ON THIS DAY: February 14, 2020

February 14th is

Valentine’s Day

National Donor Day *

Ferris Wheel Day

California Oranges Day *

Pet Theft Awareness Day *

Cream-Filled Chocolates Day

International Book Giving Day *


MORE! Lydia H. Smith, Frederick Douglass and Charlotta S. Bass, click



Belgium – Brussels: Salon du Chocolat

Brazil –Manaus:
Festival Folclorico do Amazonas

Canada – Ontario province:
Hazel McCallion Day *

Chile – Andacollo:
Participación Festival (music)

Ghana – Accra: Valentines Love Fest

India – Parents’ Worship Day
(Alternative to Valentine’s Day)

Italy – Genoa: Genoa Sea Fest

Japan – Akita: Oga Namahage Festival
(offerings to deities for good fortune)

Kenya – Nairobi:
East African Music Festival

Lebanon – Raki Hariri Memorial Day

Malaysia – Malacca:
Asia Pacific Arts Festival – Dance

Mexico – Tlaltizapán:
Bahidorá Festival (music)

Montenegro – Herceg Novi: Mimosa Festival

New Zealand – Auckland:
Sunsetter Festival (music and food)

Panama – Panama City:
Panamá Micro Brew Fest

United Arab Emirates – Dubai:
Hit Music Festival

South Africa – Cape Town:
Cape Town Art Fair


On This Day in HISTORY

748 – Abbasid Revolution: Hashimi rebels under Abu Muslim Khorasani take Merv, capital of the Umayyad province Khorasan, and a major oasis-city on the historical Silk Road. Abu Muslim became the de facto governor of Khorasan, using it as a base to the consolidate the Abbasid revolt against the Umayyad Caliphate

842 – Charles the Bald and Louis the German swear the Oaths of Strasbourg, mutual pledges of allegiance, in French and German

Louis and Charles

1349 – Several hundred Jews are burned to death by mobs while the remaining Jews are forcibly removed from Strasbourg

1400 – Richard II of England dies, most likely from starvation, in Pontefract Castle, on the orders of Henry Bolingbroke

1502 – The Catholic Monarchs, Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon, issue a decree that Muslims in Granada refusing to convert to Catholicism must leave Spain

Wedding portrait of the Catholic Monarchs,  Ferdinand and Isabella 

1530 – Spanish conquistadores, led by Nuño de Guzmán, overthrow and execute Tangaxuan II, the last independent Tarascan monarch in today’s central Mexico

Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán, painted in the Codex Telleriano Remensis

1556 – The Coronation of Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar, also called Akbar the Great, as the third Badshah (Emperor) of the Mughal Empire. He reigned from 1556 to 1605, enlarging the empire to include nearly all of the Indian Subcontinent north of the Godavari River, using a policy of conciliating conquered rulers through marriage and diplomacy, while establishing a centralized administrative system

Akbar receiving captured drums and standards – 1564

1556 – During the reign of Roman Catholic Queen Mary I of England, who succeeded her Protestant brother Edward VI, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, is declared a heretic and degraded from holy orders; he is later burned at the stake

1602 – Francesco Cavalli born, Italian opera composer

1655 – The Mapuche under Clentaru, their elected military leader, rise up in insurrection against the Spanish (in today’s central Chile)

1760 – Richard Allen born as a slave, teaches himself to read and write; allowed by his master, a Methodist, to work odd jobs for pay so he can buy his freedom in 1777; he becomes a Methodist preacher in 1784, but leaves the church over its segregationist policies; co-founder with Absalom Jones of the Free African Society, a non-denominational mutual aid society in 1787; operates an Underground Railroad station, helping escaped slaves (1797-1831); founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816

1778 – American sloop-of-war Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones, receives a first official salute for America’s new flag, “Stars and Stripes,” from the French fleet at Quiberon Bay under Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte

1779 – After British Royal Navy Captain James Cook tries to deal with aggressive hostility from Hawaiian Islanders at Kealakekua Bay by taking Kalani’ōpu’u, the King of Hawai’i prisoner, the captain and four of his marines are killed by villagers to stop the kidnapping of their ruler

