ON THIS DAY: March 5, 2020

March 5th is

Absinthe Day *

Cheese Doodle Day

Mercator Day *

Multiple Personality Day


MORE! Dora Marsden, Louise Pearce and Letizia Battaglia, click



Azerbaijan –
Physical Culture & Sport Day

China – Léi Fēng Day
(People’s Liberation Army hero)

French Polynesia – Arrivée de l’Evangile
(Gospel Day/First Missionaries)

Iran – Tree Planting Day

Iraq – ’91 Rebellion Anniversary

Vanuatu – Custom Chief’s Holiday


On This Day in HISTORY

1046 – Nasir Khusraw, Persian poet-philosopher-scholar, begins the seven-year Middle Eastern journey which he will later describe in his book Safarnama (Book of Travels)widely regarded as the most authentic account of the Muslim world in the mid-11th century, it is still required reading in Iran today

1496 – King Henry VII of England issues letters of patent to John Cabot and his sons, authorizing them to explore unknown lands

1512 – Mercator Day * – Gerardus Mercator born, Flemish mathematician-geographer-cartographer-philosopher; creator of the Mercator projection, a 1569 world map based on sailing course projections with constant bearings (rhumb lines, still used on nautical charts); also maker of astrolabes, astronomical rings, and terrestrial and celestial globes

1616 – Nicolaus Copernicus’s book On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres is added to the Index of Forbidden Books 73 years after it was first published

1623 – The first alcohol temperance law in America is enacted in the Virginia colony: “The proclamations for swearing and drunkenness sett out by the governor and counsell are confirmed by this Assembly . . . Ministers shall not give themselves to excess in drinking, or riott, or spending their tyme idellye day or night”

1624 – The Virginia Company charter is revoked by King James I, and the Virginia colony is transferred to royal authority as a crown colony; in Virginia, the upper class are exempted from whipping, passed by a legislative body comprised of landed gentry

1637 – Jan van der Heyden born, Dutch painter and engineer

View of Delft, by Jan van der Heyden

1748 – William Shield born, English violinist and composer

1750 – The first Shakespearean play is presented in America, Richard III, in NYC

1766 – Antonio de Ulloa, first Spanish governor of Louisiana, arrives in New Orleans

1770 – The Boston Massacre: a squad of British troopers, sent to support a sentry being heckled and hit with snowballs by a crowd, fire on the civilians, killing five people, one of them Crispus Attucks, an escaped slave; Captain Thomas Preston, the officer in charge, and eight of his men are arrested for manslaughter, but only two soldiers are found guilty, the rest are acquitted. The conflict was made inevitable by the large number of British troops in Boston – 4,000 men in a city of 20,000 – sent to enforce the Townsend Acts of 1767 which imposed duties on many imports to the colonies; the Quartering Act of 1774 made the colonies responsible for housing all troops sent from Britain; regarded as ‘Intolerable Acts’ by the colonists, they would lead to the American Revolution; 

The Boston Massacre, a Paul Revere print

1841 – The first continuous filibuster in the U.S. Senate begins, lasting until March 11th, when several Senators object to the hiring of Senate printers and refuse to yield the floor

1842 – Mexican General Rafael Vasquez invades the Republic of Texas with over 500 men, occupies San Antonio, raises the Mexican flag and declares the city under the laws of Mexico, but returns to Mexico on March 7, presumably with plunder

1842 – A. Viola Neblett born, American temperance leader, suffragist and women’s rights pioneer. She worked tirelessly for temperance in South Carolina, and co-founded the South Carolina Equal Rights Association. She was the first woman in her state to declare her support publically for woman suffrage, and traveled the state arranging venues for woman suffrage speakers. She led a group of suffragists to the South Carolina Constitutional Convention in 1895, where they lobbied the delegates, supplied suffrage literature, and had hearings before two committees. She and Virginia Durant Young, representing the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), and Laura Clay of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association, spoke before the entire Convention. Although the woman’s suffrage initiative was not passed, Neblett and Young helped greatly in getting South Carolina’s age of consent raised from 10 to 14, and gaining for the state’s women the right to be legal guardians of their children. When she died at age 55 in 1897, Neblett left $500 in her will to the National American Woman Suffrage Association

