ON THIS DAY: April 11, 2020

April 11th is

Barbershop Quartet Day

Cheese Fondue Day

U.S. Submarine Day *

International “Louie Louie” Day *

World Parkinson’s Disease Day *


MORE! Christopher Smart, Misuzu Kaneko and Leo Rosten, click



Christianity – Holy Saturday

Costa Rica – Juan Santamaria Day
(Second Battle of Rivas hero)

India – Safe Motherhood Day


On This Day in HISTORY

1241 – First Mongol invasion of Hungary, Battle of Mohi: Mongol ruler Batu Khan, founder of the Golden Horde, defeats and destroys an allied army under Béla IV, King of Hungary and Croatia. The Mongols then kill somewhere between 15% and 25% of the population, and lay waste to almost half of the inhabited places in the kingdom

1471 – Wars of the Roses: King Edward IV of the House of York seizes London from King Henry VI, and takes back the throne

1564 – English involvement in France’s First War of Religion ends with the Peace of Troyes; the French pay 120,000 gold crowns in exchange for the British ending their claim to Le Havre, and the two countries agree to freedom of commerce between them

1689 – Coronation of William III and Mary II as joint sovereigns of England, Scotland and Ireland

1713 – The Treaty of Utrecht is signed, ending the War of Spanish Succession

1722 – Christopher Smart born, English actor, playwright and poet

1727 – Premiere of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St Matthew Passion at the St. Thomas Church, Leipzig

1755 – James Parkinson born, English surgeon, apothecary and political activist for social reform and universal male suffrage; An Essay on the Shaking Palsy describing “paralysis agitans” which is named for him

1798 – Macedonio Melloni born, Italian physicist, best known for his demonstration that radiant heat shares similar physical properties with light

1803 – Jon Stevens patents a twin-screw propeller steamboat

1814 – Napoleon Bonaparte abdicates as emperor of France and exiled to Elba

1827 – Jyotirao Phule born, Indian anti-caste social reformer and writer; activist for eradication of untouchability and the caste system, and for women’s emancipation; a founding member of the Satyashodhak Samaj (Society of Seekers of Truth); he and his wife, Savitribai Phule, were pioneers of women’s education in India, opening one of the first indigenous schools for girls in India

1857 – John Davidson born, Scottish poet and playwright

1862 – Charles Evans Hughes born, U.S Supreme Court Chief Justice

1864 – Johanna Elberskirchen born, German feminist author and activist for rights of women, gays and lesbians, and blue-collar workers; publishes books on women’s health and sexuality; her last public appearance is at the 1930 World League for Sexual Reform conference in Vienna; in 1933, the Nazi Party comes to power and her activities end; when she dies in 1943, there is no public record of her funeral

1865 – Mary White Ovington born, American suffragist, journalist, daughter of abolitionists; co-founder and leader of the Greenpoint Settlement in Brooklyn (1896-1904); in 1908, Ovington, with William English Walling and Dr. Henry Moskowitz, calls for a national conference on the civil and political rights of black Americans, to be held on Lincoln’s birthday in 1909; this conference is where the NAACP comes into being

1868 – Former Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu surrenders Edo Castle to Imperial forces, marking the end of the Tokugawa shogunate

1876 – The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is organized

1881 – Spelman College is founded in Atlanta GA as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, an institute of higher education for African-American women

1888 – The Concertgebouw (concert hall) in Amsterdam is inaugurated

1893 – Dean Acheson born, U.S. Secretary of State 1949-1953, key player in the development of the Truman Doctrine and the creation of NATO

1900 – U.S. Submarine Day * – the U.S. Navy purchases a submarine, renaming it the USS Holland, its first commissioned submarine

1903 – Misuzu Kaneko born, Japanese children’s poet and songwriter; her widowed mother ran a bookstore and insisted on her daughter continuing her education until the age of 17, even though most girls of the time only went to school up to the sixth grade. At the bookstore, Kaneko discovered some magazines for children were soliciting stories and verse, and sent in several of her poems. Five of them were published in 1923. Over the next 5 years, 51 of her poems were published. But her marriage to a clerk in the bookstore was not a happy one. He was unfaithful, contracted venereal disease which he passed on to her, and he forced her to stop writing. When she finally divorced him, Japanese law automatically gave indisputable custody of their daughter to the father. She sank into despair. After writing a letter to her former husband begging him to let her mother raise the girl, she committed suicide just before her 27th birthday in 1930. Ultimately, her mother did raise her daughter. Her work fell into obscurity during WWII. In 1966, Setsuo Yazaki, an aspiring poet, found her poem ‘Big Catch’ in an out-of-print book, and spent the next 16 years trying to track down the poet. In 1982, he finally got in touch with Kaneko’s younger brother, who still had the diaries in which his sister had written her poems. The entire collection was published in a six volume anthology. In 2016, an English-language translation of selected poems, Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko, was published

