ON THIS DAY: August 5, 2019

August 5th is

Oyster Day

Underwear Day

Work Like a Dog Day

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MORE! Gertrude Rush, Harry Houdini and France Córdova, click

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World Festivals and National Holidays

Australia – Northern Territory: Picnic Day

Burkina Faso – Independence Day

Croatia – Victory & Thanksgiving Day

El Salvador – San Salvador: Dia de La Bajada
(Procession of the Christ figure)

Romania – Cluj-Napoca:
Untold Festival (Music)

Russia – Moscow:
Kalingrad Jazz Open-Air Festival

Spain – Ceuta:
Día de Nuestra Señora de África

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On This Day in HISTORY

AD 25 – After the short-lived Xin dynasty collapses, Guangu claims the throne and restores the Han dynasty



910 – In England, the last major Danish raiding force is defeated at the Battle of Tettenhall by the allied forces of Mercia and Wessex, led by King Edward the Elder and Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians

1100 – Henry, fourth son of William the Conqueror, is crowned King Henry I of England in Westminister Abbey



1305 – William Wallace is captured by the English near Glasgow and taken to London

1397 – Guillaume Dufay born, Belgian-Italian composer and theorist

1529 – The Treaty of Cambrai is signed, after negotiations conducted primarily by Louise of Savoy for the French and Margaret of Austria for her nephew, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V; also known as the Paix des Dames, or the Ladies’ Peace


Margaret of Austria and Louise of Savoy

1540 – Joseph Justus Scaliger born, French religious scholar and historian whose work expands ‘Classical’ history to include Persian, Babylonian, Jewish and ancient Egyptian history in addition to Greek and Roman



1565 – Paola Massarenghi born, Italian composer; her only composition to survive is a spiritual madrigal, Quando spiega l’insegn’al sommo padre



1583 – Sir Humphrey Gilbert establishes the first English colony in North America, at what is now St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

1620 – The Mayflower departs from Southhampton on a first attempt to reach America

1623 – Antonio Cesti born, Italian organist and composer

1716 – Austrian forces win a decisive victory over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Petrovaradin (now part of Serbia)

1811 – Ambroise Thomas born, French composer, operas Mignon and Hamlet; Conservatoire de Paris director (1871-1895)

1824 – Constantine Kanaris leads Greek fleet to victory over Ottoman Empire at Samos

1843 – James Scott Skinner born, Scottish violinist and composer



1850 – Guy de Maupassant born, influential French novelist and short-story writer



1861 – U.S. Army abolishes flogging

1861 – U.S. government levies first federal income tax as a wartime measure – 3% of all income over $800; rescinded in 1872

1872 – Oswaldo Cruz born, Brazilian physician, epidemiologist, public health officer and pioneer in bacteriology. In 1900, when the seaport of Santos in the state of São Paulo was ravaged by an epidemic of bubonic plague, Cruz became the technical director of the Brazilian Federal Serum Institute, founded to manufacture the serum developed by the Pasteur Institute to combat the disease. In 1902, Cruz became the general director of the institute, and expanded its scope to basic and applied research. In 1903, he was appointed director general of Public Health, and began a succession of sanitation campaigns, stopping yellow fever epidemics by eradicating breeding grounds for mosquitoes, fumigating houses, and isolating those already ill. He had less success with a widespread smallpox vaccination campaign in 1904, which met with opposition from citizen groups, labor unions and newspapers. After months of escalating opposition, the Vaccine Revolt erupted into violence in Rio de Janeiro, and the government declared a state of siege, then suspended obligatory vaccination. But when a major smallpox epidemic broke out in 1908, people rushed en masse to be vaccinated. Retiring in 1909 as director general of Public Health, he dedicated himself to the Oswaldo Cruz Institute, organizing important scientific expeditions, and eradicating urban yellow fever in the state of Pará



1874 – Japan begins its first postal savings system, modeled after the UK system

1876 – Mary Ritter Beard born, American historian and author, social justice and women’s rights activist; On Understanding WomenAmerica Through Women’s Eyes, and Woman As Force In History: A Study in Traditions and Realities



1877 – Tom Thompson born, influential Canadian artist


Round Lake, Mud Bay, Fall 1915 by Tom Thomson

1880 – Gertrude Rush born, American lawyer and jurist, first black woman attorney in Iowa, co-founder of the National Bar Association



1880 – Ruth Sawyer born, American author of fiction and nonfiction for adults and children; her children’s book Roller Skates won the 1937 Newbery Award



1882 – Anne Acheson born in Ireland, British-Irish sculptor and inventor who exhibited at the Royal Academy of Art in London in 1913. During the WWI she volunteered to work for the Surgical Requisites Association at Mulberry Walk in Chelsea, London, where she was the co-inventor with sculptor Elinor Hallé of plaster casts for soldier’s broken limbs, which speeded the healing time by stabilizing and supporting the broken limb. She and Hallé were both awarded CBEs for their contribution in 1919. Acheson was the first woman elected to be a fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, and received the Gleichen Memorial Award in 1938. During WWII, she retrained as a precision engineer and draftswoman to enable her to do further volunteer work



1884 – Cornerstone of the Statue of Liberty laid on Bedloe’s Island in NY Harbor

1888 – Bertha Benz drives from Mannheim to Pforzheim – first long-distance auto trip; now called the Bertha Benz Memorial route



