ON THIS DAY: April 19, 2020

April 19th is

Dutch-American Friendship Day *

Bicycle Day *

Rice Ball Day

John Parker Day *

National Garlic Day

Hanging Out Day *

Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day *


MORE! Sarah Bagley, Peter de Noronha and Rawya Ateya, click



Brazil – Dia do Indio
(Indigenous peoples day)

Eswatini – King Msati III’s Birthday
(Eswatini was formerly Swaziland)

Poland – Holocaust Remembrance Day
(Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Anniversary)

Uruguay – Landing of the 33 Patriots
(return from exile to launch independence war)

Venezuela – 1810 Declaration Day
 (begins independence movement)


On This Day in HISTORY

AD 65 – Roman freedman Milichus betrays Piso’s plot to kill the Emperor Nero and all the conspirators are arrested

Emperor Nero

797 – Irene of Athens, Byzantine empress consort of Leo IV until his death in 780, when she became regent for her nine-year-old son, Constantine VI, until he reached his majority in 790. Constantine made himself very unpopular by marrying his mistress, and there were several military defeats during his rule as well. In 797, Irene seized power, and had Constantine blinded and imprisoned; the date of his death was not recorded, but he probably died of his injuries soon after being deposed. She is credited with overturning the iconclastic (elimination of religious icons) rules under her husband.  Though Irene took the title of Empress, Constantine was the last Eastern ruler to be acknowledged as Roman Emperor by the West and by the papacy. Pope Leo II proclaimed Charlemagne Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire on Christmas Day, 800, declaring that a woman could not rule, so the throne of the Roman Empire was actually vacant. A revolt in 802 overthrew Irene and exiled her to the island of Lesbos, where she died in 803. She was supplanted on the throne by Nikephoros I

Irene of Athens, Byzantine empress – at the Venice Pala de Oro

1506 – The Lisbon massacre begins; a crowd of Catholics in the Portuguese capital tortured, killed, and burnt at the stake over 500 people they accused of being Jews, who were blamed for the drought, famine and the recurrence of plague in the region. This was thirty years before the establishment of the Inquisition in Portugal and nine years after Jews were forced to convert to Roman Catholicism or be expelled in 1497, during the reign of King Manuel I

1539 – After the Second Diet of Speyer bans Lutheranism, a group of German rulers, (Fürst) and independent cities protest the reinstatement of the Edict of Worms

1666 – Sarah Kemble Knight born, colonial American teacher and businesswoman, noted for her diary of her journey from Boston to New York City in 1704-1705

1770 – James Cook sights the west coast of Australia

1775 – John Parker Day * – Captain John Parker of the Lexington MA militia gathers his band of farmers and townsfolk on the Lexington Common to confront British regulars under Colonel Francis Smith, who are marching to Concord, about six-and-a-half miles further up the road, to search for weapons and supplies rumored to be hidden there. No one knows who fired the first shot, but eight of Parker’s militiamen are killed, and ten wounded. No British soldiers are hit by militia shots. Later that day, Parker leads his men in ambushing the British as they return from Concord, and they were also engaged during the British Siege of Boston. Five months after “the shot heard round the world,” John Parker dies of consumption

1782 – Dutch-American Friendship Day * –  John Adams is recognized as Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America by the States General in the Hague, securing the Dutch Republic’s recognition of the United States as an independent government; the house which Adams had purchased in The Hague becomes the first American embassy

John Adams, by Gilbert Stuart

1806 – Sarah Bagley born, American pioneering labor organizer; advocate for a 10-hour workday for mill workers in Lowell Massachusetts, and expanded her efforts to women’s rights, especially after she discovered when hired as a telegrapher that she was paid one-third less than the man she replaced; also campaigned for the abolition of slavery, prison reform, and health care for the poor

1831 – Mary Louise Booth born, American author, translator, and editor of Harper’s Bazaar

1832 – Jose Echegaray y Eizaguirre born, Spanish mathematician, statesman, and dramatist, co-winner of 1904 Nobel Prize in Literature

1835 – Julius Krohn born, Finnish folk poetry researcher, professor of Finnish literature, poet and journalist; he was a pioneer in the development of the historic-geographic method for the study of folklore

