ON THIS DAY: May 2, 2020

May 2nd is

Chocolate Truffle Day

Life Insurance Day *

World Tuna Day

Robert’s Rules of Order Day *


MORE! Isabel González, Satyajit Ray and Norma Aleandro, click



Several countries have a second day off for May Day celebrations:
Bosnia & Herzegovina, China, Jordan, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Transdniestria

Bhutan – Druk Gyalpo (Birth of
Bhutan’s 3rd ruler) & Teachers’ Day

Indonesia – National Education Day

Iran – Teachers Day (honors Morteza
Motahhari, Islamic Revolution key figure)

Poland – Flag Day

Spain – Madrid: Community Day


On This Day in HISTORY

194 – King Richard I of England, upon returning from captivity in Austria, gives Portsmouth its first Royal Charter, including permissions for an annual fifteen-day free market fair, weekly markets, and a local court to deal with minor matters, and exempting its inhabitants from paying an annual tax of £18

Modern-day Portsmouth

1360 – Zhu Di born, he launched the Jingnan Campaign against the Jianwen Emperor, who was his nephew, and overthrew him in 1402. He became the Yongle Emperor (1402-1424), third emperor of the Ming dynasty, remembered for building monuments like the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, policies which helped the economy recover from the devastation of war, and for his cruelty to his opponents and their families

1536 – Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, second wife of Henry VIII, is arrested and imprisoned, charged with adultery, incest, treason and witchcraft

1559 – Misogynist Clergyman John Knox returns to Scotland from Geneva to lead the Scottish Reformation, and denounce womankind, especially Mary, Queen of Scots

1568 – Mary, Queen of Scots, imprisoned at Loch Leven charged with murder and adultery, for her suspected part in her first husband’s murder, and her hasty marriage to the divorced and Protestant Lord Bothwell, who is also implicated in the murder plot, is forced to abdicate in favor of her son. On this day, she escapes from Loch Leven Castle and flees to England, but is soon kept in custody there

Mary, Queen of Scots escaping from Lochleven Castle – by William Craig Shirreff

1660 – Alessandro Scarlatti born, Italian Baroque composer of operas and cantatas

1670 – English King Charles II gives a royal charter to the Hudson’s Bay Company

1729 – Catherine the Great born, Empress of Russia, first as wife of Peter III, then in her own right from 1762 until 1796

Portrait of Catherine II by Fedor Rokotov -1763

1759 – Life Insurance Day * – The charter for the Corporation for Relief of Poor and Distressed Widows and Children of Presbyterian Ministers is issued, the first life insurance program in the U.S.

1780 – William Herschel discovers the first binary star, Xi Ursae Majoris

1813 – Caroline Leigh Gascoigne born, English poet and novelist; noted for The School for Wives; Evelyn Harcourt; and Dr. Harold’s Note-Book 

1822 – Jane Miller Thengberg born, daughter of a Scottish father and a Swedish mother,  was a teacher and administrator who founded and managed Klosterskolan, a girls’ school in Uppsala (1855-1863), and principal of Högre lärarinneseminariet (Advanced Seminary for Female Teachers) in Stockholm (1863-1868). She organized the rules of the newly founded teachers’ seminary, and was an active participant in contemporary debate about the educational system in Sweden. She is regarded as a pioneer of the education of girls and women in Sweden, but regarded equal education with men more as a necessity for women to be better wives and mothers rather than to prepare them to follow a profession. When she married, she resigned from Högre lärarinneseminariet

1833 – Russian Tsar Nicolas I bans public sale of serfs

1837 – Robert’s Rules of Order Day * – Henry Martyn Robert born, American author, engineer and soldier; in 1876, he publishes his first manual on parliamentary procedure, Robert’s Rules of Order

1859 – Jerome K. Jerome born, English author and humorist; Three Men in a Boat

1865 – President Andrew Johnson issues Proclamation 131, offering rewards for the arrest of Confederate President Jefferson Davis ($100,000), who is captured on May 10, 1865. Several others are also listed with rewards of various amounts offered, including Clement C. Clay ($25,000), who helped create a spy network for the Confederate War Department and is suspected of involvement in John Wilkes Booth’s assassination plans, but he is released a few months after he turns himself in

