ON THIS DAY: December 7, 2019

December 7th is

Bakelite Day *

International Civil Aviation Day *

National Cotton Candy Day

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day *

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MORE! Akiko Yosano, Noam Chomsky and Melba Beals,  click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Roman Catholicism: Eve of the Immaculate Conception (doctrine that Mary, the mother of Christ, was conceived and born without Original Sin)  

Argentina – Fátima:
La Playa Sunset Festival

Armenia –
Spitak Earthquake Remembrance Day *

Australia – Sydney:
Good Things Festival (music)

Belgium – Antwerp: Antwerp Christmas Market

Canada – Montréal: Montréal Bach Festival

Columbia – Día de las velitas (Day of Little Candles,
Eve of Immaculate Conception Day)

Czechia – Josefov:
Old Prague Christmas Gala Concert

East Timor – Heroes/Memorial Day

Ghana – Accra: Worlafest
(Music and arts festival)

Guatemala – Guatemala City:
La Quema del Diablo (burning of the devil)

India – Armed Forces Flag Day

Italy – Milan: Feast of Saint Ambrose
(Bishop of Milan and city’s patron saint)

Mexico – Puerto Vallarta:
Bahia World Music Festival

Nigeria – Port Harcourt: The Afro Street Festival

Philippines – Quezon City:
Asian Culture Fest

Qatar – Doha:
Qatar Hot Air Balloon Festival

South Africa – Johannesburg:
Black on Black Festival (local music)

Thailand – Phetchaburi: Big Mountain Music Festival

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On This Day in HISTORY

43 BC – Marcus Tullius Cicero is assassinated on the orders of Mark Anthony, after Cicero attacks him in a series of speeches, saying that Anthony was taking liberties in interpreting Julius Caesar’s wishes, and he urges the Roman Senate to declare Anthony an enemy of the state

903 – Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi born, Persian astronomer and author of Book of Fixed Stars, published in 964



1598 – Gian Lorenzo Bernini born, Italian sculptor


Apollo and Daphne, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

1595 – Injo born, 16th King of the Joseon dynasty in Korea (reign 1623-1649), on the throne during both the first and second Manchu invasions, resulting in the surrender of Joseon to the Qing dynasty in 1636; Joseon’s economy was devastated under his leadership, and in spite of his reform of the military, he mostly regarded as a poor leader

1637 – Bernardo Pasquini born, Italian organist and composer

1732 – The Royal Opera House opens at Covent Garden, London, England

1776 – Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, becomes an American major general

1784 – Allan Cunningham born, Scottish poet, author, songwriter and parliamentary reporter in London (1810-1814)



1787 – Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the United States Constitution

1796 – John Adams is chosen by electors as the second U.S. president

1842 – The New York Philharmonic gives its first concert

1863 – Pietro Mascagni, Italian opera composer, Cavalleria Rusticana

1863 – R.W. Sears born, American merchant; founder of Sears, Roebuck

1873 – Willa Cather born, American author, noted primarily for novels, but she also wrote essays and nonfiction; she won the 1923 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel, One of Ours. Best known for O Pioneers!, and My Ántonia, the first and last books of her Great Plains trilogy, and for Death Comes for the Archbishop



1878 –  Akiko Yosano born as Shō Hō, Japanese author, poet, pioneering feminist, and social reformer. Published in 1901, Midaregami (Tangled Hair), her first of several collections of tanka, a traditional Japanese poetry form, contained around 400 poems, the majority of them love poems. It was denounced by most literary critics as vulgar or obscene, but was widely read by free-thinkers, as it brought a passionate individualism to this traditional form, unlike any other work of the late Meiji period. The poems defied Japanese society’s expectation of women to always be gentle, modest and passive. In her poems, women are assertively sexual. These were the first tankas in which a poet had written specifically of women’s breasts, not vaguely as a symbol of child feeding and motherhood, but in terms of a woman’s sexual pleasure. In 1911, her poem “The Day the Mountains Move” announces that women will demand equality. She frequently wrote for the all-women literary magazine Seitō (Bluestocking.) Yosano disagreed with a prevailing opinion of Japanese feminists of the time that the government should provide financially for mothers, saying dependence on the state and dependence on men were really the same thing. Even though she gave birth to 13 children, 11 of whom survived to adulthood, she rejected motherhood as her main identity, saying that limiting a sense of self to a single aspect of one’s life, however important, entraps women in the old way of thinking. In a 1918 article, Yosano attacked “the ruling and military class which deliberately block the adoption of a truly moral system in an effort to protect the wealth and influence of their families…They hurry to invoke the power and precepts of the old totalitarian moral codes to direct the lives of Japanese citizens,” and called militarism “barbarian thinking which is the responsibility of us women to eradicate from our midst.” In her later years, she was to support her country’s military ambitions and the glory of dying for the Emperor, but most of these poems are regarded as lacking the brilliance and originality of her earlier work



