ON THIS DAY: April 22, 2020

April 22nd is

Earth Day *

International Mother Earth Day

NASA’s Earth Day Global Selfie *

Chemists Celebrate Earth Day *

Girl Scout Leaders Day

Jelly Bean Day

‘In God We Trust’ Day *


MORE!  Louise Glück, Denis Hayes and Ana María Shua, click



Brazil – Discovery Day *
(Pedro Álvares Cabral arrives)

Serbia – Dan sećanja na žrtve
holokausta (Holocaust
Remembrance Day)

South Africa –Family Day


On This Day in HISTORY

238 – The Imperial Crisis: the Roman Senate outlaws the “barracks emperor” Maximinus Thrax, who began as a lowborn common soldier and distrusted the nobility, who loathed him in return, for his bloodthirsty proscriptions in Rome; they nominate two Senators, Pupienus and Balbinus, as co-emperors, but the people of Rome refuse to accept them, and they appoint Gordian III, grandson of Emperor Gordian I as Caesar to form a triumvirate.This is the beginning of the Year of the Six Emperors

Gordian III

1451 – Queen Isabella of Castile born, with husband Ferdinand II of Aragon, reunified Spain, and she sponsors the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus to ‘the Indies’

1500 – Discovery Day * – Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral lands in Brazil

1519 – Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés starts a settlement at Veracruz, Mexico

1529 – The Treaty of Zaragoza between Spain and Portugal arrogantly divides the  eastern hemisphere between them along a line 297.5 leagues or 17° east of the Moluccas Islands, which had been claimed by both countries

1707 – Henry Fielding born, English novelist and playwright; author of Tom Jones

1724 – Immanuel Kant born, influential German Enlightenment philosopher; noted for his philosophy of ‘transcendental idealism’

1766 – Germaine de Staël born, French author, essayist, social commentator and political agitator; a passionate supporter of  ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’ she quickly became disenchanted with Napoleon, and used her considerable wit to deride him – He banished her from Paris, and she spent 10 years in exile Switzerland

1830 – Emily Davies born, English feminist, pioneer in securing university education for women; co-founder and early head of Girton College, Cambridge, the first college in England to educate women

1836 – Texas Revolution: A day after the Battle of San Jacinto, General Sam Houston’s Texian troops find Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna hiding in the marsh wearing a dragoon private’s uniform

1864 – ‘In God We Trust Day’ Day * – U.S. Congress passes the Coinage Act of 1864 that mandates inscription ‘In God We Trust’ is on all coins minted as U.S. currency

1870 – Vladimir Ilich Lenin born, Russian leader of 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and first head of the Soviet state

1873 – Ellen Glasgow born, American author, portraying the changing South after the Civil War, recipient of the 1942 Pulitzer Prize for her novel In This Our Life

1889 – At noon, thousands rush to claim land in the Land Rush of 1889. Within hours the cities of Oklahoma City and Guthrie are formed with populations of at least 10,000 

1891 – Laura Gilpin, American photographer, known for her photographs of southwestern landscapes and of Navajo and Pueblo people

1900 – Nellie Beer born, second woman to be Lord Mayor of Manchester (1966-1967); she was the first chair of the Manchester Children’s Committee (1948-1952), and a member of the Manchester City Council (1937-1972). After her father died when she was 14, she worked in a blouse factory, and went to night school. She became a dressmaker for a large Manchester store, joined the Conservative Party during WWI, and went on to complete her secondary education. Awarded the title of Honorary Freeman of Manchester in 1974

1904 – Dorothy Alexander born, American ballet dancer, choreographer; founder of the Atlanta Ballet

1904 – J. Robert Oppenheimer born, American nuclear physicist, head of the WWOO Los Alamos atomic bomb development project

1909 – Rita Levi-Montalcini born, Italian neurologist and member of the Italian Senate; she began her studies of the nervous system at the University of Turin, but was banned by Mussilini’s order against all non-Aryans from any kind of professional engagement, so she set up a lab in her home and studied normal and abnormal neural development in chick embryos. In 1952, she carried out studies on nerve growth factor (NGF), which became the basis of a new understanding of medical conditions like tumors, developmental malformations and dementia.  She was co-recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of NGF, and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1987. In 2009, she became the first Nobel laureate to reach the age of 100, and was the oldest living laureate until her death in 2012 at age 103