1845 – U.S. Congress appropriates $30,000 to create the U.S. Camel Corps, an experiment in using camels as pack animals in the Southwest; the Army declines to adopt them for military use; then the Civil War diverts Congressional attention, so the project is abandoned, and the camels are sold at auction

1852 – Lady Augusta Gregory born, Irish writer, folklorist and playwright; co-founder of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, a leader of the Irish Literary Revival

1853 – Howard Pyle born, American author and illustrator

1868 – U.S. Senate becomes a court of impeachment to decide charges against President Andrew Johnson for his resistance to implementing reconstruction policies passed by Congress, and his firing of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (the War Department being the federal agency responsible for carrying out reconstruction programs in the war-ravaged South)

1867 – A Fenian uprising against British rule in Ireland is put down

1870 – Frank Norris born, American journalist and author; noted for
McTeague, and The Octopus: A Story of California

1871 – Rosa Luxemburg born, Polish economist, Marxist theorist, philosopher, feminist, revolutionary socialist and anti-war activist; she became a naturalized German citizen at age 28, and joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). She broke with the party when it supported German involvement in WWI, and co-founded an anti-war group with Karl Liebknecht, Spartakusbund (the Spartacus League), which later became the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). She also found its newspaper, Die Rote Fahne (The Red Flag), the central organ of the Spartacist movement, during the November Revolution (1917-1923). The revolution was evolved from a series of strikes as sailors refused to take orders, and workers, fed up with the war and growing food shortages, went on strike. The country’s federal constitutional monarchy lost control, and was replaced with a democratic parliamentary republic, Deutsches Reich (1918-1933), which ended after Adolph Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933. When the Spartakusbund staged an uprising in 1919, even though she thought it was a mistake, Luxemburg went along with it. She and Karl Liebnecht were captured by the Freikorps (an all-volunteer military group), questioned under torture, then summarily executed. Her body was flung into Berlin’s Landwehr Canal. Luxemburg is noted for her book, “The Accumulation of Capital” which was highly controversial among Leftists and Communists when it was published in 1913

1872 – George Westinghouse patents the air brake

1882 – Dora Marsden born, English radical feminist, literary modernist journal editor; she first joined the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) headed by Emmeline Pankhurst, but found the organization too focused on middle-class women, and left in 1911 to found The Freewoman, a weekly feminist newspaper which only lasted a year, but published articles on women’s paid work, housework, motherhood, the suffrage movement, and literature. The frank discussions of sexuality, advocacy of free love, and encouragement for women to remain single brought it much notoriety. Although its circulation was very small, writers like Rebecca West and H.G.Wells, who were contributors added to its cachet. It was revived in 1913 as The New Freewoman journal, which became The Egoist (1914-1919), focusing more on philosophical concepts and literary works, and much influenced by Rebecca West, Ezra Pound, and suffragette-trade unionist Mary Gawthorpe. It was also much more successful journal than the two previous publications, and was a pioneer in publishing modernist poetry and fiction

1885 – Louise Pearce born, one of the foremost American pathologists of the early 20th century. In 1913, she was the first woman to be hired for a research position at the Rockefeller Institute. She researched and developed a treatment for trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness) working with chemists Michael Heidelberger  and Walter Abraham Jacobs, and pathologist  Wade Hampton Brown, in 1919. Pearce traveled to the Belgian Congo in 1920, and carried out a drug testing protocol for human trials which she had designed, to establish the drug tryparsamide’s safety, effectiveness, and optimum dosage. In spite of her success, she wasn’t promoted to associate member of the Institute until 1923, and was never promoted to be a full member. She was awarded the Order of the Crown of Belgium in 1921 for her work, and was also elected as a member of the Belgian Society of Tropical Medicine. She attended the society’s meetings from 1921 to 1939. Pearce and Brown developed protocols to apply tryparsamide to syphilis, and studied animal models of cancer tumors. Pearce later researched senescence, eye defects, osteopetrosis, cystic disease and hydrocephalus, adding much data toward understanding of these conditions.