1889 – Conrad Aiken born, American poet and novelist



1890 – Erich Kleiber born, Austrian conductor and composer

1891 – Harriet Spiller Daggett born, American academic, lawyer, schoolteacher and law professor; She graduated from Louisana State University (LSU), studying while her children were at school, earning her AB in government (1923), AM (1925), LLB in 1926 and her MA in 1928. She was an instructor at the School of Government from 1925, admitted to the Louisiana bar in 1926, and also became an instructor in the LSU Law School in 1926, one of the first women to be on the faculty of a U.S. law school. She attended Yale Law School for one year to earn her JSD in 1929, and became an LSU Law School associate professor in 1930. In 1931, she became the first woman to be a full professor at an ABA-approved AALS-member college (Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong  became a tenured law professor at the University of California, Berkeley in 1933, and Margaret Harris Amsler was the third woman tenured law professor to be appointed, at Baylor University Law School in 1941). Spiller Daggett retired as a Professor Emeritus in 1961. She specialized in mineral rights, community property, and domestic relations. She published The Community Property System of Louisiana in 1931, and Mineral Rights in Louisiana in 1939, both leading works. She was also Chair of the Louisiana Library Commission, and co-founded the Family Court in Baton Rouge, Louisiana



1906 – Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar, King of Iran, agrees to convert the government to a constitutional monarchy

1914 – First electric traffic signal lights installed in Cleveland OH

1918 – Betty Oliphant born, Canadian ballet dancer and co-founder National Ballet School of Canada



1924 – NY Daily News debuts comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” by Harold Gray


The first Little Orphan Annie 

1926 – Harry Houdini spends 91 minutes underwater in a sealed tank before escaping

1926 – Betsy Jolas born, important post-WWII French composer



1930 – Neil Armstrong born, American astronaut; first man to walk on the moon

1932 – Tera de Marez Oyens born, Dutch composer and Reformed church cantor; noted for her chamber music and song cycles, and electronic music compositions. In 1995, she was commissioned to write Unity, a piece for the 50th anniversary celebration of the United Nations



1934 – Wendell Berry born, American novelist, nonfiction author, environmental activist, and farmer; recipient of the 2010 National Humanities Medal, and numerous other awards and honors



1944 – Polish insurgents free 348 Jewish prisoners from Warsaw German labor camp

1947 – France Anne Córdova born, American astrophysicist and administrator. She is the current director of the National Science Foundation (since 2014). President Obama appointed her to the Smithsonian Board of Regents (2009-2014), and she served as its Chair (2012-2014). She was President of Purdue University (2007-2012). Córdova was Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Vice-Chancellor for Research (1996-2002), then Chancellor (2002-2007) at the University of California, Riverside.  She was the youngest person and first woman to be appointed as NASA Chief Scientist (1993-1996). Córdova was head of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University (1989-1993); worked at and became Deputy Group Leader at the Space Astronomy and Astrophysics Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (1979-1989). Her research has been in observational and experimental astrophysics, multi-spectral research on x-ray and gamma ray sources, and space-borne instrumentation. She originally got a BA in English, because everyone she knew said it was “more practical” because she was “just going to get married anyway,” and she didn’t know any scientists. But her feeling that science was where she belonged wouldn’t go away, so she went back to school, earning a PhD in Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1979, the year of her 32nd birthday



1957 – American Bandstand makes its national network debut on ABC

1959 – Isley Brothers record “Shout”

1963 – Limited Test Ban Treaty signed by U.S., Britain, and Soviet Union; no nuclear tests in space, underwater, or in the atmosphere

1966 – Groundbreaking for the original New York World Trade Center

1966 – The Beatles release their album Revolver

1969 – NASA Mariner 7 space probe passes Mars, sending back photographs and scientific data



1974 – President Richard Nixon says he expects to be impeached for ordering Watergate investigation halted

1981 – President Ronald Reagan makes carries out his threat, and begins firing more than 11,000 striking air traffic controllers, two days after they walked out, after talks with the Federal Aviation Administration collapsed. Reagan branded the strike as illegal, and ordered the strikers to return to work, or be fired 

1986 – American artist Andrew Wyeth’s 240 drawings and paintings of his neighbor Helga Testorf are revealed



1989 – Five Central American presidents meet about dismantling Contra bases

1999 – Music by Johann Sebastian Bach thought to have been destroyed during WWII is found in the Ukraine, part of musical estate of Bach’s son, Carl Phillipp Emanuel Bach

2010 – The U.S Senate confirms Elena Kagan as the Supreme Court’s fourth woman justice by a vote of 63-37



2011 – Standard & Poor’s lowered the U.S. government’s AAA credit rating to AA-plus

2015 – At the Gold King Mine near Silverton Colorado, Environmental Protection Agency personnel and workers for Environmental Restoration LLC, an EPA contractor hired to mitigate pollutants from the closed mine, cause the release of 3 million US gallons of toxic waste water containing heavy metals like cadmium and lead, as well as elements like arsenic and beryllium, into Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas River. The torrent of water also wiped out the access road to the site, complicating clean-up efforts. The EPA did not warm Colorado or New Mexico about the operation until the day after the disaster. Though the EPA “took responsibility” for the incident, it refused to pay for any damage claims on the grounds of “sovereign immunity.” Colorado Governor Hickenlooper declared the area a disaster zone, and the spill affected waterways of municipalities in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and the Navajo Nation

Animas River 2015: before the spill – and after

2017 – Venezuela’s new Constitutional Assembly ousted the nation’s top prosecutor, Luisa Ortega, sending guards in riot gear to keep her from her office. Ortega, a critic of President Nicolas Maduro, was replaced by one of Maduro’s supporters. Maduro created the Constitutional Assembly, under a proposal to dissolve the country’s former legislature which was dominated by his opposition. The vote that installed the new legislature fell under investigation, as independent polling suggested the Maduro government massively inflated turnout numbers and rigged the election in its favor. Maduro’s presidency is being disputed by Juan Guaidó, who was appointed as acting president by the National Assembly of Venezuela in January 2019

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About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 45 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 and a bewildered Border Collie.
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