ON THIS DAY: January 7, 2020

January 7th is

Bobblehead Day *

Harlem Globetrotters Day *

Old Rock Day

Tempura Day

Computer Programmers’ Day *

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MORE! Galileo, Sadako Sasaki and Gerald Durrell, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Many Orthodox Christians, including the Copts, celebrate Christmas on this day; holiday in Abkhazia, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Sudan, Transdniestria, Ukraine, and the West Bank

Armenia – Remembrance of the Dead

Brazil – Arembepe:
Healing Yoga and Meditation Retreat

Cambodia – Victory Over Genocidal Regime

Canada – Montreal: Wildside Festival

Egypt – Nasr City: Our New Event

France – Paris: Exposition Soleil Lapon
(photography exhibition)

Germany – Kassel: Flic Flac Festival of Artists

Ghana – Constitution Day

India – Ahmedabad: Uttarayan
International Kite Festival

Italy – Festa del Tricolore
(Tricolor Feast/Flag Day)

Japan – Nanakusa no sekku 
(Feast of Seven Herbs, for longevity)

Liberia – Pioneer’s Day

New Zealand – New Plymouth:
Pukekura Park Eco Art

Peru – Comas: Festival de Verano
(Summer music festival)

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On This Day in HISTORY

889 – Emperor Liezu aka Li Bian, founder and first emperor of the Southern Tang dynasty in China

1355 – Thomas of Woodstock born, first Duke of Gloucester, leader of the Lords Appellant whose opposition successfully weakens the power of King Richard II; but Richard manages to dispose of the Lords Appellant in 1397, and Thomas is murdered while awaiting trial for treason, which adds even more to Richard’s unpopularity


Left, the murder of Thomas – Right, portrait of Thomas of Woodstock

1558 – The French take Calais, the last English possession in France

1610 –  Galileo Galilei makes his first observation of the four Galilean moons: Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa, although not able to distinguish the last two until the following day



1618 – Francis Bacon becomes Lord Chancellor of England

1634 – Adam Krieger born, German organist and composer

1782 – Bank of North America opens, first American commercial bank

1785 – Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American John Jeffries travel in a gas balloon from Dover, England, to Calais in France, the first air-crossing of the English Channel

1797 – Festa del Tricolore * – The modern Italian flag is first used



1815 – ‘E. Louisa Mather’ born as Elizabeth Louisa Foster, the pen name of Louisa Foster Mather, American writer; she was a convert to Universalism, and wrote stories, essays and poems for The Universalist and Ladies’ Repository, a periodical of the Universalist church (1847-1874), as well as contributing to Universalist Union, Trumpet, Ambassador, Golden Hide, and Odd Fellows’ Offering. Mary Livermore  invited Mather to write for Lily of the Valley. She wrote frequently on religious subjects, capital punishment and in favor of woman’s suffrage



1827 – Sandford Fleming born, Scottish-Canadian engineer, inventor of  ‘Cosmic Time’ a worldwide standard time system, and time zones

1831 – Heinrich von Stephan born, German Empire general post director who founded the Universal Postal Union, one of the most important but little-known organizations in the world, which oversees international postal regulations that keep mail traveling smoothly between nations



1835 – HMS Beagle drops anchor at the Chonos Archipelago off the Chilean coast

1860 – Emanuil Manolov born, Bulgarian composer



1863 – Anna Murray Vail born, American botanist and first librarian (1900-1907) of the New York Botanical Garden.  In 1911, she moved to France, and was active during WWI with the American Fund for French Wounded, becoming the fund’s treasurer

1876 – William Hurlstone born, English pianist and composer

1891 – Zora Neale Hurston born, African American anthropologist and author;  she studied Caribbean and black American folklore; she is associated with the Harlem Renaissance, but was somewhat more conservative than most of her colleagues; best known for her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God



1894 – William Kennedy Dickson patents celluloid motion picture film

1896 – The Fannie Farmer Cookbook is published



1899 – Francis Poulenc born, French pianist and composer



1904 – The distress signal “CQD” is  announced by the Marconi International Marine Communication Company; Land telegraphs traditionally used “CQ”  for sécu from the French word sécurité – Marconi added the “D” for “distress.” Replaced two years later by “SOS”

