ON THIS DAY: January 17, 2020

January 17th is

Cable Car Day *

Kid Inventors’ Day *

Hot Buttered Rum Day

Popeye the Sailor Day *

International Mentoring Day *


MORE! Betty White, Rangeya Raghaw and Eartha Kitt, click



Brazil – Rio de Janeiro:
Festival da Fruta Janeiro

Bulgaria – Antonovden: (St. Anton’s name day)

Canada – Calgary: Lunar New Year Celebration

Chile – Santiago: Festival de
Teatro Infantil de La Reina

Finland – Espoo: Polar Night Light Festival

Japan – Osaka: Sakira Taisen Art Festival

Gambia – Janjanbureh:
Kankurang Festival (traditional masks)

Greece – Patras: Opening Day, Patras Carnival

India – Tamil Nadu:
M. G.  Ramachandran Birthday *

Malta – Valletta: Valletta Baroque Festival

Mexico – Álamos: Festival
Internacional Alfonso Ortiz Tirado 

New Zealand – Loburn: Aroha Essence Festival

Panama – Panama City: Panama Jazz Fest

Republic of the Congo –
Patrice Lumumba Day *

South Africa – Johannesburg: Joburg
Migrant Cuisines Storytelling Dinner

Spain – Menorca: National Day

Thailand – Chiang Mai:
Bo Sang Umbrella Festival

United Kingdom – Skegness:
Great British Rock & Blues Festival


On This Day in HISTORY

395 – Theodosius I, Roman Emperor, dies at the age of 48, leaving rule of the Roman Empire divided so his son Arcadius rules the eastern half, while his younger brother Honorius is to rule in the west, even though he is only 10 years old – the Empire was never again united

1377 – The Papal See moves back to Rome from Avignon, France

Palace of the Popes at Avignon

1524 – Giovanni da Verrazzano sets sail westward from Madeira to find a sea route to the Pacific Ocean

1562 – In France, Catherine de’ Medici promulgates the Edict of Saint-Germain to recognize the Huguenots, giving limited guarantees of freedom of conscience and private worship, but the Parliament of Paris made remonstrances to the crown concerning conflicts with previous laws, delaying its ratification until after the Massacre of Vassy: on March 1, 1562, 63 Huguenots armed only with stones, were killed and their place of worship burned, beginning the French Wars of Religion

1600 – Pedro Calderón de la Barca born, Spanish Baroque playwright and poet; La vida es sueño (Life is a Dream)

1648 – In response to hearing that Charles I entering an engagement with the Scots, England’s Long Parliament passes the Vote of No Addresses, breaking off negotiations with the king, leading to the second phase of the English Civil War

King Charles I – painted by Van Dyck

1659 – Antonio Veracini born, Italian violinist and composer

1706 – Benjamin Franklin born, American statesman-scientist-inventor-author, U.S. ‘Founding Father’ – Kid Inventors’ Day * is celebrated on his birthday because Franklin invented the first swim flippers when he was 12 years old!

1734 – François-Joseph Gossec born, French composer and conductor

1773 – Captain James Cook’s expedition becomes first to sail south of Antarctic Circle

1795 – The Dudingston Curling Society is organized in Edinburgh, Scotland

1806 – James Madison Randolph, grandson of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, is the first child born in the Executive Mansion, now called the White House

1814 – Ellen Wood born, English novelist who published as Mrs. Henry Wood; several of her books became international bestsellers, including The Channings, and East Lynne, for which she is most remembered

1820 – Anne Brontë born, English author and poet, the youngest of the Brontë sisters; notable for Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

