ON THIS DAY: April 5, 2020

April 5th is

Caramel Day

Read A Road Map Day

Gold Star Spouses Day *

Deep Dish Pizza Day *

Go For Broke Day *

Star Trek First Contact Day *


MORE! Miet Smet, Sadao Munemori and Caitlin Moran, click



India – National Maritime Day
(1919 Maiden Voyage of the SS Loyalty)

China, Hong Kong. Macau & Taiwan –
Qing Ming Jie (Tomb Sweeping Day)

Nepal – Kathmandu Valley: Ghode Jatra
(ward off the demon Gurumapa)

North Korea – Chungmyung Day
(Tomb cleaning day)

Palestinian Territories – Children’s Day

South Korea – Sikmogil (Arbor Day)


On This Day in HISTORY

823 – Lothar I, son of Louis the Pious, is crowned King of Italy by Pope Paschal I

919 – Second Fatimid Invasion of Egypt (919-921) begins. Following the failure of the first attempted invasion (914-915), the Fatimid Caliphate’s heir-apparent, al-Qa’im bi-Amr Allah, again led the expeditionary force against the Abbasid Caliphate rulers of Egypt. After some early victories, including capturing Alexandria, al-Qa’im’s Fatimid navy was destroyed by the Abbasid fleet in March 920. The Abbasid navy took back Alexandria from the Fatamids by June 921. When the Abbasid army moved on al-Qa’im and his troops in late June, they were forced to flee west over the desert, leaving all their heavy equipment behind. Many of al-Qa’im’s men died on the arduous march home

1242 – Alexander Nevsky of Novgorod defeats Teutonic Knights in the Battle of the Ice on Lake Peipus, which is on the modern border between Estonia and Russia

1279 – Al’Nuwayri born, Egyptian Muslim historian and civil servant; noted for his 9,000 page encyclopedia of his time, Nihayat al-arab fī funūn al-adab (The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition), which contained information on zoology,  anatomy, history, chronology and many other topics, taking 19 years to complete

1472 – Bianca Maria Sforza born, eldest daughter of Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan. She was married by proxy to her first cousin Philibert I, Duke of Savoy, when she was only 21 months old, but he died when she was 10 years old. She was given little education, and spent most of her time doing needlework. In 1485, at age 13, she was engaged to Janus Corvinus, the illegitimate but only son of King Matthias of Hungary. They were married by proxy, but Matthias’ wife, Queen Beatrix, was so opposed to the marriage that it was never formalized. In 1494, Bianca was formally married to Maximilian I, King of the Holy Roman Empire, 13 years her senior and already twice widowed, but Maximilian wanted the marriage so he could assert his right to Imperial Overlordship of Milan, which set off the lengthy Italian Wars between the Holy Roman Empire and France. The marriage was not a success – Maximilian considered her too uneducated, talkative and careless of her dignity, and his dislike was compounded by several pregnancies which all ended in miscarriages or stillbirths. Even her genuine fondness for her stepchildren was criticized, because she sat down on the floor to play with them. On several occasions, he left her behind on his travels as security when he couldn’t pay for his rooms on journeys. He took the title of Holy Roman Emperor Elect in 1508, making her Queen of the Romans and Holy Roman Empress, but she died in 1510. Maximilian didn’t attend her funeral or even dedicate a gravestone to her

1566 – Two-hundred Dutch noblemen, led by Hendrick van Bréderode, force themselves into the presence of Margaret of Parma, Governor of the Netherlands for Spain, and present the Petition of Compromise, denouncing the Spanish Inquisition in the Seventeen Provinces; Hendrick van Bréderode is banished by the next Spanish Governor of the Netherlands, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, and dies in exile

1588 – Thomas Hobbes born, English philosopher and political theorist

1603 – James VI of Scotland, now the new King of England as James I, begins his journey from Edinburgh to London

1609 – Shimazu Tadatsune, a tozama daimyō (outsider feudal lord) of Satsuma, leads an expeditionary force to the Ryūkyū Kingdom (on the Ryūkyū islands, south of Kyushu) and subjugates the kingdom. But if China knew that the Ryūkyūs were controlled by the Japanese, trade would come to an end, so the Ryūkyūs are allowed to remain semi-independent, and weren’t formally annexed by Japan until after the Meiji Restoration (1868)

1614 – In the Virginia Colony, Pocahontas, 17-year-old daughter of Powhatan, paramount chief of Tsenacommacah, marries 29-year-old English settler and tobacco planter John Rolfe

1649 – Elihu Yale born in America, English merchant; benefactor of Yale University

1710 – The Statute of Anne, also known as the Copyright Act 1710, is given Royal assent. Before this statute, copying restrictions were authorised by the Licensing of the Press Act 1662. These restrictions were enforced by the Stationers’ Company, a guild of printers given the exclusive power to print—and the responsibility to censor—literary works. The censorship administered under the Licensing Act led to public protest; as the act had to be renewed at two-year intervals, authors and others sought to prevent its reauthorisation. In 1694, Parliament refused to renew the Licensing Act, ending the Stationers’ monopoly and press restrictions. After failing to get the Licensing Act renewed, the Stationers began emphasizing the benefit to authors of licensing, instead the benefits to publishers, which led to passage of this statute. Though the statute was vague and ambiguous, it was the first law in the world to provide for copyright, and the first to name the author, not the publisher, as the primary holder.

