ON THIS DAY: February 25, 2020

February 25th is

Clam Chowder Day

Chocolate-Covered Peanuts Day

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MORE! Hirman Revels, Oumou Sangaré and Nova Peris, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Christianity: Shrove Tuesday/Fat Tuesday – last day of feasting before Lent

Belgium – Binche: Binche Carnival

Canada – Winnipeg: Folk Festival

Dominican Republic – Armed Forces Day

Ethiopia – Addis Ababa: Medexpo 

Japan – Kyoto: Kitano Baika-sai
(Plum Blossom Festival)

Georgia – Soviet Occupation Day

Hungary – Memorial for
Communist Dictatorships’ Victims

Kenya – Embu:
Call 4 Theatre Arts Festival

Kuwait – National Day

New Zealand – Auckland: Fringe Fest

Philippines – People Power Day

Portugal – Porto:
Fantasporto International Film Festival

South Africa – Worcester:
Eat Art Around the World Food Festival

Spain – Barcelona: Stiges Carnival

Suriname – Dag van de Revolutie
(Day of Liberation and Innovation)

Tibet – Llasa: Losar Festival
(Tibetan new year)

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On This Day in HISTORY

138 – Roman Emperor Hadrian adopts Antoninus Pius, who will succeed him, as one of the “Five Good Emperors”

Antoninus Pius


1570 – Pope Pius V issues papal bull Regnans in Excelsis (reigning on high) declaring “Elizabeth, the pretended Queen of England and the servant of crime”, to be a heretic and releasing all her subjects from any allegiance to her: “We charge and command all and singular the nobles, subjects, peoples and others afore said that they do not dare obey her orders, mandates and laws. Those who shall act to the contrary we include in the like sentence of excommunication.”  It sanctioned the right of Catholics to “deprive her of her throne.” Elizabeth’s limited tolerance of Catholic worship (in private) was ended after two rebellions in 1569: the “First Desmond Rebellion” in Ireland, and the “Northern Rebellion” by Catholic nobles trying to depose her and put Mary, Queen of Scots on her throne; the Papal Bull leads her to execute the Catholic nobles who refuse to vow allegiance to her


Pope Pius V and Queen Elizabeth I of England

1649 – Johann Philipp Krieger born, German composer

1670 – Maria Margaretha Kirch born, German astronomer, one of the first astronomers of her time to become famous, for her writings in 1709 and 1712 on the conjunction of the Sun with Saturn, Venus and Jupiter. She was educated by her uncle, astronomer Christoph Arnold, as his unofficial apprentice and later assistant. She married astronomer-mathematician Gottfried Kirch, who was appointed as Astronomer Royal to Frederick III of Prussia. He continued her education, along with his sister; as a team, they made observations and calculations to produce calendars, and recorded weather information, both valuable to navigation. When she discovered the “Comet of 1702” during her nightly observations, her husband initially took credit for it, but eventually admitted that the discovery was hers. After her husband’s death, she applied to the Royal Berlin Academy of Sciences that she and her son Christfried be allowed to continue producing calendars. Kirch noted that during her husband’s illness, she had been being doing the work required alone. Mathematician Gottfried Leibniz, president of the academy, was the only supporter of Kirch’s petition, which was rejected because other academy members felt that having a woman produce its calendar would be an embarrassment. An inexperienced astronomer, Johann Heinrich Hoffmann, was appointed Astronomer Royal with the responsibility of producing the calendars instead


Maria Margaretha Kirch – Calendar page for January 1701

1707 – Carlo Goldoni born, Italian dramatist and composer


1751 – Edward Willet displays the first trained monkey act in the U.S.

1791 – The first Bank of the United States is chartered by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Washington

1793 – The department heads of the U.S. government meet with U.S. President Washington for the first Cabinet meeting on U.S. record

1806 – Emma Manley Embury born, American author, poet and editor using the pen name Ianthe, she contributed stories and poems to periodicals and newspapers like the New York Mirror, which were later collected and published as books, including The Blind Girl and Other Tales; Glimpses of Home Life; Pictures of Early Life; and Nature’s Gems, or American Wild Flowers

Emma Embury, by Henry Inman

1836 – Samuel Colt gets the first of many patents, for a “revolving-cylinder pistol” – the Paterson revolver



1837 – Thomas Davenport patents the first commercial electrical motor, but with no practical electrical distribution system available, Davenport goes bankrupt