1887 – Heitor Villa-Lobos born, Brazilian composer-guitarist

1874 – Arthur van Schendel born in the Dutch East Indies, prolific Dutch novelist and short-story writer; Het fregatschip Johanna Maria (The Frigate Johanna Maria)

1876 – Édouard Belin born, French photographer-engineer; inventor of the Bélinographe, for transmitting photos by wire

1900 – Two U.S. battleships leave for Nicaragua to halt revolutionary disturbances

1900 – Lilli Jahn born, German-Jewish physician; in 1943, after she had separated from her husband and moved Kassel from Immenhausen, she was denounced for an improper name card on her doorbell – Jewish women were required to add Sara to their name, and all Jews were forbidden to use the title Doctor. She was arrested, interrogated and sent to the Breitenau labor camp, while her underage children were left on their own; the letters she smuggled out to her children were later published posthumously, but she was deported to Auschwitz in 1944, and died there, the exact date unknown

Lilli Jahn with her family in the late 1930s

1901 – Germany and Britain begin negotiations with hopes of creating an alliance

1902 – In France, the National Congress of Miners decide to call for a general strike to demand an 8-hour workday

1907 – In St. Petersburg, Russia, the new Duma opens; 40,000 demonstrators are dispersed by troops

1910 – In Philadelphia PA, 60,000 people leave their jobs to show support for striking transit workers

1910 – The Moroccan envoy reluctantly signs the 1909 agreement between France and Germany, which confirms France’s political interests and German economic rights in Morocco, but which will lead to Moroccan tribal rebellion

1912 – The Italians are the first to use dirigibles for military purposes, behind Turkish lines west of Tripoli on reconnaissance flights

1918 – The Soviets move the capital of Russia from Petrograd to Moscow

1922 – Annie Oakley (Phoebe Ann Moses) breaks all existing records for women’s trap shooting, hitting 98 out of 100 targets

1923 – Old-age pension laws are enacted in the states of Montana and Nevada

1931 – Geraldyn (Jerrie) Cobb born, record-setting aviator, first woman to pass all qualifying exams for astronaut training (1959), but not allowed to train because she’s a woman

1933 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders a four-day bank holiday to stop a panic in which large amounts of money are withdrawn from U.S. banks

1933 – The Nazi Party wins 44 percent of the vote in German parliamentary elections; in alliance with the Nationalists, they gain a slim majority in the Reichstag

1935 – Letizia Battaglia born, Italian photojournalist, notable for her work documenting the Sicilian Mafia; a member of the Green Party, she served on the city council of Palermo (1985-1991) and as a Deputy at the Sicilian Regional Assembly (1991-1996); a feminist, she co-founded Mezzocielo (Half-the-Sky), a women’s journal

1936 – The Supermarine Spitfire prototype made its maiden flight from Eastleigh aerodrome (now Southampton Airport), England. Its test-pilot, Capt. Joseph “Mutt” Summers, was reported to be so impressed with its performance that his opinion was “Don’t touch anything.” The propeller aircraft was designed by Reginald J. Mitchell, using an all-metal monocoque construction, and a high-powered liquid-cooled engine. The Spitfire could climb to 33,000-feet in about nine minutes, was fast, and easy to manoeuver

1938 – Lynn Margulis born, American biologist and evolutionary theorist; noted for her work on Symbiogenesis, the evolution of eukaryotic cells (cells with a nucleus). Her theory that cell organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts were once independent bacteria was largely ignored for another decade, before becoming widely accepted only after the theory was powerfully substantiated through genetic evidence. Margulis was elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1983. 