1879 – Rudolf Friml born, Czech-American pianist-composer

1888 – Hamilton Fish born, American statesman; U.S. Senator (R-NY 1857-1857); U.S. Secretary of State (1869-1877)

1888 – A. Joyce Cary born, Irish novelist; noted for his books Mr. Johnson, and The Horse’s Mouth, the third book in his trilogy with Herself Surprised and To Be a Pilgrim

1888 – Heywood Broun born, American journalist, columnist and sportswriter; founder of the American Newspaper Guild



1900 – Kateryna Bilokur born, Ukrainian folk artist, noted for her paintings of flora and natural landscapes; she was named a People’s Artist of Ukraine, one of only two painters, along with Volodymyr Patyk, to be honored with this award

1902 – Hilda Taba born in Estonia, American educator; after getting her Master’s degree at Bryn Mawr College, and attending Teachers College at Columbia University, she applied for a position at Tartu University, but was turned down because she was a woman, so she became curriculum director at the Dalton school in New York City; author of the influential Curriculum Development: Theory and Practice (1962

1909 – Bakelite Day * – Leo Hendrik Baekeland was issued a patent for ‘Bakelite,’ the first plastic that did not soften when heated. The black plastic knobs on stoves, and distributor caps for car engines are examples

1910 – Louis Prima born, American singer-songwriter-trumpet player

1910 – Eleanor Gibson born, American psychologist who studied learning processes in children. Noted for her “visual cliff” experiment which showed how an infant’s depth perception helps prevent injuries and falls. In 1960, she placed 6 to 14 month old infants on a table covered with a sheet of plate glass that extended beyond the table’s edge. When enticed with a favorite toy or coaxed by their mothers to crawl out beyond the table’s edge onto the clear glass extension, nearly all of the babies withdrew. Thus she demonstrated that babies can distinguish depth. In 1992, Gibson was awarded the National Medal of Science, becoming one of only ten psychologists among 304 recipients of the award since 1962. Author of An Odyssey in Learning and Perception



1913 – Kersti Merilaas born, Estonian poet and translator from German who also wrote books for children, plays and the libretti for three operas by Estonian composer Gustav Ernesaks; one of the poets in the literary circle known as Arbujad (“Soothsayers”). She became a member of the Estonian Writers Association, but was forced to resign in 1950 after Soviet annexation of Estonia for promoting “bourgeois nationalism” 



1915 – Leigh Brackett born, American author, primarily of science fiction, The Sword of Rhiannon and The Hounds of Skaith; screenwriter on The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye, and The Empire Strikes Back; she has been dubbed the ‘Queen of Space Opera’



1920 – Tatamkhulu Afrika born as Mogamed Fu’ad Nasif in Egypt, South African poet and author; he came to South Africa as a very young child, and was fostered by family friends after his parents died; he was a soldier in the WWII North Africa Campaign, and was captured at Tobruk. His experiences as a prisoner of war are prominently featured I his writing. In the 1960s, he was an anti-apartheid activist, and became a member of the armed wing of the ANC, uMkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation). In 1987, he was arrested for terrorism and banned from speaking in public or publishing his work for 5 years, but continued writing under the name Tatamkhulu Afrika. He served 11 years in prison until his release in 1992. Just after the 2002 publication of his final novel, Bitter Eden, he was run over by a car, and died of his injuries two weeks later



1926 – The Electrolux Servel Corp. received the first U.S. patent for a household refrigerator cooled by a sealed gas refrigerant

1928 – Noam Chomsky born, American author, linguist and philosopher



1935 – Armando Manzanero born, Mexican musician-composer

1941 – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day * WWII: The Imperial Japanese Navy carries out a surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet and its Army and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

1941 – Melba Pattillo Beals born, civil rights activist, and journalism teacher; member of the Little Rock Nine, the first black students to integrate Central High School in Little Rock AR in 1957; author of Warriors Don’t Cry, the story of that school year; the Little Rock Nine were each awarded a Congressional Gold Medal