1841 – Pierre-Auguste Renoir born, leading French Impressionist painter


The Seine at Asnieres, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

1842 – Idawalley Zorada Lewis born, American lighthouse keeper, who takes over the Lime Rock Light after her parents die; she becomes the highest-paid lighthouse keeper in the U.S. – $750 a year – “in consideration of the remarkable services of Mrs. Wilson in the saving of lives.” She makes her first rescue at the age of 12, and receives the Gold Lifesaving Medal from the U.S. Government in 1881 for rescuing two soldiers who fell through ice; makes her last rescue at age 63; credited with saving at least 18 lives, but probably saved 25; called “the Bravest Woman in America,” Lime Rock and the Lime Rock Lighthouse are renamed Ida Lewis Rock and Lighthouse, the only time a Light has been named for its keeper



1866 – Benedetto Croce born, Italian historian, humanist, and philosopher



1871 – Larysa Kosach-Kvitka born, under the pen name “Lesya Ukrainka” author of poetry, plays, and essays; foremost woman of Ukrainian literature



1870 – Hirman R. Revels, an African Methodist Episcopal minister who was a chaplain during the Civil War, becomes the first African American to serve in either house of the U.S Congress when he is sworn in as he is sworn in to serve out the unexpired term of Jefferson Davis as Senator for Mississippi (1870-1871)



1873 – Enrico Caruso born, Italian operatic tenor, regarded as one of the greatest singers who ever lived



1881 – Phoenix AZ is incorporated when Governor John C. Fremont signs the “Phoenix Charter Bill” instituting a mayor-city council form of government


Phoenix, Arizona in the 1880s

1885 – Germany annexes Tanganyika and Zanzibar

1890 – Myra Hess born, British pianist, who organized Monday through Friday lunchtime concerts, and performed in 150 of them, at the National Gallery during the WWII London Blitz when all the concert halls were blacked out at night to avoid becoming German bombing targets; 824,152 people attended 1,968 concerts, held without fail for 6 ½ years, even if London was being bombed (the concert was simply moved to a safer room); every artist was paid five guineas, no matter who they were



1890 – Vyacheslav Skryabin born, better known as Vyacheslav Molotov, Soviet revolutionary and politician, determines much of the soviet internal and foreign policy

1896 – Ida Noddack born, German chemist; co-discoverer with Walter Noddack of the element rhenium; they also worked in photochemistry, on sensitizing coloring substances and the photochemistry of the human eye. She postulated the possibility of fission based on reports of Fermi’s 1934 observations of the neutron bombardment of uranium, five years before Otto Frisch first advanced his theoretical explanation of nuclear fission, but her idea aroused no interest, and remained dormant



1900 – Illa Kesselburg Martin born, German dendrologist (wooded plants study) botanist, conservationist and dentist. In 1951, she and her husband Ernst Martin founded the sequoia farm Sequoiafarm Kaldenkirchen using Sequoiadendron giganteum seeds sent from the USA. It is now a famous arboretum with over six hundred tree species



1900 – Marina Yurlova born, Russian child soldier and author; at age 14, she became a soldier in the Russian army, joining the Reconnaissance Sotnia (100 horse squadron) of the 3rd Ekaterinodar Regiment. She started as a groom in Armenia, and then in 1915 began going on missions. She was shot in the leg while blasting bridges across the Araxes River near Yeredan, and after her recovery, trained as an auto mechanic to qualify as a military driver on the Eastern Front. She was wounded several more times, and was awarded the Russian Cross of Saint George for bravery three times. In 1922, she emigrated to the U.S., and became an American citizen in 1926. She published her autobiography as a trilogy: Cossack Girl; Russia, Farewell; and The Only Woman


Marina Yurlova with her arm in a cast, supported in a sling

1901 – United States Steel Corporation is incorporated by J.P. Morgan

1906 – Mary Chase born, American children’s author, journalist and playwright; best known for her play Harvey



1908 – Mary Locke Petermann born, American cellular biochemist, she was the first person to isolate animal ribosomes, the molecular complexes which carry out protein synthesis. She was the first woman chemist on the staff of the physical chemistry department (1939-1945) at the University of Wisconsin, where she worked on analysis of antibody-antigen interactions, especially between diphtheria toxin and antitoxin. Her research on antibodies contributed to Rodney Porter’s determination of immunoglobulin structure, for which he received the 1972 Nobel Prize. In 1945, she took a position as a chemist at Memorial Hospital in New York City, studying the role of plasma proteins in metastasis, then in 1946 researched the role of nucleoproteins in cancer at the newly-formed Sloan-Kettering Institute for cancer research. Initially a Finney-Howell Foundation fellow, she was promoted to an associate member in 1960 and full member in 1963, Sloan-Kettering Institute’s first female full member. She taught biochemistry at Cornell University and became the first woman full professor at Cornell University’s medical school. She was awarded the Sloan Award for cancer research in 1963, and the American Chemical Society’s Garvan Medal in 1966. Author of The Physical and Chemical Properties of Ribosomes, and about 100 papers