1865 – Clyde Fitch born, American dramatist, the first American playwright to publish his plays; Beau Brummell, Nathan Hale, The Girl With the Green Eyes, Girls

Clyde Fitch with poster for his play ‘Girls’

1878 – The U.S Mint stops minting a 20 cent coin

1878 – Nannie Helen Burroughs born, African-American civil rights activist, businesswoman, lecturer and educator; founder of the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington D.C.

1882 – Isabel González born, Puerto Rican activist; plaintiff in Gonzales v. Williams (1904). As a young pregnant woman, in 1903 she tried to enter the U.S. to reunite with and marry her fiancé, but the U.S. Treasury Department refused her entry as an alien, “likely to become a public charge,” when she reached New York City. The Williams in the case was William Williams, the U.S. Commissioner of Immigration at the Port of New York. Her case was appealed from the U.S. Circuit Court for the NY Southern District after her Writ of Habeas Corpus was dismissed. The Supreme Court case was the first time the Court ruled on the citizenship status of inhabitants of territories acquired by the U.S.  González brought attention not only to her case, but the status of all Puerto Ricans by writing letters which were published in the New York Times. The Court’s ruling was ambiguous at best, declaring that under the immigration laws of the time, González was not an alien, and therefore could not be denied entry into New York. But the Court declined to declare that she was a U.S. citizen. The question of the citizenship status of the inhabitants of the new island territories remained confusing, ambiguous, and contested. Puerto Ricans came to be known as something in between: “noncitizen nationals.” Isabel González became a U.S. citizen by marrying her fiancé, but continued with others to press the cause of U.S citizenship for all Puerto Ricans. It finally became a reality in 1917, with the passage of the Jones-Shaforth Act, which conferred U.S. Citizenship on all Puerto Ricans, mostly so the men could be drafted for military service in WWI

1885 – Good Housekeeping magazine is first published

1885 – The infamous ‘Congo Free State’ is formed by King Leopold II of Belgium

1895 – Lorenz Hart born, American lyricist and playwright; in partnership with Richard Rodgers, created classic songs like “Blue Moon,” “My Funny Valentine” and “Isn’t It Romantic?” and wrote the books for musicals like The Boys from Syracuse and Pal Joey

1900 – George Bernard Shaw’s You Never Can Tell debuts in London

1903 – Dr. Benjamin Spock born, “the baby doctor,” author, and anti-war activist; Baby and Child Care is one of the all-time best sellers

1905 – Charlotte Armstrong born, American mystery writer; won Edgar Awards for her novel A Dram of Poison, and three of her short stories: And Already Lost, The Case for Miss Peacock and The Splintered Monday

1908 – The song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is registered for copyright

1921 – Satyajit Ray born, Indian filmmaker, music composer and author; widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest filmmakers; Pather Panchali, The Apu Trilogy, Kanchenjungha, Charulata, and Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne are among his best-known films

1927 – U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous ruling in Buck v. Bell permits forced sterilizations of various “unfits” by states’ authorities where such surgeries are practiced for eugenic reasons. While Skinner v. Oklahoma (1942) did not specifically overturn Buck v. Bell, it created enough of a legal quandary to discourage many sterilizations. The Supreme Court has never expressly overturned Buck v. Bell

1931 – Martha Grimes born, American detective fiction author and poet, noted for her Richard Jury series

1932 – Pearl S. Buck awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Literature for The Good Earth

1935 – Foster Care Day * – Title IV-E of the Social Security Act authorizes federal grants to states for foster care and adoption assistance programs, to be administered by the U.S. Children’s Bureau