1872 – Alice Salomon born, German pioneer in social work as an academic discipline, and social reformer. In 1900 she joined the Bund Deutscher Frauenvereine (BDF – Federation of German Women’s Associations), and served as deputy chair until 1920. The organization supported destitute, abandoned, or single mothers and helped prevent their children being neglected.  From 1902 to 1906 she studied economics at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin, and earned a doctorate in 1908 with a dissertation entitled Die Ursachen der ungleichen Entlohnung von Männer- und Frauenarbeit (roughly translated as Causes of Pay Inequality Between Men and Women). She also founded in 1908 a Soziale Frauenschule (Social Women’s School)  in Berlin, which was renamed the Alice Salomon Academy in 1932. In May of 1933, Salomon closed the academy to evade an imminent Gestapo raid. In 1939, she was interrogated by the Gestapo. Salomon’s Jewish origins, her Christian humanist ideas, and her pacifism were all held against her, but her international reputation may have saved her from a worse fate than being stripped of her citizenship, and her two doctorates, then expelled from Germany. However, it ended her work running a relief committee for Jewish emigrants leaving the country. She went to New York City. In 1944, she became an American citizenship, and a year later, she was made honorary President of the International Women’s Federation and the International Association of Schools of Social Work. She died in New York in 1948

1877 – Ole Evinrude born in Norway, American inventor of the outboard motor

1891 – Françoise Rosay born, French actress and opera singer, pioneer in French cinema who appeared in over 100 films

1892 – Germaine Tailleferre, French composer, only woman member of a group of composers known as Les Six

1893 – Jessie Stephen born, British suffragette, labour activist and local councilor. At age 15, she became a domestic worker, and soon formed the Scottish Federation of Domestic Workers. At age 16, she joined the Women’s Social and Political Union, and on her weekly half-day off, she would go around Glasgow placing incendiary devices in postal pillar boxes. She joined the Independent Labour Party, and was elected Labour borough councilor for Bermondsey in 1922.  When she moved to Bristol in the 1930s, she joined the National Union of Clerks, made public speeches, gave advice on birth control, and was elected to the Bristol City Council. In 1952, she became the first woman president of the Bristol Trades Council.

1894 – Elizabeth Dilling born, Nazi sympathizer and anti-communist; in the 1930s, she visited Germany several times, and began attending Nazi Party meetings. The German government paid some of the expenses for her trips to party meetings.  In 1932, she co-founded the Paul Reveres, an anti-communist organization, which died out after she had a dispute with her co-founder and she left the group. In 1934, she published The Red Network—A Who’s Who and Handbook of Radicalism for Patriots, a catalog of over 1,300 “suspected” communists and their sympathizers, which included Albert Einstein and Chiang Kai-shek, and over 460 organizations described as “Communist, Radical Pacifist, Anarchist, Socialist, I.W.W. controlled” (I.W.W. = International Workers of the World, a socialist labor union).  Copies of the book were bought by the FBI, the Pinkerton Detective Agency, the New York Police Department, and the Chicago Police Department. Dilling publicly accused University of Chicago President Robert Maynard Hutchins, educational reformer John Dewey, social reformer and activist Jane Addams, and Republican Senator William Borah of being communist sympathizers in 1935, and called on the audience “to kill every communist.”  During the 1936 Presidential campaign, she called the New Deal “FDR’s Jew Deal.” In 1939, she testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee. She was the best-known leader of the so-called “Mothers’ Movement,” an isolationist campaign to pressure Congress to refrain from helping the Allies, which also opposed the Lend-Lease program. Dilling was among 28 isolationists charged with sedition in 1942, but the charges were dropped in 1946. She was a frequent speaker at meetings of America First, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the American Legion

1897 – Peter de Noronha born, Indian civil servant, civil engineer, businessman, author and philanthropist; helped save the lives of dozens of people trapped during the great Kanpur floods of 1950, and gave medical aid to the injured. A devout Roman Catholic, he was the first Indian to become a Roman Catholic Legion envoy from the late 1930s until 1962, when his health declined, and was knighted by Pope Paul VI in 1965 for his services to the Roman Catholic Church

1900 – Richard Hughes born, English novelist, playwright and poet; best known for his book, A High Wind in Jamaica

1903 – Eliot Ness born, American crime fighter,  U.S. Treasury agent during Prohibition; headed the “Untouchables” squad in Chicago

1905 – Sir Thomas Hopkinson born, English pioneering photojournalist

1921 – Anna Lee Aldred born, first American woman to receive a jockey’s license, in 1939 at age 18, after officials at the Agua Caliente Racetrack in Mexico couldn’t find any rules that barred women jockeys; she won many races at state and county fairs, but after six years, she had grown too tall for a jockey, so she switched to trick riding in rodeos; inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1983

1926 – Rawya Ateya born, Egyptian politician, educator and journalist; first female parliamentarian in the Arab world when she is elected to the National Assembly of Egypt in 1957

Rawya Ateya (left) campaigning in 1957

1927 – Actress and playwright Mae West is sentenced to 10 days in jail on obscenity charges for her play Sex

