ON THIS DAY: December 6, 2019

December 6th is

Microwave Oven Day *

National Miners’ Day *

Mitten Tree Day *

National Gazpacho Day

Pawnbroker’s Day

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MORE!  Ève Curie, Dave Brubeck and Mall Nukke, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Christianity – Feast Day of Saint Nicholas (patron saint of pawnbrokers)

Åland – Independence Day

Azerbaijan – Ministry of Communications
and Information Technologies Day

Brazil – Bataguassu: Festival de Dança

Canada – Day of Remembrance and
Action on Violence Against Women

Chile – Buin: Festival de la voz

Ecuador – Quito: Founding Day

Finland – Independence Day

Ghana – Farmer’s Day

India – Vagator: India Bike Week

Mexico – Cholula: Cholulafest

New Zealand – Takapau:
Sanctuary Sounds Music Festival

Nigeria – Lagos:
Africa International Music Festival

Singapore – Voices Festival of Song

South Korea – Jung-gu:
All Japan Poker Championship

Spain – Día de la Constitución Española
(Constitution Day)

Switzerland – Geneva:
Escalade Festival & Historical Parade

Uganda – Kampala:
Africa Artists Jam Benefit Festival

Ukraine – Armed Forces Day

United Kingdom – Leicester:
Leicester Human Rights Arts & Film Festival

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On This Day in HISTORY

846 – Hasan al-Askari born, the 11th Imam of 12 Imams of Twelver Shia Islam

1060 – Bella I overthrows his brother Andrew, and becomes King of Hungary; introduces monetary reform and subdues the last attempt to restore paganism in Hungary; he is fatally injured when his throne collapses under him in 1063



1478 – Baldassare Castiglione, count of Casatico, born, Italian courtier, diplomat and author of The Book of the Courtier, a discussion of the ideal Renaissance gentleman



1534 – Sebastián de Belalcázar’s band of settlers founds the city of Quito in Ecuador

1586 – Niccolò Zucchi born, Italian Jesuit, astronomer and physicist, known as one of the first to see the belts on the planet Jupiter, and for using a curved mirror instead of a lens in a telescope, a very early reflecting telescope

1731 – Sophie von La Roche born in Bavaria, author of the first German novel written by a woman, Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim (History of Lady Sophia Sternheim)



1768 – The first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica is published



1774 – Austria became the first nation to introduce a state education system

1790 – The U.S. Congress moves from New York to Philadelphia

1805 – Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin born, French magician, a famous illusionist, considered the father of modern conjuring



1823 – F. Max Müller born in Germany, Orientalist and philologist who worked most of his life in Britain, specializing in Sanskrit and the religions of India; pioneering translator into English of 51 volumes of ancient sacred texts from Sanskrit, and the series Sacred Book of the Buddhists

1846 – The Hector Berlioz opera La Damnation de Faust debuts in Paris

1865 – The U.S. Constitution’s 13th Amendment is ratified, abolishing slavery in the U.S.

1866 – The 2 mile long, 5 foot diameter Chicago Lake Tunnel was completed, the first water supply tunnel for a U.S. city

1868 – Paraguayan War: Brazilian Field Marshal Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, Duke of Caxias, leads 13,000 Brazilian and allied troops against a Paraguayan fortified position held at a narrow bridge over a stream by 5,000 troops commanded by Colonel Bernardino Caballero. The Battle of  Ytororó lasted all day, but by nightfall, the bridge was taken by the Brazilian forces

1875 – Evelyn Underhill born, English Catholic writer and pacifist; her best-known work, Mysticism, published in 1911, was very widely read at the time



1876 – Fred Duesenberg born, German-American businessman, co-founded the Duesenberg Automobile & Motors Company

1877 – The first edition of The Washington Post is published

1877 – Thomas A. Edison made the first sound recording, “Mary had a little lamb”

1884 – The construction of the Washington Monument was completed by Army engineers, 34 years after construction started


