ON THIS DAY: July 23, 2019

July 23rd is

Gorgeous Grandma Day *

Hot Enough for Ya Day

International Yada, Yada, Yada Day

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day

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MORE! Laurel Martyn, Bob Dylan and Judit Polgár, click

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World Festivals and National Holidays

Rastafarian – Birth of Haile Selassie

Egypt – Revolution Day

Indonesia –
Children’s Day

Mexico – Rosarito, Baja:
Feria Rosarito

Oman – Renaissance Day

Papua New Guinea –
Remembrance Day

Switzerland – Verbier:
Veribier Classical Festival (ongoing)

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On This Day in HISTORY

811 – Nikephoros I, Emperor of the Byzantine Empire, invades Bulgaria, and sacks the capital city Pliska, killing hundreds, even small children; during his army’s retreat, they are ambushed by Krum, the Khan of Bulgaria, who destroys the army, captures Nikephoros, and orders his decapitation. Legend has it that Krum had a drinking cup made from the emperor’s skull


14th century depiction of Krum, Khan of Bulgaria

1370 – Pier Paolo Vergerio born, Italian humanist, statesman and canon lawyer, handling cases in ecclesiastical court

1401 – Francesco Sforza born, Italian condottiere and duke of Milan

1599 – Caravaggio’s first public commission, St. Matthew paintings in Contarelli Chapel


The Calling of St. Matthew – Caravaggio

1721 –  Anna Dorothea Therbusch born in Germany,  Polish Rococo painter; elected to the Stuttgart Academy of the Arts, the Bologna Academy, the Académie Royale in Paris, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna


Self-Portrait with Monocle, by Anna Dorothea Therbusch – 1777

1773 – Sir Thomas Brisbane born, English soldier and astronomical observer; Governor of New South Wales, Australia (1821-1825)

1775 – Étienne-Louis Malus born, French officer, engineer, physicist and mathematician whose field was the study of light; he published his discovery of the polarization of light by reflection in 1809, and his theory of double refraction of light in crystals in 1810, when he also became a member of the Académie des Sciences, and was awarded the Rumford Medal by the Royal Society of London



1828 – Sir Jonathan Hutchinson born, Quaker physician-surgeon; focused on the human nervous system, and sexual diseases among the poor; traveled in Africa and Asia, bringing back animal specimens, minerals and fossils; opened an “education museum” with a reading room and library, where he gave lectures on scientific topics

1829 – William Austin Burt gets U.S. patent for typographer (typewriter precursor)



1840 – Union Act passed by British Parliament, uniting Upper and Lower Canada

1844 – Harriet Williams Russell Strong born, American activist, and inventor who pioneered innovations in water storage and flood control which enabled the construction of the Hoover Dam and the All-American Canal; water conservationist, music composer, and a leader in the West Coast woman suffrage movement; first woman member of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce



1856 – Bal Gangadhar Tilak born, Indian nationalist, social reformer and lawyer; first leader of the Indian Independence Movement; organised the Deccan Education Society in 1884, promoting an educational system which taught nationalist ideas through an emphasis on Indian culture

1864 – Apolinario M. Mabini born, Filipino revolutionary leader, educator, lawyer, and statesman; in 1899, he was the first Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the First Philippine Republic (1899-1901). He was struck by Polio in 1895, and lost the use of his legs by 1896. He was exiled by the Americans in 1901 after he refused to swear fealty to the U.S., but returned to the Philippines on 1903 after agreeing to take the Oath of Allegiance. He died of cholera shortly after his return, at the age of 38

1886 – Sir Arthur Whitten Brown born, English aviator; co-captain and navigator of the first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic

1888 – Raymond Chandler born, American author of detective stories



1889 – Anna Akhmatova born, Ukrainian-Russian poet and author

1891 – Harry Cohn born, American Movie Studio Executive; co-founder, president and production director of Columbia Pictures

1892 – Haile Selassie I born, Emperor of Ethiopia (1930-1974)



1900 – Julia Davis Adams born, American author, social worker, journalist and playwright, known for historical and biographical novels, young adult books, and dramas; used the pen name F. Draco for Murray Hill mystery novels



