ON THIS DAY: February 7, 2020

February 7th is

Ballet Day

Math e Day

Fettuccine Alfredo Day

Periodic Table Day

Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

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MORE! Eubie Blake, Darlene C Hine and  Mohamed Nasheed, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Canada – Pemberton:
Raven Backcountry Festival

Chile – Arica: Carnaval Andino con la Fuerza del Sol (Andean strength of sun)

Denmark – Copenhagen:
Vinterjazz Festival

Grenada – Independence Day

Hungary – Budapest:
Mangalica Festival (local cuisine)

India – New Delhi:
Indus Valley International Film Festival

Italy – Ivrea: Storico Carnevale di Ivrea

Kenya – Nairobi: Indirica Festival
(Afro-Indian cultural festival)

Mexico – Chapala: Chili Cook-Off

New Zealand – Blenheim:
Marlborough Wine and Food Festival

Peru – Lince: Sexta Noche de Taberna
(6th Night of the Tavern music concert)

South Africa – Bela-Bela: V Dub Fest
(automotive event)

Spain – Madrid: Gastro Festival Madrid

Taiwan – Pingxi: Sky Lantern Festival

Tanzania – Zanzibar:
Sauti Za Busara (African music festival)

Thailand – Chiang Mai:
Chiang Mai Flower Festival

Vietnam – Ha Giang: Fire Dancing Festival

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On This Day in HISTORY

457 – Leo I the Thracian becomes Emperor of the Byzantine Empire; the first Eastern Emperor to legislate in Greek instead of Latin

574 – Prince Shōtoku born, semi-legendary regent and politician during the Asuka period in Japan, who served under his aunt, Empress Suiko. Tradition says he was appointed Sesshō (regent) by Empress Suiko on 593. Inspired by Buddha’s teachings, he worked toward establishing a centralized government, setting up the Twelve Level Cap and Rank System in 603. Shōtoku is also credited with promulgating a Seventeen-article constitution. The Buddhist commentary Hokke Gisho, traditionally dated 615, is attributed to him as well, regarded as the first Japanese text, which would make Shōtoku the first Japanese writer



1102 –Matilda (also called Maud) born, Holy Roman Empress by marriage to her first husband Henry V of Germany. Matilda was designated by her father, King Henry I of England, as his heir after her brother, William Adelin, died in the White Ship disaster in 1120. She married a second time, to Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, in 1128. Matilda ultimately lost the civil war over the succession, to her cousin Stephen of Blois, who usurped the throne in 1135, then she ruled as “Lady of the English”(1141-1148), before being defeated by Stephen, after a stalemate during which she controlled the south-west of England, Stephen controlled the south-east and the Midlands, and most of the rest of the country was in the hands of local barons. This period of civil war has been termed ‘The Anarchy.” Matilda’s eldest son became King Henry II of England after Stephen’s death in 1154

1301 – Edward of Caernarvon (later Edward II of England) becomes the first English Prince of Wales, and Earl of Chester


Edward, Prince of Wales, with his father King Edward I

1497 – Supporters of the anti-luxury Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola light the Bonfire of the Vanities, burning thousands of objects condemned as “occasions of sin” in Florence, Italy. Such bonfires were often the climax of anti-vanity preaching, but this was on a much grander scale. Savonarola would be excommunicated the next year, condemned as a heretic, and burned at the stake



1639 – Academie Francaise begins a Dictionary of French Language

1668 – Dutch Prince William III dances in premiere of “Ballet of Peace”

1726 – Margaret Fownes-Luttrell born, English artist; two of her paintings are part of the Dunster Castle collection, now property of the National Trust. She was the heiress of Dunster Castle, under the stipulation in her father’s will that her husband should take the additional surname of Luttrell. 



1758 – Benedikt Schack born, Bohemian composer and tenor, first performer of Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute

1783 – Spanish and French forces finally lift their siege of the British garrison holding Gibraltar, the longest siege endured by the British military, after 3 years and 7 months

1795 – The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, concerning the principle of sovereign immunity as it applies to the individual states of the United States: The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State

1802 – Louisa Jane Hall born, American poet, essayist and literary critic; some of her early poems were published anonymously in the British magazine, The Literary Gazette. Noted for Miriam, a Dramatic Sketch; Joanna of Naples, an Historical Tale; and Hannah, the Mother of Samuel the Prophet and Judge of Israel



1804 – John Deere born, American inventor-manufacturer, developed first steel plow (1838) for mass production, which helped increase farm yields per acre 10-fold within 20 years



1812 – The strongest of a series of earthquakes hits in the area of New Madrid, Missouri, estimated to have been somewhere between magnitudes 7.6 and 8.2, the largest earthquake recorded east of the Rocky Mountains, which causes temporary waterfalls in the Mississippi River as the ground warps and rises