1906 – Henry “Red” Allen born, American Jazz trumpet player-vocalist

1911 – Thelma “Butterfly” McQueen born, African American actress, best remembered for her first film role, Scarlett O’Hara’s maid Prissy, in Gone With the Wind; she was prevented from appearing at the world premiere of the movie because it was held at a whites-only movie house in Atlanta GA; honored by the Freedom From Religion Foundation with its Freethought Heroine Award in 1989 for her public statements on why she was an atheist



1912 – Charles Addams born, American cartoonist, The Addams Family



1919 – Montenegrin guerrilla fighters rebel against the planned annexation of Montenegro by Serbia, but the uprising fails

1919 – In South Africa, the Bantu Women’s League, led by BWL president Charlotte Maxeke, begins a campaign of passive resistance against the application of the pass laws to women. The BWL was formed in 1918 as a branch of the African National Congress (ANC), and a BWL women’s deputation led by Maxeke had already gone to see Prime Minister Louis Botha in 1918 to argue against the imposition of the passes. The campaign continued, and briefly won some concessions in 1922, but the law was tightened again in the 1923 Native Urban Areas Act


Charlotte Maxeke

1920 – The New York State Assembly suspends five duly elected Socialist assemblymen pending a hearing before a tribunal, by a vote of 140 to 6, with one Democrat supporting the Socialists. Civil libertarians, concerned citizens and the press protest the suspension of the Socialists, arguing that a majority party expelling elected members of minority parties from their councils sets a dangerous precedent in a democracy. The Socialists are expelled April 1, but all five are re-elected in a special election intended to replace them, and legislation written to exclude the Socialist Party from recognition as a political party, and altering the legislature’s oath-taking procedures so elected members could be excluded before being sworn is vetoed by Governor Al Smith

1921 – Esmeralda Arboleda Cadavid born, Columbian politician, ambassador and women’s suffrage movement leader who, with suffragist Josephina Valencia Muñoz, campaigned for legislation which granted universal suffrage to Columbian women in 1954; first woman elected to Columbian Senate (1958-1961); Minister of Communications (1961-1962); Columbia Ambassador to Austria (1966-1968)



1922 – The Dáil Éireann ratifies the Anglo-Irish Treaty by a 64–57 vote; it establishes an Irish Free State within a year as a self-governing dominion

1922 – Jean-Pierre Rampal born, French flute player extraordinaire



1924 – George Gershwin completes “Rhapsody in Blue”

1925 – Gerald Durrell born in India, English conservationist, founder of Durrell Wildlife Park on the Channel Islands of Jersey; author of My Family and Other Animals, and other biographical works, scientific guides, children’s books, and short stories. He instituted a captive breeding program for endangered species with the aim of returning these animals to the wild 



1927 – The first transatlantic telephone service is established from New York, New York to London

1927 – The Harlem Globetrotters * founded as the Savoy Big Five by Abe Saperstein – won the World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1940

1929 – Buck Rogers makes his debut in the comic strip

1935 – Benito Mussolini and French Foreign minister Pierre Laval sign the Franco-Italian Agreement, but the French give only a small amount of land in eastern Africa and a desert area in the French Sahara, which increases Italian resentment about the division of German territory by France and England after WWI

1941 – Iona Brown born, British violinist and conductor with Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; as conductor, associated with Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and City of Birmingham Symphony