1933 – The U.S goes off the gold standard

1943 – Bicycle Day * – Three days after Dr. Albert Hoffman accidentally touches his hand to his mouth while synthesizing LSD and discovers its psychedelic effects; on this day, Hoffman takes a larger dose deliberately, then experiences the first “acid trip” riding his bicycle home

1943 – Margo MacDonald born, Scottish Independent politician (formerly Scottish National Party), broadcaster and teacher; Member of Parliament for Glasgow Govan (1973-1974); Depute Leader of the Scottish National Party (1974-1979); Member of the Scottish Parliament for Lothian(1999-2014). She left the Scottish National Party in 1982, protesting the party’s proscription of the 79 Group, the socialist faction within the party of which she was a leading member. She died on 2014, 17 years after she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease

1945 – The musical Carousel opens on Broadway

1946 – Duygu Asena born, Turkish journalist, editor, best-selling author and women’s rights activist.  Her degree from Istanbul University was in Pedagogy, and she taught for two years, but began contributing to the large Turkish newspaper Hürriyet in 1972, then worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency (1976-1978). She became editor-in-chief of a magazine publishing house in 1978, where she developed several women’s magazines, including Kadınca (1978-1998), the first popular feminist magazine in the Republic of Turkey, and a significant media outlet for the Turkish feminist movement. She was a frequent contributor, writing about marriage, inequality, and violence against women. Her first book, Kadının Adı Yok (The Woman Has No Name), published in 1987, was a sharp critique of the oppression of Turkish women and marriage without love. It became a top seller, but was banned in 1998 by the Turkish government, which declared it obscene, dangerous for children and undermining marriage. After two years of lawsuits, the ban was lifted. Her second book, Aslında Aşk da Yok (Actually, There is Also No Love) was another bestseller in Turkey, and was translated into several other languages. All the rest of her books were bestsellers, including Kahramanlar Hep Erkek (Heroes Are Always Men); and her last book, Paramparça (Torn In Pieces). She died in 2006, after two years battling brain cancer

1950 – Dame Julia Cleverdon born, British charity executive; Chief Executive of Business in the Community (1992-2008), one of the Princes’ Charities of Charles, Prince of Wales, after being Director of the Education and Inner City Division of The Industrial Society (renamed the Work Foundation in 2002), a nonprofit which provides advice, consultancy and research to business organizations and government on the quality of working life and future of work issues

1951 – Douglas MacArthur quotes an old ballad in his farewell to U.S. Congress:  “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away”

1953 – Ruby Wax born, American comedian, actress, author and mental health campaigner who has lived in England since the 1970s. Noted for starring as a comic interviewer in The Full Wax (1991-1994) and Ruby Wax Meets . . . (1994-1998), and as script editor for the BBC hit series Absolutely Fabulous (1992-2012). Her memoir, How Do You Want Me?, was a Sunday Times best-seller. She has appeared in several British Comic Relief productions, which raise millions of pounds for charitable causes

1956 – Dame Anne Glover born, Scottish molecular biologist and academic; Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission (2012- 2014), the first ever appointed to the position from Scotland, she expanded the position’s role, becoming an influential voice for the importance of science policy based on evidence

1959 – Jane Campbell born, Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, life peer and crossbencher in the House of Lords, and disability reform campaigner; Commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC – 2006–2008), and Chair of the Disability Committee which lead on the EHRC Disability Programme. She was born with spinal muscular atrophy, and must use an electrically powered wheelchair to move around, a computer on which she types with one finger, a ventiliator to help her breathe at night, and a rotation of careers to assist her. She attended a segregated school for disabled children, with little focus on academic achievement, leaving the school at age 16 with no qualifications, and poor reading and writing skills. She enrolled at Hereward College, a special college for disabled students where there was an academic environment, and earned six O-levels (ordinary competency in subject) and three A-levels (advanced, pre-university level in subject) within three years, and went on to Hatfield Polytechnic, and then got an MA at the University of Sussex with a dissertation on Syliva Pankhurst. In 1996, she co-founded and was director of the National Centre for Independent Living (NCIL) for the organization’s first six years, which a was leading pioneer in independent living, civil rights, peer counselling  and equal opportunities for the disabled. She also wrote Disability Politics in 1996. In 2002, she was appointed by the Minister for Social Care to Chair the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)

1961 – The Federal Communications Commission authorizes regular FM stereo broadcasting, effective June 1, 1961

1964 – “Kim” Kimberly Weaver born, American astrophysics astronomer and expert in x-ray astronomy; Weaver has worked on several projects for NASA, and is frequently seen on television answering questions about astronomy.  Author of The Violent Universe: Joyrides Through the X-Ray Cosmos. She has been honored with several awards, including the 2009 Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement Award in Outreach

