ON THIS DAY: January 29, 2020

January 29th is

Corn Chip Day

Curmudgeons Day

Freethinkers Day *

National Puzzle Day *

Seeing Eye Dog Day *


MORE! Alice Evans, Paddy Chayefsky and Oprah Winfrey, click



Australia – Haymarket:
Sydney Lunar Festival

Belgium – Brussels: Batard Festival

Bhutan – Zhemgang District
Bon-Choe Rup (local deities festival)

Canada – Edmonton: Cloud 9 Improv Festival

Costa Rica – Guanacaste:
Boruca Played Mask Exhibition

Denmark – Holstebro:
Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium Festival

France – Paris:
International Automobile Festival

India – Jaisalmer: Reth Festival
(art workshops and music concerts)

Jamaica – Trelawny:
Melia Braco Ramble on the Island

Mexico – Leon, Guanajuato:
Feria Estatal de Leon (State fair)

Dominican Republic – Santo Domingo:
Dominican Global Film Festival

Vietnam – Quang Trung Museum:
Tay Son (victory over Chinese Qing army)


On This Day in HISTORY

757 – Chinese general An Lushan, leader of a revolt against Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang dynasty, is murdered by his son, An Qingxu, after proclaiming himself Emperor of the new state of Yan. An Qingxu succeeds his father, but in turn is executed by Tang forces in 759

Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang dynasty

1258 – The first Mongol invasion of Đại Việt (now North Vietnam) fails when they are defeated at the battle of Đông Bộ Đầu, forcing the Mongols to withdraw

1499 – Katharina von Bora born; at the age of five, she was sent to the Benedictine cloister in Brehna to be educated; at age nine, she was transferred to the Cistercian monastery of Marienthron (Mary’s Throne) in Nimbschen, where her aunt was already a nun. She became increasingly dissatisfied with religious life, and interested in Martin Luther’s reform movement. In secrecy, she and several other like-minded nuns begged for Luther’s help in escaping. On Easter Eve, April 4, 1523, Luther arranged for a man who delivered herring to the monastery to hide them in his covered wagon, and bring them to Wittenberg. After the parents and relatives of the runaways refused to shelter them, Luther found employment or marriages for all the other escaped nuns, except Katharina von Bora. She had several suitors, but refused all of them, letting it be known that she would only be willing to marry Martin Luther, or his friend and fellow reformer Nikolaus von Amsdorf. Luther was unsure if he should marry, worried that it would cause a scandal and hurt the Reformation. He decided that “his marriage would please his father, rile the pope, cause the angels to laugh, and the devils to weep.” They were married in 1525

1602 – Amalie Elisabeth of Hanau-Münzenberg born; after her husband, Landgrave of Hessel-Kassel, died in 1637, she became regent for her son, William VI. Through skillful diplomacy and military successes in the Thirty Years’ War, she increased Hesse-Kassel’s prosperity, and handed over an enlarged landgraviate to her son upon his majority in 1650

1688 – Emanuel Swedenborg born, Swedish astronomer, inventor, scientist and   philosopher-theologian; founder of Swedenborgianism aka The New Church: church doctrine includes the belief that individuals must actively cooperate in repentance, reformation, and regeneration of their life, and also believe that God explained the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures to Swedenborg as a means of revealing the truth of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ; author of Arcana Cœlestia and Heaven and Hell

1728 – John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera debuts at Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre, London

1737 – Freethinkers Day * honors Thomas Paine, who was born this day; influential American Revolutionary writer; Common Sense, The American Crisis

1782 – Daniel Auber born, French opera composer

1790 – Englishman Henry Greathead’s boat, the Original, the first boat designed specifically as a lifeboat, is tested successfully on the River Tyne

1802 – John Beckley becomes the first Librarian of Congress

1810 – Mary Whitwell Hale born, American teacher, writer, poet, hymnist, and founder of private schools in Taunton, Massachusetts and later in Keene, New Hampshire; ‘Home’ and ‘Music’ are her most notable hymns, both written for a juvenile choir concert at Taunton Unitarian Chapel in 1834