1829 – Catherine Booth born, co-founder of the Salvation Army, with her husband William. As a young woman, she was a supporter of the national Temperance Society. She began her career as a social worker and preacher working with young people, and speaking at children’s meetings. In 1859, she wrote a pamphlet, Female Ministry: Woman’s Right to Preach the Gospel, in defense of American revivalist preacher Mrs. Phoebe Palmer, whose preaching had caused a great stir in England, since only men stood in the pulpits or spoke in meetings at that time. In the pamphlet, she declares that women are neither naturally nor morally inferior to men; that there was no scriptural reason to deny a public ministry to women who felt a calling; and maintained that what the Bible urged, the Holy Spirit had ordained and blessed and so must be justified. Booth also complained that the “unjustifiable application” of Paul’s advice, ‘Let your women keep silence in the Churches’ (1 Corinthians 14:34), “has resulted in more loss to the Church, evil to the world, and dishonor to God, than any of [its] errors.” She was a partner in her husband’s work, but also helped alcoholics make a new start, held cottage meetings for converts, and initiated her own campaigns, including lobbying Queen Victoria to seek legislation for safeguarding females, in the form of the “Parliamentary Bill for the protection of girls.” She became an eloquent speaker, and a fine writer, proof positive of her contention that women had the right to preach the Gospel on the same terms as men. But in spite of her exhortations that women should be equal, male officers in the Salvation Army received a third more pay than women officers until just before WWII

1852 – Great Britain signs the Sand River Convention, recognizing the independence of the South African Republic

1858 – Tomás Carrasquilla born, Columbian author whose works were little-known until he was in his late 60s, and was awarded the 1936 National Prize of Literature in Columbia; noted for his story Simón El Mago (Simon the Magician) and the novel La Marqueza de Yolombó (The Marquesa of Yolombo)

1863 – David Lloyd George born, British Liberal politician, U.K. Prime Minister (1916-1922), spearheaded creation of Britain’s social welfare system; led U.K. during WWI

1863 – Constantin Stanislavski born, Russian director-actor; creator of the Stanislaski system of actor training, preparation and rehearsal technique; co-founder of the Moscow Art Theatre, where he directed several premieres of play by Anton Checkov and Maxim Gorky; author of An Actor Prepares and Building a Character

1871 – Cable Car Day * – Andrew Smith Hallidie receives first cable car railway patent

1875 – Florencio Sánchez born, Uruguayan playwright, and journalist; considered Uruguay’s leading playwright; noted for M’hijo el dotor (My Son, the Doctor), Canillita  (The Newspaper Vendor) and La pobre gente (The Poor People); he died from tuberculosis in 1910 at age 35

1877 – Marie Zdeňka Baborová-Čiháková born, the first Czech woman botanist and zoologist

1877 – May Gibbs born in England, Anglo-Australian children’s author, illustrator and cartoonist; her family moved to Australia when she was four; she studied art in England; noted for her “gumnut babies” and the book Snugglepot and Cuddlepie; while in England, drew cartoons for the Common Cause, published by the Suffragettes

1879 – Zulu King Cetshwayo addressed 20,000 of his warriors at the great military kraal of Nidwengu:  “I am sending you out against the whites, who have invaded Zululand and driven away our cattle. You are to go against the column at Rorke’s Drift and drive it back into Natal.”

1886 – Glenn Martin, American aviation pioneer, is born; his company, which produced the WWI MB-1 and MB-2 bombers, would later merge with Lockheed

1888 – Babu Gulabrai born, notable Indian Hindi author of philosophical works, literary essays and satires, including his humorous autobiography, Meri Asafaltain (My Failures)

1893 – Lorrin A. Thurston, along with the so-called Citizens’ Committee of Public Safety and the American troops sent to “protect” them, leads the overthrow the Kingdom of Hawaii and the government of Queen Liliʻuokalani

1899 – Nevil Shute born, English engineer and novelist; best known for On the Beach