1909 – Indro Montanelli born, Italian journalist and historian; in 2000, the International Press Institute named him as one of the 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the previous 50 years; also notable for his historical works, including History of the Greeks and History of Rome

1912 – Kathleen Ferrier born, English operatic singer, a contralto with an international reputation; her repertoire included folksongs and ballads, as well as classical works

1914 – Jan de Hartog born, Dutch playwright, novelist and social critic; moved to the U.S. in the early 1960s and became a Quaker. Noted for The Peaceable Kingdom: An American Saga, and The Hospital

1915 – WWI: Chlorine gas is released as a chemical weapon in the Second Battle of Ypres, escalating the use of poison gas in the war. WWI was the first war in which chemical weapons were used on a large scale, killing 90,000, but the health of an estimated 33,000 men was permanently damaged, most often affecting the lungs and/or eyesight. The Geneva Protocol, banning the use (but not the stockpiling) of lethal gas and bacteriological weapons was signed by most of the WWI combatants in 1925, and by many other countries since, but this has not entirely ended their use in combat

WWI British troops blinded by gas

1916 – Yehudi Menuhin born, American violin virtuoso

1916 – Ruth A. M. Schmidt born, American geologist and paleontologist; she spent most of her career in Alaska, establishing a field office for the U.S. Geological Survey, and the first Department of Geology at Anchorage Community College, now part of the University of Alaska Anchorage. She directed the initial assessment of the damage done to the city of Anchorage by the Great Alaska Earthquake, the largest earthquake in North American history, and the second largest earthquake ever to be recorded. She worked for the USGS in Washington, DC during the era of McCarthyism and was investigated twice for disloyalty because of her membership in the interracial  Washington Cooperative Bookshop, which had been on the U.S. Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations, based on information kept secret, and which the organizations listed were not given any chance to see the ‘evidence’ against them, or to refute the allegation that they were subversive . Schmidt was cleared in hearings before the Department of Interior Loyalty Board in 1950 and 1954. She set up the Schmidt Charitable Trust to provide assistance for Alaska students who study earth sciences, with special preference for Alaska Natives and other ethnic minorities, and was also an enthusiastic mentor and role model for women in the sciences

1917 – Yvette Chauviré born, French prima ballerina and étoile with the Paris Opera Ballet and the Nouveau Ballet de Monte Carlo, as well as appearing as a guest performer with other companies. After her retirement from the Paris Opera Ballet in 1956, she continued to appear with the company until 1972, and danced several times with Rudolf Nureyev. She was co-director of the company’s school (1963-1968), and choreographed some short ballets. In 1970, she became Director of the International Academy of Dance in Paris

Yvette Chauviré with Rudolf Nureyev 1962

1922 – Charles Mingus born, American jazz performer and composer

1923 – Bettie Page born, iconic pin-up girl of the 1950s

1930 – The United Kingdom, Japan and the U.S. sign the London Naval Treaty  regulating submarine warfare and limiting shipbuilding

1935 – Bhama Srinivasan born, Indian mathematician, known for her work in the representation theory of finite groups; she immigrated to the U.S. in the 1970s, and became a naturalized citizen in 1977. She was a member of the Institute for Advances Studies at Princeton until 1980, when she began her tenure at the University of Illinois as professor of mathematics at the Chicago Circle Campus. She has been a fellow of the American Mathematical Society since 2012, and a fellow of the Association for Women in Mathematics since 2017

1938 – Chief Gani Fawehinmi born, Nigerian human and civil rights lawyer, author, publisher, politician, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and a chieftain of the Lamofin of Ondo. He was an outspoken critic of the Babangida and Abacha military dictatorships, and was imprisoned several times

1942 – Mary Prior born, Lord Lieutenant of Bristol (2007-2017), and Chair of the Commission for Bristol and Avon Magistrates (2008?-2017)

1943 – Louise Glück, American poet, Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2003-2004, won 2014 National Book Award for Poetry

1943 – Janet Evanovich – American novelist, known for her Stephanie Plum series

1946 – Louise Harel born, Quebec politician; City Councillor for Maisonneuve–Longue-Pointe (2009-2013); Interim Leader of the Parti Québécois (2005); first woman to be Speaker of the National Assembly (2002-2003); Member of the National Assembly for Hocelga-Maisonneuve (1989-2008); Member of the National Assembly for Maisonneuve (1981-1989)