1819 – Stamford Raffles establishes a post on the Island of Singapore, and starts treaty negotiations with local chiefs for exclusive trade rights in exchange for British protection

1834 – U.S. President Andrew Jackson orders the first use of federal soldiers to suppress a labor dispute; workers on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal rebel because of low wages and difficult and dangerous working conditions; Jackson sets a very bad precedent, giving business owners confidence that they could call on the government to quell labor unrest, making them far less likely to negotiate with their workers – the canal project is abandoned in 1850 as problems and costs continued to soar

1845 – Edgar Allan Poe is credited as an author for the first time in print, in New York’s Evening Mirror with his poem, “The Raven”

1850 – Henry Clay introduces the Compromise of 1850 to the U.S. Congress: California admitted to the Union as a free state, but no slavery restrictions on Utah or the New Mexico territories; Slave trading prohibited in Washington DC but slave holding is allowed there; Texas loses boundary dispute with New Mexico but gets $10 million in compensation; the Fugitive Slave Law, requiring Northerners, including law enforcement officers, to return runaway slaves to their owners under penalty of law

1856 – Queen Victoria establishes the Victoria Cross to recognize acts of valour by British military personnel during the Crimean War

1860 – Anton Chekhov born, Russian playwright, short story writer and physician; better known outside Russia for his plays The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard; his short story collection,  At Dusk, won the 1888 Pushkin Prize; he was a major influence on modern theatre and the evolution of the short story

1861 – Florida Ruffin Ridley born, African-American civil rights activist, suffragist, teacher, writer, and editor. She was born into a distinguished family: her father, George Lewis Ruffin was the first black graduate of Harvard Law School, and the first African-American judge in the U.S., and her mother, Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, was a notable black writer, civil rights leader, and suffragist. Florida graduated from Boston Teachers’ College in 1882, and became the second black public schoolteacher (after Elizabeth Smith) in Boston, and edited the Woman’s Era, the country’s first newspaper published by and for African-American women. She was an advocate for women’s suffrage and campaigned against lynching. In 1918, with her mother and Maria Louis Baldwin, Ridley co-founded the League of Women for Community Service in Boston, which originally offered aid and comfort to African American soldiers. The league evolved after WWI to provide social, educational, and charitable services for the black community. When many city theatres and other venues were off-limits for people of African descent, the league offered art exhibits, literary study groups, plays, concerts and lectures at its headquarters

1862 – Frederick Delius born, English composer

1867 – Vicente Blasco Ibáñez born, Spanish novelist and journalist; author of Blood and Sand, La Maja Desnuda, and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

1870 – Süleyman Nazif born, Ottoman Turkish poet and bureaucrat, served as governor of  several Ottoman provinces; outspoken critic of the Armenian holocaust, credited with preventing massacres in Baghdad while governor there; his writings against Imperialism also got him in hot water

1876 – Havergal Brian born, British classical composer, primarily of symphonies

1881 – Alice C. Evans born, American microbiologist, and researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture; demonstrated that Bacillus abortus bacteria in milk caused Brucellosis, a highly contagious disease which affects both animals and humans

1886 – Karl Benz patents the first successful gasoline-driven automobile

1891 – Liliuokalani is proclaimed the last monarch and only queen regnant of the Kingdom of Hawaii –American planters and U.S. Marines will overthrow the monarchy two years later

1891 –Elizaveta Gerdt born, Russian ballet dancer and teacher; studied under Michel Fokine at the Imperial Ballet School; Vaslav Nijinsky was her chief partner; stayed in Russia after the Russian Revolution; retired as a dancer in 1928, and taught women dancers in the Leningrad Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet (post-revolution name of the Imperial Ballet School) and the Bolshoi Ballet

1895 – Muna Lee born, American poet, mystery novelist, translator and feminist; also worked for the U.S. State Department, primarily on cultural exchanges with Latin America

