ON THIS DAY: March 8, 2020

March 8th is

International Women’s Day *

Girls Write Now Day *

Peanut Cluster Day

Proofreading Day *

Women’s Collaboration Brew Day *

* *



MORE! Louise Beavers, Beatrice Shilling and Jahana Hayes, click



International Women’s Day * is celebrated under various names as a public holiday in: Abkhazia, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Eritrea, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Kazakhstan, Kygyyztan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal (for women only), North Korea, Russia, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Transdniestria, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Zambia

Bulgaria – Mother’s Day

Canada – Toronto:
Women’s Day Rally & March

India – New Delhi:
Pink Fest Celebrating Women

Kenya – Nairobi: International
Womens Day Celebration

Malta –Luqa: Maltese Islands Festival

Mexico – Ancha San Antonio:
Feminism in Mexico Seminar

New Zealand – Auckland: Milk & Honey
Festival – International Women’s Day

Peru – Puno: Fiesta de San Juan

Scotland – Edinburgh: WomenBeing
Festival (gender studies conference)

Singapore – Women’s Festival

South Africa – Cape Town:
International Women’s Day Workshop

Syria – Revolution Day

United States – Daylight Savings * *
Time begins – Spring Forward!

Zambia – Lusaka: Women’s Day
Empowerment Seminar


On This Day in HISTORY

1010 – Persian poet ‘Ferdowsi’ (Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi) completes his epic poem Shahnameh, considered the world’s longest epic poem by a single poet

1518 – Sidonie of Saxony born; in 1545, she was married at the age of 27 to Duke Eric II of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who was 10 years her junior. Two years into the marriage. Duke Eric, who had been converted by his mother while a minor from Catholicism to Protestantism,  re-converted to Catholicism, and tried to get Sidonie to also convert, but she held on to her Lutheran faith. The strain in the marriage was made much worse by  their lack of offspring and financial troubles. Sidonie’s brother was told by a merchant that Duke Eric had ordered poison from him. When Eric moved into Calenberg Castle with his mistress in 1563, Sidonie was refused access to the castle. By 1564, she was under virtual house arrest, which she protested vigorously to her brother Maurice, Elector of Saxony, and Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian II. Eric fell ill that year, and suspected he had been poisoned, so four women in Neustadt am Rübenberge, were burned at the stake as witches. In 1570, mediation by the Emperor and Sidonie’s brother resulted in a settlement in which she would receive Calenberg Castle, but Eric didn’t abide by the settlement. In 1572, Eric assembled some advisors, nobles and deputies from Hannover and Hameln, and accused Sidonie of witchcraft and making an attempt on his life, presenting “evidence” obtained by torture from the women executed for witchcraft.  Sidonie left Kalenberg secretly and fled to Vienna, asking Emperor Maxillian for his help. He decreed that an investigation would be carried out at the imperial court, but turned the case over to Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg and nearby Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. In December 1573, the case was presented in Halberstadt before a large audience. On January 1, 1574, Sidonie was acquitted of all charges. She finally received some compensation and a pension for life, but she died in 1575, at age 56, leaving sums of money to her negotiators at her trial


1576 – Spanish explorer Diego García de Palacio first sights the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Copán

1618 – Johannes Kepler discovers the third law of planetary motion

1655 – African-born John Casor becomes the first person legally declared a slave-for-life in England’s North American colonies; in one of the first freedom suits, Casor argues that he is an indentured servant forced by Anthony Johnson, a free black, to serve past his 7-year term. He was told he was free, and went to work for Robert Parker, but Johnson sued Parker for Casor’s services. In ordering Casor returned to Johnson for life, the court both declares Casor a slave and sustains the right of free blacks to own slaves. So a freed black man becomes the first legally recognized slave owner in America. But in a final twist of irony, when Johnson dies in 1670, his 300 acres of land passes, not to his children, but by court ruling, to a white colonist. The courts declare that “as a black man, Anthony Johnson was not a citizen of the colony”

1693 – The Casa da Moeda do Brasil (the mint owned by the Brazilian government) is established by the Portuguese in Salvador

1695? – Anne Bonny born as Anne McCormac in Ireland; they move to London where her father William dresses her as a boy called  “Andy.” They move to the Colonies where William makes good as a merchant. Anne marries part-time pirate James Bonny and is disowned by her father. The newlyweds move to Nassau, the ‘Republic of Pirates’ – sometime around 1718, Anne dumps James for pirate Captain “Calico Jack” Rackham – in 1720, their ship is captured, they’re tried, and sentenced to hang, but Anne gets a stay because she is pregnant. However, there’s no record of either her execution or release – one story claims her father ransomed her, married her off to a Jamaican commissioner with her name changed to Annabele, then she had 8 children, outlived her husband and died at age 88