Postcard of the Washington Monument, circa 1885

1884 – Cornelia Meigs born, American author, playwright, and academic; won the 1915 Drama League prize for The Steadfast Princess, and the 1933 Newbery Medal for Invincible Louisa, a biography of Louisa May Alcott



1886 – Joyce Kilmer born, American writer and poet, chiefly remembered for his poem “Trees,” and for being killed during the WWI Second Battle of the Marne in July, 1918, at the age of 31

1887 – Joseph Lamb born, American ragtime music composer



1888 – Libbie Henrietta Hyman born, American zoologist; noted for her comprehensive six-volume reference work, The Invertebrates,  which covers most phyla of its subject. This work is important for its organization, description and classification of invertebrates, and is still used as a reference today. Hyman continued her laboratory studies throughout her life, and published about 145 scientific papers. The sixth volume of The Invertebrates was her last, completed at the age of seventy-eight, when she was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. She died two years later, in 1969



1892 – Sir Osbert Sitwell, 5th Baronet, born, English writer, critic and poet, brother of poet and author Edith Sitwell

1893 – Sylvia Townsend Warner born, English novelist and poet; noted for Summer Will Show, an early lesbian love story set in Paris during the 1848 revolution



1896 – Ira Gershwin born, American lyricist who collaborated with his brother, George Gershwin, in creating some of the most memorable songs of the 20th century, many for Broadway and Hollywood



1897 – London becomes the world’s first city with licensed taxicabs

1898 – Winifred Lenihan born, American actress, writer, and director;  played Joan of Arc in the original 1923 American production of Saint Joan;directed radio plays; in 1925, became the first director of the Theater Guild’s School of Acting; co-author of the play Blind Mice


Vanity Fair 1924 – Winifred Lenihan as Saint Joan by Edward Steichen

1898 – Alfred Eisenstaedt born in Germany, American pioneer in photojournalism, notable for his images in LIFE magazine

Alfred Eisenstaedt – ‘Ode to Joy’

1904 – Theodore Roosevelt articulates his “Corollary” to the Monroe Doctrine, stating that the U.S. would intervene in the Western Hemisphere should Latin American governments prove unstable

1904 – Ève Curie born, French-American journalist and pianist; her biography of her mother, Madame Curie, won the 1938 National Book Award for Non-Fiction; worked on behalf of UNICEF(1965-1979)



1905 – Elizabeth Yates born, American author and journalist; began her career contributing articles, mainly on travel to The Christian Science Monitor and The New York Times; among her many books, written mostly for young readers, she is noted for Mountain Born, a Newbery Honor book in 1944, and Amos Fortune, Free Man, a biographical novel about a real person, which won the 1951 Newbery Medal for Excellence in American children’s literature



1907 – National Miners’ Day * – The worst mining disaster in U.S. history kills 362 men and boys in Monongah West Virginia; Miners’ Day, sponsored by the Miners’ Day Memorial Association of West Virginia, is recognized by Congress on December 6, 2009

1908 – Herta Taussig Freitag born in Austria, Austrian-American mathematician; professor of mathematics at Hollins College; known for her work on the Fibonacci numbers; she earned her masters at the University of Vienna in 1934, and was working there until 1938, when her father, editor of Die Neue Freie Presse, came under threat by the Nazis for having editorialized against them, and she emigrated with her family to England, where she had to work as a maid because English immigration laws prevented her from entering the country as a teacher. Her father died in 1943, and she, with her mother and brother. moved to the U.S., where she was able to resume teaching mathematics at the Greer School (1944-1948). She earned a second masters degree (1948) and her PhD (1953) from Columbia University. She joined the faculty at Hollins College in 1948, and later became a full professor and department chair. In 1962, she was the first woman to serve in her section as section president for the Mathematical Association of America; she was a frequent contributor to the Fibonacci Quarterly, which dedicated an issue to her for her 89th birthday (89 is Fibonacci number)