1905 – Wanting her library to extend its services county-wide, American librarian Mary Lemist Titcomb of the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown, Maryland, first sends boxes of books to general stores and post offices in small towns to create tiny lending libraries, than adds a Library Wagon (the first U.S. ‘bookmobile’) driven by the library’s janitor, Joshua Thomas, to increase outreach in rural areas

1905 – Construction of the Victoria Falls Bridge crossing the Zambesi River is completed after 14 months of construction, connecting what were then Northern and Southern Rhodesia, now Zambia and Zimbabwe. The bridge carries road, rail and foot traffic. The region has become a popular tourist destination

1908 – Jane Bolin born, American lawyer, judge and activist for children’s rights and education. She was the first African-American woman to graduate from Yale Law School, to join the New York City Bar Association and the NYC Law Department, as well as first African-American woman judge in the U.S. when she was appointed to the NYC Domestic Relations Court bench in 1939. For the next 20 years, Bolin was the only black woman judge in the U.S. She was required to retire at age 70 in 1979. She was a legal advisor to the National Council of Negro Women, and served on the boards of the NAACP, the National Urban League, and the Child Welfare League.

1908 – Leo Rosten born in Poland, American author and social scientist

1909 – The city of Tel Aviv is founded

1913 – The pavilion at Nevill Ground, a cricket venue in Kent, England, is burned down by militant suffragettes, who leave behind suffragette literature to claim responsibility, the ground was chosen as a target because of their no-admittance to women policy

1914 –Dorothy Lewis Bernstein born, American mathematician who worked centered on  applied mathematics, statistics, and computer programming; she also did research on the Laplace transform; first woman to be elected president of the Mathematics Association of America (1979-1980)

1914 – Sally Hoyt Spofford born, American ornithologist, conservationist and writer; noted for her work at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology (1955-1969). After retirement, she and her husband, ornithologist Walter Spofford, moved to Portal, Arizona, where their ranch attracted up to 6,000 bird watchers a year

1916 – Annie Besant, British feminist, activist and Fabian Society member; establishes the Home Rule League in India, campaigning for democracy and British Empire dominion status

1921 – Emir Abdullah establishes the first centralized government in the newly created British protectorate of Transjordan; he becomes King of Jordan in 1946

1921 – Iowa becomes the first U.S. state to impose a cigarette tax

1925 – Viola Gregg Liuzzo born, American Unitarian Universalist civil rights activist and member of the NAACP, who answers the call of Martin Luther King Jr., coming to Selma Alabama after Bloody Sunday in 1965, and marchs from Selma to Montgomery, helping with coordination and logistics. Driving back from taking other activists to the Montgomery airport, she is murdered, shot to death by Ku Klux Klansmen firing from a car that pulled alongside, which was also carrying FBI informant Gary Thomas Rowe. He testifies against the shooters, leading to their conviction. Rowe is given a pass by the FBI for actively participating in violence, sometimes even inciting it, against Civil Rights activists from 1961 until 1965, when he goes into the witness protection program. The FBI launches a smear campaign against Liuzzo after her death, falsely claiming she was a Communist Party member, a heroin addict, and had abandoned her children to have sex with black men in the Civil Rights movement, as part of their attempt to discredit Dr. King and the whole Civil Rights Movement

1928 – Ethel S. Kennedy born, American human rights campaigner; after the assassination of her husband, Robert Kennedy, she founded the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, a non-profit dedicated to advancing human rights through litigation, advocacy and education

 Ethel Kennedy with Coretta Scott King at Mother’s Day March 1968

1935 – Richard Berry born, American singer-songwriter; International “Louie Louie” Day * is launched by fans in honor of his song on Berry’s birthday in 2003