1782 – Eleanora Atherton born, English philanthropist. She was the oldest of two surviving daughters of the four children born to her parents, and inherited her wealth from several family members. She owned land in London, Cheshire, Lancashire and Jamaica. The property in Jamaica was a coffee plantation, which she inherited jointly with her sister Lucy, and included a number of slaves. Atherton quietly became a major benefactor in Manchester, donating thousands of pounds to charities devoted to children, the sick and elderly, and the restoration or building of churches. Atherton donated £5000 to the Manchester ragged and industrial schools alone. She also supported the literary work of Manchester’s Chetham Society, donated to the town’s library society, and funded medical facilities in Manchester, including  St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, and several institutions which helped people who were terminally ill. The last three years of her life she was bed-ridden. When she died in 1870, she was one of the richest women in the 19th century

View of Manchester town centre area around 1850

1803 – Moses Coates received a patent for the apple parer

1804 – Karađorđe leads the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire

1813 – Alexander Dargomyzhsky born, Russian composer

1813 – Lydia Hamilton Smith born, American businesswoman and abolitionist, daughter of a free biracial woman and an Irish father.  She married a free black man, Jacob Smith, with whom she had two sons, but she separated from her husband, and moved in 1847 with her mother and her sons to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She went to work as a housekeeper for Thaddeus Stevens, one of the leaders of the Radical Republican faction of the Republican Party, and a fierce opponent of slavery and discrimination against black Americans. There was much speculation about the relationship between Stevens and Smith, and many of their contemporaries considered her his common-law wife, but there is no evidence beyond rumor of what was between them. In a brief surviving letter to her from Stevens, he addressed her as “Mrs. Smith.” When he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1848, she also kept his house in Washington DC when he was in residence there, serving as his unofficial hostess for political dinners, until his death in 1868. They were both involved with the Underground Railroad, which later led to the burning of the Stevens ironworks in Pennsylvania during the U.S. Civil War. During and after the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, Smith hired a horse and wagon, collecting food and supplies for the wounded from neighbors in Adams, York and Lancaster counties, then delivered them to the makeshift hospitals. In his will, Stevens left her the choice of a $5,000 lump sum, or an annual allowance of $500, and any furniture she wanted from his house. With the inheritance, Smith became a successful businesswoman, buying Stevens’ house and the adjoining lot, and running a prosperous boarding house in Washington. She also invested in other real estate, and various business ventures

 1818 – Frederick Douglass born as a slave (he chose this day as his birthday, the exact date was unrecorded), escapes in 1838, and becomes an abolitionist leader and outstanding orator; author (his autobiography went through nine reprints in the first three years after publication); editor of The North Star, a major anti-slavery newspaper; supporter of women’s suffrage

1819 – Christopher Sholes born, American newspaper publisher and inventor who developed the QWERTY keyboard for the typewriter

1829 – Solomon G. Brown born, worked for Samuel Morse, helped to install the first Morse telegraph; became the first African American employee of the Smithsonian in 1852, and worked his way up from laborer to a registrar in charge of transportation, receiving materials, and overseeing storage of animal specimens, for 54 years; Member of the House of Delegates for the District of Columbia (1871-1874)

1838 – Margaret E. Knight, American inventor; held 27 patents, including one for a machine to fold and glue paper bags with flat bottoms, a new valve sleeve for an automobile engine, and six patents for machines used in manufacturing shoes. She did not make much money from her inventions because, as an unmarried self-supporting working-class woman, she was not able to wait for royalties, but had to sell the rights to her inventions outright

1847 – Anna Howard Shaw born, America minister and physician, one of the first U.S. women ordained as a Methodist minister, and one of the most influential leaders of the women’s suffrage movement and the temperance movement. She helped broker a reconciliation in 1890 between the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Equal Rights Association, which had split in 1869 over whether or not to support the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Shaw became president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) after the two groups merged, and focused on securing a national constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote. She resigned as NAWSA president in 1915 because she opposed the militant tactics being employed by younger NAWSA members Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, such as picketing the White House. Carrie Chapman Catt took over as NAWSA president. For Shaw’s service as head of the Women’s Committee of the U.S. Council of National Defense during WWI, she became the first woman awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, for exceptionally meritorious service to the government in a duty of great responsibility related to the U.S. military. In a speech shortly before her death in 1919 she said that “the only way to refute” the argument that America was a democracy and therefore American women were entitled to vote was “to prove that women are not people.”