1942 – Harry Chapin, born, American singer-songwriter-guitarist

1943 – Susan Isaacs born, American novelist, essayist and screenwriter; Compromising Positions; Hello Again; Shining Through; Brave Dames and Wimpettes: What Women are Really Doing on Page and Screen

1944 – International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) founded, and the International Services Transit Agreement and the International Air Transport Agreement are signed. In 1994, ICAO starts International Civil Aviation Day * to mark its 50th anniversary

1947 – Anne Fine born, British children’s author; winner of Carnegie Medals for Goggle-Eyes and Flour Babies, which also won a Whitbread Award, and a Smarties Prize for Bill’s New Frock; British Children’s Laureate (2001-2003)



1949 – Tom Waits born, American singer-songwriter-guitarist



1960 – The first episode of Coronation Street airs on the U.K. Granada Television

1971 – Libya announces nationalization of British Petroleum’s assets

1972 – The crew of Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, takes the photograph known as ‘The Blue Marble’ as they leave the Earth



1978 – Suzannah Lipscomb born, British historian, academic and television presenter; worked at Hampton Court Palace organizing a series of exhibitions marking the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s accession to the English throne (2009), which won an Arts and Humanities Research Council KTP Award for Humanities; lecturer in history at the University of East Anglia; elected as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2011. Noted for her books on Henry VIII, Tudor England, and women in 16th century France

1979 – Rhodesia reaches an agreement with the U.K. to gain its independence

1979 – Ayako Fujitani born, Japanese author, screenwriter and actress; noted for her novels, Touhimu (Flee-Dream) and Yakeinu (Burnt Dog). She co-authored the screenplay adaptation of Touhimu with writer-director Hideaki Anno, released as in 2000 as a film under the title Shiki-Jitsu (Ceremonial Day). Fujutani also starred in the film.  In 2006, she directed a short drama for TV Tokyo’s Drama Factory program. She writes articles and criticism for Japanese publications

1988 – Armenian Spitak Earthquake Remembrance Day * – the Spitak earthquake in northern Armenia measures 6.8 on the ‘surface wave magnitude’ scale, killing over 25,000 people and injuring tens of thousands more, in addition to causing widespread destruction of housing, commercial buildings and hospitals



1992 – The U.S. Supreme Court rejects a Mississippi abortion law which requires women to get counseling and wait 24 hours before terminating their pregnancies

1993 – Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary reveals that the U.S. government had secretly conducted more than 200 nuclear weapons tests at its Nevada test site

1993 – Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders suggests the U.S. government study the impact of drug legalization



1995 – A probe sent from the Galileo spacecraft enters Jupiter’s atmosphere, and sends back data to the mothership before it is destroyed

1996 – NASA space shuttle Columbia returns from the longest-ever shuttle flight of 17 days, 15 hours and 54 minutes

1998 – U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno declines to seek an independent counsel investigation of President Clinton’s 1996 campaign financing



2001 –Taliban forces abandon their Kandahar stronghold in Afghanistan

2002 – Iran denies in a declaration to the UN that it has weapons of mass destruction

2003 – A painting of a river landscape and sailing vessel by Martin Johnson Heade sells at auction for $1 million, after being found in suburban Boston home’s attic where it had been stored for more than 60 years

2006 – Vatican archaeologists unearth a sarcophagus that might have the remains of the Apostle Paul in it, buried beneath Rome’s second largest basilica since at least 390 A.D.



2007 – Hard Rock Cafe International (USA), Inc. was sold to the Seminole Tribe of Florida for $965 million USD. As of 2018, there are Hard Rock venues in 74 countries, including 185 cafes, 25 hotels, and 12 casinos 

2009 – The biggest climate meeting in history opens in Copenhagen, Denmark, with representatives from 192 countries in attendance. Over 1,000 protesters demanding more stringent actions be taken are arrested

2014 – Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, calls for diesel cars to be banned from the French Capital by 2020, in order to reduce pollution. A partial car ban had already been imposed in March, 2014, as the capital’s air was found to be close to the record for worst air quality



2017 – Senator Al Franken (Democrat-Minnesota.) announced that he would be resigning, after multiple women accused him of touching them inappropriately. A day earlier, more than 20 fellow Democrats called on him to step down. Franken said the ongoing public reckoning over sexual harassment and assault was “long overdue,” but he said some of the allegations were “simply not true,” while he remembered others “quite differently” than his accusers. Franken also took a swipe at Republicans, saying it was ironic “that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.”


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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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