1943 – Germany calls up 15- and 16-year-olds for military service due to war losses

1946 – Winston Churchill delivers his famous “Iron Curtain Speech” at Westminster College in Fulton MO

1946 – The U.S. protests the USSR on incursions into Manchuria and Iran

1953 – Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin dies, after being in power for 29 years

1953 – Katarina Frostenson born, a leading Swedish poet and writer; elected to the Swedish Academy in 1992, and honored in 2016 with the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize; noted for her poetry collection I det gula (In the Yellow), and a work of fiction,  Berättelser från dom (Stories from Them)

1956 – The U.S. Supreme Court affirms the ban on segregation in public schools

1960 – Elvis Presley ends his 2-year hitch in the U.S Army

1963 – President Kennedy welcomes the National Congress of Indians to Washington DC, at the White House

1966 – Oh Eun-sun born, South Korean mountaineer, the first Korean woman to climb the Seven Summits

1969 – Gustav Heinemann is elected as West German President

1970 – A nuclear non-proliferation treaty goes into effect after 43 nations ratify it

1973 – Nelly Arcan born, French Canadian novelist; her first novel, Putain (Whore) was a finalist for the Prix Médicis and the Prix Fémina, and her next novel,  Folle (Hysteric) was also nominated for the Prix Fémina. Both books contained events based on her own experience as an escort sex worker. She wrote two other novels, several short stories, and contributed to newspapers and literary magazines before she committed suicide in 2009 at age 36

1974 – The comic operetta Candide opens on Broadway

1976 – The British pound falls below the equivalent of $2 USD for the first time ever

1977 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter appears on CBS News with Walter Cronkite for the first “Dial-a-President” radio talk show

1984 – U.S. Supreme Court rules that cities may use public money for Nativity scenes as part of their Christmas display

1984 – The U.S. accuses Iraq of using poison gas

1984 – Six thousand miners in the UK begin their strike at Cortonwood Colliery

1992 – “Rubbergate” – U.S. House Ethics Committee votes to reveal congresspersons who were allowed to bounce checks without penalty by the House Bank, which was unregulated and unaudited; members of both houses now use either the House or Senate credit unions, which are regulated and give them no special privileges

1995 – The graves of Tsar Nicolas II and his family are found in St. Petersburg

1997 – North Korea and South Korea meet for first time in 25 years for peace talks

1998 – NASA announces that an orbiting craft found enough water on the moon to support a human colony and rocket fueling station

1998 – Air Force Lt. Col. and NASA astronaut Eileen Collins is announced as the leader of Columbia’s crew on a mission to launch a large X-ray telescope, the first woman to command a space shuttle

2004 – Author, TV Host and Entrepreneur Martha Stewart is convicted of obstructing justice and committing perjury in testimony about selling her Imclone Systems Inc. stock just before the price plummeted; she spent five months in prison, followed by a two-year term of supervised release

2009 – It is revealed that the CIA destroyed 92 interrogation tapes documenting harsh treatment of two Al Qaeda suspects who were detained in Thailand during the aftermath of 9-11. According to a 2014 Amnesty International report, no one, at any level of office, has been charged or brought to trial for the crimes under international law that are known to have been committed . . . former President George W. Bush has admitted to authorizing “enhanced interrogation techniques”

2013 – Pernod Fils approves the label design for the return of their pre-ban Absinthe original recipe, and the first Absinthe Day * is celebrated. Absinthe was banned in the U.S. in 1912, and the ban wasn’t lifted until 2007

2017 – Military officials are investigating hundreds of active-duty Marines for allegedly sharing nude photos of female service members and veterans online without their consent. Representative Adam Smith (Democrat-Washington), House Armed Services Committee ranking member, called for the Marine Corps to conduct an inquiry, calling the alleged actions “degrading, dangerous, and completely unacceptable.” Hundreds of photos featuring at least two dozen women were posted to the private Marines United Facebook page, which has 30,000 male members, all of them U.S. Marines, Navy Corpsman, or British Royal Marines. 

2019 – Ethan Lindenberger, an Ohio teen who defied his mother and started getting vaccinated when he turned 18, told a Senate health committee it is important to counter anti-vaccine misinformation spread via social media. He said, “I grew up under my mother’s beliefs that vaccines are dangerous.” Lindenberger had tried to get his mother to consult scientific studies about the benefits of vaccines, but she focused on bogus reports that “instill fear into the public.” He said his mother clearly loves and cares about him and his siblings, but her belief in anti-vaccine conspiracy theories caused her to leave them vulnerable to preventable diseases. 


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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