1849 – The first photograph of a serving U.S. President is taken by Matthew Brady of President James Polk

1859 – Oregon becomes the 33rd U.S. state

1870 – Esther Hobart Morris begins her tenure as the first female U.S. Justice of the Peace – ironically, she’s appointed to replace a judge resigning in protest over Wyoming’s passage of the women’s suffrage amendment to its state constitution in December 1869

1871 – Marion Mahoney Griffin, American architect/delineator, community planner, second woman graduate in architecture from MIT, chief renderer of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs (1895-1909)

1874 – Charlotta Spears Bass born, newspaper publisher and civil rights activist; she worked for the California Eagle  newspaper in Los Angeles (1904-1951), and took over after the owner/editor died – by 1925 it was the West Coast’s largest Black newspaper, circulation 60,000; she became the first African American woman U.S. Vice Presidential candidate, when the Progressive Party chose her as their nominee

1882 – George Jean Nathan born, American editor, and drama critic

1889 – California Oranges Day * – in Los Angeles, the first shipment of California oranges are put in special cooled railroad cars for transport to the Eastern U.S.

1890 – Nina Hamnett born, Welsh painter, writer and expert on sea chanteys, dubbed ‘Queen of Bohemia’ for her flamboyantly open bisexual life as part of London’s artistic and literary community, centered in an area near the West End called Fitzrovia, named for the Fitzroy Tavern which was a popular gathering place. Noted for her memoir, Laughing Torso, published in 1932

Portrait of a Woman (1917), by Nina Hamnett

1891 – Katherine Stinson born, fourth licensed U.S. woman pilot (1912); first woman to “loop the loop” (1915); the first woman to fly in Asia, drawing a crowd of over 25,000 in Tokyo to watch

1895 – Oscar Wilde’s final play, The Importance of Being Earnest, opens in London at the St. James Theatre

1899 – U.S. Congress approves voting machines for federal elections

1900 – Russia imposed tighter imperial control over Finland in response to an international petition for Finland’s freedom

1903 – The U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor was established

1912 – The first diesel engine submarine was commissioned in Groton, CT

1912 – Arizona is admitted as the 48th U.S. state, and dubbed “the Valentine state”

1920 – The League of Women Voters is founded in Chicago by Carrie Chapman Catt, and Maude Wood Park becomes its first president

1921 – Hazel McCallion born, Canadian independent politician; she is the first Chancellor of Sheridan College, since 2016; longest-serving Mayor of Mississauga, Ontario (1978-2014), dubbed by her supporters as “Hurricane Hazel” for her outspoken style. In 2016, February 14 was declared Hazel McCallion Day * across the province of Ontario, in honor of her birthday

1924 – Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess of Mountbatten of Burma, British peer, daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten and Edwina Ashley Mountbatten. When her father was assassinated in 1979, she succeeded him under a special remainder to his daughters and their heirs male. She took her father’s seat in the House of Lords, and served there until 1999, when the House of Lords Act removed most hereditary peers from the House. During WWII, she entered the Women’s Royal Naval Service in 1943, as a Signal Rating, and worked in Combined Operations bases in Britain, until she was commissioned as a third officer in 1945, and sent to Supreme Allied Headquarters, South East Asia. In the 1970s, she was appointed as Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Kent, and also served as a magistrate. She was a Patron of SOS Children’s Villages UK, and of the Countess Mountbatten’s Own Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth. The assassination of her father in a bombing of his boat by the IRA also killed her 14 year-old son Nicolas, and her husband’s mother. She, her husband and their son Timothy were injured, but survived. The Countess became Patron, and later President, of The Compassionate Friends, a UK organization of bereaved parents. Countess Mountbatten died at the age of 93 in 2017, at her home in Kent

leaving hospital after the 1979 bombing

1926 – Monetta J Sleet Jr. born, first African American to the journalism Pulitzer Prize, for Feature Photography in 1969, for his photograph of Coretta Scott King at her husband’s funeral; worked for Ebony Magazine (1955-1996) as a photographer, capturing images of  Billie Holiday, Muhammad Ali, Stevie Wonder, and many others