1900 – Inger Margrethe Boberg born, Danish folklore researcher and author; first woman in Denmark to earn a Doctor of Philosophy, in folkloristics; worked as an archivist at Dansk Folkemindesamling (Danish Folklore Archive) from 1932-1957, but it didn’t become a full-time position until 1952, so she also took on temporary work as a school teacher. Recipient in 1945 of the Tagea Brandt Rejselegat, awarded to Danis women who make significant contributions in the sciences or arts, which enabled her to travel and further her studies; co-editor with Stith Thompson of the Motif-Index of Folk-Literature

1903 –  Ford Motor Company sells its first car, a Model A

1904 – Ice cream cone possibly invented at St. Louis World Fair by Charles Menches

1907 – Elspeth Joscelin Grant Huxley born, British writer, journalist, broadcaster, magistrate and environmentalist; author of 30 books, best known are those based on her childhood on a Kenyan coffee farm; The Flame Trees of Thika



1908 – Elio Vittorini born, Italian novelist, translator and literary critic; jailed in 1941 when his anti-fascist novel, Conversations in Sicily, was published

1914 – Austria-Hungary demands Serbia let them control Arch Duke Ferdinand’s assassination investigation– Serbia mostly accedes, but Austria will declare war July 28

1916 – Laurel Martyn born, Australian ballerina and choreographer; on 1935, she was the first Australian woman to be accepted into the Vic-Wells (later Sadler’s Wells) Ballet, and became a soloist in 1938. After returning to Australia, she performed with the Borovansky  Ballet, taught dance, and created her own dance works inspired by Australian themes. She was a co-founder of the Young Dancers’ Theatre, and Classical Dance Teachers Australia


Laurel Martyn in Swan Lake, 1944, photo by Ron Esler 

1920 – British East Africa is renamed Kenya, and becomes a crown colony

1921 – The Communist Party of China (CPC) formed at a national congress

1926 – Fox Films buys Movietone sound system patents for recording sound on film

1928 – Michael Shaara born, American author and academic, best known for his American Civil War novels, The Killer Angels, which won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and The Last Full Measure



1928 – Vera Rubin born, American astronomer; studied with Maria Mitchell at Vassar; she was the only graduate in astronomy from Vassar in 1948, then was barred from enrolling in the graduate program at Princeton, which didn’t allow women until 1975. Rubin got her Master’s at Cornell, and her PhD at Georgetown, in spite of having to battle sexism at almost every step. When the men at the Palomar Observatory told her, ‘It’s a real problem because we don’t have a ladies room,’ she cut a piece of paper into a skirt and stuck it on the male figure on the door to one of the men’s restrooms. She said, ‘Look, now you have a ladies room.’ Rubin did the pioneering work on galaxy rotation rates, uncovering the discrepancy between the predicted angular motion of galaxies and the observed motion, by studying galactic rotation curves, which became known as the galaxy rotation problem, work that was compelling evidence of the existence of dark matter. Rubin’s results were met with great skepticism, but over subsequent decades, they were confirmed. She was a strong advocate and mentor of women in science; honored with numerous awards, including the Bruce Medal, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and the National Medal of Science, but was never honored with a Nobel Prize



1929 – Lateef Kayode Jakande born, Nigerian politician, who  started as a journalist with the Daily Service (1949-1953) and the Nigerian Tribune (1953-1956), where he became editor-in-chief (1956-1975).  In 1975, he became the publisher of The Lagos News, and was also the first president of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria. He served as Governor of Lagos State (1979-1983), and was Nigerian Minister of Works (1993-1998). Jakande became the first chair of the Action Party of Nigeria when it was formed in 2006



1929 – The Fascist government of Italy bans the use of foreign words, especially French and English words and phrases – if there wasn’t an Italian word, they would Italianize the foreign word – Barolo (Italian) for Bordeaux (French)

1931 – Te Arikinui (Paramount Chief) Dame Te Atairangikaahu born, Māori queen for 40 years, the longest reign of any Māori monarch; Te Atairangikaahu means ‘hawk of the morning sky’; in 1979, first Māori appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire; she was a strong supporter of Māori cultural events, and a spokesperson on indigenous issues



1936 – The Social and Communist parties of Catalonia, Spain, merge into the United Socialist Party of Catalonia