1916 – Yekaterina Budanova born, a Soviet Air Force fighter pilot during WWII. With five air victories, she was one of the world’s first two women fighter aces, with Lydia Litvyak. She was shot down in 1943 near Novokrasnovka, and was buried there



1917 – Finland proclaims its independence from Russia

1917 – Tauba Biterman born in Poland to a Jewish family, which fled in 1939 to what is now the Ukraine in Russia, where she stayed on because she had a job, while the rest of her family moved deeper into Russia, so she was on her own when WWII started, and was first hidden, then passed as a German from the Black Forest. She avoided being sent to a concentration camp by abandoning her identity and living an underground existence. In 1948, she and her husband Judah, who was also a Holocaust survivor, emigrated to the U.S., and settled in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  She spoke to hundreds of students and civic groups, never refusing a request to talk about her personal Holocaust experience because “it’s important for young people to know about the Holocaust so it shouldn’t happen again.” Biterman died in 2019 at the age of 102



1920 – Dave Brubeck born, American pianist and composer



1921 – Piero Piccioni born, Italian film score composer (Swept Away)

1922 – The Irish Free State, a self-governing dominion of Britain, is inaugurated one year to the day after the Anglo-Irish treaty is signed

1923 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge gives the first presidential address, to a joint session of Congress, which is broadcast on the radio

1926 – In Italy, Benito Mussolini introduces a tax on bachelors; the tax, which was in effect until the fall of Mussolini in 1943, was a race-based pronatalist policy

1928 – The Colombian government troops put down a month-long strike by United Fruit Company workers, resulting in an unknown number of deaths

1933 – U.S. federal judge John M. Woolsey rules that James Joyce’s Ulysses is not obscene

1939 – Cole Porter’s musical Du Barry Was a Lady opens on Broadway

1945 – Microwave Oven Day * – Percy Spenser, while working on a magnetron, notices its effect on food, and begins experiments that lead to his invention of the microwave oven, which he patents on December 6

1947 – Everglades National Park in Florida is dedicated by U.S. President Truman

1949 – Linda Barnes born, America mystery writer; noted for her Carlotta Carlyle series; her story “Lucky Penny” won the Anthony Award for Best Short Story, and A Trouble of Fools, her first Carlotta book, won the Edgar Award for Best Novel



1950 – Helen Liddell born, Baroness Liddell of CoatDyke; British Labour politician; Life Peer in the House of Lords since 2010; British High Commissioner to Australia (2005-2009); Secretary of State for Scotland (2001-2003); Minister for Trade and Industry (1999-2001) Minister for Transport (1999); Member of Parliament, for Airdrie and Shotts (1998-2005), and for Monklands East (1994-1997)



1951 – Wendy Ellis Somes born, worldwide producer of the Sir Frederick Ashton ballets Cinderella and Symphonic Variations since 1994; dancer (1970), soloist and principal ballerina with the Royal Ballet in London; retired from dancing in 1990



1953 – Vladimir Nabokov completes his controversial novel Lolita



1953 – Sue Carroll born, English journalist, columnist at the Daily Mirror (1998-2011); The Sun Women’s editor and feature writer in the 1980s. She died of pancreatic cancer at age 58 in 2011



1955 – Dame Anne Begg born, British Labour politician; Member of Parliament for Aberdeen South (1997-2015); She has used a wheelchair since 1984 because of Gaucher’s disease, and was the first permanent wheelchair user in the House of Commons since 1880 (Arthur MacMorrough Kavanagh was the first – 1868-1880). Begg campaigned against disabled people being allowed to work for less than minimum wage if they so choose in order to establish themselves in employment, and in favour of allowing embryonic stem cells to be used in the research for treatments of diseases, including currently incurable conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease



1957 – The AFL-CIO expelled the International Brotherhood of Teamsters after disclosures of corruption, and increasing influence of organized crime

1957 – America’s first attempt to put a satellite into orbit blows up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral FL

