ON THIS DAY: October 17, 2019

October 17th is

Black Poetry Day *

Mulligan Day *

National Pasta Day

Wear Something Gaudy Day *

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty *

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MORE! Elinor Glyn, Jupiter Hammond and Sathima Benjamin, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Argentina – Loyalty Day

Egypt – Nuweibaa: Indigo Festival

France – Paris: Foire Internationale
d’Art Contemporain (modern art fair)

Haiti – Mort de Dessalines Day (Death of Dessalines day)

India – Digital Society Day

Italy – Rome: Rome Film Festival

New Zealand – Havelock North:
Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival

Nigeria – Abuja: Art X Tech Festival

Peru – Lima:  Señor de los Milagros
(Lord of Miracles Procession)

St. Lucia – La Marguerite Flower Festival
(Feast of St Margaret Alacoque)

South Africa – Durban:
Poetry Africa International Poetry Festival

South Korea – Yeoji-gun: Naru Festival
(Rice and sweet potatoes harvest festival)

United Kingdom – London:
London Literature Festival

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On This Day in HISTORY

503 – Lý Nam Đếborn, Vietnam’s first emperor, Early Lý dynasty



1091 – The earliest reported tornado strikes the heart of London, England; it demolishes the wooden London Bridge; Church of St. Mary-le-Bow badly damaged, and over 600 homes; many people are injured, but only two people are killed

1346 – Battle of Ville’s Cross: King David II of Scotland invades England under the Auld Alliance with France, which was at war with the English in Normandy, but he is wounded, then captured by the English and imprisoned in the Tower of London, then transferred to Windsor Castle, and finally to Oldham Castle, a total of 11 years in captivity, before the Scots’ regency council signs a treaty, agreeing to pay 1oo,ooo marks in ransom, at the rate of 10,000 marks a year

1493 – Bartolommeo Bandinelli born, Italian Renaissance sculptor and painter, jealous rival of Michelangelo


Self-Portrait, by Baccio Bandinelli

1558 – Polish King Sigismund II Augustus had to maintain regular correspondence with Italy to collect his inheritance after his mother died, so he grants to Pospero Provana, an Italian, the right to found a postal service as the first Postmaster of the Royal Mail, which is expanded from deliveries between the King and Venice into the Poczta Polska, the Polish postal service

1577 – Christofano Allori born, Italian portrait painter of the late Florentine Mannerist school; exceptional technical skill; best known for Judith with the Head of Holofernes


Judith with the Head of Holofernes, by Christofano Allori

1587 – Nathan Field born, English dramatist and actor, son of Puritan preacher John Field; plays, A Woman is a Weathercock and co-author of The Honest Man’s Fortune

1604 – German astronomer Johannes Kepler observes a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus, to the northwest of Milky Way’s center



1662 – Charles II of England sells his sovereign rights to Dunkirk to his cousin, King Louis XIV of France, for five million livres (40,000 pounds). At the time, Charles was short of money, having only been restored to the English throne two years earlier

1711 – Jupiter Hammon born, poet and author, first black American writer to be published in the America (poet Phillis Wheatley was first published in England); born in slavery in New York state and never emancipated (see also entry for 1985)



1720 – Maria Teresa Agnesi Pinottini born, Italian composer-harpsichordist-singer; often performed at gatherings for the lectures of her more famous sister, Maria Gaetana Agnesi, the mathematics and language prodigy, but also performed in Vienna and Dresden, cities where the Austrian Lombardy proved more favorable toward women’s education and independence than her home city of Milan at the time. She enjoyed the patronage of Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa, and Maria Antonia, Electress of Saxony



1739 – Thomas Coram is granted a Royal Charter from English King George II for a hospital in London to maintain and educate “exposed and deserted young children”


London Foundling Hospital, 1749

1814 – Yakub Holovatsky born, Galician historian, ethnographer, linguist, poet, bibliographer, and lexicographer; leader of Western Ukrainian Russophiles, a cultural and political movement that claimed Eastern Slavic people of Galicia were a branch of the Russian people, and so should not be part of the Austrian empire