1910 – Millicent Fenwick born, American journalist and politician; served on New Jersey Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1958-1974); Congresswoman (Republican-New Jersey, 1975-1983); U.S. Ambassador to the UN (1983-1987); moderate Republican, outspoken supporter of civil and women’s rights; considered the inspiration for Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury character Lacey Davenport



1913 – The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, giving Congress the power to “lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever sources derived”

1917 – Anthony Burgess born, English novelist and critic



1918 – Wartime food rationing begins in parts of Great Britain

1919 – The state of Oregon becomes the first state to tax gasoline, at 1 cent per gallon

1922 – Molly Reilly born, the first Canadian woman pilot to reach the rank of captain, first woman to become a Canadian corporate pilot, and the first woman to fly to the Arctic professionally. Her modifications to the Beechcraft Duke were used to improve the aircraft. Over the course of her career, Reilly logged over 10,000 flight hours as a pilot-in-command — without a single accident. She was inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974



1928 – The Federal Radio Commission issues the first U.S. television license to Charles Jenkins Laboratories in Washington DC

1930 – George McCarthy patents the Checkograph, a bank check photographing device

1933 – The aircraft carrier Ranger is launched, the first U.S. Navy ship designed and built from the keel up as an aircraft carrier



1948 – Communists seize power in Czechoslovakia

1948 – Martin Luther King, Jr., is ordained as a minister at his father’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia


Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1940

1950 – “Your Show of Shows” debuts on NBC-TV

1954 – Gamal Abdel Nasser takes over as premier of Egypt following a coup

1956 – Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev criticizes the late Josef Stalin in a speech before the Communist Party congress in Moscow

1966 – Téa Leoni born as Elizabeth Téa Pantaleoni, American television and film actress and producer; she played the title role in the CBS political drama Madam Secretary  (2014-2019);  Leoni was named a UNICEF goodwill ambassador in 2001, following her grandmother, Helenka Pantaleoni, who was president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for more than 25 years



1968 – Oumou Sangaré born, Malian musician, singer-songwriter in the Wassoulou tradition, an ancient regional music of Mali, and women’s rights advocate. When her father took a second wife and abandoned her mother and his first family, she began singing on the streets of Bamako. At age five, in 1973, she won a singing competition, which led to her performing before an audience of thousands at Bamako’s Omnisport stadium. At 16, she went on tour with the percussion group Djoliba, touring in Europe and the Caribbean. When she returned home, she formed her own group, and recorded her first album, Moussoulou (Women), with Amadou Ba Guindo, a renowned maestro of Malian music. The album sold over 200,000 copies in Africa. Her songs often include social criticism, especially women’s low status in Malian society. She has performed at the Melbourne Opera, Roskilde Festival, Gnaoua World Music Festival, WOMAD, Oslo World Music Festival and the Opéra de la Monnaie. Sangaré was a goodwill ambassador for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and won an 2001 IMC-UNESCO International Music Prize. In 2017, she was honored with the Artist Award at WOMEX for her music and her advocacy for women’s rights



1971 – Richard Nixon meets with members of the Congressional Black Caucus at the White House, appointing a panel to study a list of recommendations made by the caucus



1971 – Nova Peris born, Australian athlete and politician; Senator for the Northern Territory (2013-2016); first Aboriginal Australian to win an Olympic gold medal, as a member of the Australian women’s hockey team at the 1996 Olympic Games



1972 – Germany gives a $5 million ransom to Arab terrorists who had hijacked a jumbo jet

1975 – Chelsea Handler born, American comedian, writer television host, producer and activist; noted for her observational and sketch comedy, her late-night talk show Chelsea Lately (2007-2014) on the E! network, and five  NY Times best-selling books, including  My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands and Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea. She is an outspoken advocate for LGBT and human rights