1936 – Norma Aleandro born, Argentine actress, screenwriter, and theatrical director. She won the Cannes Award for best actress for her role in the 1985 film, The Official Story. Aleandro wrote the screenplay for 1970 film, The Inheritors. She was critical of the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983, and given 24-hours t leave the country. She, her husband and their son spent 10 years in exile in Uruguay and Spain before returning to her country 

1937 – Gisela Eisner born, German author; won the Prix Formentor in 1964 for her novel Die Riesenzwerge (The Dwarf Giant)

1938 – Ella Fitzgerald records “A-Tisket, A-Tasket”

1947 – Eugene O’Neill’s drama Moon for the Misbegotten premieres in NYC

1947 – Lynda Myles born, British writer and producer; best known as the director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and for producing film adaptations of Irish writer Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown Trilogy: The Commitments; The Snapper; and The Van

1949 – Arthur Miller wins the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Death of a Salesman

1954 – Baroness Dawn Primarolo, British Labour politician, MP for Bristol South (1987-2015); Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families (2009-2010); Minister of State for Public Health (2007-2009)

1955 – Tennessee Williams wins the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

1961 – Sophie Thibault born, French Canadian journalist and television reporter on the morning news program Salut Bonjour, and news anchor on Le TVA 22 heures

1964 – The Beatles Beatles’ Second Album becomes #1 on the album charts

1966 – Belinda Stronach born, Canadian business executive, philanthropist and Member of Parliament in the House of Commons (2004-2008) She was elected as a Conservation, but crossed the floor later to join the Liberals. She left politics, and  became executive vice-chair of Magna International (2008-2010), and is currently chair and president of The Stronach Group, an entertainment and real estate company, primarily involved in managing Thoroughbred racetracks and off-track pari-mutuel wagering. In 2008, she founded and is the chair of the Belinda Stronach Foundation, a charity which works collaboratively on projects related to children and women, such as the One Laptop Per Child program, which has so far delivered education technology to 9,000 disadvantaged indigenous children across Canada

1969 – British ocean liner Queen Elizabeth II leaves on her maiden voyage

1980 – Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) is banned in South Africa

1990 – The South African government opens talks with the African National Congress about ending apartheid

1994 – Dr Kevokian found innocent on charges of assisting suicides

1998 – World Asthma Day * started by the Global Initiative for Asthma, which sets medical guidelines for the disease, the day is now observed in over 35 countries

1999 – Mireya Moscoso becomes the first woman elected President of Panama; she  oversees the transition of control of the Panama Canal from the U.S. to Panama

Mireya Moscoso speaking at the UN

2000 – President Bill Clinton announces that accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the U.S. military

2008 – The movie Iron Man, starring Robert Downey Jr. is released

2012 – Norwegian painter Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream sells at auction for $119,922,500 USD

2013 – Rhode Island becomes the 10th U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage

2014 – Protesters took to the streets in cities worldwide to demand that the Nigerian government take more decisive action to find and free the school girls abducted by the terrorist organization Boko Haram. Over 250 teenage girls were taken from their schools, and it is believed they were sold into forced “marriages.”  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the abductions an “unconscionable crime,” and pledged U.S. support to help find the girls

2017 – Hillary Clinton made her strongest statements against Donald Trump since the November election, declaring herself “part of the resistance.” Clinton took personal responsibility for her defeat, saying she made some big mistakes in her campaign, but said she would have beaten Trump had it not been for Russian interference and FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress, just days before the vote, reviving questions over her use of a private email server while serving as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state. “If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” she told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women event in New York. 

2019 – For the third year in a row, Donald Trump made an announcement, on the multi-faith National Day of Prayer, that favored Christian conservatives, expanding protections for health-care providers and insurers who refuse to offer or pay for procedures they say violate their religious beliefs. The new Health and Human Services rule doubles down on protections Congress developed last year, and explicitly mentions abortion, sterilization, and assisted suicide as procedures that health-care workers and insurers could refuse to provide. Conservative groups had pushed for the protections, citing religious liberty. The ACLU, LGBT and women’s advocacy groups immediately decried the rules, saying they will let doctors refuse to treat LGBT people or provide other essential services.


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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