1947 – Cathy Hughes born, African American entrepreneur and media pioneer; founder and Chair of Radio One

1948 – Palestinian Civil War: The key port city of Haifa is captured by Jewish Haganah fighters under Moshe Carmel. The city, with a mixed population of slightly more Palestinian Jews than Palestinian Arabs, had been isolated by Haganah control of the surrounding roads, and many businesses were closed, unemployment was rife and the cost of food had escalated. The leader of the Arab militia had been killed in an ambush the month before, and Haganah fighters were regularly intercepting Arab arms convoys into the city. The British, who had been acting as a buffer between the opposing sides in the port, had evacuated their troops by the April 20 deadline, in accordance with the Mandate assigned to the U.K. to control the region during the transition to the State of Israel. The 1948 Arab-Israeli War was about to begin

1950 – Jancis Robinson born, British journalist, internationally respected wine critic and weekly columnist for the Financial Times. She provides advice for the wine cellar of Queen Elizabeth II. Robinson began her career in wine writing as assistant editor of the trade magazine Wine & Spirit in 1975, and became a Master of Wine in 1984. She edited The Oxford Companion to Wine, considered one of the most comprehensive wine encyclopedias in the world

1951 – Ana María Shua born, Argentine author and poet; noted for her  novel Soy paciente (I’m patient), and her poetry collection,  El sol y yo (The Sun and I), as well as several short story collections and children’s books

1954 – Red Scare: The Senate Army-McCarthy hearings begin, televised live

1961 – Ann McKechin born, Scottish Labour politician; Member of Parliament for Glasgow North (2001-2015); Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (2008-2010); Committee on Scottish Affairs (2001-2005)

1963 – Rosalind Gill born, English sociologist, feminist cultural theorist and author; Professor of Social And Cultural analysis at City, University of London since 2013; noted for her 2007 article framing “postfeminism” as a contemporary sensibility which includes: an obsessive preoccupation with the body; a shift from women being portrayed as submissive, passive objects, to being portrayed as active, desiring sexual subjects; the preeminence of notions of choice, ‘being oneself’ and ‘pleasing oneself’; a focus on self-surveillance and discipline; a makeover paradigm; the reassertion of sexual difference; and media messages that are characterised by irony and knowingness. Her research on British broadcasting documented new forms of racism and sexism, which she also found in media environments that explicitly marked themselves as ‘cool, creative and egalitarian.’  Gill developed the idea that in seemingly egalitarian workplaces inequality becomes “unspeakable” and perhaps even unintelligible, and challenged debates centered on maternity as the primary reason for women’s underrepresentation in cultural and creative fields, pointing to the need to explore the flexibility and dynamism of sexism as a set of practices

1966 – British band the Troggs release their single “Wild Thing” in the U.S.

1970 – Senator Gaylord Nelson (D- WI), after seeing the ravages of the massive 1969 oil spill off the California Coast at Santa Barbara, persuades Pete McClosky (R-CA) to co-sponsor a “national teach-in on the environment,” and recruits Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator, and the first Earth Day * is born

Denis Hayes at the first Earth Day, 1970

1977 – Optical fiber is first used to carry live telephone traffic

1993 – The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is dedicated in Washington, D.C.

2003 – American Chemical Society launches their first Chemists Celebrate Earth Day *

2010 – The Deepwater Horizon oil platform sinks into the Gulf of Mexico two days after a massive explosion that killed 11 workers

2014 – NASA’s Earth Day Global Selfie * – NASA asks on social media “Where are you on Earth right now?” and requests they download a special sign in the language of their choice, fill their location, and take a selfie to send to NASA to become part of  a mosaic picture made to look like Earth from space

2016 – The Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) opened for signature; as of April 1, 2017, 195 countries have signed the treaty, and 143 of them have ratified it, including the United States; but the Trump administration reneges on the deal

2017 – The international March for Science included events in more than 600 locations around the world. Comprehensive crowd size tallies have yet to be released, but police estimate tens of thousands gathered in cities including Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Today “we have a great many lawmakers — not just here, but around the world — deliberately ignoring and actively suppressing science,” Bill Nye the Science Guy told a cheering crowd at the main rally in Washington. “Their inclination is misguided, and in no one’s best interest.”


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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