ON THIS DAY: December 8, 2019

December 8th is

Chocolate Brownie Day

National Lard Day

Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day *


MORE! Camille Claudel, Diego Rivera and Conceição Lima, click



Christianity – Immaculate Conception Day (feast day of belief God preserved Mary from original sin from the moment of conception – Roman Catholic dogma since 1854)

 Albania – Dita Kombëtatr e Rinisë
(national youth day)

Bulgaria – Students Day

Cuba – Caribbean Community & Cuba Day

Equatorial Guinea – Patrona de Guinea
(Virgin Mary, Guinea patron saint)

Falkland Islands – Battle Day

Finland – Day of Finnish Music

India – Bengaluru: The Soul Fest

Japan – Bodhi Day (Buddha’s enlightenment)

Guam – Santa Marian Kamalen
(patron saint of Guam)

Macao – Macao International Parade

Mexico – Cabo San Lucas:
Cabo Rural Flavor (food festival)

New Zealand – New Plymouth:
Taranaki Woodcraft Festival

Nigeria – Port Harcourt:
African Coconut Festival

Northern Mariana Islands –
Constitution Day

Panama – Mothers Day

Paraguay – Caacupé: Santa María de
Caacupé (festival of the Virgin Mary)

Romania – Constitution Day

Russia – Moscow: Russian Winter Festival

South Africa – Vosloorus:
Ekurhuleni Kota Festival (food)

Turkey – Konya:
Konya Whirling Dervishes Festival

Uganda – Kampala:
Toto Christmas Festival

Uzbekistan – Konstitutsiya Kuni
(Constitution day)


On This Day in HISTORY

65 BC – Horace born as Quintus Horatius Flaccus, noted Roman lyric poet, also wrote satiric hexameter verses

395 – Battle of Canhe Slope: In China, Later Yan forces led by Crown Prince Murong Baoare are defeated by Prince Tuoba Gui of Northern Wei, a former vassal state

877 – Louis the Stammerer, son of Charles the Bald, is crowned king of the West Frankish Kingdom at Compiègne

14th Century depiction of the coronation of Louis the Stammerer

1086 – Wang Anshi born, Chancellor (1070-1074 and 1075-1076) to Emperor Shenzong,  of the Song dynasty; statesman, economist, reformer and poet. His economic reforms included increasing currency circulation, breaking up of private monopolies, and early forms of government regulation and social welfare. He also expanded the use of local militias by the military, expanded the civil service examination system, and tried to suppress nepotism in the government

1626 – Christina, Queen of Sweden, born; she succeeded to her father’s throne at the age of six, but was crowned and took power when she was 18, reigning until her abdication in 1654. She was one of the most educated women of the 17th Century, interested in literature the Arts, religion, philosophy, mathematics and alchemy. Her decision not to marry caused a scandal, then abdicated her throne and converted to Roman Catholicism, moving to Rome, where she was the guest of five consecutive Popes, as a symbol of the Counter Reformation. Upon her death in 1689, she was one of the few women to be buried in the Vatican grotto

Christina Queen of Sweden – from a painting by David Beck

1660 – A woman – likely Margaret Hughes, but possibly Anne Marshall – appears on an English public stage for the first time, in the role of Desdemona in a production of Shakespeare’s play Othello

1724 – Claude Balbastre born, French composer and notable keyboardist

1730 – Jan Ingenhousz born, Dutch physiologist, biologist and chemist; discovered that light is essential to photosynthesis and that plants have cellular respiration

1765 – Eli Whitney born, inventor of the cotton gin

1776 – American Revolution: George Washington’s retreating army crosses the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania

1790 – Richard Carlile born, English tinsmith, printer-publisher, advocate for universal suffrage and freedom of the press; publisher of Sherwin’s Political Register and The Republican, journals which reported on political meetings and included extracts from works by supporters of reform; it was shut down by the government after he printed his eye-witness report on the Peterloo massacre, and he was arrested, tried for blasphemy and sedition, sentenced to prison and fined ₤ 1,500, which he refused to pay, so his premises were raided and stock confiscated; he continued to write articles for The Republican from his jail cell, now published by his wife Jane; when she was arrested, his sister Mary took over, who was also arrested. At one time, over 150 men and women were in prison for printing or selling The Republican; when Carlile was finally released, he campaigned against child labor, and in favor of women’s equality, advocating for birth control and women’s sexual emancipation, and was sent back to jail, which ruined him financially; he died after several years of living in extreme poverty