1940 – Danielle Collobert born, French author, poet and journalist; she worked at the Galerie Hautefeuille, a major art photography gallery, in Paris in the early 1960s while writing what would become her novel, Meurtre (Murder), and her first published book, Chants des Guerres (War Songs); she became involved in 1962 with the Front de libération nationale (FLN), Algeria’s nationalist movement, and wrote for the Algerian magazine Révolution Africaine until it stopped being published in 1964; joined the Writers’ Union in 1968, and traveled in Czechoslovakia, writing about the Prague Spring and its aftermath; committed suicide on her 38th birthday; her last work, Survie  (Survival), was published just three months before her death



1942 – Germany opens Treblinka extermination camp

1942 – Sallyanne Atkinson born, Australian Liberal Party politician and journalist; Lord Mayor of Brisbane (1985-1991), the first woman to be elected to the position; worked for the Brisbane Telegraph (1960-1962) and the Courier Mail (1963-1964); Alderman on the Brisbane City Council (1979-1985); since 2017, she has been the Chair of the Museum of Brisbane, and Council President of the Women’s College at the University of Queensland



1952 – Egyptian King Farouk is overthrown by the Free Officers Movement

1957 – Jo Brand born, English comedian, writer and presenter, former psychiatric nurse, who began her comedy career doing stand-up at alternative comedy clubs in the mid-1980s billed as ‘Sea Monster.’ In 1993, she became a resident panelist on the BBC show, The Brain Drain. In 2010, she was one of the performers in Channel 4’s Comedy Gala, a benefit for the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. She has written several books, including the novel The More You Ignore Me, which she adapted as a feature-film script. She was the presenter of The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice (2014-2017)



1959 – Nancy Savoca born, American film director, producer and screenwriter; noted for True Love (which won the Sundance Film Festival 1989 Grand Jury Prize), If These Walls Could Talk, and The 24-Hour Woman



1961 – The Sandinista National Liberation Front is founded in Nicaragua

1962 – Telstar relays the first publicly transmitted, live trans-Atlantic television program, featuring Walter Cronkite.

1965 – Bob Dylan releases “Like a Rolling Stone”



1967 – Rioting erupts in Detroit Michigan; after police arrest 85 black people at an unlicensed bar, a crowd gathers and begins throwing rocks and bottles

1970 – Thea Dorn born, German novelist and playwright; since 2004, also the TV host of Literatur im Foyer, a show featuring interviews with authors and book reviews



1976 – Judit Polgár born, Hungarian Grandmaster in chess, considered the strongest woman player of all time; achieved the Grandmaster title at 15 years, 4 months, breaking the Youngest Grandmaster record previously held by World Champion Bobby Fischer; she was also the youngest player to break into the FIDE Top 100 players rating list, ranking #55 in the world at the age of 12; in 2005, she became the first, and to date, only woman to qualify for a World Championship Tournament, to surpass a 2700 Elo, reaching a career peak of 2735, and to reach a world ranking of #8; she held the title of #1 ranked woman in the world from 1989 to 2014, when she was briefly overtaken by Chinese player Hou Yifan, but regained her #1 ranking in 2015, shortly after announcing her retirement from competitive chess; the only woman to win a game against a reigning World Champion, also defeated eleven current or former World Champions in at least one game



1977 – Foreigner releases “Cold As Ice”

1978 – Lauren Groff born, American novelist and short story writer; known for The Monsters of Templeton, Delicate Edible Birds, and Arcadia



1979 – Electric Light Orchestra dedicates release of “Don’t Bring Me Down” to Skylab

1982 – The International Whaling Commission votes for a total commercial whaling ban by 1985

1984 – Gorgeous Grandma Day * is founded by Alice Solomon as a salute to women of a ‘certain age’

1995 – Comet Hale-Bopp is discovered; it becomes visible to the naked eye on Earth nearly a year later

1999 – Colonel Eileen Collins,  becomes the first woman U.S. shuttle mission commander, aboard NASA’s STS-93



2001 – Megawati Sukarnoputri becomes the first woman president of Indonesia after the President Abdurrahman Wahid is removed from office. She is given day-to-day control of the government beginning in August 2000 and serves as President from July 2001 to October 2004, but loses in the 2004 election



2003 – The Massachusetts’ attorney general issues a report that clergy others in the Boston Archdiocese likely sexually abused more than 1,000 people over six decades

2015 – NASA Kepler mission announces discovery of earth-like planet, Kepler-452b



2016 – Voters in the UK vote 52% to 48% to leave the European Union

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About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 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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