1732 – Jean-Honoré Fragonard born, French Rococo painter

1761 – Sybil Ludington born, at age 16, becomes an American Revolutionary War heroine, when she rides to warn American colonial forces the British approach on April 26, 1777, riding twice the distance of Paul Revere

1764 – British Parliament’s Sugar Act restricts importing molasses to America

1792 – U.S. President George Washington exercises the first presidential veto against an apportionment bill passed by Congress which exceeded constitutional guidelines for determining the number of delegates that should comprise the House of Representatives

1803 – First performance of Beethoven’s 2nd Symphony in D

1818 – In the Battle of Maipú, Chile’s independence movement, led by Bernardo O’Higgins and José de San Martín, win a decisive victory over Spain, leaving 2,000 Spaniards and 1,000 Chilean dead

1825 – Mary Jane Hawes Holmes born, American author of novels and short stories, sold 2 million books in her lifetime, second only to Harriet Beecher Stowe; Tempest and Sunshine; Rose Mather, a Tale of War; Darkness and Daylight

1827 – Joseph Lister born, English surgeon and scientist, a pioneer in antiseptic surgery. While working at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, he successfully introduced carbolic acid as an antiseptic to sterilize surgical instruments and to clean wounds. This reduced post-operative infections, but there were some problems with eye and respiratory irritation that helped to slow acceptance of his ideas. He moved to King’s College Hospital in London, where he developed a method of repairing kneecaps with metal wire, and was the first surgeon to use catgut ligatures, sutures, and rubber drains, and to develop an aortic tourniquet. Lister’s wife had been his uncredited research assistant, and after she died in 1893, he retired from practice. He also gave up study and writing, and fell into a depression. But he was still  Surgeon Extraordinary to Queen Victoria, and in 1900 he was appointed the Serjeant Surgeon to the Queen, the senior surgeon in the Medical Household of the Royal Household of the sovereign. After her death the following year, he was re-appointed as such to her successor, King Edward VII. In August 1902, the King came down with appendicitis two days before his scheduled coronation. Like all internal surgery at the time, the surgery needed by the King still posed an extremely high risk of death by post-operational infection, and surgeons did not dare operate without consulting Britain’s leading surgical authority. Lister obligingly advised them in the latest antiseptic surgical methods (which they followed to the letter), and the King survived, later telling Lister, “I know that if it had not been for you and your work, I wouldn’t be sitting here today.” Lister died in 1912 at the age of 84. The Lister Medal has been presented by the Royal College of Surgeons since 1920, honoring distinguished contributions to surgical science

1834 –Prentice Mulford born, American literary humorist, writer and editor for several newspapers in San Francisco (1856-1872), and a pivotal figure in the development of the New Thought Movement, which inspired many of the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy’s Church of Christ, Scientist

1837 – Algernon Charles Swinburne born, English poet, novelist and playwright; noted for his poetry collections, Poems and Ballads and Songs Before Sunrise, and his contributions to the Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica

– from Before Parting, by Algernon Charles Swinburne

1856 – Booker T. Washington born, educator and reformer, important spokesperson for black Americans at the turn of the 20th century

1858 – W. Atlee Burpee born, founds the world’s largest mail-order seed company

1873 – Nellie Neilson born, American historian, first woman elected a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America (1926), first woman to serve as president of the American Historical Association

1881 – Edwing Houston and Elihu Thomson patent a centrifugal separator for separating milk

1887 – Hedwig Kohn born, German physicist, one of only three women to obtain habilitation, the qualification for teaching physics at the university level in Germany before WWII. She was trained by Otto Lummer in the quantitative determination of the intensity of light, both from broad-band sources, such as a “black body,” and from the discrete emission lines of atoms and molecules. She further developed such methods and devised ways of extracting information from intensity measurements and from emission line shapes. Kohn was dismissed from her position because of her Jewish heritage when the Nazis barred Jews from all government service in 1933. She survived by fulfilling contracts for applied research in the illumination  industry until 1938, when she was left without work or financial resources. Through friends like Lise Meitner, the American Association of University Women and others, she was offered temporary positions at three women’s colleges in the U.S., but her first visa in 1939 for travel to Britain was canceled because of the war. She next obtained a visa for travel to Sweden, and immediately went there in 1940. Finally, she was able to travel to America from Sweden, by a circuitous route through Berlin, Stockholm, Leningrad, Moscow, Vladivostok, Yokohama, San Francisco, and Chicago before  reaching Greensboro, where she took up a position at the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina for a year and a half. In 1942, she began teaching at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she started a research laboratory for flame spectroscopy. She retired from Wellesley in 1952, but accepted an offer from Hertha Sponer, professor of physics at Duke University, to be a research associate. She set up a lab at Duke where she continued research on flame spectroscopy until her death in 1964. Some of her articles published in scientific journals were still being cited in the 1980s

