ON THIS DAY: January 15, 2020

January 15th is

Bagel Day

National Hat Day *

Strawberry Ice Cream Day

Fresh-Squeezed Juice Day


MORE! Sylvia Lawler, Martin Luther King and Loretta Lynch, click



Afghanistan – Liberation Day

Belgium – Brussels:
Brussels Jazz Festival

Brazil – Iguape: Festival de
Verão de Iguape (summer fest)

Canada – Edmonton:
Edmonton Whisky Festival

Egypt – Arbor Day

Guinea – Conarkry: Les slam

India – Thai Pongal
(Tamil harvest festival)

Indonesia – Ocean Duty Day

Italy – Borgo Valsugana:
Film Festival Montagna

Japan – Kamakura: Sagichō
(New Year decorations burned)

Malawi – John Chilembwe Day
(Hero of Malawi independence)

Mexico – Todos Santos:
Tropic of Cancer Concerts

New Zealand – Hastings:
Crafternoon Tea (teen event)

Nigeria – Armed Forces Day

North Korea – Chosŏn’gŭl
(Korean Alphabet Day)

Switzerland – Morat:
Murten Light Festival

Venezuela – Teachers’ Day


On This Day in HISTORY

588 BC – Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon begins a two-year siege of Jerusalem

Babylon, Nebuchadrezzar’s capital, in the
6th Century BC, showing the Ishtar Gates

1535 – King Henry VIII declares himself the head of the English Church

Henry VIII, by Holbein the Younger – circa 1537

1541 –  Francis I of France gives Jean-François de La Rocque de Roberval a commission to settle the province of Canada and provide for the spread of the “Holy Catholic faith” along with some funds and three ships for the expedition

1559 – Elizabeth I is crowned Queen of England in London’s Westminster Abbey

1622 – Molière, born as Jean-Baptiste Poquelin; France’s great comic playwright, the master of farce:  Tartuffe; The Misanthrope; The Miser; The Imaginary Invalid

1624 – Viceroy of New Spain Don Diego Carrillo de Mendoza is nearly killed in a riot in Mexico City during his dispute with Archbishop of Mexico Juan Pérez de la Serna, which resulted in the Archbishop issuing a general interdiction, closing all the churches in the capital, and ordering clerics to ride on horseback through the city shouting “¡Muera el mal gobierno!” (Death to bad government!)

1639 – The Fundamental Orders are adopted by the Connecticut Colony council, a precursor to written constitutions in the American colonies. The preamble was a covenant that bound Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield to be governed in all civil matters by the 11 orders (laws) in the document, which limited holders of the office of governor to serving once every two years. There was no religious test for voting eligibility or reference to the authority of the crown, but voting rights were restricted to freemen – women, slaves and indentured servants were excluded

1754 – Richard Martin born, Irish MP, activist against animal cruelty, who was dubbed ‘Humanity Dick’ by King George IV; he proposed the first anti-cruelty act to be passed by both houses of the British Parliament, the Cruel Treatment of Cattle Act 1822, nicknamed ‘Martin’s Act’

1759 – The British Museum opens. In 1753, Sir Hans Sloane had bequeathed his collection of  71,000 objects, including 40,000 printed books, 7,000 manuscripts, extensive natural history specimens including 337 volumes of dried plants, prints and drawings, to King George II, for the nation, for the sum of £20,000, which became the initial core of the Museum’s permanent collection

The British Museum circa 1800

1779 – Jean Coralli born, French dancer-choreographer, co-creator of Giselle 

1780 – Continental Congress establishes the ‘Court of Appeals’

1782 – Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris appears before the U.S. Congress to recommend establishment of a national mint and decimal coinage

1794 – Sake Dean Mahomed becomes the first Indian to publish a book in English, a travel book, The Travels of Dean Mahomed. An Anglo-Indian Muslim, he also opened the first Indian restaurant in England, and introduced “The Indian Medicated Vapour Bath” to Great Britain

1799 – National Hat Day * – John Hetherington, a London haberdasher, creates the “stovepipe” Top Hat and wears it in public – people crowding to see it cause “a breach of the peace”

1803 – Marjorie Fleming born, Scottish poet and author; noted for her journal, a child’s eye view of life in 19th century Scotland; died in 1811, a month prior to her 9th birthday

1811 – Abigail Kelley Foster born, American abolitionist, feminist, orator, and reform lecturer; she was secretary (1835-1837) of the Lynn Female Anti-Slavery Society, and one of the co-founders with William Lloyd Garrison of the New England Non-Resistance Society, a peace group that opposed war, the death penalty, and favored dissolution of the union with Southern slave states instead of war. In 1838, she made her first public speech at the second Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in Philadelphia, and later, her first speech to a mixed audience of men and women after resigning her teaching position. She began a stormy career as a reform lecturer, denounced regularly from pulpits as “immoral” for daring to speak on a public platform, especially before mixed-gender audiences. Her almost ceaseless lecturing took her as far west as Indiana and Michigan, and her travels were marked not only by personal abuse and sometimes even violence but also by frequent hardship. In 1845 she married Stephen S. Foster, a companion on the abolitionist lecture circuit. They continued to travel and lecture together until 1861, although after 1847 Abigail Foster spent much of each year at their Worcester, Massachusetts farm. During the 1850s she added appeals for temperance and women’s rights to her addresses. She was outspokenly anti-clerical, which added to the ire against her. After the U.S. Civil War, ill-health curtailed her travel and speaking engagements, but she made a fund-raising tour of New England on behalf of the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1870. On three occasions in the 1870s she and her husband refused to pay taxes on their farm on the grounds that she had been taxed without representation, because as a woman she was denied the vote. On each occasion the farm was bought by friends at public auction and returned to them

