ON THIS DAY: October 18, 2019

October 18th is

Chocolate Cupcake Day

National No Beard Day

Hard-Boiled Detective Day *

World Menopause Day

International Necktie Day

Rocky Horror Picture Show Day *


MORE! Mary Wroth, Félix Houphouët-Boigny and Violeta Chamorro , click



Australia – Kingaham: Elements Festival
(Music, markets and workshops)

Azerbaijan – Independence Day

Canada – Persons Day *

Chile – Ñuñoa: Gran Feria Medieval Y De
Fantasia De Ñuñoa (Medieval fair & fantasia)

Croatia – Necktie Day

Egypt – Cairo: Treasures of the Nile Sun Festival

France – Cognac:
Cognac Crime Fiction Festival

Germany – Hamelin: Autumn Moon Festival

India – Bengaluru: Bengaluru Aaharotsava
(Vegetarian food festival)

Italy – Alba:
White Truffle Fair (til 11-24)

Kenya – Nairobi: Nairobi Mardi Gras Festival

Mexico – Guadalajara: Tecate Coordenada
(Music concert)

South Korea – Sunchang-gun:
Sunchang Fermented Soybean Festival

Spain – Córdoba: Festival Flora

Zambia – National Day of Prayer


On This Day in HISTORY

320 AD – Pappus of Alexandria observes a solar eclipse and writes about it in his commentary on the Almagest, a 2nd century Greek mathematical and astronomical treatise on the motions of stars and planetary paths written by Klaúdios Ptolemaíos, the most accepted geocentric model until Copernicus published  On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres in 1543

614 – King Chlothar II proclaims the Edict of Paris, which defends the rights of Frankish nobles but excludes Jews from all civil employment in the Frankish kingdom

1386 – Heidelberg University opens its doors. Its papal charter specifies it is to be modeled after the University of Paris to include four faculties: philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, and medicine. Heidelberg is Germany’s oldest university

1540 – Battle of Mabila: Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto’s forces destroy the fortified village of Mabila in present-day Alabama, killing Chief Tuskaloosa, suzerain of multiple tribal vassals

1553 – Luca Marenzio born, Italian Renaissance composer and singer

1565 – Battle of Fukuda Bay: first recorded naval battle between Europeans and the Japanese. A flotilla of samurai under the daimyō Matsura Takanobu attacked two Portuguese trade vessels that shunned Matsura’s port in Hirado, going instead to trade at Fukuda (now within Nagasaki), a port belonging to the rival Ōmura Sumitada. The Japanese fail to capture the Portuguese traders, who were trying find a safe harbour for their carracks in Japan. They would eventually settle on Nagasaki. Catholic priests had already been expelled from Hirado in 1558 for destroying Buddhist books and images

1587 – Lady Mary Wroth born, English Renaissance poet, one of the first women to achieve an enduring reputation in literature; wrote Urania,  first known/surviving prose romance written by an English woman; the sonnet sequence Pamphilia to Amphilanthus; and Love’s Victory, a pastoral closet drama (reader’s theatre piece for private performance) 

1595 –Edward Winslow born, founder of the Plymouth Colony

1616 – Nicholas Culpeper born, English botanist, herbalist and astrologer; author of   The Complete Herbal, one of the most detailed sources of pharmaceutical and herbal knowledge of the time

1632 – Luca Giordano born, Italian painter

Self-Portrait by Luca Giordano

1648 – Boston shoemakers form the first American labor organization

1685 – King Louis XIV of France revokes the Edict of Nantes, which established legal toleration of the Protestant Huguenots

1697 – Canaletto born as Giovanni Canal, Italian painter and printmaker

The Grand Canal, Venice – by Canaletto

1701 – Charles le Beau born, French historical writer; Histoire du Bas-Empire, en commençant à Constantin le Grand, in 22 volumes

1775 – Poet Phillis Wheatley, a black slave in Boston, is freed upon the death of her master John Wheatley