1929 – Seven gangsters who were rivals of Al Capone are killed in the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” Chicago IL

1936 – The first meeting of the National Negro Congress is convened in Chicago, starting a campaign for labor and civil rights; over 800 people, representing 500 organizations came

1940 – First porpoise born in captivity arrives at Marineland in Florida

1941 – Donna Shalala, University of Wisconsin-Madison chancellor (1988-1993), U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (1993-2001), president of the University of Miami (2001- 2015), awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008

1945 – Peru, Paraguay, Chile and Ecuador joined the United Nations

1946 – ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) is unveiled at the University of Pennsylvania, the world’s first general purpose electronic computer

1952 – Sushma Swaraj born, Indian politician and lawyer, India’s second woman to be Minister of External Affairs, from 2014 until her death in 2019; elected seven times as a Member of Parliament (1996-2019); noted as one of India’s “best loved” politicians by the Wall Street Journal

1952 – Dorothy V. Bishop born, British psychologist specializing in developmental disorders and language impairments; Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology and Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford since 1998; Principal Investigator for the Oxford Study of Children’s Communication Impairments (OSCCI), and a supernumary fellow of St John’s College, Oxford

1955 – Carol Kalish born, American writer, editor, comic book retailer, wholesaler and sales manager; Direct Sales Manager and Vice President of New Product Development at Marvel Comics(1981-1991), where she was a pioneer in the comics direct market, starting a Marvel program which helped pay for the purchase of cash registers by comic book stores. Kalish won the 1991 Inkpot Award. She died suddenly at the age of 36 of a brain aneurysm

1956 – Katharina Fritsch born, German sculptor, noted for installations and sculptures which present familiar objects in jarring ways, including a true-to-scale sculpture of an elephant, and Rattenkonig, a circle of black polyester rats standing over 8 feet high

1957 – Lionel Hampton’s only major musical work, “King David,” made its debut at New York’s Town Hall

1959 – Renée Fleming born, American operatic soprano; made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro in 1991; recipient of the 2012 National Medal of Arts

1960 – Meg Tilly born in California, to a Canadian mother and a Chinese-American father; American actress and novelist; she grew up in Canada after her parents divorced and her mother remarried. Tilly has stated that her stepfather was a violent pedophile, and she took dance lessons, in part to get away from him. She moved to New York City after graduating from high school, where she later became a member of the Connecticut Ballet Company. This led to her screen debut as a dancer in the 1980 musical drama Fame. Her dance career ended when a partner dropped her, seriously injuring her back. She moved to Los Angeles, took acting lessons, and began getting roles on television. Her part in 1983 film The Big Chill, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, was a big boost to her career. She was the original choice to play Mozart’s wife Constanze in the film of Amadeus, but an injury to her leg caused the part to go to Elizabeth Berridge. She is probably best known for playing the title role in the film version of Agnes of God. Tilly is also the author of six novels, including A Taste of Heaven, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Libris Young Reader Book of the Year, and won the 2014-2015 Chocolate Lilly Award

1961 – Lawrencium, element 103, is first produced in Berkeley CA

1962 – First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gives an hour-long White House tour on TV

1967 – Aretha Franklin records her song “Respect”

1968 – The fourth Madison Square Gardens building opens

1969 – Meg Hillier born, British Labour Co-operative politician

1973 – Annalisa Buffa born, Italian mathematician, specializing in numerical analysis and partial differential equations; since 2016, Professor of Mathematics and holds the Chair of Numerical Modeling and Simulation at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland; awarded the 2007 Bartolozzi Prize and the 2015 Collatz Prize

