ON THIS DAY: December 19, 2019

December 19th is

A Christmas Carol Day *

Hard Candy Day

Oatmeal Muffin Day

Look for an Evergreen Day *


MORE! Bernice Pauahi Pākī, Jean Genet and Cicely Tyson, click



Anguilla – Heroes and Heroines Day

Australia – Maleny: Christmas Tree Festival

Brazil – Belém: Psica Festival

Canada – Montreal: Argo Solstice Fest

Hong Kong – Champagne Festival

India – Goa: Goa Liberation Day

Italy – Rome: Sanctuary Music Festival

Kenya – Nairobi: Amrut Mahotsav

Mexico – Mexico City: Festival de Navidad

New Zealand – Porirua: A-Long Hot
Summer Story Festival

Nigeria – Lagos: Koffee at Nativeland Festival

Norway – Trondheim: Christmas Market

Serbia –Sveti Nikola (Saint Nicholas)

South Africa – Plettenberg Bay: Bliss Festival

Spain – Madrid: Madrid en Danza
International Dance Festival

Thailand – Surat Thani: Half Moon Festival

Ukraine – Saint Nicholas Day (Orthodox)


On This Day in HISTORY

211 – Publius Septimius Geta, co-emperor of Rome, is lured to come without his bodyguards to meet his brother Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Caracalla), to discuss a possible reconciliation. When he arrives, the Praetorian Guard murders him and he dies in the arms of his mother, Julia Domna

Bust of Caracalla (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus)

1154 – Henry II is crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey

1562 – French Wars of Religion: Battle of Dreux – In this first major engagement of the French religious wars, the Duke de Montmorency leads the French Catholic Royal Army against French Huguenot forces under Louis I, Prince of Condé. The French Catholics win the battle, but both commanders are captured by the opposing forces

Duke de Montmorency – by Jean Clouet (1530)

1587 – Duchess Dorothea Sophia of Saxe-Altenburg born, elected Princess-Abbess of Quedlinburg, a position of prestige and influence, in 1618, with the approval of Holy Roman Emperor Matthias. Unlike her predecessors, Princess-Abbess Dorothea Sophia frequently had disagreements with John George I, Elector of Saxony. Dorothea Sophia prohibited her clergy to deny absolution to a person who made a genuine and contrite confession. However, if the same parishioner repeated the sin, they were to face increasingly severe chastisement and, finally, a referral to the consistory (a church disciplinary body). She proscribed that these parishioners would not be able to serve as godparents, nor be buried according to tradition or within consecrated ground. She also took measures to prevent secret engagements, declaring that every engagement had to be witnessed by three men and publicly announced

1606 – The Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery depart England carrying settlers who founded, at Jamestown, Virginia, first of the 13 colonies that became the U. S.

1699 – William Bowyer born, English printer, pamphleteer, and editor; edited and published the New Testament in Greek, with notes; dubbed “the learned printer”

1714 – John Winthrop born, American mathematician, physicist and astronomer; Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Harvard College (1738-1779)

1732 – Benjamin Franklin publishes the first Poor Richard’s Almanack

1776 – Thomas Paine publishes the first of a series of pamphlets in The Pennsylvania Journal entitled “The American Crisis”

1777 – General George Washington leads his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge PA to camp for the winter

1783 – Charles Julien Brianchon born, French mathematician, chemist, and artillery officer; after serving as a lieutenant in Napoleon’s artillery, he became a professor at the  Artillery School of the Royal Guard at Vincennes; notable for his proof of Brianchon’s theorem, related to Pascal’s theorem

1796 – Manuel Bretón de los Herreros born, prolific Spanish dramatist and poet; after his first play, Á la vejez, viruelas (translated as In Old Age, Chickenpox), was produced in 1824, he wrote another six original plays, and 33 translations or adaptations of classical masterpieces, between October 1824 and November 1828. He is the author of 360 original plays, most of them in verse

1814 – Edwin Stanton born, U.S. Secretary of War under President Lincoln

1820 – Mary Livermore born, American journalist, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist; she worked for the U.S. Sanitary Commission during the Civil War in Chicago, as a nurse, and an organizer, including helping with the great 1863 Chicago fair, which raised nearly $100,000 to aid Union Soldiers and the war effort; after the war, she was the founding editor and contributor of the Agitator, a newspaper which merged with the Woman’s Journal when she moved to Bostonsupporting the women’s suffrage and temperance movements. She also appeared on the lecture circuit, traveling 25,000 miles (40,000 km) a year, and speaking five nights a week for five months of the year