1702 – Anne is crowned Queen regnant of Great Britain (1702-1707) upon the death of King William III

1714 – Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach born, German Classical composer noted for his concertos and symphonies; son of Johann Sebastian Bach, ‘C.P.E.’ Bach is often called the ‘Berlin Bach’ or the ‘Hamburg Bach’ to distinguish him from his brother Johann Christian, the ‘London Bach’

1782 – Gnadenhutten massacre: 90 peaceful Lenni Lenape Christian converts, 39 of them children, are murdered at a Moravian missionary village in Ohio by Pennsylvania militiamen who know they are not the Indians they’ve been pursuing, in retaliation for raids made by other Lenapi allied with the British; no criminal charges are filed

1839 – Josephine G. Cochran born, American inventor of first commercially successful automatic dishwasher, which she constructed with mechanic George Butters; she received U.S. patent #355,139  in 1886, attracts much attention when she showed her invention at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and began manufacturing the units in 1897, selling them to restaurants and hotels. By 1940, her company had evolved into Kitchen Aid, a division of the Whirlpool Corporation

1841 – Oliver Wendell Holmes born, U.S. Supreme Court justice and legal scholar; as a young man he was wounded three times during the Civil War while serving with the Union’s ‘Harvard Regiment’

1856 – William B. Booth born, American general of the Salvation Army (1912-1929)

1859 – Kenneth Grahame born, Scottish children’s author of The Golden Age, The Reluctant Dragon, and The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Grahame (1912), by John Singer Sargent

1862 – The Confederate ironclad “Merrimack” is launched

1865 – Frederic Goudy born, American printer, typographer and font designer

1880 – U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes declares that the U.S. will have jurisdiction over any canal built across the Isthmus of Panama

1887 – The telescopic fishing rod is patented by Everett Horton

1892 – Juana de Ibarbourou born, Uruguayan feminist poet who used nature imagery and eroticism; at 17, she published Derechos femeninos (Women’s Rights), a prose work

1894 – The state of New York enacts a dog license law, the U.S. first animal control law

1894 – Dorothy Sears Ainsworth born, American women’s physical education pioneer, who believed that sports are healthy and develop the values, skills, and character required in a democratic society. She was a professor and director of physical education at Smith College (1926-1960), and chaired the U.S. Joint Council on International Affairs in Health, Physical Education and Recreation (1950-1957)

1896 – Charlotte Whitton born, Canadian feminist, journalist and Progressive Conservative politician; first woman mayor of Ottawa (1951-1956 and 1960-1964)

1902 – Louise Beavers, African American film and television actress, who struggled to overcome the stereotypical roles in which she was cast; spoke in support of political candidates she believed would help advance the civil rights cause

1905 – In Russia, the peasant revolt spread into Georgia

1907 – The British House of Commons turns down a woman suffrage bill.  Women had not been explicitly banned from voting national elections in Great Britain until the 1832 Reform Act; in 1851, the Sheffield Female Political Association brought a petition in support of enfranchising women to the House of Lords, but it didn’t become a national movement until the 1870s; in 1880, women freeholders on the Isle of Man got the vote; by 1903, though there was a majority of support for suffrage in parliament, the ruling Liberal Party refused to allow a vote on the issue. In respinse the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) began to escalate their protests, adding smashing windows and blowing up postal collection boxes. Some British women over the age of 30 did get the vote in 1918, but it took the Representation of the People Act 1928 to finally extend the franchise to British women on the same basis as British men

WSPU poster by Hilda Dallas (1909)

1909 – Beatrice ‘Tilly’ Shilling born, British aeronautical engineer, motorcycle and auto racer. At the Royal Aircraft Establishment, she invented ‘Miss Shilling’s orifice,’ which fixed a serious problem with the WWII Rolls-Royce Merlin engines in Hawker Hurricanes and some Spitfires, causing the engine to lose power or even completely cut-out in the middle of certain maneuvers during combat

1910 –Baroness de Laroche becomes the first French woman to obtain a pilot’s license

1910 – The King of Spain authorizes Spanish women to attend universities

1910 – At the Second International conference of Women in Copenhagen, German Socialist Luise Zietz and Clara Zetkin, head of the Women’s Office for the German Social Democratic Party, inspired by the events in the U.S., propose an International Women’s Day (the first Woman’s Day was launched on February 28, 1909, in the United States; Charlotte Perkins Gilman addressed a crowd in New York City, proclaiming, “It is true that a woman’s duty is centered in her home and motherhood, but home should mean the whole country and not be confined to three or four rooms of a city or a state.”)

