ON THIS DAY: February 26, 2020

February 26th is

Levi Strauss Day *

For Pete’s Sake Day

Tell a Fairytale Day

World Pistachio Day

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MORE! Lola Shoneyin, Muhammad Ali and Oprah Winfrey, click

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Australia – Melbourne:
Melbourne Cocktail Festival

Azerbaijan: Remembrance of
Khojaly Massacre Victims

Canada – Montreal:
Rendez-vous Québec cinéma

Cyprus – Limassol: Oriental Dreams
International Festival (dance)

Egypt – First New Cairo: Stress-Less Fest

Germany – Düsseldorf:
Dussseldorfer Karneval

India – Greater Noida:
Sports, Tech and Cultural Fest

Ireland – Dublin:
Audi International Film Festival

Jamaica – Kingston: Rainforest
Seafood & Music Festival

Kuwait – Liberation Day

Malaysia – Johor Bahru:
Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival

Mexico – Puebla: Concert in Puebla

Philippines – Paoay:
Guling-Gulng Festival (pre-Lent)

South Africa – Cape Town: 
Design Indaba Expo

Uruguay – Melo: Carnaval en Melo

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On This Day in HISTORY

747 BC – Epoch of Ptolemy’s Nabonrassar Era, starting point used to study the works of Ptolemy, which record the history of Assyria and Babylon; also an important source used by astronomers to date celestial events


Ptolemaic geocentric system, by Bartolomeu Velho, 1568

1233 – Siege of Kaifeng, Mongol-Jin War (1211-1234): The Mongols capture Kaifeng, capital of the Jin dynasty, ending a siege which lasted over ten months. Jin Emperor Aizong flees to Caizhou

1361 – Wenceslas born, will be crowned Wenceslas IV, King of Bohemia

1564 – Christopher Marlowe born, English playwright, poet and translator



1616 – Galileo Galilei is formally banned by the Roman Catholic Church from teaching or defending the view that the earth orbits the sun



1746 – Maria Amalia born, Archduchess of Austria; one of sixteen children of Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa. She and her mother didn’t get along, and the Empress forced her into marriage with Ferdinand of Parma in 1769, even though Maria Amalia was in love with Prince Charles of Zweibrücken. She never forgave her mother. As Duchess of Parma, she had to contend with first minister Guillaume du Tillot, a Frenchman who was the de facto ruler of Parma, who kept the compliant Ferdinand out of politics. By 1771, she had acquired enough support to secure du Tillot’s dismissal. She consolidated her power in 1772, appointing an Italian prime minister and a cabinet of native Parmesans who were loyal to her, making her the de facto ruler of Parma, as her husband had little interest in politics. In May 1796, the French invaded Italy under Napoleon Bonaparte. Ferdinand was forced to agree to terms dictated by the French. Though Ferdinand and Amalia were formally allowed to keep their titles, they were under French guard, and French representatives ruled the Duchy, levying taxes to finance the French army. In the Treaty of Luneville in 1801, the Duchy of Parma was declared to be annexed to a newly founded French puppet state, the Kingdom of Etruria. On October 9, 1802, Maria Amalia was appointed head of the Regency Council in Parma by Ferdinand on his death bed. Her official reign lasted only 13 days before the French under Napoleon I annexed the Duchy and expelled her from Parma. Maria Amalia died in Prague in 1804, at age 58



1802 – Victor Hugo born, French author, poet, and playwright



1808 – Honoré Daumier born, French painter, illustrator, and sculptor

The First-Class Carriage, by Honoré Daumier

1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from Elba, begins 2nd conquest of France

1829 – Levi Strauss Day * – Levi Strauss born in Germany, American clothing manufacturer, founder of Levi Strauss & Co

1905 advertisement

1842 – Camille Flammarion born, French astronomer and author



1846 – Buffalo Bill Cody born, American scout, hunter and showman



1848 – The second French Republic is proclaimed

1852 – John Harvey Kellogg born, developer of corn flakes as dry breakfast food

1857 – Emile Coue born, French pharmacist, autosuggestion advocate; repetition 15 to 20 times twice a day: “Every day, and in every way, I am becoming better and better”

