Chicago born, American artist, feminist and author, known for large collaborative art installations; her masterpiece, The Dinner Party, now at the Brooklyn Museum, consists of three ‘wings’ with place settings for remarkable female figures in legend and history

1942 – Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WACS) first detachment begins basic training

1944 – Hitler wounded in failed assassination attempt in his Rastenburg headquarters

1944 – FDR nominated for an unprecedented fourth term at Democratic Convention

1947 – Carlos Santana born in Mexico, Mexican and American Grammy-winning guitarist, his band Santana is notable for Rock-Latin Jazz fusion

1953 – The United Nations Economic and Social Council votes to make UNICEF a permanent agency

1961 – “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off” opens in London

1962 – Julie Bindel born, English writer, extreme radical feminist; co-founder of the law-reform group Justice for Women, which has helped women prosecuted for killing violent male partners; in addition to non-fiction books, she is a regular contributor to The Guardian, New Statesman, and The Sunday Telegraph

1964 – Terri Irwin born in the U.S., American-Australian naturalist, conservationist and author; owner of the Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland. Co-starred with her husband, Steve Irwin, in The Crocodile Hunter, from 1997 until his death in 2006

1965 – Bob Dylan releases “Like a Rolling Stone”

1968 ­– Hugh Masekela’s “Grazing in the Grass” is #1 on the singles chart

1968 – Iron Butterfly’s “In-a-gadda-da-vida” is heavy metal’s first song to hit the charts

1969 – National Moon Day * – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first humans to walk on moon

1971 – Sandra Oh born in Canada, Canadian-American actress; she was the first Asian-heritage woman to host the Golden Globe Awards in 2019, the first actress of Asian descent to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama series in 2018, and the first Asian-heritage woman to win two Golden Globes. She became a U.S. citizen in 2018

1975 – Birgitta Ohlsson born, Swedish Liberal politician, Swedish Minister for European Union Affairs (2010-2014); Swedish Parliament member (2002-2010); chair of the Federation of Liberal Women (2007-2010); chair of the Liberal Youth of Sweden (1999-2002)

1976 – NASA’s unmanned Viking 1 Lander touches down on Mars

1981 – Viktoria Ladõnskaja born, Estonian Pro Patria party politician; elected to the Riigikogu (parliament) in 2015; previously worked as a journalist and freelance writer

1985 – A team of divers led by American treasure hunters Mel Fisher and Finley Richard find the wreck of Spanish treasure Galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, one of the richest shipwrecks ever recovered, setting off a legal battle between Mel Fisher and the state of Florida, which is finally settled by the U.S Supreme Court in Fisher’s favor July 1, 1992

1989 – Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy (NLD) General Secretary, is arrested after NLD wins 81% of the seats in Parliament, because the ruling military junta nullifies the election results and refuses to hand over power. She will remain under house arrest for almost 15 years, until November 13, 2010

1990 – A federal appeals court sets aside Oliver North’s Iran-Contra convictions, after a special hearing to determine if any of the witnesses at his trial had been influenced by his nationally televised testimony before Congress, which he had been assured would not be used against him at his trial

1991 – The German Bundestag votes to move the capital from Bonn back to Berlin

2002 – U.S. Supreme Court rules 6-3 that executing mentally retarded murderers is cruel and unusual punishment

2007 – The Senate Judiciary Committee votes 13-6, to approve Elena Kagan as the Supreme Court’s fourth female justice

2012 – A masked man, claiming to be Batman’s nemesis The Joker and armed with an assault rifle and other firearms, killed 12 people and injured 70 other audience members watching the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises at a theater in Aurora Colorado

2017 – O.J. Simpson is granted parole, after serving nine years of a 33-year sentence for armed robbery in Las Vegas, to be released from prison on October 1, 2017

2018 – Under the Trump administration, the U.S. Interior Department proposed sweeping changes to the Endangered Species Act to make it easier for roads, pipelines, and other construction projects to get approved in environmentally sensitive areas. Republicans argue that the act, which helped bring such animals as the bald eagle and the Yellowstone grizzly bear back from near extinction, holds back economic development. The proposals would mark the biggest changes to species protections in decades, and make it harder to move species up from threatened status to endangered. David Bernhardt, deputy secretary of the Interior Department, said the proposals would merely “streamline” the 1973 act, without eroding protections. Concerned environmental activists said the proposed changes would put declining species at greater risk of extinction


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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