1831 – The first U.S. built locomotive to pull a passenger train makes its first run in Charleston SC

1836 – Constance Faunt Le Roy Runcie born, American pianist-composer and author; noted for her non-fiction The Burning Question; and her hymns, as well as compositions for orchestra and chamber ensemble

1842 – Mary MacKillop born, co-founder with Julian Tenison Wood of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (the Josephites), religious sisters who established schools and welfare institutions throughout Australia and New Zealand, mainly to educate the rural poor; she was canonized as the first Australian Roman Catholic saint in 2010

1844 – The University of Notre Dame receives its charter from the state of Indiana

1850 – Sofia Kovalevskaya born, first Russian woman mathematician, and one of the first woman editors of a scientific journal. At university, she could only attend lectures unofficially, since women were not allowed to matriculate at Heidelberg. Nevertheless, by 1889, she became the first woman full professor in Europe. She made valuable contributions to the theory of differential equations. At the early age of 41, while still at the peak of her mathematical ability and renown, Kovalevskaya died of influenza complicated by pneumonia.

1861 – Elisha Otis patents the steam elevator

1870 – A cartoon by Thomas Nast, the first recorded use of a donkey to symbolize the Democratic Party, appears in Harper’s Weekly

1878 – Johanna Müller-Hermann born, Austrian composer; noted for lieder, and for an oratorio, Lied der Erinnerung: In Memoriam, to a text by Walt Whitman, which requires a large orchestra, a chorus, and several solo voices

1879 – Mazo de la Roche born, Canadian novelist, short story writer and playwright; known for her Jalna series of 16 novels, which became hugely popular

1893 – Ivor Novello born, Welsh singer-songwriter and theatrical matinee idol; “Keep the Home-Fires Burning”

1894 – Ecaterina Teodoroiu born, 1894 – Romanian heroine of WWI; she was the guide of a patrol of scouts and guides of Cercetașii României, the Romanian Scouting movement. Many Scouts helped to transport the wounded from the front, and were often killed during air attacks. Teodoroiu became a nurse, but soon insisted on becoming a frontline soldier after her brother, a Sergeant in the Romanian army, was killed. The Romanian Royal family supported her resolve because while she was still a nurse, she had joined with civilians and reserve soldiers in a fight to repulse the attack of a Bavarian company of the German Army at Târgu Jiu in Romania’s Oltenia region, and they were impressed by her bravery. She is credited with saving her company from capture by the enemy using a ruse. She was captured in early November, 1916, but escaped by killing a German guard with a concealed revolver. Fighting near Filiasi, she was wounded in both legs and evacuated, then sent on to hospital in Bucharest. Released in January 1917, she joined an infantry regiment as a voluntary nurse, but soon was put in charge of a 25-man platoon. When her regiment was called up to the frontlines in August, General Ernest Broșteanu asked her to stay at the mobile hospital, but she firmly stated her desire to be allowed to stay with her platoon in the coming battle. She was killed on September 3, 1917, by machine gun fire while leading her platoon in a counter-attack. Her last words were recorded as “Forward, men, don’t give up, I’m still with you!” Teodoroiu was posthumously awarded Military Virtue Medal, first and second class 

1895 – Artturi Ilmari Virtanen born, Finnish chemist, 1945 Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for his research and inventions in agricultural and nutrition chemistry, especially for his fodder preservation method.” He invented AIV silage which improved milk production and a method of preserving butter, the AIV salt, which led to increased Finnish butter exports.

1895 – Gene Krupa born, American drummer-composer

1913 – Miriam Hyde born, Australian composer pianist and poet; she composed over 150 works for piano, including Sonata in G minor for piano, and Valley of Rocks; 50 songs; several other instrumental works; as well as several books of poetry

1918 – Gamal Abdel Nasser born, second President of Egypt (1956-1970)

1920 – The ‘Dry Law’ goes into effect in the U. S.; selling liquor or beer becomes illegal

1922 – Sylvia Lawler born, English geneticist, noted for her work on the rhesus blood-group system; and joined the world’s first department for the study of human genetics,  Galton Laboratory, at University College, London.  Lawler published A Genetical Study of the Gm Groups in Human Serum in 1960, and Human Blood Groups and Inheritance in 1963. Appointed as research scientist at the Institute of Cancer Research in London in 1960 and became the institute’s first woman professor in 1980, and made major contributions to the development of malignant tissue-typing techniques, laying the scientific foundation for bone marrow transplantation. Founding member of the International Workshops on Chromosomes in Leukaemia, and also established the first national fetal tissue bank in the UK. The Royal Society of Medicine named their annual Sylvia Lawler Prizes for best scientific paper and best clinical paper in her honor