1825 – George Frederick Bristow born, American composer, conductor and violinist; advocate for American music

1828 – U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun pens The South Carolina Exposition and Protest, denouncing the Tariff Act of 1828, which increased tariffs on goods that competed with industries in the northern U.S. states while increasing costs on British goods imported by Southern states, and upsetting their balance of trade with Great Britain, one of the biggest customers for Southern cotton – Calhoun introduced his ‘Doctrine of Nullification’ – his claim that a state has the right to reject federal laws, or to secede from the union

1831 – Bernice Pauahi Pākī born, became Ke Ali’i (Princess) Pauahi Bishop of the Royal Family of the Kingdom of Hawaii, well-known philanthropist. At her death, her estate was the largest private landownership in the Hawaiian Islands, about 9% of Hawaii’s total area. The revenues from her estate were designated to fund the Kamehameha Schools, established in 1887 according to the instructions in Pauahi’s will

1842 – Hawaii’s independence is recognized by the U.S.

1843 – A Christmas Carol Day * – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is published for the first time, in England

1865 – Minnie Maddern Fiske born, ‘Mrs. Fiske’ a leading American actress who spearheaded the fight against the Theatrical Syndicate which controlled booking of all U.S. top theatrical attractions from 1896 to 1910, and introduced American audiences to Henrik Ibsen’s plays, beginning with Nora in A Doll’s House. Though she was a highly successful actress, she died poverty-stricken because of her fight against the Theatrical Syndicate. The Syndicate banned her from all the first-class theatres, and she was often reduced to performing in churches and skating rinks. Fiske was also a well-known animal welfare advocate, who used her popularity to highlight the plight of endangered birds, like the snowy and great egrets, being slaughtered for their plumage, which was used to decorate women’s hats. She also raised awareness of the cruelties of fur trapping, and ill-treatment of cattle. Mark Twain wrote the story “A Horse’s Tale” at her request to combat bullfighting in Spain.

1871 – Albert L. Jones patents corrugated paper

1875 – Mileva Marić born, Serbian mathematician; the only woman among Albert Einstein’s fellow students at Zürich’s Polytechnic, and the second woman to finish a full program of study at the Department of Mathematics and Physics; she became Einstein’s first wife; their first child, a daughter, died in infancy, and one of their two sons was diagnosed with schizophrenia

1875 – Carter G. Woodson, African-American historian and author, a pioneer in the study of black American history; founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History; in 1926, he launched the precursor of Black History Month, “Negro History Week”

1875 – Grace M. Bareis born, American mathematician; first person to earn a doctorate degree in mathematics from Ohio State University in 1909; a founding member of the Mathematical Association of America; Ohio State has awarded the annual “Grace M. Bareis Mathematical Prize” since 1949

1895 –Ingeborg Refling Hagen born, Norwegian author, poet, teacher and anti-fascist activist who feigned insanity to get out of prison after she was arrested for opposing the Nazi regime in 1942

1903 – The Williamsburg Bridge opens in New York City, the largest suspension bridge in the world (until 1924), also the first major suspension bridge using steel towers to support its main cable

1906 – Leonid Brezhnev born, leader of the USSR as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (1964-1982)

1908 – Anne Anastasi born, American psychologist, often called the “test guru,” for her pioneering development of psychometrics, the measurement and understanding of psychological traits. Her seminal work, Psychological Testing (1954), remains a classic text on the subject. In the book, she drew attention to the ways in which trait development is influenced by education and heredity. She explored how variables in the measurement of those traits include differences in training, culture, and language. In 1972, she became the first woman to be elected president of the American Psychological Association in half a century. For her accomplishments, she was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1987

1910 – Jean Genet born, French novelist, playwright and political activist; in his early life, he was a vagabond, petty thief, and prostitute, convicted of lewd conduct, but was aided by Jean Cocteau. Cocteau helped get his first novel Notre Dame des Fleurs (Our Lady of the Flowers) published, and joined Jean-Paul Sartre and Pablo Picasso in successfully petitioning the French President to get Genet’s conviction set aside. Notable for his play, The Maids, and his support of the Black Panthers, Angela Davis, Yasser Arafat, and his essays protesting police brutality toward Algerians in Paris