1900 – Yaqui Indians in Texas proclaim their independence from Mexico

1905 – Peggy Gilbert born, American Dixieland jazz saxophonist and bandleader; beginning in 1928, she appeared in movies and toured in vaudeville shows; in 1933, she founded an all-girl jazz band, which used several different names, including  “Peggy Gilbert and Her Metro Goldwyn Orchestra” and “Peggy Gilbert and her Symphonics.” The band often played in famous Hollywood nightclubs, including the Cocoanut Grove. She also toured in USO shows, and was an advocate for women musicians. Gilbert had several lean years after WWII, but found a new audience in the 1950s on radio and television. In 1974, at age 69, she started her last great all-female band, “The Dixie Belles,” with musicians from vaudeville and the Big Band era. The group performed on TV and at jazz festivals, and in the 1980 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. In 1985, the band recorded “Peggy Gilbert & the Dixie Belles.” Gilbert lived to the age of 102

1912 – English explorer Robert Falcon Scott reaches the South Pole, only to discover that Norwegian Roald Amundsen had beaten him there by a month. Scott and his party die during the return trip

1914 – William Stafford born, American poet and pacifist, the 20th Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (1970)

1917 – Marudur Gopalan Ramachandran * (dubbed MGR born, Indian actor and politician, Chief Minister of the Indian state Tamil Nadu (1977-1987)

1917 – The United States pays Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands

1922 – Betty White born, American actress, TV personality, animal rights activist and national treasure. Her television career is considered the longest in entertainment history, spanning over 80 years. She was also one of the first women to have control both in front of and behind the camera, and is recognized as the first woman producer of a TV situation comedy series, Life with Elizabeth (1953-1955)

1923 – Rangeya Raghaw born, Indian Hindi author; noted for Kab tak pukaroon (How Long Do I Call)

1924 – Jewel Plummer Cobb born, great-granddaughter of a freed slave; American biologist, cancer researcher, professor, dean and academic administrator; earned a B.A. in biology in 1945, but had to fight for a fellowship for graduate study in biology; worked on finding a cure for melanoma as an independent researcher at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory; advocate for women and students of color being admitted to universities and graduate school

1926 – Moira Shearer born, internationally renowned British ballet dancer; noted for her performance in the classic ballet film, The Red Shoes

1927 – Eartha Kitt born, American multi-talented performer, peace and civil rights activist, founder of a non-profit to help disadvantaged youths in Los Angeles; her career in the U.S. took a nosedive in 1968, after Ladybird Johnson asked her about the Vietnam War and she made frank anti-war statements before the press; she was falsely branded as a “sadistic nymphomaniac” and other slanders in a CIA dossier (discovered in 1975) and blacklisted; she left the U.S to make a living in Europe and Asia; when she stepped in as a replacement in London’s West End production of the musical Follies, she stopped the show singing “I’m Still Here.” Kitt made a triumphal return to the U.S starring on Broadway in Timbuktu! in 1978

1929 – Popeye the Sailor Day * – Popeye makes his first public appearance in Elzie Segar’s then 10-year-old comic strip, Thimble Theatre, which originally revolved around Olive Oyl’s family

1933 – Shari Lewis born as Phyllis Hurwitz, American ventriloquist, puppeteer, and pioneer in children’s television, best known as the original puppeteer of Lamb Chop. She and Lamb Chop made their debut appearance on Captain Kangaroo in 1956, and continued until the PBS program Lamb Chop’s Play Along ended in 1997. Lewis and her husband Jeremy Tarcher then created The Charlie Horse Music Pizza show (1998-1999), which was designed to teach elementary school children about music at a time when one-third of elementary schools were cutting music classes from their curriculum. The program was canceled when Lewis died at age 65, from pneumonia while undergoing chemotherapy in August, 1998

1934 – Ferdinand Porsche submits design for a people’s car, a “Volkswagen,” to the new German Reich government

1940s Type 60 Volkswagen

1935 – Ruth Ann Minner born, American Democratic politician and businesswoman; first woman governor of Delaware (2001-2009) after serving as Lieutenant Governor (1993-2001) and in the Delaware General Assembly (1975-1982)

