ON THIS DAY: August 4, 2019

August 4th is

Single Working Women’s Day *

Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Hooray for Kids Day

National White Wine Day

U.S. Coast Guard Day *


MORE! Hedda Sterne, Robert Hayden and Allison Hedge Coke, click



Andorra – Andorra la Vella Festa Major
(ongoing through Sept-7-2019)

Barbados – Bridgetown:
Crop Over Festival

Burkino Faso – Revolution Day

Canada – Montreal:
Osheaga Music Festival

Cook Islands –
Constitution Day

El Salvador – Fiestas Patronales
(Patron saints fiestas, though Aug-6-2019)

India – Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala: Onam
(Legendary King Mahabaki Festival, through Aug-13-2019)

Slovakia – Deň Matice Slovenskej
(Matica Slovenská Day – national all-cultures institute) 


On This Day in HISTORY

598 – Yang Liang, youngest son of Emperor Wéndi of Sui, is ordered by his father to conquer Goguryeo (now Korea); he arrives with the Chinese army and navy during the Manchurian rainy season, and immediately gets bogged down

1870s Korean map of Korea

1181 – Chinese and Japanese astronomers first record a supernova in the constellation now called Cassiopeia, in eight separate texts. It is one of only eight supernovae in the Milky Way that has been observed with the naked eye. It remained visible in the night sky for another 185 nights

Image composited of data from three sources. Red is infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, orange is visible data from the Hubble Space Telescope, and blue and green are data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The cyan dot just off-center is the remnant of the star’s core.

1327 –Wars of Scottish Independence: Sir James Douglas, the ‘Black Douglas’ who ruthlessly practices guerilla and psychological warfare against the much larger English forces, leads a surprise midnight attack on Weardale, and almost captures the sleeping  English King Edward III

1532 – After King Charles VIII of France marries Anne, Duchess of Brittany, the Estates of Brittany vote to unite the Ducal crown with the French crown, ending the Duchy’s independence, after 600 years as a feudal state

1558 – Date of the first print edition of The Zohar, a group of commentaries written mainly in Aramaic concerning the mystical elements in the Torah; regarded as the foundation text of Kabbalah

1578 – In the Battle of Al Kasr al Kebir, the Moroccans defeat the Portuguese. King Sebastian of Portugal is killed in the battle, leaving his elderly uncle, Cardinal Henry, as his heir, setting off a succession crisis in Portugal

1693 – Legend says Dom Perignon discovered the process for making Champagne on this date, and that he exclaimed (in French): “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” (If it’s not true, it should be)

1701 – Thomas Blackwell born, Scottish classical scholar, historian and author; now considered a most distinctive and original thinker of the Scottish Enlightenment; noted for An Enquiry into the Life and Writings of Homer (1735),  Letters Concerning  Mythology (1748), and Memoirs of the Court of Augustus (3 volumes, 1753–1763)

1704 – In the War of the Spanish Succession, the combined English and Dutch fleets capture Gibraltar

1735 – NY Weekly Journal writer John Peter Zenger is acquitted of seditious libel by the jury because “the truth is not libelous,” establishing the basis for freedom of the press

John Peter Zenger - liberty quote

1748 – Abbé Maximilian Stadler born, Austrian composer, musicologist and organist;  Commander of the Cistercian Abbey in Lillienfeld (1786-1789); involved with Mozart’s musical estate and the very first Mozart catalog of works

1755 – Nicolas-Jacque Conte born, French mechanical genius and portrait painter; developer of the method from which the modern manufacture of graphite pencils is derived; he is chief of the balloon corps on Napoleon’s 1798 Egyptian expedition

1789 – Members of the French National Constituent Assembly take an oath to end feudalism and abandon their privileges

1790 – U.S. Coast Guard Day * – The Revenue Cutter Service, a U.S. naval task force, the precursor to Coast Guard, is formed by a tariff act

1792 – Percy Bysshe Shelley born, major English lyric poet of the Romantic Era

1821 – The Saturday Evening Post moves to weekly publication

1830 – Plans are laid out for the city of Chicago

1839 – Walter Pater born, British critic, essayist and humanist

1845 – Pherozeshah Merwanjee Mehta born, Indian political leader, lawyer, activist for Indian self-rule, education and healthcare; co-founder of the Indian National Congress and its President in 1890; founder and publisher of the Bombay Chronicle, an English-language weekly newspaper (1910-1959), which was an important nationalist voice and chronicle of pre-independent Indian political upheavals

1890 – Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong born, lawyer and law professor; one of only two women in her class at law school, graduating and admitted to the bar in 1915. Practiced law in California. She was the first woman to serve as a law professor at a law school of a major university, Boalt Hall, at the University of California, Berkeley in 1923. In 1928, she was the first woman to become a full-time faculty member at a major US law school. In 1935, she became the second woman full professor of law at an ABA-approved, AALS-member college, two years after Harriet Spiller Daggett at Louisiana State University