1968 – Ashley Judd born, American actress and political activist; best known for her performances in the films Kiss the Girls, Double Jeopardy, De-Lovely and the Divergent series, and in the television series Missing.  In 2010, she earned a one-year mid-career master’s degree in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She is an active supporter of the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a Global Ambassador for YouthAIDS, and made trips to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the Enough Project, campaigning to end genocide and crimes against humanity, visiting hospitalized victims of sexual violence and camps for displaced persons. Judd has campaigned extensively for Democratic candidates in local and national races, including Barak Obama. She took part in the 2017 Women’s March, reading “Nasty Woman” a poem by Nina Donovan

Ashley Judd at the 2017 Women’s March

1969 – Susan (Zsuzsa) Polgár born in Hungary, American chess Grandmaster, coach, writer and head of the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) at Webster University.  She was the head coach for the 2011 and 2012 National Championship  college chess teams at Texas Tech University and the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 National Championship teams at Webster University. In the July 1984 FIDE Rating List, at age 15 she was the top-ranked woman player in the world, and remained in the top three for the next 23 years, and was the Women’s World Champion (1996-1999). Polgár was the first woman to break the gender barrier by qualifying for the 1986 Men’s World Chess Championship

1978 – Patti Smith releases her single “Because the Night”

1978 – Amanda Sage born, American painter who has studied and worked in Vienna and Los Angeles; co-founder of the Academy of Visionary Art in Vienna, and the Colorado Alliance for Visionary Art

Flower of Life, by Amanda Sage

1993 – The  51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ends when fire destroys the structure after federal agents smashed their way in; 76 Davidians, including sect leader David Koresh, are killed, and eleven others arrested; during the siege, four ATF agents are killed, and 16 wounded

1994 – A Los Angeles jury awards $3.8 million to Rodney King, victim of a beating by LAPD which was caught on video

1995 – Oklahoma City Bombing: the deadliest domestic terrorist attack in U.S. history, on the Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City OK by three conspirators using a truck bomb: 168 people die, over 680 others are injured; windows shatter and over 324 other buildings are damaged or destroyed within a 16- block radius, with damage estimates of $652 million; the terrorists claim their acts are retaliation for sieges by federal agents at Ruby Ridge and Waco; Timothy McVeigh is executed, Terry Nichols is imprisoned for life without parole, and Michael Fortier, arrested as an accessory, testifies in exchange for a reduced sentence and immunity for his wife (who helped make the fake ID used to rent the truck) and sentenced to 12 years in prison for failure to warn authorities before the attack, is released in 2006 into the Witness Protection Program – since 1996, Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day *

1995 – The first Hanging Out Day * is sponsored by Project Laundry List to encourage people to give their clothes dryer a rest, and hang their laundry up outside

2001 – The musical version of Mel Brooks’ film, The Producers, opens on Broadway

2011 – Fidel Castro resigns as leader of the central committee of the Cuban Communist Party after 45 years of holding the title

2013 – Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is killed in a shootout with police. His brother  Dzhokhar is later captured hiding in a boat in a backyard in the suburb of Watertown

2014 – The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced that Syria has destroyed 80% of its cache of chemical weapons, and is on track to complete the destruction of the rest of its chemical weapons by the new deadline, which was extended from February 20 to June 30

2018 – Senator Tammy Duckworth (Democrat – Illinois) made history when she brought her newborn daughter, Maile Pearl Bowlsbey, to the Senate floor for a vote. Duckworth gave birth to Maile, her second child, on April 9. On April 17, the Senate voted unanimously to reverse a long-standing rule, and allow babies into the Senate chamber. The move allowed Duckworth to bring the baby to Capitol Hill, where Duckworth cast a vote against the confirmation of Jim Bridenstine for NASA administrator. Leaving the chamber after her vote, Duckworth told reporters that it felt “amazing” to have her baby daughter with her on the floor. “It’s about time,” she said.

2019 – The three beehives that inhabit Notre Dame survived after the famous cathedral was badly damaged by fire. The hives were untouched by the blaze since they are located nearly 30 meters below the roof where the fire spread. Each hive houses around 60,000 bees. Had the beehives been closer to the fire and reached higher temperatures, the bees would likely have died due to melting wax. “I was incredibly sad about Notre Dame because it’s such a beautiful building, and as a Catholic it means a lot to me. But to hear there is life when it comes to the bees, that’s just wonderful,” beekeeper Nicolas Gean said. “I was overjoyed.”


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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