1942 –Muhammad Ali born as Cassius Clay, 1960 Olympic gold medalist; first fighter to be World Heavyweight Boxing Champion three separate times (1964, 1973, 1978); philanthropist, humanitarian and civil rights activist; 2005 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient (see also 2016 entry)

1942 – Ita Buttrose born, Australian journalist and author; founding editor of Cleo (1972-1975),  magazine and editor of Australian Women’s Weekly (1975-1978); first female editor of a major Australian newspaper, the Daily Telegraph (1981-1984)

1944 – Ann R. Oakley born, distinguished English sociologist, author, and feminist; Founder-Director of the Social Science Research Unit at the Institute of Education, University of London; has published numerous academic works, but also several best-selling novels, including The Men’s Room

1945 – Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Jews in Hungary from the Holocaust during WWII, is detained by SMERSH, Soviet Red Army counter-intelligence, on suspicion of espionage, and all trace of him disappears

1946 – The UN Security Council holds its first session

1949 – Anita Borg born, American computer scientist; pioneer in email communication; founder of Systers (1987), the first email network for women; as well as the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (1994), and the Institute for Women and Technology (1997).  Honored with the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award from the  Association for Women in Computing for her work on behalf of women in the computing field in 1995. 

1957 – Ann Nocenti born, American comic book editor for Marvel Comics, journalist, writer and filmmaker; outspoken commentator on sexism, racism, nuclear proliferation and other societal issues

1961 –  U.S. President Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address three days before leaving office, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the “military–industrial complex” as well as the dangers of massive deficit spending

1961 – Patrice Lumumba * is killed, independence leader, first democratically elected Congolese prime minister. Arrested during a coup d’état, he was imprisoned, starved, beaten and tortured, then finally driven to an isolated location and shot with two others

1964 – Michele Obama born, American lawyer and university administrator, first African-American First Lady (2009-2017)

1968 – Rowan Pelling born, British journalist, broadcaster, writer, stand-up comedian, ‘editrice’ of the Erotic Review, and columnist for Independent on Sunday and Daily Mail

1971 – Sylvie Testud born, French actress, writer and film director; she made her directing debut with the 1998 short film, Je veux descendre (I Want to Get Off), and directed the 2012 feature film, La Vie d’une autre (Another Woman’s Life)

1977 – Capital punishment in the U.S. resumes after a ten-year hiatus, as convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is executed by firing squad in Utah

1981 – Philippine President and kleptocrat Ferdinand Marcos lifts martial law eight years and five months after declaring it

1992 – During a visit to South Korea, Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa  apologizes for Japan forcing Korean women into sexual slavery during World War II

1996 – The Czech Republic applies to the European Union for membership

1997 – An Irish court grants the first divorce in the Catholic country since it gained its independence from Britain in 1922.

2001 – During an electricity crisis, California uses rolling blackouts, cutting power to hundreds of thousands

2007 – The Doomsday Clock is set at five minutes to midnight because of North Korea’s nuclear testing

2012 – Kelly Clarkson single “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” released in the U.S.

2016 – The first International Mentoring Day * is launched by the National Mentoring Partnership in partnership with the Muhammad Ali Center and Epicenter Community’s Mentoring for Change initiative to support and applaud mentors everywhere, raise awareness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and honor the memory of Muhammad Ali

2017 – Three of Donald Trump’s nominees for Cabinet positions faced sharp questions over ethical issues. Democrats hammered Representative Tom Price (Republican-Georgia) for past stock trades and “sweetheart deals.” Senator Elizabeth Warren (Democrat-Massachusetts.) asking how he could push legislation to “help the company that you now own stock in.” Price bristled, saying he was “offended by the insinuation.” Rep. Mick Mulvaney (Republican-South Carolina), Trump’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget, has been grilled for his failure to pay more than $15,000 in employment taxes for a household employee, while Commerce Department nominee Wilbur Ross revealed that he had hired a housekeeper who was an undocumented immigrant


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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