1923 – Ivor Cutler born, Scottish songwriter-poet-humorist

1925 – Ruth Slenczynska born, American child prodigy pianist and author; made her Paris debut as a guest soloist with an orchestra at age 7; author of Music at Your Fingertips: Aspects of Pianoforte Technique

1929 – Martin Luther King Jr. born, American civil rights leader, 1964 Nobel Peace Prize recipient

1929 – Ida Lewis “Queen Ida” Guillory, American accordion player, first woman accordion player to lead a Zydeco band

1936 – The first all glass, windowless building is completed, new home of the Owens-Illinois Glass Company Laboratory in Toledo OH

1943 – Work is completed on the Pentagon, headquarters for what was the U. S. Department of War, but renamed the Department of Defense in 1949; it covers 34 acres of land and has 17 miles of corridors

1943 – Dame Margaret Beckett, English metallurgist and Labour politician; Minister of State for Trade and Housing (2008-2009); first woman to serve as British Foreign Secretary (2006-2007); first woman Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (1992-1994)

1944 – Jenny Nimmo born, British author of children’s and fantasy books;  The Magician Trilogy, which won a Smarties Book Prize, and Children of the Red King

1947 – Andrea Martin born, Canadian-American comedian, actress and writer; best known for her work in the television series SCTV, and her performances in the films Wag the Dog; My Big Fat Greek Wedding; and Little Italy. She has also two Tony Awards for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for My Favorite Year, and the 2013 revival of Pippin. Martin is a prominent spokesperson for the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) and hosts their annual gala, as well as being an active member of Artists Against Racism

1949 – Lt. General Cariappa takes over as Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from British General Sir Francis Butcher

1953 – Harry Truman is the first U.S. President to give his farewell on both radio and television as he leaves office

1955 – In Tucson AZ, Raymond Bliss builds the first solar-heated, radiation-cooled house at a cost of $4,000, compared to a U.S. average home price in 1955 of $22,000

1956 – Mayawati Das born, Indian politician; National President of the Bahujan Samaj Party since 2003; Member of Rajya Sabha (Parliament’s Upper House – 2012-2017); Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh four separate times: 2007-2012, 2002-2003, 1997-1997, and 1995-1995. In 1995, she was the first woman Dalit Chief minister in India, and the youngest to that time

1965 – The Who’s first single is released, “I Can’t Explain”

1966 –Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first Prime Minister (1957-1966) after the country gained its independence, is kidnapped and killed in a military coup

1973 – President Nixon suspends military action in North Vietnam, while peace talks between U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese leader Le Duc Tho continue in Paris

1986 – General Justin Lekhanya, head of the Lesotho Army, overthrows Lesotho Prime Minister Chief Leabua Jonathan in a military coup. Jonathan became prime minister in 1966, and gained executive political control over Lesotho when the king’s power was limited in 1970

1990 – Campbell’s Soup produces its 20 billionth can of tomato soup

1993 – An historic disarmament ceremony ended with the last of 125 countries signing a treaty in Paris banning chemical weapons

2003 – U.S. Supreme Court rules Congress can repeatedly extend copyright protection

2006 – NASA’s Stardust space probe mission’s sample return capsule arrives back on Earth with comet dust from comet Wild 2

2008 – After six years of study, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules that meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring is safe and does not need to be labeled as derived from cloned animals

2014 – In Jianshe, China, villagers built a “wall of money.”  The Jianshe co-operative received their annual bonuses, valued around $2 million USD, from military officials, and stacked it in a wall which they guarded until it could be distributed the next day

2017 – Loretta Lynch, in her final speech as the first African American U.S. Attorney General, commemorated Martin Luther King Day, saying that despite progress on civil rights “our work is not finished. I know that while our accomplishments make us proud, they must not make us complacent.” Lynch made the remarks at Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church, where four black girls were killed in a 1963 Ku Klux Klan bombing. The church is in Birmingham’s Civil Rights District, which Barack Obama named as a national monument in one of his final acts as U.S. President. 

Loretta Lynch – 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham – photo Brynn Anderson

2020 – The Council of Europe announces that the 2020 Raoul Wallenberg Prize will be awarded to Amani Ballour, a Syrian doctor, for the major role she played in saving hundreds of civilians who had been injured as a result the conflict in Syria at an underground hospital that she ran in Eastern Ghouta between 2012 and 2018. Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, said, “Dr. Amani Ballour is a shining example of the empathy, virtue, and honor that can flourish even in the worst circumstances”, adding that the hospital that Dr. Ballour had established “became a beacon of hope and safety for many besieged civilians. There, Dr. Ballour risked her own safety and security to help those in the greatest need. She and others acted day after day to save the lives of so many people, including children suffering from the effects of chemical weapons”


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 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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