1915 – Édith Piaf born, French singer-songwriter-actress; best-known for  “La Vie en rose,”  “Non, je ne regrette rien,” and “Hymne à l’amour.” After WWII, she was accused of collaborating with the Nazis during the German occupation, but her secretary Andrée Biggard, a member of the Résistance, revealed that she performed several times at prisoner of war camps in Germany in order to help get a number of prisoners out

1916 – Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann born, German political scientist; noted for her model of the Spiral of Silence, detailed in The Spiral of Silence : Public Opinion – Our Social Skin. The model is an explanation of how perceived public opinion can influence individual opinions or actions; co-founder of a public opinion research organization—the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach, which is now one of the best known and most prestigious polling organizations in Germany; president of the World Association for Public Opinion Research (1978-1980); honored with the Great Cross of Merit (1976)

1918 – Robert Ripley begins his “Believe It or Not” column in the New York Globe

1920 – David Susskind born, pioneering American TV producer, and talk
show host

1924 – Cicely Tyson born, American actress and civil rights activist; noted for Sounder (1972), The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974), and The Help (2011); 2016 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

1924 – The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is sold in London, England

1928 – Eve Bunting born in Northern Ireland, prolific American author; Coffin on a Case won 1993 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile from the Mystery Writers of America

1932 – BBC World Service begins broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service

1932 – Lola Hendricks born, corresponding secretary for Fred Shuttlesworth’s Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (1956-1963); worked on campaigns to integrate Birmingham’s city parks and public libraries. She assisted Wyatt Walker in planning the early stages of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s  involvement in the 1963 Birmingham Campaign during the Civil Rights Movement, especially the department store boycotts. In 1963, Henricks went to work for the newly integrated Birmingham office of the Social Security Administration. She was hired originally as a filer, but was promoted to unit clerk before moving to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where she became a supervisor. She left in 1983 to care for her mother. In 1988 she rejoined the Social Security Administration where she worked until reaching retirement. She continued to volunteer at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and in the mid 1990s she assisted the Birmingham Historical Society in researching movement churches and landmarks for National Register of Historic Places status

1934 – Pratibha Patil born, Indian politician who became the only woman to serve as President of India (2007-2012). She previously served as Governor of Rajasthan (2004-2007). Patil was a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha (1985-2004), and of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly (1962-1985)

1938 – The National Arborist Association (now called the Tree Care Industry Association) is founded, sponsors of Look for an Evergreen Day *

1940 – Phil Ochs born, American singer-songwriter, anti-war and social justice activist – “Draft Dodger Rag” “What Are You Fighting For?” and “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”

1941 – Maurice ‘Moe’ White born, American singer-songwriter-producer-bandleader, founder of the band Earth, Wind & Fire

1944 – Richard Leakey, Kenyan paleoanthropologist and conservationist

1949 – Orna Berry born, Israeli scientist; first woman Chief Scientist and head of industrial research and development for the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour (1996-2000)

1950 – Eleanor J. Hill born, American attorney; Department of Defense Inspector General (1995-1999); awarded the DOD Distinguished Service Medal; in 2010, she began serving on The Constitution Project’s Guantanamo Task Force to investigate detainee treatment

1957 – The Music Man opens on Broadway

1959 – Lisa Wilkinson born, Australian television journalist and presenter; host of the Network Ten news-current affairs and interview show The Project

1960 – Neil Sedaka releases “Calendar Girl”

1961 – The film Judgment at Nuremberg premieres in New York

1968 – Kristina Keneally born, Australian Labor politician; Senator for New South Wales since February, 2018; Premier of New South Wales, and Leader of the Labor Party in New South Wales  (2009-2011); Member of the New South Wales Parliament for Heffron (2003-2012)

1969 – Aziza Mustafa Zadeh born, Azerbaijani composer-performer, known for her fusion of jazz and Azerbaijani mugam

1969 – Ugandan premier Apollo Milton Obote is shot by a would-be assassin while attending a UPC conference in Kampala, but survives