Luise Zietz and Clara Zetkin

1911 – International Women’s Day * is celebrated for the first time

1911 – Alan Hovhaness born, prolific Armenian-American composer; noted for Mysterious Mountain (Symphony No. 2); And God Created Great Whales (Opus 229); and City of Light (Symphony No. 222)

1911 – British Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Gray declares that Britain will not support France in the event of a military conflict

1915 – Selma Fraiberg born, pursued groundbreaking studies of infant psychiatry and normal child development, directed the Child Development Project at Wayne State University (1952-1958), wrote The Magic Years: Understanding and Handling the Problems of Early Childhood  (1959), a classic translated into 10 languages

1917 – Russia’s ‘February Revolution’ begins as a march in St. Petersburg for “Bread and Peace” because of food shortages, but rapidly turns into rioting and strikes; Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky recounts, “The slogan ‘Bread!’ is crowded out or obscured by louder slogans: ‘Down with autocracy!’ ‘Down with the war!’” – it’s the “February Revolution” because Russia was still using the Julian calendar until 1918

1917 – The U.S. Senate votes to limit filibusters by adopting the cloture rule

1921 – French troops occupy Dusseldorf when Germany refuses to agree to reparation demands for WWI which will beggar the country; the League of Nations refuses to intervene; Germany is forced to accept the disastrous terms and the value of the German mark plummets

1921 – Spanish Prime Minister Eduardo Dato Iradier is assassinated by three Catalan anarchists. Catalonia was heavily industrialized. Widespread discontent because of wage cuts and military conscription led to strikes, harshly put down by the police and the military, and increasingly violent action by trade unionists and anarchists    

1923 – Ruth Lyttle Satter born, American botanist, chronobiologist, plant physiologist and mathematician; best known for her work on circadian leaf movement; worked at Bell Laboratories (1944-1947); earned her Ph.D in Botany in 1968; active in the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the American Society of Plant Physiology, and the  Association for Women in Science (AWIS); a supporter of opportunities for women in science, in her will, she set up an award for women re-entering the sciences after a break in their education to raise a family. She died in 1989 from leukemia. The Ruth Lyttle Satter Prize in mathematics was established by American Mathematical Society in 1990 

1933 – Self-liquidating scrip money is issued for the first time at Franklin Indiana;  massive declines in employment and output by 1933, along with collapsing banking and financial systems, created a widespread perception that there is a shortage of money, and issues of local currencies, or ‘scrip,’ begin

1939 –Lynn Seymour born in Canada as Berta Lynn Springbett; ballerina and choreographer; Royal Ballet, prima ballerina at the Berlin Opera Ballet, and sometimes partnered with Rudolf Nureyev; artistic director of Munich State Ballet (1978-1980) and Greek National Ballet (2006-2007)

Lynn Seymour with Anthony Dowell in A Month in the Country

1941 – Martial law is proclaimed in Holland in order to extinguish anti-Nazi protests

1942 – WWII: The Imperial Japanese Army gives an ultimatum  to Dutch East Indies Governor General Jonkheer Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer and KNIL Commander-in- Chief Lieutenant General Hein Ter Poorten, to unconditionally surrender. On this day, the Japanese also capture Rangoon, Burma, from the British

1945 – Lilia Ann Abron born, entrepreneur and chemical engineer; in 1972, she was the first African American woman to earn a PhD in chemical engineering; founder and CEO of PEER Consultants, engineering solutions to protect populations from adverse environmental factors, while protecting the environment by reducing human impact

1945 – Phyllis Mae Daley receives a commission in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps; she will become the first African-American nurse to serve on active duty in World War II

1945 – Sylvia Wiegand born in South Africa, American mathematician in the fields of commutative algebra, and history of mathematics; president of the Association for Women in Mathematics (1997-2000); for 17 years she was the only woman in the University of Nebraska’s math department; by 2018, about 25% of the math faculty were women. In 2012, she became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society, and in 2017, she was selected as a fellow of the Association for Women in Mathematics in the inaugural class.

