ON THIS DAY: October 13, 2019

October 13th is

U.N. International Day for Disaster Reduction *

English Language Day *

U.S. Navy’s Birthday *

National M&M Day

Yorkshire Pudding Day


MORE! Luisa de Guzmán, Naguib Mahfouz and Mollie Katzen, click



Ancient Rome – Fotinalia, festival honoring Fontus, a god of
wells and springs

Brazil – Belém: Cirio de Nazaré
(Catholic religious procession)

Burundi – Prince Rwagasore Day
(assassination memorial)

France – Vieillevie: Fete de Potiron
(pumpkin festival)

Germany – Lindau:
Autumn Food Festival by Lake Constance

India – Chennai:  Thithikum Diwali
(festival/fundraiser for children in need)

Japan – Doi, Shikokuchūō:
Doi taikomatsuri  (harvest festival)

Morocco – Essaouira: Moga Music Festival

New Zealand – Warkworth: Kowhai Festival
(Kowhai tree street festival)

Nigeria – Kaduna: Kaduna Drama Festival

Peru – Calca: Unu Urco (water festival)

Poland – Paramedics Day

South Africa – Cape Town: Helderberg Open
Gardens Festival (water-wise spring gardens)

Thailand: King Bhymibol Adulyadej Memorial


On This Day in HISTORY

54 – Roman Emperor Claudius dies, probably of poisoning – his wife Agrippina is suspected, possibly in collusion with his nephew Nero, who succeeded Claudius


467 – Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei born (reign 471-499); notably implemented a drastic policy of sinicization, hoping to centralize the government and make his multi-ethnic state easier to govern. The sweeping policy included changing artistic styles to reflect the Han artistic tradition, and forcing the population to speak Chinese and to wear Chinese clothes. He compelled his own Xianbei people and others to adopt Chinese surnames, changed his family surname from Tuoba to Yuan, and encouraged intermarriage between Xianbei and Han. His adoption of the Jin Dynasty social stratification and the Han culture led to incompetent nobles put in positions of power, while capable men of lower birth were unable to advance in his government, and increased corruption as nobles scrambled to pay for their extravagant lifestyles

1269 – The present building at Westminster Abbey is consecrated

1307 – Phillip ‘the Fair,’ who owed large sums to the Knights Templar in France, has hundreds of them arrested, and tortured into ‘confession’ of heresy

1613 – Luisa de Guzmán born, daughter of the Spanish Duke of Medina-Sidonia; she married João IV, the Portuguese Duke of Braganza in 1633. Regarded as “ambitious, willful and ruthless,” she was the stronger personality in the marriage, and was the main influence behind her husband’s acceptance of the Portuguese throne during Portugal’s revolution against Habsburg Spain in 1640. When João died in 1656, she was named Regent of the Kingdom during her son Afonso’s minority, but remained as regent even after he reached the age of 19, because a childhood illness had left him partially paralyzed and mentally unstable. Luisa defended the independence of Portugal and controlled the government with a strong hand, hoping her youngest son Pedro would take the crown when he came of age. Luisa was politically astute and mainly responsible for the diplomatic success of the new alliance with England. Her daughter Catherine  married Charles II of England. Luisa is also credited with the organization of the armies that in the following years would completely ensure Portuguese independence through the victories in the Portuguese Restoration War. In 1662, Afonso took power with the help of his favorite, the Count of Castelo Melhor, and had his mother removed to a convent. She died in the convent in 1666 at age 52

1773 – The Whirlpool Galaxy is discovered by Charles Messier, who designates it M51 in his catalogue

1775 – U.S. Navy Birthday * – The Continental Congress establishes the Continental Navy

1792 –Executive Mansion cornerstone laid in Washington DC. – nicknamed the ‘White House’ in 1818 – the name is made official by President Theodore Roosevelt

1843 – B’nai B’rith, the oldest Jewish service organization in the world, is founded by 12 recent German Jewish immigrants in New York City

1845 – Nine years after its inception, the majority of Republic of Texas voters approve becoming a U.S. state instead, effective in 1846

1862 – Mary H. Kingsley born, English ethnographic and scientific writer and explorer; wrote and lectured about Sierra Leone, Angola, Gabon, the Congo River and Cameroon after traveling in West Africa in 1893 and 1894-95; author of Travels in West Africa and West African Studies

1872 – Leon Leonwood Bean, American hunter, businessman, and author, founder of L.L.Bean

1881 – Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, “reviver of the Hebrew language,” holds the first known conversation in modern Hebrew with friends

1884 – The International Meridian Conference votes on a resolution to establish the meridian passing through the Observatory of Greenwich, in London, England, as the initial meridian for longitude

1885 – The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is founded in Atlanta, United States

1890 – Conrad Richter born, American novelist; The Town, the third book of his trilogy, The Awakening Land, won the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

1892 – Edward Emerson Barnard discovers D/1892 T1, the first comet discovered by photographic means, on the night of October 13–14