1812 – Charles Dickens born, preeminent English novelist of the Victorian era; David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol



1827 – Ballet (Deserter) is introduced to the U.S. at the Bowery Theatre in New York City

1831 – Belgium adopts its Constitution

1854 – A law is approved to found the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and the first lecture is given on October 16, 1855

1856 – The colonial Tasmanian Parliament passes the Electoral Act of 1856, the first piece of known legislation providing for elections by way of secret ballot

1867 – Laura Ingalls Wilder born, American author, best known for the Little House on the Prairie series, published between 1932 and 1943, based on growing up in a family of homesteaders, who lived in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa before finally settling in De Smet, South Dakota, east of the Missouri River



1889 – The Astronomical Society of the Pacific holds its first meeting in San Francisco CA

1894 – The Cripple Creek Miner’s Strike begins, which will last for 5 months of often violent conflict, ending in a standoff and partial victory for the miners, but followed in 1903 by the Colorado Labor Wars

1885 – Sinclair Lewis born, American author, first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature (1930); Main Street, Babbitt 



1887 –Eubie Blake born, African American jazz composer and pianist



1898 – Émile Zola goes on trial for criminal libel for publishing J’accuse, in which he charges highest levels of the French Army with obstruction of justice and antisemitism, having wrongfully condemned Alfred Dreyfus to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island

1901 – The Second Anglo-Boer War: The British Empire sends another 30,000 troops to South Africa. When the war started in 1899, they has seriously under estimated the Boers, and assumed the war would be over in a matter of weeks. Instead, it dragged on until May, 1902

1907 – The ‘Mud March’ is the first large procession organized by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) – more than 3,000 women representing over 40 organizations trudged through  the streets of London from Hyde Park to Exeter. NUWSS leader Millicent Fawcett: “The London weather did its worst against us; mud, mud, mud, was its prominent feature, and it was known among us afterwards as the ‘mud march.’” In spite of the weather, thousands of spectators line the route, and the parade is covered by newspapers and magazines all over Europe and in the U.S.



1910 – Edmond Rostand’s verse play Chantecler, in which all characters are farmyard animals, premieres in Paris

1914 – Charlie Chaplin makes his first screen appearance as the “Little Tramp” in Kid Auto Races at Venice



1915 – First successful wireless message sent from a moving train to a station

1918 – Ruth Sager born, American geneticist, pioneer in cytoplasmic genetics, who altered the prevailing view of where genetic material was within the cell, and originated cancer research on tumor suppressor genes. She recognized that a second set of genes were found outside of the cell’s nucleus. Even though they were nonchrosomomal, these genes also influenced inherited characteristics. Previously, only the chromosomal genes had been considered to control genetic behaviour. Her research in later life turned to the study of genetic mechanisms involved in cancer. She was among the first to study the role of mutations in suppressor genes that neutralized their restraint on cell reproduction



1926 – Dr. Carter G. Woodson founds Negro History Week; a historian and author, he wrote the influential book The Mis-Education of the Negro; he is often referred to as “the father of Black History”



1928 – Bert Hinkler takes off on first solo England-to-Australia flight

1940 – British railways are nationalized

1940 – Pinocchio debuts, Disney’s second feature-length animated film

1943 – WWII shoe rationing begins in the US

1944 – Bing Crosby records “Swinging on a Star”

1947 – Arabs and Jews both reject British proposal to split Palestine

1947 – Darlene Clark Hine born, American author, professor, and African-American history expert, noted for her theory of a “culture of dissemblance.” She defined dissemblance as “the behavior and attitudes of Black women that created the appearance of openness and disclosure but actually shielded the truth of their inner lives and selves from their oppressors.” Author of Black Women in Whites, A Shining Thread of Hope, and the two-volume Black Women in America. In 2010 the Organization of American Historians presented the inaugural Darlene Clark Hine Award for best book in African American Women and Gender History. She was presented  with a National Humanities Medal by President Obama in 2013 for her work on understanding the African-American experience



1950 – Karen Joy Fowler born, American author of scifi/fantasy/ literary fiction; The Jane Austen Book Club; 2010 World Fantasy Award for What I Didn’t See, and Other Stories



1951 – Sancheong-Hamyang massacre is conducted by South Korean Army troops, slaughtering 705 unarmed civilians, 85% of them women, children and the elderly; followed two days later by the Geichang massacre of 719 unarmed civilians, including 385 children – the victims suspected of being Communist sympathizers. When Assemblyman Shin Chung-mok from Geichang’s district reposted the atrocity to the National Assembly, he is arrested, tried and executed in a military court martial. The two officers who oversaw the massacres are eventually found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment, but their sentences were commuted by ‘strongman’ President Syngman Rhee, who enacted stringent laws against political dissent, enforcing them with arrests and murders of “Communist sympathizers”