1813 – Premiere of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major in Vienna, with Beethoven himself conducting

1832 – Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson born, Norwegian author, playwright and poet; 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature, primarily for his poetry; a staunch supporter of Alfred Dreyfus, he wrote many articles proclaiming his belief in Dreyfus’ innocence; he wrote the lyrics for the Norwegian National Anthem

1857 – Joseph Gayetty begins selling his invention, the first commercial toilet paper, as “Medicated Paper for the Water Closet,” an anti-hemmorhoid product. The sheets contained aloe as a lubricant

1861 – Aristide Maillol born, French artist

Laundry by Aristide Maillol

1862 – Georges Feydeau born, French playwright; master of one of theatre’s most difficult forms, the Farce

1863 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln announces plans for Southern Reconstruction

1864 – Camille Claudel born, notable French sculptor; she studied at the Académie Colarossi, one of the few art schools open to women, and with sculptor Alfred Boucher, who became her mentor. When Boucher moved to Florence, he asked Auguste Rodin to take over instruction of his students.  Claudel and Rodin became lovers, and around 1884, she began working in his workshop, and sometimes as his model. But he never gave up his relationship with Rose Beuret, a seamstress who was the mother of his son.  In 1892, Claudel had an abortion, and ended their sexual relationship, but still worked with Rodin until 1898, especially after her father’s death, when the rest of her family stopped the financial assistance her father had given her. She needed Rodin’s financial aid to continue her work, and sometimes had to collaborate with him in order to bring her ideas to fruition, then let him take the credit for their work. She has been regarded as a woman genius, an equal in talent to the better-known painter Berthe Morisot. In 1899, She produced a sculpture entitled The Mature Age. When Rodin saw it, he was shocked and angry, and suddenly and completely stopped all his support for Claudel. After 1905, Claudel appeared to be mentally ill, destroying many of her sculptures, disappearing for long periods of time, and showing signs of paranoia. She accused Rodin of stealing her ideas and plotting to kill her. By 1906, she was living as a recluse in her workshop. In 1913, her brother Paul arranged for her to be committed to the psychiatric hospital of Ville-Évrard in Neuilly-sur-Marne. Although the form read that she had been “voluntarily” committed, her admission was signed only by a doctor and her brother. Apparently, she was still lucid while working on her art. Doctors tried to convince Paul and their mother that Camille did not need to be in the institution, but her mother and brother were adamant that she remain confined. For a while, the press accused her family of committing a sculptor of genius. Her mother never visited, and her brother only came to see her seven times in 30 years. In 1929, sculptor Jessie Lipscomb, who had shared a workshop with Claudel before she met Rodin, visited her, and afterwards insisted “it was not true” that Claudel was insane. Camille Claudel died in October 1943, after 30 years in the asylum. Her remains were buried in a cemetery, but after 10 years, they were re-buried in a communal grave at the asylum, mixed with the bones of the most destitute. The Musée Camille Claudel was opened in March, 2017, as a French national museum dedicated to Claudel’s work. It is located in Nogent-sur-Seine, where she lived as a teenager. The Musée Camille Claudel displays approximately half of Claudel’s 90 surviving works

Bronze sculpture, La Valse (The Waltz) by Camille Claudel

1865 – Jean Sibelius born, Finnish composer of the late Romantic and early-modern periods, widely recognized as Finland’s greatest composer; best known for Finlandia

1886 – At a convention of union leaders in Columbus Ohio, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) is founded

1886 – Diego Rivera born, Mexican painter and muralist, his large frescoes greatly influenced the Mexican mural movement; commissioned by John D. Rockefeller Jr. to to paint a mural at Rockefeller Center in 1932; two years later, after Rivera refused to remove Lenin from the painting, and repaint his portrait of Rockefeller Sr., John Jr. had Man at the Crossroads chiseled off the wall; Rivera painted a slightly different version of it, Man, Controller of the Universe, seen here:

1894 – James Thurber born, American humorist, author and cartoonist

1894 – E. C. “Elzie” Segar born, American cartoonist; creator of Popeye

1897 – Josephine Bell born, British physician, novelist and mystery writer under her birth name, Doris, as Doris Bell Collier; noted for her series featuring Dr. David Wintringham;one of the founders of the Crime Writer’s Association

1903 – Zelma Watson George born, African-American philanthropist, alternate American delegate to the UN General Assembly (1960-1961), and a singer who studied African-American music, and was the first black woman to play the title role in Gian-Carlo Menotti’s opera, The Medium.  She was an active member of member of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the League of Women Voters, and served on the executive council of the American Society of African Culture

1911 – Nikos Gatsos born, Greek poet, lyricist, and translator

1913 – Delmore Schwartz, American poet and short story writer; youngest-ever recipient of the Bollingen Prize in 1959, for Summer Knowledge: New and Selected Poems

1914 – The first musical revue featuring a score completely by Irving Berlin, Watch  Your Step, opens at NYC’s New Amsterdam Theatre

1919 – Julia Robinson born, American mathematician and theorist; noted for work on decision problems, and her contribution to the solving of Hilbert’s 10th problem. Though the problem was solved by Soviet mathematician Yuri Matiyasevich, he wrote in an article, “The name of Julia Robinson cannot be separated from Hilbert’s 10th problem.” She suffered as a child from both scarlet fever and rheumatic fever, which caused life-long health problems. When she married fellow mathematician Raphael Robinson, UC Berkeley anti-nepotism rules barred her from working in the Mathematics department, so she worked in jobs outside her field, but also continued to publish in mathematics journals and present her mathematical work at conferences. When she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1976, the university press office had to call the mathematics department to ask who Julia Robinson was. UC Berkeley quickly made her a full professor. Robinson writes, “In fairness to the university, I should explain that because of my health, even after the heart operation, I would not have been able to carry a full-time teaching load.” Though she worked for years with Martin Davis on the 10th problem, originally coming at it from opposite directions, they were unable to come up with what Davis described as a “Goldilocks” equation. “The solutions aren’t supposed to grow too fast, and they aren’t supposed to grow too slowly,” Davis said. Meanwhile, Matiyasevich had tried to tackle Hilbert’s 10th problem as a college student, but abandoned it around the time he graduated in 1969.  But a new paper by Julia Robinson sucked him back in, and he asked to review it – just five pages about the relative growth of solutions to certain equations in two variables. Her ideas immediately sparked new ideas for him, and he was able to produce the needed “Goldilocks.” Building on the work of Robinson and her colleagues, other mathematicians continue to probe the boundary between knowability and unknowability. “Her work is still very relevant today,” says Kirsten Eisenträger of Penn State, a number theorist whose research is related to the 10th problem. In 1983, during her term as president of the American Mathematical Society, Robinson was diagnosed with leukemia, was treated, and the cancer went into remission, but it soon returned. Robinson died in July 1985 at age 65. Robinson told her sister, who wrote her life story, “What I really am is a mathematician. Rather than being remembered as the first woman this or that, I would prefer to be remembered, as a mathematician should, simply for the theorems I have proved and the problems I have solved.”

1919 – Kateryna Yushchenko born, Ukrainian computer and information research scientist, developed the Address programming language; first woman in the USSR to become a Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences in programming

1922 – Northern Ireland ceases to be part of the Irish Free State

1922 – Jean Ritchie born, American folk song collector, singer-songwriter and mountain dulcimer player, dubbed “The Mother of Folk”; her family, the Ritchies of Perry County, Kentucky, were noted as a “great ballad-singing family” among folk music scholars; her husband was a dulcimer maker

1925 – Sammy Davis Jr. born, African American entertainer famous for singing, dancing and comedy

1925 – Carmen Martin Gaite born, Spanish novelist, essayist, and screenwriter; she is noted for her novels and essays, but also wrote short stories, children’s books, theatrical plays for theatre, television scripts, and poetry. Best known for her novel, Entre visillos (Behind the Curtain), which won the Premio Nadal in 1957

1927 – The Brookings Institution, one of the oldest think tanks in the U.S., is created by merging three organizations founded by philanthropist Robert S. Brookings

1939 – James Galway, world-renowned Irish flute player

1941 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous Pearl Harbor Address to Congress and the nation: “Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy…” The U.S. Congress declares war against Japan