1814 – The London Beer Flood: a huge vat containing 135,000 imperial gallons ruptures at the Meux and Company Brewery, setting off a series of vat ruptures. A total of 323,000 imperial gallons burst through the doors and flood Tottenham Court Row, George Street and New Street. Eight people drown, two homes are destroyed, a pub severely damaged, and numerous people injured. The disaster is ruled an Act of God. Suspicions of bribery are never proved

1859 – Childe Hassam born, American Impressionist painter and illustrator


The South Gorge, Appledore, Isles of Shoals – by Childe Hassam

1864 – Elinor Glyn born, provocative English author, screenwriter, and producer-director; her novels It and Three Weeks were scandalous at the time; wrote screenplays for Hollywood silent films for Gloria Swanson and Clara Bow – Glyn gave Bow her ‘It Girl’ title; briefly had her own production company in Britain, Elinor Glyn Ltd, but it failed, and she went back to writing novels



1868 – Sophia Hayden Bennett born, American architect, first woman to receive an architecture degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, designed the Woman’s Building at the World Columbian Exposition in 1893, Chicago IL


Woman’s Building, World Columbian Exposition,
designed by Sophie Hayden Bennett

1882 – Haritina Korotkevich born, during the Russo-Japanese War, she disguised herself as a man using the name Khariton Korotkevich, and worked as a brakeman on the Trans-Siberian Railway to reach Port Arthur, in order to be reunited with her husband. She revealed she was a woman to the officer in charge, who heard her story sympathetically, and allowed her to take the oath of fidelity and don a uniform to serve as a soldier in the Imperial Russian Army. At first, she was not taken seriously, but proved herself to be an able fighter, and her courage inspired the men around her. When her husband was wounded, she spent three weeks caring for him at the field hospital, then returned to the fighting, assigned by the captain to be a messenger, carrying orders and reports between the commander and the front lines. When the Japanese launched a massive offensive in October 1908, she was carrying a report of causalities and an urgent request for reserve troops and more ammunition, when she was killed by a Japanese howitzer shell as she was leaving the regiment’s dugout. She was posthumously awarded the Cross of St. George, given for undaunted courage and distinction in battle


Haritina Korotkevich in uniform holding rifle, shortly before her death

1888 – First issue of National Geographic Magazine appears on newsstands



1892 – Hebert Howells born, English composer and organist



1895 – Doris Humphrey born, American dancer and choreographer; along with Martha Graham and Katherine Dunham, one of the second generation of pioneers in modern dance. Many of her works were annotated, so Humphrey’s choreography continues to be taught, studied and performed. Her theories on the fundamentals of movement were very influential, especially her idea of Fall and Recovery as the center point of movement, which she described as “the arc between two deaths,” based on the change in the center of gravity, then balance and recovery. Humphrey’s theory was that moving away from center should be followed by an equal adjustment to return to center to prevent a fall. The more dramatic the movement, the more dramatic the recovery should be



1900 – C. C. “Cox” van Asch van Wijck born, Dutch artist and sculptor; after schooling in American, she studied with sculptor Toom Dupuis, who was the docent of Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten (Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the Hague). She was married in 1930, and set up her atelier in the gatehouse of her new home. In 1932, she died in childbirth, a month before her 32nd birthday



1901 – Emma Gambia Alvarado born, Costa Rican educator; as a student who excelled in reading and mathematics, she was given a scholarship to the Escuela Normal de Costa Rica, founded in 1914, as a secondary school to train teachers. She graduated as a teacher in 1920, then continued her studies at Ohio University in the U.S., with a bachelor’s degree in Education Sciences in 1939, and a Master of Arts in 1940.  She was a founding member of the Costa Rican Asociación Nacional de Educadores (National Association of Educators), and was elected as its second president in 1947. She earned a PhD in Philosophy from Ohio University in 1951. After her persistent campaigning for an education department, in 1958 she inaugurated the Education building at the University of Costa Rica. In 1960, she contributed to the creation of the Escuela Nueva Laboratorio (primary laboratory), brokering an agreement between the University of Costa Rica and the Ministry of Public Education. She promoted her ideas for an integral and democratic education system in books, talks and seminars, and at national, Latin American, European and American conferences. She also wrote readers and textbooks for Costa Rican children, including My home and my Village; Active Reading; and Paco and Lola and The Little House on the Mountain.  In 1998, she became the first woman whose likeness appeared on a Costa Rican banknote, the 10,000 colones bill