1903 – Veña Delmar born into a vaudevillian family, American novelist, short story writer, playwright and screenwriter; noted for her novel, Bad Girl, which became a best-seller after it was banned in Boston, and her screenplay for the screwball comedy, The Awful Truth, which was nominated for an Oscar in 1937

1907 – Charles Curtis (Republican-Kansas) resigns from the U.S. House of Representatives on January 28, and replaces Senator Joseph Burton on January 29, becoming the first Native American U.S. Senator. He would go on to be the Vice President of the United States (1929-1933) during Herbert Hoover’s term as President

1916 – Paris is bombed by German zeppelins

1921 – Geraldine Pittman Woods born, African American science administrator who established programs that encourage and facilitate minority careers in STEM fields; served on the Personnel Board of the California Department of Employment, and as a member of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS); first black woman appointed to the National Advisory General Medical Services (NAGMS) Council;  appointed in 1969 as a special consultant to the NIGMS; helped launch the Head Start Program in 1965; appointed in 1968 as Chair of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services

1923 – Paddy Chayefsky born, American author and screenwriter; Marty, Network

1927 – Edward P. Abbey born, American author and environmental activist; Fire on the Mountain, The Monkey Wrench Gang 

1927 – Amelita Ramos born, First Lady of the Philippines (1992-1998); she was the first Filipina First Lady to continue to her work, as registrar at the International School in Manila, refusing to resign and juggling her work duties with her official duties as First Lady. During her tenure as First Lady, she was an advocate for sports programs, having previously served as president of the Philippine Badminton Association, and also campaigned for the rehabilitation and conservation of the Pasig River. Since her husband left office, she has continued to be an advocate for clearing the Pasig of pollution

1929 – Seeing Eye Dog Day * – The first U.S. guide-dog school, the Seeing Eye, is incorporated in Nashville TN, founded by dog breeder and philanthropist, Dorothy Harrison Eustis, revolutionizing life for the visually impaired

1931 – Leslie Bricusse born, English playwright, lyricist and composer; Stop the World – I Want to Get Off; Victor/Victoria

1937 – Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra records “Song of India”

1939 – Germaine Greer born, Australian journalist and controversial feminist author of The Female Eunuch, The Obstacle Race, Sex and Destiny, and The Whole Woman

1940 – Burpee Seed Company displays first tetraploid flowers at the NYC Flower Show

1941 – Robin Morgan born, American journalist, author, anti-war and civil rights activist, feminist founder of Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell, (W.I.T.C.H) and The Sisterhood Is Powerful Fund; essay “Goodbye to All That”

1947 – Linda B. Buck born, American biologist; co-recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for her work on olfactory receptors

1949 – The Newport News was commissioned as the first air-conditioned U.S. naval ship

1949 – Doris Davenport born, American writer poet and performance artist who uses doris davenport as her pen name. She identifies as African American, Appalachian,  Feminist, and LGBTQ. She has published eight poetry collections, and written articles and essays for Appalachian Heritage and other periodicals and journals

1950 – The French National Assembly voted to approve limited self-government for the State of Vietnam, with former Emperor Bao Di as “head of state” instead of monarch; supported by the Soviets, the Viet Minh had declared the Democratic Republic of Vietnam as a separate state in the northern portion of the country in 1945, causing the first Indochina War, won by the Viet Minh at the 1954 Battle of Dien Bien Phu

1954 – Oprah Winfrey born, African American talk show host, actress, television and film producer, and philanthropist; noted for The Oprah Winfrey Show, the highest-rated TV program of its kind from 1986 to 2011; Chair and CEO of Harpo Productions since 1986

1957 – Grażyna Miller born, Polish poet and translator who lived in Italy from 1983 until her death in 2009. Noted for her collections, Sull’onda del respiro (On breath’s weave) and Alibi di una farfalla (A butterfly’s alibi) 

1963 – Great Britain is refused entry into the European Economic Community (EEC – the ‘Common Market’), vetoed by French President Charles de Gaulle