1946 – In New York City, the Journal American becomes the first commercial business to receive a helicopter license

1947 – Carole Bayer Sager, American singer-songwriter, painter and author; winner of an Oscar, a Grammy and two Golden Globes; They’re Playing Our Song: A Memoir

1948 – McCollum v. Board of Education: Vashti McCollum, an atheist, objects because her son James is ostracized for not attending religious classes and sues the school board when her complaints are unheeded, claiming students are coerced by school officials to attend the “voluntary” classes, and the power exercised by the Champaign Council on Religious Education which started the program and selected its instructors, as well as the school superintendent’s oversight of these instructors serves to determine which religious faiths participate in the instructional program, constituting a prior censorship of religion. The U.S. Supreme Court reverses a lower court ruling, and by 8-1 declares religious instruction during “released time” within school hours at tax-supported public school facilities is unconstitutional

1951 – Monica Helms born, transgender activist, author, and veteran of the United States Navy, creator of the Transgender Pride Flag

1951 – Dianne Walker born, American tap dancer whose career spans over 30 years, in spite of contracting polio as a baby. She originally started dance lessons as a child to strengthen her legs. Walker is the Artistic Director of TapDancin Inc. in Boston, and  serves on the board of the Massachusetts Cultural Council since 1996


1951 – The American serial killer couple, Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, dubbed  the ‘Lonely Hearts Killers’ because they met their victims through lonely hearts ads, are executed in Sing Sing prison. The pair were suspected in the murders of as many as 20 women between 1947 and 1949, but were convicted for three murders, a woman in New York state, and a Michigan woman and her 2-year-old daughter

1953 – Census bureau reports that 239,000 farmers quit farming in the previous 2 years

1954 – France and Vietnam open treaty talks in Paris to form the state of Indochina

1957 – Egypt re-opens the Suez Canal, following the Suez Crisis when the country had been invaded by Israel, the United Kingdom and France, after Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the canal. Political pressure from the UN, the U.S. and the Soviet Union led to the withdrawal of the invaders

1959 – Groucho, Chico and Harpo Marx make their final TV appearance together

1961 – Max Conrad circles the globe in a record time of eight days, 18 hours and 49 minutes in the Piper Aztec

1961 – Camryn Manheim born, American actress, writer and theatre producer, best known for her role in the television series The Practice; noted for her Off-Broadway one-woman show, Wake Up, I’m Fat, and her book of the same name. She is the co-chair of the Justice Ball, the annual fundraiser for Bet Tzedek Legal Services, a leading non-profit legal center for social justice, civil rights, and the protection of the rights of people living in poverty

1966 – Australia announces it will triple its number of troops in Vietnam

1966 – Jaime Levy born, American author, interface designer, user experience strategist, and lecturer; a pioneer in software design and information technology. Her career began in 1990 with the creation of electronic magazines, Cyber Rag and Electronic Hollywood, and in 1993, the first commercially released interactive press kit for EMI Records to market Billy Idol’s Cyberpunk CD. She also worked on the animated electronic book, Ambulance, text by Monica Moran, with music by Mike Watt and Jaime Hernanadez. In 1994, she went to work for IBM in interface design, and also hosted “CyberSlacker” salons for programmers and animators, then moved in 1995 to Icon CMT, as a creative director and launched the online magazine WORD. She became an independent consultant, designing Malice Palace, a multi-user environment, and the CyberSlacker cartoon series. Founded JLR Interactive in 2010

1968 – The Fillmore East opens in New York City

1970 – Simon and Garfunkel’s album Bridge over Troubled Waters begins ten weeks as #1 on the U.S. charts, but they had split up by the time of its release

1972 – Lena Kyoung Ran Sundström, born in South Korea, adopted by her Swedish family; journalist, columnist, author and documentary maker; her book on Denmark’s immigration policy, Världens lyckligaste folk, became her first documentary film

1973 – Jahana Hayes born, African American Democratic politician, and high school government and history teacher. In 2016, Hayes was recognized as the National Teacher of the Year.  She was served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Connecticut since 2019, the first black woman and first African American Democrat elected to the U.S House from Connecticut

1976 – The largest recovered single stony meteorite, weighing 3,911 pounds (1,774 kg), falls in Jilin, China during a meteor shower