1972 – Apollo 17, the last of the Apollo program’s manned lunar landings, splashes down in the Pacific

1972 – Alyssa Milano born, American actress and liberal activist; in the late 1980s, he spent six hours making friendship bracelets with Ryan White, a schoolboy ostracized for having AIDS, and appeared with him on the Phil Donahue Show, kissing him to show she would not catch the disease from casual contact with him; she had been a national spokesperson and U.S Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, a supporter of PETA and the inaugural Ambassador for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, to which she has donated $250,000 USD to help mobilize resources toward controlling and eliminating these diseases, and has raised over $75,000 for  Charity: water, a nonprofit which funds potable drinking water projects in developing nations. She has been an outspoken critic of the Trump Administration, has been active in get-out-the vote efforts, and helped relaunch the #MeToo Movement in 2017 with a post on her Twitter account encouraging survivors to post #MeToo as a status update to show the prevalence of sexual harassment and sex crimes against women

1974 – Nelson Rockefeller is sworn in as Vice President of the United States under the provisions of the twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution after Gerald Ford takes over as president  

1980 – The movie Nine to Five, starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, opens

1984 – A British-Chinese accord will return Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty in 1997

1986 – Independent counsel Lawrence Walsh is appointed to investigate the Iran-Contra scandal

1986 – The Soviet Union announces it is freeing dissident Andrei Sakharov from internal exile and pardoning his wife, Yelena Bonner

1989 – U.S. troops invade Panama to overthrow the regime of General Noriega

1995 – The United States Government restores federal recognition to the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Native American tribe

1997 – The movie Titanic opens in American theaters

1998 – Democratic President Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives, and will face a Senate trial. Both houses have Republican majorities. The specific charges against Clinton were lying under oath and obstruction of justice. The charges stemmed from Clinton’s testimony denying that he had engaged in a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.  The trial in the Senate began in January 1999, with Chief Justice William Rehnquist presiding. On February 12, Clinton was acquitted on both counts as neither received the necessary two-thirds majority vote of the senators present for conviction and removal from office – in this instance 67. On Article One, 45 senators voted to convict while 55 voted for acquittal. On Article Two, 50 senators voted to convict while 50 voted for acquittal. Clinton remained in office for the balance of his second term.

2000 – The U.N. Security Council votes to impose sanctions on Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers unless they close all terrorist training camps and surrender U.S. embassy bombing suspect Osama bin Laden

2005 – Afghanistan’s first democratically elected parliament in over 30 years convenes

2008 – U.S. President George W. Bush signs a $17.4 billion package of loans to bail out ailing auto makers General Motors and Chrysler

2012 – Park Geun-hye is elected, the first woman president of South Korea

2013 – Spacecraft Gaia is launched by the European Space Agency

2014 – The attorneys general of Nebraska and Oklahoma filed a court challenge against Colorado’s law legalizing the sale of marijuana, claiming that Colorado shops selling state-regulated recreational marijuana aided the trafficking of the drug into states where marijuana remains illegal, “draining their treasuries, and placing stress on their criminal justice systems”

2017 – The European Union’s highest court handed Uber a major defeat on Wednesday by declaring that the ride-hailing service must comply with the same tough rules as conventional taxi companies. Uber had argued that it should be exempt because it is really just a digital services provider, helping to connect riders with independent drivers through its ride-hailing smartphone app. The decision threatens to hamper Uber’s plans to expand in Europe by forcing it to spend a fortune on licensing fees and employee benefits. It also could signal broader changes in store for the gig economy, in which a growing number of people work as freelancers or under short-term contracts rather than as full-time employees with clear rights and benefits under established labor rules

2017 – Comedian and actor T.J. Miller has been accused of violently sexually assaulting his former girlfriend while the two attended George Washington University. “We started to fool around, and very early in that, he put his hands around my throat and closed them, and I couldn’t breathe,” the woman, who asked not to be named, told The Daily Beast. “I was genuinely terrified … I had certainly not entered into any agreement that I would be choked.” The woman said the incident additionally escalated into further sexual violence. Two of her roommates at the time told the Beast they recalled the alleged incident. Miller has denied the allegations, claiming the woman “is now using the current climate to bandwagon and launch these false accusations again.”


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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