1966 – Sweet Charity opens on Broadway at the Palace Theatre

1966 – Britain imposes a complete trade ban on Rhodesia

1967 – The Mantra-Rock Dance, at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom, is organized by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness to promote their West Coast Center; the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, Moby Grape, Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary and Augustus Owsley Stanley III all participate

1986 – Yoweri Kaguta Moseveni assumes the presidency of Uganda after the National Resistance Army takes over the capital city of Kampala

1987 – Physician’s Weekly announces that the famed smile of Leonardo DeVinci’s Mona Lisa was caused by a “…facial paralysis resulting from a swollen nerve behind the ear”

1989 – Hungary becomes the first Eastern Bloc nation to establish diplomatic relations with South Korea

1996 – President Jacques Chirac announces a “definitive end” to French nuclear weapons testing

1996 – Garth Brooks refuses to accept his American Music Award for Favorite Overall Artist; he says Hootie and the Blowfish had done more for music that year than he did

1998 – A domestic terrorist sets off a bomb at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, AL, killing an off-duty policeman and severely wounding a nurse, the second of four bombings he claimed credit for, including the Centennial Olympic Park bombing during the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics

2000 – In Egypt, a 32-year-old woman becomes the first to file for a divorce under a new law that does not require that a woman prove she is suffering from physical or psychological abuse. Under Egypt’s Islamic law, Wafa Mosaad Gabr could not divorce her husband simply because she didn’t want to be married to him anymore. So, for four years she begged him to grant her a divorce and he refused. With the help of a Women’s Legal Aid Centre, Gabr was finally able to divorce her husband and become the first woman to do so on grounds of incompatibility. The new law, which was approved by Hosni Mubarak when he was still president, was welcomed by women’s rights activists who had campaigned for years to change the 1929 law allowing women to file for divorce only on grounds of physical or psychological abuse. Prior to 1929, Egyptian women could not divorce their husbands for any reason. While a woman can now file for divorce on grounds of incompatibility, she is required to return the dowry that he paid for her and give up all financial rights. Women’s rights activists feel that the latter part of the law still needs to be amended because it will be difficult for poor women to return the dowry and also relinquish all financial rights

2001 – In Indonesia, thousands of student protesters storm the parliament grounds, demanding the resignation of President Abdurrahman Wahid over his alleged involvement in two corruption scandals, but Wahid announces that he won’t resign

2002 – George W. Bush describes “regimes that sponsor terror” as an “Axis of Evil” during his State of the union address, referring to Iraq, Iran and North Korea

2002 – Jodi Jill starts National Puzzle Day * to encourage more people to enjoy puzzles of all kinds

2005 – First direct commercial flights from mainland China to Taiwan since 1949 arrived in Taipei, followed by a China Airlines flight landing in Beijing

2009 – The Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt rules that people who do not adhere to one of the three government-recognized religions, while not allowed to list any belief outside of those three on their documents, will still be eligible to receive government identity documents

2014 – Archaeologists announce they have uncovered what they believe to be the oldest temple in Roman antiquity, found at the Sant’Omobono site in central Rome

2016 – Scientists at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), who have been studying Moon rocks brought back by Apollo mission astronauts, have found that their oxygen isotopes are identical to those of rocks on Earth. They now believe that a collision between Earth and a hypothetical planet dubbed Theia, believed to have happened almost 4.5 billion years ago, was so violent that the two planets melded together forming a new planet, and a chunk was knocked off which became the Moon

2018 – The U.S. Senate blocked a bill seeking to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The vote to advance the legislation fell short of the 60 votes needed to get past a filibuster by Democrats. Abortion rights advocates said the 20-week ban was arbitrary and dangerous, and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states can’t restrict access to abortions until about 23 or 24 weeks, when a fetus is viable outside the womb. Donald Trump, who backed the bill, urged the Senate to reconsider, but Republican Senators knew it wouldn’t go anywhere. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican -Kentucky) and anti-abortion groups said the procedural vote would force all senators to “go on record on the issue” ahead of the midterm elections


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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