1785 – Thomas Love Peacock born, English author, satirist, poet and official off the East India Company; he was a good friend of Percy Bysshe Shelley, who influenced his poetry; noted for his novels, mostly satires that featured characters at a table discussing and criticizing the philosophical opinions of the day, including Headlong Hall, Nightmare Abby, The Misfortunes of Elphin, and Crochet Castle

1787 – Robert Livingston Stevens born, inventor and steam-driven transport builder; first steamship to navigate the ocean successfully; the ‘John Bull’ steam locomotive

1799 – Christian F. Schonbein born, German chemist, discovered and named ozone

1804 – Rama IV born, known in English-speaking countries as King Monghut, of the House of Chakri, the King in Anna and the King of Siam, by Anna Leonowens, which inspires the musical, The King and I

1822 – Ahmed Şefik Midhat Pasha born in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (now Istanbul, Turkey); Ottoman statesman during the late Tanzimat (‘reorganization’) period; Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire (in 1872 and 1876-1877); noted as a liberal leader of the Ottoman constitutional movement in 1876, and for introducing the First Constitutional Era; also a leader in reforming the educational and provincial administrations; considered one of the founders of the Ottoman Parliament

1851 – Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick is first published as The Whale by Richard Bentley of London

1859 –Henri-Louis Bergson born, French philosopher; 1927 Nobel Prize in Literature; Matière et mémoire (Matter and Memory)

1867 – U.S. takes possession of Alaska after purchasing it from Russia for $7.2 million – celebrated in the state as Alaska Day *

1874 – Christine Murrell born, English medical doctor, first woman member of the British Medical Association’s Central Council; woman suffragist, chair of WWI Women’s Emergency Corps; president of Medical Women’s Federation (1926-1928). Murrell graduated from the London School of Medicine for Women with an MBBS in 1899, and was the second woman to serve as a house physician at London’s Royal Free Hospital. In 1903, she established a private practice in Bayswater with her friend Elizabeth Honor Bone. She earned an MD in psychology and mental diseases from the University of London in 1905. From 1907, she led an infant welfare clinic run by the St Marylebone Health Society at Lisson Grove for 18 years. In 1923, she published a series of lectures she had given, under the title Womanhood and Health.

1892 – First long distance telephone line between Chicago and New York opened

1894 – H.L. Davis born, American novelist, poet and short story writer; won the 1933 Pulitzer Prize for his novel, Honey in the Horn

1897 – Isabel Briggs-Myers born, American author and co-creator with her mother, Katherine Cook Briggs, of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a Jung-based psychological questionnaire to determine a person’s dominant perception function – sensation, intuition, feeling or thinking – and their decision-making process, designed to evaluate “normal” populations

1898 – U.S. takes possession of Puerto Rico from Spain

1900 – Sarah Bavly born in the Netherlands, Dutch-Israeli nutritionist, researcher and author; came to British Mandatory Palestine in 1926, became the chief dietitian for Hadassah hospitals, and head of Hadassah’s school lunch program; founder and dean of the College of Nutrition and Home Economics in Jerusalem (1953-1965); Tzunatenu (Our Nutrition) was a standard elementary-school textbook for decades

1900 – Evelyn Berckman born, American author of detective fiction, Gothic horror novels and non-fiction British naval history, who began writing after semi-paralysis ended her career as a pianist; The Beckoning DreamThe Heir of Starvelings, and Creators and Destroyers of the English Navy

1905 – Jan Gies born, Dutch Resistance member; with his wife Miep Gies, hid Anne Frank, her family and the van Pels from Nazi persecution, and rescued Anne Frank’s writings before the secret police ransacked their hiding place after the Franks and van Pels were discovered and arrested in 1944

1905 – Félix Houphouët-Boigny born in French West Africa, the first President of Côte d’Ivoire (1960-1993), the longest-serving leader in Africa at the time of his death; affectionately called “Papa Houphouët,” he guided the country from independence to moderate prosperity through development of its coffee and cocoa industries, and by maintaining close ties with the West, especially France. After his death, conditions quickly deteriorated, leading to several coups d’état, a currency devaluation, an economic recession, and two civil wars (2002-2007 and 2010-2011)