1858 – Lavinia Lloyd Dock born, American nurse, feminist and social activist; founder of the American Red Cross Nursing Service; contributing editor to the American Journal of Nursing; author of a four-volume history of nursing and a pioneering nurse’s manual of drugs, which became the standard manual for many years



1859 – Louise Bowen born, Chicago philanthropist, saved Hull House financially in 1935, funded the Woman’s Club building, demanded removal of health hazards from Pullman Company, obtained minimum wage for women at International Harvester Company and raised $12,000 for families of strikers



1863 – U.S. President Lincoln signs the National Currency Act, aka the National Banking Act, to create a single national currency, eliminating the problem of notes having varying values in different states, from issuing banks that are subject to regulation in some states but not in others; establishes federal banks backed by the U.S Treasury, and all paper money to be produced by the government; coins had been produced by the U.S. Mint since 1792

1869 – Fifteenth Amendment guaranteeing all male U.S. citizens the right to vote is sent to the states for ratification

1870 – NYC’s first pneumatic-powered subway line opens to the public, the Beach Pneumatic Transit



1876 – Japan and Korea sign a treaty granting Japanese citizens extraterritoriality  rights, opening three ports to Japanese trade, and ending Korea’s status as a tributary state  of Qing dynasty China

1877 – Rudolph Dirks born, American cartoonist, Katzenjammer Kids



1881 – S.S. Ceylon begins first round-the-world-cruise, from Liverpool, England

1884 – James O’Hara born, Irish-West Indian mulatto, taught free black primary schoolchildren, admitted to the North Carolina bar in 1873; Republican Congressman for North Carolina (1883-1887)



1893 – Dorothy Whipple born, English novelist and children’s author; noted for They Were Sisters, The Priory and They Knew Mr. Knight



1895 – Michael Joseph Owens patents an automatic glass blowing machine that could make multiple bottles at the same time

1900 – Halina Konopacka born, Polish athlete, writer and poet; the first Polish Olympic champion, winning the women’s discus throw at the 1928 Olympic Games. She wrote her first book of poetry, Któregoś dnia (Some Day), in 1929, and was a regular contributor to Polish literary publications. At the onset of WWII, she helped her husband, Ignacy Matuszewski, and Henryk Floyar-Rajchman, on a secret mission to evacuate the gold reserves, 75 tons of gold, of the Polish National Bank to France to help finance the Polish government-in-exile. After France surrendered to the Nazis in 1940, the couple sought refuge in the U.S., finally arriving by a circuitous route in 1941. Her husband died suddenly in New York in 1946, and she worked at a series of jobs before remarrying in 1949. Widowed a second time in 1959, she moved to Florida and took up painting. The Polish government posthumously awarded her the Silver Cross of Merit in 1989



1902 – Vercors born as Jean Marcel Bruller, French novelist and artist

1907 – The U.S. Congress raises their own pay to $7500, from $5000 in 1874; by comparison, the average worker earns 22 cents an hour; an accountant makes about $2000 a year; a mechanical engineer about $5,000 a year. In 1907, there are 8,000 cars and 144 miles of paved roads in all of America; 90% of U.S. doctors had no college education, but attend “medical schools” frequently found to be “substandard”; average life expectancy is 47 years due to the high infant mortality rate – 95% of all births happen at home; just 6% of all adult Americans are high school graduates, and about 20% of the population can’t read or write. Only 230 murders are reported in the entire U.S. that year, compared to 2016, when at least 11,000 people were murdered just with firearms

1908 – Leela Majumdar born, prolific Bengali Indian author, scholar and All India Radio producer



1909 – Kinemacolor, the first successful color motion picture process, is first shown to the public at the Palace Theatre in London

1909 – Fanny Cradock born as Phyllis Pechey, English television chef and writer. She was co-author with her husband of the column “Bon Viveur” for The Daily Telegraph (1950-1955), which led to her variously named cookery shows for the BBC (1955-1975). Cradock wrote novels and children’s books under the pen name Frances Dale, and cook books as Fanny Cradock, several co-authored with John Cradock