1978 – In California, a modest proposal by the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women is the seed from which National Women’s History Month grows. In 1978, they initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration, choosing the week of March 8th, International Women’s Day. Local activities met with enthusiastic response, and dozens of schools planned special programs. Over one hundred community women participated by doing special presentations in classrooms throughout the county, and the first annual “Real Woman” Essay Contest drew hundreds of entries. The finale for this Women’s History Week was a celebratory parade and program held in the center of downtown Santa Rosa, California. In 1979, Molly Murphy MacGregor, one of the Sonoma organizers, spoke of their success at the Women’s History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, chaired by noted historian Gerda Lerner, who invited national leaders of organizations for women and girls to a conference. When the participants learned about the impact of Sonoma County’s Women’s History Week celebration, they decided to start similar celebrations within their own organizations, communities, and school districts. They also agreed to support an effort to secure a “National Women’s History Week,” which has since expanded into the Women’s History Month now being celebrated

Molly Murphy MacGregor, looking back at picture of Eleanor Roosevelt

1982 – The U.S. accuses the Soviets of killing 3,000 Afghans with poison gas

1983 – President Reagan calls the Soviet Union an “evil empire” during a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals convention in Orlando Florida

1985 – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports that 407,700 Americans are millionaires, more than double the total from five years before

1989 – Chinese declare martial law in Tibet after three days of protest against their rule

1998 – Girls Write Now Day * is launched by Girls Write Now Inc, a NYC mentoring program which matches inner city high school girls with professional women writers and media makers; their exceptional success rate means almost all of the girls in the program  graduate from high school and go to college, over half of them with scholarships or awards

1999 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the conviction of Timothy McVeigh for the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995

1999 – The Clinton Administration directs the firing of nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee from his job at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, for alleged security violations

2005 – In northern Chechnya, Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov is killed during a raid by Russian forces

2008 – President George W. Bush vetoes a bill that would ban the CIA from using simulated drowning and other coercive interrogation methods on suspected terrorists

2011 – National Proofreading Day * is launched by Judy Beaver in memory of her mother, who loved correcting mistakes – thank the proofreaders in your life!

2014 – Women’s Collaboration Brew Day * is started by Sophie de Ronde of Project Venus, who joined forces with members of the Pink Boots Society to raise awareness of women in the brewing industry. Women brewmasters around the world brew the same recipe of craft beer. The Pink Boots Society is non-profit organization which supports women in the brewing industry, helping match up members with mentors to further their education and learn the skill needs to be beer judges

2014 – National Catholic Sisters Week established to raise awareness of the contributions of Catholic sisters

2017 – ‘A Day Without a Woman’ strike in protest against policies that are sexist, racist, and heterocentric. Thousands of women across the globe in 400 cities and over 50 countries participated, particularly in Poland. There were also large demonstrations in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and many schools in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and Washington DC were closed because so many teachers took the day off. In  Rhode Island, the Providence municipal court was forced to close because so many women employees weren’t at work

2018 – On International Women’s Day, Mississippi’s House approved a bill seeking to bar women from having abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, the most restrictive such ban in the U.S. The state Senate had already passed the bill, so it now goes to Republican Governor Phil Bryant, who who has said he will sign the bill. “I want Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child,” Bryant said in a statement. Abortion-rights groups denounced the bill, and the state’s lone clinic that provides abortions said it would challenge it in court, noting that courts have never upheld a law barring abortions before the 20-week viability marker, where a fetus could possibly survive outside the uterus. “We certainly think this bill is unconstitutional,” said Katherine Klein, equality advocacy coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi. 

2019 – Immigration and Customs Enforcement is detaining 50,049 migrants, up 2,000 people from January 30 and up 6,000 from November 2018. The record-high figure surpasses the 40,520 migrant limit Congress set in the most recent ICE budget. The agency continues to expand detentions but has not explained how it has payed for the additional beds. ICE detentions of migrants since Donald Trump took office has  surpassed the record set during the Obama administration in 2016. Advocacy groups are sharply critical of the overcrowded conditions at the facilities. In related news, Judge Dana Sabraw of the U.S. District Court in Southern California has ordered the Trump administration to reunite thousands of families who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. The decision follows an earlier one which held the administration responsible for reuniting 2,800 families who were separated after June 26, 2018. But a watchdog report revealed that thousands of additional families may have been separated as far back as July 1, 2017. Judge Sabraw has now included those families in his ruling. Identifying the families will likely prove to be difficult, as the Trump administration didn’t set up an adequate tracking system while they carried out the separations. But Judge Sabraw said it “can be done.”


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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