1943 – Mary Woronov born, American actress, author and painter; best known as an Andy Warhol superstar in his avant-garde art films, but is the author of several books, including Snake, Blind Love, and Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory

1943 – Jim Morrison born, American singer-songwriter and poet; lead singer of The Doors

1947 – Margaret J. Geller born, American astrophysicist; noted for work on mapping the nearby universe, and her study of relationships between galaxies and their environment

1947 – Kati-Claudia Fofonoff born, Finnish poet, author and translator who wrote in both Skolt Sámi and Finnish. Her books have also been translated into Northern Sami, Norwegian  and Icelandic. Noted for Seidan kirous (Seita curse)

1949 – The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East is established to provide aid to Palestinian refugees who left their homes during the 1948 Palestinian exodus

1949 – Mary Gordon born, American novelist and literary critic; The Company of Women

1949 – Nancy Meyers born, mainstream American film director-producer and screenwriter; noted for Private Benjamin, The Parent Trap (1998 remake); What Women Want; Something’s Gotta Give; The Holiday; It’s Complicated; and The Intern

1951 – Bill Bryson born, American essayist, travel and science writer who has lived much of his life in Britain; A Short History of Nearly Everything (2003)

1952 – On I Love Lucy, pregnancy is talked about on a TV show for the first time

1953 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers his “Atoms for Peace” speech, leading to government program to supply equipment and information on nuclear power to schools, hospitals, and research institutions around the world

1961 – Conceição Lima born, a poet, broadcaster and producer for the BBC Portuguese Language Services, from the island São Tomé in São Tomé and Príncipe, just north of the equator off the western coast of Africa. She studied journalism in Portugal, then worked in radio, television and the press in São Tomé. In 1993, she founded and edited  O País Hoje (The Country Today). Her first book of poetry,  O Útero da Casa (The Uterus of the House) was published in 2004, followed by A Dolorosa Raiz do Micondó (The Dolorosa Root of Micondo) in 2006. She also holds degrees in  Afro-Portuguese and Brazilian Studies from King’s College London

1968 – Graham Nash announces formation of Crosby, Stills and Nash three days after he quits the Hollies

1969 – Kristin Lauter born, American mathematician and cryptographer, noted for research in application of number theory and algebraic geometry in cryptography. Researcher and head of the Cryptography Group at Microsoft Research. President of the Association for Women in Mathematics (2015-2017), and co-founder of the Women in Numbers Network, a research collaboration community for women in numbers theory. Co-winner of the Selfridge Prize at ANTS III for their paper, Computing Hilbert Class Polynomials. Fellow of the American Mathematical Society since 2015

1976 – Zoe Konstantopoulou born, Greek lawyer and currently a Course of Freedom politician and speaker. Previously, she was affiliated with SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left.)   Konstantopoulou was Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament in 2015; Member of the Greek Parliament (2012-2015)

1980 – In New York City, Mark David Chapman shoots John Lennon to death, who had autographed an album for Chapman earlier in the day

1984 – In Roanoke, Virginia, a jury finds Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt innocent of libeling Reverend Jerry Falwell with a parody advertisement. However Falwell was awarded $200,000 for emotional distress

1987 – Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories began an intefadeh (uprising)

1987 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev sign a treaty to destroy their nations’ arsenals of intermediate-range nuclear missiles

1993 – U.S. President Clinton signs into law the North American Free Trade Agreement.

1994 – In Los Angeles, 12 alternate jurors are chosen for the O.J. Simpson murder trial

1997 – Jenny Shipley is sworn in as first female prime minister of New Zealand

1998 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules that police could not search a person or their cars after ticketing for a routine traffic violation

1999 – In Memphis, TN, a jury found that in 1968, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. had been the victim of a vast murder conspiracy, not a lone assassin

2007 – The first Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day * is created by the Koala Wallop online community

2010 – A rare sighting of a meteor fireball is seen over large parts of the UK

2017 – A major winter storm brought snow to southern states from Texas to North Carolina, with accumulation as much as seven inches in Texas and six inches in parts of Mississippi and Georgia. The unusual snowfall led to widespread closures of schools, government offices, and roads, as well as power outages and delayed flights

Snow falling at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas


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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