1959 – Fidel Castro proclaims a new Cuban constitution

1962 – President Kennedy announces a U.S. ban on all Cuban imports and exports

1962 – Garth Brooks born, American singer-songwriter

1962 – In South Africa, Walter Sisulu and Duma Nokwe, leaders of the ANC (African National Congress) go from house to house in Orlando, Soweto, rallying support in the community against the government’s Bantu Urban Councils Act of 1961, which created black councils in urban areas which were linked to authorities in the ‘homelands’ and part of the apartheid system of racial segregation. The ANC was one of several liberation organizations which had been banned under the Unlawful Organizations Act in April, 1960, so their political activities were forced into secrecy



1963 – Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper born, American Naval officer and NASA astronaut; recipient of two Navy Commendation Medals



1969 – Diane Crump becomes the first woman jockey to race at a major US racetrack, Hialeah Park in Florida



1969 – South Africa Prime Minister B J Vorster announces that White entrepreneurs will be given long-standing contracts in the ‘homelands’ to “speed up economic development.”  This actively encourages economic exploitation of the already disenfranchised Blacks who had already their South African citizenship cancelled, and were now restricted to working in the ‘homeland’ labour pool, at whatever wages are offered

1973 – Tanya Monro born, Australian physicist known for her work in photonics. She has been Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist since March 2019. Prior to that she was the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation (DVCR&I) at the Univeristy of South Australia.  Monro was awarded the ARC Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship in 2013. She was the inaugural chair of photonics, the inaugural director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics, as well as the inaugural director of the Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing (IPAS), and the inaugural director of the Centre of Expertise in Photonics (CoEP) within the School of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Adelaide (now known as the School of Physical Sciences)



1974 – Grenada gains independence from the United Kingdom

1974 – The Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles opens

1979 – Pluto moves inside Neptune’s orbit for the first time since their discoveries

1979 – Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman born, Yemeni journalist and human rights activist; founder-leader of “Women Journalists Without Chains”; co-recipient of 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, the first Arab woman, first person from Yemen, and second-youngest Nobel Laureate



1983 – Elizabeth Dole sworn in as the first woman U.S. Secretary of Transportation

1984 – Space Shuttle program: STS-41-B Mission: Astronauts  Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart make the first untethered space walk using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU)

1986 – Twenty-eight years of one-family rule end in Haiti, when President Jean-Claude Duvalier flees the Caribbean nation

1987 – Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes team brings America’s Cup back to the U.S.

1990 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: The Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party agrees to give up its monopoly on power

1991 – The Troubles: The Provisional IRA launched a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street in London, the official residence and office for the British Prime Minister

1992 – The Maastricht Treaty is signed, leading to the creation of the European Union

1999 – King Hussein of Jordan dies, and Crown Prince Abdullah ascends the throne

2012 – President Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected president of the Republic of Maldives resigns, possibly at gunpoint, after 23 days of anti-governmental protests which include large numbers of army and police officers, calling for the release of Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed who had been arrested by the military. Nasheed is tried and convicted under the Anti-Terrorism Act of Maldives, which Amnesty International describes as “politically motivated.” The United Kingdom granted Nasheed political asylum



2013 – Mississippi officially certifies the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery, which the state had not formally ratified until 1995

2016 – North Korea launches Kwangmyŏngsŏng-4 into outer space

2017 – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law decriminalizing some forms of domestic violence. The legislation, known as the “slapping law,” downgrades a first offense of domestic violence that does not cause serious injury, making it just an administrative offense with a fine of up to about $500, up to 15 days in jail, or up to 120 hours of community service. Conservatives said the bill reinforced traditional values by respecting the authority of family heads, and brought family law in line with 2016 reforms easing punishment for other minor assaults. One of the bill’s sponsors was conservative senator Yelena Mizulina, who wrote Russia’s controversial law against “gay propaganda.” Human Rights Watch called the law “dangerous.”

2017 – During the Senate hearings on the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions (Republican – Alabama), Republican Senators voted to formally silence Senator Elizabeth Warren (Democrat – Massachusetts), preventing her from finishing reading a 1986 letter written by Coretta Scott King, which criticized the record of Senator Sessions on civil rights, accusing him of using “his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican – Kentucky) invoked the little-used Rule XIX, which prohibits debating senators from ascribing to other senators “any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator.” He then said the now-infamous words, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”  Male Democrats later read Coretta Scott King’s letter into the Senate record with no objections.  Jeff Session was confirmed as U.S. Attorney General, 52-47, with only one Democrat siding with the Republican majority. More than 1400 law school professors had signed a letter urging the Senate to reject the nomination, and there was an NAACP sit-in to protest it


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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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