1959 – Deborah Estrin born, computer scientist; Professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech; co-founder of the non-profit Open mHealth. Estrin is known for her work on sensor networks, mobile health, and small data. She is one of the most-referenced computer scientists of all time, with her work cited over 118,000 times according to Google Scholar. Estrin was a Professor of Computer Science at UCLA between 2001 and 2013, where she was the founding director of the NSF-funded Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS). She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007, and inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2009. In 2012, Cornell Tech announced Estrin as the first academic hire to the high-tech campus in New York City. Among her awards are the National Science Foundation’s 1987 Presidential Young Investigator Award, the 2017 IEEE Internet Award, and a MacArthur Genius Grant in 2018 



1964 – Mall Nukke born, Estonian Artist, painter and printmaker, known for her paintings, collages and installations


Still-life I, by Mall Nukke

1967 – Adrian Kantrowitz performs the first U.S. human heart transplant

1967 – Helen Greiner born in London, American robotic engineer; currently an advisor to the U.S. Army. She was co-founder of iRobot and former CTO of CyPhyWorks, a start-up company specializing in small multi-rotor drones for the consumer, commercial and military markets. During her tenure at iRobot, the company released the Roomba, the PackBot and SUGV military robots. In 2014, Greiner was named a Presidential Ambassador for Global Leadership (PAGE) by US President Barack Obama. She was honored in 2008 with the Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Award for Innovation for her work at iRobot



1968 – The James Taylor Album is released in Britain

1969 – The Rolling Stones release their album Beggar’s Banquet, on the day four people are killed during their concert at Altamont Speedway

1972 – Heather Mizeur born, American Democratic politician; member of the Maryland House of Delegates (2007-2015); she was Senator John Kerry’s Director of Domestic Policy, and wrote much of his health care platform for the 2004 presidential campaign.
Served as Takoma Park City Councilwoman (2003-2005)  



1973 – Gerald R. Ford is sworn in as U.S. vice-president after Spiro Agnew resigns because of income tax evasion and bribery charges to which he pleads no contest

1982 – Susie Wolff born, Scottish racing driver; she began in kart racing, and worked her way up to Formuka Renault and Formula Three before moving to Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (German Touring Masters) for Mercedes-Benz. In 2012, she was signed by the Williams Formula One team to work as a development driver, took part in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2014, then announcer her retirement from motorsport in 2015. In 2016, she joined Channel 4 in the UK to be an analyst for their F1 Coverage. In 2018, Wolff joined the Venturi Formula E Team as Team Principal



1985 – Tandy Corporation introduces a hand-held cellular phone that weighs 11 pounds and sells for $1.199.00

1991 – The movie Star Trek VI – Undiscovered Country premieres

1992 – Thousands of Hindu extremists destroy a 16th century mosque in Ayodhya, India, setting off two months of Hindu-Muslim riots that claim at least 2,000 lives



1994 – Orange County, CA, files for bankruptcy protection after investment losses of about $2 billion. The county is one of the richest in America and the largest U.S. municipality to file for bankruptcy

2006 – The bipartisan Iraq Study Group concludes that President George W. Bush’s war policies have failed in almost every regard, and that the situation in Iraq is “grave and deteriorating”

2006 – NASA reveals Mars Global Surveyor photographs suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars



2009 – The Mitten Tree, by Candace Chirtiansen, is published, which inspires Mitten Tree Day* to remind us warm clothing donations are needed for the less fortunate now

2013 – Nelson Mandela dies at age 95; South Africa’s first black president (1994-1999), his election was a key part of the final and peaceful end of apartheid laws, which had denied the human and civil rights of South Africa’s overwhelmingly black majority



2017 – Australia’s Federal Parliament approved legislation legalizing same-sex marriage, a move expected after the public embraced marriage equality in a postal survey in November. Public opinion has shifted since Australian politicians changed the Marriage Act 13 years ago to explicitly prohibit same-sex unions. “Australia has done it. What a day for love, for equality, for respect,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said. “This belongs to us all. This is Australia — fair, diverse, loving, and filled with respect for every one of us. This has been a great, unifying day in our history.” 

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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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