1910 – Mohandas Gandhi supports the resolution of the African People’s Organization (APO) to declare the day of the Prince of Wales arriving in in Cape Town as a day pf mourning, in protest of South Africa’s disenfranchisement of Black Africans, Indians, and Coloureds in the upcoming Union of South Africa

1914 – HMHS Britannic, sister to the RMS Titanic, is launched at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland

1915 – Elisabeth Eybers born, South African poet who mainly wrote in Afrikaans, although she translated some of her own poems, as well as those of other Afrikaans poets, into English. Noted for Die Ander Dors (The other thirst), and Kruis of Munt (Head or tail). She moved to Amsterdam in 1966, remaining there the rest of her life



1916 – Mutual Film Corporation signs Charlie Chaplin to a film contract to make 12 two-reel comedies for the largest annual salary yet for a motion picture star: $670,000

1918 – Theodore Sturgeon born, American author and critic



1919 – President Woodrow Wilson signs into law an act of Congress establishing the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona



1921 – Wilma S. Heide born, educator and women’s studies pioneer, president of NOW (1971-1972); she spearheaded the sex discrimination charges against AT&T



1926 – Carter G. Woodson starts Negro History Week, which later becomes Black History Month



1928 – Fats Domino born, American singer-songwriter and pianist



1929 – U.S. President Coolidge signs a bill creating the Grand Teton National Park

1930 – New York City installs traffic lights

1933 – A ground-breaking ceremony is held at Crissy Field for the Golden Gate Bridge

Four years later: Golden Gate Bridge – opening day in 1937

1935 – Adolf Hitler orders the Luftwaffe re-formed, violating the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles

1935 – Robert Watson-Watt carries out a demonstration near Daventry which leads directly to the development of radar in the United Kingdom

1944 – Sue Dauser, of the nurse corps, is appointed as the first female U.S. Navy captain. She became a Navy Nurse in 1917 during WWI, and went on to serve as Superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps during WWII (1939-1945)



1945 – WWII: A nationwide midnight curfew goes into effect in the U.S.

1948 – Sharyn McCrumb born, American Appalachian “Ballad” novelist; author of the Elizabeth MacPherson mystery series



1949 – Elizabeth George born, American author of mystery novels set in Great Britain; noted for her Inspector Thomas Lynley series, adapted for a BBC television series

1949 – Dame Emma Kirkby born, English soprano and world-renowned early music specialist, who made well over 100 recordings, including the Gothic Voices of sequences of Hildegard of Bingen, A Feather on the Breath of God (1981); and George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Christopher Hogwood (1980), which was named as one of the top 20 recordings of all time by BBC Music Magazine



1950 – Helen Clark born, first woman elected (not appointed) to the office of Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008); first woman Administrator of the UN Development Programme (2009-2017)



1952 – Prime Minister Winston Churchill announces Britain has an atomic bomb

1954 – U.S. Representive Ruth Thompson (Republican-Michigan) introduces a bill to ban mailing of “obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy” recordings, aimed at rock n’ roll

1957 – The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award is established by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

1958 – Susan Helms born, U.S Air Force Lt. General and NASA Astronaut, crew member on five Space Shuttle missions and lived aboard the International Space Station for over five months in 2001; with Jim Voss, she is the co-holder of the international record for longest spacewalk, 8 hours and 56 minutes



1964 – Cassius Clay changes his name to Muhammad Ali as he accepts the Islamic faith


Muhammad Ali with Elijah Muhammad, who gave him his new name

1970 – The Beatles release “Hey Jude” in the U.S.



1970 – National Public Radio (NPR) is incorporated

1974 – Lola Shoneyin born, Nigerian poet and author, known for her debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, and her poetry collections, So All the Time I was Sitting on an Egg; Song of a River Bird; and For the Love of Flight. She runs the annual Aké Arts and Book Festival in Lagos



1974 – Irina Vlah born, Moldovan politician; Governor of Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia since 2015; Member of Moldovan Parliament (2005-2009)