1906 – James Brooks born, American abstract painter and muralist

1910 – E. M. Forster publishes his novel Howard’s End

1919 – Pierre Trudeau born, Prime Minister of Canada (1968-1979 & 1980-1984)

1920 – Melina Mercouri born, award-winning Greek actress, singer and politician; activist against the Greek military junta which overthrew the government in 1967 – the junta revoked her Greek citizenship. After the junta’s fall in 1974, she became a founding member of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), a centre-left political party; Mercouri was elected in 1977 as the Member of Parliament for Piraeus B; she served as Greek Minister of Culture (1981-1989)

1921 – Beatrice Worsley, Canadian born in Mexico, first woman to earn a Ph.D. in what is now called computer science, from Cambridge (Alan Turing was one of her advisers); first woman computer scientist in Canada; wrote the first program to run on EDSAC, and co-wrote the first compiler for Toronto’s Ferranti Mark 1

1922 – A consortium founds the British Broadcasting Company (now the BBC) to establish a nationwide network of radio transmitters for a national broadcasting service

1923 – Jessie Mae Hemphill born, American country blues singer-songwriter

1924 – Buddy MacMaster born, Canadian traditional Cape Breton fiddler

1926 – Chuck Berry born, American singer-songwriter

1929 – Celebrated in Canada as “Persons Day” *: The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council overrules the Supreme Court of Canada in Edwards v. Canada when it declares that women are considered “Persons” under Canadian law, establishing both the citizenship rights of Canadian women, and the “living tree doctrine,” that a constitution is organic and must be read in a broad and liberal manner so as to adapt it to changing times. The Lord Chancellor, Viscount Sankey, wrote that “…exclusion of women from all public offices is a relic of days more barbarous than ours,” and that “to those who ask why the word should include females, the obvious answer is why should it not.”

1929 – Violeta Chamorro born, Nicaraguan publisher and politician, President of Nicaragua (1990-1997)

1930 – Flora Fraser born, the Lady Saltoun, Scottish peer; holder of a lordship of Parliament since 1979, who was one of the 90 hereditary peers chosen by election to remain in the House of Lords after the House of Lords Act 1999 removed 662 hereditary peers. Lady Saltoun retired from the House of Lords in 2014. She is the Chief of the Name and Arms of Clan Fraser, since a 1984 decree of the Court of the Lord Lyon, and is also head of the Scottish lowland family the Frasers of Philorth

The Lady Saltoun and Lord Lovat

1930 – Esther Hautzig born in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania), American writer  known for The Endless Steppe, winner of the first Sydney Taylor Book Award in 1968, which is an account of her life in Siberia after her family’s deportation there following the Soviet conquest of eastern Poland in 1941

1931 – “Ien” Isabella Dales born, PvdA Dutch politician; Minister of Internal Affairs (1989-1994); Mayor of Nijmegen (1987-1989); Member of Parliament (1982-1987); State Secretary for Social Affairs (1981-1982); Rotterdam Director of Social Services (1977-1981)

1941 – The nation-wide release date of the classic film noir, The Maltese Falcon

1941 – Martha Burk born, American political psychologist, syndicated columnist and feminist; money editor for MS magazine, and current head of the Corporate Accountability Project for the National Council of Women’s Organizations, which started the 2003 Women on Wall Street investigation into sex discrimination at companies associated with Augusta National, which led to two women becoming members of the all-male golf club in 2013; Chair of the National Council of Women’s Organizations (2001? -2005), an umbrella organization for over 100 women’s organizations

1946 –Aaron Copland’s 3rd Symphony premieres

1946 – Howard Shore born, Canadian composer, noted for film scores; his scores for The Lord of the Rings films won 2 Academy Awards for Best Original Score, and he, Fran Walsh and Annie Lennox won the Best Song Oscar for The Return of the King end-credit song “Into the West”; Shore has also won 3 Golden Globes and 3 Grammys

1947 – Laura Nyro born, American singer-songwriter; she was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012; she died of ovarian cancer in 1997 at age 49

1948 – Ntozake Shange born as Paulette Williams, American playwright, poet and black feminist, best known for her Obie Award-winning play, for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf

1950 – Wendy Wasserstein born, American playwright, noted for The Heidi Chronicles, winner of a Tony Award for Best Play, and the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

1951 – Terry McMillan born, American author, noted for Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back

1954 – Texas Instruments announces the first transistor radio

1955 – Rita Verdonk born, Dutch politician, originally with the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (2002-2007), then an independent (2007-2008), and founder and leader of the Proud of the Netherlands Party (2008-2011); Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives (2007-2010); Member of the House of Representatives (2007-2010); Minister of Justice (2006)

1956 – Martina Navratilova born in Czechoslovakia,  Czech-American tennis player, considered one of the all-time best women tennis players; advocate for LGBT rights, freedom of speech, and animal rights; involved with charities which benefit underprivileged children

1962 – Min Ko Naing born as Paw Oo Tun, Myanmar democracy activist and dissident; he was a member of the All Burma Federation of Students, which organized the 8-8-88 general strike, regarded as a turning point in the country’s democracy movement. Arrested for speaking to the crowds and instigating “disturbances to the detriment of law and order, peace and tranquility,” he received a 20-year sentence, commuted to 10 years under a general amnesty in 1993. Amnesty International called him a prisoner of conscience and campaigned for his release, citing evidence of ill-treatment and torture early in his incarceration, which impacted his health. He was finally released in 2004, after 15 years in prison, but rearrested in 2006 with several other democracy leaders, all held without trial until 2007 with no explanation. He helped to found the 88 Generation Students Group; arrested in 2007 with 13 other leaders of the 88 group for organizing peaceful demonstrations. He was sentenced to 65 years in prison, causing an international outcry, but was released in 2012 as part of a presidential pardon for political activists

1962 – Dr. James Watson of the U.S., and Dr. Francis Crick and Dr. Maurice Wilkins of Britain are named winners of the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for their work in determining the double-helix molecular structure of DNA; English researcher and X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin is not included because she died in 1958, and the Nobel is not awarded posthumously

1967 – USSR probe Venera 4 reaches Venus, becomes first spacecraft to measure another planet’s atmosphere

1968 – On Oct. 18, 1968, the United States Olympic Committee suspended two black athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, for giving a “black power” salute as a protest during a victory ceremony in Mexico City

1972 – U.S. Congress passes the Clean Water Act, overriding President Nixon’s veto

1972 – Mika Ninagawa born, Japanese photographer and director of films and music videos; winner of the 2006 Ohara Museum of Art Prize

1977 – Flavia Colgan born in Brazil,  Brazilian-American Democratic strategist; political contributor to MSNBC

1979 – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allows individuals to have home satellite earth stations (TV dish receivers) without a federal government license

1984 – Esperanza Spalding born, American jazz bassist and singer; musical prodigy, played violin in the Chamber Music Society of Oregon at age 5; Four-time Grammy Award winner, including first jazz artist to win Best New Artist in 2011

1988 – Tessa Schram born, Dutch director and actress; noted for writing and directing the 2014 film Painkillers

1990 – The Los Angeles City Council proclaims the first Rocky Horror Picture Show Day * on its 40th anniversary

1991 – Azerbaijan declares independence from the Soviet Union

2005 – The Sydney Tower Eye opens, 309 meters tall, and becomes an instant landmark

2007 – Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto returns to Pakistan, after eight years abroad; as her cavalcade makes its way through a crowd in Karachi, two bombs explode, killing 149 people, and injuring 402 more; Bhutto is uninjured, but she will be assassinated in December

2009 – The first Hard-Boiled Detective Day,* started on the anniversary of the release date for the film noir classic, The Maltese Falcon (see also 1941 entry)

2013 – Saudi Arabia becomes the first country to turn down a seat on the UN Security Council in protest over Syria

2017 – A predominately black public school in Jackson, Mississippi, announced it was dropping the name of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and renaming the school  after former President Barack Obama. PTA President Janelle Jefferson announced at a school board meeting that school stakeholders had approved the name change this month, saying that Davis “would probably not be too happy about a diverse school promoting the education of the very individuals he fought to keep enslaved being named after him.” She said the school community preferred a name reflecting “a person who fully represents ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves.”


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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