1903 – Nathanael West born, American author and screenwriter; remembered for Miss Lonelyhearts, and The Day of the Locust



1907 – Guglielmo Marconi’s company begins commercial transatlantic wireless service between Nova Scotia and Ireland

1908 – The Congo Free State is annexed by Belgium, after forcing Leopold II to relinquish control when the truth about forced labor, starvation, deaths and mutilations of millions of Congolese under his regime causes a huge international scandal

1910 – Ester Wier born, American novelist and children’s author; noted for The Loner, which win the 1964 Newbery Award for young adult fiction

1910 – Marina Núñez del Prado born, notable Bolivian sculptor who used native Bolivian woods as well as granite, onyx, alabaster and basalt. Much of her work was inspired by the art of Bolivia’s Aymara people and other indigenous peoples, and she was an advocate for their civic and human rights. Her house and studio are now the Núñez del Prado Casa Museo, governed by the Foundation Núñez del Prado, and designated as a Bolivian National Cultural Site



1913 – Marian Marsh, born as Violet Krauth in Trinidad, American film actress and environmentalist. Her family moved to Boston, Massachusetts during WWI, then to Hollywood, California in 1923.  Her older sister became a contract player, using the name Jean Fenwick. Marsh attended Hollywood High School. In 1928, she began taking speech and movement lessons from silent screen actress Nance O’Neil, and was soon under contract at Pathé Studios, making short subject films under the name Marilyn Morgan. In 1930, after parts in the Howard Hughes film Hell’s Angels and the Eddie Cantor musical Whoopee!, she was signed by Warner Brothers, and her professional name was changed to Marian Marsh. One of her best-known roles was as Trilby in the 1931 film, Svengali, co-starring with John Barrymore. Her career had ups and downs, and she retired in 1959. She moved to Palms Desert, California, where she founded Desert Beautiful, a non-profit, all-volunteer conservation organization to promote environmental and beautification programs in the 1960s. She died in Palm Desert in 2006, at the age of 93.



1914 – Jerry Siegel born, co-creator of comic book superhero Superman


 Superman comic book #1

1915 – Arthur Miller born, American playwright whose play Death of a Salesman won the Pulitzer Prize (1949)



1917 – Adele Stimmel Chase born, American painter, sculptor and ceramicist; noted for faience figures and ceramic tiles

1917 – Norman Leyden born, American composer and conductor

1918 – Rita Hayworth born as Margarita Cansino in New York, legendary American screen star, actress and dancer. She was a lifelong Democrat and an active member of the Hollywood Democratic Committee. She campaigned for Frankin Roosevelt during the 1944 election. When her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease was made public in 1981, the disease was little-known, and she became its “public face,” not only raising awareness of the disease, but helping to destigmatize a condition that many families at tried to hide out of embarrassment



1919 – Violet “Vi” Milstead Warren born, Canadian aviator, she earned her private and commercial aviation licenses early in 1940; noted for being the first Canadian woman bush pilot, and one of four Canadian women who served in the British Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) during WWII. With over 600 hours of flight time in 47 different types of aircraft during the war, she was also the longest-serving Canadian woman. After the war, she returned home and worked as a flight instructor and bush pilot. She was a member of the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame, the Order of Canada, and the Bush Pilots Hall of Fame


Vi Milstead Warren with Fairchild Husky

1921 – George Mackay Brown born, Scottish poet, writer and playwright; Beside the Ocean of Time