1943 – Sadako Sasaki born, Japanese survivor of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima August 6, 1945, one of the hibakusha (bomb-affected person), who became a symbol of the innocent victims of nuclear warfare. When the bomb dropped, the two-year-old girl was blown out of a window in the family home, just one mile (1.6 kilometres) from ground zero, but her mother found her seemingly uninjured. While her mother fled, carrying her, they were caught in the black rain (nuclear fallout). In November 1954, Sasaki developed swellings on her neck and behind her ears, followed by purpura on her legs in January, 1955, and was diagnosed with acute malignant lymph gland leukemia (many survivors referred to it as “atomic bomb disease”). She was admitted to the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital for treatment in February, 1955, with a prognosis of a year to live. In August 1955, she was moved into a room with an older girl, and a local high school club brought origami cranes to their room. Her father told her the legend of the cranes in Japanese folklore, which says that the crane lives for 1,000 years, and if a person folds 1,000 origami cranes within a year, they will have the chance to make one special wish come true. Sasaki set herself the goal of folding 1,000 cranes. She had to scrounge for paper, using medicine wrappers, wrapping paper donated by other patients from their get-well presents, and paper from school brought to Sasaki by her best friend. While there is a story that she died before reaching her goal, according to her brother, she folded over 1000 cranes before she lapsed into a coma, and died on October 25, 1955, at the age of 12. Sasaki’s friends and schoolmates published a collection of letters in order to raise funds to build a memorial to her and all of the children who had died from the effects of the atomic bomb. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons uses the folding of 1,000 cranes for peace in its public awareness campaigns



1949 – (Martha) Marshall Chapman born, American singer-songwriter



1953 – U.S. President Truman announces the development of the hydrogen bomb

1954 – The first public demonstration of a machine translation system developed jointly by Georgetown University and IBM, is held in the IBM New York head office

1955 – Contralto Marian Anderson is the first person of color to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera



1957 – Katie Couric born, American television journalist and author; co-host of the Today show (1991-2006), CBS Evening News anchor (2006-2011); 60 Minutes (2006-2011), CBS Reports (2009-2011), ABC News (2011-2013); children’s author and essayist



1958 – Ant Farms go on sale; Milton Levine got the idea at a July 4th family picnic

1959 – Angela Evans Smith born, Baroness Smith of Basildon since 2010; British Labour Co-operative politician, Member of Parliament for Basildon (1997-2010); Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords since May 2015



1968 – The unmanned lunar lander Surveyor 7 lifts off from Cape Canaveral on a mission to transmit photographs from the Moon’s surface

1974 – Alenka Bikar born, Slovenian sprinter who competed in three Olympic games from 1996 to 2004; since 2012, she has served as a deputy in the National Assembly of Slovenia as a member of the Positive Slovenia Party

1977 – Sofi Oksanen born, Finish novelist and playwright; noted for her novel Purge, the first Finnish work to win the Prix Femina Étranger award (2010)



1979 – Vietnamese forces capture Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government

1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter authorizes legislation giving $1.5 billion in loans to bail out the Chrysler Corporation

1984 – Brunei becomes the sixth member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

1985 – Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launches Sakigake, Japan’s first interplanetary spacecraft, and the first deep space probe launched by a country other than the U.S. or the Soviet Union



1990 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa’s accelerated rate of leaning causes safety concerns, and it is closed to the public

1999 – Senate impeachment trial of U.S. President Bill Clinton begins

2007 – The first Computer Programmers’ Day * – International Programmers’ Day is celebrated in September



2015 – The first Bobblehead Day * celebrated at the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame



2018 – Israel released a blacklist barring the leaders of 20 organizations from entry into the country over their support of a boycott of Israel until it ends its occupation of the West Bank and grants the right of return to Palestinian refugees. The list consisted of primarily European and American organizations, including a U.S. Jewish group. It also names entities from Latin America and South Africa. “We have shifted from defense to offense,” said Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs, whose office drew up the list. “The boycott organizations need to know that the State of Israel will act against them.” 

2018 – Carrie Gracie, the BBC’s China editor, announced her resignation in an open letter posted on her personal blog, citing gender pay inequality at the British public broadcaster. The BBC has faced criticism recently for paying men more than women in similar jobs, and Gracie said that she learned when salary data was revealed in a July funding settlement how much less she made than male colleagues. The BBC had four international editors, of which she was one, and the two men in the role made at least 50 percent more than the women. Gracie said she was offered a raise but it was “far short of equality,” and that there was now a “crisis of trust” at the broadcaster. A BBC spokeswoman said “fairness in pay” is “vital” at the organization


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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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