1902 – Arna Bontemps born, American novelist and poet, he was a noted member of the Harlem Renaissance; Story of the Negro

1905 – British Suffragettes Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney storm a political meeting in Manchester, England, demanding to know if the Liberal government will grant women the right to vote. When police forcibly remove them from the meeting, Pankhurst spits on one officer, and both women are arrested. They refuse to pay the fine, and go to jail, stirring up press attention. This is often regarded as the first militant action of the Suffragette movement. On October 17, Kenney writes to her sister Nell that she has been released from Manchester’s Strangeways Prison, where there were “over one hundred people waiting” for her. She was given a “lovely bouquet of flowers” “from the Oldham Socialists.” She also reports that over 2,000 people had attended a protest meeting on her behalf the night before. “Manchester is alive I can assure you.” Her letter was discovered in the 21st century, languishing in the British Columbia Archives, by historian Lyndsey Jenkins, who was doing research on Kenney and her family. Annie’s letter wound up in Canada because Nell emigrated there with her husband in 1909. The letter was filed under Nell’s married name, so its significance was overlooked

Annie Kenney in 1905

1903 – Babes in Toyland premieres on Broadway

1913 – Thami Naidoo, Indian civil rights activist in South Africa, mobilizes the Indians at Newcastle in the Natal Colony to start the Satyagraha Campaign (Passive Resistance Campaign). In a public meeting, Naidoo represented Satyagraha pioneer Mahatma Gandhi, who hailed Naidoo as one of the most important figures in the history of passive resistance. He and A.M. Cachalia had rescued Gandhi when he was attacked and severely beaten by dissidents in 1908

1919 – Jackie Ronne born, American explorer; first woman to work as a member of an Antarctic expedition (1947-49); the Ronne Ice Shelf is named for her

1923 – Ankara replaces Istanbul as the capital of Turkey

1923 – Rosemary Anne Sisson born, English author, playwright and television scriptwriter; The Excise Man, and scripts for: The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970), Elizabeth R (1971), Upstairs, Downstairs (1972–75) and The Duchess of Duke Street

1924 – Moturu Udayam born, Indian politician and women’s rights activist; Secretary General of the Andhra Pradesh Mahila Sangham, a women’s collective in the southeastern Indian state (1974?-1992), and vice president of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (1981-2001); she and her husband were communists, and underground twice, 1940-1945 and 1949-1951. During these exiles, she organized the first all-women Burrakatha group (a traditional form of story-telling previously only performed by men) which was part of an anti-fascist campaign. She was also the first known woman in Andhra Pradesh to ride a bicycle 

Women’s Day 2015 – AIDWA Food Sovereignty Meeting

1925 – Margaret Thatcher born, Conservative MP and Party Leader, first woman to lead a major British political party, and first female UK Prime Minister (1979-1990)

1934 – Nana Mouskouri born, Greek singer and politician; UNICEF spokesperson and Greek deputy to the European Parliament (1994-1999)

1941 – Paul Simon born, American singer-songwriter; Simon and Garfunkel

1950 – Mollie Katzen born, American chef, cookbook author; The Moosewood Cookbook, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest

1953 – Samuel Bagno patents an ultrasonic burglar alarm

1957 – The Ford Edsel is introduced on a TV special with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby

1958 – Maria Cantwell born, American politician, U.S. Senator (D-WA 2001 to present), previously U.S. House of Representatives (D-WA for 1st District 1993-1995 and for 44thDistrict 1987-1993)

1961 – Rachel De Thame, English Horticulturist, garden expert and BBC 2 presenter on Gardener’s World, and Small Town Gardens, and co-host for the BBC’s annual coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show

1962 – Edward Albee’s play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? debuts on Broadway. It won the Best Play Award from both the American Theatre Wing and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle. It closed in 1964, after 664 performances, then opened in London in 1965

 1983 – Ameritech Mobile Communications (now AT&T) launched first U.S. cellular network in Chicago

1988 – Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz wins the Nobel Prize in Literature

1989 – The U.N. General Assembly designates International Day for Disaster Reduction, * to promote risk-awareness, disaster preparedness/mitigation, annually on October 13 

1992 – An earthquake in Cairo kills 400 Egyptians and injures over 4,000 others, but the Great Sphinx and the pyramids at Giza survive

2009 – Bob Dylan releases his album Christmas in the Heart

2009 – The first English Language Day is launched by the English Language Project to promote understanding of all the varieties of English. This year’s theme: Lingoes, Jargons, Slangs and Argots

2011 – Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the new Prime Minister of Denmark (2011-2015), presents her new coalition government; Denmark’s first woman Prime Minister

2015 – Playboy magazine announces it will stop publishing photographs of fully nude women, beginning with a redesigned issue in March 2016. Chief Executive Scott Flanders explains, “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.” The magazine’s circulation had fallen from 5.6 million in 1975 to 800,000 in 2015, while its web traffic quadrupled after it eliminated nudity in August 2014

2016 – The Republic of the Maldives announces its decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth of Nations


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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