1892 – Johanna Bordewijk Roepman born, Dutch composer, largely self-taught; noted for her orchestral piece, The Garden of Allah 


1900 – Elizabeth Bower-Lyon born, future wife of King George VI, and Queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions; mother of Queen Elizabeth II; she lived  to the age of 101; greatly admired for her indomitable spirit during WWII and her calm, cheerful public persona. As the Dowager Queen, she was often affectionately referred to as ‘the Queen Mum’

Elizabeth Bower-Lyon — Queen consort — ‘the Queen Mum’

1901 – Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong born, influential virtuoso American Jazz trumpeter and gravel-voiced singer; Good Will Ambassador for the U.S State Department on tours to Africa, the Middle East and Latin America

1908 – Sir Osbert Lancaster born, English cartoonist, stage designer and writer

1910 – Hedda Sterne born in Romania, American Abstract Expressionist/Surrealist painter; along with sculptors Louis Bourgeois and Mary Callery, she was one of the three women members of “The Irascible Eighteen” of the New York School

Machines, by Hedda Stern

1912 – Raoul Wallenberg born, Swedish diplomat and humanitarian; as Sweden’s special envoy in Budapest, between July and December 1944, he issued protective passports, and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish diplomatic territory, saving the lives of thousands of Hungarian Jews. During the January, 1945, siege of Budapest by the Soviet Red Army, he was detained by SMERCH on ‘suspicion of espionage’ and disappeared; questions remain unanswered about his reported death in Lubyanka, the KGB prison, and Wallenberg’s possible ties to U.S. intelligence. One of those saved by Wallenberg, U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos, sponsored a bill in 1981 which made Wallenberg an Honorary Citizen of the United States, a privilege given to only eight people to date, including the Marquis de Lafayette (posthumously), Sir Winston Churchill, and Mother Teresa

1913 – Robert Hayden born, American poet and essayist; the first African American to serve as Consultant in Poetry (1976-1978) to the Library of Congress (the appointment has been called ‘U.S. Poet Laureate’ since 1986)

1914 – After Germany invades Belgium, Britain declares war on Germany, U.S. proclaims neutrality

1920 – Helen Thomas born, American journalist, columnist, White House press corps member who covers eleven U.S. presidents from Eisenhower to Obama; first woman officer of National Press Club, first female member of Gridiron Club, first woman member of the White House Correspondents’ Association and its first female president

1923 – Mayme Agnew Clayton born, American librarian, founder and president of the Western States Black Research and Education center (WSBREC), the largest privately held collection of African-American historical materials in the world, representing the core holdings of the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum in Culver City, California; for almost 50 years, Clayton single-handedly, using her own resources, collected over 30,000 rare and out-of-print books, newspaper clippings, movie posters, sheet music – in all, some 3.5 million items. In 1969, she helped establish the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) African-American Studies Center Library, and formed her own company, Third World Ethnic Books. She also supported black filmmakers through the Black American Cinema Society

1928 – Nadežda Mosusova born, Serbian composer, musicologist and writer; professor at the Stankovic Music School in Belgrade

1932 – Frances E. Allen born, American computer scientist; she went to college to become a high school math teacher, but instead became a pioneer in optimizing compilers, and seminal work in computer program optimization and parallel computing; first woman IBM Fellow; first woman recipient of the Turing Award (2006); also honored with a Computer Pioneer Award (2004) and as a Computer History Museum Fellow (2000)

1938 – Ellen Schrecker born, American historian and professor; notable for American Inquisition: The Era of McCarthyism, and several other books on the McCarthy era, also Regulating the Intellectuals: Perspectives on Academic Freedom in the 1980s

1940 – Frances J. Stewart born, British pre-eminent development economist, named one of fifty outstanding technological leaders in 2003 by Scientific American; director of the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE) at the University of Oxford; president of the Human Development and Capability Association (2008-2010); author of Technology and underdevelopment, Basic needs in developing countries, and Horizontal inequalities and conflict: understanding group violence in multiethnic societies


1943 – Barbara Saß-Viehweger born in what was then the Province of Saxony; German lawyer, civil law notary and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician; member of the Abgeordnetenhaus (a representative assembly governing non-federal regional matters) of Berlin (1975-1995), where she was speaker of the CDU caucus, and chair of the Enquete-Kommission (inquiry commission) for Abgeordnetenhaus administration reform; member of the communal parliament in Steglitz (1971-1975)

1944 – A Dutch informer betrays the hiding place of Anne Frank’s family and their friends. The Gestapo arrest the Franks, van Pelses, and Pfeffer, and takes them to RSHA headquarters, where they were interrogated and held overnight, then they are sent the next day to the concentration camp. Anne and her sister die of typhus in Belgen-Belsen, less than two months before the camp is liberated by British forces in 1945