1976 – Rashida Jones born, American actress, writer and producer; member of the cast of the comedy series Parks and Recreation (2009-2015); Jones was the creator of Frenemy of the State, a comic book series, and co-wrote the screenplay based on the comic series. Since 2004, she has been on the board of Peace First, a nonprofit which teachers children to resolve conflict without violence, and has also given time to events for Stand Up to Cancer, and ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History. In 2007, she was the honorary chair of the annual Housing Works benefit, which fights homelessness in New York City. Jones campaigned in 2008 and 2012 for Barack Obama. She is the daughter of Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton



1986 –Filipino President Ferdinand E. Marcos flees the Philippines after 20 years of rule in the wake of a tainted election; Corazon Aquino is sworn in as President



1986 – Jameela Jamil born in London to an Indian father and Pakistani mother; English actress, radio presenter, writer and activist for people with disabilities, and against fat shaming and fad diets. In 2015, she launched Why Not People?, which hosts entertainment events accessible to people with disabilities, aiming to increase awareness of accessibility issues. She was a presenter on the BBC Radio 1 show, The Official Chart (2013-2015), and was a member of the cast of the American TV series, The Good Place (2016-2020)



1990 – Nicaraguan election leads to victory for the opponents of the Sandinistas

1999 – In Moscow, China’s Prime Minister Zhu Rongji and Russia’s President Boris Yeltsin discuss trade and other issues

2000 – After a change of venue, an Albany NY jury acquits four New York City police officers of second-degree murder and lesser charges in the February 1999 shooting death of Amadou Diallo, a 23-year-old Guinean immigrant, who was unarmed and standing on the front stoop of his apartment building, killed in a hail of 41 bullets for trying to pull his wallet out of his pocket



2010 – The Mid-Atlantic and New England states are hit by a severe blizzard and flooding rains, leaving tens of thousands without heat or power

2013 – British Liberal Democratic women activists are furious as at least ten women who allege they were molested by former Lib Dem chief executive Lord Rennard are shrugged off by Lib Dem peer Tony Greaves, “We don’t know the details of anything that may have happened. But it is hardly an offence for one adult person to make fairly mild sexual advances to another. What matters is whether they are . . . rebuffed. In passing, I would note and guess that if the allegations as made are a matter for resignation, perhaps around a half of the male members of the Lords over the age of 50 would probably not be seen again.”

2014 – Representative John Dingell (Democrat-Michigan), the longest-serving member of Congress, announces he will complete his 29th term in office, but he will not run for reelection. Dingell said partisan acrimony was a factor in his decision, but also “I don’t want people to say I stayed too long.”



2014 – 1,427 gold coins from the mid-19th century that were buried in eight cans are discovered by an anonymous couple while walking their dog in Gold Country in California; dubbed the Saddle Ridge Hoard, its estimated worth is over $10 million dollars, the largest known hoard of gold coins ever found in the U.S.



2016 – A three-year independent investigation led by Dame Janet Smith, former High Court Judge, concluded that an “atmosphere of fear” at the BBC prevented the British network from stopping one of its stars, the late Jimmy Savile, from sexually abusing 72 victims, including children. Many of the BBC staff members interviewed for the inquiry did so only after being assured their names would not be published, as they still feared reprisals. “Celebrities were treated with kid gloves and were virtually untouchable,” said Janet Smith. Savile died in 2011. The report did not recommend holding the BBC responsible, but found dozens of BBC employees who had heard rumors about Savile but did nothing


Dame Janet Smith

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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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5 Responses to ON THIS DAY: February 25, 2020

  1. Love the Renoir! It’s almost as if you can touch the silky waters…

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Hi Becky –

      I was fortunate enough to see the Impressionist Exhibit at the Los Angeles County Art Museum during the 1984 Olympics – one of the biggest exhibits of Impressionist paintings to be assembled since they were originally painted, many on loan from private collections. It was so overwhelming that we went back a second time to better appreciate some of the paintings in the last rooms that, at our first visit, we had been too saturated by all the works in the earlier rooms to fully appreciate.

      Truly one of the great experiences of my life.

      • Such a wonderful opportunity, Nona! I’ve seen a few of his works, but no exhibit on that scale!

        • wordcloud9 says:

          I didn’t realize until the 1984 Olympics that there is usually a concurrent cultural and arts festival put on by the host city. Los Angeles really exploded the “cultural wasteland” and “Lalaland” myths – there was so much world-class theatre, music, dance, art and film on offer, it was impossible to see more than a tiny fragment of all the riches. The city rose to the occasion magnificently.

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