1922 – Luiz Bonfá born, Brazilian guitarist and composer; some of his music used in the film Black Orpheus, directed by Marcel Camus



1930 – Jimmy Breslin born, American journalist and author



1931 – Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion, and sentenced to 11 years in prison

1933 – After fleeing Nazi Germany, Albert Einstein moves to Princeton NJ

1936 – Sathima Bea Benjamin born, South African singer-songwriter and record producer; sang with Duke Ellington’s  orchestra at the 1965 Newport Jazz Festival; founded her record label, ekapa, in 1979;  received the Order of Ikhamanga Silver Award from South African president Thabo Mbeki for “excellent contribution as a jazz artist” and “contribution to the struggle against apartheid”



1939 – Mr. Smith Goes to Washington premieres



1940s – The term ‘Mulligan’ is in widespread use on golf courses, meaning a “do over.”  its origins are disputed, but Mulligan Day * is a second chance to get something right

1943 – Vilma Socorro Martinez born, lawyer, first female U.S. Ambassador to Argentina (2009), civil rights crusader, one of first women on the board of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)



1946 – Drusilla Modjeska born in England, Australian author and anthology editor; novels Poppy and Stravinsky’s Lunch

1956 – Bobby Fischer defeats Donald Byrne in ‘The Game of the Century’

1956 – Mae Jemison born, American physician, academic, holder of a degree in chemical engineering, and NASA astronaut (1987-1993). Since 1993, Director of the Jemison Institute for Advancing Technology in Developing Countries, which researches, designs, implements and evaluates cutting-edge technology in a real-life context. She was the  first African American woman in space, aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992, as a Science Mission Specialist, conducting space-sickness experiments and research on bone loss in zero gravity. She also served as a doctor in the Peace Corps in West Africa (1985-1987)



1957 – Elvis Presley movie, Jail House Rock, premieres in Memphis, Tennessee

1961 – Walter Sisulu, African National Congress (ANC) leader, is arrested, charged with not having a reference (pass) book, which under apartheid was required to be carried at all times by all Black South Africans over the age of 16; he is sentenced to house arrest



1964 – Margarita Liborio Arrazola born, Mexican PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) politician; Deputy of the Legislature of the Mexican Congress representing Oaxaca (2009-2012)



1965 – New York World’s Fair closes after two years and 51 million visitors

1967 – The musical Hair opens at New York’s Public Theatre

1968 – Alejandra Ávalos born, Mexican singer-songwriter, actress, dancer, record producer and philanthropist; she has been a supporter of causes including AIDS and cancer research, anti-poverty campaigns, children with disabilities, and animal rights 



1970s – On the TV sitcom Three’s Company, Larry (played by Richard Kline) declared Wear Something Gaudy Day * – practice for Halloween!

1973 – OPEC begins an oil-embargo against western nations which supported Israel, including U.S. and Great Britain, when Egypt and Syria attacked Israel 11 days earlier

1974 – Ariel Levy born, American writer and author; staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, and author of a memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply, and Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, a critique of America’s highly sexualized culture, in which women are objectified, objectify one another, and are encouraged to objectify themselves



1979 – The U.S. Department of Education Organization Act becomes law, creating the Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services

1985 – The first Black Poetry Day,* set on the anniversary of the birth of Jupiter Hammon (born October 17, 1711), a slave who spent his life on the estate of the Lloyd family of Long Island NY, whose poetry was the first by an African-American to be published in the U.S. – Phyllis Wheatley, the first African-American woman poet, was published earlier, but in England (see also entry for 1711)



1993 – The first United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty * to commemorate the October 17, 1987, vigil by 100,000 people in Paris honoring the victims of poverty, violence and hunger



2003 – The pinnacle fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, allows it to surpass the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur by 184 feet (56 metres),  becoming the world’s tallest highrise

2007 – President George W. Bush presents the Dalai Lama with the Congressional Gold Medal, and infuriates the Chinese by urging them to welcome him to Beijing

2016 – The Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-11 is launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northern China


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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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