1974 – Valentina Vezzali born, Italian Olympic fencer and Scelta Civica Party (liberal-centrist) politician; member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies since 2013; she was the first fencer in Olympic history to win three individual Foil medals at three consecutive Olympics: Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, and Beijing 2008, as well as winning 14 gold medals at the World Fencing Championships

1976 – Rie Rasmussen born, Danish actress, film director, writer and photographer; she wrote, directed and produced her first feature film, Human Zoo, which was an official selection at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival

1977 – Anna G. Erschler born in Russia, mathematician working in France, specializing in geometric group theory, and probability theory, especially random walks on groups; awarded the 2001 Möbius Prize of the Independent University of Moscow, the 2002 Annual Prize of the Saint Petersburg Mathematical Society, and the 2015 Élie Cartan Prize of the French Academy of Sciences

1977 – Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” is released

1979 – Glider pilot Sabrina Jackintell breaks the altitude record in a glider – her absolute altitude record of 41,460 feet still stands, although the altitude gain record was broken in 1988 by Yvonne Loader of New Zealand

1980 – Walter Cronkite announces his retirement from the CBS Evening News

1980 – Michelle Ye born in China, actress and producer; she is fluent in Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. Ye immigrated to the U.S. at age 10, and in high school won first place at the 1998 International Science and Engineering Fair in the Botany sector. In 1999, she began working for TVB, a Hong Kong-based television broadcasting company, playing leading roles in several dramas, and was their on-site reporter during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She is the founder and chair of her production company, Michelle Ye Studios-Zhejiang Bohai Television Ltd, and vice president of the Hengdian Film Association

1983 – A 6-year-old boy becomes the first person to receive heart and liver transplants in the same operation

1988 – Pet Theft Awareness Day *is launched by Last Chance for Animals; almost 2 million pets are stolen every year in the U.S. alone, so this program promotes  having pets micro-chipped or tattooed

1988 – Katie Boland born, Canadian film producer, director, screenwriter and actress; she made her film directing debut with the 2016 short film Lolz-Ita, in which she also acted

1989 – Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini calls on Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie because of his novel The Satanic Verses

1989 – The first satellite of the Global Positioning System (GPS) is placed in orbit

1989 – Union Carbide agrees to pay $470 million to the government of India in a court-ordered settlement of the 1984 Bhopal gas leak disaster

1990 – In South Africa, thousands of Black teachers march to the regional offices of the Department of Education and Training (DET) in Johannesburg to highlight the crisis in Black education. From disintegrating buildings, inadequate supplies of books and other basic equipment, to low morale among the teachers, and frequent student boycotts disrupting the classes, these problems are at their worst in urban areas, but rural areas are also suffering

1997 – Astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery perform a series of spacewalks to overhaul the Hubble Space Telescope

1998 – U.S. authorities officially announce that Eric Rudolph is a suspect in an abortion clinic bombing in Alabama

2003 – National Donor Day * is an educational initiative of  the U.S. Health and Human Services Division of Transplantation to encourage blood donors and organ donation registration

2011 – The TV game show Jeopardy! begins airing the first of three episodes pitting top-winning human Jeopardy! champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings against an IBM computer named “Watson”

2012 – International Book Giving Day * is conceived by Amy Broadmoore and her son, launched with help from Zoe Toft, to collect and distribute books to disadvantaged children worldwide

2018 – A former student at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing 17 people and injuring 17 others at the school before being captured. This was the deadliest high shooting in U.S. history, surpassing the Columbine massacre in which 15 died, including the two Columbine students who launched the attack on their fellow classmates.

Remembrance of Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS Shooting Victims in 2019

2019 – The Southern Poverty Law Center and American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday filed a lawsuit against a host of individuals and agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, over the Trump administration’s policy requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their cases to be decided. The advocacy groups filed the suit on behalf of eleven asylum seekers from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. On the same day, a Mexican immigration official said the “Migrant Protection Protocols” initiative, often referred to as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, officially got underway as the U.S. started sending Central American families seeking asylum back across the border into Mexico



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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