1944 – Doudou Ndoye born, Senegalese lawyer, politician and author; Senegal’s Minister of Justice (1983-1986); founder and secretary-general of the Union for the Republic (UPR) political party since 2000; founder and publishing manager of African Legal Editions, and affiliated with Avocats sans frontier (Lawyers Without Borders)

1956 – Elvis Presley releases “Hound Dog”

1958 – Allison Hedge Coke born, American poet and editor of mixed Native American heritage. Her debut collection, Dog Road Woman, won a 1998 American Book Award. She has since written five more books and edited eight anthologies. Her 2006 poetry collection, Blood Run, was inspired by the traditions of the Native American Mound Builders and their earthworks

1958 – Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool” is first #1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart

1961 – Barak Obama born, 44th U.S. President (2009-2017) and 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate; first African American to serve as U.S. President; U.S. Senator from Illinois (2005-2008); member of the Illinois State Senate (1997-2004)

1964 – After a massive search headed by the FBI, the bodies of three missing C.O.R.E. civil rights workers are found buried in an earthen dam in Neshoba County, Mississippi

1964 – The Kinks single “You Really Got Me” released in U.K.

1966 – Most U.S. radio stations ban the Beatles after John Lennon says band is more popular than Jesus

1970 – Kate Silverton born, English journalist and BBC News and BBC Radio 4 presenter

1971 – Bethan Benwell born, British linguist and author; since 2008, a senior lecturer in English language and Linguistics at the University of Stirling; co-investigator (2007-2010) on the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) project Devolving Diasporas: Migration and Reception in Central Scotland, 1980–present; she and co-author Elizabeth Stokoe were nominated for the 2007 British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) Book Prize for Discourse and Identity

1977 – U.S. President Carter signs a measure to establish the Department of Energy

1975 – Jutta Urpilainen born, Finnish politician; Deputy Prime Minister of Finland (2011-2014); Minister of Finance (2011-2014); Leader of the Social Democratic Party (2008-2014); Member of Parliament for the Vaasa constituency since 2003

1983 – Greta Gerwig born, American actress, screenwriter and director; co-writer and co-director of Hannah Takes the Stairs (2007), and Nights and Weekends (2009). On 2017, she wrote the screenplay for her solo directorial debut, the comedy-drama, Lady Bird, which won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture–Musical or Comedy, and was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay

1984 – African republic Upper Volta changes its name to Burkina Faso

1987 – The FCC votes to rescind the Fairness Doctrine; radio and TV stations no longer required to present controversial issues in a balanced manner

1994 – Yugoslavia withdraws its support for Bosnian Serbs, sealing the 300-mile border between Yugoslavia and Bosnia

1996 – Josia Thugwane becomes the first black South African to win Olympic gold, running in the Marathon at the Atlanta Summer Games. Reaching the finish line just three seconds ahead of Lee Bong-Ju from South Korea, it was the closest Olympic marathon finish to date. Just five months before the games, he had been carjacked, his chin grazed by a bullet, and his back injured as he jumped from his moving car. His employer, a coal mining company, paid for his medical care and rehabilitation

2006 – Single Working Women’s Day * is started by Barbara Payne, co-founder of the Single Working Women’s Affiliate Network, for both young women just joining the workforce and all the single-parent moms (almost one-third of American families today)

2007 – NASA spacecraft Phoenix is launched, taking the Phoenix Lander to Mars

2010 – The state government of Malaysia and its Islamic Religious Council announced that it will allow Muslim girls under age 16 and boys under 18 to be married, claiming it would reduce the number of babies born out of wedlock; Minister for Women Shahrizat Abdul Jalil called the decision “morally and socially unacceptable”

2014 – Candlelight vigils were held across the United Kingdom to mark the 100th  anniversary of Britain’s entry into World War I. Over 744,000 British soldiers died in
combat; United Kingdom civilian deaths caused by military action or crimes against humanity exceeded 16,800

WWI 100th Anniversary Candlelight Vigil at Westminster Abbey

2017 – Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turung Pharmaceuticals, was called the “most hated man in America” after he bought the rights to out-of-patent drugs for which no generic version was available, then raised their prices overnight by factors of 20 to 60 (one drug rose in cost from$1.50 per pill to $30.00 per pill, another from $13.50 per pill to $750.00 per pill.) In 2015, he was arrested on securities fraud charges, accused of defrauding investors in his hedge funds and illegally paying then back via his other pharmaceutical company, Retrophin, after he lost the investors’ money. On this day in 2017, he was found guilty on three counts, including conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud. He was later sentenced to seven years in prison. U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto also ruled Shkreli must forfeit the $7.4 million USD he made from the fraud, and pay a $75,000 fine


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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