1976 – Nalini Anantharaman born, French mathematician; Professor at Université de Strasbourg since 2014; In 2018, she was awarded the Infosys Mathematical Sciences Prize for work on “Quantum Chaos.” She won the 2011 Salem Prize for her work on the Fourier Series; and co-winner in 2012 of the Henri Poincaré Prize for mathematical physics for her work in “quantum chaos, dynamical systems and Schrödinger equation, including a remarkable advance in the problem of quantum unique ergodicity.” Also in 2011, she took the Grand Prix Jacques Herbrand from the French Academy of Sciences



1980 – Egypt establishes diplomatic relations with Israel

1987 – The Tower Commission rebukes U.S. President Reagan for failing to control his national security staff in the wake of the Iran-Contra affair


John Tower, Ronald Reagan and Edmund Muskie

1987 – The U.S.S.R. conducts its first nuclear weapons test after a 19-month moratorium

1991 – Iraqi President Saddam Hussein announces on Baghdad Radio that Iraqi troops are being withdrawn from Kuwait

1993 – Six people are killed and more than a thousand injured when a van containing a bomb built by Islamic extremists explodes in the New York World Trade Center’s underground parking garage

1995 – Britain’s oldest investment banking firm, Barings PLC, collapses after a securities dealer loses more than $1.4 billion by gambling on Tokyo stock prices



1998 – A Texas jury rejects an $11 million lawsuit by Texas  cattlemen, blaming Oprah Winfrey for price drop after on-air comment about mad-cow disease



2001 – A U.N. tribunal convicts Bosnian Croat political leader Dario Kordic and military commander Mario Cerkez of war crimes, because they ordered systematic murder and persecution of Muslim civilians during the Bosnian war

2002 – Alanis Morissette’s third album “Under Rug Swept” is released

2008 – The NY Philharmonic performs in Pyongyang, North Korea; the first performance of its kind in North Korea



2009 – Former Serbian president Milan Milutinovic is acquitted of war crimes during the Kosovo War by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

2009 – The Pentagon reverses its 18-year policy of banning media from covering returning war dead, allowing some media coverage if the family approves

2012 – Trayvon Martin, age 17, is shot to death in Sanford Florida by self-appointed “neighborhood watchman” George Zimmerman



2013 – Pink’s single “Just Give Me a Reason” featuring Nate Ruess is released

2016 – Greece recalls its ambassador to Austria from Vienna, after being excluded from a meeting of the Balkan states to discuss the refugee crisis. Austria and other Balkan states at the meeting announced limits on the number of refugees they would let in, and a daily cap on the number of asylum claims they will accept, which will make it harder for refugees to continue north into the heart of Europe. Greece has been struggling to handle a massive influx of refugees, mostly from Syria and Iraq, estimating that 20,000 refugees and migrants will be trapped in Greece by the new restrictions. Greek migration minister Yannis Mouzalas declared, “Greece will not become a Lebanon or a warehouse of souls.”  Lebanon, with just 4 million citizens, is now hosting over a million refugees from the civil war in Syria


Greek migration minister Yannis Mouzalas

2018 – Over the past four years, thousands of allegations of sexual abuse affecting unaccompanied immigrant minors in U.S. custody have been reported. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement received 4,556 complaints, while the Department of Justice received an additional 1,303 — though it’s unclear whether there’s an overlap between the two departments. The majority of the allegations sent to the DOJ were made against other minors, but 178 were waged against adult HHS staff members, including 154 sexual assault allegations. A spokesperson for HHS said that the department takes any allegation “seriously” and acts “swiftly to investigate and respond.”

2019 – Delegates at a conference of the United Methodist Church, the second biggest U.S. Protestant denomination, voted to strengthen bans on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT clergy. Conservatives from the U.S. and overseas pushed through the so-called ‘Traditional Plan’ and defeated a rival proposal to let regional and local church bodies determine whether to adopt more gay-friendly policies. “The church in Africa would cease to exist” if the bans were eased, said the Rev. Jerry Kulah of Liberia. Council of Bishops President Kenneth H. Carter said he feared progressive churches would now leave the denomination. Former Methodist pastor Rebecca Wilson called the vote devastating. “As someone who left because I’m gay,” she said, “I’m waiting for the church I love to stop bringing more hate.” 


Rebecca Wilson, center, with other activists, after the Methodists vote to
strengthen bans on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT clergy

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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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