1901 – Hattie Elizabeth Alexander born, American pediatrician and microbiologist, developed treatments for Haemophilus influenzae (influenzal meningitis), reducing the mortality rate from nearly 100 percent to less than 25 percent; among the first scientists to identify antibiotic resistance, which she correctly concluded was caused by random genetic mutations in DNA; first woman president of the American Pediatric Society

1904 – Richard Eberhart born, American poet who won the 1966 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the 1977 National Book Award for Poetry. Noted for Collected Poems, 1930-1976, and The Long Reach

1907 – Hester Elizabeth Cornelius born, South African national organiser and branch secretary of the Garment Workers’ Union (GWU). Cornelius played an important role in the defence of the union by organising cultural activities, which used Afrikaner symbols and experiences to convey class struggle

1908 – Jagjivan Ram born, called Babuji, Indian independence activist, politician, and founding member of the All-India Depressed Classes League, an organisation dedicated to attaining equality for the Dalits (“untouchables”)

1908 – Bette Davis born, American actor and movie star; winner of two Academy Awards for Best Actress for Dangerous and Jezebel, and nominated as best actress for eight other performances; sold $2 million worth of WWII war bonds in two days, was the only white member of an acting troupe that performed for black regiments, and co-founded the Hollywood Canteen, a social club for WWII military personnel; first woman President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

1913 – Ruth Smith Nielson born, Faroese artist who lived some years in Denmark, then returned to the Faroe Islands; her work is fits the transition in art from Impressionism to realism

Self-Portrait, Ruth Smith Nielson – 1955

1916 – A. P. Mda, also called Ashby Peter Solomzi, born, South African teacher, lawyer and anti-apartheid activist; co-founder of the African National Youth League and later the Pan Africanist Congress

1922 – American Birth Control League, founded by Margaret Sanger and the forerunner of Planned Parenthood, is incorporated in New York

1925 – Janet D. Rowley born, American geneticist who was the first scientist to identify a chromosomal translocation as the cause of leukemia and some other cancers; she advanced in the University of Chicago’s Department of Hematology from research associate in 1963 to full professor by 1977, improving existing methods of staining to make identifying chromosomes easier; her findings of the link between abnormal chromosomes and cancer was met with some initial resistance, but has become immensely influential, leading to over 70 translocations being identified across different cancers; recipient in 1998 of both the Lasker Award and the National Medal of Science, and in 2009, the Presidential Medal of Freedom

1933 – Barbara Holland born, American author who wrote in defense of modern-day vices like cursing, drinking alcohol, eating fatty foods and smoking cigarettes in essays collected in books like Pleasures: In Defense of Naps, Bacon, Martinis, Profanity, and Other Indulgences – she died of lung cancer at age 77. Her response to Virginia Woolf’s famous quote, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction” was “No, Mrs. Woolf.” She must have “A job, Mrs. Woolf.”

1938 – Nancy Holt born, American sculptor, installation artist and creator of monumental land art; notable for Sun Tunnels in the Utah desert, Dark Star Park in Rosslyn, Virginia, and Solar Web in Santa Monica,California

Sun Tunnels, Great basin Desert, Utah – by Nancy Holt

1939 – Membership in the Hitler Youth becomes obligatory in Germany

1943 – Ike Sewell invents Deep Dish Pizza in Chicago IL

1943 – Miet Smet born, Belgian Christian Democratic and Flemish Party (CD&V) politician, founder and first president of its women’s organization, Vrouw en Maatschappij  (Woman and Society); appointed a Minister of State in 2002; Member of the European Parliament (1999-2004); Flemish Parliament member since 2004, and the Belgian Parliament (2007-2010); advocate for improving women’s economic position and their participation in policy-making, and opposing violence against women

1944 – Willeke van Ammelrooy born, Dutch actress and director, noted for her performance in the title role of the feminist film, Antonia’s Line, which won the 1996 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

1945 – Go For Broke Day * honors U.S. Army Private 1st Class Sadao Munemori, who died in Italy on this day by throwing himself on a grenade to save members of his unit, the first Japanese American to be awarded the Medal of Honor; he was one of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, mostly Japanese-American volunteers, the most decorated infantry regiment in U.S. Army history. Their motto was “Go for Broke”