1937 – Jill Gascoine born, British novelist, theatrical and television actress; noted for her novels Addicted, Lilian and Just Like a Woman. In 2013, she announced at a Beverly Hills fundraiser for Alzheimer’s that she had been diagnosed with the disease. Her husband, actor Alfred Molina, reported in 2016 that she was in a very advanced stage of Alzheimer’s and was in a specialist care home

1938 – Reatha Clark King born, African-American chemist and corporate executive; Executive Director/Board Chair of the General Mills Foundation (1988-2003); Professor of Chemistry at City University of New York (1968-1977); research chemist for the National Bureau of Standards (1962-1967), the first black woman chemist hired by the agency

1941 – Ellen Goodman born, American journalist, syndicated columnist and author; won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary; co-founder and director of The Conversation Project, which helps people talk to their loved ones about what kind of end-of-life care they want before the time when decisions must be made

1945 – American soldiers liberate Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany

1951 – The Stone of Scone, the stone upon which Scottish monarchs were traditionally crowned, is found on the site of the altar at the ruins of Arbroath Abbey; it was taken by Scottish nationalist students from Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day in 1950. It had been at Westminster since 1296, taken by Edward I as spoils of war, and kept in spite of the Treaty of Northampton in 1328, in which England agreed to return it to Scotland. In 1996, it was transported to Edinburgh Castle, arriving on St. Andrew’s Day, and is now in the Crown Room alongside the crown jewels of  Scotland. It will be briefly returned for future coronation ceremonies to Westminster Abbey

1951 – President Truman relieves General Douglas MacArthur “with deep regret” of all his Far East commands, after he publicly challenged the President’s foreign policies

1952 – Indira Samarasekera born in Sri Lanka, Canadian Mechanical Engineer; President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Alberta (2005-2015); member since 2016 of the Canadian Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments

1957 – Singapore is granted internal self-rule by Britain

1959 – Ana Maria Polo born in Cuba, American lawyer and arbitrator on Casa Cerrado (Case Closed), broadcast by Telemundo, which became the first Spanish-language program nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in 2010; a breast cancer survivor, she is a frequent speaker at fundraisers for the cause

1961 – The trial of Adolf Eichmann, for war crimes committed during WWII, begins in Jerusalem

1968 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing

1968 – President Johnson also signs the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, which prohibits tribes from making or enforcing laws that violate the Bill of Rights, but specifically excludes the Fifth Amendment individual rights of members, under specific internal tribal provisions

1970 – NASA’s Apollo 13 is launched

1979 – Ugandan dictator Idi Amin is deposed

1986 – American sailor Dodge Morgan becomes the third person and first American to sail solo non-stop around the world, and set a new speed record for eastward sailing of 150 days. His sailboat, American Promise, was designed by the 1974 America’s Cup-winning skipper Ted Hood. Cameras aboard his vessel recorded the voyage, and were edited into the documentary Around Alone

1999 – A team of scientists announce that the bones of an ancient woman, who lived on the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California, could be the oldest human remains ever found in North America. The two thigh bones were found 40 years earlier on Santa Rosa Island, but had remained carefully stored at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History until researchers called for them to be tested using sophisticated DNA and radiocarbon tests which were unavailable at the time the bones were discovered. The tests showed that the bones are probably 13,000 years old, about 1,400 years earlier than the previous estimate of their age, making them slightly younger than other ancient bones found in Montana, Idaho and Texas. The scientists said further tests will be done to confirm the new findings

2012 – New polls show Republican Senator Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren “running neck-and-neck” in the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race. In one telephone survey, Warren polled at 46 percent and Brown at 45 percent. In November, 2012, Warren would win with 53.7% of the vote, compared to Brown’s 46.2%

2018 –Phil Scott, Republican Governor of Vermont, signed a gun law raising the minimum age for gun buyers from 18 to 21 and banning high-capacity magazines. The legislation also makes it easier to take guns away from people deemed to pose a threat. The law contains the first significant restrictions on gun owners in the largely rural state. Some demonstrators outside the Statehouse shouted “thank you,” while others, some clad in hunter orange, yelled, “Traitor!” Scott called for gun restrictions after authorities arrested a student on February 15, the day after the school massacre in Parkland, Florida, on charges that he was planning a school shooting. “This is not the time to do what’s easy,” Scott said. “It’s time to do what’s right.” 



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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