1946 – First performance of American composer Charles Ives’ 3rd Symphony

1949 – Judith Arlene Resnik born, American engineer and NASA astronaut; she died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster January 28, 1986

1950 – Ann C. Crispin born, American science fiction writer; noted for her Young Adult series Starbridge; co-founder with Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware, a watchdog group of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, which issues warnings about scam agents, editors and publishers, and has assisted law enforcement in tracking and shutting down such scams. Crispin died in 2013 after a prolonged battle with cancer

Ann C. Crispin, left and Victoria Strauss

1953 – Jomo Kenyatta, an anti-colonial activist, is accused being the leader of the Mau Mau in Kenya. In spite of the questionable testimony against him, on this day he is convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Kenyatta’s arrest came shortly after the Lari massacre in March, 1953, where almost 100 people were killed and scores of others injured in an attack by Mau Mau freedom fighters. Kenyatta was imprisoned at Lokitaung until 1959. His treatment by his jailers was harsh and sadistic, but efforts by the British press to visit the prison were denied by colonial officials, and inquiries by the British government never reached the level of an investigation. Then instead of being freed, he was exiled to the isolated desert outpost of Lodwar under house arrest until 1961. When he was finally released, Kenyatta became President of the Kenya African Union, and led the party to victory in the 1963 general election. He served as the first Prime Minister of Kenya (1963-1964), and then the nation’s first President (1964-1978)

1954 – Elvis Presley records his debut single “That’s All Right”

1962 – Herb Gardner’s play A Thousand Clowns premieres on Broadway, starring Jason Robards, Jr. and Sandy Dennis

1962 – Sara Danius born, Swedish professor of aesthetics at Södertörn University, literary critic, and author of studies of Marcel Proust, Gustave Flaubert, and James Joyce, and the relationship between literature and society. She was elected to the Swedish Academy in 2013, and became permanent secretary in 2015, but resigned the position in 2018, and later from the Academy amid accusations that her handling of the Jean-Claude Arnault scandal was weak. Arnault was in line to win the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature when charges of sexual assault were made against him by eighteen women. He was tried and convicted of one count of rape in October 2018; when he appealed the verdict, the Svea Court of Appeal found him guilty of two counts of rape, increased his sentence to two years and six months in prison, and added 100,000 kronor (almost $11,000 USD) to his original fine of 115,000 kronor. There was no Nobel Prize in Literature given in 2018, and several other members of the Academy also resigned

1963 – Susuga Malietoa Tanumafili II becomes chief of Western Samoa

1968 – Simon & Garfunkel’s single “Mrs. Robinson” is released

1969 – The first of two days of massive anti-war demonstrations across the U.S., in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and other cities 

1975 – Sarah Baldock born, English organist, choral conductor and music scholar; she was the second woman to be appointed to a senior music post at a Church of England cathedral, in 2008 when she became Organist and Master of the Choristers at  Chichester Cathedral (2008-2014)

1975 – Caitlin Moran born, English journalist, author and broadcaster; she writes three columns a week for The Times of London, and was named 2012 Columnist of the Year by the London Press Club; author of How to Be a Woman, which won the 2011 Galaxy National Book of the Year Award. She is a supporter of the British feminist political party, the Women’s Equality Party

1976 –Tom Stoppard’s play Dirty Linen premieres in London

1992 – Peace protesters Suada Dilberovic and Olga Sučić are killed on the Vrbanja Bridge in Sarajevo, becoming the first casualties of the Bosnian War; there is a dispute over who fired the shots

1993 – Construction begins on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland OH

1996 – Heavy fighting in Mogadishi, the capital of Somalia, leaves 17 dead

2012 – The suicide of a 77-year-old pensioner during morning rush hour outside the Greek Parliament in Athens sparks more protests over additional proposed austerity measures.

2012 – Gold Star Spouses Day * is designated by a U.S. Senate resolution to honor the husbands and wives of fallen soldiers

2016 – San Francisco CA becomes the first U.S. city to mandate paid parental leave

2018 – The number of women running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives sets a new record. The surge has been anticipated since the Women’s March following Trump’s 2017 inauguration. The release of Virginia’s candidate list brought the number of women running as Democrats or Republicans to 309 nationwide, beating the previous record of 298 set in 2012. Most of the candidates are Democrats vowing to fight the policies of President Trump and congressional Republicans. Some of the candidates are running in districts that have never been represented by a woman. “It’s about time,” said Kara Eastman, one of two Democrats running to challenge a Republican incumbent in Nebraska

2063 – Star Trek First Contact Day *: Zefram Cochrane takes the first flight of an Earthling to exceed Warp 1, making first contact with an alien race, the Vulcans


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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